Cupcake

Gin Tonic Cupcakes

This weeks recipe is pretty awesome if I dare say so. Gin Tonic Cupcakes. It’s like having a G&T and a slice of cake at the same time, minus the hangover. WHAT ELSE DO YOU WANT IN LIFE??? I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making these and it’s only fair to share the love. I have used Gin Tonic flavouring that I found in Sainsbury’s but I’m sure there’s others to be found on the internet, which is why I have not mentioned how much of it I’m using. I felt that the one I have used wasn’t very strong so if you find one that has a very strong taste you’re better off just using a little bit to start with and then adding more if needed. But now enough with the formalities, lets get baking!

Recipe:

Cupcakes:
130g Self-Raising Flour
130g Caster Sugar
130g Soft, Unsalted Butter
2 medium Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder
Gin Tonic Flavouring

Lime Curd:
150ml Lime Juice
Zest of 5 Limes
3 medium Eggs
150g Caster Sugar
1 Tbsp Cornflour
40g Unsalted Butter

Lime Buttercream:
2 medium Egg Whites
100g Caster Sugar
Pinch of Salt
175g Soft Unsalted Butter
Lime Curd
Zest of 2 Limes

Method:

First we need to prepare the lime curd. Combine lime zest, juice, caster sugar, eggs and cornflour in a pan and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Put it on a medium heat and keep whisking for about 5 minutes until it thickens. When the mixture has reached a nice and thick consistency take it off the heat and push it through a sieve. This will get rid of any bits of cooked egg that might have formed and the lime zest pieces. No one wants all of those stuck between their teeth! Finally add the butter while the curd is still warm and mix it in until it’s completely dissolved.

Next up are the Gin Tonic Cupcakes. Preheat the oven to 170 degree C and line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Cream butter and sugar together using a stand mixer or a hand mixer. The mixture should get to a point where it’s really light in colour and fluffy in texture. Add one egg at a time and make sure they’re well incorporated before adding the next. Then combine self-raising flour and baking powder and add them slowly to the mixture as well. As I’ve already mentioned in the introduction, only add a bit of the gin tonic flavour to begin with and have a taste and then add more if needed. I found that you will have to use a bit more than you’d think is enough. Since you’ll be filling the cupcakes with lime curd and adding lime buttercream as well, the gin tonic flavour needs to be quite strong to stand up to it. Basically if you think it’s just a little bit too strong, it’s right!
Using a large spoon to get a portion of batter out of the bowl and a small spoon to push it into the cupcake liner, divide the batter evenly between the 12 cases. Bake the cupcakes for about 18-20 minutes. They’re ready when the top springs back when you push it down a bit.

Finally lets get onto the buttercream. Combine the egg whites and the caster sugar, along with the pinch of salt in a heatproof bowl and put it over a pot filled with simmering water. Make sure the water doesn’t touch the bowl. Keep whisking the mixture at all times and heat it to 65 degrees C. If you don’t have a kitchen thermometer, it will be ready as soon as the sugar crystals have dissolved. You can test that by rubbing a bit of the sugar egg white mix between your fingers. If it’s still grainy keep it on the heat for a bit longer, if it’s smooth it’ll be ready and you can take it off the heat.
Put the mixture in a stand mixer (you can use a hand mixer but it will take a bit longer) and whisk it with the whisk attachment until it’s cooled down completely. This will create a very glossy, thick and stable meringue. While this is cooling down, whip the butter until it’s light in colour, nearly white, and fluffy in texture. When the meringue has cooled down to room temperature, add the butter bit by bit. Scrape the bowl down every now and then to make sure that everything is well combined. Take 2-3 generous spoonfuls away from the lime curd. We’ll fill the cupcakes with that. Add the rest of the curd to the buttercream. Finally grate the zest of two limes into the buttercream and give it a final mix.

I’ve used a Wilton 2D closed flower tip to pipe my buttercream onto the cupcakes. Fit a large piping bag with the piping tip and cut the tip of the bag off. Then put it into a pint glass and fold over the edge to avoid mess later. Fill the buttercream into the piping bag and fold the edge back over, then twist the opening closed. Give the piping bag a good shake. This will get rid of air bubbles that might be trapped in the buttercream. These could disturb your piping pattern later.

Core the cooled cupcakes with an apple corer or the large opening of a piping tip and use a small spoon to fill it with the lime curd. Then hold the piping bag vertical to the cupcake and whilst applying even pressure, in a smooth motion, pipe a swirl of buttercream onto the cupcake. I’ve finished them by grating some more lime zest onto the cupcakes and stuck a little paper straw into the buttercream, you know, because it’s a gin tonic.

Enjoy!

 

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