Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Roasted Blueberry Cupcakes With Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

I like to purchase foods that are in season - for one, they taste better and they are usually cheaper.  Also, they tend to be grown closer to home, carbon footprint and all that.  Although, when a couple of weeks ago,  blueberries were in store and on sale, I broke my code and went for them.  As predicted, they were grown no where near the UK (Israel I think) and weren't the best tasting blueberries I've ever had - I don't think any will ever compare to those picked myself in Northern Ontario, where I grew up.  But, they were cheap.  Win some, lose some.

Blueberries are great sprinkled on cereal or porridge, in smoothies or just eaten as they come but I really fancied making something with them.  All sorts came to mind; cake, muffins, pie (oh my).  But after a little browsing on the interwebs I went with my favourite treat, cupcakes.   I looooove cupcakes.  I can't stress this enough.  I love the scene from Bridesmaids when Kristen Wigg's character makes that one little cupcake, because sometimes just one is enough (well, that's not quite true but it's really all that I need).  I've often made 12 to 24 or even more because that's just what that recipe yields without ever thinking that I can actually cut the recipe by half or quarters and make far less.  It finally clicked - make 6!  When I told the hubster of my ingenious idea he had a bit of a "well duh" kind of look on his face but I ignored it, being quite pleased with myself.  Now I didn't have to eat more than I should. 

Now I was pretty proud of that little discovery (it's the little things people) but what I'm really pleased about is finally getting the cream cheese frosting right.  Sadly it wasn't on this particular batch of cupcakes.  Actually I'm not not sure what I will bake to go with the bowl of frosting I have sitting in my fridge (banana cupcakes?) because in wanting to share a cream cheese frosting recipe that works, I just made some!   When I last made cupcakes the frosting went a little bit wrong and it still wasn't perfect for these little blue lovelies.  I shared my frosting woes with my mother who suggested I forget the butter altogether and mix only cream cheese and icing sugar, saying "that's how I've always made it!"  Why didn't she pipe up months ago?

Anyway, it turned out perfectly - definitely won't be dripping down the side of the cake.  I'll need to make something to go with it, and quick, before I eat the whole lot with a spoon!  Although I used low fat cream cheese so it's not too bad, right?

Maybe I'll nip out to Morrison's and see if they still have blueberries on sale - now that I have the perfect frosting!

Roasted Blueberry Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes 6 (or so)

1 cup fresh blueberries (plus mroe for garnish, if using)
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons of milk, if needed 

Spread the blueberries on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven at 220°C for about 10-15 minutes or until the berries start to pop and burst. You'll want to eat these with a spoon but wait little grasshopper, it will be worth it. Set them aside to cool and lower the oven to 200°C.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until combined. With a spoon, stir in the flour and baking powder until fully incorporated. Scrape those luscious blueberries and all of their juices into the bowl and stir into the mixture, breaking down the berries as much or as little as you like - I left a few chunky pieces but you can use an electric mixer to fully break them down instead. Add a little milk if required to ensure a cake batter consistency. Spoon into cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full.

Bake for 18-20 minutes (12-15 in a fan assisted oven!) or until a toothpick inserted in the centre cake comes out clean (but not until the tops have browned).

Adapted from Sweet Peony originally from How Sweet Eats

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 1.5 cups of frosting

125g of cream cheese
about 2 cups of icing sugar 
1 tsp of cinnamon

Combine the cream cheese, cinnamon and 1/4 cup of the sugar with a hand mixer until the mixture is no longer lumpy.  Stirring with a wooden spoon, continue to add more sugar a little at a time until the frosting reaches desired consistency.

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