Entry 34: Koala Wars – The Fat-Tum Menace

Help me. For the love of God, HELP ME!

My once peaceful and tranquil kitchen has now been turned into some kind of marsupial battleground; it’s only going to be a matter of time before someone gets hurt…..

"That's not a knife, mate..."

“That’s not a knife, mate…”

"...THAT'S a knife!"

“…THAT’S a knife!”

At this point I felt something had to be done, otherwise the Koala would be rummaging through the loft for my old katana. If I could show the Koala and the Twins (as I’ve come to call the newcomers) that working together can be a positive thing, then perhaps peace and quiet could return to my kitchen. This week I decided to try something special. Although my attempt at Turkish delight turned into a huge failure, the rose water I used to flavour it was still begging to be used. So rather than follow someone else’s recipe, I decided to try and create my own.

 

Turkish Delightful Cupcakes

100 g   plain flour

20 g   cocoa powder

140 g   caster sugar

1.5 tsp   baking powder

40 g   unsalted butter, softened

120 ml   milk (I used semi skimmed for this but whole or skimmed should be okay as well)

1 egg

**** Centre ****

50 g semi dark chocolate (around 40-53% cocoa – don’t use 70% as it will be too bitter)

10 g butter

20 ml double cream

1 tsp caster sugar

**** Icing ****

0.5 tsp   rose water

80 g   butter

250 g icing sugar

20 ml milk

A few drops of pink food colouring

 

This made about 12 cupcakes, although as a word of caution, the amounts for the icing and chocolatey centre may not be 100% accurate. As with a lot of my previous experiments, there was a little fine tuning to be done before the consistency and flavour were the way I wanted them. One other thing I discovered is that American cupcakes are larger than their British counter parts; the first part of the recipe, which makes the sponge base, is for 12 British cupcakes or 6 American cupcakes. Your mileage or kilometreage may vary.

Well, at least they're not fighting at the moment...

Well, at least they’re not fighting at the moment…

The first step involved making the sponge bases for the cupcakes. The recipes I looked at recommended a devil’s food cake mix, which involves mixing the dry ingredients separately, the wet ingredients separately and then very gently mixing the two together. This makes the cupcakes very light, as long as you don’t over combine the two mixtures. Idle paws are the devil’s playground, so I decided to set the koalas to work:

"Back a bit, up a bit...no, no, the other left....."

“Back a bit, left a bit…no, no, the other left…..”

Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, butter and caster sugar together so that you have something that looks like Martian sand:

No Mars bars were harmed in the making of these cupcakes.

No Mars bars were harmed in the making of these cupcakes.

In a separate bowl (I used a jug for this bit – makes the wet ingredients easier to pour), whisk together the egg and the milk. Once this is done, be sure to move your whisk out of the reach of tiny paws:

Coming soon on the popular web series "Will It Blend?"...

Coming soon on the popular web series “Will It Blend?”…

When combining the wet and dry ingredients, add a third of the wet mix and whisk slowly and gently for about 30 seconds, or until its absorbed. Add another third, mix gently and then finally the remainder. Avoid mixing it for ages as this will make your sponge thick and stodgy. Ideally, you should finish up with something like this:

It's somewhat unsettling having three koalas staring at you...

It’s somewhat unsettling having three koalas staring at you…

The first batch of these, I tried using 6 American cupcake cases (pro tip – if you’re looking for these in your local UK supermarket, they’re classed as muffin trays) and they went in at Gas Mark 3/170*C for about 20 minutes, turning them around half way through.

"And here, we see a wild pack of koalas, circling their prey, waiting for the opportunity to strike..."

“And here, we see a pack of wild koalas, circling their prey, waiting for the opportunity to strike…”

This is where the fun starts. After the cupcakes had cooled, I used an apple corer to make small hole in the top of each one. Aim for a depth of about 3/4 of an inch, shallower if you’re doing British cupcakes. Do not bore all the way through.

"Unlike this blog, bwahahaha!"

“Unlike this blog, bwahahaha!”

Thank you, Statler and Waldorf. -.-

The more eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that the ingredients for the chocolate centre are the same as the truffle mix I’ve made in the past. Melt the chocolate over a saucepan of water (or about a minute in the microwave >.>) and add the butter and cream. Mix quickly together and spoon into the hollows on each cupcake. For a good finish, run a palette knife over the top to make sure the truffle mix is firmly pressed in and level with the top of the sponge. You may have some mixture left over.

Although probably not for long.

Although probably not for long.

Again, leave a little time for the truffle mixture to cool and harden – about five minutes should be enough. Whilst they cool, start mixing the rose icing. Sift your icing sugar so that it’s smooth and then mix with the butter. As you whisk it together, add the milk, rose water and food colouring. Tweak the icing sugar/rose water/milk until you’re happy and then pipe over the cupcakes.

"Do a backflip you land!"

“Do a backflip before you land!”

For an extra special touch, if you have any dark chocolate leftover, grate it over the top of the cupcakes and you should get something that looks like this:

A finished Exquisite Sin cupcake.

A finished Turkish Delightful cupcake.

If we slice the cupcake in half, you can see all the secrets:

WP_20141002_15_48_43_SmartShoot

I apologise for the poor quality of the photo but I hope it’s clear what’s going on. These cupcakes have an incredible mix of flavours and textures. The sponge provides a mild and familiar chocolate taste, just like any other chocolate cake. The rose water icing tastes just like Turkish delight and the dark chocolate centre prevents the sweetness of the icing from being overpowering. All in all, these were a resounding success with the family and I suspect I will be asked to make more.

I’m also happy to see that things are starting to settle down between the Twins and the Koala. I hope they learned a little something about working together. =)

"We certainly have! For example, I keep you distracted, while the Twins steal the cupcakes for us."

“We certainly have! For example, I keep you distracted, while the Twins steal the cupcakes for us.”

What the…

HEY!

HEY!

Goddamn it,

Goddamn it,

Money is starting to become a little tight for me at the moment, so although I will try to have another update out in two weeks, just to let you know I’m okay, you might have to wait until the next entry after that for a new recipe. Stay tuned, Koala (and Twin) fans.

One response to “Entry 34: Koala Wars – The Fat-Tum Menace

  1. I’d probably read more recipe books if they included instruction to mix things until they look like martian sand.

    The Twins are adorable (as is the original Koala — I feel I have to mention that to avoid katanas…), and the cupcakes look delicious.

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