Christmas Cupcakes

so, the big day is fast approaching. 6 days worth of advent calender chocolates down and I am really starting to get into the festive spirit. So in this vein, I have found these gorgeously xmasy cupcakes online, the mincemeat, nutmeg and brandy combo is to die for! 🙂

Ingredients
115g butter, softened
230g caster sugar
2tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
230g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
3 eggs, large
140g mincemeat
œ tsp mixed spice
œ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp brandy, optional

Icing
3 oz/85g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp Cointreau, or preferred liqueur, or brandy

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 4
  2. In a large roomy baking bowl, place the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste or extract and stir.
  3. One by one add the eggs beating really well after each addition.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold into the butter-sugar in three parts, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Finally stir in the mincemeat, spices and brandy if using.
  6. Place cupcake cases into a muffin tin. Fill each case 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and well risen. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
  7. To make the icing: Combine the Cointreau or liqueur with the icing sugar Drizzle over the top of each cupcake and serve.


Deliciously Christmasy, Thanks to http://britishfood.about.com for the Fab recipe!

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Best Christmas Cupcake Toppings

So, you have decided on the flavour of your cupcakes, got a tried and tested recipe sorted and they are baked, smell delicious and they are ready to eat… But how to ice them? In preparation for the school Christmas fayre next week, where parents will be competing to see who can do the best cakes, I have been looking for some of the most simple yet most effective Xmas toppings… Feast your eyes on this lot!

 

Check out this guy – just 2 marshmallows with a minstrel on top, but kids will love this!

 

 

Really Gorgeous and decadent looking Xmas trees, from the Martha Stewart collection – lots of frosting, but what an effect!

 

 

The popular green Xmas trees from a previous blog – so simple, yet crazily effective.

 

 

Reindeer cookie and pretzel cupcakes – super simple yet the pretzels are a genius addition, I love the mix of salty and sweet, but if it is not your thing, remove before eating!

 

 

Or stars always make a great topping, these are so cute.

 

 

Happy Baking!

 

 

 

Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

Now I am the first to admit I am not the biggest fan of Christmas pudding the traditional way. After a huge dinner the last thing I want is a heavy pud. Also by that time of the day, the thought of anything brandy soaked on top of the bucks fizz and wine that has been consumed throughout the day fills me with dread… So these are a perfect alternative. And they have chocolate in! Thanks again to the Good Food Channel. 🙂

Ingredients:
50g dark chocolate , in chunks
140g butter , plus extra for greasing
100ml soured cream
3 eggs , lightly beaten
140g self-raising flour
140g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
6 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
85g dried sour cherries , plus a few extra to decorate

For Decoration:
250g icing sugar , sifted
1 tsp custard powder, sifted
12 small bay leaves

  1. Heat oven to 170oC/gas mark 5. Butter a non-stick 12-hole muffin tin, and stick two criss-crossing strips of baking parchment in each hole.
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat. Cool a little, then stir in the soured cream and eggs.
  3. Mix the flour, sugar, almonds, cocoa and baking powder in a bowl. Pour in the chocolate and stir until smooth, then stir in the cherries. Spoon into the muffin holes so they are 3⁄4 full.
  4. Bake for 20 mins. Cool in the tins. Can now be frozen in plastic bags for 3 months.
  5. To decorate: Mix the icing sugar and custard powder with 2 tbsp water to make a thick icing. Remove the muffins from the tins and cool on a rack. Cut off any rounded tops, stand upside-down on the rack, then spoon icing over. Leave to set, then top with bay leaves and cherries.

Chocolate Cranberry Puds

All I can say is wow – these look so amazing and are definitely going to be one of my Christmas day desserts…

For this recipes you will also require 2 x 8-hole Tefal silicone half sphere cake moulds.

Ingredients:
100g plain chocolate, broken up, plus extra, melted, to serve
100g softened butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
200g soft amaretti morbidi (soft almond macaroons available from Waitrose and Italian delis), crumbled
100g chopped hazelnuts
Icing sugar, cranberries and angelica to decorate the individual bombes

For the filling:
90g fresh or frozen and thawed cranberries
90g fresh or frozen and thawed raspberries
3 tbsp caster sugar
2 tbsp Cointreau
190g mascarpone
100ml double cream
Zest and juice of 1 small orange
1 tbsp icing sugar
Heaped tsp powdered gelatine

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate, butter and golden syrup in a large bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Stir in the macaroons and chopped hazelnuts. Chill for 5 minutes. Press the mixture into the half sphere moulds to make even shells, especially around the top. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up and set.
  2. Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the thawed berries, caster sugar and Cointreau in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the cranberries have softened. Cool slightly, then whizz in a food processor until puréed. Cool.
  3. Put the mascarpone in a bowl and beat until smooth. Gradually mix in the cream, then stir in the orange zest and sugar. Heat the juice in a small pan, then whisk in the gelatine until melted. Cool slightly, then stir half into the fruit purée and half into the mascarpone. Divide the mascarpone mixture among the holes of the chocolate-coated mould so that each one is three-quarters full, then finish each one with a thin layer of fruit purée. Cover and chill for 3 hours or overnight.
  4. Turn out each mould and gently press 2 halves together to make a sphere and sit each on a small plate in a puddle of melted chocolate. Chill for 15 minutes to fix in place. Dust with icing sugar, and decorate with cranberries and angelica to serve.

Thanks to Channel 4 for the amazing recipe 🙂

Christmas Tree Cupcakes

I love these cupcakes. They are so simple yet so visually effective. A simple technique made to look complex and a great way to show off. 🙂

Ingredients:
150 g butter, softened
150 g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150 g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

For the frosting:
200 g butter, at room temperature
250 g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
green food colouring

To decorate:
Silver balls, sugar stars or hundreds and thousands

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale.
  3. Gradually mix in the beaten egg alternating with the flour to stop the mix from curdling. Finally, stir through the vanilla extract and milk.
  4. Place 12 paper cupcake cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture between them.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  6. For the frosting: in a mixing bowl beat the butter with a spoon or spatular until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, stirring regularly. Add the vanilla extract and milk. The frosting should be light and creamy.
  7. Mix your green food colouring into the icing to give an even green colour.
  8. Once the cupcakes are totally cool, pipe the icing onto them starting from the outside of the cake and working into the centre to create tall Christmas trees. Decorate with silver balls, stars or hundreds and thousands then allow to set for at least 30 minutes so that the icing has a slightly crispy finish.

Santa Leg Cupcakes

So I’ve started to feel a little festive, there is a slight chill in the air, and it is time to start thinking about Christmas (Yeah!!!!!) So to start off a month and a bit of yummy Xmas inspired cupcake, pie and biscuit recipes we start with these fabulous Santa leg cupcakes… Enjoy!

Ingredients:
3 tbsp cocoa powder
3 tbsp boiling water
150 g butter, softened
150 g caster sugar
3 eggs, beaten
150 g self-raising flour, sifted
1 tbsp milk

For the Santa legs:
300 g natural marzipan
Black and red food colouring
Icing sugar, for dusting

For the frosting:
200 g butter, at room temperature
250 g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4.
  2. Put the cocoa powder in a bowl, then gradually stir in the boiling water until you have a smooth, thick paste. Leave to cool.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light, fluffy and pale.
  4. Gradually mix in the beaten egg alternating with the flour and cocoa mix until everything is incorporated. Finally, stir through the milk.
  5. Place 12 paper cupcake cases into a muffin tin and divide the mixture between them.
  6. Bake for 15-20 minutes until springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  7. For the Santa legs: add red food colouring to three quarters of the marzipan and knead until it is evenly coloured. Dust the surface with a little icing sugar if the marzipan gets sticky. Now use the black food colouring to colour three quarters of the remaining marzipan. Leave the last part natural.
  8. Roll the red marzipan into one long sausage, around a centimetre thick, and then cut into 24 legs. Next roll the natural marzipan into 24 pea sized balls and flatten them into little round disks just over a centimetre in size and press onto the tops of the legs. If they don’t stick very well, you can use a little water to help you. Finally, shape the black marzipan into 24 feet and press these onto the tops of the disks. Leave to one side until needed.
  9. For the frosting: In a mixing bowl beat the butter with a spoon or spatular until smooth, then start to sift in the icing sugar, stirring regularly. Add the vanilla extract and milk. The frosting should be light and creamy.
  10. Once the cupcakes are totally cool, peel off the cases and slice the cakes into three pieces. Then sandwich the pieces back together with frosting, making sure that it oozes out of the sides slightly.
  11. Spread more frosting onto the tops of the cakes so that it hangs over the edges slightly like snow, then sprinkle with icing sugar and place the Santa legs on top, pushing them in a little.
Thanks again to the Good Food channel. 🙂