Hi friends! Happy to see all the interest for the Cuisinart giveaway… I especially love finding some first time hellos and other sweet comments from readers tossed in there. I would respond to them, but then I’d mess up my counting system with the giveaway and might accidentally win my own damn Cuisinart. And, that would be silly because I’d just have to give it away again. Except I would have already picked a color (turquoise!) and one of you would have to settle with that. So I’ll stay out of it this time–but just know I’m having a blast reading the comments; I can’t wait to see who gets it.
So these cupcakes are a a product of childhood memories and current adult cravings. In fact, the childhood memories are kinda on the not so pleasant side, and the adult version is much more positive. Lately I’ve been having an intense craving for Butterfinger candy, and I have to admit that I have no idea why. As I child, I loathed Butterfingers <–coming from the girl who would eat pretty much any candy, anywhere, any time of day–and sometimes I’d even eat straight up sugar as a snack. Hey I was a kid… and my mother was busy not noticing. It’s cool. But every time I tried to eat a Butterfinger–even the itty bitty fun sized ones–something prevented me from finishing it. I remember getting incredibly upset with my father when I was about 8 years old for “mistakenly” bringing me home a king sized Butterfinger as a treat. “You could have gotten me anything but a Butterfinger,” I pleaded. “I hate Butterfingers!”. I was such a spoiled brat.
…but I really did hate them.
And I never seemed to acquire a taste for them as I grew older. I guess it was the flavor and the accompanying tummy ache. I just couldn’t hang with them, despite the fact that they were Bart Simpson approved. I think it must have been the super sweetness–and hard to pinpoint aftertaste–of the chocolate next to the pure sugar insides.
But paired with a bitter chocolate the filling is quite lovely. Decadent even. I had been thinking about making them again for weeks.
The chocolate I used is 60 % cocoa, cutting down quite a tad on the sugary mixture that makes up the filling. If you like a less sweet candy shell, use a higher cocoa content dark chocolate. The candy middle is homemade (not with candy corn! O_o), I just used the classic Butterfinger recipe that can be found all over the place– including here, here and here– that I’ve made several times over the years. It’s a keeper. Actually, I only cooked it to 290 °F using a tip from Real Sustenance, which made for a softer candy that I truly prefer over my original ways. If you like a firmer bite to your candy, cook til 305 – 310 °F.
The dark chocolate cake is light and airy and yet very intense. I recommend using extra dark cocoa powder to achieve a more flavorful cake. This recipe also makes a nice 9 x9 inch sheet cake, if you’d rather go that route. But I love it in cupcake form because of how high the batter rises above the paper. See how puffy and pretty it is up there?
I find it easiest to make the Butterfinger candy before the cupcakes so the candy has time to harden and the chocolate has time to firm up, so I’ll start with those directions.
knock-off Butterfinger candy:
In 2 quart saucepan combine sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring often with a clean wooden spoon and washing down sides with a silicone brush. Once boiling, reduce stirring to occasionally until candy reads 290 °F on a candy thermometer, or soft crack stage. Remove immediately and quickly stir in peanut butter and vanilla extract and spread onto parchment lined or silicone baking mat about 1/2 inch thick. Score lightly and break into bars.
I left a good amount of the candy as-is for sprinkling onto the cupcakes and covered the rest with melted chocolate and let the candy set until the chocolate became firm. I suggest you do as well. :)
Next up, make your cake.
Preheat your oven to 350 °F and line 15 cupcake tins with paper liners. You can also grease and lightly sorghum flour your pan.
In medium sized bowl, combine sorghum flour, cocoa powder, potato starch, buckwheat flour, sweet white rice flour, xanthan gum baking soda, baking powder and sea salt. Whisk well to make sure everything is completely combined.
In large mixing bowl combine sugar, melted margarine and peanut butter. Add in 1/3 of the flour mix and stir until well combined. Mix in the coffee and coconut milk and the remaining flour mixture a little at a time until all has been incorporated. Stir in vinegar.
Drop about 1/2 cup of batter into each cupcake liner. Bake in preheated oven for 27 minutes, or until knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.
Using an electric mixer, combine confectioners’ sugar with peanut butter until crumbly. Mix in margarine and then add almond milk a little at a time until a thick frosting has formed. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and chill briefly in fridge to set.
Top with crumbled knock-off Butterfinger candy, chocolate and a piece of knock-off Butterfinger for garnish.