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SPECIAL CUPCAKES

Ideal for special occasions - not the usual run of the mill cupcakes!

Mango and palm sugar

Palm sugar, also known as jaggery, is a raw sugar popular in Asian cooking that is usually made from cane sugar and coconut palm sap. The sap is boiled down until it crystallizes and the resulting sugar is either sold as large granules or a solid ball that crumbles easily. If you use the granular sugar, it won’t dissolve when creamed with the butter but will break down during baking.

Preparation time: 25 minutes (plus cooling)
Cooking time: 20–25 minutes
Makes: 12

Mango cupcakes
175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
115 g (4 oz) caster sugar
50 g (2 oz) palm sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
50 g (2 oz) dried mango, chopped
1 tbsp milk or fruit juice (such as orange or mango)

Frosting
75 g (3 oz) unsalted butter, softened
175 g (6 oz) icing sugar, sieved
1–2 tbsp milk
Yellow and blue food colourings

mango and palm sugar cupcakes


To decorate
Palm trees cut from green and brown sugarpaste icing, suns cut from yellow sugarpaste and yellow writing icing, sun umbrellas cut from coloured sugarpaste and black writing icing, palm sugar.

1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases.

2. Beat the butter, caster sugar and palm sugar together until creamy and evenly combined. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and then stir in the flour. Finally stir in the dried mango and milk or juice.

3. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases and bake for 20–25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when pushed into the centre of a cake. Cool in the tray for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the frosting, beat the butter until smooth, then gradually beat in the icing sugar and milk. Transfer half the frosting to another bowl and colour one half yellow and the other blue. Spread the icing over the cupcakes.

5. Decorate with palm trees cut from green and brown sugarpaste, tropical suns cut from yellow sugarpaste with rays piped using yellow writing icing, sun umbrellas cut from coloured sugarpaste with the poles piped using black writing icing and sandy beaches of palm sugar.

Tip - If you’re unable to find palm sugar, substitute demerara or light muscovado sugar instead.



Piña colada

Not quite a cocktail in a paper case but a special treat none the less. If you prefer not to use alcohol in the frosting, pineapple juice or coconut cream will both work equally well.

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 20–25 minutes
Makes: 12

pineapple and coconut cupcakes Pineapple and coconut cupcakes
175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
175 g (6 oz) golden caster sugar
3 large eggs, beaten
75 g (3 oz) fresh pineapple or 2 rings
canned in juice, chopped into small pieces
175 g (6 oz) self-raising flour
50 g (2 oz) desiccated coconut
2 tbsp coconut cream

Rum frosting
115 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
225 g (8 oz) icing sugar
2 tbsp light rum or Malibu
Blue and yellow sugar sprinkles, to decorate


1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Line a 12-cup muffin tray with paper cases.

2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. Gradually mix in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Dust the pineapple pieces in a little of the flour and stir into the creamed mixture with the rest of the flour, the desiccated coconut and the coconut cream.

3. Spoon into the paper cases and bake for 20–25 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the tray for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the frosting, beat the butter until creamy. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar, beating well after each addition. Stir in the rum or Malibu, spread the frosting over the cupcakes and decorate with blue and yellow sugar sprinkles.

Tip - Creamed coconut is thicker than ordinary coconut milk and is available as a liquid in cartons or in block form. If you use the latter, grate about 40 g (11⁄2 oz) of the coconut block into a bowl and add a little boiling water to dissolve it to a thick cream.



Strawberry daiquiri

The first daiquiri cocktail was mixed around 1900 when Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer who was working in Cuba, added fresh lime juice and sugar to the local rum as his supply of gin had run dry. Since then numerous variations on the classic mix have been shaken by bartenders around the globe, but whether any have attempted a cupcake daiquiri is not recorded.

Preparation time: 25 minutes (plus cooling)
Cooking time: 20–25 minutes
Makes: 15
 

Cupcakes
175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
175 g (6 oz) light muscovado sugar
Finely grated zest of 2 limes
3 large eggs, beaten175 g (6 oz) strawberries, hulled and chopped
140 g (5 oz) plain flour
140 g (5 oz) self-raising flour
2 tbsp lime juice
Lime and rum frosting
115 g (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
225 g (8 oz) icing sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lime
2 tbsp light rum or lime juice
Extra strawberries, sliced, and sugar sprinkles, to decorate
strawberry daiquiri cup cakes

1. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Line muffin trays with 15 paper cases.

2. Beat the butter, sugar and lime zest together until creamy. Gradually mix in the eggs, beating well after each addition. Dust the strawberries with a little of the plain flour and stir into the creamed mixture with the rest of the plain flour, the self-raising flour and the lime juice.

3. Spoon into the paper cases and bake for 20–25 minutes or until a skewer pushed into the centre of one of the cakes comes out clean. Cool in the tray for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

4. To make the frosting, beat the butter until creamy. Sieve in the icing sugar, a little at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lime zest and rum or lime juice.
5. Spread the frosting over the cupcakes and decorate with strawberry slices and sugar sprinkles.

Tip - Decorate the cupcakes just before serving or the strawberry slices may leak juice that will melt the sugar sprinkles.
 

The above delicious recipes are just three taken from a new book called "Special Cupcakes" by the appropriately named Wendy Sweetser and published by New Holland Publishers.

The book contains over 50 exciting recipes for new and special cupcakes;  ideal for special occasions and some using interesting and unusual flavours and ingredients whilst others are more down to earth e.g. orange and cinnamon or beetroot and bitter chocolate cupcakes.

Not only is the publication beautifully produced with wonderful, mouth watering imagery but it also includes a very good introduction containing clear information on equipment, methods used and some very useful hints and tips.

Special Cupcakes

As I am sure this will have whetted your appetite and you will want to try more of these wonderful recipes the above link will lead you to a copy at an extremely reduced price with free P&P Worldwide.

 



 

 

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