Tuesday, 14 December 2010
I wanted to bake some festive cupcakes at the weekend and went with two flavours that I feel are incredibly Christmas'y - gingerbread cupcakes topped with clementine frosting.
I adapted a Martha Stewart recipe. I was going to use the gingerbread one in her Cupcakes book but there is no bicarb or baking soda mentioned and I was wary it wouldn't work. This is from her website, but slightly amended for me as I wanted it extra spicy!
120gm butter at room temp
80gm dark brown sugar
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
320 Plain flour
2 tsp ground ginger (I used maybe a smidgen more)
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (I grated it fresh)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch salt (I used a teeny tiny pinch - could miss this out I think)
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
320gm of molasses (bought in Holland & Barrett)
Preheat oven to 165ºFan, and boil some water in the kettle. Put your cupcake cases in your trays.
Mix your bicarb of soda with about 150ml of boiling water and stir. Set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs.
Sift flour, salt, spices and baking powder together and fold into the mixture then give a good mix until well combined. Then beat in the molasses - be warned this is MESSY! I used a silicone spoon for this rather than my hand mixer as it is very sticky! Finally, mix in the bicarbonate of soda mix - I did this by eye and had a little bit left as I didn't want the mix to be too runny.
Use a ice cream scoop or tablespoon to fill your cupcake cases.
Bake for approximately 17-18 minutes. The sponge should spring back if you touch it, or a cake pokey thing should come out clean if you poke it into the cake. Leave to cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Clementine Frosting 160g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar (I used Billington's Golden) - I used slightly less than 500g
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest of 2 clementines, or add as much/little as you want
Juice of about 2-4 clementines - to get the consistency you want
Beat the butter and some of the juice/zest and vanilla. Add some icing sugar and mix in. I found the Billington's Golden icing sugar didn't fly around as much as icing sugar usually does! Also it gives a beautiful colour to frosting, naturally. Add icing sugar gradually and juice as required until the you get the consistency required. Then if you want to add more zest to taste, do so. I added quite a lot as the flavour was really nice.
Pipe onto your cupcakes and enjoy.
These tasted fabulous the first day baked. Even more fabulous with a pronounced ginger taste the next day. The day after that we had a couple left and the ginger tasted even better. Great cakes for keeping a couple of days.
I took these to work and they went down very well. I even got an order to make some Christmas cupcakes for a colleague to give to her neighbours as gifts. Manny described them as Christmas in a cupcake and I fully agree. The gingerbread was sticky and very spicy (I was quite heavy handed with the ginger!) and the frosting was lovely - I really liked the flavour of clementine!
The only thing that disappointed me with these cakes were the cases. They are Wilton gingerbread ones - they went see through upon baking - utterly rubbish! But never mind as they looked so lovely naked I didn't mind too much.