Tag Archives: icing

Paper Chef September: Apple Ginger Cupcakes

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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.

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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.

Keep reading, directions and photos after jump

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Mardi Gras King Cake

1/2 c. warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 c. plus 1 tsp. sugar
About 5 cups of flour, more or less as needed
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. warm milk
5 large egg yolks
1 stick plus 2 T. butter, cut in slices and softened
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 T. of milk
lots of ground cinnamon (I used about 3-5 tablespoons)
1 tiny plastic doll (you can find the dolls at a party store in the baby shower section)

Optional Cream Cheese Filling all creamed together:

1 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese
1 c. confectioner’s sugar
2 T. flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
a few drops of milk

Cake Directions:

Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl and sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar into it. Allow the yeast and sugar to rest for several minutes, then mix thoroughly. Set yeast mixture in a warm place for 10 minutes (I put mine in front of a space heater). Combine 3 and 1/2 cups of flour, remaining sugar, nutmeg, a tablespoon of cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make sure the ingredients are all mixed up.

Separate center of mixture to form a hole and pour in yeast mixture and milk. Add egg yolks and using a wooden spoon, combine dry ingredients into the yeast and milk mixture. When mixture is smooth, beat in 8 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Soften the butter in the microwave but be careful not to let it totally melt.

This is the arm work. Keep stirring the mixture for about 5 minutes. It will start to get really elastic. The recipe claims that it will turn into a “medium soft ball” but in neither attempts did this occur until I started mixing in a little more flour.

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