Apple nutmeg pine nut cakes with brown sugar buttercream

  • For the apple nutmeg pine nut cakes
  • 125g unsalted butter
  • 50g shortening
  • 4 large eggs
  • 400g caster sugar
  • 390g flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 250ml warm milk
  • 220g small-diced apples
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 70g pine nuts, toasted, divided
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • Caramel sauce, for topping
  • For the brown sugar buttercream
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 125g, plus 30g unsalted butter
  • 750g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 60ml milk

Serves: 24 cakes

For the apple nutmeg pine nut cupcakes:
1) Preheat the oven to 170C/Gas 3. Line the cups of a 24-cup standard-size cupcake tin with paper baking cases.

2) In a heavy-duty mixing bowl, cream together the butter and shortening on medium speed. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the caster sugar with the mixer set to low speed. Once combined, set the mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes.

3) Sift together the cake flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder. Begin to add the sifted dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the warm milk

4) Mix together the apples and nutmeg. Cook in the microwave for 3 minutes, and then drain any excess juices. Fold the apples and half the toasted pine nuts into the batter. Add the vanilla essence.

5) Fill the paper cake cases two-thirds of the way and bake for 16 to 20 minutes. Use a cocktail stick to poke in the centre of the cupcake and if it comes out clean then the cupcakes are done. Remove from the tin and place onto a tray to cool.

For the brown sugar buttercream:
1) In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and 30g of butter. Boil for 1 minute, remove from the heat, and cool slightly. (If it cools completely, it will harden too much and make it difficult to cream with the butter.)

2) In a heavy-duty mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter with the melted butter/brown sugar mixture. Add half the icing sugar and mix on low speed. Turn the mixer off, add the milk, and mix. Add the remaining icing sugar and vanilla and mix together until smooth.

To assemble the cakes:
1) Using a pastry bag and piping tip, ice the cupcakes with the brown sugar buttercream.

2) Drizzle with caramel sauce and top with the remaining toasted pine nuts.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

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