A few weeks ago, we were stranded at Atlanta airport for 6 hours. The flight to New York kept on getting delayed by an hour at a time due to the rough stormy weather near NYC. We were angry and distraught because we had to cancel the visit to the Atlanta Bodies exhibition just to be able to reach for the flight on time. But anyway, the delay turned out to be a boon in disguise, as I got to browse through several amazing cookbooks by American authors, at a book-stand at the airport.
One such book which caught my fancy was Big Mama’s Old black pot . Very simple basic recipes for good old fashioned southern American country-side cooking. Splendid illustrations, folklore and short stories depict a way of life and give a background to that cuisine. Running into 150 pages, it is a treasure!
The book is divided into several parts, the ‘Sweets’ section appealed to me the most. And fresh, delicate ginger growing in our home-garden was calling out to me . I think it said something like this :
Put me in a cupcake, gently rubbed with cinnamon,
Slather in some figs and butter, and bake till I am done.
And that is exactly what I did. These fig cupcakes are generously spiced and religiously buttered. The crunch of figs and the warmth of cinnamon make them delightful. Topped with a little bit of chocolate whipped in fresh cream.
Ginger and Fig Cupcakes recipe
Makes : 18 cupcakes
- 1 cup chopped dried figs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp finely grated ginger
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
Omit the salt if using salted butter.
- Pre-heat oven to 200°C/ 400°F.
- Keep the chopped dried figs in a heat proof bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water on them. Cover immediately and let it stand for 10 mins. The figs will soften. Drain the water and let the figs dry on a kitchen towel.
- Sift flour and cinnamon powder and keep aside.
- Cream butter and sugar for 3-4 mins till pale.
- Add the three eggs one at a time and beat well till fluffy.
- Add flour mixture into the butter mixture, alternately with milk.
- Finally fold in chopped figs.
- Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and pour the batter in them, filling 3/4th of the mould.
- Bake at 200°C for 20 mins
Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack. Whisk some chocolate with fresh cream and put a dollop on the cupcakes, just before serving.