Toffee Apple Cupcake

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I grew up with apples. My parents grew apples (and me + 2 sisters) in a small countryside town in the middle of Japan.
We loved apples; we used to eat apple my parents grew nearly every day.
Now, in Belfast, my own family eat apple everyday. My boys loves eating apples sliced up in their snack bowls, and my husband takes an apple a day to his work, every day, all year around, thanks to all the apple growers in the world.

But certainly, apple is a thing of Autumn.

Autumn birthday party calls for something ‘apple-ly’ on the menu.
For this year’s kids’ birthday, I made ‘Toffee Apple Cupcake’. (Apple + caramel cupcake, but toffee sounds better with apple)

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(Actually, I didn’t get to taste finishing products, but cupcake itself was good, so I think it was fine.)

The cake base is ‘hummingbird bakery vanilla cupcake’ minus vanilla, plus a bit of ground cinnamon and chopped apple.
I used 1 dessert apple, and diced into very small cubes. 

Cream is butter icing + bit of caramel cream.

Topped with more caramel cream and dusting of cinnamon on one side.

Caramel cream is simple thing, but I love the taste of it. It’s not sweet as shop bought tin caramel, and I can adjust the bitterness of it. I like it very slightly bitter. I found the shop bought caramel/toffee lacks that slightly burnt sugar flavour which I love.

[Caramel Cream]

sugar 80g
water 25cc

double craem 100cc

1. Make caramel: put water and sugar in a pan, bring to boil. Don’t touch. Heat till all the sugar melted and change colour to light brown.

2. Just before it reached the colour of caramel you like, turn off the heat, pour in cream. It will boil up again, so be careful! Stir and cool.

3. Once it is cooled, you can use it for anything you like. Keep in a fridge.

(Nov 2013)

Damson Cupcake

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Autumn flavour cupcake to celebrate Autumn birthday. This is Damson cupcake, made for my husband to take it to his office.

I made Damson jam some time ago when damson plum was out at my local veg shop. Damson is certainly taste of Autumn. You cannot get it any other time. I kept the jam in freezer and used it in this cake.

Base is Hummingbird bakery’s vanilla cupcake recipe, which you can find it on-line for sure.
(The humming bird bakery’s Cake Days, amazon uk link. I borrowed the book from library!)

This famous bakery in London uses interesting cupcake recipe. (Interesting to me!)

Normal basic butter sponge uses butter+sugar method; creaming butter and sugar first, then add egg, and flour in the end. This is how to make Victoria sponge, Madeira cake, Pound Cake, Fairly Cake, etc… all sort of butter cake.

But hummingbird recipe uses flour+butter method; mixing flour and butter (and sugar) first, and add all the liquid in afterwards.
It contains more sugar and milk , and less butter.
This batter is so runny, I use measuring cup to scoop into baking tin. It’s so different from other cake butter.

Anyhow, this recipe makes ‘cupcake’. It does taste like how ‘cupcake’ should taste in my mind. Not cake, not muffin but ‘cupcake’.

To make this damson cupcake, I cut the top of the cake and hid Damson jam inside. Sharp tangy home-made jam works really well with sweet cupcake with butter cream.
Topped with damson flavour butter cream, and then added Damson macaroon as a topper.

Macaroon is not my strongest point, I need to practice more.
I don’t make them often, and I forget how the batter should be, and always end up a batch of failed macaroon shells to be consumed before I can make a batch of presentable macaroon shells. (which is not that bad, as it tastes quite nice and keeps well in airtight jar. )

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Box packed to be hand delivered to my hard working husband’s office.

Squirrel coffee and hazel nuts cupcake and damson cupcake.

Happy Birthday!

(Sep 2013)

Squirrel Coffee Hazelnuts Cupcakes

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I made two type of birthday cupcakes for my husband’s office the other day. This is one of them.
It is a slightly strange idea for me that the birthday person needs to take cake to school or office. But that’s how it is done here, so I shall take the opportunity and bake something interesting.

Recently, I saw a blog post of a cute squirrel cake topper by 100 days of Evelyn. Her work was so lovely and I really wanted to use her template for my baking.

(Here is her post about Squirrel Coffee Walnuts Cake)

I used her template, and copied 50%, so that it is small enough to be on cupcakes.  It was quite small, so I piped both sides (left side looking one and right side looking one) and used two together when decorating.

Roasted hazel nuts on top were dipped into hot caramel.
(5 tbs sugar + 2tbs water, and boil to make caramel)
Caramel set hard and looked great, but it started to melt slightly after a day or so, maybe due to the humidity in the air?

Cupcake base was simple coffee and walnuts cake, but with hazel nuts instead of walnuts. (just because I didn’t have walnuts in my cupboard!)

Cream was coffee butter icing.

(Sep 2013)