These peanut butter chocolate cupcakes have it all – the moist chocolate cupcakes, the amazing peanut butter frosting, the luscious chocolate fudge sauce AND the sprinkling of chopped candied peanuts. They're a real treat – decadent and pretty, but still easy to make.
In a saucepan, cook the sugar and water together on medium-high heat for 3 - 5 minutes without stirring.
Add the peanuts and immediately start stirring (with a wooden spoon or heat-proof spatula): the sugar will start crystallising and coating the peanuts. Continue stirring the sugar-coated peanuts on medium-high heat. They will start caramelising and browning, make sure to scrape any caramel forming on the bottom of the saucepan. If they start browning too quickly, briefly remove from heat.
Once the peanuts are caramelised, transfer them to the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and spread them out using a wooden spoon or spatula. Allow to cool completely, then set aside until needed.
For chocolate cupcakes:
Pre-heat the oven to 320 ºF (160 ºC) and line a 12-hole cupcake/muffin baking tin with cupcake liners.
In a heat-proof bowl above a pot of simmering water, melt together the chocolate and butter.
Once melted, remove from the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. Then, mix in the cocoa powder and sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking well after each addition.
Sift together the gluten free flour blend, almond flour, baking powder, xanthan gum and salt, and add them to the wet ingredients. Mix well until combined.
Add the boiling hot water to the cupcake batter, and whisk well until you get a smooth, glossy batter.
Divide the batter evenly among the 12 cupcakes, so that each cupcake liner is about 3/4 full.
Bake at 320 ºF (160 ºC) for 25 to 28 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove the cupcakes from the cupcake tin, and allow to cool on a wire cooling rack.
For peanut butter frosting:
In a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer with the double beater attachments, beat the butter for 2 - 3 minutes, until pale and fluffy.
Add the peanut butter and beat for about 2 minutes, until fully incorporated and fluffy.
Add the powdered/icing sugar, and beat for a further 5 - 7 minutes.
Adjust the sweetness if needed (by adding more powdered sugar), and add the vanilla paste/extract and a generous pinch of salt.
Set aside until needed.
For chocolate fudge sauce:
In a saucepan, mix together the cocoa powder, sugar, milk, salt and half of the chopped chocolate. Heat until the chocolate has melted and you get a smooth mixture.
Remove from heat, and add in the butter and the rest of the chopped chocolate. Mix everything together until the butter and chocolate have melted.
Set aside. The chocolate fudge sauce will thicken slightly while cooling.
Assembling the cupcakes:
Roughly chop the cooled candied peanuts.
Pipe the peanut butter frosting on top of the cooled chocolate cupcakes with a piping nozzle of your choice.
Drizzle the chocolate fudge sauce on top of the frosting (if it's thickened too much on cooling, reheat it briefly in the microwave), and top with chopped candied peanuts.
The peanut butter chocolate cupcakes keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for about 2 - 3 days.
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).