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Category: Desserts

Ginger cupcake triple play

The baking season has arrived, and so has a new reason to heat the oven: an inviting cookbook called "Baking in America" by Greg Patent (Houghton Mifflin, 2002, $35). Its recipes are the sort that inspire nostalgia. Their titles are ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour | Serves 14
Note: These can also be baked in mini-muffin pans. Bake for 15 minutes; use a butter knife to spread the frosting on top.

Cupcakes

  • 1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger root, finely grated (plus any juice)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 orange
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • About 1/4- 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger

Step 1Adjust an oven rack to the lower-third position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 14 muffin cups with paper liners; set aside.

Step 2Resift the flour with the baking soda, salt, ground ginger and allspice; set aside.

Step 3In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, fresh ginger, orange zest and one-fourth cup of the brown sugar. Beat for 1 minute. Beat in the remaining three-fourth cup brown sugar about one-fourth cup at a time, beating for about 20 seconds after each addition. Scrape the bowl and beaters and beat on medium-high speed for 4 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add the egg and beat 1 minute.

Step 4On a low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour and beating only until smooth after each addition. Stir in the crystallized ginger. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling them about two-thirds full. Don't bother to smooth the batter; it will level itself during baking.

Step 5Bake until the cupcakes are golden brown and spring back when gently pressed in the center, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for 5 minutes, then remove them to wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.

Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 (3.5-ounce) bar white chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

Step 1While the cupcakes are cooling, heat the cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat until it just comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the white chocolate. Whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the sour cream. Set aside, whisking occasionally, until the frosting is completely cool and thickened enough for spreading.

Step 2Place a teaspoonful of frosting on top of each cupcake and spread evenly with the back of a spoon. Let stand until set before serving.

Each muffin:
247 calories; 122 mg. sodium; 36 mg. cholesterol; 10 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 37 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 0.42 gram fiber.
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