Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Cola Float Cupcakes


This bake was a flavour experiment.  The idea came from a recipe for cola cupcakes in  Hummingbird Bakery: Cake Days, though I didn't actually use that one for mine.  I just took the idea of using cola syrup for flavouring.  So yes, the original idea was for cola cupcakes.  I wanted to try and take it further though and make them cola float cupcakes.  Cola floats, for those who do not know, are a drink of coca-cola, with a scoop of ice cream on top, usually vanilla.  It can be strange but is also quite delicious.  Hence, cake versions.  The cola bit would be the cake obviously, but the 'ice cream' was really where my experimentation lie since I thought it up by myself, no inspiration from anywhere.

Having made ice cream, I know that one of the main ingredients is custard, as well as cream and your flavourings.  But how to make a custard flavoured cream that was nice and pipe-able.  Add too much of a wet something to whipped cream and it tends to collapse, at least in my experience anyway0.  Then it hit me: custard powder!  So that's basically what I went with: whipped double cream, with custard powder and vanilla extract.  It was surprisingly effective.  The fiancé and I think it tastes almost like a Mr. Whippey ice cream (a slightly firmer version of the ice cream you get from an ice cream van).

It took me a while to find cola syrup.  Later on I was browsing through a Nigella book and saw she also had a cola cake recipe, which used actual coke, but I had my syrup by then.  I admit I got it somewhere I would not have expected, and that was Argos.  After much searching, I concluded I was going to have to buy syrup meant for those Sodastream machines, the ones that make fizzy drinks at home.  But the bottles seemed to be at least £8 wherever I looked, which was a bit much for an experiment, and that's not even considering postage.  Then I found it on Argos, via Google.  Only £4 and was free delivery.  Well, I jumped on that offer and it arrived in time to make them for the fiancé to take to Dundee tonight.  Yay!

So what did my willing testers think?  Well, it was mixed results.  The fiancé and one of his friends liked them.  The fiancé also really enjoys the cream topping.  Someone didn't like the cream.  They didn't quite taste cola like though.  It was sort of there but not very obvious, which is weird because I used twice the amount the Hummingbird recipe did.  The icing was very cola-y though.  I figured this one would be an acquired taste though.  I don't like cola flavoured things (except actually Coke) and so I didn't want to try.  So that's fair enough.    


Recipe - Makes 12


Cakes:
  • 140g/5oz butter
  • 140g/5oz caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 170g/6oz self-raising flour
  • 2 tbsp cola syrup
Cola icing:
  • 55g/2oz icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp coca-cola
Vanilla 'Ice Cream' Cream
  • 284ml/10fl.oz double cream
  • 1x 75g/2.6oz packet instant custard powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract 
  • 12 cola bottle sweets to decorate
  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.   Use dark cases to look more like cola floats, or red for a striking contrast.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. 
  3. Add the cola syrup and beat in. 
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until fully incorporated after each addition. 
  5. Sift in the flour and fold into the mixture.
  6. Spoon into the cases, trying to distribute the mixture equally and making sure to fill the cases 2/3 of the way up.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  8. Leave to cool on a cooling rack.
  9. Make the cola icing, by mixing the coca-cola and icing sugar together.  Add the cola a little at a time to get the right consistency.  You don't want it too runny but you want to be able to spread it easily.
  10. When the cakes are cool, top with a thin layer of cola icing.
  11. Make the 'ice cream' by first whipping the double cream to stiff peaks.
  12. Add the custard powder and vanilla extract and fold into the cream.  The custard powder will make the cream stiffen a bit more.
  13. Put into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle and pipe a nice swirl on top of each cake.
  14. Top with a cola bottle sweet. 
 

1 comment:

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