Today was one of my housemates 21st birthday and as ever, i saw it as a brilliant excuse to procrasti-bake.
We decided to throw her a surprise champagne breakfast (with cake obviously) and i saw this as the perfect opportunity to make the mulled wine cupcakes which i have been dreaming up for weeks.
Mulled wine is, for me, one of the best traditions at christmas; nothing beats coming in from the cold and having a glass (or two…) to warm you up. Flavoured with cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and much more, I was faced with the daunting task of trying to incorporate all these flavours into one cake.
As ever, I thought the best place to start was with the basic cupcake recipe. To this I added 1tsp ground cinnamon, 3/4tsp ground cloves, 3/4/tsp ground nutmeg and some mixed spice for good measure. My new student house has an aga (pretentious i know) and while it makes lovely casseroles and stews it does not particularly lend itself to baking. Luckily Ruth gave me a cupcake maker from lakeland for my birthday so it’s just a case of popping them in, leaving it for 12 minutes and voila – a perfectly, stress free, risen cupcake.
So where is the wine in these cupcakes i hear you ask. I toyed with the idea of trying to put some real mulled wine into the cupcake batter but decided that it would require far too much for it to make any difference to the flavour and would be too runny. So, instead i decided it would have to be in the filling.
For the mulled wine filling i heated 200ml of mulled wine in the microwave while i mixed another 100ml in a pan with about 1 tblsp of cornflour. When the cornflour was dissolved i added the hot mulled wine and started to bring it to the boil on the hot plate (aga lingo – it means hob). The mulled wine started to thicken until it was more or less a gel, I took it off the heat when it came to a similar thickness to jam. When i tasted it, it was quite tart so i whisked in some icing sugar to taste (probably about 3 tblsp).
I filled the cupcakes with this mulled wine mixture as is described in the basic cupcake recipe, I had quite a lot of filling so scooped out a good amount of the inside.
For the buttercream I decided to keep to the spicy theme. I made the basic buttercream and added about 2tsp of mixed spice.
Safe to say they were a hit and went down well with the cava at 11 in the morning… (we’re students, what can i say).
These cupcakes would definitely be a triumph at any christmas party, something a bit different and rather impressive. I didn’t have time but I think they would look lovely decorated with some fondant holly leaves and berries or some other christmassy accessory.
Sorry it’s been so long since our last post, I am pretty sure that over holidays Ruth and I won’t be short of things to blog about. Let the Christmas Baking begin!!