In the short time that I’ve been fiddling around as The Bootleg Cook, I’ve really learned to appreciate the awesomeness of fresh ginger. With its tangy freshness, subtle sweetness and just the right bit of spiciness, ginger really adds that special something to baked goods.
The creation below was actually inspired by an attempt to make a batch of Alton Brown’s candied ginger. I just couldn’t bear to waste any part of the ginger root when it was giving off such an alluring aroma. I decided to use the leftover ginger peelings to make a batch of ginger pear cupcakes (with a handful of shredded carrots for added texture and sweetness), topped with a whipped lemon zest frosting. Perfectly moist from generous portions of shredded pear and carrots, refreshing yet sweet with just a hint of a spice, mellowed out with a light, tangy whipped frosting, this complexly flavored cupcake of indulgence will be hard to say “no” to!
More after the jump…
- one cup flour
- one cup oatmeal flour (run your oats through a food processor until it becomes a fine powder)
- half a cup of brown sugar (or a much smaller amount with some Splenda…The brown sugar really provides a rich flavor here.)
- one and a half cup of coarsely shredded pear (I used two medium sized Asian pears, because that’s what I had handy. Any firm pear would do, like Bosc.)
- three quarter cup of shredded carrots
- the peelings from a super fresh ginger root that’s about the size of your hand (use a spoon to peel it, if it’s not easy, the root is not fresh enough!) plus a teaspoon of grated ginger
- three quarter cups of yogurt (plain or vanilla, sweetened or unsweetened, it’s up to you. I used plain, unsweetened, low-fat yogurt)
- two eggs
- a quarter cup of milk
- three teaspoons of baking soda
- one teaspoon of salt
- one teaspoon of vanilla
- a dash of nutmeg
- a dash of cinnamon
- lemon zest frosting
- one cup of (chilled) whipping cream
- lemon zest and the juice of half alemon
- two tablespoons of sugar
This recipe makes about a dozen cupcakes
Combine all of your dry ingredients in a bowl and slowly add in the liquid ingredients in order of decreasing amounts, mixing as you go. Gently fold in the ginger, pear and carrots while sprinkling in some more nutmeg and/or cinnamon. Pour your batter into individual silicone baking cups, but don’t forget to leave a little space for the cupcakes to rise.
Bake the cupcakes at 175C/350F for around 35-40minutes. You may want to use the toothpick test to see if the centers are done (stick a toothpick into the center of a cupcake and see if it comes out clean 🙂 or gooey 😦 ). My mom always taught me that if the aromas are strong and making you salivate, whatever you’re cooking is probably just about done.
Let the cupcakes cook on a wire rack before removing them from the cups. While you’re waiting, you can mix up a watch of whipped lemon zest frosting!! HURRAH!!
Before you even start this recipe, I’d advise you to stick the metal mixers and mixing bowl into the freezer. The frosting will come out a lot better if everything is chilled. Whisk/mix the whipping cream in the chilled bowl until it starts to fluff slightly. Add in the sugar and keep mixing until peaks form. At this point, mix in the lemon juice/lemon zest and watch in amazement as everything magically thickens. You can stop when it looks like the picture above: super thick and yummy! Place the frosting back into the fridge to set until you’re ready to frost!
Right before serving, use a piping bag and swirl on a good amount of lemon zest frosting (between 1-2 tablespoons) and you’re ready to go!
- Fresh ginger root “relieves the surface,” meaning it warms the superficial layers of the body, muscles, and skin.
- Pears are naturally moistening and cooling, perfect for nourishing and protecting the mucosa of respiratory tissue against the ravages of dryness, heat, and toxins.