As always there were some adjustments and measurement conversions, so here is the recipe in its entirety. I made the raspberry liqueur purée on the evening before.
Raspberry liqueur purée
345 g fresh strawberries
115 g granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tbsp raspberry liqueur, like Chambord
- Place all ingredients in a saucepan, stir through and bring to the boil.
- Simmer for 8 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool down.
- Puree in a blender until smooth, then sieve through to remove the pips.
- Save 1.2 dl of the purée for the muffin batter and 2 tbsp for the icing, the rest can be frozen in an ice cube tray.
5.5 dl plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
0.75 tsp salt
3.5 dl granulated sugar
1.2 dl grapeseed oil
2 medium eggs
2.4 dl semi-skimmed milk
1.2 dl raspberry liqueur purée
2 tsp freeze dried raspberry pieces
- Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees C (gas mark 3) and line 2 x 12 muffin tins with paper cases.
- Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar into a large bowl, then stir together to make sure they are well mixed.
- Add the grapeseed oil and stir in to form fine crumbs using your hand.
- Add the remaining ingredients and whisk together with an electric whisk until a fairly runny batter forms.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases, filling about three-quarters.
- Bake one tin at a time for about 20 - 25 minutes until baked through. Don't open the oven door during baking.
- Let the muffins cool a little, then remove from the tins and onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tbsp raspberry liqueur purée
2 tbsp raspberry liqueur, like Chambord
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 dl icing sugar
light corn syrup in 1 tbsp increments
- Place the butter in a deep dish and cream it with an electric whisk for some 30 seconds.
- Add in the liquids and continue to whisk to form an emulsion.
- Slowly incorporate the icing sugar.
- If the mixture feels too stiff after all the sugar has been incorporated, whisk in corn syrup, a tbsp at a time until the mixture is soft enough for piping.
- Once all the muffins have cooled completely, pipe using a star shaped nozzle to form roses.
So, these were great fun to make and I did like the raspberry liqueur very much. It was actually quite thin, more like wine, rather than thick as liqueur. Besides, the bottle was ever so cute - tiny tiny thing, 200 ml only.
I cheated a bit and skipped the sieving of the raspberry liqueur purée and although it posed no problem in the muffin batter, it turned out to be quite a problem during piping of the icing. The pips kept getting stuck in the nozzle, so the piping went a little funny here and there. But on the whole, I'm very proud, I'm beginning to get better at it and some of the roses turned out quite nice. I sprinkled more freeze dried raspberry pieces on top.
I also got a chance to try out my newest gizmo - a cupcake courier. I've spent some time researching on boxes for cupcakes, nothing that seemed remotely useful for transporting the cupcakes. I wanted something that would keep things stable in a car... Then I spotted precisely what I had in mind, at a cup cake stand at a food market. So I was cheeky enough to ask about the boxes and the ladies were very kind and told me the brand.
The box has three racks, each taking 12 muffins.
Very sturdy indeed, no cupcakes were harmed during transportation to my parents-in-law.
Now for the taste test - the muffins were very moist, the texture was almost like steamed suet pudding, but a bit lighter. They were also quite sweet and strongly raspberry flavoured. I found this rather nice, but I suspect not everyone might think the same way. The icing was nice and I really regret not sieving away the raspberry pips.
As for the amounts of icing, they do indeed seem dauntingly large and indeed there was some left over. The batter resulted in 21 muffins and I think I over-filled them a bit and had to trim them. The left-over icing is now happily frozen together with the raspberry liqueur purée. Interestingly enough, the purée hasn't frozen solid, so has had to stay in the ice cube tray. This is a bit annoying as it's taking up space in the freezer. If I repeat these, I'll need to reduce the amounts of liquid I use in the batter and make it stiffer.