Boston Cream Cupcakes

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What a way to come back after being MIA for I don’t know how long. I have been so busy preparing my next cookbook. It’s been absolutely crazy; triple checking the recipes, turning my house into a photoshoot studio and eating so much cake, my bikini drawer should remain locked!

Anyway. Here’s a sneak peek. Divine, boston cream cupcakes. These are called “kok” where I come from but I found it sounded inappropriate if you know what I mean.

These fluffy, airy, mouthfuls are a combination of amazing textures and tastes. The sponge has the right amount of moisture, the cream is velvety and smooth and the chocolate ganache is… well… gorgeous chocolate ganache! I say mouthfuls, as this is the kind of cupcake you must eat in two bites at the most.

I really hope you make these. They will be in my new book presented with a much nicer photograph than the one I am posting. They are divine!

Ingredients

For the Syrup

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • Peel from half a lemon
  • 1 tsp honey

For the cupcakes (makes 24)

  • 50 grams unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup corn flour
  • 1 Tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp salt

For the pastry cream

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup cream
  • 2 ½ level Tbs cornflour
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large eggs, + 2 large egg yolks
  • 50gr butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 100 grams dark chocolate
  • 100 ml cream
  • 1 Tbs unsalted butter

Method

Preheat oven to 175 C, fan.

Make the syrup by combining all ingredients together in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 1 minute. Set aside to cool completely. Syrup can be kept covered in the fridge for 48 hours.

Make the cupcakes: Butter and flour the base and sides of two, 12 cup, cupcake pans. Don’t even think of using paper cups. Your cupcakes will stick on the paper and will look like a mess (I share my  personal experiences…). A little more time to heavily butter and flour the cupcake pans will make you look really good at the end.

In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk beater, whisk the eggs and sugar until very fluffy and almost triple in volume. Eggs MUST be at room temperature to achieve maximum volume. Whisk for 8-10 minutes and have in mind that no human hands can whisk these eggs to their full volume. You have to use a mixer.

Sift the flour, corn flour and salt directly over the egg mixture. Use a spatula to gently mix in the flour, using a folding motion, trying not to lose too much volume. Mix until you can see no visible traces of flour.

Take about a cup of this mixture and mix it in a separate bowl with the melted butter. Then transfer the butter mixture into the mixing bowl and again, using a spatula and a folding motion, incorporate the butter mixture.

Using an ice cream scoop for ease, transfer the batter into the prepared cupcake pans. You need to fill them 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes for 15-17 minutes. The cupcakes will rise to the top but since this is a very airy and light sponge, they will not have a domed top, but rather a flat one.

Remove pans from the oven. Let cupcakes cool for 10 minutes before removing on wire racks to cool completely. Cupcakes can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for 24 hours.

Make the pastry cream: Put the milk, cream and half the sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg and egg yolks with the remaining sugar. Add the corn flour and vanilla and mix until combined. When milk mixture starts to boil, remove from the heat and pour into the egg mixture, in a steady stream while beating constantly. Return mixture into saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir constantly, preferably with a whisk until cream thickens (whisk quicker as it thickens to make sure cream if free of lumps). Take cream off the heat and add the butter. Whisk until butter is melted and combined.

Transfer cream into a bowl. Cover surface of cream with plastic wrap (this will prevent a skin from forming). Let the cream cool for half an hour. Then transfer to the fridge to cool completely. Cream can be kept in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Make the ganache: Put chopped dark chocolate in a bowl. Bring cream to a boil over gentle heat. Pour over the chocolate and let it stand for a couple of minutes. Stir unil chocolate has melted and mixture is smooth. Add butter and mix again until ganache is glossy. Cool ganache to spreading consistency. You can transfer ganache in the fridge for up to one week. Reheat gently, stirring constantly, until it reaches desired consistency.

Assemble the cupcakes: Split cupcakes in half horizontally. Using a pastry brush, brush cut side of cupcakes with the syrup.

Remove plastic wrap from cold pastry cream. Whisk cream briefly to fluff it up. Transfer cream in a piping bag. Cut the tip of the piping bag to create a ½ inch opening. Pipe cream onto all the cupcake bases. Cover bases with their “lid”, pushing down slightly to help keep in place.

Using a small spatula spread the ganache on the cupcakes. Resist the desire to eat these right away. Cupcakes will be absolutely divine if left 3-12 hours in the fridge. Keep covered with plastic wrap.

 

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