Christmas Cupcakes with Nougat Icing: A New Take on a Tradition
A few weeks ago I read an article about nougat – a sweet made of sugar, honey and egg whites mixed with dried fruit and/or nuts, very popular in Italy and France. It is really lovely and making it doesn’t seem to be difficult so I definitely try making it one day.
This article made me think I could use an adjusted version of the nougat to create a snow-like icing. And because of the season, I opted for using it on top of cupcakes based on an idea of a British Christmas cake – full of nuts and dried fruit. The first time I made them, the icing worked perfectly – fluffy and delicious but I felt the cupcakes were a bit too dry and there should be more fruit there. So when I made them for the second time I changed the recipe slightly. Additionally, I also soaked the raisins in rum. This time everything worked perfectly and the cupcakes with nougat icing disappeared into happy smiling mouths very quickly!
This Austrian classic is probably the oldest known cake in the world, but you can…
Christmas Cupcakes with Nougat Icing
Author: Agnieszka Weiner
Cupcakes inspired by British Christmas cake: full of dried fruit, with nougat icing on top.
3 tbsp rum,
120g butter (at room temperature),
110g light muscovado sugar,
2 eggs (at room temperature),
140g plain flour,
2 tsp baking powder,
0.5 tsp nutmeg,
140g mixed dried fruit (cranberries, figs) and pistachios, cut into smaller pieces.
50g + 1 tbsp sugar,
75g liquid honey,
1 egg white,
extra pistachios and cranberries for decoration.
Put the raisins to a cup and pour the rum over them; leave to soak for at least 1 h.
Preheat an oven to 190 Celsius degrees (or 170 for fan ovens) and prepare a 12-hole muffin baking tray by either greasing it lightly or putting in paper cases (if you are using silicon forms you don’t have to do it).
In a food processor or with electric mixer beat the butter and sugar until fluffy and pale; add eggs one by one beating the mixture after adding each egg; beat for a while longer.
In a bowl mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg; and sieve to the batter.
Stir with a spatula, add the raisins with rum, dried fruits and nuts, stir and divide the mixture into cases (approx. 1 tablespoon for each one).
Bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes (check if baked by inserting a wooden stick).
Make the icing: put the honey, water and 50g of sugar to a small pan stir and heat on medium until the sugar is dissolved, then increase the heat to medium high and cook for 5 minutes.
Beat the egg white till stiff and add the 1 tbsp of sugar, beat for a minute longer.
Gently pour the hot honey-sugar mixture to the egg white while beating, whisk for 2-3 minutes longer.
Generously spread the icing on top of cooled down cupcakes and decorate with cranberries and pistachio nuts.
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Hi, I am Agnieszka, and I am passionate about delicious but healthy food. Many healthy dishes are bland and uninteresting. I reject this. So I created my blog Tastes of Health to share my yummy recipes for healthier (often plant-based and gluten-free) versions of family favourites.
I look forward to receiving your feedback after you try them.