Blackberry and Apple Cupcakes
Bramble (or blackberry) and apple is such a classic combination, I thought it ought to be tried in cupcake form. I’ve been wanting to make something along these lines for a long time. My vision was for a bright purple blackberry icing and green cupcake cases to represent the apple part of the sponge. The trouble was, where to find some decent off road blackberries? There seemed to be a sad lack of them around us. Eventually, a trip was made to my mother’s garden where I was not only able to find an abundance of juicy ripe blackberries but also to forage a load of windfall apples. I was purple stained but happy, and my idea was finally able to come to fruition.
As it happened, I had a bar of blackberry and ginger chocolate sent from Elizabeth Shaw to try and it was just begging to go into the mix. The 57% cocoa solids dark chocolate bar was quite scrumptious in its own right, with an authentic blackberry aroma and flavour. It contains flecks of ginger and blackberry which give a pleasant grainy crunch. Surprisingly, given how prolific blackberries are in the UK, this is the first bar of blackberry flavoured chocolate I’ve ever come across; I found the combination worked very well.
These weren’t as visually stunning as I was hoping, but I wasn’t too disappointed either. The blackberry frosting was divine and I very greedily and somewhat naughtily polished off the substantial remains left in the bowl after icing. It tasted of blackberries with a lovely smooth creamy mouth feel. The cakes were also very good, moist and flavoursome. As I’d hoped, the blackberry and ginger chocolate worked particularly well in these bakes.
- 100g Unsalted butter
- 140g Golden caster sugar (I used my vanilla sugar)
- 2 large Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract (only use if not using vanilla sugar
- 225g Flour (half wholemeal, half white)
- 1 tsp Baking powder
- 75 ml Buttermilk or yogurt (I used sour milk)
- 3 (about 300g) Windfall apples – peeled, cored and finely chopped or grated
- 50g Dark chocolate – chopped (I used blackberry & ginger)
- 100g Unsalted butter
- 150g Golden icing sugar
- 100g Cream cheese – drained of any liquid
- 100g Blackberries + 12 to decorate
- Cream the butter until very light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs (one by one) and vanilla extract if using.
- Sift in the flour and baking powder and stir in.
- Add the buttermilk, yogurt or sour milk and stir gently.
- Add the apple and chocolate pieces and stir gently until just incorporated.
- Spoon into 12 cupcake cases and bake at 180°C for about 20 minutes or when well risen and golden. Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
- Simmer the blackberries in a pan with no added water for a few minutes until juicy. Mash and push through a sieve to extract as much juice as possible. Leave to cool.
- Cream the 2nd lot of unsalted butter with the icing sugar until very light and fluffy.
- Briefly beat in the cream cheese until just incorporated.
- Stir in the cooled blackberry juice until just incorporated, or leave streaky if desired. Spread onto the cooled cupcakes and top with a blackberry.
Elizabeth over at Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary has introduced a new food blogging challenge and one that is very close to my heart – Shop Local. Whilst it’s a sad fact that cocoa doesn’t grow in Cornwall, lots of other things do and I’m lucky enough to live in an area where I can buy local eggs from free range chickens and ducks, organic milk from Helsett Farm and also wholemeal flour from Cotehele Mill. All of these were included in my cupcakes, so I’m happy to be able to partake and help promote some of my local producers.
I am entering this into Four Season’s Food where the theme this month is Sliding into Autumn. It doesn’t get more end of summer, early autumn than a good blackberry and apple bake I reckon. This challenge is hosted by Anneli of Delicieux and Louisa of Chez Foti.
Apples are the chosen ingredient for this month’s Feel Good Food from Victoria of A Kick at the Pantry Door, so these cupcakes are winging their way in that direction too.
Another challenge hosted by Elizabeth’s Kitchen Diary but created by Turquoise Lemons is the No Waste Food Challenge. Where to start? The blackberries I picked needed using up asap before going off and the windfalls were starting to bruise so needed using up too. The chocolate has been waiting a very long time for just the right opportunity but was definitely ready for consumption.
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