Flying Saucer Cupcakes

flying saucer cupcake
(Please excuse the absolute mess of my kitchen in the background, I was in a rush…)

Here it goes, my first recipe post! Bear with me…

Our office has semi-regular bake off’s and so far I have won both the best taste award and the best looking award in the last two, so my winning streak was at stake here! This time around the theme for the bake off was “Absolutely Fabulous”, so you could take it literally and bake a wine bottle shaped cake with fags ends coming out of it, or go all OTT on the decoration. I decided to go for latter…

Having scoured the net for inspiration, I stumbled upon a blog called raspberri cupcakes. Oh my. I implore you to go and check it out! Amazing recipes with amazing photograph, serious food porn! So after perusing her recipes I was inspired by a particular post and decided to make it my own.

flying saucer cupcakes

Flying Saucer Cupcakes (Orange Cupcake, sherbet icing and a hidden chocolate ganache centre)
(makes around 14 well filled cupcakes, recipe adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes blog)

For the cupcakes: 
165g baking spread (I used stork)
100g of caster sugar
100g of soft light brown sugar
1 large orange, zest and juice
3 large eggs
300g self-raising flour, sieved

For the icing:
165g salted butter, softened
200g icing sugar, sieved
a splash of single cream (I probably used about 15-20ml)
3-4 tubes of refreshers sweets

chocolate ganache filling:
50g of dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa)
150ml of single cream
small knob of butter
pinch of sugar

to decorate:
flying saucers
sprinkle of crushed refreshers
sugar stars

Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F (fan-assisted use 170°C/340°F). Place butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and beat on high with an electric mixer for several minutes. Add one egg at a time and beat into the mixture until all combined. Zest and juice an orange. Add the juice, zest and flour and quickly mix until combined. Line a cupcake tray with paper cases and spoon the mixture in, i filled mine up to about 3/4 full. Let the cake, see the oven! Bake them for about 10-15 minutes and check on them with a skewer, if it comes out clean then they are done. If they still have some cake mix on them then put them in for a bit longer. Mine took about 18 minutes but they did have quite a bit of batter in them! Cool them in the tin and remove them and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the ganache I placed a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of boiling water, making sure the bowl doesn’t actually touch the water (you want the steam, not the water, to heat up the bowl). Break up the chocolate and place in the bowl along with the cream, butter and pinch of salt and allow to melt, stirring continuously until completely combined and smooth. Take off the heat and leave to completely cool. The ganache should then be a lot stiffer than before, more like truffle texture (like the inside of a ferrero rocher!). Using a small knife cut a small circle out of the middle of your cooled cupcake, then fill up the hole with chocolate ganache. Apologies for not having a picture of the chocolate centre, I was in a mega rush getting these ready in time for work!

To make the icing beat butter in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer until smooth and light. Gradually add icing sugar a bit at a time, mixing with each addition until all icing sugar has been added. I found that my icing was a bit stiff so I added a bit of single cream into it to smooth it out a bit more! You many not need this though. Crush up the tubes of refreshers (I poured them into a bowl and crushed with the end of a rolling pin until I had small pieces) and then add them to the mix. Overall I used about 3 1/2 tubes but you may want more or less, its completely up to you! Place mixture in a piping bag and pipe over cupcakes. Decorate with sprinkles of crushed refreshers. I also added a flying saucer to each to follow on with the sherbet theme, and a couple of sugar stars. Et voila!

Don’t forget that because you have fresh cream in the ganache and in the icing, if you aren’t going to be serving these immediately you should keep them in the fridge.

My cupcakes at the far end

I’m going to be honest with you, I did not win the bake off… My winning streak is over!! The chocolate thing on the right and the colourful macarons on the left won. But in actual fact, I am not happy with how the cakes turned out because they ended up quite dense. I had to use plain flour and add baking powder which never seems to work well for me, so I am just going to blame that! I will be attempting this cake again at some point and hopefully sort myself out on the ingredient front! However, the icing – awesome! So please don’t let my slightly dense cake put you off giving these a go, they do taste pretty wicked regardless!

Hope my first attempt at a recipe post was OK, hopefully there will be more to follow!