Each month I look forward to the baking assignments with the Martha Stewart's Cupcakes Club. It always forces me to stretch. It forces me to learn something new.
Take this homely root, for example. I've used fresh ginger in an occasional stir fry, but never before in baking. This recipe called for a lot of it - a whole cup!
Believe it or not, I don't own a food processor, (Christmas - anyone? anyone?) so I was left peeling and cutting and chopping a whole lot of ginger by hand.
Here are the wet and dry ingredients for the cupcakes. Normally, I take the shortcut and just dump everything into one bowl. Today, however, I was glad I chose two bowls. The dark molasses needed the eggs and the hot water to thin it down before combining.
Isn't it beautiful? And yes, I am taking these photos out on my deck to take advantage of that last bit of autumn daylight! Why does my kitchen have to get dark so early?
At this point the batter is tasting heavenly, and it is with fear and trepidation that I put in all that ginger. Most gingerbread recipes call for 2 teaspoons of powdered ginger. What would a whole cup of fresh ginger do? Would it be mellow? Would it be spicy? Would it be heavenly? Would it gag me?
I put the cupcakes in the oven. In the fine print, the recipe said that the cupcakes would not "dome."
Mine cratered. What happened? Did I underbake? Did I overfill?
The perfectionist in me wanted to re-bake. The realist in me thought of options. Ginger Cake balls? Ginger Trifle? I felt a glimmer of possibilities.
After reviewing my situation at hand, I decided that a crater was simply a space for MORE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING!
Finally, the taste test. My first bite was way too spicy. (A food processor would have helped eliminate big chunks!) But by my second bite, I decided that it was really delicious, especially with the extra frosting on top. After my third bite, I decided that the amount of fresh ginger would have Florian of Cupcake Wars saying, (I can reeaally taste zee ingreeedee ent.) In fact, I found myself snitching the ears off the fallen cupcakes each time I passed through the kitchen. (After that, I decidedly sent them to work with my husband.)
Fresh ginger and molasses elevate these fallen cupcakes from gingerbread to ginger gourmet. They are a bit spicier than the standard cupcake, but all in all, I really did enjoy them. Thanks to Rebecca of Beurrista for this month's selection! You can find the recipe on Martha's website.
UP NEXT: Red Velvet Cupcakes!
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