Tomorrow, New Years Eve, we are off on a short cruise with my parents and sister's family to celebrate my dad's birthday, and the New Year. (Look out for my next post from the cruise ship which will document our first meal on board!)
I wanted to prepare a little something for my dad, so in the spirit of bento (as in packing food in a box) I decided to make a little birthday cupcake bento to bring along with us. This is obviously technically not a bento lunch, it's just cake packed into one of my bento boxes! But it is another versatile way of using your bento accessories.
My dad is not very keen on cakes, but he does love sticky date puddings. So I decided to make a sticky date maple syrup cupcake which is very moist and pudding-like, rather than the normal buttercake recipe that many cupcakes are based on... This recipe is really simple and pretty fail-proof - you simply stick everything in a blender/food processer and zap it. Happy New Year!Continue reading for the recipe...
Sticky Date Maple Cupcakes
(makes approx 12 cupcakes)
200g dried and pitted datesPre-heat the oven to 175 degrees C.
310ml (1 1/4 cup) boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
100g brown sugar
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup (try and use pure maple syrup, not the maple-flavoured syrup)
150g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1. Put the dates in a blender/food processor. Mix the bicarbonate of soda with the boiling water, and add it to the dates. Soak for 5 minutes.
2. Blend/Process the date mixture a little. Add the butter and sugar, and blend.
3. Add the maple syrup, lightly beaten eggs, flour and baking powder. Blend until all the ingredients are combined. You should have quite a liquid batter.
4. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners, or lightly oil the muffin pan (if you are using the pan directly). Alternatively, you can use silicon moulds. Fill whichever container you use 3/4 full of batter. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes until browned. Poke the middle of the cupcake with a metal skewer/cake tester (or raw piece of spaghetti) to test if the centre is cooked. The skewer should come out clean.
Tip: If you are making mini cupcakes, lessen the cooking time accordingly.