Thursday, July 7, 2011

Crunchie Bar Cupcakes

You might recall my Peanut Slab cupcakes from a couple of months ago - well, last week I decided to convert another chocolate bar and this time it was the turn of the Crunchie bar. I was inspired by a 1-Day special for Crunchie Rocks (basically chocolate buttons with little bits of hokey pokey and cornflakes in them), though as it turned out I probably wouldn't bother with these again - homemade hokey pokey is so easy to make and does a much better job. 

For the cupcakes I went with my standard chocolate cake mixture, and pressed a couple of the crunchie buttons in before I baked them. I didn't think this really added much, though, so though you can do this if you like, feel free to skip this step.

Hokey pokey is something that I think all children should make (once old enough to understand that hot = burn, of course!) - it's the ultimate in kitchen chemistry.

I love the whole process - from grainy sugar to a golden molten mass to fluffy to chewy (after some cooling) to brittle and hard (after more cooling). It's also pretty cheap to make, so it doesn't matter too much if it gets screwed up.  ;-) And let's be honest, there are always kids (big and small!) who are more than happy to eat "failures" anyway!
The main thing to keep in mind if you're making these as cupcakes is that hokey pokey is not such a fan of oxygen, so you're best to keep the hokey pokey covered until you need it and as much as possible once you've made the cupcakes. I covered mine with gladwrap the evening I made it, then smashed it up in the morning, decorated the cupcakes and kept them in my plastic cupcake carrier until morning tea time, when my colleagues devoured them. A bit of air won't hurt but if you leave them out overnight the hokey pokey will probably be a bit gooey (rather than crunchy) by the time you eat them. 

I made a ganache icing - if you want to be true to the humble Crunchie bar use milk chocolate, or balance out the sugar with dark - I went with dark chocolate for mine.

For ganache, as ever, bring the cream just to the boil then remove from the heat before adding the chocolate, and have a bowl ready to transfer everything into when the chocolate starts to melt. This keeps the molecular structure of the chocolate intact and means you'll have thicker icing with less chocolate.

If the ganache sets thicker than you'd like (this is quite a firm recipe) hold the bowl over simmering water or zap it in 5 second bursts in the microwave to loosen it up a bit. I just spread mine on the cupcakes with a spatula, then stuck some broken bits of hokey pokey on top. Simple yet so good!

Did your parents let you dabble in the kitchen when you were a kid? What do you remember making?

Crunchie Bar Cupcakes
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 Tbsp golden syrup
125g butter
2 cups flour
3 Tbsp cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
300ml milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 180 C. Line 16 muffin pans with cupcake papers.

Cream butter, sugar, golden syrup and eggs together. Add flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix to combine.

Warm milk, vanilla essence and baking soda in a microwave-prrof jug for about 2 minutes, and then gradually beat into the rest of the mix until the batter is smooth (but not longer than you need to).

Spoon the batter into cupcake papers. Bake for 14-18 minutes until they spring back when pressed lightly.

Ganache Icing
125ml cream
200g chocolate, broken into small pieces

Heat the cream in a saucepan until it is just starting to boil. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate. Gently fold the mixture to melt the chocolate.

When the chocolate is half melted transfer into a bowl and continue to fold to melt the chocolate. When smooth stand at room temperature until thick enough to spread. 

Hokey Pokey
5 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp golden syrup
1 tsp baking soda

Line a baking tin with buttered baking paper.

Heat sugar and golden syrup in a saucepan over a low heat until dissolved. Increase heat and bring to the boil, then boil for two minutes. Remove from heat and add baking soda, stirring until frothy and combined. Tip into lined tin and leave to cool and harden.

Spread ganache onto the cooled cupcakes. Break the hokey pokey into small pieces and press some into the ganache on each cupcake. Store in an airtight container until serving.


  1. THey look beautiful! I love homemade hokey hard to wait for it all to cool down enough to eat though!

  2. My main homebaking experience as a small child were Flapjacks. Something like oats, syrup and butter melted together and then either baked as biscuits or as one big piece to slice later, I have forgotten which. I'm pretty sure it was a strictly supervised operation and there must have been baking soda added but I forget. Cooking alone I used to mix up peppermint essence, icing sugar and water, put in paper cupcake holders and leave to set in the fridge -my version of peppermint fondant! Homemade hokeypokey I made with my grandmother later on, an addictive treat and I still love it :)

  3. Thanks Laura! I have to confess I quite like nibbling on bits of it when it's still warm and chewy, too (though it's best when cool and brittle).

    Sophia, sounds yummy - flapjacks sound pretty similar to Anzac biscuits. The peppermint fondant sounds like a kid's dream - so easy and so sugary! :-)

  4. I had my first hokey pokey during my first trip to NZ about 30 years ago. When I went back to Singapore, the closest thing I could get was Violet Crumble bars. Having now lived here for quite some time and tasted hokey pokey this and that, my fav now is hokey pokey ice cream! Yummmm...

  5. Shirleen, I love hokey pokey ice-cream too. I always think I should try making it but don't know how this hokey pokey would fare - I suspect it would dissolve.


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