Friday, May 27, 2011

Almost-Mojito Cupcakes

Who doesn't love the fresh tasting combination of mint and limes? Well, certainly not me, which is why it was no surprise that the mojito would become one of my favorite cocktails as well as the inspiration for my next cupcake.

Unfortunately, I couldn't really taste the rum in the cake or the frosting, which is why I'm calling these Almost-Mojito CupcakesBut the overall product still came out mighty tasty, if I do say so myself. Plus, I have some leftover cream cheese frosting now that I will probably turn into a mini lime cheesecake within the next few days. Yum.

The Ingredients (makes 1 dozen):
For the cupcakes:
-1 cup milk
-1 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
-the juice and zest of one lime
-3/4 cup sugar
-5 tsp dark rum
-1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
-3/4 tsp baking powder
-1/2 tsp baking soda
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
For the frosting:
-8 oz cream cheese, softened
-1 cup powdered sugar or to taste, sifted
-5 tsp dark rum
-2 tsp lime juice
-1/2 the zest of one lime
-limes and mint to garnish (optional)

The Directions:
1. Heat up the milk and mint until hot but not boiling. Take it off the heat and allow to steep for about 15 minutes.
2. Strain the leaves out of the milk, making sure to push on the mint to extract as much oil as possible. Set aside and allow to cool.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line your cupcake pan.
4. Whisk lime juice into the milk and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
5. In your mixing bowl, combine sugar and lime zest and muddle together to infuse the oils into the sugar.
6. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, soda and salt.
7. Add the milk, vegetable oil and rum to the lime sugar and mix thoroughly.
8. Add the dry ingredients to the wet in increments, mixing until just combined and scraping the bowl between each addition. Fill cupcake liners and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Rotate pan about halfway through to ensure even baking. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
9. Cream the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.
10. Beat in the rum and lime juice until well combined. Mix in the zest until it appears even throughout the frosting. Refrigerate if not using it in less than an hour.
11. Frost the cupcakes and garnish as you please.
12. Consume and enjoy!

Monday, May 9, 2011

May's Cupcake Of The Month: Strawberries And Cream

It's May! 'Tis the season for spring dresses, sunny days and blooming flowers. And did I mention it's also National Strawberries Month?

These are fluffy vanilla cupcakes filled with a homemade jam-like strawberry filling and frosted with airy whipped cream that has just the right amount of sweetness to compliment the already-sweet strawberries. What's not to love?
The Ingredients (makes 2 dozen):
For the cupcakes:
-1 1/2 cups butter, softened
-1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
-2 eggs
-3 cups flour
-2 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-3 tsp vanilla extract
-4 tbsp milk
For the filling:
-1 cup strawberries, mashed
-1 tbsp sugar
-1/2 tsp lemon juice
For the frosting:
-1 cup heavy cream
-2 tbsp powdered sugar, or to taste
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract

The Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin pan with cupcake papers.
2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda, and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
3. In your mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Then add eggs one at a time..

4. Add the vanilla extract and then 1/3 of the dry ingredients, then 2 tbsp of milk, then continue to alternate between the dry ingredients and the milk until both are used up.
5. Once the batter is smooth, fill cupcake papers about 1/2 to 2/3 full and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean, rotating the pan halfway through to ensure even baking. Allow to cool completely before cutting out the centers.
6. Combine the mashed strawberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then allow to simmer until the sauce starts getting syrupy, stirring occasionally. Take it off the heat and allow to cool completely before filling cupcakes. The sauce will thicken as it sits.
7. Whip the heavy cream until soft peaks form, then slowly add in the powdered sugar. Mix in the vanilla extract.
8. Fill and frost cupcakes once they've completely cooled.
9. Consume and enjoy!