Recipe: Dime bar dulce de leche cupcakes

The test of any new relationship I believe is a trip to Ikea.

“It’s the hot dogs on the way out that keep me going.” said a male friend once.

My husband and I had only been together a few months when he invited me to accompany him to Ikea to choose a sofa for his new flat (which I didn’t live in yet). Not feeling it was my decision yet, I gave the nod to a check number similar to his sister’s but difficult to co-ordinate with curtains etc. Ironic really since their ad campaign was urging us to “chuck out the chintz”.

To this day we still have Heinz tomato soup coloured plaid sofa and once Ted has done his worst to it I dream that we will swap it for something more neutral that can be dressed up with different colour cushions and throws. Sigh, the list of things to do with our house is endless, so many ideas but none of them a priority above rotting window frames and roof felt.

But dreamily gaze, I do, at catalogues, at show home set ups in DIY stores with their plastic tellies and cardboard books. Even though none of them require ironing boards or dumping grounds for coats.

For me personally, once I’m done with fantasising over Ikea’s Expedit shelving units with wicker baskets and Billy bookcases, it’s the largely overlooked Swedish food market that holds most appeal with its reindeer salami (Ted was mortified when I offered him this last Christmas), gravadlax and dime – or more accurately, DAIM bar pieces.

These cupcakes are studded with dime bar pieces although you could just as easily use the more widely available whole Dime bars smashed into shards.

The brown paper cases are available from Asda or Morrisons and I use them all the time for chocolate based cupcakes.

Today is my entry for We Should Cocoa hosted this month by Chele at Chocolate Teapot.

Although not a requirement to make my own caramel, I had intended to do so until asked to make some dessert cupcakes for a friend this weekend.

My fridge is already bursting with Mactweets, Fresh from the Oven and Daring Bakers‘ goodies so I have stuck to what she asked for rather than persuading her to switch to some whizzy caramel creation that might have literally, burnt my fingers.

This morning I learnt the meaning of “Baker’s Dozen”. I crammed this mix into 12 cases when I might have managed 13 and therefore I have not been able to try one of these beauties.

What a good job there are plenty of Dime bar chips and buttercream left over…

Dime Bar Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Buttercream Icing

Time required:
90 minutes including cooling time and decorating

Serves:
12 large muffin size cakes or 18 standard bun size or 24 mini muffin size

Ingredients
For the cupcake bases

125g self raising flour
25g cocoa powder
125g caster sugar
125g softened butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 tsp chocolate extract (available from Lakeland)
50g dime bar pieces from Ikea OR about 4 large squares of milk cooking chocolate

For the buttercream

500g icing sugar
160g softened butter
2 tbsp Dulce de Leche
50ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Whole dime bar pieces from Ikea for decoration (approx 5 per cake)

Shaken on top – Cadbury’s cocoa shaking powder but this is purely optional.

You will also need…
12 hole muffin tin and paper cases – or more smaller ones according to size desired (see above).

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 180c or gas mark 4. Cream the butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer. Add the eggs and chocolate extract and mix some more. Finally mix in the flour, cocoa powder, chopped chocolate or dime bar pieces and the milk. Do not over mix.

2. Spoon the batter into large muffin cases in a 12 hole muffin tray so that they are around two thirds full. Bake for around 18 minutes. For 12 large cupcakes I set the timer for 12 minutes, turn them around on the shelf and leave for another 6 minutes. For standard cupcake size and mini muffin size I set the timer for 10 minutes, turn around then give them a further couple of minutes until done.

3. The centres may erupt like little volcanoes but that’s ok, you can lop off these peaks if you want to ice them flat or pipe icing in a spiral to emphasis their shape!

4. When the cakes are done, a cocktail stick will just about come out dry. With practice you get the confidence to know how early this is, leaving them even a couple of minutes beyond this point will make your sponge too dry.

5. Leave to cool in the tins for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Allow to cool completely before covering with icing.

6. For the buttercream, beat the softened butter and milk with an electric hand mixer or free standing mixer until very soft and fluffy. Sift on the icing sugar several table spoons at a time and incorporate. The more you do at once the more it gets wafted round the kitchen covering everything so it’s best to go slow. When all the icing sugar is mixed in, add another the dulce de leche then a tablespoon of milk if you think it’s still too stiff. Beat the buttercream with the mixer for several minutes, it will go fluffier and lighter. Remember that although it will be soft and squidgy now, the surface of the buttercream will go harder when it’s had a couple of hours to dry out on the surface of a cake.

7. Paste your buttercream over the cupcake bases using a small palette knife or pipe with a star nozzle to get the same effect you see above. Dot with dime bar pieces to decorate.

  1. They were delicious! All my guests were very happy with this home-made dessert (although not home-made by me!). We have left one for you to eat and there’s enough for tea for the next few days. The feedback was that there was ample caramel buttercream topping – I hate it when you are cheated on topping – and the dime bar pieces were lovely and crunchy. Not over sweet, but loverly butterly. The chocolate cake was tasty with surprising little chunks of chocolate. Highly recommended.

    Oh, and don’t forget to add the 50g of choc pieces into the cake mix…

  2. Nice – they look way more elegant than their name implies. There is something a bit addictive about Dime bars isn’t there?

  3. I can imagine how buttery and sugary that icing is. I ? traditional buttercream! Would never think to add caramel, I’d probably use a cream cheese one, but can tell by the colour of yours that perfection has been achieved.

    I have macs too. When is the deadline for tweets?

  4. These look amazing, I’m definitely going to try them soon!! I love Daim bars (I always want to spell them the good old way D-I-M-E) and I love Dulce leche so they look perfect for me!

    And thanks for the tip about Waitrose stocking pumpkin puree – I bought three cans the other day – can’t wait to try some of those pumpkin recipes I’ve printed out!

  5. IKEA is truly an addictive addictive place. And it definitely tests any relationship. My roommate and i went there this summer and, while I love her, we were severely tired and cranky by the end of the trip!

    These cupcakes look absolutely dreamy. Dulce de leche is one of my favorite flavors!

  6. i should these muffins! wow! love daim and these have incredible flavors. ikea is addictive in so many ways not just for those hot dogs!

  7. Its been ages since i’ve been to IKEA, and now after reading this post, I’m feeling the itch to go and buy some stuff that I totally dont need… and also to eat cupcakes. What a great flavour!
    *kisses* HH

  8. Heading for Ikea with all of you…what a riot that would be! I love the memories, the ‘sofa’ connect, and these absolutely gorgeous cupcakes! YUM!!

  9. Those look amazing. Whilst I’m not a fan of overly sweet things, I still do like the occasional caramel or dulce de leche treat – this I would totally go for.

    The cupcake liners are from Asda/Morrison?? I don’t have either near me, do you know if they sell them online?

  10. These look so professional, you’ve made me rethink my policy on fuss free baking. Maybe I should invest in some decorating utensils – mine don’t look 1/4 as good as yours. They sound delicious too and I used to love dime bars – didn’t know they still made them. Thanks for taking part in the challenge.

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  12. Oh Wow, these look amazing. Got to make these a.s.a.p! Can i ask, what dulce de leche do you buy and where do you get it? Ive not really looked as such but i’m a keen baker and i’ve never seen it in the shops.

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