The sweetness of the swiss meringue buttercream plus the tartness of the raspberry syrup, these are to die for!
Makes 12 – 18
Ingredients, for the cupcakes
225g/8oz plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
75g/2 3/4 oz dark brown sugar
175g/6oz golden syrup
125g/4 1/2 oz butter, softened
60ml/2fl oz milk
3 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the Swiss meringue buttercream
4oz egg whites (3-4 large egg whites or about 1/2 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
1lb butter, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the raspberry balsamic syrup
200g/7oz frozen raspberries
275g/9 3/4oz caster sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 170C/gas mark 3. Line a 2 muffin tin’s with paper cases. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl. Add the sugar, golden syrup, butter, milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk for 3-4 minutes until well combined, very smooth and pale in colour. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and smooth the tops with a teaspoon.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, turning the tin around after 15 minutes, until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tins for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the Swiss meringue buttercream
Lightly whisk egg whites and sugar together over simmering water until egg-white mixture is hot to touch or a candy thermometer reads 140°F (60°C).
Pour hot whites into a room-temperature bowl and, using an electric whisk, beat until double in volume on MEDIUM-HIGH speed. When you stop the whisk, the meringue should not move around in the bowl. Cut up butter into 2-inch pieces. (The butter should be slightly moist on the outside but cold inside.)
Add half the butter into the bowl immediately and beat until the meringue has covered the butter completely. Add the rest of the butter and repeat. Slowly increase the mixer’s speed, starting with the lowest speed and increase the speed every 10 seconds until you reach a MEDIUM-HIGH speed.
Continue beating until the mixture begins to look light and fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl. Reduce speed to LOW. Add flavoring and continue to beat on LOW speed for 45 seconds. Then beat on MEDIUM-HIGH speed for an additional 45 to 60 seconds.
Leftover buttercream can be placed in plastic containers with lids and kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost completely (several hours) and rewhip before using.
To make the raspberry balsamic syrup
Put the raspberries in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat, then sprinkle over the sugar. Stir gently after 1 minute to combine any sugar that hasn’t dissolved. Drizzle over the vinegar and cook without stirring for 4-5 minutes or until it goes syrupy. There should still be some whole raspberries left. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside to cool.
To decorate, either pipe or spoon a heaped teaspoonful of swiss meringue buttercream onto the centre of each cupcake, then top with a small teaspoonful of raspberry syrup