Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Iron Cupcake: Cheese!

Well, it doesn't seem like that long ago that I was racking my brains about how to incorporate basil into a cupcake.  This month, I had to ponder cheese.  The first combo that came to mind was a brie and fig cupcake.  However, and it's a little embarrassing since I consider myself somewhat of a "foodie", I don't like brie very much.  I wanted to make a cupcake that I would enjoy eating and that was clever as well.  I must admit, the cheeses I chose aren't the most daring cheeses, but I'd say that the combination I created is unique.  So, without further delay, this month I created a walnut spice cupcake with a caramel mascarpone filling, a pumpkin spice cream cheese frosting, finished off with a wedge of walnut brittle.

Just like last month, this is a competition, and you can vote for me, or other Iron Cupcakers if you must ;)  starting October 26th  at 12 noon central standard time by following this link.

These are the prize up for grabs:
-Cupcake earrings from Lots of Sprinkles
-T-shirt from Bakelove Bakewear
-Head Chefs by Fiesta Products
-Hello Cupcake by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson
Sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers

You can make these cupcakes too, by following my recipe:

(An adaptation of Dorie Greenspan's Perfect Party Cake)
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Place 24 cupcake liners into cupcake tins.
2.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
3.  Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
4.  Put the sugar in a mixer with butter and mix with paddle attachment, or with hand mixer, at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light and fluffy.
5.  Beat in the vanilla extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
6.  Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated.  Add the rest of the milk-egg mixture, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
7.  Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated.
8.  Distribute batter evenly into cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes.

For filling:

1 container mascarpone cheese
1/2 tsp salt

1.  Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
2.  Using the coning method, fill cooled cupcakes.

For frosting:

8 oz cream cheese
1-2 cups powdered sugar (depending on your personal taste in sweetness level)
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1.  Mix all ingredients together, refrigerate, pipe or spread onto cupcakes.

For Brittle:

I used this recipe to the "t".

SPECIAL THANKS to hubby for always taking the photographs and making me look good!

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