Christmas Spice Cupcakes

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A few years back I started to be interested in baking and I developed a real passion for it. Whilst living in the UK I’ve been introduced to the beautiful world of cupcakes. For one of my birthdays my friends gave me this awesome book “Eat me!” which remains until now my favourite cupcake book.xmas cupcake 13

From this book I make each year the Christmas Spice Cupcakes which are full of beautiful Christmas spices.

What you’ll need in your shopping cart:

3 medium eggs, seperated
55 g/ 2 oz white sugar
70 ml/ 2 1/2 fl oz vegetable oil
60 ml/ 2 fl oz water
1 tbsp honey
100 g/ 3 1/2 oz brown sugar
75 g/ 2 1/2 oz plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
45 g/ 1 1/2 oz ground almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp allspice (I didn’t have allspice, I used instead a bit more cinnamon, some ground cloves and some ground nutmeg)
zest of 2 clementines (or of one orange)

For the meringue icing
1 large egg white
170 g/ 6 oz white sugar
And anything you like to decorate the cakes. In this case I added a bit of red food colouring and green sugar sprinkles.

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/ Gas 4. Line a 12-hole non stick muffin tin with paper cases (This time, I used 24 small cases and 5 very large cases).

2. Whisk the egg whites so that they are beginning to stiffen into peaks, then add the white sugar and continue whisking for a couple of minutes. Set aside.

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3. Whisk the egg yolks with the oil and water and add the honey and the brown sugar (Use a normal baking bowl. I just runned out of mine since I had some pizza and bread dough resting whilst baking the cupcakes).

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Sift the flour with the baking powder and bicarbonate…

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…and fold gently into the egg mixture with the ground almonds,…

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…spices and zest.

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Using a metal spoon, fold the egg whites into the mixture until just combined.

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4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases.

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Bake in the centre of the oven for 20-25 minutes until the cakes are springy to the touch. Remove and place on a wire rack to cool.

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5. To make the icing, place the egg white in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water (Hold it over the water, do NOT put it in the water, the egg white will otherwise cook… yep I made the experience myself!).

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Use an electric whisk to beat the egg white until it begins to stiffen. Add 30 g/ 1 oz of the sugar and beat for a minute before adding another 30 g/ 1 oz and beating for another minute. Continue until all the sugar is used up. Whisk for 4-6 minutes until the mixture is glossy and has doubles in size (I don’t have an electric whisk so after beating the mixture for minutes I knew that I did my biceps workout for today!). If you want to add some food colouring add it whilst you are adding the sugar in the egg mixture.

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6. Once the cakes have cooled, coat each one with a tablespoon of the icing. Use a palette knife (a regular knife does the job too!) to smooth over the top of the cake. Sprinkle the green sugar or whatever you decided to put on top of your cupcakes.

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Happy Christmas flavours in your mouth!

Nathalie

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