January 24, 2008

nigella's burnt-butter brown-sugar cupcakes

I made these cupcakes ages ago when I first bought How to be a domestic goddess. I couldn't find any golden icing sugar at the time so I made up my own topping. I can't remember the result being anything to rave about so I had good intentions of continuing to look for the vital icing sugar. I'd forgotten about it until recently when I saw a picture Burnt Butter Cupcakes on the Cupcakes take the cake blog. They looked pretty good with the thin glaze, but I still wanted to make the recipe exactly as it is in the book. So I've been having another look around for the golden icing sugar and yesterday I found it in, of all places, the local deli.

Burnt-Butter Brown Sugar Cupcakes

12-bun muffin tray lined with muffin papers

for the cupcakes:

150g unsalted butter
125g self-raising flour
60g golden caster sugar
65g light muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
1 tspn vanilla extract
1 tspn baking powder
2-3 tablespoons milk

for the icing:
150g unsalted butter
250-300g golden icing sugar, sieved
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 200c and then get on with burning your butter. Put it in a small saucepan on medium heat, stirring all the time until it turns a dark golden colour. Take the pan off the heat and strain the butter into a bowl or cup, as it will have made a sediment. In other words, this is like clarified butter, but with a smoky note. Let the butter solidify again, but it must remain soft. (I put it in the fridge for a while). When the butter is solid but still soft, put all the cake ingredients except the milk in a food processor and blitz to a smooth batter. As normal, add the milk down the funnel, pulsing sparingly to form a soft, dropping mixture. Divide between the paper cases, and cook for 15-20 minutes. While the cupcakes are baking, get on with the icing. It's the same procedure for the butter - burn, sieve, solidify - then beat it with half the sugar or enough to make it stiff. Add tablespoons of the milk and the remaining sugar alternately to reach a good consistency, and finally the vanilla.While the icing's still soft, smear messily over the cooled and waiting cupcakes.

And the verdict? Nice and light but killingly sweet! Maybe I'll try them with that thin glaze next time. The recipe says it makes12 but I only made 10, 9 after I'd tried one. Not enough to go round at my work. So I'll give them to Georgie to take to hers and hopefully the girls will think they're ok.


Kate said...

I know this is way after the fact, but I love these cupcakes, and the trick I use to temper the sweetness is add a little bit of salt to the frosting. It tastes like a salty caramel, and everyone always clamors for more.

Jude said...

Thanks for the tip Kate. I've often come across references to salty caramel in US sites, but it's unheard of here in Oz. Sounds good tho' - will try it out.

Kate said...

They're delish. I only add a tiny amount of salt, though--maybe 1/8 teaspoon.

I found your site while googling this recipe to email to a friend, so thanks! I'm having a look around.

challan-u-me said...

just loved these in my local cafe and been looking for the recipe ever since!