Make the ginger syrup: Combine the granulated sugar, fresh ginger and 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until the sugar has melted and the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and let infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the syrup before using.
Meanwhile, make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners and spray the liners with cooking spray.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground ginger, cinnamon and cloves into a medium bowl.
Whisk the melted butter, vegetable oil, brown sugar, eggs, molasses and 3/4 cup water in a large bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until the batter is smooth.
Fill each paper liner with cup batter, about 1/4 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush the tops liberally with the ginger syrup. Let sit in the pan for 5 minutes before removing. Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Make the buttercream: Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the mangoes and cook until caramelized and soft, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a food processor and process until smooth. Pass the mixture through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl. Discard the solids.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg yolks on high speed until creamy and pale yellow, about 5 minutes.
Spray a heatproof measuring cup with cooking spray. Combine the sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan and bring to a full rolling boil over medium-high heat. Cook without stirring until the syrup reaches the soft-ball stage, 238 degrees F to 242 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately pour the syrup into the measuring cup to halt the cooking.
Add a small amount of the sugar syrup to the beaten egg yolks, turn the mixer on to high speed and beat for about 5 seconds. Continue stopping the mixer, adding syrup and beating until all of the syrup is incorporated. Beat the mixture until it is completely cool.
Add the remaining 2 cups butter, a few pieces at a time, beating until incorporated before adding more. When all of the butter has been blended in, add the vanilla and the mango puree and beat until combined.
Frost the top of each cupcake liberally with the mango buttercream and garnish with the candied ginger.
Photograph by Yunhee Kim
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay for Food Network Magazine
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