Friday, November 16, 2007

Christmas Cupcakes





Christmas is coming and it is time again for something sweet :)

I fell in love with the cupcakes lately and I'll tell you why.

First, they are small, or okay, relatively small, compared to a piece of large cake. Though some of them can be really really tiny.

Second, they can have different dough and different decoration, which means that I can achieve larger diversity and less people to be harmed in the process. By eating loads of cakes I mean. Which means, that I can make them more often :)

All this makes them a perfect choice.

I was previously designing large cakes, but now I prefer to try more and more and more cupcakes.

So, these are several varieties, including orange blossom water, dark cherries and dark chocolate almonds, ganache, pecans, buttercream, marzipan hearts and stars, lots of spices (okay, they were mainly cinnamon and nutmeg) and .. more.

Now the recipes:
I divided the main recipe from the previous post into two doughs, one with muscovado sugar and the other one with caster sugar.
75 gr softened butter
2/3 cups of caster sugar
1 egg
50 ml milk
1 tbsp orange blossom water
1/2 cup ground almonds
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
orange marmalade to spoon in the cupcakes
flaked almonds to sprinkle
Makes about 6 cupcakes
Cream the butter with the sugar, add the egg and milk, add nuts and flour and at the end the orange water and the backing powder. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases and spoon the mixture. On top put a coffee spoon of the orange marmalade, and sprinkle with the flaked almonds.
And the second dough is quite similar
75 gr softened butter
2/3 cups of muscovado sugar
1 egg
50 ml milk
1/2 cup ground walnuts
2/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
20 gr melted chocolate
black cherry to top
I used a different technique here, dissolving the muscovado sugar first in the milk, because it is so moisty that forms small and hard lumps. Then I added to the creamed butter. Then I added the egg, and the other ingredients as listed. I lined the remaining 6 paper cases and spooned the mixture into them, adding a cherry on top. In the process of baking the cherry will sink in the interior of the cupcake.
Then just baked for 23 (20-25) minutes on 170 degrees, or until a toothpick plunged into the center comes out clean.
Leave to cool.
For the toppings I used chocolate ganache:
I don't quite remember the proportions, but just heated about 120 ml of double cream in a sauce pan and added to it some 50 gr melted dark chocolate, a hint of vanilla, nutmeg and cinnamon. I whisk until smooth and a until it started thickening, but without bringing to the boil then left aside.
and double cream with 3-4 tbsp of sugar - worked with a mixer, but carefully to remain suitable for spooning.
When I spooned the required quantity I continued beating the rest for a bit more to thicken enough until it was suitable for piping.
I mixed chocolate ganache with the more liquid white cream on top of the cupcakes to form figures, then topped with pecans, or I used just white topping with cranberries, or I piped borders with the white cream and pour into the centre ganache, finishing with a glace cherry on top, or just add the ganache topping and sprinkle more flaked almonds...
Lots of variations :)
Cheers :)

16 comments:

Zen Chef said...

Wow, nice job on those cupcakes.
They look beautiful and the pictures are great too!
If you have leftovers you can always send them my way! hehehe

Dave said...

Nice cupcakes! Like you, I am also trying to make cupcakes with my girlfriend this Christmas. I am looking forward to your recipes.:)

Mango Power Girl said...

Alita - you did such a wonderful job with these - lovely presentation and choice of contrasting colors - it's so festive - already feels like christmas! I also love the variation in falvors...great idea!

Kate / Kajal said...

Alita , these look absolutely gorgeous. I love the way yu have decorated each one in a different way. Kinda brings the artist out in you :P
Love the cake stand and yes ...u have successfully got me craving choc early in the morning.

Alita said...

oh, how nice to see so many comments! :)

zen_chef, thank you for appreciation :)
unfortunately no leftovers, they ended faster than I hoped ... :)
maybe next time ;)

Thank you Dave, I'm posting them tomorrow for sure, sorry about the delay ...

Thank you m-p-g! Nice to hear that I managed to transmit the Christmas atmosphere through hm let's call it design :)

Kate / kajal, I should be more precise in decoratin next time, though I'm not sure ho much artist is there in me :D
I'll try my best :)
you know, I made the cakes stand by combining a cup and a large plate :D

Zen Chef said...

If i marry you, will i always have fresh cupcakes?
hehehe :-)

Alita said...

hehe, zen_chef, possibly, but not always on demand :D

I'd like to work as a private chef, that's an interesting job :)

GingerbreadGirl03 said...

The photo are perfect, it make one's mounth water.

So DeliciouS ♥

Sylvia said...

Christmas time is always a sweet season. You made a great job whit those lovely cupcakes

Alita said...

Thank you, gingerbreadgirl03! :)
I'm happy you liked them :)

Cathie said...

ieThese cupcakes look too good to eat!! Really nice decorating job!!

Mandy said...

nice pictures and creative cupcakes. I agree that it's easier to experiment with different flavors when making cupcakes as opposed to one huge cake.

Cindy. Lo. said...

I love cupcakes,
And you definitely made me love it even more!

Alita said...

hey, thank you grils! :)

Stef said...

Such pretty cupcakes! Great job!

Rita said...

Pretty cupcake, nice settings.

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