Sunday 5 October 2014

Sunday Baking: Ginger Squash Cupcakes with Nutmeg Icing

It was time, today, to break out the favourite cupcake recipe and get some ginger scents wafting around. My old head of department, who was promoted to Assistant Head and has consequently aged 10 years in the past month, has a thing for cakes with big chunks of ginger in them, and since I will finally be hosting a department meeting attended by all members of my department tomorrow, these seemed just the ticket.

I haven't shared the recipe before because it is from a book; but having found it online I thought it probably couldn't hurt. It is from Dan Lepard's Short and Sweet, though the icing was all my own idea.

175g glacé ginger (I buy mine from Sainsbury's which does it in a tub like glace cherries; this requires no chopping)
175g dark brown sugar
125g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
250g butternut squash flesh, grated
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1½ tsp each ground ginger and allspice
¼ tsp each ground nutmeg and clove
125g chopped pecans or walnuts
For the icing:
250g unsalted butter
About 600g (?) icing sugar (sorry, I never weigh this - I just put it in until it looks right)
A few tbsps of milk
Fresh nutmeg, to taste

Beat the sugar and 125g butter until smooth, then beat in the eggs one by one. Stir in the squash and chopped ginger, sift in the flour, baking powder and spices, add the nuts and stir until smooth. Line the pockets of a deep muffin tray with muffin papers, then fill each one almost to the top.

Bake at 190C for 25 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, beat the butter until fluffy, then beat in the icing sugar and enough milk to get it to a gooey consistency. Add about a third of a grated nutmeg (or more to taste - entirely up to you) and some syrup from a jar of ginger if you want a double-spiced flavour.

Frost the cupcakes generously. Take to work and receive gratitude.

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