October 31st, 2013

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Marshmallow Frosting

I hate those recipes that ask you to use a bit of this and a bit of that. If I’m buying a tin of pumpkin puree I want to use the whole thing otherwise it will sit in my fridge for a week whilst I try and decide what else I can do with it. By the time I have come to a decision it is not fit for eating. Both the cupcakes and the frosting  here require you to buy stuff that you may not have in your store cupboard, pumpkin puree and marshmallow fluff, but don’t worry you will need to use the whole darn lot. Good for fridge space and good for your tummy.

I experimented with a few recipes to come up with the perfect pumpkin cupcake but then I realised it was all for naught as Martha Stewart has already cornered the market in the recipe below. I couldn’t better it and they are one of the tastiest, moistest cupcake sponges I have ever had. The frosting recipe makes a lot of marshmallowy goodness but if you are ruffling it onto the cupcakes like I did in the photos then that means you do need all of it.

I have loved coming up with Halloween inspired recipes this past week and I hope you have enjoyed the posts. Tomorrow I am making a last ditch attempt to get healthy before indulging in the upcoming excesses of the Christmas season with a month of gluten free recipes. I’m just telling you so you know you need to have a huge blow out tonight. Eat all the cupcakes! I’m gonna!

Pumpkin Halloween Cupcakes

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Adapted from a recipe by Martha Stewart
Makes about 18

400g light brown sugar
225g unsalted butter, melted then cooled
4 eggs
1 tin of pumpkin puree (about 400g)
1 tsp vanilla extract
250g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ tsp ground allspice

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Blend together the sugar and butter until pale and well combined.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract.
  4. Pour in the pumpkin puree and mix well.
  5. Sift together the rest of the dry ingredients, then add to the pumpkin mixture until just combined.
  6. Pour into cupcake cases and bake for 16-18mins.

Marshmallow frosting

400g unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 x jars marshmallow fluff (about 400g in total)

  1. Whizz up the butter and the icing sugar on a high speed in the mixer for 5-10 mins until very light and fluffy.
  2. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
  3. Add the marshmallow fluff a spoon at a time whilst your mixer is on a slower speed until fully incorporated.
pumpkin cupcakes

 

 

October 11th, 2013

Campfire Cupcakes

There is a little tradition around these parts which I think is vital to the backbone of any nation.  It allows the common man to unite, upholding this great institution which they hold so dear.  For Cake Friday can always be relied upon at the end of any working week and in this we trust.  Friday, without doubt is the most celebrated day of the week and everyone knows that no celebration is complete without an obscene amount of sugar, butter and today, chocolate.

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I will often make a variation of this cupcake at this time of year as it brings together the two most delicious things about the great outdoors, toasted marshmallows and malted hot chocolate.  Surely that’s the only reason any self respecting adult will pitch up a tent and rub two sticks together.  Otherwise, the world is going mad.  This year I have dusted off this recipe extra specially as I’m trying out my new blowtorch.  So you can expect most of the posts from now on to include some sort of singeing, toasting or bruleeing.

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For these cupcakes I used my favourite chocolate cake recipe which I whip out at any given opportunity, bake sales, birthdays, Tuesdays.  It’s rather special and hails from the wonderful Dorie Greenspan.  There are very intelligent people out on the blogosphere who only cook Ms Greenspan’s recipes and they are they ones that truly have their lives in order.  The second element of this Friday treat is the inner malted chocolate filling which just happens to be the most divine chocolate heaven you will ever experience.  So, there’s that.  Then the whole extravaganza is topped with pillowy marshmallow, rising regally to the sky then torched to within an inch of its life.  But that’s just me as I’m new to the blowtorch scene and it might have got away with me a little.

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Campfire Cupcakes
Makes around 12-16

Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking From My Home to Yours

165g plain flour
60g cocoa powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
120g butter
100g light brown sugar
112g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g dark chocolate, melted and cooled
120ml whole milk
120ml boiling water, with ½ tsp instant coffee mixed in

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift together the flour, cocoa, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the butter and the sugars for a few minutes until light and fluffy.
  4. Add in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla extract. At this point the mixture usually looks curdled but don’t worry it will come back together.
  5. Pour in the melted chocolate and whisk together until completely combined.
  6. Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk, adding the flour in three additions and the milk in two (begin and end with the flour), scrape down the sides of the bowls as needed.
  7. Finally pour in the boiling water and mix until just combined.
  8. Pour into your prepared cupcake cases and bake for 15-18 mins.
  9. Leave to cool on a wire rack completely before inserting the filling and frosting.

Malted Chocolate Filling
Adapted from Sweetapolita’s recipe for Belgium Malted Chocolate Frosting

113.5g unsalted butter
125g icing sugar
20g Ovaltine
¼ tsp vanilla extract
60g milk chocolate, melted and cooled
30ml whipping cream

  1. Whip together the icing sugar and butter until pale, light and fluffy
  2. Add the Ovaltine, vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Whisk until combined.
  3. Add the melted chocolate and whisk together for a minute.
  4. Finally pour in the whipped cream and whisk for a couple of minutes until the filling has firmed up a little.
  5. To insert the frosting, scoop out a little circle of cake from the top of the cupcake and pipe in the filling. You can place the little circle of cake back on top.

Marshmallow Frosting
Adapted from Bakers Royale’s Marshmallow Frosting

300g egg whites
250g caster sugar

  1. Place the egg whites and the caster sugar in a bowl over boiling water.
  2. Whisk constantly for about 10-15 mins until the sugar has dissolved and the temperature reaches 71°C.
  3. Pour into a stand mixer and whisk on a high speed for about 10-12 mins until the marshmallow frosting has stiffened.
  4. Using a Wilton 2D piping tip, pipe the marshmallow as high as you like then go crazy with the blowtorch.