Sunday 1 June 2014

Sunday Baking: Grapefruit Teacakes and Chocolate Mojito Muffins

It's been a while, I know.

I rolled over in bed one morning last week and found myself lying on top of one of my baking books. It happened to be Lily Vanilli's. I have no idea how it ended up in the bed with me, but I took it as a sign. I bought this book with a voucher from Granny Hand a couple of years ago and, while her recipe for brownies has become my go-to, I couldn't remember having baked any of the other recipes from it. This one with pink grapefruit caught my eye, since everyone at work knows I am a grapefruit fiend.

They are little (little because I baked them mini instead of normal sized...this might have something to do with my mini muffin tin being non-stick and therefore not requiring greasing) almondy frangipanes with grapefruit zest in and a piece of pink grapefruit pushed into the top. Lily recommended glazing the finished cakes with apricot jam but this made no sense to me. Why ruin a beautifully delicate grapefruit cake with a splash of sweet apricot? I used grapefruit marmalade instead. I'm sure everyone at work will love them, if they last that long. They're so little and moreish I can't guarantee it.

Then, onto the chocolate muffins. I was inspired by one of my favourite baking blogs, Sprinklebakes, who reworked a recipe for grasshopper cupcakes, mixing whipped cream with rum, lime and mint for the topping. Genius. But not quite what I wanted, especially when I found out the recipe called for creme de menthe. I was more interested in a recipe that would help me tackle this triffid.

I'm afraid one day I will find the mitten dead in the middle of it.

I also wanted to have another go at meringue buttercream, now I have my Kenwood.....essentially I bought the Kenwood so I would be successful with meringue buttercream.

It took me a while to work out how to marry fresh mint with the buttercream recipe. I could add lime zest and dark rum right into the icing, like vanilla extract; but I am very lazy at chopping, especially finely, and I didn't want big pieces of mint leaf through there. So, I grabbed a couple of enormous branches sprigs, washed them off and bashed them in the bottom of the saucepan, layering the sugar and eggs whites over the top. I left this to marinate for about an hour before I got started. Then, when I did the gentle-heating-of-the-egg-whites-and-melting-of-the-sugar portion of the recipe, I left the mint in there, fishing it out when I put the egg whites into the Kenwood for their whisking.

It worked OK. I was mainly pleased that the frosting worked - look at this peak! I was very relieved because these egg whites had been frozen for quite some time.

I added the zest of a lime and a tablespoon of dark rum into the mixture too. It was quite a subtle flavour; I am interested to see if it develops much overnight. I tend to get the rum first, then the lime; but there was a faintly herbal taste to the egg white mixture before the other flavourings went in, so it sort of worked. I think maybe next time I would leave the mint in with the sugar overnight.

The base is the same chocolate custard muffin recipe I love to haul out every so often, only with half cornflour and half plain flour in the custard because I ran out of cornflour. Now they're in the fridge. I am trying to be strong and wait until tomorrow.

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