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This Primrose Bakery Book recipe is a good one – the flavour of the cupcakes was really nice and they were moist and kept well for a couple of days. I was tempted to skip the caramelised pecan topping but it was worth the effort (and it was actually very quick and easy to do). All I would say is that if you are making the cupcakes in advance I wouldn't top them with the caramelised pecans until you are ready to serve them as, after a while, the nuts went a little bit soft from the moisture in the buttercream.

For the cakes

115g unsalted butter at room temperature

50g soft brown sugar

160ml maple syrup

2 large eggs

115g self-raising flour

60g pecan nuts, roughly chopped

For the caramelised pecans

60g golden caster sugar

20 pecan halves

For the buttercream

150g unsalted butter

135ml maple syrup

435g icing sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4/fan oven 160c. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with 10 muffin cases. Using an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar until pale and smooth. Add the maple syrup and beat well. Add two eggs, one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition.

Using a spoon , fold in the flour and beat well. Fold in the roughly chopped pecan nuts.

Spoon the mixture evenly into the muffin cases, filling each case about two-thirds fill. Bake in the centre of the oven for 20 – 25 minutes, until risen and golden and they pass the clean skewer test. Leave the cupcakes to cool for 10 minutes in their tin, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

For the caramelised pecans

Whilst the cakes are cooling, gradually heat the sugar in a heavy saucepan until the sugar has melted and is pale golden in colour. Spread the pecan nut halves onto a baking sheet, then pour the melted sugar over the nuts, covering them completely. Wait for the caramel to cool and harden, then break into 20 pieces (half a pecan per piece).

For the buttercream beat the butter, maple syrup and half the icing sugar together until smooth then gradually add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.

Ice the cupcakes with the buttercream and top with a caramelised pecan.

 

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