Ho, ho ho! Season’s greetings in advance from a Doctor Who fan girl! So why Doctor Who? I’m glad you asked. (Well, technically I did, but whatever). So apparently I’m a big fan of Doctor Who. In case you haven’t noticed it yet, here’s some evidence.
So in the spirit of the holidays, today I am bringing you my Doctor Who Christmas special: “Tangerine” Citrus Santa Claus Cupcakes and my Evil Snowman Cupcakes! Because you know, the Doctor is nothing if not for all the evil that he has to fight.
This is my submission for the new Time Lord Chefs Christmas Special challenge hosted by Katie from The Perfect Brownie. I met Katie in the blogosphere by way of our mutual love for Doctor Who. I met her through twitter when I first created my “Fish Fingers” and Custard post, and we got the ball rolling on a Doctor Who themed event and so The Time Lord Chefs were created. The theme for this challenge was Christmas (obviously) and I wanted to do something that was seasonal, can be re-created at home easily and can be enjoyed by everyone, not just Doctor Who fans.
The Evil Snowman Cupcake is a nod to an old Christmas episode where the Great Intelligence created them to attack the eleventh doctor (Matt Smith) and Clara Oswin Oswald the Governess.
However, what I am more excited about are the Santa Claus Cupcakes. These are a definite nod to the upcoming Doctor Who Christmas special. I was so excited when I first saw the trailer and the poster with Nick Frost as Santa Claus. There they started talking about Tangerines… and they mentioned it one too many times for it to be just a throwaway line. Then this article came out after I made these cupcakes, and my suspicions were confirmed.
So I was inspired to make these Citrus Santa Claus cupcakes which are vanilla cupcakes with a citrus curd in the middle (for the “Tangerine”) and a cream cheese frosting shaped like Santa. Well, the top half of Santa at least. I used orange and lemon for the citrus curd instead of tangerine. You can use tangerine but I like my citrus curd with a little punch and orange juice just wasn’t punchy enough for me, and tangerine juice even less so. Adding that little bit of lemon elevates that citrus kick for the curd. Then I added some orange food colouring to give it the orange colour of tangerine.
This post includes the recipe for the vanilla cupcakes and the cream cheese frosting. The frosting recipe given here is sufficient for 12 standard cupcakes with regular swirl frosting, but for about 7 cupcakes in this particular tutorial.
For the citrus curd I used an adapted version of David Lebovitz’s original recipe. Instead of using only lemon juice, I used 1/2 cup of orange juice and 2 table spoons of lemon juice.
So here I’m going to give you the recipes for the cream cheese frosting and vanilla cupcakes. And then following that you will find the tutorial for creating Santa Claus with cream cheese frosting. The tutorial for the evil snowman is included as well, and although I personally used chocolate cupcakes and chocolate icing for the snowmen, you can use the same recipe as for Santa for the snowmen as well.
- ½ cup (125 ml) freshly-squeezed orange juice
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ cup (55 g) sugar
- 4 large egg yolks
- pinch of salt
- 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together the orange, lemon juice, sugar, egg yolks and salt.
- Add the butter cubes and heat the mix over low heat while whisking constantly, until the butter has completely melted.
- Increase the heat to medium and cook the mix while whisking constantly until it thickens and becomes jelly or pudding like.
- Sieve the mix through a strainer immediately to remove any lumps. The strained citrus curd will keep to up a week in the fridge.
- 1 x 8 oz cream cheese packet, softened
- 1.5 sticks of butter, softened
- 2 lbs of icing sugar, sifted
- upto ¼ cup whipping cream or half and half
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Americolor red colouring
- Americolor black colouring
- Americolor flesh colouring
- Add the cream cheese and butter to your mixer bowl and mix them using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer.
- Whisk the butter and cream cheese till they are soft and mixed well.
- Add the sifted icing sugar a cup at a time, and mix on low.
- Add all the icing sugar except the final cup and increase the speed to medium to mix the icing well, about a minute.
- Add the vanilla essence and ½ of the cream.
- Whip the icing (remembering to scrape the sides as well) until it's soft and creamy.
- Take 1 cup of the frosting and colour it with the flesh tone.
- Colour ½ cup of frosting with black colouring (Optional - you may or may not need this)
- Divide the frosting into 2 batches and colour it red and white (More red frosting if you're only going to make Santa Claus cupcakes)
- 3.4oz/ 95g self-rising flour
- 2.8oz/ 80g all-purpose flour
- 1 stick / 115g unsalted butter, softened
- 5.3oz/ 150g white sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ½ cup/ 125ml milk
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C. Line your cupcake tray with your preferred colour of standard cupcake liners (a 12 cupcake tray)
- In a small bowl sift together the flours.
- Cream the butter and sugar until you have a smooth fluffy mix - using either the paddle attachment of your electric mixer or the beaters on your hand held mixer.
- Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and vanilla in 3 parts. Mix on low after each addition making sure to scrape the bowl down in between to mix everything well.
- Divide the batter into the 12 cupcake liners (about ¾ full)
- Bake in the middle of the oven for about 15-20 minutes until an inserted tooth pick comes out clean.
- Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.
- If you are filling the middle with the citrus curd, remove the middle of the cupcakes with a cupcake corer or a melon baller, after the cupcakes have cooled.
Here are a couple of pics showing Santa Claus cupcakes in progress.
Once the cupcakes are assembled, store them in an air tight container so they stay fresh longer, about 3 days outside and longer in the fridge. The citrus curd actually helps keep the cupcakes beautiful and moist. With the colder weather these days, the icing does “crust” slightly just on the outside after a few hours, but as you can see, when you bite into it it’s still delightfully soft and creamy on the inside.
This is exactly how I wanted the cupcakes to come out. And oh boy they tasted so so so so so good! The creamy sweetness of the frosting pairs so well with the tart citrus of the curd. The vanilla cupcakes were incredibly moist, not overly sweet and the cream cheese frosting was fluffy and just downright irresistible. I felt bad for cutting Santa in half, but it was so much fun to do! Guess I’m going to be in Santa’s naughty list this year.
The evil Snowman cupcakes were made with chocolate cupcakes and chocolate frosting, dipped in white candy coating. This was fun, but a little messy and more involved. I think it would be better to make these the same way as the Santa cupcakes with white Cream cheese frosting and then use black frosting with a fine tip to do the details (or you can just wait till the frosting crusts and then paint the features on).
I can’t wait for the Doctor Who Christmas special this year. I love Nick Frost (though I will miss his other half – Simon Pegg), and can’t wait to see why the Doctor doesn’t like Santa Claus. Looks like this episode will feature Aliens, Santa Claus, Elves, Tangerines, the Doctor and his companion Clara (the last time??). Seems like a very logical mix of characters don’t you think?
I will post the link to all the Time Load Chefs entries on The Perfect Brownie blog later on Here is the link for the round up so you can find out all of the awesome Doctor Who/Christmas themed goodies other bloggers have created. So do check back in later for that link. 🙂
So have you started any Christmas cookie baking? What are your favourite cookies for this time of the year? I’m going to be baking some gingerbread cookies this week. Yum!
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