Thursday, 24 November 2011

Pumpkin and Ginger Cupcakes

On perusing my favourite new baking book, Dan Lepard's fabulous Short & Sweet, this recipe for pumpkin ginger cupcakes very quickly made its presence felt. We had four massive Boston Marrow squashes (you can see last year's pictures here) from our plot this year. These are big with firm orange flesh and are easier to grow in our climate than most. They are also thin skinned, like a butternut squash, so are easy to prepare. The downside of this is that they don't keep very well. We have, therefore, been supping on squash soups, curries or stews most nights for the last month or so. I've made pumpkin syrup, pumpkin biscotti, pumpkin butter and now these cupcakes. Luckily, I love squash, so I'm sort of pleased and sort of sad that we've only got enough left of this year's crop for another 4 or 5 meals plus maybe some pumpkin scones.

Another reason, if another was needed, for making these particular cakes, was the element of ginger. I wanted to submit something to TeaTimeTreats, a new baking challenge set by Karen of Lavender and Lovage and Kate of What Kate Baked. Ginger and bonfire treats is the chosen theme for November. I did make an apple and ginger oat pudding a few weeks ago, which I was going to enter, but cakes are more of a teatime treat than puddings.

Having made the pumpkin butter, I was keen to use it, so the topping is not the one Dan prescribed but one I made up. I also swapped the nuts for chocolate - how could I not? And made a few other amendments. This is what I did:
  • Grated 250g squash.
  • Finely chopped 100g crystallised ginger.
  • Roughly chopped 50g dark 70% chocolate.
  • Creamed 175g molasses sugar with 125g unsalted butter.
  • Beat in 2 large eggs, one by one.
  • Stirred in the pumpkin and ginger.
  • Mixed in 200g flour (half spelt, half white), 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp ground ginger 1 tsp allspice, a grating or two of nutmeg and 1/8 tsp ground cloves.
  • Stirred in the chocolate and spooned into twelve muffin cases.
  • Baked at 180C for 20 minutes, left to cool for 5 minutes then turned out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Beat 100g icing sugar with 125g mascarpone until smooth.
  • Stirred in 2 tbsp of pumpkin butter.
  • Spread onto the cooled cupcakes and decorated with slices of crystallised ginger.
I was so pleased with my pumpkin butter topping, it was delicious; creamy and spicy, with a nice tangerine tint to it. Once again, I had to refrain from eating the lot before it went onto the cakes.

The cakes tasted like a Jamaica ginger cake, according to CT, only not nearly as sweet and considerably more substantial. The lumps of ginger were nice and chewy and the chocolate chunks a welcome addition. Amazingly, with all these strong flavours, the pumpkin was detectable, in both the cake and topping. In fact, CT, in uncharacteristically techie mood, summed it up as being "like the html behind the blog". He also noticed it left a clean and refreshing taste in the mouth.

21 comments:

  1. Ciao!! They sound delicious!!!
    Yummy!!
    Have a nice day

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  2. What a STUNNER of an entry into Tea Time Treats! Thanks so much for playing along......and with such delicious looking NON CHOCOLATE treats too! I adore anything with nuts and squash in it and these look the business......as well as having ginger in them too.
    Karen
    PS: Can I post my We Should Cocoa entry a day late on the 26th? I have a post that has to go out tomorrow and will post my apple and chocolate post on the 26th if that is okay! XX

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  3. Manu - thank you. I'm very pleased to say they are delicioius and I've still got quite a few left ;-)

    Karen - OF COURSE there is chocolate. Am trying desperately not to fall of my seat in shock at the suggestion!

    As for WSC, it's Chele doing the round-up this month. 26th should be OK, but you might want to send an e-mail to let her know in case she gets on to it straight away. Having said that, she has had a bereavement, so it might be me doing it after all in which case it's fine - what a ramble!

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  4. Just gorgeous. I love the warmth of ginger now there's a nip in the air...

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  5. HOW did I miss that 70% chocolate addition? Too much vin maybe!

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  6. Totally delicious looing cakes. I like the sound of those marrows, wonder if they would grow up here in Scotland?

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  7. You have been so creative with all your pumpkin recipes, it is so good to see veggies being put to good use. What I really love is the sound of is your topping....mascarpone with pumpkin butter......divine! X

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  8. These look delicious - love the cross section photo with those big chunks of ginger and chocolate. They look like a much more serious proposition that your average airy fairy cupcake - delicious.

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  9. These look wonderful, what a great combination of flavours. I do love the topping it looks delicious

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  10. They sound so good! Lovely flavour combo :-))

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  11. Thank you ever so much for your entry Choclette! I too had spied this particular recipe and bookmarked it for future use, really pleased to hear it was a huge hit!

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  12. They look utterly amazing, and that topping looks lush! I keep meaning to make these cupcakes, my mum made them when the recipe was first published and said they were great but I haven't got round to it yet.

    Did I say how much I love the look of that topping?!?.....

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  13. Beautiful little cakes. Isn't ginger just the most wonderful warming ingredient. I rarely use it but was blown away with it when I made my Parkin. I can just taste those lively cupcakes and the addition of squash is fab. Lovely Dan eh?

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  14. Happy to see the mascarpone is still getting a look in there Choc.
    And ginger? Love anything gingery.

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  15. Oooh, that does look luscious! Thank goodness my copy of Dan's book finally arrived - I was getting desperate enough to fly over to the UK to pick it up!

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  16. Love those large pieces of ginger in there, I can just imagine how delicious it would be to bite into the cupcake!

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  17. Tori - luckily we've still got a couple left and are just going to tuck into them to warm up after a rather blowy walk in the wind.

    Karen - just too much to do and remember, you need that wine to wind down.

    Janice - they might work if you have a very warm, sunny and sheltered spot.

    Laura - I do try and make my bakes a little bit healthy if I can, or at least not too unhealthy. That topping is delicious.

    Little Loaf - he he, I don't think I could do airy fairy if I tried - maybe I should try!!!!!

    WLM - thank you. The flavours were really good, but what I loved about the topping, was the colour.

    Anna - thank you. Ginger and spices go so well with squash - if it can work in a curry, why not in a cake?

    Kate - I haven't yet made anything of Dan's that hasn't been a hit - still with another few hundred recipes to try, I guess that might change ;-)

    C - Oh I didn't know you had a baking mum as well and a DL fan at that. Each time I mention him to my mother, she asks me who I'm talking about!

    Dom - Lovely Dan indeed - even if he didn't think my biscotti were the best! Have always loved ginger and use lots of it in cooking. Parkin is brilliant stuff - must make some.

    CityHippy - he he, you have a lot to answer for!

    Celia - so glad you've finally got a copy of S&S. Hope you're not disappointed.

    BVG - those chunks are the best bit - if you like ginger that is.

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  18. This looks great! Love the way you've used your pumpkin butter and of course added chocolate in - I wouldnt expect anything less :)

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  19. what a great combination of flavours. Love the topping and it all looks fabulous, great pictures.

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  20. This must be the perfect cupcake, well perfect for this time of year! Wonderful!

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  21. love your pumpkin butter icing - indeed the icing on a very amazing cake - some of my favourite flavours here

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