Having made a lovely batch of lime curd and "putting up" some tasty (if a tad thick!) plum jam, I thought it would be great to share some of it with my colleagues in baked goods. I then thought, what better way to do this than in filled cupcakes.
My mind ticked over, and thought that lime and coconut would be great friends when teamed up in a cupcake, while plum and chocolate would also be perfect. Accordingly, I searched my recipe books for coconut cupcakes and chocolate cupcakes that I could use as a base for my creations. That trusty cupcake tome, The Australian Womens Weekly Cupcakes, came to the rescue with some suitable base recipes (see their Lemon Meringue Cakes on p60 and their Honeycomb Creams on p 12), and lo, there were two dozen filled cupcakes in contrasting flavours.
Lime coconut cupcakes
To make lime coconut cupcakes, you will need:
125g cubed butter at room temperature
2 teaspoons lime zest
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup milk
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1 1/4 cups self-raising flour, sifted
6 teaspoons lime curd
250g icing sugar, sifted
juice of one lime
green food colouring
green sanding sugar
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake papers.
Beat the butter, zest, sugar and eggs together with an electric mixer until light fluffy. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the milk, coconut and flour. Put even quantities of the batter into each cupcake paper, and bake the cakes for 2-25 minutes until cooked through. Turn out the cakes onto a wire rack to cool.
Once the cakes are completely cool, cut a cone-shaped hole in the top of each cake, cut off the point of the cone-shaped piece of cake and set aside as a "lid" for that cake. Fill the hole with approximately half a teaspoon of lime curd, then pop the "lid" of the cake on top of the curd.
Make the icing by combining the icing sugar with the lime juice, adding water if necessary to form a thick, spreadable icing. Dye the icing the desired shade of green, then spread the top of each cake with green icing, and sprinkle with sanding sugar to decorate. Set aside until the icing has dried.
Chocolate ginger plum cakes
For the chocolate ginger plum cakes, you will need:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup plain flour, sifted
1/2 cup self-raising flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
90g butter, cubed, at room temperature
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons golden syrup
50g dark choc bits or chopped dark chocolate
6 teaspoons plum jam
250g icing sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
sprinkles to decorate
Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius and line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake papers.
Combine the flours, bicarbonate of soda and spices in the bowl of your electric mixer. Add the butter, egg, milk and golden syrup, and beat on low speed until the ingredients are just combined, then increase the speed and beat until pale and fluffy. Using a wooden spoon, stir through the chocolate chunks/bits, then place equal quantities of batter into each cupcake paper. Bake the cakes for 30 minutes or until cooked through, then turn them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the cakes are cool, cut a cone-shaped hole in the top of each cake, cut off the point of the cone-shaped piece of cake and set aside as a "lid" for that cake. Fill the hole with approximately half a teaspoon of plum jam, then pop the "lid" of the cake on top of the jam.
To make the icing, combine the icing sugar and cocoa powder in a small bowl, then gradually add cold water, a little bit at a time, until you have a thick icing of spreadable consistency. Spread the icing on the top of each cake, then decorate with sprinkles.
I was surprised in that my favourite cakes were the chocolate ginger plum cakes, which have a lovely gingerbread quality. The lime coconut cakes seemed a little dryer, and didn't have the same depth of flavour as the chocolate ginger cakes.
My tip when making cupcakes in cupcake papers is NOT to let them cool in the muffin tin - I found out to my detriment that the heat from the tin steams the papers partly off the cakes, making for a slightly untidy appearance. You all probably knew that already, but hey, I didn't, and if I can save one other person from making this mistake, it was worth it.
At work, the chocolate ginger cupcakes were the biggest hit, confirming that I have very good taste (and can make a mean, if thick, plum jam!).