Friday, 5 December 2008
Winter Cranberry Cupcakes
My mum must get so fed up with me. Whenever I pop over to see her, I always take a peek through her cookery books. She has quite a few that I don't have, and some are very old. Just after Christmas last year, I noticed that she had an old Sainsbury's magazine on the coffee table. It had some really good ideas in it and I thought these little snowmen cupcakes were quite cute.
The cupcake mixture was not from the magazine. Instead I used a standard Victoria sponge recipe and added dried cranberries and Clementine zest to the mixture. You can substitute your favourite cupcake. These make great Christmas cupcakes and have been nicknamed 'melting snowman' cupcakes.
Cranberry CupcakesMakes approx 7-8 medium sized cupcakes
100g/4oz unsalted butter, softened
100g/ 4oz vanilla caster sugar (or use ordinary granulated sugar)
2 large eggs
100g/4oz self raising flour
100g dried sweetened cranberries
Finely grated zest of 1 Clementine
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy - I use an electric hand whisk.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a little flour with each egg.
Gently fold in the rest of the flour, followed by the dried cranberries and the Clementine zest. Spoon into well greased muffin cups or paper cupcake cases.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until springy to the touch. Remove from tins and cool on a wire rack.
When cool, top with white icing and decorate.
There have been a lot of questions about the icings I used for the snowmen.
I used two different types, a ready made one (fondant in the US) and some runny icing that was made with icing sugar (powdered sugar in the US) and water.
You will need:
Some ready-to-roll icing or fondant - I used Regalice
Orange food colouring paste to colour some of the ready-to-roll icing orange for the noses
A tube of black icing for the eyes and buttons
Some red Smarties or M&M's for the hat
A couple of cups of icing sugar (powdered sugar) for the bit directly on top of the cupcake
For the head, roll bits of ready-to-roll icing/fondant (I used Regalice) into small balls which are roughly the size of a cherry tomato. Make some smaller balls for the hats.
Using orange food colouring paste, colour some ready-to-roll icing for the carrot noses and score them with a sharp knife to make them look like carrots. You also want a tube of black icing for the eyes/buttons, and some red Smarties or M & M's for the hat.
Pour a couple of cups of icing sugar (powdered sugar) into a bowl and stir in some cold water, a little at a time until you have a spreadable icing - don't make it too runny.
Spread or spoon this onto the cupcake.
Pop on the head and use a little of the icing (the one you made up) to glue on the Smartie, hat and nose. Use the black icing tube for the eyes and buttons.
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