Rhubarb and Ginger Cupcakes

Have you ever heard of hygge? I only stumbled upon this Scandanavian word and concept this year and it perfectly sums out what I always crave in the wintertime. The more I look into this, the more I love it. Unable to be translated easily, the concept seems to cover that feeling of cosiness, togetherness, well being, contentment- the perfect example I found was an idealistic, traditional white Christmas. The loved ones, the soul food, the warmth and contentment.  I came across the concept in an article of easy easy to incorporate hygge into your life- lots of warm, comforting soups, quality time with friends and family, acknowledging those small treasure moments of a good book, cozy blanket and roaring fire. Sounds simpler in theory than practice in this crazy busy modern life but I suppose the key comes down to recongnizing and creating those little simplicities in life that are pure nourishment for the soul.

These last few weekends I’ve been able to step back and really open my mind to all those beautiful hygge moments that just appear in life naturally- driving up to my childhood home in the hills, seeing all the beautiful fading autumn colours and the smell of wood fires. Or spending a good few quiet hours on Sunday morning in my pj’s (something I never do), soaking in the rate winter sunshine with the cats. Man, it’s so easy to feel beyond grateful that these are moments I can happily relax away in.

And of course- the baking. The beautiful warming pies, poached fruits, banana breads, all the carbs that I plan to hide the consequences of until summer! After stealing some rhubarb from the parents garden, I baked up these cosy little cupcakes to take along to a girlfriend’s house. She’s a ginger fiend and when I make these next I’ll make sure I boost the ginger even more than I did this time- all though it gives a delightful little kick to the icing, it’s wasn’t strong enough for us full-bore ginger lovers (so I pimped with crystalized giner- NOW we are talking!)  The original recipe is from CallmeCupcake (find it here!), and man, if you haven’t checked this blog out before- GET. ON.IT. Those photos are to die for! These cupcakes are a dense style, so if you are after a fluffy little number they are not for you- but studded with rhubarb pieces and tingly little nuggets of ginger, they are hygge to the core.

 

Sour cream rhubarb cupcakes

1 ¼ cups + 2 tbsp (195 g) all purpose flour
¾ cup + 1 tbsp (180 g) granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp salt
100 g softened butter
2 medium eggs
½ cup (125 ml) sour cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
100 g rhubarb, trimmed and finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
50g crystalized Buderim ginger, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 175°C. Prep your pan with cupcake liners in your chosen size.
    2. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, ground ginger and salt in a large bowl.
  2. Add butter, eggs, sour cream and vanilla and beat until smooth. Stir in chopped rhubarb and ginger.
  3. Divide batter amongst the cupcake liners and bake for 20-23 minutes for normal size cupcakes. Leave to cool before icing.

 Poached vanilla bean rhubarb

100 g rhubarb, trimmed and finely
chopped (about ¾ cup)
1/3 cup + 1  1/2 tbsp (100ml) water
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Put rhubarb, water, sugar and vanilla in a saucepan.
  2. Let simmer very gently for about 3-5 minutes. The original calls for caution and they are not joking- do not wander away from this or you will have stewed rhubarb.
  3. Put a strainer on top of a bowl. Pour mixture into strainer and put the rhubarb pieces in another bowl to cool. Pour the liquid back into the saucepan and let simmer until slightly thickened, about 5-10 minutes. Pour into a bowl to let cool. Mix together rhubarb and liquid.

    Ginger cream cheese frosting

Ingredients

150 g softened butter
1 – 1 ¼ cups (120 – 180 g, to taste) icing sugar mixture
200 g cream cheese
1 tsp dried ground ginger

Instructions

  1. Beat butter until pale. Add icing sugar and beat until smooth and pale, about 1 minute.
  2. Add cream cheese and ginger, beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Pipe a generous swirl onto the cooled cupcake. Use a small spoon to create a little well in the centre of the icing.
    4. Spoon a dollop on poached rhubarb into the well. This is a gorgeous tart flavour so I definitely recommend being over-zealous with the dollop.

Happy baking and happy hygge hunting, beautiful people!

Snoz xx

Raspberry and Rosewater Cake

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Raspberry Rosewater Cake for the win!

Happy Mothers Day to all the wonderful women out there! Whether you be a wonder-Mum to whole tribe, first time Mum, Mum to be or hell, a Mum to fur-babies (Like me!) then I hope you had a wonderful day on the weekend. I’m not a fan of anything overtly commercial to be honest but I can never see the harm in celebrating any holiday- Christmas, Easter, Mothers Day etc are all what you make it in my humble opinion. Just bypass the Hallmark card and focus on what is really important; family.

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My lovely Mum and I

This year, Mum and I escaped down to the Mornington Peninsula for a girls day- there was markets, shopping, Bellini’s and a lovely walk through a local sculpture park. A chilled but great day spending time with Mum.

I’m forming a habit of baking cakes to celebrate any occasion. I really try to give handmade gifts as much as possible and to be entirely honest my creative capabilities don’t really extend too far….so cakes and bakes it is!

This little gem was made using a brilliant base recipe from Sprinkle Bakes; you can find the recipe here; Sprinkle Bakes Raspberry Rose Water Cake. This is a brilliant layer cake recipe with a to-die-for Raspberry puree that just makes the cake. The rose water is perfect to pair with Raspberry, making it a lovely feminine and light cake.

The only little tweak I made to this cake is the decoration. Sprinkle Bake’s cake is beyond gorgeous but I was wanting to incorporate some fondant painting I’ve been playing around with. This honestly looks more impressive than it was I think.

All you need are some food colouring gels and rose water spirit (available from any good decorating store). Mix a touch of your gels with a dash of the spirit and you get a brilliant water colour like paint for your fondant!

A few tips;

*Roll out and paint your fondant in advance. I painted the fondant a day before and would have been happier to have this a little drier for adhering to the cake.
*When adhering to the cake when dried be very wary of trying to wrap the fondant onto a curve- you will 100% crack the fondant!
* There are endless possibility with the fondant painting! Be as creative as you like, I feel like this medium is a little easier to get some stunning and unique results compared to traditional piping.

Happy baking!

Snoz xx