Introduction: Bonfire Cupcakes

This is a step by step guide for making some seriously impressive yet tasty cupcakes. In this tutorial you will learn how to make rich, caramel cupcakes from scratch, and how to make your own bonfire toffee to decorate the cakes with. Although the toffee looks hard to made, it is surprisingly easy, with the only difficulty being washing up the saucepan you use afterwards. 

Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment

For the caramel mud cupcakes, you will need:

125g of butter, chopped into small pieces
100g of white chocolate, chopped up
150g of brown sugar
90g of golden syrup (Pale treacle for those in the USA)
160ml of milk
150g of plain flour
50g of self raising flour

For a simple butter icing, you will need:
150g of butter
300g of icing sugar

For the bonfire toffee, you will need:
225g of caster sugar
125 ml of water

If you want more or less butter icing, just use a 1:2 ratio of butter to icing sugar. 

The equipment you should have handy is:
One or two saucepans, depending on whether you want to wash up as you go or not
Mixing bowl
Muffin tin
12 Muffin case
Candy/Food thermometer
Parchment Paper
Baking trays (for drizzling toffee)

At this point you'll want to preheat your oven to 170 degrees C, or 150 degrees C if you have a fan assisted oven.

Step 2: Melt the Cupcake Ingredients

Add the butter, white chocolate, sugar, golden syrup and milk to a pan. Stir everything over a low heat, and don't allow for the mix to boil or simmer. When everything has melted, set it aside to cool for twenty minutes.

Step 3: Finish Cupcake Mix and Cook in the Oven

When the cake mix has cooled, sift in the flour (I didn't do this as my seive has disappeared). Add the egg, and beat until well combined. Place into the twelve muffin cases, and cook for half an hour. If you use foil muffin cases, they might cook sooner, so check on then from 20 minutes onwards. When the cupcake springs back if you press lightly on it, then it is done.

Step 4: Make the Toffee

Add the caster sugar and water to the pan, then heat the pan on a low heat until the sugar has dissolved into the water. If you boil the water too soon, the toffee turns grainy. When the sugar dissolves, bring the mixture to a boil. Once it boils, do not stir the pan. Let the mixture simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the mixture is golden.
If you are using a thermometer, the mixture should be above 137 degrees c and below 150 degrees c while simmering, depeinding on whether you want a pale gold or a deep red colour toffee. The longer you boil the toffee, the deeper the colour gets.
To test whether the toffee is done, take the pan off the heat and wait until the mixture is no longer bubbling. Using a teaspoon, get some of the mixture and drizzle it into a jug of cold water. If it is soft, then it is not yet finished boiling. If it is hard, cannot be bent, and can be snapped with a clean break, it is ready (To use the technical term, it has reached 'hard crack'). 
When the mixture is done, take it off the heat and wait for all of the bubbles to dissapear.

Step 5: Ice the Cakes

Simple step here. Add the icing sugar and the butter to a mixing bowl (I used a pan as my mixing bowl is missing) and beat it until you have buttercream. Ice your cakes using a piping bag or the back of a teaspoon.

Step 6: Decorate the Cakes!

When the toffee has no more bubbles in the pan, drizzle it onto the parchment paper using the back of a spoon. Try to make thinner streaks larger than thick blobs, as thick blobs are less pretty at the end :(
When the toffee has reached room temperature on the parchment paper (It takes less than ten minutes) peel it off gently and place it on your cakes. Take a step back, and admire them.

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