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Rhubarb and custard cupcakes

Ingredients

For the compote

  • 400g rhubarb, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 stem ginger in syrup, drained and finely chopped
  • 50g caster sugar

For the cupcakes

  • 175g butter, softened
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • 50g custard powder
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 RSPCA Assured eggs
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 stem ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp stem ginger syrup

For the icing

  • 125g unsalted butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 50g custard powder
  • 50ml RSPCA Assured milk
  • 1 x 125g pot ready-made custard
  • Red food colouring

Method

For the compote

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. 
  • Place the rhubarb on a roasting tray and sprinkle with chopped ginger, sugar and 3 tbsp water.
  • Wrap the roasting tray tightly in foil and bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes. While it bakes, make your cupcake batter. 
  • When the rhubarb is ready, remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit so you can handle the tray.
  • Pour all the contents of the roasting tray into a fine sieve set over a small saucepan and let the liquid drain.
  • Allow the rhubarb in the sieve to cool completely and set to one side.
  • Heat the contents of the saucepan over a medium heat. Simmer until reduced by half.
  •  Pour the syrup into a heatproof jug and leave to cool. 

For the cupcakes

  • Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. 
  • Beat together all the cake ingredients either using a free standing electric mixer or a hand held electric mixer. Beat for 3 minutes.  
  • Using an ice cream scoop, divide the mixture between the cupcake cases.
  • Bake for 20 minutes at 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 or until the cakes are golden and springy to the touch.
  • When the cakes come out of the oven, drizzle with cooled rhubarb syrup.
  • Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out to finish cooling on a wire rack.

For the icing 

  • While the cakes cool, make the icing.
  • To do this, beat the butter with a whisk until soft fluffy, then add the vanilla, custard powder, half the icing sugar and half of the milk.
  • Beat continuously until thoroughly mixed. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until the icing is white, smooth and fluffy.
  • If the mixture looks a little stiff, add a splash of RSPCA Assured milk.
  • Using an apple corer, remove the centre of each cupcake and fill halfway with the strained rhubarb and top with custard.
  • To decorate, dip a fine brush into the red food colouring and paint three stripes inside your piping bag.
  • Spoon the buttercream into the bag fitted with an open star nozzle, then pipe tall swirls of the icing on top of each cupcake, twisting as you pipe for a swirl effect.
  • To finish, drizzle with rhubarb syrup.
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