This is my first Sugar High Friday event (and boy am I cutting it close to the deadline)! When Fanny from Foodbeam announced this month’s cupcake theme, I couldn’t resist. While I actually don’t make many cupcakes as this blog is mostly about cakes after all (though that doesn’t seem to stop me from collecting cupcake wrappers) – I do enjoy the occasional quaint cupcake. I deliberated for a while, but I knew I wanted to use some toffee I recently acquired. I’m also a huge fan of pumpkin baked goods, thus the combination of pumpkin cupcakes with toffee buttercream was born. In case you’re wondering what that subtle shimmer is, it’s edible gold dust.
After poring through numerous pumpkin bread/cookie/cake recipes, I decided to use the recipe from Williams Sonoma, and all I can say is yuuuuum……This is a flavorful, moist cupcake recipe with the right blend of spices, raisins, walnuts and crystallized ginger if you like, ideal for Halloween cupcakes, as well. The only difference was that I ran out of canola oil so instead of the full cup I used 1/2 cup of oil plus a stick of melted butter. I also added crystallized ginger chunks.
Toffee Buttercream (infamous buttercream recipe adapted from Nick Malgieri/Doree Greenspan)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg whites (1/2 cup)
pinch of salt
3 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup of toffee crumbs
Put the sugar, egg whites and salt in a mixer bowl. Place bowl over a plan of simmering water and stir constantly with a whisk until it feels hot to the touch, or about 3-4 minutes. Remove the bowl from the heat.
Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes. Cut butter into tablespoon size pieces. Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the butter pieces one at a time, beating until smooth. Halfway through adding the butter, let beat for 5 minutes more. The buttercream should come together. Add the remaining half of butter pieces, one at a time. Let beat a few minutes more, then add in toffee crumbs, beating until just evenly incorporated.