Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Local Texas Fig and Honey Cupcakes

So hosted the most wonderful event to reincarnate the cupcake. I created a list of possible flavour combinations but none of them seemed to be the perfect one...until one day my father, whom I call Da, called me up. Through the receiver I could hear him tinkering in our little galley kitchen back home. The back door was swinging open and shut and he said he was in the process of freezing the figs from our little tree in the backyard. When I was younger my little brother and I would never even think of touching a fig, unless it was in Newton form of course. The little tree that grew up against the house, right off the back steps, mainly served as shade for our dog Clover who would lounge underneath its wide sweet smelling leaves. Recently, though we knew it was a fig tree all along, we've been more keen to try new recipes and convert ourselves into regular gourmands, mais c'est un processus tres difficile dans la petite ville de College Station, Texas!

So my little recipe is made with figs grown in my backyard and honey made from local Austin bees.

Our little fig tree was there before we even moved in and it now produces several pounds of figs each year...unless the birds get them first.

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup diced fresh figs
2/3 cup sugar (you could substitute with some other sweetener, nothing artificial of course, but something mellow so it doesn't overpower the figs!)
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted (unsalted)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
pinch of cardamom

1 1/3 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
3-5 tablespoons local honey
Optional*bee pollen

Because of the extra liquid from the figs you might need an extra dash of flour or two but the result is extra moist and delicately sweet goodness!
Equipment: 6-cup jumbo muffin tin

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Whisk the flour, baking powder,spice and salt together in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugars with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes.
While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.

While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.

For icing: Mix the confectioners' sugar and butter in a medium bowl. Add the honey and mix with an electric mixer to make a firm but pourable icing.
This makes more of a very thick glaze and you should let it run down the sides of the little cakes.
ice generously!

I topped each with a sprinkle of bee pollen (very good source of protein, but be careful if you have really bad allergies). Put the pollen on right after you've spooned on the glaze on top in the middle of the cupcake. The glaze will pick up the little bits of pollen and run down the sides with them!