Christmas Treats: Cupcakes and Rumballs

A little out of season, I know, but I came across my notes and some pictures from last Christmas for recipes that were just too good not to share!

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Vanilla Cupcakes with Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cups plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
60g butter, room temperature
2 eggs
80ml sour cream
60ml rice bran oil
3tsp vanilla extract
150ml whole milk

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4.

Combine all dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar – in a large bowl, then add the butter and beat on a low speed until the mixture forms a fine crumb.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, rice bran oil, and vanilla.

Combine the egg mixture and the flower mixture, then slowly add the milk, beating on a low speed, until the mixture is just combined.

Fill your cupcake liners and bake for about 15 minutes.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

4 large egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
270g of butter, room tepmerature
2 tsp vanilla extract
food colouring

Method

Gently heat the sugar and egg whites over a double boiler until the sugar has dissolved completely.

Remove from heat and beat the mixture to stiff peaks. Continue to beat until the bowl has cooled to room temperature. You should have a bowl of thick, glossy, stiff egg whites.

Cut the butter into cubes, it should be firm enough to hold it’s shape, but should not be cold. Add the butter to the egg white mixture a little at a time beating continuously with the paddle attachment. Your mixture will collapse a little and may look a bit of a soupy mess but don’t worry, just beat, beat, beat – it will come together in the end.

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Rumballs

I’ve been making rumballs since before I can remember – they were actually the first thing I ever made on my own, but as there is no oven involved this is not surprising! I remember racing home from school and rummaging in the pantry, the delight I felt when, upon inspection, I found all the goodies I needed present and accounted for.

My recipe for rumballs changes all the time, I’ve even made a healthy version using ground almonds and dates (you’ll have to keep reading my blog if you want the recipe!). Really, it’s difficult to go wrong, you just need enough wet and dry to keep it all together!

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The rumballs above were dipped in melted dark chocolate or melted white chocolate, and then rolled in coconut – they were divine!

Ingredients

250g packet of Scotch Finger biscuits (or something slightly dryer than a shortbread)
100g almond meal
3/4 cup dessicated coconut
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tin sweetened condensed milk
spiced rum (or whichever spirit you prefer)
200g white chocolate
200g dark chocolate
dash of heavy cream
extra coconut for rolling

Method

Crush the biscuits, then stir in the rest of the dry ingredients – amond meal, coconut and cocoa powder.

Add in your condensed milk and spiced rum, I like a good lug but you can put in as much as you like. Just bear in mind that if you add too much, your mixture will be too wet!

If your mixture is a little dry, heat up some honey in the microwave so it’s nice and runny, then add a little at a time to your mixture until you reach your desired consistency. The mixture should stick together, but still hold it’s shape. Place your rumball batter in the fridge for about 30 minutes – it will be less sticky and easier to roll!

Place your white chocolate and dark chocolate in separate bowls with about a tablespoon of cream in each. Melt one of the bowls first and use this to coat half your batter before moving onto the next bowl, as your chocolate will just harden as it sits.

Roll a tsp of your batter into a small ball, then, using a toothpick, dip the rumball into the melted chocolate and coat it completely. Let the excess chocolate drip from your rumball, then roll it in coconut so that it is completely covered.

Place your finished rumballs in the fridge to set for a few hours, then eat!

Enjoy… x

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