Friday, 9 October 2009

Ironcupcake UK - October Challenge

On Monday I entered the 5th round of Ironcupcake UK. This month, the theme was "alcohol" and there were 19 entries from 14 bakers. There were so many great cupcakes this month, it was really tough choosing a favourite! I made a batch of mojito cupcakes, and ended up coming 2nd which was such a thrill. Here's my recipe for anyone who wants to try it out for themselves:

Mojito Cupcakes


Cupcakes (makes ~20 cupcakes)

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp. dark rum
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 225g unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 2 cups caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs

Rum Syrup

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 55g unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • Zest and juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint

Lime and Rum Buttercream

  • Zest from 3 limes
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 250g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 600g sifted icing sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 175C. Combine butter and caster sugar in a bowl and mix on a medium-high setting with electric beaters until light and fluffy (about 5 mins). Reduce the mixer speed and add the eggs, one at a time, remembering to scrape the sides of the bowl after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sift in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside. Combine buttermilk, rum and vanilla extract in another bowl and also set aside.

Using the mixer on a low speed, add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and mix well. Next add half of the buttermilk mixture and mix well (about 2 mins). Add another third of the dry ingredients (on low speed) and mix well before adding the remainder of the buttermilk mixture and mixing. Add the remainder of the dry ingredients (on low speed) and mix for a few minutes, until the batter is smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that all of the flour has been mixed in well.

Fill a 12-hole muffin/cupcake pan, lined with paper cases, with the batter and bake for approximately 20 mins. Before removing the cupcakes from the oven, test that they are cooked all the way through by inserting a skewer into the centre of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean, they’re done. If not, bake for another 5 mins. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before poking holes in them with a skewer or toothpick. Immediately spoon the rum syrup over the warm cupcakes and let them soak it all up. Once they’ve cooled completely, you can ice them with the lime and rum buttercream.

To make the rum syrup, put butter, caster sugar and water in a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring often. Once the butter has completely melted and the sugar has dissolved, remove from the heat. Carefully add the rum. The mixture will bubble so take care not to burn yourself. Once you’ve mixed in all the rum, add the lime zest and mint and let the syrup infuse for 5 minutes before spooning over the cupcakes.

For the lime and rum buttercream, beat sugar on high speed for about 5 mins until light and fluffy before gradually adding sifted icing sugar (about 200g at a time) on a low speed. Once all the icing sugar is incorporated into the mixture, increase the mixer speed to high again and mix for another 2-3mins. The buttercream should be light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the rum and the lime zest and mix on a medium speed until well incorporated. If you wish to colour your buttercream, you can also add a few drops of green food colouring to make it a lime colour. Add buttercream onto cupcakes once they are completely cool and the rum syrup has been soaked in. You can spread the buttercream on with a knife, or you can use a piping bag to pipe a swirly design.

For my cupcakes, I made lime pieces from green sugar paste to add as decoration. Here's the final result:

More pictures from the competition are on the ironcupcake website.

Next month, the theme is 'spice'. If anyone has any suggestions on spices I should try, I'd be happy to hear from you :)

Happy Baking!

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