We get to see the maple trees, maple sugar and the maple leaves

10 Jul

…in Canada we get to see them all! (Thanks Raffi!)

Okay, we’re a little late on the Happy Canada day front. Alas, work gets in the way sometimes. But that doesn’t mean we weren’t thinking about it! We were, very much. Because when I think of Canada I think of maple syrup.

No, not that Aunt Jemima stuff (though I have to say, her pancake mix is the best). Real maple gooey, sweet maple syrup.

Trusty Martha Stewart has a recipe just for us.

Ingredients:
2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp.
2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably Grade B
3 large eggs, room temp
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard or mini muffin tins with paper liners. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. With an electric mixer on medum-high speed, cream butter until smooth. Add the maple syrup, and beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add flour mixture, and beat well to combine. Beat in milk and vanilla until combined.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until glden and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes for standard, 10 to 13 minutes for minis. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.

4. To finish, use an offset spatula to spread each cupcake with maple buttercream. top with marzipan leaves. Decorated cupcakes can be strored up to 1 day at room temperature in airtight containers.

Maple Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:

6 large egg yolks
2 cups pure maple syrup, preferably grade B
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into tablespoons

1. In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix egg yolks on high speed until pale and thick, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, bring maple syrup to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat; clip a candy thermometer to side of pan. Cook until syrup registers 240 degrees F, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. with mixer on medium speed, carefully pour syrup in a slow, steady stream down the side of the bowl until it is completely combined, about 1-1/2 minutes. continue mixing until the bottom of the bowl is only slightly warm to the touch, 5-6 minutes.

4. Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, mixing until completely incorporated after each addition. Once all the butter has been added, scrape down the sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until buttercream is fluffy, about 4 minutes more. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month. Before using, bring to room temperature and whisk on low speed until fluffy again, about 5 minutes.

I have to say, both Becca and I agreed that these weren’t maple-y enough. In fact, while the cupcakes were still hot, we seriously doubted how good they were going to be. But, topped with maple buttercream, we thought they tasted a lot like pancakes and were really quite good. Our maple syrup, despite being real maple syrup, probably wasn’t grade B. That would have given it a deeper, richer flavour. Also, we didn’t desire to put marzipan maple leaves on our cupcakes, but instead topped them with some red sprinkles.

Happy (belated) birthday, Canada.

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