Plum Jam In Icing? How Does That Work?!
This is what I was asked by a member of my family before tasting one of the spare cupcakes I made for the party; the concept of jam in between cakes is a normal thing for them, but jam in the icing? Now that’s new. To be honest it’s also what I thought when making it but we’ll soon see how it went.
I had originally planned to bake Cherry Cupcakes for the second recipe in my cupcake trilogy for the party but couldn’t source the kirsch soaked cherries in time, so went for another fruity recipe.
The plum cupcake recipe was a bit different than usual; the sugar went in with the rest of the ‘wet’ ingredients and was hand whisked before it went into the dry ingredients. By this point it was afternoon and my poor whisk was struggling a bit, especially as the plum jam had bits in it. I finally managed to get everything mixed in the end and put the batter into muffin cases and into the oven.
One of my biggest difficulties when making a large batch of cupcakes (made 30 from doubling the recipe) is that a small amount of the ingredients stay unmixed at the bottom of my bowl. I put this down to the fact that I have a cheap-ass whisk and a big-ass bowl. Naturally, I only realise when I’m halfway through filling the cases with batter; when this happens I just whisk up what’s left in the bowl and continue putting the batter in the cases. I can imagine all the professional bakers glaring at me and saying offensive things about method but hey; I’m a self-professed amateur with crappy equipment!
Once out the oven, the cupcakes were much more ‘rounded’ than I’ve ever made from the recipe books. I wasn’t sure whether this was meant to happen or because of my ‘interesting mixing tehniques’ but they were all evenly raised and thus good enough for me.
The icing also included some plum jam (hence the title). Now when I started measuring out the jam there were lots of big bits of plum in and I decided that these wouldn’t be the nicest of surprises when biting into the icing so I took them out and continued measuring. My whisk (and kitchen surfaces) generally hates making icing because of the layer of icing sugar that covers everything, even with a splatter guard! I did manage to get it all sorted (and wiped everything down) before icing the 30 cupcakes.
From experience, I learnt not to use any nozzles because of the bits in, so I twirled the cupcakes in the famous Hummingbird Bakery style and placed two slices of plum on the top.
24 of the cupcakes got packed and ready to ship off to the party, the other six were distributed among friends and colleagues.
Now for the taste test. I didn’t actually get to taste the cupcake till two days later, as I was working my way through testing each one I made, purely for ‘research’ of course. When I did get round to tasting the plum cupcakes, the plum slices did look a bit peaky and was actually described as a slug by a colleague, nice. BUT it definitely did NOT taste of a slug, or how I’d imagine one to taste. The cupcake wasn’t as sweet as I had imagined, which was a nice surprise. It actually tasted like it had spices in it, which I put down to the jam and was actually a really nice cupcake! Not too sweet (which I do like but have to be in the mood for) but too rich in flavour that becomes too much. Basically a really nice fruity cupcake!