Cupcake Christmas Calendar 2013. 1: Mulled Wine & Almonds
It’s that time of the year again! No snow yet here in Sweden, none at all where I’m at which is a little strange as now we’re entering December. December 1st is the day us Swedes (and many with us) start counting down – or up – to Christmas with various versions of advent calendars. Some made of paper, others containing chocolate or gifts. Here on flickan & kakorna we’ll be counting up with the help cupcakes in the – 3rd! – annual Cupcake Calendar, 2013 edition.
Why another cupcake calendar? Cupcakes are so 3 years ago! Well who cares? It’s become a tradition here on f&k and I love the challenge of working with same format trying to think up new Christmassy flavour combos and designs. So I’m doing this mostly for my own enjoyment (and because I have almost nothing else to do and no December stress whatsoever… ;)), but hopefuly there are still a few fellow cupcake fans out there. This year’s calendar will be posted in English. I hope my fellow Swedes don’t mind. (Bara fråga om ni behöver något översatt!)
And now on to the cupcakes! As December 1st this year coincides with the 1st of Advent – which we traditionally celebrate in Sweden (and many other countries I hear) by lighting the first candle out of four counting up every Sunday with one more candle – I figured today´s cupcake would be in that spirit. It is flavoured with glögg – a Swedish version of sweet mulled wine – and topped with almonds, as that is how I like my glögg. No raisins, as I don’t particularly like them in cupcakes, but they can of course also be added. Glögg is often store bought, but it isn’t too hard to make if you’ve got the time, as it needs to be made weeks in advance. Here’s one I like (translation at the bottom of the page).
These glögg cupcake bottoms are fairly sweet (depending on what kind of glögg you use) so I’ve used a non-sugary frosting (recipe further down). Start with the smaller amount of sugar for the cupcakes and add more if you think the batter needs it.
Glögg cupcakes, makes about 12 small/medium sized cupcakes
- 0,5 dl soy milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 0,5 dl corn starch
- 3,5 dl all-purpose flour
- 2,5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 0,5 tsp ground bitter orange peel
- 1 tsp ground dried ginger
- 1 tsp ground dried cloves
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 0,5 tsp baking soda
- 1,5 – 2 dl sugar
- 0,5 dl vegetable oil
- 2 dl alcohol free glögg
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Whisk together the soy milk and vinegar in a bowl and set aside for a few minutes.
In a separate bowl, sift together the corn starch, flour, spices, baking powder and baking soda. Add the smaller amount of sugar and oil to the milk and vinegar mixture and beat till foamy. Add the dry ingredients in two batches to the milk mixture while stirring. Finally add the glögg and beat until no large lumps remain. Taste and if you think it needs it stir in the rest of the sugar.
Pour into liners, filling 2/3 of the way. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Take out of the oven and leave in the muffin pan for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
Whipped cream frosting
I have used dairy free options for this recipe (too) and sometimes different brands behave very differently, so try this out beforehand (or have a back up plan), as I have for instance heard that Plamil’s white chocolate doesn’t melt as expected if you’re using a micro wave. I haven’t tried that brand for that reason, but it might be fine in a water bath.
- 100 g milk free white chocolate
- 1,5 dl dairy free whipped cream (measured before it’s whipped)
- 12 g dairy free cream cheese
Take out the cream and cream cheese a little ahead of making this, as it is easier to get the frosting lump free if they’re at room temperature.
Chop the chocolate and melt it (I use a water bath/bain marie). Put it to one side to let it cool for 15-20 minutes, but keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t stiffen up again.
Whip the cream using a handheld mixer. When it starts thickening up, add the cooled down chocolate, preferably while the mixer’s still running. Keep going until the chocolate is evenly distributed, then stop and add the cream cheese in small chunks. Keep whipping until the cream cheese is incorporated. The cream frosting should now be nice and fluffy.
If you put the frosting in the fridge it will stiffen a little because of the chocolate. I sometimes use it right away and put the finished cupcakes straight in the fridge, and other times leave the frosting in the fridge for a while before piping. Note that if you leave it for a while in the fridge the frosting will stiffen up and trap the air bubbles you worked into it with the mixer. Stir or whip slightly before using to make the frosting smooth again.