Maple Leaf Cupcakes
It's been a bit quiet on the baking front recently, but as one of Mike's colleagues left the company this week, I needed to get my baking tins out. D'arcy and his family are relocating to Toronto. How exciting is that? And to mark the occasion I wanted to try and make something that he would like.
These are chocolate cupcakes, covered in Maple Syrup Frosting, and decorated with little sugar fondant maple leaves. I'm not terribly good with sugarpaste. Sadly, the leaves didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, as it was difficult to get the colour right with the materials I had. I basically coloured three different shades of fondant - orangey, red and reddy brown - to try and get autumnal shades. Then I cut out different sized maple leaves and pressed them with a veiner. Having left them to dry for about 8 hours (over crumpled baking parchment to get a curled effect), I then dusted them with some gold, brown and terracotta flower dusts. The block colours were a little strong, and bizarrely the best effect I got was when I rolled up the left over bits of each colour into one ball - getting a mottled piece of sugar fondant, which then rolled out to give a marbled effect. Much more realistic but still not totally right!
The frosting I used combined some butter with a little cream cheese, with icing sugar and a few tablespoons of maple syrup. This was just enough to flavour the frosting without it being overpowering. The combination of chocolate cake and frosting worked well, and aesthetics aside, I was really pleased with how they turned out.
Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Frosting
Ingredients (makes 16)
225g softened unsalted butter
225g light soft brown sugar
4 medium eggs
1 tbspn milk
200g self raising flour1/2 tspn baking powder
4 tbspns cocoa powder
For the frosting
200g softened unsalted butter
100g room temperature full fat cream cheese
around 3 - 4 cups of icing sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 155 Fan / 170 Conventional / Gas 4. Line a muffin tray(s) with cupcake cases - I got 16 out of this batch.
Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth and fluffy. Then add the eggs (one at a time mixing briefly to incorporate) and milk. Add the flour, baking powder and cocoa, and mix gently till thorough incorporated. Scoop into the cases so that they are about two thirds full.
Bake in the oven for around 18 - 20 minutes until risen and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove and allow to cool in the tray for a few minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to completely cool.
For the frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese until silky (preferably in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment). Add the maple syrup and mix in. Then, adding a cup at a time, add the icing sugar until you get a consistency you like - it needs to be quite thick but still soft enough to spread / pipe.
Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes and then decorate as you please.
Mike said that they were a great success. I hope so.
Good Luck D'arcy, Kate and Mackenzie - hope the move goes well and that you have a fab time!
Susie :) x