It’s been a very busy, but quite exciting, couple of weeks. Not only did I go on a week’s trip to Madrid & Barcelona (which I’ll be getting into soon on the blog), but I popped up to Leeds for the 2017 Bloggers Blog Awards, where I was shortlisted for ‘Best Food Blog’. After winning last year, and having some incredibly strong competition, I was incredibly humbled to discover I’d won. Thank you so, so much to everyone who voted for me. You have no idea how much it means to think that people like my ramblings about cheese and cinnamon enough for me to have won an award once, let along twice. It was also wonderful to see so many old faces on the night, as well as meeting a bunch of new ones. These events have all gotten in the way of actually doing the blogging though, so it’s time for another Bake Off Bake Along; Marmite Caramel Millionaire’s Shortbread.
Love it or hate it, you just can’t escape it. It’s everywhere at the moment, especially today. The day when everyone decides to try and pour scorn on some and adoration on others. I am of course, talking about the day I made Marmite Caramel Cupcakes. It made a line down the middle of the room. Lovers, or haters. And hey, I actually managed to convert some of the haters (in this case at least). The trick to get Marmite into something sweet is to work out what flavours you can take advantage of. It’s such a salty flavour that it works perfectly to add to a caramel. Salted Caramel has seen a huge boom over the last year or so. You can get pretty much anything with salted caramel in or on it. I’m not complaining, I love the stuff. (Oh yeah, it’s Valentine’s day too. So like, hearts and stuff. Pass the gin, pizza and Digimon marathon). I originally found this idea across at Ms Marmite Lover.
So let’s get this in to gear. You will need to do this in several stages. Starting with the Caramel, then the frosting before moving on to the cakes and then filling/decorating them.
- For the caramel:
- 125ml Cold Water
- 330g Caster Sugar
- 250ml Double Cream
- Marmite to taste
- For the Frosting:
- 250g icing sugar
- 62g cream cheese
- 32g unsalted butter
- For the cupcakes:
- 130g unsalted butter
- 130g caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 130g beaten egg
- 195g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 60ml milk
- For the Caramel:
- Mix together the water and sugar in a medium sized saucepan until it has dissolved.
- Put over heat and bring to the boil without stirring.
- Use a wet brush to keep the sides clear of crystals. Once it has started boiling swirl it around occasionally to make the colouring even.
- Leave until it is browned to your preferred colour. The darker it is the more bitter. Remember that you will be getting extra colour from the marmite.
- Set aside to cool slightly and carefully whisk in the double cream. Leave it to cool a little more and mix in the marmite while it’s still warm enough to melt but not hot enough to burn your lips.
- Set a small bowl of the caramel aside and add more marmite to it. This will go in the center of the cakes. The rest will be used for the frosting later.
- For the Frosting:
- Cream together the cream cheese and ⅓ of the icing sugar until smooth.
- Melt the butter until it’s bubbling.
- Mix in the rest of the sugar and while it’s mixing add in the bubbling butter.
- Fold through the caramel gradually. Don’t add too much or it will collapse. My frosting was still very gooey and not stiff. Set it to one side, covered tightly so it doesn’t crust over.
- For the cupcakes:
- Preheat the oven to 160°C (140°C fan assisted) and line a tray with cases.
- Cream together the butter and sugar on high for several minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the beaten eggs, slowly. Beating well after each addition to prevent curdling.
- Sift together the flour and baking powder.
- Mix the flour into the wet mixture until properly incorporated.
- Add in the milk (at room temperature) and the vanilla.
- Slow the speed of your mixer down so as not to beat the air out. Scrape down the sides occasionally.
- Divide the mixture out evenly among the 12 cases.
- Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack.
- Using a small sharp knife, cut a small well into the top/middle of each cake. Keeping the “cap” set aside.
- Fill this hole with some of the stronger caramel you set aside earlier and then place the cap back on top.
- Using a palette knife cover the cakes with the caramel frosting. Decorate however you please after.
Love it or hate it? Marmite. Personally, I fuckin’ love the stuff. It’s Iron Cupcake Leeds this Sunday and because of Valentine’s day the theme is Love or Hate. I’ve been meaning to enter Iron Cupcake for a while now and I want the first time I do to be fun. So I want to do something a bit different. Hence the marmite. There are a couple of ways of incorporating the stuff in to bakes and I have practised one before the weekend, just to see whether it’d work for what I’d need it for. The creation was Marmite and Cheddar muffins, and I then tried frosting them with a couple of different alternatives, unfortunately neither of them really worked all that well.
The “cupcakes” themselves were wonderful. A little lighter than Scones but had a really great flavour (I’d personally put a little bit more marmite in myself to give more of a tang). As I was intending to frost them I didn’t add any extra cheese or marmite to the top, which I’d recommend you doing.
Now the frosting, I tried two different kinds. The first was a “savoury cream cheese frosting” which came out way too creamy and just didn’t go with the cake at all. The recipe for that can be found here. The second was a “Cheddar Cheese” frosting, which worked MUCH better, however I couldn’t get it to thicken and it piped wrong. The recipe for that one can be found here.
These cakes, while tasty, aren’t quite there for me to be taking to a competition. So instead I’m going to try some chocolate cones with a Marmite Caramel Ganache frosting.
- 20ml baking powder
- 200g mature cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
- 100g butter
- 30ml Marmite
- 300ml milk
- 4 large eggs
- Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C) and line a muffin tin with cases (or grease it).
- Mix the dry ingredients together. The flour, baking powder and cheese.
- Melt together the butter and marmite, allow to cool slightly and mix in the milk and eggs. Beating until the eggs are incorporated.
- With the mixer on a slow speed gradually pour the liquid mixture in to the flour.
- Mix until just combined, it will be lumpy but that’s ok.
- Spoon the mixture in to the prepared cases. Sprinkle over some remainder cheese and drizzle some extra marmite.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes (slightly less if using cupcake cases).
- Remove and allow to cool for a few minutes in the tray before transferring to a wire rack.