Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ginger Cupcakes (Cupcake of the Month Series #6)

I thought you all deserved a cupcake post riddled with success instead of frustration.  Luckily for you, I made the June cupcake of the month last weekend to celebrate my cousin's twentieth birthday.

These cupcakes are based on Martha Stewart's rose and ginger cupcakes, but I omitted the rose part for a few practical reasons.

First of all, my cousin is a guy.  I don't think he would've been thrilled to have sugared rose petals on top of his cupcakes, regardless of how nifty the idea is.  I also was a bit pressed for time. I baked the cupcakes at 9:30 at night and iced them before we left for church the next morning.

Second of all, the rosewater flavoring is only added to the icing.  And a tiny bottle of rosewater (which isn't available at my local Price Chopper or Walmart, by the way) costs like $4.  Remember my chagrin at the price of ground cardamom?  

Yeah, we weren't going there with the rosewater.

To start off, I beat together a stick of butter and one and a quarter cups of granulated sugar.  Then I beat in three eggs, one at a time and mixing thoroughly between each addition, until it was smooth.

In a second bowl, I combined three-quarters of a cup each of all-purpose flour and cake flour, a tablespoon of ground ginger, half a teaspoon of baking powder, and a quarter tablespoon each of baking soda and salt.

I alternated adding the flour mixture and a quarter cup of milk. There are three additions of the flour mixture, two of the milk - the order is flour, milk, flour, milk, flour.  I had to scrape down the sides periodically to make sure everything was incorporated.

It smelled glorious.

As if the tablespoon of ground ginger wasn't enough, the recipe also calls for two tablespoons of candied (or crystallized) ginger, chopped into small pieces. A little note for all of you - kitchen shears are awesome for this job.  After I had enough ginger "snipped," I stirred it into the batter.

The recipe says that you can get 24 cupcakes out of this batter by only filling the cups halfway. I had my doubts as I began to spoon the batter into the cups.  So I only made twelve cupcakes.

And then I learned why I was only supposed to fill the tins halfway:

Rather than "doming" as cupcakes usually do, they sort of spread out over the top of the tin, much in the way muffins tend to do.

Oh well!  Onward!  I popped the cupcakes out of the tins and let them cool completely on a wire rack.

The cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to two days, without icing.  I stored mine overnight in a disposable cake pan with a plastic lid.

The cupcakes should be iced a few hours before serving.  Since I only had half the number of cupcakes, I halved the icing recipe - instead of 3 cups of powdered sugar and a half cup of milk, I used one and a half cups of powdered sugar and a quarter cup of milk. For flavoring, I substituted a scant teaspoon of almond extract for the rosewater.

Despite the fact that my cousin is a guy, I still tinted the icing pink with just a tiny drop of red liquid food coloring.

I discovered rather quickly that the icing was too thin.  Had I followed the directions for dividing the batter between 24 cupcake wells, the icing would have been caught by the paper liners and become a smooth, flat layer of icing.  But I'm a rebel, and this happened instead:

I pouted for a minute or less, then dumped another half cup of powdered sugar into the bowl, added a touch more milk, and created a much thicker icing.  It still dribbled off the side of the cupcakes, but worked much better overall.

I let the icing set for a couple hours, then packed them up, six and six, into the aforementioned aluminum cake pans for transport.

The consensus was that these cupcakes tasted like gingerbread.  I got a big thumbs up from the family - though it was mentioned I might want to tint the icing a different color next time.

No comments:

Post a Comment