Tuesday, 9 December 2014

"The Nutcracker" Cupcakes

"The Nutcracker" is a symbolic piece. Written in 1892, it became popular much later, as most of the classical music. Tchaikovsky left a print in the music history when this piece turned into a ballet performance. Since 1960, "the Nutcracker" has been a Christmas emblem in most of the big theatres across the world. 

Make these cupcakes festive, make them sweet and in big number - they are delicious and celebrate the joy of the season. 


for the cupcakes:
(makes 24)

240 g unsalted butter
400 g sugar
4 large eggs
160 ml heavy cream 35%
160 ml milk
90 g freshly squeezed orange juice (1 orange)
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
500 g all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. pinch salt


for the icing:

220 g unsalted butter softened
grated orange zest - 1 orange
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
500 g cream cheese
170 g confectioners' sugar
1 Tbsp heavy cream


prepare the cupcakes:

1. Combine the "wet" ingredients: cream, milk, orange juice and vanilla extract in a bowl.
2. Combine all dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, soda and salt in another bowl.

3. Beat the soft butter and the sugar till well combined to a airy fluffy mixture. Stop the mixer and scrape the mixture from the bottom of the bowl. Continue mixing - for about 3 min. 
4. Beat the eggs with a fork, just enough to destroy the structure of the whites. Add the eggs in small portions to the butter mixture, till well combined and homogenized. 
5. The working bowl is the one with the butter. Adding wet and dry ingredients to it is in three portions. Starting with the flour mixture, combine well in slow speed of the mixer (or by hand), add half of the liquid and the second third of the flour, mix just till combined, again - the wet mixture, followed by the last part of the dry one. Do not over-mix, just combine well. 
6. Fill the cups at two thirds.   
7. Bake in paper cups in a cup cake pan at 175 C, convection bake. Bake for about 20 min. Check with a tooth pick. 
8. After they are ready, leave on a rack to cool.


prepare the icing:

1. Beat the butter until it reaches a mayonnaise consistency.
2. Scrape down the bottom of the bowl, add the lemon juice and beat again.
3. Add the cream cheese. Cream well, until completely homogenized.
4. Sift in the confectioners' sugar. 
5. Add the cream in the middle of the sugar. Cream well. 
6. Cover with wrapping foil (the foil should touch the cream) and place in the fridge for not longer than an hour.

Tailoring:

1. Spoon in a piping bag with a tip of your choice.
2. Pipe swirls or rosettes.
3. Decorate.

Store in a cool place. Serve at room temperature.


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