Food Swap (Storey, 2016) by Emily Paster describes a food swap as "a gathering of friends and food lovers to exchange their home-made goods." Paster offers guidance on finding a local food swap, strategies for successful swapping, and the basics on how to start and maintain your own event. Food Swap also includes over 75 recipes as well as labels for you to use at your own swap. This excerpt comes from chapter four, "Quickly Consumed: Items to Make Fresh & Enjoy Soon."
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Food Swap.
The proliferation of cupcake shops, cupcake cookbooks, and cupcake competition shows would seem to indicate that Americans are powerless in the face of a good cupcake. Food swappers are no different. There is always at least one cupcake at every food swap, and it is usually a hot item. Cupcakes for a food swap should stand out in some way, whether because of an unusual flavor profile or a particularly beautiful presentation.
This recipe falls into the category of an unusual flavor profile, and the combination of matcha, or green tea powder, and ginger usually draws curious trading partners. Matcha has a slightly earthy, vegetal flavor and ginger has a bit of a kick, so this cupcake appeals to adult palates.
For the cupcakes
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tablespoon matcha powder
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons butter, softened
• 1-1/2 cups sugar
• 2 extra-large eggs (or 2 large eggs and 1 egg yolk) at room temperature
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1-1/4 cups whole milk
For the frosting
• 3 cups powdered sugar
• 1 tablespoon ground ginger
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• Candied ginger (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and line two cupcake pans with paper liners.
2. Whisk together the flour, matcha, baking powder, ground ginger, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and combine.
4. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients and scraping down the sides as necessary. Stir just until combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans, filling each cavity half to two-thirds full, about 2 heaping tablespoons per cupcake.
6. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting.
7. To make the frosting, sift the powdered sugar and ginger together in a bowl. Whisk in the heavy cream until smooth.
8. Spread icing on each cupcake with an offset spatula or pipe it with a piping bag. Garnish each cupcake with a small sliver of candied ginger, if desired.
Package cupcakes in groups of 4 for swapping. Use a bakery box, preferably one with a cupcake insert, for easy transport.
Read more from Food Swap:
Excerpted from Food Swap, © by Emily Paster, photography © Michael Piazza Photography, used with permission by Storey Publishing.