So what did I bake?
|image courtesy of Pixabay|
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!
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!
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.
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
Cost: about £3.37, that's just 28p per cupcake.
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.
This Recipe has been shared with:
- Try a Bite Tuesday hosted by Caleigh'sKitchen.