After Eight is one of those sweets that I have always liked and I will never stop liking. The combination of a thin mint layer covered in dark chocolate is sheer perfection (not to exaggerate or anything like that). My family isn’t completely innocent with my after eight addiction.
When I decided to make After Eight Cupcakes, I was already thinking of this blog post and I remembered that there is a picture of my dad, my sister and me starring at an After Eight Torte that my mum made. So I decided to add this picture to the blog. When I asked my parents where I could find it, I said something along the lines: “The picture that was taken 20 years ago (obviously thinking 20 years is such a long time, I exaggerated a tad)”. However, it turns out that the picture was taken almost 21 years ago- when I was just about to turn 4. 21 years!!!!!! Man, I AM OLD!
Anyways, getting over the initial shock, let’s talk cake! The recipe originates from my grandma- this time the other one (so my mum’s side) and is the best recipe for an After Eight cake that I know!
The base can be baked days in advanced and will last very long. It is even slightly better if it is allowed to sit for a day or two. The cream needs to be refrigerated overnight. So plan sufficient time for making the cupcakes/cake:
Preparation and baking time: 2.5 hours (35-50 minutes baking time)
Refrigerator time: 12 hours
Difficulty level: Easy
So the After Eight Torte, I decided to make into cupcakes this time. However, you can use the exact same amounts and get a cake (with a cake tin of 26 cm) out of it, or 16 cupcakes.
400 mL heavy double cream
1 package of after eight (200 g)
100 g Sugar
5 Tbsp. Milk
80 g Butter
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
200 g ground Almonds
100 g Chocolate sprinkles
The nice thing about this cake, is that the base is gluten free, but still incredible yummy! Ground almonds replace flour.
Preheat the oven to 150 °C.
Let’s start with the aftereight-cream mixture. Add the double heavy cream and the whole package of After Eights (except for 10 After Eights) to a pot and bring to boil.
Constantly stir, making sure the After Eights won’t stick at the bottom. Once it boiled for a minute, take off the heat and pour into a mixing bowl. After it cooled down, put in the fridge and leave over night.
TIP: I added the whole package of After Eight to the cream and bought a second one, which I used for decoration- and snacking (Best part EVER).
For the cake base, separate the egg whites and egg yolks (for a good method, check some previous blog entries such as Victoria Sponge cake). Whisk the egg whites until they are very stiff and set aside.
Quickly whisk the egg yolks until you can see air bubbles forming. Now cream the butter and sugar together and slowly add the egg yolks. In a separate bowl, mix the grounded almonds (I find the taste is enhanced if you ground them yourself) and baking powder. Now in turns, add the milk and the almond-baking powder mixture to the butter-egg mixture.
Using a spatula, carefully mix in the chocolate sprinkles.
For the last step, still using the spatula, add the egg whites and mix until just combined.
Now fill the cake mixture into the muffin forms and bake for 35 minutes (if you use a cake tin, bake for 50 minutes) at 150 °C.
The next morning- make sure you had a good nice (probably savoury breakfast) before you finish off the cake. Simply because this part invites you to snack a lot, but it could be too heavy if you don’t have a base (It’s all about that base…). Let me explain this insider shortly: when we were in our hard-core studying time, two friends and I did some past paper questions together and realised that in those reactions, base played an important role. We therefore made the joke that it’s all about the BASE rather than BASS. Since then this is a running gag between the three of us.
Whisk the cream and add stabiliser for whipping cream, you can get some from Dr. Oetker (for all my German readers- Sahnesteif/Sahnefest). This is much more common in Germany than in the UK. Whisk until the cream is fluffy and stable, you can start decorating the cupcakes. The picture below shows my way to avoid chocolate cream covering the kitchen surfaces (and walls). Just slightly cut into a paper towel and cover the bowl with it.
I decided three different ways of decorating them.
The first step was to always cover the cupcakes with a thin layer of whipped chocolate cream.
1. Just cover the cupcake with some whipped cream and add a WHOLE After Eight chocolate
2. Cover the cupcake with some whipped cream and add little droplets of cream all around the cupcake- put half an After Eight in the middle
3. Make it into a cupcake by covering the cupcake with a thin layer of whipped cream and then pip on a swirl.
If you fancy, you can add some fresh mint. But keep in mind, the cupcakes last about 5 days, the mint leave won’t last that long. Refrigerate the cupcakes/cake until served. The cupcakes are great for any occasion: weekend visitors, birthdays, just for the sake of it- and also is good for any season.