Creepy cupcakes and a spiced and caramelised apple upside down dessert

by Sunita on October 28, 2009

It’s been a very busy week, and at times, I feel as if  I’m runing around like a headless chicken.Rengoni and Agastya are at home this week as it is their half term. In between keeping them occupied, getting their school projects done, and attending to other engagements, we’ve nearly come to the end of the week already! Where did the time fly?

I am also running out of time with blogging commitments. I had joined the #Great Hallow Tweet with great enthusiasm, even changed my header.   But only one post has made it so far. Renee,I promise, I’ll make it up to you. Look! I’m posting two recipes today! Wondering what it is all about? Check out my sidebar to know all about it!

A couple of days ago, Rengoni and Agastya asked if they could help make some cupcakes and I said “why not”. Soon after that, two pairs of eager hands were helping to carry ingredients, mixing and spooning batter into moulds; and yes, also gorging on the finished products. I am going to do a little cheating here. The recipe for the cupcakes is the one I made up earlier for the mini walnut, chocolate and banana muffins. This time, I made regular sized ones, and when they had  cooled, covered them with some melted chocolate. Once the chocolate had set, some icing sugar was mixed with a little warm milk to make a thick paste. With this, some spiders ( big fat ones :-D ) were piped on top.  There you go Renee! One done!

As for the other, I guess, one spooky recipe is enough for the day. This one is more a celebration of  autumn. Ripe , luscious apples, lightly spiced, made their way into this deliciously sweet and sticky dessert. I thought of calling it cake, but, is it? Hmm, call it whatever you want, but it was nice though; and very easy to make too. Caramelised apples, spiced with cinnamon and cloves are arranged at the bottom of two mini quiche pans and a batter poured over it and baked, which is, later, turned upside down.

I have used jaggery to sweeten the dessert instead of any other sugar.

Jaggery or “gur” as it is called in Assam, is  a traditional unrefined non-centrifugal sugar consumed in Asia, Africa and South America. It is made for direct consumption. This type of sugar is a concentrated product of cane juice without separation of the molasses and crystals, and can vary from golden brown to dark brown in color. They usually come in lumps or moulded shapes and can easily be found at the Indian grocers, or even in the Asian aisle of supermarkets. Jaggery ranges from mustard yellow to deep amber in colour depending on the quality of the sugar cane juice. It is sticky but an be crumbled easily. It is made up of big lumps which melt to form a thick gooey paste. Jaggery has a heavy caramel like aroma which is slightly alcoholic like sweet sherry or port. The taste is very sweet and musky. Jaggery is a rich source of iron due to the process involved, using iron utensils. It is considered by some to be a particularly wholesome sugar and, unlike refined sugar, it retains more mineral salts. Moreover, the process does not involve chemical agents.To store make sure that the container is dry or the jaggery will go mouldy. Use within 6 months. Read more about jaggery here .

If you cannot find jaggery, you can use dark muscovado sugar.

As for the recipe,

What’s needed-

For the caramalised apples-

1 and 1/2 C of jaggery shavings ( or dark muscovado sugar)
2 firm apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced
5-6 cloves
1 and 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
4-5 tblsp of water ( use less for muscovado sugar)

For the batter-

3 tblsp of whole wheat flour (atta)
a pinch of  bicarbonate of soda
1/3 tsp of baking powder
1 egg
2 tblsp of honey
3 tblsp of vegetable/sunflower oil

How to-

  1. Except the apples, place all the rest of the ingredients for the caramelised applkes, in a thick bottomed pan.
  2. Place the pan over heat, and when the jaggery begins to melt, arrange the apple slices, gently, in a single layer on the pan. Cook over low heat, all the time, spooning the syrup over the apple till the fruit softens slightly and the surup thickens. It should not dry out completely. Arrange the apple slices at the bottom of two mini quiches, spooning 2/3 of the syrup over both. Save the remaining syrup and let the apple cool to room temperature.
  3. Pre heat the oven at 180 deg C.
  4. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  5. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, honey and oil.
  6. make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and tip in the liquid mixture. Whisk gently to make a smooth batter. Tip this batter over the cooled apple. Tip the dishes against the counter and place the dishes in the centre of the pre heated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or till a toothpick inserted through the centre comes out clean. Of course, some syrup may stick on it and the top will be a bit puffy.
  7. Run a spoon round the sides of the dishes. Place a plate, over one of the dishes and carefully turn it upside down. repeat for the other pan.
  8. Slightly reheat the reserved syrup and spoon over the tops. Serve warm. Do not serve hot, as it will burn.

This is a seriously sweet recipe.  We loved this warm, sweet, sticky dessert.

We had them on their own, but, probably, a dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream won’t do any harm.


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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RJ Flamingo October 29, 2009 at 12:27 am

Both of these look wonderful! I had some jaggery once and used it all wrong, but I may try this with the mucovado sugar! And of course, your spiders look fabulously creepy!

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2 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Renee, do give it a try :-)

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3 Bharti October 29, 2009 at 1:50 am

One can never go wrong with cupcakes! I love the second dessert and the use of jaggery in it. Gur and apples…looks and sounds sublime.

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4 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Thanks Bharati, we did loe the desert indeed :-)

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5 Soma October 29, 2009 at 2:08 am

Love your apple dessert. I took some pictures with leaves today:-) what creepy looking cupcakes.

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6 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:59 pm

Thanks Soma, Happy halloween to you :-)

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7 hb October 29, 2009 at 3:15 am

Jaggery and caramelised apples as a dessert, unique I say. Lovely spiders :D

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8 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Thank you hb :-)

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9 Rosa October 29, 2009 at 3:56 am

So scrumptious looking! the cupcakes are real cute!

Cheers,

Rosa

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10 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Thanks Rosa :-)

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11 The Cooking Ninja October 29, 2009 at 9:36 am

Very beautiful! yummy … reminds me of Tarte Tatin :)

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12 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Thanks pam :-) yes, it does look like a tarte tatin, doesn’t it !

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13 Jamie October 29, 2009 at 10:22 am

Yum, Sunita, I don’t know which I would ask for first! The cupcakes look great but that apple tart/cake looks too luscious to pass up! Beautiful! And, yes, a dollop of whipped cream please.

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14 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Jamie, you can have both :-)

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15 Happy Cook October 29, 2009 at 1:03 pm

Love the idea of using jaggery for that dessert. Here we are not into Halloween so no scary cakes.
Shyama will be haivng her a week off from this weekend.

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16 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Yes, jaggery makes it quite healthy :-)

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17 Bong Mom October 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Happy Halloween :) Lovely treats

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18 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Thanks Sandeepa :-)

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19 Hélène October 29, 2009 at 6:29 pm

You did an amazing job with your pictures. They are gorgeous.

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20 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Thanks dear Helene :-)

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21 Dragon October 30, 2009 at 1:22 am

Everything looks so delicious! Great job.

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22 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Thank you :-)

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23 Natasha - 5 Star Foodie October 30, 2009 at 2:15 am

The cupcakes are so cute for Halloween and the caramelized apple dessert is absolutely gorgeous!

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24 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Thanks natasha :-)

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25 Sudeshna October 30, 2009 at 3:23 am

Oh these pics looks amazing, especially the caramelised apple upside down dessert. I hope you people are having a great Halloween week. All the best to Rengoni and Agastha for their mid-terms.

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26 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:53 pm

Thanks Sudeshna. Yes, the kids are enjoying their half term :-)

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27 diva October 30, 2009 at 3:05 pm

the apple upside down looks stickily good mmmm :) and loving the cupcakes! u’ve piped the spiders on really well. the legs look just perfect and spidery creepy. eEEKS. i hate their legs. makes my hairs stand on their ends. happy halloween!! x

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28 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Hey dva, thanks; I’m not a big fan of spiders either . Happy halloween to you too :-)

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29 Munni October 30, 2009 at 7:40 pm

The dessert is very tempting, will have to try making this soon.
Btw the cup cakes are perfect for the Halloween party !!

Nice Work

Munni

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30 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Thanks Munni :-)

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31 Nicisme October 30, 2009 at 9:34 pm

You have been busy Sunita. Lovely Autumn treats you have made.

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32 Sunita October 31, 2009 at 1:51 pm

Thanks Nic :-)

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33 deeba October 31, 2009 at 3:43 pm

Beautiful desserts Sunita…YAY for Rengoni! She did GREAT on the spooky cupcakes. Love your use of jaggery in the apple dessert. Time I began exploring gur/jaggery more often. Gorgeous post!

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34 lisa @ dandysugar November 1, 2009 at 12:11 am

Your apple dessert looks wonderful- the jaggery sounds interesting, I would love to try baking with it. Wht a beautiful blog you have.

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35 Nirmala November 2, 2009 at 6:27 am

Just finished up 4 big apples whom a gues got us a week back. Anyways I am going to get some to make this. Looks seriously sweet ;)

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36 Raluca November 14, 2009 at 1:42 pm

The cake looks delicious, but can you tell me how much milk you used. It says add the milk, but no mention of how much. Thank you!

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