Sunday, August 19, 2012

Baking for Nightshift- Ginger Cupcakes with Vanilla Bean Buttercream and Praline

After having had such a busy and full on last couple of months, I'm really trying to getting my baking and blogging mojo back. Even though I have still been baking, it has been some of the tried and true recipes that I have already blogged about so I didn't want to bore you with repeats. I still have quite a few stockpiled photos to blog BUT half of them I'm struggling to remember where I got the recipe from. This is the story of my baking/cooking life. I'm sure for those of you who have stupid amounts of cookbooks, cooking mags, tagged favourites and numerous blog to follow as I do, that you can relate to this! I thought I would pull my finger out this time and post these delicious cupcakes that I made for night shift on Friday.

After a day away from home (I actually took myself to the movies for the first time in months), I wanted to whip something up for the girls who were working. Our unit has been crazy busy lately with a high acuity so everyone has been frantic and working very very hard on every shift. Baking really does equal love so I really wanted to share some of that. I defaulted to one of my favourite cupcake books 'Celebration Cupcakes' by Tamara Jane. Let me tell you, if you want a cupcake book where the recipes work, then this is the one you want. I found a recipe for Gingerbread Cupcakes but as I didn't have any crystallised ginger (and in fact I can't bear it anyway), I left that out. They were delicious....gingery and light. I made a Vanilla Bean buttercream (using some of that fantastic Heilala vanilla paste) and topped it with some praline. I got the idea for the praline from a recipe for Kumara cupcakes in the Viva a few weeks ago. The praline really added a bit of va-va-voom to them so I'll remember that for a cupcake party trick next time.

Ginger Cupcakes

300g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp mixed spice
150g softened butter
400 g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
160ml (2/3 c) sour cream

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line 24 muffin tins with cupcake papers.

Sift the flour, salt, soda and spices together.

Cream the butter for a couple of minutes then add the caster sugar and beat until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each (this really helps to keep the cupcakes light so give it a minute after each). Beat in the vanilla.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the sour cream but don't overbeat.

Bake 20-25 mins until cooked, then remove from the tins to cool on a wire rack.

Ice with a buttery buttercream and top with crumbled up praline.

1/2 c caster sugar
1/2 cup blanched almonds (I use almond slivers)

Heat the sugar over a medium heat. Do not walk away from it and do not stir it. Swirl the pan to get the melted stuff away from the edges so the rest of the sugar can melt. Don't worry if there are lumps because it will all melt. Also don't have the heat too high or it will burn around the edges. Once it is melted and brown, add the nuts swirl them to coat in the caramel and pour immediately on to a baking paper or non stick foil lined tray. Once it is cool, pulse in a food processor to crumb up. 


  1. Am almost (almost!) wishing I were in tonight for these, they sound delish! Hope it's not too busy x

    1. They were good Jo but nothing is worth having to work on a Friday night....especially with your track record of attracting business!