Gosh, feels like it’s been ages since I made anything. So in an attempt to get Christmassy, I decided to make some gingerbread cupcakes. I’ve made plenty of gingerbread biscuits, but never the cake before, so this was a new foray for me. I found what looked like nice recipe on the BBC Recipe site for cupcakes and icing. To be honest, I hadn’t thought as far ahead as the icing so I just went with the recipe as I have a bit of thing for salted caramel!
Shopping list in hand, off I went to the big orange supermarket to get my supplies.
140g/5oz unsalted butter
100g/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
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
Start with the standard oven pre-heating! 190C/375F/Gas 5. Then I got my bake on! ( I can’t say that without laughing as it sound like Bacon!)
Firstly cream the butter and sugar together until light and creamy. I actually veered from the recipe here and used good old stork!
Next, beat in the treacle, syrup, eggs and egg yolks until well combined.
This will look like it’s curdled! Not pretty, but stay with it.
Now, sift together the flour, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder and salt. As it’s not all added at once I like to do this in a separate bowl so that I can be sure it’s at least partly mixed together before I add to the rest of the mixture. Add half of this dry mix, then beat in half of the warmed milk. Then you can add the remaining flour mixture and milk. Beat it until it’s well combined.
Pop the mixture into your cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove and leave on a baking rack to cool.
The recipe online says it makes it 15 cupcakes. I didn’t read this and only had 12 out! Oops. So I popped the rest of the mixture into a loaf tin (this needed 5 mins more). You do get a lot of mixture, so even 15, would be big cupcakes.
While the cupcakes were baking, I started on the icing as the caramel needs to be made first and left to cool.
This is what the recipe says:
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.
I found however that it took longer than 2-3 mins for the mixture to go golden brown. So my advise is just watch it, it’ll be obvious when it starts to turn.
Once it is golden brown, remove from the heat and add the cream, mixing as you do and careful not to burn yourself as it will “splutter”. Then add the salt and vanilla and stir in well and leave the mixture to the side to cool. You need it to be cool, so that it doesn’t melt your butter when you’re making the butter icing.
Standard butter icing method, pop butter and icing sugar in mixer and beat it for a good few minutes to it becomes nice and fluffy. Add the caramel and mix it again until totally incorporated.
Now you are ready to ice your cupcakes. I just used a butter knife to swirl it on and added some edible gold stars.
For the anti gingerbread people I whipped up some chocolate cupcakes instead, (No-one can resist chocolate and salted caramel!) and sprinkled with chocolate vermicelli.
I was probably hoping for more a Jamaica Gingercake then the gingerbread that I ended up with. But, it was still most enjoyable.