Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My sister's kitchen: Fresh Ginger Cupcakes

Aunt Allison with her favorite little cupcakes!
By Allison
Okay kiddies, on this episode of Baking with Allison, we're talking substitutions. You might be asking yourself, "But what's the point of having sweets if they can't be deliciously fatty and sinful?"  Well the good news is...THEY CAN BE DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY ALL AT THE SAME TIME! 
I know. I just blew your mind. Take a minute to collect yourself, I'll wait.  Okay, ready?

Think about the things in your favorite cookies and cakes that give you pause about eating them when you're trying to get fit. 
Oil? Gulp. 
Eggs? Double Gulp.
Butter? There goes bathing suit season. 
But wait! There is hope! Simple substitutions can cut down on most of this guilt. For example, if a recipe calls for oil you can completely substitute the entire amount with apple sauce. My mother has been doing it for years and it not only keeps the cake super moist (which is the whole reason behind the oil in the first place) but it is delicious. And it sneaks in some nutrition for the kiddies. You can also cut back on the cholesterol the eggs provide in your recipe by subing with egg whites. For every 1 egg you would like to sub, use 2 whites. If the recipe calls for 4 eggs (just as an example) I would only sub 2. That way you're still getting the idea but it'll be lighter.

So to keep with the spirit, I have provided you with a delicious recipe that not only has the substitutions done for you but....IT DOESN'T CONTAIN ANY BUTTER. Take it from me, an avid butter lover, this cake will rock your socks.

Allison's Is It Spring Yet? Fresh Ginger Cupcakes 

2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup molasses
3/4 cup applesauce (no sugar added)

3/4 cup boiling water
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 oz ginger root

2 large eggs

Before you get mixing, I would peel the ginger root (I like gently scrapping the skin off with a spoon). Once it's naked, throw it in the food processor and make it slush and set it aside with the water.

Ginger root (*Annie's note:  I've always been terrified of these things!)

Put all dry ingredients (with the exception of the baking soda) into the mixer. Give a little turn of the paddle attachment - just enough to mix it together.  While that's mixing up, sprinkle your baking soda into the boiling water. Once it's dissolved, add the fresh ginger. Set aside.
Matching containers are fun!
Back to the mixer, add the molasses and the applesauce to your dry ingredients and stir until incorporated. (Scrape down the sides of your mixing bowl periodically to insure you won't have any flour pockets.) Add eggs, one at a time. Now you will add the ginger, baking soda, water mixture. Mix until incorporated. Be careful not to over mix-adding too much air to the batter will kill the loft of the cake. 

The batter will be wet, so don't worry if it's not as thick as most of the batters you've done. Scoop the batter into cupcake liners and put in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick comes clean.
Adorable cupcake liners sold separately!
I would traditionally pair this with a cream cheese frosting but the cake itself is so 'BAM' that it doesn't need anything else trying to steal the spotlight and besides, we said no butter...So a simple drizzle of icing will do it.

 Whisk 1/4 cup powdered sugar with a 3/4 teaspoon of milk. And drizzle away babies!

Of course, I had to try one...to make sure they weren't bad...

If you wanted to make the topping a little fancier, you could always make (or buy) some candied ginger for the top of the cupcakes.

Stop licking the computer...

Until next time.....
Lewis, out!

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