When my daughter and her family built their own house on the other half of our yard a few years ago we decided to mark the boundaries of our properties with a hedgerow. There wasn’t really any need to plant bushes, but we wanted to keep the dogs on our side of the yard, and because of small children it i safer to grow bushes with edible berries (kids eat berries whether those are poisonous or not), so we planted aronia berry bushes.
During late summers I have always admired the plentiful harvest of aronia berry bushes, wherever I have happened to see them. Now we have our own bushes to harvest. One bush can bear as much as 8 -10 kilos of berries if the bushes are growing in a favourable place. And we seem to have succeeded: our bushes are bearing enormous amounts of berries, even though they only stand one meter tall and we trim them every year.
The summer before last I picked liters of berries and froze them. Last summer I made jam of the entire harvest. Freezing may be the best way to preserve aronia berries. They have a high vitamin C content, of which cooking destroys quite a big part. So far I haven’t picked them because of their great health benefits, but that of course comes as a bonus in addition to their delicious taste.
PORTION: 9 cakes in paper cups, 12 when using teflon cup tray
TIME TO MAKE: 40-45 minutes
Cupcake pastry dough:
- 100 gr butter or margarine
- 2 dl sugar
- ½ dl brown sugar
- ½ teaspoons of salt
- 1 dl milk
- 2 eggs
- 4½ dl gluten-free flour
- 3 teaspoons of vanillin sugar
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 dl aronia berries
- 125 gr butter or margarine
- 2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
- 4 dl powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon of aronia berry jam
Preheat the oven to 200°C degrees.
Defrost and drain berries if frozen. Add about four teaspoons of sugar and toss well. Set aside.
Prepare a mixture of flour, vanilla sugar and baking powder in a separate container.
Soften the butter, mix with sugar and brown sugar. Add salt, eggs, and milk. Mix well.
Pour the mixture of dry ingredients little by little in the butter mixture and at the same time stirring well.
Roll the berries in gluten free wheat flour and pour them in the dough bowl. Mix well and fill the cups.
If you’re using paper muffin cups you can add the dough straight in them. Teflon muffin cups must be greased first (about silicon I don’t know since I don’t own those). Don’t fill them all the way up, muffins rise beautifully.
(NOTE: When I used paper cups with one dough a few of them overflowed all over the aluminium foil. So if you want to make sure your end result sticks properly together and you are using paper cups I would suggest that you put them in some kind of teflon or silicon cup as well)
Bake for 20-25 minutes on the middle rack . After 20 minutes you should test with a wooden stick if the muffins are ready. If the dough doesn’t stick to the wood anymore, they are ready to be taken out – you shouldn’t bake them too dry. The taste and texture gets better the longer you keep them in your fridge.
Let the cupcakes cool well before starting.
Soften the butter with mixer.
Add the powdered sugar in small portions, for example one decilitre at a time.
Add vanilla sugar and aronia berry jam and mix well.
You should use a cake piper for adding the frosting. Using different kinds of tips you can get all sorts of creative. Neither my skills nor my creativity is good enough to make very creative creations yet, but I’m sure that practice I will. You should make the frosting thick enough so that it will just about come out of the tip – if it’s any runnier it won’t make any kind of patterns on the frosting and it will only melt to a pretty flat mass, that’s what I have learned so far at least.
If the frosting is getting too loose in your warm hands, let the piper and frosting rest a while in a fridge.