Sunday, 15 September 2013

Ultimate Gingerbread Cupcakes

I am usually the person making cupcakes for every imaginable occasion. Let's face it, few occasions are cupcake-inappropriate. Birthdays, holidays, PMS, bachelor party, thank-you-awesome-tattoo-artist-present... And since I love baking, there is always butter, eggs and various sprinkles all over my kitchen.

So you can imagine how refreshing is it when someone bakes me cupcakes!! My friend JD, photographer extraordinaire and raging geek, is also a very good cook (sorry ladies, he's married!) and he knows how much I love ginger. So when he couldn't make it to my birthday dinner, he made it up to me by whipping up a beautiful batch of cupcakes that shall henceforth be known as the ultimate gingerbread cupcakes.

I can't tell you how excited I was when he dropped those off at my place! We had dinner, opened a bottle of bubbles and enjoyed those little ginger bombs watching David Fincher movies. What? It was my birthday!!!

JD is such a sweetheart that he even shared his recipe with me so that other people could enjoy those wonderful cupcakes: fellow ginger-addicts, rejoice!

Gingerbread cupcakes (24 cupcakes):
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/3 cup molasses
1 cup hot water

Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and preheat the oven to 350. In a small/medium sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Carefully whisk them together. In another medium sized bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla. Mix well. Add eggs and mix until incorporated. Next, add the molasses and mix well. Add half of the dry ingredients and half of the hot water to the sugar mixture and mix until incorporated. Repeat with the second half of the dry ingredients and hot water. Transfer the batter to the cupcake pans and fill each liner about 2/3 full. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Maple cream cheese icing:
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/4 cup (half a stick) butter, room temperature
2 tbsp maple syrup
4 cups powdered sugar

In a medium sized bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and cream cheese on medium high speed until smooth and creamy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mix until incorporated, and scrape the bowl after each addition. Add the maple syrup and mix well. You can test it at this point and decide if you want more maple syrup or not. Add more powdered sugar and mix, until the icing is the desired consistency.

Ginger syrup:
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
a few pieces of fresh ginger, peeled

Put the ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a light simmer and let simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Let cool overnight. Remove the pieces of ginger.

When the cupcakes have cooled, frost with the maple syrup cream cheese icing and drizzle the ginger syrup on top. Top each cupcake with a piece of candied ginger.

And voila! Ultimate gingerbread cupcakes!

The cakes were wonderful, moist and just spicy enough, and the very sweet and rich icing is perfectly balanced by the tangy ginger syrup. It took a lot of self-control not to eat the entire batch in one sitting, but I guess I am getting a bit wiser as I get older (not!) and I made the cupcakes last all weekend.

Thank you JD, for the wonderful birthday cupcakes! And a big thank you to the wonderful friends who celebrated with me Saturday night! You guys are the best, and I am so lucky to have you in my life! xxxxx

No comments:

Post a Comment