Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Plum and Almond Cupcakes with Heavenly White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting



What does one do when faced with the dreaded phrase "I don't like chocolate"? Well, in short, you whip them up these amazing plum and almond cupcakes and hope like hell that they don't mind white chocolate in frosting!

I LOVE fruit in cupcakes.

Just had to have that sentence stand alone as it deserves it. Fruit (and vegies for that matter), give cakes a lovely moist texture and great flavour. Banana, carrot, pineapple, berries, pears and plums all make fantastic cakes. These cupcakes are simply divine as they are moist and tasty but not too sweet thanks to the cream cheese in the frosting. They make for pretty little morning or afternoon tea cakes, and dainty minis would be perfect for a do it yourself high tea. Try them, they are quick and easy to whip up and I have not had a single person not like them as yet.



Plum and Almond Cupcakes
Yield: 18 regular cupcakes or 30+ mini cupcakes
Source: Cupcakes, a fine selection of sweet treats

185g (1½ cups) self-raising flour
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
100g unsalted butter, melted
230g (1 cup) soft brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
50g (⅓ cup) blanched almonds, finely chopped
825g tin stoned plums in natural juice, drained and chopped

1.   Preheat oven to 160°C. Line 18 muffin holes with paper cases (more if making minis).
2.   Sift the flour and cinnamon together in a bowl. Add the butter, sugar, eggs, almonds and plums and mix with electric beaters until combined.
3.   Spoon mixture evenly among the cases and bake for approximately 15 minutes, or until inserted skewer comes out clean (check minis after 10 minutes, then recheck every 2 minutes until done).

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
Source: Piece of Cake

200g white chocolate, chopped
250g package cream cheese

1.   Slowly melt the white chocolate either in the microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring after each, or over a double boiler. Allow to cool to almost room temperature.
2.   Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer for a minute until smooth and creamy. Beat in the melted white chocolate until smooth, then colour as desired.



To decorate the cupcakes as I have, use a small offset spatula to spread some frosting onto the cupcake, then scrape off the excess to leave it flat with the top of the cases. Transfer the rest of the frosting to a piping bag with Wilton 2D tip (or a star tip) and pipe a small "ruffle" holding the piping bag straight and only moving upwards slightly whilst piping (hope this explanation makes sense!). Finish off with a sprinkle of white non-pareils and if you feel like it a couple of edible flowers, either bought or made from fondant with a cutter.
 
Last time I made these I could not find the 825g tin plums at the supermarket. Instead they had a 1kg container of plums that still contained the stones. I simply used approximately 80% of the plums and removed the stones with my hands.

Don't be fooled by how ugly the cupcakes look once they're baked, they taste great. You just need to cover up the shrivelled prune look with delectable pink tinted cream cheese frosting to make them pretty again. The frosting above is what I have started using as it has a firmer consistency and can be piped onto the cupcake. The frosting below is the original frosting from the recipe. It has a softer consistency and requires the paper case to hold it in. Both are delicious recipes and have the necessary cream cheese to take the cupcake from good to Amazing!

White Chocolate Cream Icing
200g white chocolate, chopped
125ml (½ cup) pouring cream
200g cream cheese, softened
40g (⅓ cup) icing sugar, sifted

Combine the chocolate and cream in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the chocolate has melted. Place the chocolate mixture, cream cheese and icing sugar in a bowl and beat with electric beaters until smooth. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 2 minutes, or until slightly firm. Beat mixture again for a few seconds until smooth. Spread frosting over each cake and decorate as desired.

                                                          Enjoy!

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