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Cupcakes three ways

One simple sponge, three different cupcakes

Three Nordic cupcakes easily made

Three Nordic cupcakes.

It is piece of cupcake to make your own assorted cupcakes.

Gå til norsk versjon

I have never liked cupcakes much. I made an attempt when I was in London this summer and by accident came across the one and only Hummingbird Bakery in Islington. The bakery was situated not far from what must be the most beautiful name of any London tube station, Angel Station.

Assorted Nordic cupcakes with passion fruit icing, almond praline topping and apples

Assorted Nordic cupcakes with passion fruit icing, almond praline topping and apples

To me cupcakes resemble the hair fashion of the 17th and 18th century

A time when men from the European aristocracy wore perfumed wigs powdered with flour. Cupcakes may look lavish, and to top it all, they are often photographed in a high key setting. But in the end cupcakes are quite ordinary. I would rather prefer a down-to-earth muffin or a British fairy cake. I like cakes with the same on the outside as the inside.

My cat Doris also wants a piece of cupcake

My cat Doris.

One simple sponge will provide you with three varieties

So, I hereby introduce my mockingbird cupcakes! It looks like you have spent the whole evening in the kitchen baking, but you have not. Here I make a late autumn and early winter variety with this season’s last Norwegian apples, another with almond pralines and a third with passion fruit icing. Make your own assorted collection of cakes and give them as a gift.

A trick I learned from Jamie Oliver in one of his cookbooks was to substitute the water with orange or lemon juice when making icing. This way you add flavour and a little splash of colour to the icing. I choose my ultimate favorite fruit, passion fruit. Just remember the passion fruit is mature when it is wrinkled.

Almond praline cupcake (or toscakake in Norwegian)

Almond praline cupcake (or toscakake in Norwegian)

Tosca cake is a Nordic sponge cake with an almond praline topping

As a child I did not like the sponge, so I only ate the topping. My mother, like most parents, did not approve of my action. Therefore I add the almond pralines both in the top and the bottom. This cake is to every kid out there who never had enough almond praline topping in their childhood.

Note! These are just as good with gluten-free flour.

Yields about 12 cupcakes (four of each type).

Cupcake with passion fruit icing

Cupcake with passion fruit icing.

Cupcakes with tree different toppings

The basic sponge:
175 g / 6 oz softened butter
175 g / 6 oz caster sugar
175 g / 6 oz flour
3 organic eggs
1 organic lemon
1 tsp baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 175C/350F/gas 4. Take out the muffin tins.
2. Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time and incorporate well before adding the next one. Fold in zest of one lemon and sifted flour with the baking powder.
3. Now make each of the different types – see below.
4. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes.

Almond praline topping:

40 g light brown sugar
40 g butter
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp milk
60 g blanched almonds

Prepare the almonds first. You do not have to blanch the almonds, you can also roughly chop them. Melt the butter and sugar in a small pan. Add the flour and milk while stirring and boil for 5 minutes. When finished, add the almonds.

Place a generous tablespoon almond praline in the bottom of the muffin tin and add some of the sponge. About 10 minutes before the cakes are done, place another tablespoon of almond praline on the top, and continue baking until finished.

Apples and cinnamon:

1-2 small Norwegian apples (or Granny Smith with some lemon juice)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a little box and toss well. Peel and slice the apples. Push them into the batter and sprinkle with the cinnamonsugar.

Passion fruit icing:

1 passion fruit
lemon juice
powdered sugar

Place a small colander (or an open tea strainer) on a coffee cup. Slice the passion fruit into two parts and scrape out the pulp with a teaspoon into the colander. ”Scrape” out the juice (so the pulp remains in the colander and the juice in the coffee cup). Add gradually powdered sugar until thick and not runny. If it is too thick, just add a few drops of lemon juice. Place the icing on the cupcakes when they are cold. If you are going to serve the cakes soon, place some of the pulp on top of the icing.

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2 comment on “Cupcakes three ways

  • pizzarossa
    December 15, 2013 | 9:37 am

    They all look so beautiful!

    • nordicdiner
      December 16, 2013 | 9:02 am

      Thank you so much, pizzarossa 🙂

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