Saturday, 2 November 2013

Orange-Blossom-Honey Cupcakes

I follow so many bakers and decorators from the Northern Hemisphere that it's sometimes hard to dis-entangle my thought process from their seasonal influences.
My Facebook and Blogger feeds are currently abuzz with all sorts of delicious apple and pumpkin creations: hearty autumn (fall!) treats that are so tempting to try.
(In fact, I've already succumbed to temptation - you may remember my butterscotch apple cake from a couple of weeks ago.)

 But today's recipe is veritably vernal

  1. 1.
    of, in, or appropriate to spring.
    "the vernal freshness of the land"

: )

The inspiration came from a jar of orange blossom honey that I bought a few weeks ago, then promptly forgot about until my husband took it out the pantry to use on toast. What was he thinking?! It was destined for greater things!

So, this one's for us - Southern Hemisphere friends.
But you're welcome to try it in the Northern Hemisphere - just remember to stir the batter counter-clockwise ; )

Orange Blossom Honey  Cupcakes
Recipe by Tea, Cake & Create

Preheat the oven to 180'C
Line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcakes cases.

125g butter
90g caster sugar
80ml orange blossom honey
1tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
120g flour
30g ground almonds
125ml sour cream
Zest of one medium orange
30ml fresh orange juice

Sift together the flour, ground almonds and baking powder.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream the sugar and butter. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs 1 at a time; scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition.
Mix in the honey, vanilla and orange zest.

Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then the orange juice. Add another 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then the sour cream, followed by the last of the dry ingredients. Mix briefly.

Spoon the batter into the prepared cases and bake for 18-20minutes - until a skewer comes out with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it.

The honey and orange flavours are so delicious and fresh that you don't want to overwhelm this cupcake with a too sweet, too heavy icing. So, swiss meringue buttercream is the perfect topping.

Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 egg whites
1 cup white sugar
1tsp vanilla extract (or 8-10 drops of Vanilla Girl vanilla extract)
300g butter at room temp, cut into cubes.

Put the egg whites and sugar into a mixing bowl, and place that over a saucepan of simmering water. The bottom of the mixing bowl must not be in contact with the water, and the water should just be simmering.

Whisk constantly, until the sugar granules have dissolved and the mixture is hot to touch.

Move off the stove and to the mixer.
Using the whisk attachment, whip until it forms a thick and glossy meringue.

When the mixing bowl feels neutral to touch, change over to the paddle attachment and add the butter one cube at a time, beating on low-medium speed.
It may curdle, but just keep whipping until it reaches a satiny smooth consistency and holds its shape. Add the vanilla extract.

(If you are having SMB issues, see this post by Sweetapolita)

Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Happy baking!


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