Bonfire Cupcakes

I have seen lots of people make a version of these on Pinterest and always wanted to have a go myself as they are really fun, but also delicious to eat.

Bonfire Cupcakes3

Keeping with the bonfire theme, I have used dark brown sugar in the moist chocolate cakes and a little cinnamon too, giving a toasty, warm flavour.

To make these extra decadent, I have used a rich cream cheese frosting which is really delicious with the chocolate cakes.  It will crust a little once piped onto the cakes, so they shouldn’t be too messy to eat!

Bonfire Cupcakes2

The firewood sticks are made from Mikado and the flames leaping into the air are melted boiled sweets.  To make these extra kitsch, I have added a toasted marshmallow on a stick too.

These were very popular with the children and very simple to make – a perfect Bonfire Night treat.

160g unsalted butter, at room temperature
150g light brown sugar
110g dark brown sugar
2 extra large eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
1tsp coffee extract
375ml sour cream
250g plain/all-purpose flour
90g cocoa powder
2tsp cinnamon
1.5tsp baking soda
1/2tsp salt

Cream cheese frosting:
1 x 280g pack of room temperature cream cheese – I used Philadelphia
125g room temperature butter
2tsp vanilla extract
425g sieved icing sugar
red, orange and yellow food colouring – I used blossom dust

Flames, firewood and toasted marshmallows:
Red, orange and yellow boiled sweets – I used Fox’s Glacier Fruits
1 -2 70g boxes of Mikado biscuits – I used the ones with Daim
12 cocktail sticks and mini marshmallows
Autumn leaf sprinkles – optional

Bonfire Cupcakes

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°F and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases

In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa, cinnamon, salt and baking soda and set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or using an electric whisk – cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape down the sides from time to time.

While still mixing, add the eggs one at a time, making sure they are fully incorporating before adding the next one.  Beat in the vanilla and coffee extracts.

With the mixer on low speed, add one third of the flour, followed by one third of the sour cream and so on until just combined.  If you add the sour cream all at once, the mixture will curdle.  It will come back when you add the flour, but you will lose some of the lightness.

Using an ice cream scoop to ensure all the cakes are the same size, plop the mixture into the cases and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean.  Leave to cool completely.

Bonfire Cupcake2

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, vanilla and sieved icing sugar together until smooth.  Split the frosting into three and add the food colouring to colour each third yellow, red and orange.  Just add a little at a time until you get the colour you want,  I used edible blossom dust, but the gel colours you can get work well too.

Pile the frosting into a piping bag, keeping the colours as separate as you can.  You are wanting a marbled effect, so a little mixing of the colours is fine.  You can use a special piping bag with chambers if you wish.  Leave the piping bag in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.

To make the flames, put the oven on at around 200°C/400°F

Place the different coloured sweets into plastic bags and bash them into crumbs with a mallet or rolling pin.  Place little piles of them onto a lined baking sheet – red at the bottom, then orange and yellow at the top – see below:

Candy flames

Place in a hot oven for around 5 minutes, or until the pieces melt – just keep an eye on them.  When they have melted, take them out and using a cocktail stick, swirl the colours up to create flames.  Work quickly as they cool down in minutes.

To assemble, pipe a swirl of the orange, red and yellow frosting onto each cake, break up the Mikado sticks for firewood and stud each cake with flames, breaking them for different heights.

Bonfire Cupcake

Finally, skewer cocktail sticks with one or two mini marshmallows and using a firelighter or lighted match, scorch the marshmallows to toast them, before placing onto each cake.  I also added a few autumn leaf sprinkles too.

Bonfire Cupcake1

Just the thing for a bonfire party.

Fairground Rocky Road

Last Saturday night, we took the children to the 765th Ilkeston Charter Fair. It’s an annual tradition that we do every year. My parents used to take me when I was little and now I take my children.

Aside from the rides, thumping music and all the sounds and smells of the fair, we usually come back with an armful of fair goodies. This year was no different and one of our favourite things is honeycomb!

Rocky road single

Once they had munched half the bag, I decided to put the rest in a batch of rocky road. I’ve never actually made rocky road before, but Danielle at work is a big fan and I thought I would make a batch and save her a piece. When I say save a piece, what I mean is hide a piece before the boys got in there first!

There is no baking, it’s just a job of breaking up the biscuits and honeycomb, melting the chocolate and pressing into a lined tin. Everyone agreed that it was the best rocky road they had tasted, which is always a good sign!

Rocky Road stack

Prepare your dish or tin by lining with parchment. I used a lasagne dish measuring 30cm x 19.5cm

Half a bag of honeycomb, chopped up Crunchy bars would also work
A 300g pack of milk chocolate biscuits (minus 2 or three that my son snaffled) I used McVities
A few handfuls of pink and white mini marshmallows
1 large squidge of golden syrup (approximately ½ cup)
300g good quality 70% dark chocolate
200g good quality milk chocolate
100g good quality white chocolate

Rocky Road closeup

In a large bowl, break up the honeycomb pieces, I used the end of a rolling pin to crack them into smaller sized rubble. I then broke up the biscuits using my hands. I didn’t bash them as I didn’t want it to be overly crumby! Finally, toss in the marshmallows.

For the chocolate, break up the milk and dark chocolate pieces and melt them in the microwave, or in a bowl over simmering water. I melt the chocolate until there are a few lumps left and then stir until the residual heat melts the rest.

Leave to cool for a minute or two before pouring over the rubble and mixing thoroughly.

Press into the prepared tin.

Melt the white chocolate and then drizzle over the rocky road and take a spoon to do a little marbling.

Leave in the fridge to chill before cutting into squares. This is very indulgent, so keep the squares fairly small!

Rocky Road1

This is a really good sweet treat to give in a cellophane bag as a gift or to take to a bake sale