Friday, 4 December 2009

Christmas Pudding Cupcakes

Wow, where did November go?  I may have to go and retro-blog some of Novembers cooking, although a few weeks were spent so full of cold I didn't have the desire to eat, let alone cook!  But here we are in December which of course means festive baking.  Each year at Haxby Memorial Hall, the fundraising team put on a Christmas Tree Festival.  Local businesses and organisations sponsor and decorate trees with prizes being awarded to the best, there is a Christmas Fayre and Father Christmas is in his grotto for the kids to visit.  Last year our business ( sponsored a tree as usual, and I decorated it entirely in edibles; candy cane cookies, popcorn garlands, gingerbread (of course!) and topped it with a boiled sugar topper.  I had some leftover mix from the cookies and made little Santa's hat cookies which went down a storm with the kids.  This year the tree is being decorated by my SO, leaving me to bake things for sale at the festival and I knew I wanted to make some cute bakes, as last years cookies went down so well.  I also knew I wanted to make cupcakes, because I had some nice Christmas muffin cases to use.  So the search began...but was rather disappointing.  Other than one recipe that suggested stirring some mincemeat into regular cupcake mix, most of the recipes were just for cupcakes decorated to be Christmassy.  Not what I was after.  But then I came across a recipe at BBC Good Food - Christmas Pudding Cupcakes.  Looked great and had that christmassy flavour I was looking for.  BUT, I didn't have all the ingredients needed in the cupboard, and no time to get to the shops to buy them so I made a few substitutions; soft cheese for sour cream and sweetened cranberries for sour cherries.  I had no custard powder, so added vanilla and yellow food colouring to the icing.

The cakes rose really well when baked, I could have made 18 with the mixture and still had good sized cakes; as it was I had to trim a bit off the top of each cake so it would stand straight when I turned them upside down.  The icing poured nicely over them, and I topped them with a rice paper holly leaf (painted with food colouring to get the green) and a piece of glace cherry for that holly sprig effect.

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