Maple and Pecan Cupcakes
This recipe from Susannah Blake’s “Cupcake” cookbook is less over-indulgent then some cupcake recipes – the cake isn’t a mountain rising from a muffin case, and the icing isn’t an inch and a half thick. I used normal bun cases to make these, but you can use muffin cases and just have a flatter top to the cake. Maple Syrup and Pecan are a classic pairing, and the combination of flavours works really well here in the light sponge, the creamy icing, and the caramelized pecan on top.
Preheat the oven to 180degC, then line a muffin tin with paper cases.
Beat 115g soft butter together with 50g soft brown sugar in a bowl until creamy, then beat in 160ml maple syrup. Beat in 2 eggs, one at a time, then sift 115g self-raising flour into the mixture and fold in. Fold in 60g roughly chopped pecan nuts, then spoon the mixture into paper cases and bake for about 17 minutes until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
To make the caramelized pecans, put 60g caster sugar in a saucepan and add 2 tblsp of water. Heat gently, stirring, until the sugar melts and dissolves. Increase the heat and boil for about 6 minutes until it turns a pale gold colour. Spread 12 pecan nuts out on a sheet of greaseproof paper and spoon over a little of the caramel to cover each nut individually. Leave to cool.
Beat 50g soft butter, 3 tblsp of maple syrup and 145g sifted icing sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Spread the mixture over the cakes and top each one with a caramelized pecan.