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Throwdown's Gingerbread Cupcakes with Caramelized Mango Buttercream

Yields: 12

Ginger Syrup
1 cup water
1 cup granulated sugar
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped

1. Bring ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan and cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and infuse for 30 minutes. Remove ginger just before using.

Cupcakes
1 ¾ cups AP flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
½ stick unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons molasses
¾ cup water

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tin cups with paper cupcake liners and spray the inside of each liner and the top of the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a medium bowl.
3. Whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, and molasses in a large bowl until blended. Add the dry ingredients to a the wet ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
4. Fill each paper liner with 1/3 cup of the batter, about ¼-inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center come out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the tops liberally with some of the ginger syrup. 

Caramelized Mango Buttercream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
6 egg yolks 
2 cups (1 pound) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces 
3/4 cup sugar 
1/2 cup light corn syrup 
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
¼ cup candied ginger, finely diced


1. Heat butter in large sauté pan over high heat. Add the mangoes and cook until caramelized and soft. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Pass mixture through a medium mesh strainer into a bowl. 
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a wire whip attachment, beat the egg yolks at medium-high speed until creamy and pale yellow, about 5 minutes. 
3. In a nonstick saucepan, combine the sugar and corn syrup. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a full rolling boil without stirring and cook until it reaches soft-ball stage (238–242°F) on a candy thermometer. Immediately pour the mixture into a buttered measuring cup to halt the cooking. 
4. Add a small amount of the syrup to the beaten egg yolks, turn on the mixer to high speed, and beat for about 5 seconds. Continue stopping the mixer, adding syrup, and beating in the same manner until all of the syrup is incorporated and the mixture is cooled completely. 
4. Add the butter, 1 piece at a time, and beat until incorporated before adding the next piece. When all of the butter has been blended in, add the vanilla and some of the mango puree and continue beating until combined. Fold in the candied ginger.


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