Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream Filling and Caramel Icing

I made cupcakes for a friend's birthday a couple of weekends ago. I am only just getting around to posting about it now. Inspired by what's been happening at the Cupcake Bakeshop Blog and tracking down some recipes that I felt would go well together, here's what I came up with ...

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Vanilla Pastry Cream Filling and Caramel Icing

Gingerbread Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 deg. F
Melt ½ cup butter and let cool

Add and beat well:
½ cup sugar
1 egg

Sift together in another bowl:
2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 generous teaspoon each, cinnamon and ginger
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup molasses
½ cup honey
1 cup hot water

Add the sifted and liquid ingredients alternately to the butter mixture until blended.
Line cupcake tins with paper liners and fill 2/3 full. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until cupcakes are springy but not dry.

Vanilla Pastry Cream

Have a strainer set over a small bowl near the stove
In a small bowl, whisk together:
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons cornstarch
Gradually add ¼ cup of half and half, whisking until the mixture is smooth and the cornstarch is dissolved.

In a medium heavy non-reactive saucepan, place
½ cup sugar
one vanilla bean split lengthwise
Using your fingers, rub the seeds into the sugar.
Stir in
1 ¾ cups of half and half
a pinch of salt.
Over medium heat, bring the mixture to a full boil, stirring occasionally.

Whisk 2 tablespoons of this hot mixture into the egg mixture. Pass the egg mixture through a strainer through a strainer into a small bowl. Bring the half and half mixture back to a boil over medium heat. Remove the vanilla pod. Quickly add all of the egg mixture, whisking rapidly. Continue whisking rapidly for about 20 to 30 seconds, being sure to go into the bottom edge of the pan. The mixture will become very thick. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the butter. Immediately pour the mixture into a bowl and place a piece of greased plastic wrap directly on top of the cream to prevent a skin from forming. Allow it to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until cold.

Thick Caramel

1/2 cup butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
6 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Bring the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and sweetened condensed milk to a boil over medium-high heat stirring to combine.
  2. With a wooden spoon, stir all ingredients together and then slowly add the heavy cream.
  3. Continue to stir for about 20 minutes until the caramel reached 248 degrees. It is important to continuously stir the mixture and to allow it to reach temperature.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Transfer to a bowl and continue to stir for 2-3 minutes allowing the caramel to cool slightly.
  1. Prepare the pastry cream while cupcakes are cooling or up to 5 days in advance
  2. When cupcakes are cool, using a small knife cut a cone out of the top of the cupcake
  3. Fill the hollow in the main part of the cupcake with a scoop of vanilla pudding
  4. Cut the cone away so that only a ‘top’ for the cupcake remains and use it to top the filled cupcake. (look here to see for yourself)
  5. Prepare the caramel after filling the cupcakes
  6. Using a small offset spatula, frost each cupcake with the caramel.
  7. Top the cupcakes with slices of candied ginger.
  8. Continue frosting and topping the cupcakes and try to work fast. As the caramel cools, it becomes less spreadable. If possible work in pairs and let your helper top the cupcakes and transfer to the storage container.

1 comment:

Karen Lew said...

I didn't read the recipe but the title sounds REALLY yummy.