My best friend recently celebrated his 18th birthday and I came up with this recipe for these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes.
Having read quite a few cookbooks in my time, most peanut butter recipes always seem to end up using 2 jars of peanut butter and whilst it tastes brilliant, it can be quite rich and heavy in the end. These cupcakes remain light and moist with a great balance of both sweet and salty.
Creating this cupcake from scratch, the things I wanted to highlight were the saltiness of the roasted peanut, the depth of the peanut butter and the crunch of the peanut. Adding some melted chocolate into the sponge enhanced both chocolate and peanut flavour profiles as well as rounding the flavour nicely. The depth of the peanut butter is seen through the balance of the sweet and salty profiles in the cupcake as a whole.
The trickiest to highlight was the crunchiness; besides putting chopped peanuts inside and on top of the cake, I thought about sprinkling Demerara sugar on top. However I didn’t think it would be enough to highlight it so I replaced some icing sugar in the frosting with granulated sugar to highlight this crunchiness. Now you do have to cream the butter and sugar for a few minutes to make sure it is mixed in well but this makes for a light but rich crunchy peanut frosting.
If your cupcake is domed, trim off the top using the cupcake case as a level to run your knife across the top. The technique I use to frost this cupcakes is placing lots of the frosting on top and diagonally scraping downwards using the palette knife so the frosting remains within the case. Just make sure that you aren’t stretching the case! Because the cakes are so moist, you have to quick with this process or the cake starts getting dragged up by the palette knife; if this happens, add some more frosting and repeat the action just once.
Some food bloggers have some similar recipes for you as well:
90g smooth peanut butter
140g caster sugar
140g self raising flour
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
50ml whole milk
40g dark chocolate, melted
40g roasted salted peanuts, chopped finely
Peanut Butter Frosting
140g smooth peanut butter
250g icing sugar
25g granulated sugar
1 – 2 tbsp milk
50g roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
30g Demerara sugar
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with 12 good quality cupcake liners.
Cream together the margarine, peanut butter and sugar in a large bowl until it is light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat until mixed in. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt and using a spatula, fold through until even. Add in the milk, melted chocolate which has cooled slightly and the chopped peanuts and beat until the mixture looks even.
Use 2 spoons to divide the batter evenly between the 12 cases, scooping up mixture with one spoon and using the other to push it into the case. The batter should come no more than two-thirds up.
Bake for 20 minutes until the cakes are well risen and a cocktail skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cupcakes in the mould to cool for about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the frosting, beat together the margarine and peanut butter with the granulated sugar until the sugar starts to dissolve. You want some crunchiness but creaming the fat and sugar will mix it in slightly so it isn’t too crunchy. Then sift in the icing sugar and some of the milk and mix until it is a frosting that is smooth and an even colour with a spreadable consistency.
Once the cupcakes are completely cool, spread the frosting on top, using the procedure above. Sprinkle with some of the chopped peanuts and the Demerara sugar. Repeat for the remaining cupcakes.