Chocolate ganache, caramel and a nougat cake create delicious cupcakes!
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and the second smallest planet in our Solar System… Just kidding guys! This post isn’t an astronomy lesson, but all about some delicious cupcakes inspired by the famous chocolate bar. I generally try to follow a healthy-ish diet, but there are also times when I just want to satisfy my sweet tooth. For such circumstances there’s always a mars chocolate bar hidden somewhere in one of my kitchen cabinets. The other time, while I was eating one and watched the caramel stretching and forming gooey strings after each bite, I thought to myself: Why don’t I make this into a cupcake? So, here we are!
Mars is comprised from nougat, topped with thick caramel and then covered in chocolate.
Nougat is a fluffy confection with a chocolaty and malty taste. To transform it into a cupcake I used my basic fluffy cupcake recipe and added some tablespoons of my favorite chocolate malt powder.
For the caramel I used a basic recipe which requires sugar, water and cream. I was really happy with the way the caramel turned out, and I played with it while trying to take some photos. I don’t know if this excessive stirring had something to do, but when it set it crystallized a little, so I had to reheat it and add a tablespoon of glucose – glucose has the ability to prevent the crystallization of syrups and caramelized mixtures. That did the trick. You’ll need a kitchen thermometer to get the consistency of the caramel perfect. If you don’t have a thermometer you can let the caramel boil for two minutes after you add the cream and test the consistency by dropping a small dollop in a glass with cold water. The caramel should form a pliable ball. However this is not a foolproof way. But you know what? Even if the caramel is a little runny or more firm, it will still be delicious!
The no-brainer was the chocolate. Ganache is always the best answer! 🙂 A basic ganache with double the chocolate than the cream, and a little honey for extra smoothness, was used.
I believe they will also be a nice dessert for any holiday including of course New Year’s Eve! I mean, deep dark chocolate ganache and golden caramel…. Can they get more festive? OK, they can, if you add some edible golden star confetti, but I didn’t have any. If you can get your hands on some of those, make sure you use them! They’ll be the hit of the night!
Cut a little hole at the center and pour a little chocolate
Wait for the caramel to cool before you pour it over the ganache, since if it’s too warm it may melt the chocolate and ruin the shape of your frosting
Any leftover caramel can be stored refrigerated in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. Reheat it in the microwaves or in a water bath and use it over ice cream, pies, waffles, pancakes… My favorite way, is warm over ice cream with this easy, delicious grandmas apple crumble pie… YUM! But over some plain apple slices, topped with a pinch of cinnamon isn’t bad either!
- For the cupcakes
- 1 cup (150 grams) all-purpose flour (not sifted)
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (130 grams) sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 1/2 stick plus 1 tablespoon (70 grams) butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup (120 grams) milk
- 3 tablespoons chocolate malt powder
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg white (90 grams total)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- For the chocolate ganache:
- 200 grams chocolate, 55% cocoa
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) heavy cream, 35% fat
- 1 tablespoon honey or glucose
- For the caramel:
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/4 cups (250 grams) sugar
- 1 tablespoon glucose
- 1 cup (240 grams) heavy cream, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Make the ganache first: In the microwaves or in a double boiler melt together all the ingredients until smooth. Let it cool for 2-4 hours, or until firm.
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
In the bowl of your electric mixer mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
Add the butter and mix until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
In a large measuring cup or a jag mix together the milk, the chocolate malt powder, the egg and egg white, the vanilla and the vegetable oil.
Add half of the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour and beat on medium speed for one minute.
Scrape the bowl, add the other half of the wet ingredients and continue beating on medium high for another 30 seconds.
Divide the batter into 12 lined muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer the cupcakes on a rack and let them cool completely.
For the caramel: In a deep pot, heat together the sugar, glucose and water. When it starts to boil, reduce heat to medium and let it boil until it reaches a deep amber color. The deeper the color the deeper the taste of the final caramel will be.
Remove from heat and carefully add the cream and then the vanilla. Mixture will bubble intensely.
Return to heat, stir until well incorporated and let it boil until it reaches 226°F (108°C). Remove from heat and transfer to a heatproof bowl to cool. Add the salt and stir gently.
When the cupcakes have cooled, cut a hole in the center and fill them with some caramel.
With a piping bag or a spatula frost with the ganache (if the ganache is too firm, heat it for 10 seconds in the microwave, if it is too soft refrigerate it for 5-10 minutes). I usually let my ganache firm up, transfer it in a large piping bag and massage it with my hands until soft enough to pipe easily. Don’t overdo it though, because if it softens too much, it will not hold its’ shape.
When the caramel is lukewarm but still a little runny, pour some over the frosted cupcakes.
Before starting, bring all of the ingredients at room temperature.
The butter should be SOFT, otherwise it will not get beaten well, affecting the final texture of the cupcakes.
Make sure the cupcakes have cooled completely before frosting them!
If you don’t have a thermometer you can let the caramel boil for two minutes after you add the cream and test the consistency by dropping a small dollop in a glass with cold water. The caramel should reach the soft ball stage. This method is not as accurate as a thermometer, so results may vary.
If caramel is a bit warm when pouring it over the cupcakes, it may melt the ganache slightly. If you refrigerate the cupcakes for 10 minutes before pouring the caramel, it will help the ganache to hold its shape.
The cupcakes, because of the ganache, will keep at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for up to 5 days.
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