Thursday, 9 August 2012

Apple and Olive Oil Cupcake Sensations

I like to think of myself as a bit of a cupcake connoisseur.  Not that I actually know anything special about them.  I just like them a lot and have made a few good batches in my time.  We went to one of the Cub's friend's birthdays this week though and came across a cupcake that knocked all the others off the scale in a major way.  
It was an apple and olive oil one.  I know, sounds a bit fancy - I rarely stray far from chocolate.  But this was another level.  Nothing has ever come close.  The most insanely - I can't think of another word, sorry - moist, light and tasty creation I've ever tasted.  
I came straight home to hunt for the recipe and it turns out that Mr Ottolengi's been doing them for years.  How have I missed this?
I'm now got to make up for serious lost time and plan on baking them all weekend.  

makes about 18 cupcakes

280g flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
120ml olive oil (fruity extra virgin works best)
160g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, separated
4 granny smith apples, peeled and cut into 0.5 cm cubes
zest of 1 lemon
2 egg whites
pinch of cream of tartar

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
120g unsalted butter, softened
100g light brown sugar 
100ml maple syrup
250g full fat cream cheese,  room temperature 
big pinch

1. Preheat the oven to 170oC (or 150oC fan).  Line two 12 cup muffin tins with muffin cases.

2. Sift flour, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl.

3. Whisk olive oil, vanilla and sugar until light and fluffy.  Then whisk in the egg yolks one at a time beating for around 1 minute after each addition.

4. Stir in the diced apples, lemon zest and the sifted flour mixture. 
5.  Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff then fold into the appley cake batter.   The batter will be quite stiff and it will seem like there is more apple than batter.  Don't panic, this will only lead to appley deliciousness for your cupcakes.

6. Scoop the batter into the cases to fill them up all the way to the top. Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.  Cool completely in the muffin tins. When completely cool you put the cupcakes in an airtight container and  leave them in the fridge overnight (or for up to 3 days).  The flavours develop better when you leave it overnight.

7. To make the frosting: beat the butter until it's light and fluffy then beat in the cream cheese until just mixed in (be careful not to overbeat!).  Try to get rid of any lumps in the brown sugar then beat in maple syrup, salt and brown sugar to the cream cheese mixture until well incorporating making sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl.

8. Pipe frosting on the completely cooled cupcakes and just before serving sprinkle over with chopped walnuts or drizzle over maple syrup.  Will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for around 3-4 days.

recipe via

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