Regular readers will know that I have had numerous failures over the time that I have been blogging. I tend to share them because I hope that I have learnt something from my mistake (this is likely to be wishful thinking) and so that other people can learn from my mistakes. Sometimes a failure is just because I don't happen to like the end result, even if it was probably intended to turn out that way, sometimes a failure is down to a dodgy recipe and (quite often) a failure may just be down to my ineptness. It happens.
On the small side... wonder why?!
The majority of the failures are still edible, if not perfect. I had to share this one though because it was very nearly destined for the bin. I often use self raising flour, more often than I use plain flour. Guess what - this recipe is plain flour plus baking powder, or in my case, not plus baking powder. Fail. I realised as I checked the cakes after a while in the oven that the reason they really didn't seem to be rising very much (or at all...) was the fact that they were missing the vital raising agent. Not one of my finer moments. And so they were mentally destined for the bin.
But when they came out they just looked so dinky and more importantly smelled so, so delicious (can you imagine how good a cake containing peanut butter and light muscovado sugar smells while it is baking - it's delightfully nutty and yet caramelly too in a rich, complex way) that I couldn't resist a peek inside one of the cakes. Hmm, not too bad at all. Clearly not a well risen, light cake, but not the disasterous dense soggy mess that I had anticipated.
Plan B. Add jam. Peanut butter and jam (jelly for my American readers) is a combination made in heaven and the jam would also add moisture to the buns - they were a little on the dry side. Then as an added extra, melted chocolate dolloped onto the top would round off this treat very nicely. So I dug out a little cone from each cake, lopped a little of the soft crumb off, added a little raspberry jam and replaced the lid. When all my cakes were doctored with jam I melted chocolate (Cadbury's Dairy Milk here because although I'm a dark chocolate fiend there is something rather lovely about peanut butter and milk chocolate) and smoothed it generously over the top.
Need I really tell you that these went well at work?
I'm going to make them again with the added raising agent because I think they'll be stunning with a little more lift. So my lesson here is not to write off a potential disaster until I've had a good inspection and a sneaky nibble too.
In fact, they were so good that I have already made them again with the added raising agent and as anticipated they were even better than before. The flavour is gently peanut buttery complemented by the jam and finished off with sweet chocolate - utterly delicious. Yum, even the memory of these is making me crave peanut butter!
Now the challenge for We Should Cocoa (hosted by Choclette) this month is almonds and is being guest hosted by Laura (@laura_howtocook) of How To Cook Good Food. When she announced the theme as almonds I was obviously disappointed, being allergic to them. However, I quickly tweeted and asked if I could make something with a different nut, and being rather lovely she said yes, this wouldn't be a problem. So hopefully these peanut butter cupcakes will be an honorary almond entry from someone who really wanted to enter, but didn't want to make herself ill..... And you could just as easily make them with almond butter too :-)
As the recipe has come straight from one of my books (a baking book from Marks and Spencer) I don't feel able to share the recipe here, but this combination is fabulous - I'm sure a search for a cupcake recipe with smooth peanut butter and light muscovado sugar will yield good results - or feel free to email me/leave a comment and I'll share that way!