Sunday 13 November 2011

Cupcake Challenge

I am addicted.  I can't seem to stop entering blogging challenges.  My latest is Ruth al-Mushadani's "Cupcake Challenge".  This is the third cake challenge I have entered this month and I don't even make cakes.  But something about the suggested ingredients this month of marshmallows, walnuts, cinder toffee, tea, orange and maple syrup grabbed me. I kind of wanted to eat all of them at the same time but the challenge of just picking two or three was also strangely compelling.  

The first thought that inspired me was tea flavoured cup cakes.  I love both Lapsang Souchong and Earl Gray Tea.  Lapsang has a wonderful smoky flavour like drinking a bonfire whilst Earl Grey is a fragrant, heady mixture of citrus and floral aromas like sticking your face in an old fashioned rose.  I tried using them in the cup cake mix but the flavour just did not come through, no matter how strong I made the tea.

The next thing that jumped out from the list, was walnuts and maple syrup which is just a classic combination made in heaven.  It just makes me think of autumn walks, kicking up the leaves and heading home before it gets dark at 4pm.  So here I am again, baking cakes.  Thanks Cupcake Challenge!

Cupcakes with Maple Glazed Walnuts
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g caster sugar
2 eggs at room temperature
125g self raising flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 batch of Maple Glazed Walnuts
Preheat the oven to 170C and line the muffin tin with paper cups for the cupcakes.
Add butter and caster sugar to a bowl and cream until pale. Add eggs, one by one and mix until   emulgamated.  Fold in the flour, ground Maple Glazed Walnuts and baking powder. If the mixture is a little thick add a little Maple Syrup.  You should have a soft, dropping consistancy. Divide the batch evenly into the muffin cups. I do this with a disposable piping bag. Place in oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until golden brown and bounce back when pressed. Let cool before frosting
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
250g icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp Maple Syrup (buy the thickest, although less refined, it has more flavour.)
Cream the butter and maple syrup together with a mixer until light and fluffy.  Add the icing sugar and mix well.  Pipe or spread on the cooled cupcakes and decorate wtih the Maple Glazed Walnuts.

Maple Glazed Walnuts
2 cups walnut halves
1/3 cup maple syrup 
(buy the thickest, although less refined, it has more flavour.)
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat a dry skillet over a medium-high heat. Add the walnuts, maple syrup and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until syrup is caramelized and nuts are toasted, about 5 minutes. Let cool spread out on greeseproof paper.  Pick out the 12 best to decorate and grind the rest in a food processor.

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to hear from you. Thank you so much for any messages.