Gingerbread Muffins

22 Dec

So, Christmas is now well and truly here…whether we’re all ready for it is another thing completely! To give you something more festive but not ‘in-your-face’, this is a Gingerbread muffin/cupcake. This is a lovely fluffy muffin that just screams Christmas 😀

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Ingredients:

  • 140g of Butter
  • 200g of Caster sugar
  • 60g of Black treacle
  • 60g of Golden syrup
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 Egg yolks
  • 310g Plain flour
  • 1tbsp of Cocoa powder
  • 1tsp of Ground ginger
  • 1tsp of Ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp of Ground nutmeg
  • 2tsp of Baking powder
  • 1tsp of Salt
  • 240ml of Hot milk

The icing:

  • 600g of Icing sugar
  • 100g of Butter
  • 250g of Cream cheese
  • 1tsp of finely grated lemon zest

Directions:

So like a normal cake mix firstly you need to cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. The difference this time is that where there is a larger quantity of sugar to butter the mix will not come together as usual. Instead you will end up with an almost powdery mix, still lighter in colour and fluffy looking so don’t worry that it doesn’t come together!!

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Once creamed, you can slowly add in the egg. Now you can either add the egg in parts and then the golden syrup and treacle, or if you’re feeling slightly lazy you can weigh the syrup and treacle into a bowl and beat into the eggs and egg yolks. To be honest this isn’t actually lazy as it prevents the syrup and treacle sticking to the bowl, which is such a pain in the bum when trying to scrape it all into the bowl! Add the egg mix (however you do it) in a bit at a time making sure each addition is well mixed as this will help prevent lumps ‘forming’.

Now this is slightly more effort and annoying than usual. Unfortunately to stop it being a lumpy mix you do have to add the flour and hot milk alternately, which I know is annoying but we can’t have everything! Obviously you can weigh all of the dry ingredients into one bowl and then sift a large spoonful of it into the egg mix and carefully fold in. This is one of the few times that I do agree with sifting, not for the flour but for the cocoa powder (or drinking chocolate, makes no difference!), this is always lumpy and doesn’t easily beat to a smooth paste! Once folded in pour a small amount of the hot milk (just needs to be heated to below boiling) and carefully mix in, repeat this until all of the dry ingredients and milk are well mixed, and you’re done!

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Well almost, now you can spoon the mix carefully into the cupcake/muffin cases. I want to say that this makes exactly 12 muffins/cupcakes but to be honest for the cases I used it made 15 and a tiny one, so it’s not going to make a huge difference! Now spooning the mixture, ice cream scoop, spoon or jug? Whichever one you want to use! For this I used the scoop which yes you can get the same amount in each case, but this is an American recipe so is a very runny mix meaning that there was not really much of an advantage! (also our oven is not on a flat floor so everything I bake slants to one side!) These bake at 190 for roughly 18-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Once cooked you can leave the muffins on a cooling rack.

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While the cakes are cooling you can weigh the butter and icing sugar together into a bowl and carefully mix together. I started doing this with a spoon but found it was way too much effort! I found that it is much easier to use your fingers and rub the butter in like you would if you’re making pastry…or you can always just use a standing mixer (using a paddle attachment) as this is one of the few times that I think of it as laziness! Whichever method you choose to use you should end up with bread crumb or a sandy texture which has no large lumps left. This is an important factor as no one wants a lump of butter in their icing!

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Once there are no large lumps you can add the lemon zest and the cream cheese. Now you just have to mix it together and once it’s started to mix in you can then beat it all together, this is just to make sure you get a smooth and fluffy icing. If you’re using a standing mixer then you just need to add the cream cheese and lemon zest and mix together with a paddle attachment on a low speed to mix and then a medium speed to beat it until its light and fluffy. Now you can spoon the icing onto your muffins and ice them however you want and add whatever decorations you fancy. This icing is a great icing, not only does it taste nice but it also holds its shape whether you just spread it using a palette knife or pipe it with different nozzles. I went for the good ‘ole palette knife, simply to make them seem more homely, ready and inviting for my brothers to arrive home for Christmas!

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