A friend gave me a book of cupcake recipes for Christmas. As I was flicking through it, this recipe immediately caught my eye but not necessarily for the right reasons.
We've all experienced those meals where a chef seems more concerned with the latest fashionable technique or the craziest combination of flavours than the actual food. Forgetting, it seems, that all we really want is to do is to eat something delicious. While I am all for innovation, sometimes 'shock value' wins out over taste.
They don't, I should stress, taste like curry particularly. Rather, the spice adds a sort of indefinable warmth and depth of flavour. It's a little bit spicy and a little bit fragrant but not so much of anything as to overwhelm. The cupcake itself has a perfect texture and, as you can see, the whole batch rose perfectly. That almost never happens when I bake cupcakes so should be considered a victory in itself.
There is probably a lesson that I can learn from these cupcakes about being slightly more open-minded. Or I could just eat them.
Adapted from Sensational Cupcakes
Yield: 6 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
- 25g (3 tablespoons) cocoa powder
- 80ml (1/3 cup) boiling water
- 1 large egg
- 105g (3/4 cup) plain/all purpose flour
- 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon medium curry powder*
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda/bicarbonate of soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 75g (2/3 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 40ml (just under 3 tablespoons) coconut milk
- 50g (3 1/2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200g (2 cups) icing/powdered sugar
- A pinch of salt
- Preheat the oven to 170C/325F. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases.
- In a mug, mix the cocoa powder with boiling water until you have a smooth paste.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg with 1 teaspoon of the cocoa mixture until fully combined.
- Sift all of the dry ingredients together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter and cocoa and beat on low until all the dry ingredients are wet. Increase the speed to medium and beat for a couple of minutes until the mixture is smooth.
- Add half of the beaten egg and beat for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the egg and beat again for 30 seconds or until all the egg has been incorporated.
- Spoon the batter into cupcake cases, filling them about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 20-25 minutes until firm to the touch. Place on a wire rack to cool.
- To make the buttercream, beat the butter and half the sugar together until smooth. Add the coconut milk and salt and beat until incorporated. Gradually add the rest of the sugar, continuing to beat, until you have reached the desired consistency.