Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Spicy Gingerbread Cupcakes with Tahitian Vanilla Frosting

As promised here is my recipe from the 2nd Annual Brooklyn Kitchen Cupcake Cookoff...

Spicy Gingerbread Cupcakes Adapted from the Old-Fashioned Gingerbread Recipe from The Joy of Cooking
I really like this recipe because the cake is slightly dense, yet moist and very nicely spiced. The cake and the frosting are both sweet, but not overly so. I was inspired to make gingerbread cupcakes by a work colleague who love, love, loves gingerbread, especially the very spicy kind. Occasionally I'll also throw in 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg to up the spiciness a little more.

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (8 tablespoons butter) softened to room temp
3 tablespoons liquid egg whites (or you can use 1 large egg)
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup dark molasses
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 of a cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped

1) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour or line cupcake pans with cupcake liners.
2) In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda, ground ginger, ground cinnamon, and ground cloves (I like to ground whole cloves myself to get a coarser ground clove) and salt. Set aside
3) In a large bowl or an electric stand mixer, beat the butter until it's creamy. Gradually add in the egg substitute and light brown sugar until mixture is combined and an even color and texture. Then gradually add in the molasses, corn syrup, and vanilla extract. Mix until
mixture is a rich dark color and well combined.
4) Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Quickly stir in the boiling water. Once combined, stir in the crystallized ginger.
5) Ladle batter into the cupcake pans, filling each tin 2/3s full.
6) Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and finish cooling on a wire rack. Frost cupcakes when cooled completely.

Tahitian Vanilla Frosting
16 tablespoons (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 3/4 cups of powdered sugar
4 teaspoons Tahitian Vanilla extract
Splash of milk (optional, if my frosting is too thick, I'll thin it slightly w/milk)

For Garnish
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
2 oz of top quality dark chocolate (I favor 70% or higher Belgian Chocolate)

1) In a large bowl or electric stand mixer beat butter until creamy.
2) Add in powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until the mixture is well incorporated and the frosting is fluffy. If your frosting is too thick, thin it slightly with a small splash of milk.
3) Frost cupcakes using preferred method. I used a mechanical pastry bag to frost my cupcakes.
Garnish cupcakes with the finely chopped crystallized ginger. Using a microplane grater, grate the dark chocolate and garnish the cupcakes with the shavings.

Makes 24 standard sized cupcakes.

There have been some great write ups of the Cupcake Cookoff. Check out Rachel's write up at Cupcake Takes the Cake. Brooklyn Kitchen's blog also has a nice recap and a listing of all of the winners and a pic of the delicious best in show Rogue Porter Chocolate Cupcake with salted Caramel Icing. And there are pics of many more cupcake entries in their flickr pool. Those yummy looking mint chocolate cone cupcakes i posted about yesterday were Not Eating Out in New York's entry. She blogs about the event here. The Wounded Chef also did a nice write up (and I'm not just saying that 'cause she was a fan of my cupcake). She posted the recipe for her Almond Joy Cupcake which looked really delicious. I wish I had been able to try them (bah to my stupid nut allergy!). Another cupcake that looked great, but that the aforementioned nut allergy prevented me from trying were the Choc-Pistachio Cupcakes with Green Tea-Cream Cheese Frosting by FineFuriousLife. Check out her recap here.


Julia said...

yay, looking forward to trying these! where do you get cloves and crystallized ginger? i'm not sure i've ever seen them around, but maybe i'm not looking hard enough. cheers!

Tarah said...

A beautiful, yummy looking cupcake :]

Maya said...

Those look tasty! I can almost taste the icing!

michelle @ TNS said...

i love love love gingerbread cake. i make mine with almost the same frosting and the candied ginger, so good.

also tasty: rum in the frosting.

nicoleantoinette said...

Um, if these are 1/10 as good as the look and sound, I'll be making them in ridiculous amounts this holiday season.

Brownie said...

thanks for all of the nice comment, guys! I had a lot of fun making these cupcakes. :)

Julia: You can get the whole cloves at most large grocery stores. I got mine at Dual Specialty Shop, which is a great spice store on first Avenue b/w 5th and 6th. The crystallized ginger came from Trader Joes. :)