Friday, 5 November 2010

Pumpkin Muffins, with Cream Cheese Filling & Pecan Streusel Topping

As I'm sure you're aware, this time of year is pumpkin season.
And what better way to enjoy a good pumpkin than in some sort of baked product?
Just like these muffins - don't they look lovely?

Now, the problem I have had in the past with pumpkin cakes and their ilk is that most of them hail from across this pond. Our dear American cousins seem to have an obsession with pumpkins that we simply do not share here.
This of course makes obtaining one of the main ingredients required for pumpkin bakes rather difficult... "canned pumpkin puree"?! Really??! Hmm. Not happening.
I've had limited success in the past with liquidising pumpkin, but it isn't perfect & often results in a stringy, watery mess.
And then, whilst browsing t'interwebs as I am wont to do, I came across instructions for making proper pumpkin puree. Genius!

Of course, it needed to be tested. I mean, I have to know if these things work, right? And as such a suitable recipe was required as a test subject. Cue Brown Eyed Baker, and a well-timed post of pumpkin muffins, filled with sweetened cream cheese (yay!), and topped with a pecan streusel.
Oh yeah... ;)

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

I never used to like ginger.
For years I avoided it - left it out of recipes, checked ingredient lists to make sure ginger isn't too highly featured, and chosen very carefully at the Chinese to keep out of it's way.
Then I grew up, and along with peanut butter, ginger has found a firm and welcome place in my kitchen cupboard.
As such, when I had a mild cake craving the other day and fancied something different, ginger came to mind. More specifically, ginger bread. In a cupcake. Well why not?!

A quick google offered me a few possibly-viable recipes, but in the end I decided to use one as a generic base, and pretty much create my own.
The results?

The cakes were light and airy, very slightly sticky from the black treacle, and deliciously spiced.
The addition of lemon rind to a simple buttercream frosting then took them to a new level, sublime!

Halloween Cupcakes!

I must apologise once more for my absence. I am without internetz at home - apparently moving house is something of a problem for certain telecommunications companies, and as such I have spent the last fortnight unable to do little more than s-l-o-w-l-y check Facebook via my phone.
On the plus side, however, lots of baking time! And as such I have a number of delicious things to post.

I'd like to begin with (slightly late, I'm aware!) the traditional Halloween Cupcake. I say traditional... What I mean is, "I made some last year, and this year, and will probably do so next year as well". I'm trying to create a tradition, OK?

Anyway, here they are in their Halloweeny glory!

In more detail, the cake parts are a simple chocolate cupcake, the frosting is orange cream cheese, and they're filled with orange curd. All topped off with some adorable pumpkin & bat sugar sprinkles, and a Haribo spider!