Saturday, July 5, 2008
Cupcake Hero: Red, White and Blue
I love the idea of making cupcakes each month according to a theme and Laurie of Quirky Cupcake started Cupcake Hero way back, I don't know when. I have finally decided to throw my creation into the ring.
This month CB of I Heart Cuppyckaes and Nikki of Crazy Delicious Food have taken the reigns and are hosting Cupcake Hero since the CH staff is taking a break for the summer. Well these two put their heads together and came up with the theme Red, White and Blue. And you have to use ingredients other than food coloring! Hun? So I give you my Blue Hawaiian Cupcake!
This was so fun to dream up. I was dreaming of all kinds of weird concoctions one of which was a blueberry cupcake, strawberry filling, and cream cheese frosting. That didn't sound to good. Then I thought of this little baby. Rum drenched pineapple cupcake, cherry filling, and blue curacao frosting with blue curacao dyed coconut. I had to try it out. Hubby couldn't wait either, so I pulled out my Baking from My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan, and modified the rum drenched vanilla cakes. Made a cherry filling with maraschino cherries. And then concocted a blue curacao buttercream frosting.
2 cups maraschino cherries
½ cup water
2 TBS cornstarch
1. Add cherries and water to a pot. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
2. Stir together sugar and cornstarch then stir into the cherries.
3. Cook until thick, then blend in magic bullet.
Rum Drenched "Pineapple" Cupcakes
adapted from Baking from My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
For the cakes:
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
2 1/3 cups sugar
2 plump, moist vanilla beans, split lengthwise, seeds scraped out and reserved, (OR 1 1/2 tbsp pure vanilla extract) (I used pineapple juice instead)
6 large eggs, preferably at room temperature (I used egg whites only)
2/3 cup heavy cream (I used 2/3 cup heavy cream, 1/3 cup pineapple juice)
2 1/2 tbsp dark rum
1 stick + 7 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the syrup:
1/3 cup water (I used pineapple juice)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup dark rum
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 8.5x4.5x2.5 inch loaf pans, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Place the pans on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular sheets stacked one on top of the other.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together.
Put the sugar and the pulp from the vanilla beans, if using them, in a large bowl and, working with your fingers, rub them together until the sugar is moist and thoroughly imbued with the fragrance of vanilla. (If you are using extract, add it later, after you've added the eggs.) Add the eggs and whisk them into the sugar, beating until they are thoroughly incorporated. Whisk in the extract, if you're using it, then whisk in the cream, followed by the rum. Continuing with the whisk or switching to a large rubber spatula, gently stir in the dry ingredients in 3 or 4 additions; the batter will be smooth and thick. Finish by folding in the melted butter in 2 or 3 additions. Pour the batter into the pans, smoothing the tops with a rubber spatula.
Bake for 55-60 minutes (28 minutes for cupcakes), or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. (As soon as the cakes go into the oven, make the syrup.) After about 30 minutes in the oven, check the cakes for color. If they are browning too much, cover them lightly with foil tents.
Meanwhile, make the syrup. Stir the water and sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar melts, then bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the rum. Pour the syrup into a heatproof bowl and let cool.
When the cakes test done, transfer them to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes before unmolding them and turning them right side up on the rack. Place the rack over a baking sheet lined with wax paper, and, using a thin skewer, cake tester, or thin-bladed knife, poke holes all over the cakes. Brush the cake all over with the syrup, working slowly so the cakes sop it up. Leave the cakes on the rack to cool to room temperature.
Blue Curacao Buttercream Frosting
½ stick unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
½ Tbsp whole milk
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp Blue Curacao
1. With an electric mixer, cream the butter.
2. Add half of the powdered sugar and the milk to the butter and beat again until combined. Scrape down the bowl.
3. Add the remainder of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined. Scrape down the bowl again.
4. Beat on high speed until the frosting is fluffy. Add the Blue Caraco.
5. Continue beating on high speed until desired consistency. Frost your cupcakes!
I will definitely make these again (for a dear friends birthday)! Hubby loved them. They do have a bit of alcohol in them so keep them away from the kids.