Monday, 1 June 2015

Rhubarb & Custard Cupcakes

Rhubarb and Custard Cupcakes

It's somewhat obvious, but I love to bake.....getting my hands into bread dough, making cakes and pastry.  Enjoying chef's perks!  Well one needs to ensure it's good enough for human consumption!  ;-)   And even better to share it with those you love.  So when Mr E informed me that his place of work was hosting a 'Bake-Off' style event to raise money for their chosen charity, I jumped at the chance to take part!  What even better reason is there to bake than to help raise funds for those in need, as well as putting a smile on the faces of those enjoying your creations?

So what did I bake?


Well we had to consider practicalities here.  Mr E travels to the office on the good old British public transport.  Trains to be exact.  And during the morning and evening commute, as we all know, there isn't space to swing a cat!  So to speak.  So there was never going to be a croquembouche, tiered creation or a cake diorama.


A Tiered Creation
image courtesy of Pixabay
I had so many ideas swimming around my head.  Brownies, good old chocolate cookies, meringue tray bake.  What I decided to make was something a little bit different, well I'd not made them before.  And there wasn't a flake of chocolate near them!  Was that a bad mistake? 

I came up with Rhubarb and Custard Cupcakes.  Well I say cupcakes, they were in fact muffin size, well folk don't want to pay a pound for a small dainty cupcake that's disappeared in two mouthfuls.  So, Rhubarb and Custard Cupcakes. It's such a classic combination; rhubarb is in season here in the UK,  it's a beautiful vegetable that most people enjoy and the sharpness of the rhubarb paired with the creaminess of custard is just divine.  It's even the name of a 1970's children's cartoon, Roobarb & Custard; have a look at this YouTube clip for nostalgia if you remember, and if you're too young to remember the cat and dog cartoon check it out, I'm sure you'll love it!  

Rhubarb and Custard Cupcakes

They were so straight forward to make.  A simple vanilla Victoria sponge mixture baked in trice, filled with a rhubarb compote which was hidden by a generous swirl of thick cool custard and then topped with a roasted stem of rhubarb. I'm salivating just at the thought of these beauties! 

For the custard we used 'Birds', can't you just tell with the colour (You may need to wear shades to protect your eyes from the colours in the images! Ha-ha!)!  Yes I could have used a proper crème Anglaise, however I was a little short of time so stuck to the vibrant yellow of 'Birds'.  Now, to prevent the custard from developing a 'skin' and to allow custard to develop a more creamier texture the custard needs to be stirred constantly until it is just about cold.  Great job if somebody need to be kept busy!   

Rhubarb and Custard Cupcakes

Now the quantity of ingredients made 12 cupcakes, but given their size we could only fit 8 in the container suitable for train travel.   So, Mr E & I got to try these creations on the eve of the bake off!  Well, any good cook worth their salt tastes their creations, after all I could have put salt into the bun mixture instead of sugar!  Ha-ha!  Who am I trying to kid (though it has happened on TV before!)  I just wanted to try one.  Oh. My. Goodness.  They were delicious.  The rhubarb held some of it's sharpness, the sweetness of the custard cutting through that beautifully.  And the sponge, well I think it's the best sponge I've ever made!

I also made some Cranberry & Oat Cookies as only 8 buns could be transported, at the request of Mr E.  These are scrummy and arguably healthy cookies (and far easier to transport). The batch made 34 cookies, which would result in more money in the coffers, in theory.  I've shared these creations with you a few week ago.  One of Mr E's favourites.

Cranberry and Oat Cookies

The 'Bake Off' was really successful in raising £124.75 for their charity.  Mainly in part from a colleague of Mr E's who bought nine, yes nine, slices of chocolate cake!  No word of a lie!

And for those who are interested in how I faired in the 'Bake Off'... The Rhubarb & Custard Cupcakes came second.  The winner had made a scrummy Brownie.  There were over 20 entrants, the vast majority of them being chocolate creations:  Brownies, Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Cheesecake, Chocolate Cupcakes and Millionaire's Shortbread!  By all accounts the judge likes chocolate!  Though don't we all, it's certainly a crowd pleaser and forms many a recipe sure to help raise some money.  And the prize?  Well besides the glory of being placed, I received a voucher for a well known internet superstore beginning with 'A'.  A couple of new baking books are winging their way to me as I type!  Well a girl (or boy for that matter) can't have enough cook books!  "Mr E get the drill & spirit level out, we need an extra book shelf!"


So, let's get to it and bake....

Rhubarb & Custard Cupcakes   Yum
Yield: 12
Cost: about £3.37, that's just 28p per cupcake.
Difficulty: Easy
Freezable: Yes, undecorated
Time: about 1hour, 30 minutes

You will need:
1 x 12 hole Muffin baking tray
12 x Muffin cases
1 piping bags
Large star nozzle
For the sponge
225g unsalted butter, softened
115g golden caster sugar
110g caster sugar
4 eggs, beaten
225g SR flour, sieved
1 capful vanilla extract
1  tbsp. milk
For the custard
1 pint milk
2.25 tbsp. bird's custard powder
1 - 1.5tbsp caster / granulated sugar
For the rhubarb compote
1 thick large stick of rhubarb
1 tablespoon caster / granulated sugar
splash of water
For the roasted rhubarb
1 or 2 thin sticks of rhubarb

How to make them:
1. Pre heat the oven to 180c / Fan 170 / Gas 4 and line your muffin tray with muffin cases.

2. Make your sponge batter.  You can either make them in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, with a hand held electric beater or, as I did, with a wooden spoon.  In a large bowl, beat the butter until soft.  Add the sugars and carry on beating until pale and fluffy.  Add the beaten egg a little at a time, beating well between each addition.  If the mixture looks as though it may curdle add a dessert spoon of the measured sieved flour and beat.  Once all of the egg has been incorporated add the vanilla and mix well.  Add the sieved flour and using either a large metal spoon or spatula (not machine beaters) gently fold in the flour until well combined, checking that no flour is trapped at the bottom of the bowl.  If the mixture feels a little too thick add a tablespoon of milk and gentle mix to combine.

3. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, using a dessert spoon.  You're aiming for the cases to be half to two-thirds full.

4.  Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.  You may need to rotate the tray after 18 minutes.  You're aiming for the buns to be golden in colour, well risen and when a skewer is inserted it should come out clean

5.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a rack. 

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 110C / Fan 100 / Gas 0.5

7.  Meanwhile make the rhubarb compote.   Wash the thick stem rhubarb and trim off the ends.  Slice up and place into a small saucepan with the sugar and 1 or 2 tablespoons of water.  Place on a low heat on the hob and cook for about 20 minutes.  Stir regularly.  The rhubarb will breakdown, you're looking for a relatively thick mixture (you don't want rhubarb water seeping into the sponge once assembled).  But not overly thick or caramalised.

7.  Wash the slender rhubarb stick and trim off the ends.  Slice into pieces about 5cm long.  Lay them on a baking tray not too close together.  Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  They will be soft when pierced with a sharp knife, but holding their shape. Place on a plate to cool.

8.  Make the custard.  Place the powder & sugar into a good sized bowl.  Add a little of the measured milk and mix to make a loose paste.  Heat the milk on the hob.  Once it's reached boiling point pour over the custard paste and mix well. (If the custard doesn't feel particularly thick enough, pour it into the pan and place over a low heat on the hob and continue stirring whilst it thickens a little more.  This will only take a minute or two.  Pour it back into the bowl.)  Keep stirring until almost cold.  This will prevent a skin from developing on the custard but also allowing the mixture to become 'creamier'. 

9.  Place the almost cold custard into the piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. 

10.  Trim the top off the buns, as though you were making butterfly buns.  If the hole in the bun is not deep enough, use a teaspoon to gently scrape a little more sponge away. 

11. Pipe a little custard into the hole of each bun, trying to make a 'cup' for the rhubarb compote to sit within.

12.  Top with a teaspoonful of cooled rhubarb compote.  Add a little more if you feel it needs it.

13.  Pipe a generous swirl of custard, this will hide the rhubarb compote and any exposed cut sponge.

14. Place a roasted rhubarb stem into the custard on a jaunty angle.

Enjoy!



Only Crumbs Remain

This Recipe has been shared with:
Link up your recipe of the week

#CookBlogShare Cuddle Fairy


Share this Post Pin This Share on StumbleUpon Share on Tumblr Share on DigItShare on Redditt Share on Google Plus Email This

22 comments:

  1. These look amazing! I love rhubarb and custard, such nostalgic sweets, and I love how you've incorporated the flavours into the cupcakes here, especially the custard as icing. Charity bake sales are always great too, I'm fully convinced cake can solve all of lifes problems!
    Hannah
    www.hannahbakesthings.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw Thanks Hannah! Yeah, it's such a classic flavour combination isn't it. The cupcake 'held' the flavours beautifully. I had intended to make a regular frosting with the inclusion of custard in the mixture, but it curdled for some reason! Nothing to do with the temperature; no idea why. Baking is such a science! So because of that disaster I used good old fashioned plain custard! Totally agree how a slice of cake (or two!) and a pot of tea can solve a lot of problems!
      Thanks for reading.
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete
  2. Yum, your cup cakes look delicious. I love rhubarb & custard, off to check the rhubarb patch :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah. They certainly were delicious - glad Mr E didn't have space to take them all to work so we got to try a couple!
      Thanks for reading x
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That makes two of us grateful for cupcakes! :-)
      Thanks for reading.
      Angela
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete
  4. These look delicious (I loved that tv show as a kid) - such a great classic combination - and congratulations on coming 2nd in the bake off as well as helping to raise money

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They really were delicious Johanna, so much so I've bought a couple more rhubarb stems to make some more for my parents (they missed out trying the original batch)! Thank you, I was so pleased to be placed out of so many chocolate entries, and the judge being a massive chocolate lover! Yes, we all have to try to do our bit within the means that we have.
      Thanks for reading Johanna
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete
  5. These look amazing..we love cupcakes in this house. Ive never given M rhubarb, so this would be a good way to introduce it! Thanks! #foodpornthursday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sophie, they were so easy as well. Ooh do try, we really enjoyed them, I'm even going to knock up another batch for my parent's to try. Do let me know how you get on... and if M enjoys the rhubarb. Such a healthy veg as well!! :-)
      Thanks for reading Sophie.
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete
  6. These look great! I absolutely love the rhubarb and custard combo but have never thought of putting it on a cake! We have rhubarb growing in the garden so will give these a go :) #FoodPornThursday

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sara, Ooh, do yes, please give them a go, they really are yummy! You won't regret trying them. Do let me know how you got on with them. :-) Thanks for popping over from #FoodPornThursday.
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete
  7. I love rhubarb and think it sounds delicious in a cupcake. My husband would love the custard topping but i'd have to give that bit a miss! Well done on coming second in the bake off!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it just scrummy ... and so healthy also. You could try a regular frosting with the rhubarb, I'm sure it'd be just as lovely. Though don't be tempted, like I did, to mix a couple of spoons of cold custard with a butter cream; it splits! No idea why. Thank you, I was so chuffed to come second! :-)
      Thanks for reading
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete
  8. Oh, WOW the rhubarb and custard cupcakes look amazing!! Thank you so much for sharing them with #foodpornthursdays x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, they are really yummy! So much so I made another batch yesterday!
      Thank you for hosting.
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete
  9. Such a lovely combination! Cant get enough of rhubarb this year. Thanks for linking with #CookBlogShare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Lucy, rhubarb is just so yummy isn't it! Thank you for hosting.
      Thanks for popping over Lucy.
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs remain

      Delete
  10. These look so delicious, perfect flavour mix! Thank you for entering into Treat Petite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They were absolutely delicious Kat.
      Thank you for popping over to read.
      Angela x
      Only Crumbs Remain

      Delete

Thank you for spending your time to read my recipe posts. Feel free to leave a comment, I enjoy receiving your feedback. However, due to spam I have activated comment moderation, which simply means that each comment will be read by myself before it is visable on Only Crumbs Remain. I shall publish and respond to your valuable comments as soon as I can. So please don't panic when your comment disappears when you hit the publish button :-)

Flick through our recipes!