Monday, 17 September 2007

Caramelised Apple Cupcakes

These little cupcakes have a surprisingly delicate flavour. They are the sorts of cakes you’d see in an upmarket cake shop or tea house. If you like a gutsier cake they’re probably not for you; however, if you want a little piece of naughtiness, the evidence of which will disappear quickly, these are ideal! I used Golden Delicious apples and found them a little mild and lost in the taste of the finished cake. I think next time I'll use a more robustly flavoured apple such as a Gala or Cox.

They look very pretty:

And look nice on a plate to serve at tea. Here they are under the watchful eyes of brothers Remy and Emile, stars of Ratatouille :

I realise that it’s always good to see the inside of a cake; normal practice would be to cut one in half. I am more dedicated than that – here’s one I’ve had a bite out of!

This could be one of those ‘ok, it’s just me then’ moments but I never tire at the beauty of apple slices slowly cooking in a pan. In this photo, the apples are bathing in melted butter, and I haven’t added the sugar yet:

This will make 16 cupcakes
250g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
100g soft brown sugar
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, beaten
120ml milk (either whole or semi skimmed is fine, but not skimmed)
Vanilla extract

Caramelised apples:
65g unsalted butter
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 16 (i.e. cut each ¼ into 4)
4 tablespoons sugar

Caramel glaze:
65g unsalted butter
50g light brown sugar
225g icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk

How to make:
- preheat oven to 180°C/fan oven 160°C/350°F/ Gas mark 4 and line 2 muffin trays with paper cases.
- In a mixer, or by hand if you’re strong, mix the flour, baking powder and sugar.
- Add the remaining ingredients i.e. butter, eggs, milk and vanilla and beat until smooth and well mixed.
- Spoon the batter into the cupcake papers until about 2/3 full.
- Bake for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool.
- To caramelise the apples melt the butter in a large pan then add the sliced apple. Gently turn the apple to ensure all surfaces get smothered in butter.
- When they are soft and golden (don’t overcook or the slices might break) add the sugar and remove from the heat.
- Lay four apple slices on top of each cupcake.
- To make the glaze, melt the butter in a saucepan and add the brown sugar.
- Stir until the sugar is melted then remove from the heat and whisk in the icing sugar, vanilla and milk.
- Dribble the caramel over each cupcake.
- Bask in glory at the wonderful things you have made.
- Eat.


Viknits said...

Just noticed you're into SOAD! Wahey! They were at leeds fest a few years ago and were brilliant!

Viknits said...

Your cakes look amazing, I just took a peek at the football pitch one and it's so well done! You know what'd be so cool - for you to team up with a spinner/dyer/knitter and open a shop whereby you entice people with yarn and your cakes! That'd be bliss...
Oh, have you listened to A Perfect Circle? You might like them.. (they're actually nothing like SOAD but I just thought you might!!)

Anonymous said...

I love the way apples look when they are cooking! It's not just you!

Dee said...

Baking with fruit makes me feel like I'm the Mother Theresa of the Food Pyramid (how convenently she ignores the mountain of sugar).

Seriously, caramelised anything rocks!