17 Jul 2011

Maple pecan cupcakes

I should really start off with a warning or invitation whichever way you see it-this is the first of many cupcake posts to come. Reasons are multiple-the main one at the minute is that I have been at a lot of wedding parties and cupcakes are perfect party fare. That and the fact that I have always loved them and have been making them ever since I got introduced to them in home economics at school (by a very lovely teacher Mrs McMahon I think she was called-if anyone knows of her-pass the link on!), they were known as fairy cakes then. 

I am pointing this out I suppose just to clarify that all the cupcake making is not much to do with the fact that they are all the rage now. Though I am glad they are, I mean if they were not we would not have all the lovely array of gorgeous cupcake stands that are out now. In fact as I typed this it occurred to me it would be nice to line up all of mine and take a photo! They were well used throughout the wedding period, making me feel very justified in all the cake stand purchasing, ahem.

I made these awhile back actually and not for the weddings but have been meaning to post on them for a while. These are adapted from that seemingly ubiquitous book Cupcakes by Susannah Blake. It isn’t one I would purchase myself-there are better cupcake books out there; it was bought for me by my husband from one of the The Book People fares at his work place at the bargain price of £3. 

Anyhow to get to the point-the recipe in the book uses far too much maple syrup, making the cupcakes sickly sweet and I have a very sweet tooth. The recipe stipulated 160ml – I would start off with about 60ml and taste before you add anymore. If you feel the mixture is too stiff just loosen with some milk. I also thought just some loosely drizzled maple syrup on top of the buttercream worked fine, I didn’t make the caramelized pecans I  used some almond praline that I had in the fridge leftover from when I last made  Rachel Allen’s Ballymaloe Almond praline cake. You can just place a pecan on top of some maple syrup too.

A note also on the silicone cupcake cases used here - of course they are not practical when baking for large numbers or parties but even for at-home use I found them quite difficult to clean and they did not come out of the dishwasher clean either, so I’m not sure that I will be using them that much. 

See below for Recipe.
115g butter,softened
50g soft brown sugar
60-100mls maple syrup
115g self-raising flour
60g Peacn nuts, roughly chopped

To decorate:
Caramelized pecans:
60g castor sugar

Buttercream icing:
50g butter, softened
3 tablespoons maple syrup
145g icing sugar sifted

Preheat oven to 180◦C and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases

Cream butter and sugar together, then beat in maple syrup. Beat in eggs one at a time.Sift in flour and fold in. fold in nuts. Sppon mixture into cases and bake for approx. 17 minutes until risen and golden or an inserted skewer comes out clean.

To make the caramelized pecans: put castor sugar in a bowl ith 2 Tbs water and heat gently to dissolve sugar,increase heat and boil for about 6 minutes until sugar  turns a pale golden colour. Spread pecans on greaseproof paper and spoon a little caramel over each pecan.leave to cool

Buttercream: beat butter,syrup and icing sugar together in a bowl until fluffy.

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