Are you a fan of ginger in baked goods? I’m not but T is. I love fresh ginger in stir fries and salads and things, but I’ve just never been a fan of dried ginger, so whenever I’ve made gingerbread for T in the past he’s been lucky enough to get it all to himself. That is until now. I made these cupcakes on a whim one day. I happened to catch an ad for Barefoot Contessa and saw that she was making gingerbread cupcakes on the upcoming episode and I immediately thought I’d like to surprise T with some ginger cupcakes when he arrived home from work.
As Barefoot Contessa hadn’t started yet and good old Google didn’t share with me her recipe I decided to bring two favourite recipes together. The first being my gingerbread biscuit recipe (please try to overlook the terrible photos in that post which were before I owned a decent camera and started learning how to use camera settings) and the second being the delicious red velvet cupcakes. I already knew T loved the gingerbread biscuits and he enjoyed the velvety goodness of the red velvet cupcakes so hopefully he would love the both brought together. Luckily for me he did and even better I enjoyed them too – T’s coworkers also enjoyed them too and one of them was kind enough to send me an email telling me so!! The ginger wasn’t overpowering, although it was still present and the allspice gave it all a lovely, lightly spiced flavour.
Given I was in new territory here enjoying ginger in baked goods, I thought I would brave another, being cream cheese frosting. I’ve never enjoyed cream cheese frosting on cakes. I think the slight tang of it put me off as to me it didn’t seem to belong with sweet cakes (in my opinion anyway). So I thought about what I could do to make it something I might actually enjoy. I remembered from the Barefoot Contessa ad that Ina was going to use maple syrup in hers, so I thought I would give that a go along with adding a fair proportion of butter to mask some of the cheese tang. The combination worked a treat and I really enjoyed the cream cheese frosting, for the first time ever.
Tell me, have you ever changed your opinions on foods that you thought you didn’t like? How did you do it?
Adapted from YumSugar red velvet cake recipe
170g butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 1/2 cups of plain flour,sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
3 tablespoons of golden syrup
1 tablespoon of warm water
1 Cup buttermilk
1 Teaspoon baking soda
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
2 1/4 tablespoons of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of mixed spice
1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a muffin/cupcake tin with cupcake wrappers.
2. In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (if you use a Kitchenaid I highly recommend purchasing a Beater Blade) cream the butter and sugar.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition.
4. In a small cup combine the golden syrup and warm water so that the golden syrup flows smoothly and add to the batter along with the ground ginger and mixed spice and mix until combined.
5. Switch the mixer to a low speed and in a bowl or cup combine the sifted flour, salt and baking powder and add to the batter alternately with the buttermilk and mix until well combined.
6. In a small cup mix the vinegar and baking soda together and add to the batter mixing on a medium speed for 10 seconds.
7. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake papers and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
180g of cream cheese, at room temperature
70g of butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
1/3 cup of maple syrup
1. Add the icing sugar, butter and cream cheese into the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth.
2. Add the maple syrup and mix well.
3. Fill a piping bag and pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes or use a spatula to cover the cupcake. Note that the frosting will be quite runny so if it’s piped it won’t hold it’s shape.