English Breakfast Date and Galangal cupcakes with Salted Caramel buttercream
November 7, 2014
This is a cupcake recipe with spice, quite literally. If you haven't heard of Galangal, it is a Thai ginger root that has a spicy citrus flavour. The spice, combined with sweet, tea soaked dates and finished with a salted buttercream really does get the salivary glands pumping.
Note you need a food processor for this recipe, as the galangal is very hard.
For the cupcakes
1 English Breakfast teabag
200g dried dates
4cm galangal root
2 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tbsp milk
For the buttercream
On medium heat, in a small pot, combine 5 tbsp butter, 1/4 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup caster sugar, let it simmer for 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup cream and salt to taste, ~1-2tsp but if you like it salty you can add more. Keep stirring continuously so the caramel does not burn. Pour into a jug or bowl and let it go cold in the fridge.
375g icing sugar
The night before, put your dates in a deep bowl and fill, so the dates are fully immersed, with boiling water (don't add more water than coverage over the dates). Add an English Breakfast tea bag to the bowl of dates and leave to make tea for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove the tea bag and let the dates soak on the bench overnight.
In another small bowl of boiling water, at 4cm of galangal root, and let this soak overnight. The purpose of this is to slightly soften this very hard root.
Heat oven to 170°C bake.
Once soaked, remove the galangal, and using a potato peeler, peel as much of the skin off the root as possible.
Combine the root and soaked dates in a food processor and quiz continuously until the galangal is finely ground into the date mush. Add the tea syrup from the dates to help the processor move the contents. Set aside.
Sieve flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a dry ingredients bowl.
In a separate bowl, add the sugar and eggs and blend with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add the butter and blend until the batter is smooth, not lumpy.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet mixture and fold until combined.
Add the milk and date mixture, and fold until the batter is smooth.
Spoon in paper cupcake cases to 3/4 full.
Tip: I bake my cupcake in muffin tins so the shape of the cupcake remains 'upright'.
Cook for 20-25 minutes or until the centre of a cupcake springs back when lightly pressed with a finger. Every oven is different, so cooking time may vary.
Let cupcakes cool on a wire rack completely before icing.
With an electric mixer, beat icing sugar and butter until it's light and soft. Gradually add salted caramel, 1/4 cup at a time, tasting the buttercream until you are happy with the amount of caramel flavour. Don't add too much caramel as the buttercream will go sloppy.