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Spiced Pear and gin cupcakes

Cake and Slice

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Ingredients
For the Pear Crisps
2 Medium Pears
2tsp of All Spice
For the Spiced Pear
2 Medium Pears
Knob of Butter 
35g of Caster Sugar
50ml of Gin (Far Reaches Gin is highly recommended for this recipes. www.farreachesgin.com 
1 tsp of All Spice
1tsp of Cinnamon 
For the Cupcake
125g of Unsalted Butter
125g of Light Brown Sugar
2 Eggs
125g of Self Raising Flour
1/4 tsp of Bicarbonate of Soda
1tsp of All Spice
1tsp of Cinnamon 
For the Gin Syrup
50ml of Far Reaches Gin
50ml of Caster Sugar 
For the Buttercream
250g of Unsalted Butter
400g of Icing Sugar
25ml of Elderflower Cordial
Zest of 1 Lemon 
Method
1. Prepare your Pear Crisps (It is advised to this slightly in advance.) Preheat the oven to 130 degrees (110 degrees fan.) Thinly slice your pears and place on a greased proof baking tray. 
2. In a small bowl mix together your spices and give each one a dusting of the spices, place in the oven and bake for 40 minutes. Take out the oven and leave to cool and crisp. 
3. Preheat your oven to 175 degrees (155 degrees fan oven) and prepare a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.
4. Prepare your spiced pear filling, chop your pears into small 1cm cubes, add to a small saucepan with a knob of butter, the gin and spices. On a low heat allow the butter to melt and cook down your pears, stirring often, leave to cook for 5 - 7 minutes. 
5. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs, sieve in the flour and bicarbonate of soda and gently fold. 
6. Fill your cake cases till they are 2/3 full, then spoon a tsp of your spiced pears on top of the batter gently pushing down. Place in the oven and bake for 22- 25 minutes, or, until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean. 
7. Just before your cupcakes are cooked prepare your gin syrup, add your gin and syrup to a small saucepan, bring to a gentle boil and let it bubble for 2 minutes. 
8. As soon as your cupcakes are cooked remove them from the oven and stab each cupcake a few times with a knife. Using a pastry brush brush each cupcakes with the gin syrup, set aside and allow to cool completely. 
9. Prepare your buttercream by beating your butter until pale, this will take a minimum of 5 minutes. Add your icing sugar in two batches, add the elderflower and lemon zest and beat for a further 3 minutes. 
10. Fit a pipping bag with a star ended nozzle, fill your bag with the buttercream, starting in the centre of your cupcake and working clockwise pipe your buttercream swirl. Top with a spiced pear crisp and... Now Enjoy!!
Happy Baking! All my love
Paul xx  
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