Apple Nutmeg Pine Nut Cake

Apples introduce a natural sweetness to the cupcake batter.
  • For the Cupcakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 70g pine nuts, toasted, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 small-diced apples
  • 250ml warm milk
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 345g flour
  • 160g caster sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 57g shortening
  • 113g unsalted butter
  • 70g pine nuts, toasted, divided
  • For the Brown Sugar Buttercream
  • 55g brown sugar
  • 113g plus 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 660g icing sugar, divided
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60ml milk

Preheat the oven to 160°C. Line a 24 count regular-size cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

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 superfine sugar with the mixer set to low speed. Once combined, set the mixer to medium speed and mix for 5 minutes.

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.

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 extract.

Fill the cupcake liners two-thirds of the way and bake for 16 to 20 minutes. Use a toothpick to poke in the center of the cupcake and if it comes out clean then the cupcakes are done. Remove from the pan and place onto a tray to cool.

Using a pastry bag and piping tip, frost the cupcakes with the Brown Sugar Buttercream, and garnish with caramel sauce and remaining toasted pine nuts.

Brown Sugar Buttercream:

In a small saucepan, heat the brown sugar and 2 tablespoons 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.) In a heavy-duty mixing bowl, cream the remaining butter with the melted butter/brown sugar mixture. Add 330g icing sugar and mix on low speed. Turn the mixer off, add the milk, and mix. Add the remaining 330g icing sugar and the vanilla and mix together until smooth.

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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