Friday, November 16, 2007

Am I a cupcake hero?

Well, this is my first blog event – cupcake hero challenge. The challenge for November was to create a cupcake with cranberries in it. I really tried hard to make my cupcakes interesting!! And I am so pleased and proud with how they have turned out!!!

Cranberries are not that easy to find in NZ. I did get some frozen ones last year which I used to make cranberry relish, but for the challenge I decided to use craisins – dried cranberries. As the challenge is from a US based blogger and it is November, I thought that I would try and incorporate some of the aspects of Thanksgiving into my cupcakes. I also wanted them to have a number of different elements – not just cake and icing.

So, using that as my starting point I looked through some of my books for inspiration and I came across a pear, pecan and cranberry up-side down cake. I worked the idea around in my head for a few days and came up with a cupcake topped with caramelised pears and craisins, then iced with maple syrup butter cream icing with a shard of pecan praline on top!!!! I was so excited when the idea came together!!

I am so pleased with how they look!! They also taste delicious – the cake is nice and light and then you get these bits of caramelised, slightly toffeed fruit through the cake (there are more cranberries in them than what it looks like in the photo). The icing is quite sweet and creamy and then the crunchy bits of pecan praline! Yum!!!

Caramelised pear & cranberry cupcakes with maple icing

3 pears, peeled and sliced
½ c craisins
50g butter
½ c castor sugar

· Melt together butter and sugar, add fruit and cook until caramelised

180g softened butter
300g castor sugar
3 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
315g flour
3 tsp baking powder
250ml milk

· Cream butter and sugar; add eggs, one at a time and vanilla
· Mix in flour and baking powder alternatively with milk
· Spoon into 24 cupcake cases. Top with the caramelised fruit and bake at 170deg for about 17 minutes

Make icing by creaming 200g softened butter with 2 tbsp maple syrup. Beat in about 4-5 c icing sugar and about ¼ c milk until you get the icing a good consistency

To make the praline, put 75ml water and 1 c sugar in a pot. Stir over a gentle heat until sugar is melted. Turn up heat and simmer until the toffee starts to caramelise. Stir in about ¾ c toasted pecans and turn out onto a tray. Break into pieces once cooled and hardened.

Ice the cooled cakes with the icing and then place a piece of praline on top :0)


JJJ said...

Well you are a cupcake hero to me! These were so good I ate two. If I don't lose any weight this week I'm blaming you.

Carolyn said...

They look delish. Will definitely have to make them some time.

JJJ said...

They passed the toddler test! I gave Ellie some tonight and she kept saying "num, num" and doing the sign for "more" :o)

Tartelette said...

They look sinfully good Tammy! Great entry fot the Cupcake Hero event. Also, I saw your comment on Steph's blog: look at the Daring Baker private blog, my job is to list the other foodie event around the world. It's a good place to start, and if you see one I haven't listed yet, just send me an email!

Tammy said...

thanks Tartelette - that is fabulous!!