Posted 16th Sep 2013
National Cupcake Week is upon us (16th to 22nd September) and to celebrate we've got two delicious cupcake recipes from the Family Baking book! Whether you're whipping up star-quality cakes in the kitchen this week, or want to be inspired for any time of year, these tasty cupcake recipes are sure to give you baking inspiration
Apple, rum and raisin cupcakes
These are cupcakes with a difference - they contain all the flavours of a Caribbean rum punch; dark rum, spices and fruit.
100g/Ã¢â�¦â�� cup raisins
2 tablespoons dark rum
150g/10 tablespoons butter, softened and cubed
150g/¾ cup light muscovado or packed light brown soft sugar
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
175g/1Ã¢â�¦â�� cups self-raising flour, sifted
generous fresh grating of nutmeg
2 dessert apples
1 ripe banana
finely grated zest of 1 orange
75g/½ cup icing sugar/confectioners' sugar
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra for sprinkling
1 teaspoon dark rum
3-4 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
a 12-hole muffin pan, lined with cupcake cases
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), Gas 4.
Tip the raisins into a small bowl with the rum, stir and set aside while you make the rest of the mixture
Put the butter, sugar, beaten eggs, flour and grated nutmeg in an electric mixer (or use a large mixing bowl and an electric whisk). Whisk together to combine.
Core, peel and chop the apples into small pieces. Peel and chop the banana into small pieces too and stir into the cake mixture with the apples, three-quarters of the orange zest and all the soaked raisins and rum.
Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until risen and golden. Let cool on a wire rack.
When you are ready to ice the cupcakes, sift the icing/confectioners' sugar into a small bowl and stir in the grated nutmeg. Add the rum, then the orange juice, a teaspoon at a time, stirring between each addition - you may not need it all. Spoon the icing over the cupcakes and sprinkle a little extra nutmeg and the remaining grated orange zest over each one. Let set before serving.
Coffee and pecan cupcakes with praline
These are best made and eaten on the same day, but the undecorated cakes will keep well in the freezer if you want to make a batch to decorate later.
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
6 tablespoons boiling water
275g/1¼ cups (caster) sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
175g/1½ sticks butter, softened and cubed
3 large eggs
175g/1Ã¢â�¦â�� cups self-raising flour
100g/Ã¢â�¦â�� cup pecans, chopped
200g/1 cup icing/confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons créme fraîche
150g/10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 x 12-hole muffin pans, lined with cupcake cakes
a baking sheet, lined with baking parchment
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), Gas 4.
Tip the coffee into a cup with the boiling water and the 2 tablespoons of (caster) sugar. Stir together for a minute or so until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool.
Put the butter, 175g/¾ cup of the (caster) sugar and the eggs in the bowl of an electric mixer (or use a large mixing bowl and an electric whisk). Sift in the flour, drizzle in 3 tablespoons of the coffee syrup and whisk together for a few minutes to combine. Stir half the pecans into the mixture; reserve the other half for the praline.
Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until risen and lightly golden. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack. While they are still warm, make a few fork indentations in the top of each one and carefully drizzle over a little of the remaining coffee syrup, letting it seep into the cakes as you do so. Let cool completely.
Next, make the praline. Tip the remaining 100g/½ cup (caster) sugar into a medium pan or frying pan over low heat and heat gently. As soon as it has melted, increase the heat a little and let the sugar simmer and gradually turn to a deep golden caramel. Tip in the reserved pecans, give everything a quick stir and tip the hot praline onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out slightly, then leave until cold and set.
To make the frosting, sift the icing/confectioners' sugar into a bowl, add the créme fraîche and the butter and beat together until smooth.
Spread the frosting onto the cold cupcakes with a round-bladed knife. Bash the praline with the end of a rolling pin to break it up, then crumble some on top of each cake.
Family Baking: Easy Recipes for Every Occasion by Sarah Randell (photography by Kate Whitaker) is published by Ryland Peters & Small, available to buy from all good book stores and from www.rylandpeters.com, RRP £16.99
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