Oops, sorry, got a bit excited and hungry looking at these photos again.
Over the years I’ve quickly become known as the baker of the family. I baked my first batch of cupcakes for my mum’s birthday 5 years ago (owls with oreos for eyes, oh yeah), and I’ve been baking for every occasion ever since. Birthdays, mother’s days, father’s days, Christmas, Easter, Tuesdays, Saturdays…you catch my drift. Each time I have to come up with something new and exciting – part of the fun, really – but recently I’ve been wanting to try baking things I’ve never baked before.
And that’s kinda how these came about.
It was Father’s Day, and as my dad is a huge Mars Bar fan I really wanted to incorporate them into the bake. But I didn’t really fancy doing the whole pressing a bit of Mars Bar into the middle of the cake mixture kinda thing (which, I must say, is a delicious). Nope, instead I wanted to go one step further.
So why not create a cupcake using the components of a Mars Bar?
Chocolate? That could be the cupcake. The nougat inside? I could do a nougat buttercream. The caramel? Well, no one can resist a caramel drizzle. I loved the idea of challenging myself with nougat and caramel for the first time, and if it all went to plan, I also knew it would taste incredible. Spoiler: it did.
I also popped a chunk of Mars Bar on top, because y’know…why ever not.
The nougat turned out to be more like marshmallow/the kind you get in a Milky Way, but it’s definitely one of the tastiest things I’ve made in a while. I could quite honestly sit on the sofa with a bowl of the sticky goo and gobble it all up whilst watching Deadpool for the 15th million time.
But I won’t. Maybe.
Anyway, these cupcakes are sticky, oh so sweet, and incredibly indulgent. I can’t even imagine how good they would be if you put them in the microwave for a few seconds…I might have to give that a go. So, what am I waiting for, right? Let’s get started.
You will need:
For the cupcakes –
40g cocoa powder
4tbsp boiling water
175g self raising flour175g caster sugar
175g softened butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
Nougat icing –
2 egg whites
200g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tbsp runny honey
Caramel drizzle –
250g caster sugar
142ml double cream (a small pot)
So, we’re going to start with the cupcakes first. It’s pretty easy – in a bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the boiling water to make a sticky goo, before adding in all the other ingredients and mixing well. They then need to go in the oven on gas mark 6 for 10-15 minutes. Done!
The nougat is a long task – but I promise it’s worth it. You’re going to tip all of the ingredients and a tiny bit of water into a heatproof bowl and put it over a simmering saucepan of water. For around 5-8 minutes you’ll need to blend it all with a electric whisk until it starts to form peaks, before taking it off the heat and continuing to whisk until it’s your desirable thickness – this will take a while. You can have it as gooey or as thick and sticky as you like – but the thicker the better as it’s a lot easier to work with. The recipe is taken from Jamie Oliver’s Chocolate Celebration Cake recipe, and now I really want to make the whole thing.
Once that’s done, you’ll need to make a caramel drizzle. With only three ingredients, caramel isn’t as complicated as it seems – but it does take a bit of skill. Let’s just say a few of my kitchen utensils are now stained brown after I was left with a saucepan full of burnt sugar…
Pop your sugar and water into a saucepan and put it on a medium heat until the sugar dissolves completely – then put your heat up a notch and let it bubble for around 3-4 minutes until it turns into caramel – stir constantly and keep a watch on it constantly too, it’ll quickly turn to caramel before you know it. (That was definitely my down fall the first time.) Once you have a thick caramel, take it off the heat and pour in the double cream and butter – then leave to cool.
Now all the components are done, it’s time to assemble. Using a tablespoon, scoop up a big dollop of nougat and gently drop it onto the cupcake, before pressing a chunk of Mars Bar into the goo and drizzling the whole cake with the cooled caramel. Do it for all the cupcakes – then hungrily dig in!
I’d love to do something similar to this again, so let me know your favourite chocolate bar in the comments and I’ll get thinking!