I decided to try something new and take a stab at this Paper Chef shindig. The basics is a judge picks four ingredients on you’ve got a few days to whip them all up in to a recipe. This month Deeba at Passionate About Baking had the task of picking the ingredients and she went with Riccotta, Ginger, Dark Chocolate and the fourth ingredient had to symbolize Autumn. I went with apples since picking them in the fall is one of my newest favorite autumn activities.
Prior to the ingredients being selected I thought that once I read them I would instantly know what I wanted to make. But that was not the case. After giving it some thought I decided on an apple-ginger cupcakes with a ricotta cheese chocolate icing. I made the icing up as I went and it turned out really good — light, fluffy and smooth. The icing complemented the cinnamony cupcakes. The flour could also be substituted for a whole-wheat flour and the sugar reduced to make more of a muffin.
Also, as a tip, to keep apples from browning while you dice them, as soon as they are cored and diced drop into a bowl of ice water. Store in the fridge between dicing and cooking and drain right before using. Mine stayed nice and crisp.
- Two apples diced (pick your favorite, I used red delicious)
- 1/2 stick of butter
- 1 inch fresh Ginger root finely diced
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Ricotta Cheese Icing-
- 2 cups Ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 2 oz dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon milk
In a skillet melt 1/2 stick of butter on low heat. Increase temperature to medium high and add finely diced ginger sauteing for a minute. Add apple pieces and mix to cover in butter. Cover apples in coat of cinnamon, more or less depending on preference. Cook for about 5 minutes or until apples start to soften. Set aside and let cool.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill 24 cupcake tins with paper liners.
Combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and salt) and sift together in a large bowl. Set aside.
In standmixer with beater attachment, or using a handmixer, combine wet ingredients (oil, buttermilk, eggs, vinegar and vanilla) on low speed. Slowly mix until well blended. Add dry mixture in slowly until all incorporated. On low speed add apple mixture. Spoon mixture into cupcake liners. You can fill nearly to the top because it won’t expand too much when baking.
Cook 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in cupcakes comes out clean.
Ricotta Cheese Icing —
In standmixer with beater attachment on medium speed mix ricotta cheese, orange juice and powdered sugar until well combined.
While mixing melt dark chocolate and milk either using a double boiler or by slowly heating in the microwave. Add chocolate to cheese mixture and beat on high until mixture stiffens. Refrigerate for at least an hour before icing cupcakes.
I used a ziplock back to (messily) pipe the icing on top the cupcakes. You can just spread it with a spoon.