30 April 2012

CAMP FIRE CUPCAKES or “Valborg” treats.

I hope you’ve had a great weekend. Today is a National Holiday in Sweden called Valborg.This means that tonight we will walk to a local neighborhood bonfire, where the neighbors will gather with their families. These Valborg bonfires are so huge that they gave me pause the first time we attended one for this holiday. People usually sing songs and lead children’s dances around the bonfire — or like us: just come by while grilling out with friends to say hi and absorb the atmosphere. Similar scenes will take place all over Sweden.

I’ve been so inspired to make a bonfire cake and thought that tonight would be the perfect occasion. These cupcakes are not exclusive to Valborg, though. Wouldn’t these be fun for aCampfire Birthday Party, too?


Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes
400g plain flour

250g caster sugar

100g light muscavado sugar

50g cocoa powder

2tsp baking powder

1tsp baking soda

1/2tsp salt

3 eggs

142ml sour cream

1 tbsp vanilla

175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled

125ml corn oil

300ml chilled water

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Arrange cupcake liners on a baking sheet.

2. Melt the butter on the stovetop or microwave and let cool to room temperature.

3. Mix the flour, sugars, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda in a large bowl using a large whisk.

4. Whisk the eggs, sour cream and vanilla together until a smooth mixture forms.

5. Using electric beaters, blend the oil and butter. Beat in the chilled water.

6. Add all the dry ingredients at once and on low speed, slowly incorporate them into the oil, butter and water mixture.

7. Add the egg and sour cream mixture and beat on low speed until a smooth batter forms, about 2 mins.

8. Spoon the batter into cupcake holders, filling only halfway up the sides of the hodlers(cos they rise alot), and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.


Make Paper Liners:

I wanted to use criss-crosses of baking paper as cupcake tins. To do this, just cut strips of baking paper. Cross these and attach them in the middle with a little click of butter. Add a click of the middle of the cross and press this criss-cross into a cupcake tin and fill.

To make the flame:
Crush yellow, orange and red hard candies in a plastic bag. I used these lollipops. Once crushed, spread the dust out on baking paper/parchment paper on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350. Watch to make sure this melts but doesn’t brown.  Once melted, remove from oven and cool. Once cooled, snap pieces into small flames.

Bon Fire Assembly:
Frost Cake with a dollop of chocolate frosting (below) in the middle of the cupcake. Cut Chocolate Fingers in half and cut off the ends. Arrange this as logs around the middle — use arrangements of 3 or 5. Once logs are arranged, press flames between the logs with the largest flames in the center until the cupcake resembles a camp fire. Enjoy!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Recipe
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened (but not melted!)

3 1/2 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon table salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract or 1 teaspoon almond extract

4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream

Cream butter for a few minutes in a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. Turn off the mixer. Sift 3 cups powdered sugar and cocoa into the mixing bowl. Turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the dry ingredients do not blow everywhere) until the sugar and cocoa are absorbed by the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt, and milk/cream and beat for 3 minutes. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add a little more sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1 tablespoon at a time.