Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Frosting

Ever since I had an Apple Crumble Cupcake from the Cupcake Bakery, I've been wanting to do my own Apple Cupcake. After a few attempts with the crumble, I realised that something was not quite right. 

My failed attempts were narrowed down to two things...

1 - Once the cupcakes had risen, the crumble would end up all over the pan rather than on top of the cupcake (which defeats the whole purpose of having the crumble in the first place)

And, 2 - The maple syrup flavoured frosting I was making was simply just to sickly sweet and made me feel really quite ill after consumption. 

However, I persevered and remembered this pear and prune cake that my sister has baked before. With this as my new inspiration, and the addition of some apple friendly spices, my Spiced Apple Cupcakes were born. 

I ditched the maple syrup frosting and replaced it with this Brown sugar cream cheese frosting, which is now my new preference of cream cheese frostings. The brown sugar gives this icing a sweetness, without making you want to pass out from a sugar coma afterwards. And in combination with a fluffy cupcake, centred with stewed pieces of apple (which almost gives you a pudding like centre), this cupcake is warm and extremely, extremely tasty. 

3 Apples, sliced
75g Butter
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
20ml Sherry
2 1/4 cups Plain Flour
2 teaspoon Bicarb Soda
2 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Nutmeg
115g Butter, softened
1 1/2 cups Sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 cup Milk
100g Butter, softened
250g Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup Brown Sugar

To make the apples...
Make the apples first as they need time to cool before you use them in the cupcake

Melt together the butter and Sugar. Add the sliced apples and sherry. Bring up to the boil and allow to simmer on a medium heat for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool

To make the cupcakes...
Preheat oven to 170°C and line a cupcake tin with patty pan cases. 

Sift together the dry ingredients and set aside.

In an electric mixer, beat together butter and sugar until pale. Add the eggs and vanilla and continue beating until fluffy. Mix in the dry ingredients and milk. Beat on high speed for 2 minutes.

Place a tablespoon full of mixture into the bottom of each patty pan case. Top with apple (reserving the liquid) and top with a further spoonful of mixture. Don't stress if the apple isn't completely covered.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and the skewer comes out clean. Drizzle warm cakes with the  reserved apple liquid and allow to cool. Once cool frost with brown sugar cream cheese frosting

To make the frosting...
Beat together butter and cream cheese until combined. Add the brown sugar and beat on a high speed for 3 minutes or until pale in colour. 

Just a small visual aid on the cupcake assembly. 

Friday, 10 May 2013

Sour Cherry Blondies

With Mother's Day just around the corner, I took it upon myself to think of a yummy treat that is not only delicious but a sinch to make. And what better way to celebrate mother's day than a pretty pink Sour Cherry Blondie. 

I've come to realise that a Blondie is simply a white chocolate brownie. Who knew?! And until yesterday I had never, ever actually eaten one before. Let alone made one. So I decided to give it a crack. 

White chocolate (which to some critics is not even considered chocolate) can be quite sweet. However, Morello cherries are quite sour and when combined together they really balance each other out. Being a brownie type slice, cook as much or as little as you like. But in my personal opinion, the fudgier, the better. 

Whatever your personal preference, you're sure to be in your mum's good books if you surprise her with these blondies this Mother's day. 

125g Butter
220g White Chocolate
3/4 cup Sugar
2 tsp Vanilla Essence
2 Eggs
1 cup Plain Flour
1/2 cup Morello Cherries, drained

To make the Blondies...
Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line a 20cm cake tin with baking paper. 

Firstly, drain the cherries and allow to sit while you make the blondie. 

In a saucepan, melt together the butter and white chocolate until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar and vanilla. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Once cooled, whisk in the eggs one at a time. Add in the flour and mix well. Lightly fold through the cherries. 

Pour into prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin before cutting. 

A small note of the cherries...
While eating one of the blondies, I discovered that some of my pitted cherries were not actually pitted. So just double check them before you fold them through the batter, your teeth will thank you for it

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Orange Glazed Sand Cake

While talking to my mum the other day, I was trying to work out my next post for you guys. I often bounce ideas off her and she makes suggestions about what tasty treats I could bake up. 

Anyway, I was gaining some wisdom from my forever wise mother and she'd asked me if I'd used my new Bundt tin yet. This was a gift from Mum and Dad for Christmas and sadly, 6 months later, I had not used it. So, she suggested that maybe I make a Sand Cake (which has always been a favourite of mine) and given it's simplicity the Bundt tin pattern really gives it more of a wow factor. 

Before you totally freak out, there is no, I repeat, NO sand in this cake! You can all breathe a sigh of relief that I wouldn't dare encourage the consumption of sand (although I can't say the same for those of you with kids as they eat whatever they want when no one is watching). 

I'm not sure why a cake would ever be named after a gritty, teeny, tiny grain of sand. But perhaps with the addition of custard powder, it is more to do with the colour rather than the texture that this cake gets its name. But whatever the story behind it, this cake is buttery, crumbly and when teamed with a tangy orange glaze, it is a winning combination. 

185g Butter, softened
2 teaspoons Vanilla Essence
1 1/4 cup Sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup Milk
1 1/2 cup Self-raising Flour
1/3 cup Custard Powder
Orange Glaze
1/2 cup Sugar
125g Butter
Zest of 1 Orange
1/3 cup Orange Juice

To make the Cake...
Preheat oven to 170°C and grease and flour your Bundt tin. Make sure you do this very well to prevent sticking and ultimately ruining the Bundt tin pattern (feel free to use any cake tin you like). 

Simply throw all ingredients into an electric mixer and beat on a low speed until combined then beat on a medium to high speed for 3 minutes, or until pale yellow in colour. 

Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 40-50 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean. You may need to cover to foil to prevent the top from burning. Remove from the oven. 

To assemble the cake...
Once the cake is removed from the oven, gradually pour over half the glaze while the cake is still in the tin (allow glaze to soak into the cake with each addition).  Cool cake completely in the tin. Once cooled, remove from the pan and pour over the remaining glaze. 

To make the Glaze...
Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium and allow to boil for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.