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Moist caramel mud cakes full of smooth vanilla custard, covered with melt in the mouth cookie balls, whipped cream and sticky caramel fudge sauce. You’ll need a napkin for this one!

This is a recipe I dreamed up for this competition and I wasn’t sure if it would be a bit of an overload but I took them to work for the ultimate taste test and I’m pleased to say that after the first 10 were devoured in a matter of moments there was great concern over who should be ‘entitled’ to the last two sitting on the plate. I managed to avoid a scuffle by finding two more willing ‘taste testers’ and although I know I could be biased, 11 other people tried them and we all agreed that these MUST be made again!

As an added note... The caramel fudge was such a hit that most people unwrapped their cupcake and smothered it with generous lashings of the left over sauce.

Definitely great for a dessert!




Step 1: PREPARATION

If you’re like me, you might be an impulse cook. I can be sitting on the couch reading a book one minute and creating a flavour sensation the next. I can’t help it. I get teased for it but no-one complains about the food so who cares.

Can I make a suggestion this time? GET PREPARED. You can make some parts of this the day, or even 3 days before and I suggest that you do so.

MAKE AHEAD:

• You can make the caramel fudge sauce up to 2 weeks before but be aware that once you make it you will need to hide it or risk coming back to find an empty jar!

• You can make the cookies 3 or 4 days ahead or even make the dough and freeze it for your next impulse cooking session. The left over’s make great cookies that always go nicely with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate.

• The cupcakes can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container until you are ready to assemble them.

So that only leaves you 4 things to do:

1. Make the custard
2. Whip the cream
3. Assemble the cupcakes
4. Eat and enjoy!





Step 2: INGREDIENTS

Caramel Mud Cakes
  • 125 grams butter
  • 100 grams white chocolate melts
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar firmly packed (approx 150g)
  • ¼ cup pouring cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ¾ cup plain all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup self-raising flour
  • ¼ cup almond meal
  • 1 egg


Vanilla Biscuit Balls
  • 125 grams butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 Tablespoons icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup custard powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Caramel Fudge Sauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup thick whipping cream


Vanilla Custard
  • 45 grams custard powder
  • ¾ cup thickened or pouring cream
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 60 grams butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Cream
  • Extra 300ml cream for whipping
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract





Step 3: CARAMEL MUD CAKES

INGREDIENTS
  • 100 grams white chocolate melts
  • 125 grams butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar firmly packed (approx 150g)
  • ¼ cup golden syrup
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • ¾ cup plain all purpose flour sifted
  • 1/3 cup self-raising flour sifted
  • ¼ cup almond meal sifted
  • 1 egg

METHOD
  1. Combine chocolate, butter, sugar, syrup and milk in a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until smooth. Transfer to a medium mixing bowl of an electric mixer and allow to cool for 1-2 minutes.
  2. With the beaters running at medium speed gradually sprinkle in the sifted flours and almond meal
  3. Once all flours are well combined, add the egg and beat until well incorporated
  4. Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases
  5. Bake at 180 degrees C for 30-35 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (see photo)
  6. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack and place into an airtight container until needed.





Step 4: VANILLA BISCUIT BALLS

INGREDIENTS
  • 125 grams diced butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 Tablespoons icing sugar (confectioners sugar)
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • ¼ cup custard powder


METHOD
  1. Preheat oven to 180°C
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until pale and creamy
  3. With the motor running, sprinkle the flour and custard powder over the butter mixture and continue to mix until a thick, pasty dough is formed. It will not form together in a dough 'ball' but should not be crumbly either.
  4. Chill the dough mixture for 10-15 minutes or until it is quite firm. If you’re working on a hot day you may need to chill it again if it becomes too sticky during the rolling process.
  5. Once the dough is firm, begin to roll small balls just a little larger than a pea and smaller than a marble. I find that rolling between the palm of one hand and two fingers of the other hand (see photo) will help you to make a ball quite quickly. It is important not to handle the dough too much because of its high butter content. Over-handling the dough will cause it to melt and become sticky
  6. Place biscuit balls (make at least 100) onto a tray lined with baking paper and return them to the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes
  7. When the balls are chilled and firm again, bake them in the oven for approximately 7 minutes. Watch them closely as you actually don’t want them to brown
  8. Once you start to see some of the biscuits around the edge of the tray begin to brown a little, remove them from the oven and gently slide the baking paper, with the cookies, off the tray to prevent further cooking. Once cooled, these cookies may be stored for 3-4 days in an airtight container until needed.





Step 5: CARAMEL FUDGE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • ½ cup thick whipping cream

METHOD
  1. Before you begin, make sure you have all the ingredients ready to go. Making toffee and caramel sauce is a very fast process and you won’t have time to go hunting for the ingredients or measuring them out. (I didn’t have time to take photos of each stage so you’ll just have to try this out!) Please also remember that liquid/molten sugar or toffee is VERY hot. Please be careful when you’re handling it and make sure your work area is clear of mess
  2. Using your HEAVY BOTTOMED saucepan begin to heat the sugar on a medium heat. You will see it starting to melt on the bottom. Give it a very quick stir to combine all of the remaining sugar crystals and watch it closely. Fairly quickly you will see it begin to turn a nice amber colour and all remaining sugar should be dissolved. The longer you cook it at this point, the stronger and richer your sauce flavor will be. To be honest I think I over cooked my sauce at this point but it still tasted fantastic!
  3. As soon as you see a nice golden amber colour you need to stop the sugar from cooking any further. Remove it from the heat and add your butter to the pan whisking continually until the butter is well combined
  4. As soon as the butter is combined, pour in the cream and continue to whisk until a lovely smooth consistency is achieved
  5. Set the sauce aside to cool until needed. If you are making the sauce ahead of time you can store it in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks  and it will become thick and fudgy. You will need to warm it very slightly in order to drizzle it over the cakes later during decorating. As a rule, if you can stir it, you can drizzle it.





Step 6: GET READY TO ASSEMBLE

We have reached the point of no return… Once you make the custard you will need to put it straight into the cupcakes before it sets.
  1. Take a sharp knife or apple corer and remove a ‘core’ from each cupcake… I call these ‘samplers’. It’s important for quality control that you taste test every cupcake before you present them to your guests… wink, wink
  2. Get your biscuit balls ready
  3. Whip the extra 300ml of cream  and 2 teaspoons of vanilla mentioned in the initial ingredients list
  4. Now you may make your custard.




Step 7: VANILLA CUSTARD

INGREDIENTS
  • 45 grams custard powder
  • ¾ cup thickened or pouring cream
  • • ½ cup milk
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 60 grams butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

METHOD
  1. Place custard powder into a heavy bottomed saucepan and whilst stirring with a spatula or wooden spoon gradually pour in a small amount of the cream. Blend the cream and custard powder until a smooth paste is formed
  2. Slowly add the remainder of the cream and then the milk while continuing to stir the mixture. 
  3. Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook stirring continually with a whisk until the mixture thickens significantly.  *NOTE: This is a very thick custard mixture and it will go lumpy quite easily if you do not give it your attention and continue to whisk it during cooking
  4. When the mixture is thick and creamy remove it from the heat and add the sugar, butter and vanilla, whisking to combine.
  5. Once a uniform caramel colour has been achieved, transfer the hot mixture to a squeeze bottle (if you have one available) otherwise you can spoon it on and spread with a knife but you will have to work quickly.





Step 8: PUTTING IT TOGETHER!

WHILE THE CUSTARD IS STILL VERY HOT
  1. Using the squeeze bottle, fill the hollow of each cupcake and then distribute the remaining custard over the top of the cupcakes in a similar manner to icing a cake. You will notice that the custard is very thick and will not look nice and smooth but don’t worry because this prevents it from running off the cakes and also helps to stick our little biscuits on. If you don't have a squeeze bottle you can use a knife or spoon.
  2. Continuing to work quickly, place a circle of biscuits around the outside edge of the cupcake and one in the centre. Press them gently into the custard to help them stick
  3. Chill the cupcakes for 5 minutes in the fridge to help the custard set but don’t leave them in there any longer than that because they are much nicer at room temperature. Once set, the custard will remain firm.
  4. Place a large dollop of the whipped cream onto the centre of each cupcake. You might like to use a piping bag or whipping canister but I like the soft look of spooned on cream
  5. Gently warm a small amount of the caramel sauce in the microwave. You don’t want it hot, but it needs to be runny enough to drizzle over the cream. Be generous! I love the sticky drips of caramel running over the sides of these cupcakes. It makes them even more indulgent!
  6. FINAL STEP… EAT AND ENJOY!!!



Oh. My. God. I think I'm drooling!
These look and sound amazing!
these are really Atom Bombs for me........ hahaha. But I cant resist myself. Really looking so dELiCiouS........ :-D
Why do i look at the food section while stuck at work on a night shift... These look so good I'm getting hungry!
Looks delicious!

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