Because A Friday Treat is the Perfect Way to End the Week!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Toffee Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

This week I’m making a request. Several weeks ago, I made my way to London with the noble intention of going to a party and while there I met up with many of my friends, all of whom are now living fabulous lives in the capital city, and a specific request was made as to what recipe should feature in this blog one week. This request was to write a recipe that involved apples.

Now, that in itself does not really narrow my task down, as apples are a deservedly popular ingredient in the baking world.  Pies, biscuits, tarts, cakes, muffins – they really are incredibly versatile and almost always delicious. After much deliberation though, I have decided to go for an apple cupcake with some toffee sauce and cream cheese frosting thrown in for good measure. It sounds excessive but I promise that it’s not and that all of the elements work well together. Cream cheese instead of butter frosting, the high apple content and only the slightest hint of toffee  makes this cupcake a lot lighter than a more traditional cupcake too – you may even, if you try really, really hard, be able to convince yourself its healthy!

The recipe itself is probably one of the most easy and stress-free cupcake recipes I’ve ever used and I’ve used a lot, so that’s a bold statement. All three components; the cakes, the sauce and the frosting, are quick to whip up, I would even go as far as to say that the most time consuming and annoying bit is the chopping up of the apples and even a monkey could do that!

On the subject of the apples, I’m not one of those people who insist on using Bramley or cooking apples in my baking. My general rule would be to think about what you’re making and to make a choice between sweet or tart. I’m not an apple connoisseur (can you tell?) but those are essentially your options and I would suggest sweeter apples for cakes and more tart apples for pies and tarts. For this particular recipe I used Braeburns but like I said, think about it and go with your gut.

So Fi, here is your recipe! I hope you like it!

Some final tips before you get started:
  • By the time you add all four eggs to the creamed butter and sugar, it will look all curdled and mildly disgusting BUT it will be fine once the flour is added.
  • When making the frosting, make sure the butter is very soft so it all blends together properly.
  • Again for the frosting, making sure you’re cream cheese is kept cool in the fridge until the moment you need it will ensure a workable frosting. If your cream cheese is at room temperature it’ll be too runny.
  • While the lure of a lovely toffee sauce might cause you to get carried away, each cake really only needs a teaspoon (max!!). It’s enough to add great flavour without creating a messy, sticky cake.
Toffee Apple Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting (Makes 12)

For the Cakes:
200g Unsalted Butter (softened)
200g Golden Caster Sugar
4 Eggs
200g Self-Raising Flour
1tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 Eating Apples (Peeled, cored and diced into ½cm cubes)

For the Toffee Sauce:
50g Soft Toffees
2tbsp. Double Cream

For the Frosting:
50g Butter (softened)
100g Full Fat Cream Cheese
300g Icing Sugar
1tsp. Ground Cinnamon

Ground Cinnamon to Decorate

1)      Preheat the oven to 180◦C and line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases. For the cakes, cream together the butter and caster sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the eggs and mix in a little at a time.
2)      Into this mixture, sieve the self-raising flour and ground cinnamon and gently fold into the wet ingredients. Finally, add the cubed apples and stir until well distributed throughout the mixture.
3)      Divide the mixture between the 12 muffin cases and bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool completely.
4)      For the toffee sauce, place the soft toffees and cream into a saucepan and warm over a low heat until the toffees have melted and combined with the cream to make a sauce. With a knife, cut a small round out of the top of each cooled cupcake, fill with a teaspoon of toffee sauce and replace the cake that was removed to make the hole.
5)      For the frosting, cream together the butter and cream cheese using an electric whisk or mixer. Whisk in the icing sugar and cinnamon and stir until a smooth yet firm frosting has formed. Don’t mix for too long or the frosting may go runny. Pipe or spread the frosting to cover each cupcake before finally dusting with a small amount of ground cinnamon to decorate. 


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