Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Candy Cane Cupcakes


I should start off first with - Merry Christmas :)
(So out of place since it was added last minute) 

Carrying on: I currently have a lot of spare time - no uni, no work, no nothing - permanently (unless I manage to find a job sometime soon) which means! plenty of time for cupcakes, baking and eating *yay* so here you go another Christmas recipe, right on time too! Nothing super fancy here, just a basic chocolate mint cupcake but decorated for the Christmas theme with crushed candy canes and homemade sanding sugar

I should also probably add, as of my last cupcake recipe I have changed from using a butter base to an oil base. Reason being - apparently cupcakes made with oil are more moist and sustain their moisture for longer than those made from butter, which is always a big plus in the world of baking. Additionally, as the batter is more runny - its a lot easier to work with i.e. its easier to get the batter into the liners and hence you can get more consistent looking cupcakes 

Candy Cane Cupcakes


Chocolate Mint Cupcakes
(makes 16 cupcakes)

Ingredients
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup milk
1 1/4 cup plain flour
2 tablespoon peppermint extract
2 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 eggs
a pinch of salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 175C (about 5-10 minutes before baking cupcakes)
  1. In a bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt and cocoa powder, and set aside
  2. Combine the milk, peppermint extract and white vinegar, and set aside
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs until pale and fluffy, slowly beat in the sugar followed by the oil, beat until well creamed
  4. Beat in half of the wet ingredients until just mixed, followed by half of the dry ingredients
  5. Combine the remaining wet ingredients followed by the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over mix the batter otherwise the cupcakes will become tough)
  6. Place the batter into lightly oiled cupcake liners about 2/3’s full
  7. Bake the cupcakes at 175C for about 15 minutes (fan force)
Look how perfect they are! :D
Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
1 tablespoon peppermint extract
2 candy canes crushed
2 cup icing sugar
7 tablespoon butter
250g cream cheese
Red/Pink sanding sugar

Method
  1. Beat the butter and icing sugar until well creamed, followed by the peppermint extract
  2. Add the cream cheese, a couple of small cubes at a time
  3. Mix for about 3-5minutes until the frosting is nice and fluffy
  4. Sprinkle on crushed candy cane or sanding sugar for effect
I took this photo about 30minutes after decorating, and as you can see
the sanding sugar has slightly melted - so I think its probably best to
sprinkle them on just before serving

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Eggnog Cupcakes


Christmas - the best time of the year! But not for the religious factor - rather the commercial one but I need to go to America one day and experience Christmas at its fullest commercial goodness - the artificial smells of pine flowing out of shopping centre air vents to entice extra Christmas spending $$, the competitive Christmas lighting displays in an attempt to keep up with the Joneses, the none stop Christmas tunes playing on the speakers, or closer to home - the Boxing Day stampede at Myers Mid City - best time to do a bit of people watching. Oh the joy! - I'm not being sarcastic  I love this stuff, it makes my marketing senses tingle with excitement. Yup - I'm a bit of an odd soul 

Anyways, moving on - time for some proper Christmas recipes, first off that awesome traditional Christmas drink that I've never actually tried - Eggnog, in cupcake form of course. And the second best thing about Christmas - I'm visiting someone or someones visiting us almost everyday from now until New Years - best way to get rid of my cupcakes and desserts. Bwahaha :) 

Eggnog Cupcakes
(makes 16 cupcakes)


Ingredients
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup oil (vegetable or canola)
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 cup eggnog
1 1/4 cup plain flour
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1/4 cup rum or bourbon (alternatively 1 tablespoon rum extract)

Method
Preheat the oven to 175C (about 5-10 minutes before baking cupcakes)
  1. In a bowl, combine the plain flour, baking powder, bicarb soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon, and set aside
  2. Combine the eggnog, vanilla, white vinegar and alcohol, and set aside
  3. In a separate mixing bowl, beat the eggs until pale and fluffy, slowly beat in the sugar, followed by the oil, beat until well creamed
  4. Add in half the eggnog mixture until just mixed, followed by half of the dry ingredients
  5. Combine the remaining wet ingredients followed by the remaining dry ingredients and mix until just combined (do not over mix the batter otherwise the cupcakes will become tough)
  6. Place the batter into lightly oiled cupcake liners about 2/3’s full
  7. Bake the cupcakes at 175C for about 15 minutes (fan force)
Cupcakes made with an oil base will be more runny but will be more moist 


Eggnog Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients
1 teaspoon rum extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoon eggnog
2 cup icing sugar
7 tablespoon butter
250g cream cheese

Method 
  1. Beat the butter and icing sugar until well creamed, followed by cinnamon, nutmeg, rum extract and eggnog
  2. Add the cream cheese, a couple of small cubes at a time
  3. Mix for about 3-5minutes until the frosting is nice and fluffy
I did cut off the peaks and level off the cupcakes before piping

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Eggnog


A really simple, basic and lazy recipe this week but of course still within the Christmas theme. Didn't get a chance to bake this week seeing as I just got back from a cruise to New Caledonia over the weekends. I did make an attempt at baking cookies but they didn't quite turn out as intended, so that post had to be scrapped. But I promise, I do have something better planned for this weekend & this recipe will be fully incorporated - so this post won't be for nothing 

As for the recipe, this is an alcoholic version, however you can simply remove the alcohol for a non alcoholic version or even better - follow the cooked eggnog method and sustain the taste of the alcohol whilst burning off the alcohol and pasteurising the eggs all in one go

Eggnog

Ingredients
1/3 cup caster sugar + 1 tablespoon
1/2 cup thickened cream
1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 egg whites
2 egg yolks
2 tablespoon bourbon

Method
  1. In mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks until fluffy and pale, gradually add in the caster sugar and beat until creamed. Add the milk, cream, bourbon, vanilla and spices and mix until combined
  2. In a separate bowl, with clean mixer/beater heads, beat the egg whites until soft peak, add in one tablespoon of caster sugar and beat until stiff peaks
  3. Fold the egg whites into the milk and cream mixture
Alternatively: For Cooked Eggnog
  1. In mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks and whites until fluffy and pale, gradually add in all of the caster sugar and beat until creamed. Add the milk, cream and bourbon and mix until combined
  2. Pour the mixture into a saucepan over low heat and whisk until the liquids reach 70C
  3. Strain the liquids into a large bowl, mix in the nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla

Note: Alternative alcohols that are used in eggnog include: brandy, rum, whisky and vodka. So feel free to use whichever you have at home. I actually used cointreau because that was the only thing I had open at home besides vodka - and well vodka is a bit boring, it doesn't add any extra flavour or anything 

Stay tuned for Eggnog Cupcakes this weekend :)