Plum Cupcakes and Gin and Tonic

The sun has finally come out. Therefore it is time for gin and tonic, and cupcakes obviously! Now I have my life back, Friday is baking day again, hurray!

The other day I attempted to make dairy free hollandaise (which it turns out is basically mayonnaise) so I had some left over egg whites. After browsing through pretty much all of our baking books (can you tell I’ve just finished uni for the year?) I found a recipe for Italian biscuits in my Pastry book using egg whites. So I had a go at these biscuits, which are just icing sugar, ground almonds, egg whites and honey, and some jam to fill them, easy peasy! I really felt like plum jam, so I bought a jar. And then I felt like I should bake some more, so I made some plum cupcakes.

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I’m not going to lie, I love our flat, and I love living with my sister. She helps me bake and she makes AMAZING gin and tonic. With posh gin, posh tonic and elderflower liquor, it couldn’t get any better.

To make these cupcakes, I used a recipe from Hummingbird Cake Days, and substituted dairy free ingredients. In place of the buttermilk, I used almond milk with a squeeze of lemon juice. I used light brown muscovado sugar, which in hindsight was possibly a bit rich for this and I probably should have gone and bought soft light brown sugar as the recipe calls for, but oh well! It’s not standard Hummingbird recipe and you might wonder if it actually means what it says, but trust me it works. It’s a lot thicker than their standard vanilla cupcakes but stick with it!

Unfortunately, the recipe needed 4 egg yolks, so I’m back where I started with a surplus of egg whites.

SONY DSCMakes 18 – 20 cupcakes in a standard muffin tin
120g unsalted butter or Trex (vegetable fat)
340g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ salt
4 large egg yolks
360g soft light brown sugar
180ml buttermilk or dairy free alternative with a squeeze of lemon juice
270g plum jam
 
For the frosting
500g icing sugar
160g butter or Trex
50ml milk or dairy free alternative (I used almond milk)
70g plum jam
Fresh plum slices, to decorate (optional)
 

Preheat the oven to 190°C and line two muffin tins with muffin cases.

Using a hand held electric whisk or stand mixer, mix together the butter, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until the ingredients are incorporated and crumb like.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the egg yolks, brown sugar, buttermilk and 120g of the jam with a whisk until combined. Add half of this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed until combined. Continue to add the remaining mixture, then increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth, a couple of minutes.

Fill each paper case up to one-third full with batter, then top with a teaspoonful of the remaining jam, followed by a similar quantity of batter to fill each case up to two thirds.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are springy to the touch and golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, put the butter or Trex into the stand mixer or large bowl if you are using a hand held whisk, beat for a few seconds until smooth. Add a few spoonfuls of icing sugar and beat, continue to slowly add the icing sugar until incorporated (or your stand mixer starts to struggle). Dribble in the milk and continue to beat. Turn the mixer up to high and beat until smooth and fluffy. Even with Trex, you can leave it beating for a good few minutes. Mix in the jam so it is evenly dispersed (and your frosting doesn’t look like it’s splitting!).

Once cooled, either spread the frosting onto the cakes with a knife or pipe swirls. Decorate with fresh slices of plum if you wish.

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