These were fabulous, plain out of the oven, plain from the cooling rack, and topped with delicious maple toppings. Left one was topped with maple butter. This was my first time trying 100% pure maple syrup maple butter. It's delicious! Nothing like the map-o-spread from my childhood. (Vivid memories of my first babysitter right now, who used to give me a jar of that stuff once in a while. I was 3.) The second one was dipped in maple sugar. Crunchy goodness. And the third is maple jelly. Yep. Maple jelly. Ingredients list is Maple syrup, agar agar. The texture and mouth-feel really allow the maple flavor to come through and linger. Amazing stuff. Too bad everything 100% pure maple is so expensive. I should grow maple trees.
And this cupcake recipe was amazing. The crumb is perfect! Taste is super. Very good, but a bit of a pain to make. You have to cream the butter and sugar, add egg yolks, alternate dry and liquid ingredients. Then you have to whisk the whites to stiff peaks, and fold them in. A lot of bowls for cupcakes. But they're worth it. Just plain they're worth it. With toppings? Oh boy!
French Toast Cupcakes
recipe adapted from Life with cake
3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature, separated
1 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Place a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F. Line the muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar on low speed until just blended. Raise the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. (Occasionally turn the mixer off, and scrape the sides of the bowl down with a rubber spatula.)
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk and vanilla, and also set aside.
Add the egg yolks to the creamed butter one at time, waiting for each one to be fully incorporated before adding the next.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Alternately, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, waiting for each to be fully incorporated before adding the next (scrape the bowl down occasionally). Raise the speed to medium and mix briefly until a smooth batter is formed.
Using a clean bowl and a hand mixer, whip the egg whites on high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
Mix a 1/4 of the egg whites in the batter, and using a rubber spatula, fold the rest of the egg whites into the batter, until just incorporated. Divide the batter evenly among the cups in the muffin pan. Bake, rotating the pan once, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 30 minutes. (My mini cupcakes took just 12 minutes, and jumbo ones, 23 minutes.)
So what's it going to be? Plain, maple butter, maple sugar, maple jelly? Or do you prefer your French toast cupcakes sprinkled with powdered sugar?