Saturday, 15 February 2014

Orange Marmalade and Champagne Cupcakes

Readers, today I decided to bake with the contents of my store cupboard and seeing as it’s coming to the end of Seville orange season, decided marmalade would be a good inclusion in today’s cupcakes.

Traditionally, this is marmalade making season.  Seville oranges are in stores, so it’s a very relevant time to be making marmalade or, if you are like me (and lacking in the patience to do so), using a good quality bought marmalade to cook or bake with.  

Also, people always comment that they are left with half jars of marmalade at the back of the fridge – this recipe provides a perfect solution to use up any leftovers, or that random jar you received in a hamper at Christmas.

I cheated slightly – I used marmalade with sweet oranges in my recipe today (rather than a traditional Seville orange) for a sweeter flavour.  The hint of champagne also gave a touch of luxury to my recipe.

This is a first time experiment, so I had a few things I would adapt for next time which I've built into the recipe below.

I took these along for my family to enjoy this afternoon and they were a hit.  I was a bit worried that they came out of the oven darker than my usual recipe, however, they tasted fine and I think the inclusion of marmalade may have had something to do with it.

Orange Marmalade with Champagne Cupcakes

Orange Marmalade Cupcakes

Cake Ingredients
(makes 10 large cupcakes)

125g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
125g self raising flour, sifted
1 level teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 dessert spoons Mackays Orange Marmalade with Champagne (sieved to remove peel)
2 dessert spoons orange juice

Buttercream Ingredients

125g unsalted butter, softened
400g icing sugar
2 dessert spoons Mackays Orange Marmalade with Champagne (sieved to remove peel)
2 dessert spoons orange juice
1 x disposable piping bag
1 x Wilton 1M nozzle (my favourite)

Lay out all ingredients before you start
  1. Preheat oven to 190c/Fan 170c/Gas 5, then fill a muffin tin with 10 cupcake cases.
  2. In a large bowl, cream softened butter and caster sugar.  I use an electric mixer for this part. Cream until light and fluffy.
  3. Strain the marmalade through a sieve until the liquid and peel are separate.  Discard the peel.
    Straining the marmalade through a sieve
  4. Whisk in the marmalade to the sugar and butter mix.
  5. Whisk in beaten eggs a little at a time and a teaspoon of flour with each addition.  This helps to stop the mix curdling.
  6. Once all eggs are added, use a metal spoon and fold in remaining flour.  Add the orange juice and vanilla extract and mix to combine.  The mix should have a dropping consistency.
  7. Spoon the mix evenly into the 10 paper cases, to less than ¾ full and put the tray in the oven.
  8. Bake for 17-18 minutes until dark golden in colour and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
    Fresh from oven - large cupcake cases were used
  9. Remove from tray and cool on a wire rack.

Buttercream Method

  1. Beat the butter until smooth
  2. Strain the marmalade through a sieve until the liquid and peel are separate.  Discard the peel. Whisk in the marmalade to the butter.
    Sieved marmalade 
    Butter and marmalade mixed together
  3. Slowly add in the icing sugar, whisking into the mix as you go.  I tend to taste as I go, to make sure it’s not too buttery.  You can add more icing sugar, to your taste, but make sure it’s still smooth enough to be piped (not too thick)
  4. Add in the orange juice to the mix. and combine.  Taste. Make sure mix is thick enough to pipe.  
  5. Spoon the mix into a disposable piping bag fitted with a nozzle. 
  6. Make sure cakes are cool, then pipe swirls over each cake, in an upwards movement, to create a swirl.
  7. Decorate with further cake d├ęcor if required.
  8. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container for a couple of days.
The finished article

Claire’s Tips

  1. The first time I made these, the inclusion of marmalade and orange juice made my buttercream softer than usual and more difficult to pipe.  I firmed it up in the fridge which helped after piping.
  2. Fill the cupcake cases to between ½ and ¾ full not to the top, otherwise they will overflow.
  3. This recipe would also work with fruit jams (just strain out any lumpy fruit first, as you did with the marmalade).
    Setting the buttercream in the fridge

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