Monday, May 5, 2014

Mothers Day 'Borrowed' Rhubarb Treats - from Kiwicakes test kitchen

Most mums want nothing more for Mothers Day than a visit or a phone call. Or that's what they say. I reckon you'd be pretty popular if you arrived with a tray of these fruity beauties! If you don't have rhubarb planted in your own garden, whip around to a good gardener (often our mums) and steal a couple of stalks. Trust me she'll thank you for it later!

Rhubarb Cupcakes

You will need:

125g softened butter
2/3c firmly packed brown sugar
1/2t vanilla bean paste
pinch salt
2 large eggs
1/2c milk
1 & 1/2c self-raising flour
& 1/2c washed and diced rhubarb
Owl design cupcake cups
plum icing
20g melted butter
1/2c sifted icing sugar
1/3c nougat, cranberries or similar to top

1. To prepare your rhubarb cook it with 2T water for 5+mins until soft. Let it cool. This will reduce to approx 1c of stewed rhubarb.

2. Cream first measure of butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk eggs and milk and add to butter mixture ever so slowly to combine. (Here is the egg mixture pictured with a sturdy mini whisk I totally recommend for prep jobs). Add the flour and continue mixing on low speed until a thick batter forms. Fold in 1c stewed rhubarb gently. 

3. Fill cupcake cups 2/3 full and arrange them in a 7x3 grid on your tray. Its important to leave space between for them to cook evenly. This recipie makes 21. Bake at 170`C for about 25 mins or until a cake tester comes out clean. 

4. Meanwhile prepare your icing according to packet instructions. This requires a little melted butter and some water. Add icing sugar to turn it into a pipeable consistency. Fill a piping bag that has been fitted with a tip to pipe through. I used wilton tip #109 for the gentle swirls.     

5. When the cupcakes have cooled, decorate with a swirl of the punchy plum icing and top with a thin slice of nougat or some whole dried cranberries. These cupcake papers are thick and robust to travel as well as simply being sweet! In the same range are eye-catching aeroplane, carousel, bluebird, babushka, patchwork paper cup designs and more.

These rhubarb cakes are also beautiful and light served simply with a fine sprinkling of icing sugar. Do it through a paper doily for maximum effect! This  really lets the classic rhubarb and vanilla flavour combination shine through. 

Remember that rhubarb leaves are poisonous so don't be 'helpful' by sticking them in the compost! Simply lay the leaves you cut off around the base of the rhubarb plant to keep moisture in the surrounding soil. They will decompose with time and the gardener will stay happy :-) 

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