Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Icing

I do love gingerbread and cake,or anything ginger at all really.  So when I chanced upon this recipe from BBC Food I thought I would give it a try.  Now on the website it suggests that these are an nice alternative for Christmas baking.  I say pish and tosh to that,  they are a nice alternative at any time.

There is a down side to making these though, if you love ginger as much as I do.  That is that while you are waiting for the caramelised sugar and cream mixture to cool, for making the icing, you are quite likely to have a cup of tea and start to eat the un-iced cakes.  I certainly did and could have gone on eating more, but for an amazing feat of will power.  Oh my! They taste wonderful even without icing, certainly they could stand alone just as a cake.  But, ever the trooper, I held back from scoffing more and waited for the caramel to cool, so that I could top the cakes.

Not being an expert in icing I won't comment on the success, or otherwise of that feature.  But the cupcakes are a triumph, in my humble opinion.

I recommend this to anyone who wants a simple but very successful recipe to try.

On the BBC Food website, with this recipe is a link to a video with tips on how to ice a cupcake, for anyone who is interested, though I think it is a simple enough thing, and you can really do it any way you wish.
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Icing

Ingredients:
For the cakes:
  • 140g/5oz unsalted butter
  • 200g/7oz golden caster sugar
  • 60g/2¼oz black treacle
  • 60g/2¼oz golden syrup
  • 2 free-range eggs, plus 2 free-range egg yolks
  • 300g/10½oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 240ml/8½fl oz milk, warmed
For the salted caramel buttercream icing:
  • 125g/4½oz white caster sugar
  • 80ml/2½fl oz double cream
  • ½ tsp salt (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 160g/5¾oz salted butter, softened
  • 200g/7oz icing sugar
Method:
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5. Line two 12-hole muffin tray with 15 paper cases.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together in a bowl until light and creamy. Beat in the treacle, syrup, eggs and egg yolks until well combined.
  3. Sift together the flour, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture, then beat in half of the warm milk. Add the remaining flour mixture and the remaining milk and beat until well combined.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until well risen and lightly firm to the touch. Remove the cakes from the tin and set aside to cool on a cooling rack.
  5. For the salted caramel buttercream, heat the caster sugar and four tablespoons of water in a saucepan over a gentle heat until the sugar has dissolved, then increase the heat and cook the caramel for 2-3 minutes, or until golden and slightly thickened. Remove the pan from the heat immediately and stir in the cream. (CAUTION: the caramel may splutter a little when you add the cream.) Stir in the salt and vanilla and set aside to cool completely.
  6. Cream the butter and icing sugar together for at least 4- 5 minutes, then beat in the caramel. When combined pipe or spread the icing over the cup cakes and sprinkle with a little extra sea salt.
  7. Decorate the cupcakes with the buttercream.

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