Walnuts and Spices Cupcakes for Christmas

I baked these cupcakes for Christmas alongside with the Truffle Cake in Hungary because we have spent the Holidays there. Walnuts is very commonly used for cakes around Christmas time in most Hungarian home.
To simplify this for decoration I choose  paper stickers.
-1 cup flour
-1 cup brown sugar
-2 eggs (room temperature)
-200 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
-5 tbsp walnuts (chopped)
-2 tbsp honey
-3 tbsp milk
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp baking powder
-pinch of salt
-100 g chocolate (chopped)
Frosting cream:
-250 g Mascarpone, soft cream-cheese
-5 tbsp powder sugar (icing sugar)
-300 ml milk
-40 g custard powder (or one sachet of Tejszínízű pudingpor)
-1 tsp Schwartz Mixed Spice (optional but it definitely gives an exclusive character to the cream)
-3 tbsp finely chopped walnuts (using an electric grinder)
1.Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. My oven is an old gas oven and have absolutely no idea how many degrees are inside, I just switch it to gas mark 6-7, well somewhere in between.
Line your cupcake tin with the cupcake cases and put it aside.
2.Stir the flour, salt and baking powder together and set aside.
3.Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and cream together until you get a smooth mixture. Add the honey and chopped walnuts, give it a stir then add the flour and the milk and mix it but only until everything is combined. Finally stir in the chocolate.
I used milk chocolate, but you can use dark chocolate if you like, and also ready made chocolate chips will do.
Before chopping the walnuts I put them on a baking tray and roasted it for about 10 minutes. Be careful and don’t burn them! After cooling, chop the walnuts in pieces with a knife. It’s up to you how small or big you chop them, I like them at the size of the chocolate chips so it’s crunchy after baking.
4.Scoop the batter into the cupcake cases, filling only 3/4 way up. Bake for around 20 minutes. Do NOT open your oven in the first 10 minutes, but after that you can turn the baking tray if necessary (I need to do it in my oven). When they’re done, let them cool for about 5 minutes in the baking tin before taking out on a cooling rack. Let them cool completely before frosting.
To make the frosting cream, you have to prepare a thick custard cream and let it cool completely.
I used a Hungarian Dr.Oetker sachet of custard which is called “Tejszínízű pudingpor” (this is for my Hungarian readers :-), this contain 40 g of custard powder. You can easily replace this with vanilla custard, I don’t think it makes any difference.
So, stir the 40 g (must be about 2 tbsp) of custard powder with 3 tbsp of icing sugar, add 300 ml of milk and bring it to boil until you get a thick custard cream. Let it cool completely.
In a mixing bowl cream together the Mascarpone cream cheese and 2 tbsp of icing sugar, add the fine walnuts and the cold custard cream gradually. In the end stir in about 1 tsp of Mixed Spice and -call me crazy but throw in a pinch of salt, it only makes it better!



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