Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Kat vs Hummingbird Bakery: Ginger cupcakes

Vintage setting on camera located, joy! (I'm so 2010)
(Recipe below)
OK so, I set out to bake these at the weekend but soon realised I was being wildly optimistic about my chances of locating fresh ginger in Kidbrooke at 6pm on a Sunday. As I approached the local shop a man staggered out with a fresh can of Tennants and I resigned myself to an evening on the sofa.
The next day I resumed the quest in Covent Garden and soon realised the problem was not the ginger but some seemingly mythical substance called Allspice (apparently not the source of the Transformers powers - who knew?). I located some Mixed Spice and reached for the phone to contact The Oracle but realised she was in Venice. I considered interrupting but decided Google was my friend instead. Turns out they are not the same thing. Many visits to many shops ensued and I managed to find goose fat, some kind of soya Pepperami and even the cocoa nibs I’d scoured the world for only weeks ago (and ended up spending a bomb on with Amazon), but still no Allspice. Eventually I tracked it down in a small branch of Sainsburys leading me to wonder how on earth they decide what to stock on these kind of shelves?
Anyhow I got home and found I had no icing sugar. I kind of knew this at the back of my mind but bypassed the shop on the way home because I was hungry. Back off to the shops I went. Eventually fed, watered and adequately stocked I began baking. Instruction 1: infuse milk overnight with fresh ginger…’f***’. Oh well! I’m sure by overnight it meant 2 hours anyway. Buns in oven and pregnant best friend texts to enquire ‘Whereonearthhaveyoubeen?’ You’re not the only one with a bun in the oven ho ho ho I think (Mental note, make best friend cakes to make up for recent neglect  due to blogging and over obsessing about food.) Buns out of oven, ginger syrup applied, icing done and I can’t resist sticking little gingerbread men decorations all over them. 
I try eating the little runty one when warm but the syrup has welded it to the case and it falls apart, sad face. Thankfully cold the next day the rest of them fare better, hooray! All in all they taste nice and the stem ginger definitely adds a little something but I can’t taste the ginger in the icing (my fault completely) and some of the other recipes in the book are more to my taste.
Kitchen wisdom gained:
·         Don’t buy the knobbliest ginger you can find because it amuses you, it’s a lot harder to peel.
·         What Allspice is.
·         Review both ingredients, recipe instructions and cupboard contents before starting to bake. It will save on multiple shopping trips and head scratching.

Domestic Goddess score out of 10: 6 - (the kitchen was covered in syrup, as was my hair somehow  and the stem ginger sunk to the bottom BUT they were light and fluffy and I managed to get people at work to eat them and make ‘mmmmm’ noises.
Final Score: Hummingbird Bakery 1 – Kat 1
Ginger cupcakes recipe
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g stem ginger in syrup finely chopped (and syrup reserved) plus extra to decorate

ginger frosting

100ml whole milk
1 large piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped into 4 chunks
400g icing sugar, sifted
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
grated zest of 1/2 unwaxed lemon
a 12 hole cupcake tray, lined with paper cases (use muffin cases)
Makes 12 (apparently, I got 9 and one runty one)
1. For the frosting, put the milk and ginger pieces in a jug, cover and refrigerate for a few hours, or overnight if possible

2. Preheat the oven to 170C (325F), gas mark 3

3. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice, salt and butter in a mixer (or handheld electric whisk) and beat on a slow speed until everything is combined and you get a sandy consistency (I did this step by hand, it's fine just takes a while)

4. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until just incorporated. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until incorporated.

5. Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the chopped ginger by hand until evenly dispersed.

6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until 2/3 full and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until sponge is golden brown.

7. While the cupcakes are baking, pour 100ml of the reserved ginger syrup and 100ml water into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Continue to boil until reduced by 1/3. When the hot cupcakes come out the oven, pour a small amount of syrup over each one (I pierced holes in the cakes first to help the syrup get in).

8.Leave the cupcakes to cool slightly in the tray before turning out onto a wire cooling rack

For the ginger frosting

1. Beat together the icing sugar, butter and lemon zest in a mixer or handheld electric whisk (hmm, I've done this before with a handheld - unless you have a VERY big bowl I wouldn't, you're going to end up looking like a ghost otherwise!) on medium-slow speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed.

2. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Strain the ginger infused milk and slowly pour into the butter mixture.

3. Once all the milk has been incorporated turn up to high speed. Continue beating until the frosting is light and fluffy at least 5 minutes.

4. When the cupcakes are cold, spoon the ginger frosting on top and finish with chopped stem ginger and lemon zest (or mini gingerbread men!)



Adam said...

YUM ginger.

I've seen Cocoa Nibs in Holland and Barretts if that helps, not sure the cost though. However I've never seen, heard of, or ever thought of the idea that soya pepperami could possibly exist.

I enjoyed "bun in the oven". Was wondering if you bake in a bunglow these days? I know it's an urbun area. etc.

MotherOfGooses said...

I like the "domestic goddess" rating scale. It is nice and subjective. I suppose it will depend on how happy/irritated you are to be covered in syrup by the end.