Thursday, 26 January 2012

Plum Cupcakes and a Very Big Thank You!

Firstly, my blog celebrated it's first birthday last week and I had been planning a special bake for a few weeks. My boyfriend and I, however, decided to go away for a few days so the bake turned into a quicker one in order to pack!

When I started off this blog, I only had one recipe book and rarely baked. Having been lucky enough to buy my KitchenAid, I was challenged to start off a blog by two very special people who knew how much I loved to bake. I eventually plucked up the courage and now, 1 year later, I feel I have succeeded in not only improving my baking skills, but in making a lovely blog. I've met (you know what I mean!) some wonderful people along the way and would like to thank you all for reading my posts, commenting on them and continuously supporting me through the process!! What an amazing year...

Right, soppy stuff over! Here are the 'Plum Cupcakes' I made from the Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days book. I believe they should be called 'Plum Jam Cupcakes' as that's pretty much all that's in them...

I was so disappointed with these cakes! First of all, they use brown sugar which made them heavy and really didn't work well with the plum jam that was incorporated into the mix. Secondly, there was jam in the cupcake mix, which made the cake taste delicious, but then this was ruined by the jam layer within. I followed the recipe and used the correct amount inside the batter but this was far too much and completely ruined the cupcakes. So much so, I threw my dummy out and refused to eat them!

The recipe states jam in the cupcake, as a filling and in the buttercream but this was just overkill for me and I opted for a plain buttercream in the hope it'd tone down the jam. This worked but the jam was just so bitter!

I have hope in these cupcakes yet, so next time, I'll experiment with a lighter sugar and would also omit the jam filling!

I sent these off to my Dad's work and the feedback was great, so maybe they're being nice or I'm missing something? Who knows!!


For the Sponge:

120g unsalted butter, softened
340g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
4 large egg yolks
360g soft light brown sugar
180ml buttermilk
270g plum jam

For the Frosting:

500g icing sugar
160g unsalted butter, softened
50ml whole milk (I used Semi Skimmed and it worked fine)
70g plum jam
plum slices to decorate, optional


-Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5 and line your muffin tins with cases
-Using a hand held mixer or stand mixer, mix together the butter, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until well incorporated and crumb like in texture
-In a jug and using a hand whisk, mix together the egg yolks, brown sugar, buttermilk and 120g of the jam until combined. Add half of this mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Add the remaining mixture, then increase the speed to medium and mix until smooth
-Fill each paper case up to one third full with batter, then top with 1 tsp of jam, followed by a similar quantity of batter (filling each case about two-thirds full)
-Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back when you lightly press them. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
-For the frosting, whisk the icing sugar with the butter on a low speed until fully incorporated and still powdery in consistency. Pour in the milk while mixing on a low speed, then increase the speed to high and whisk until soft and fluffy. Finally, stir in the jam by hand, ensuring it is evenly dispersed
-Spoon the frosting on the cupcakes once they are cold, gently smoothing the tops with a pallette knife. Decorate with fresh slices of plum


The Baking Bee said...

Sorry to hear that your cupcakes didn't work out! I always find some of the hummingbird bakery recipes can be a bit could try adding the jam after baking the cakes? scooping the top out and putting a dollop of jam in, then putting the sponge top back on would probably be delicious!

Jo said...

Happy Birthday to your blog! I've enjoyed following you and your shiny red kitchenaid :)

I'm with you, surely adding jam to the actual batter as well as a layer and in the frosting is overkill. Hummingbird recipes can be a bit funny. I find they can be very hit or miss.

Leah Matthews said...

How strange that these didn't work out for you, I made them very recently, followed the recipe to the absolute point and they turned out absolutely beautifully. Really moist and fluffy sponge, sticky sweet jam in the middle and lovely plum buttercream.

Mind you, my family are plum fiends though, and I can see why some might think it was a plum overkill!

I find all hummingbird recipes really reliable - how strange that different people get such different results.

Leah xx

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