Saturday, February 19, 2011
I have some dinner recipes ready to go but instead of those, I'm going to show you cupcakes today....yes, I'm a bad influence :)
OK, so about a week ago I got the brilliant idea of making a Neapolitan cupcake. I started searching online but couldn't find the type of recipe I was looking for. Most of the Neapolitan cupcake recipes consisted of a marble cake with some pink frosting. I knew that wasn't exactly what I was looking for and decided to just whip up what I had in mind using my favorite vanilla cake as a base.
I really like Dorie Greenspan's perfect party cake recipe and decided to pair that with a chocolate mousse filling. Then topped it off with a luscious strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream....Oh, YEAH!
The cake and buttercream where made from scratch, the chocolate mousse came from a box. It was perfect not to mention a huge time saver.
Cupcakes are best shared and a brought these over to my neighbor's who was kind enough to let me use her washer b/c mine had just died. BTW, isn't this box cute? I got a couple of these from a friend for Christmas. Thanks again Jen--they are so cute!!
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh strawberry puree (puree fresh strawberries into a very fine consistency)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice
pink food coloring (tiny amount, just to bring out the color of the frosting)
1 box of chocolate mousse mix (and the additional ingredients needed to make the mousse)
white and brown sprinkles
1. Prepare chocolate mousse according to box instructions. Refrigerate for at least an hour or until ready to use.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with 24 cupcake liners, set aside.
3. For the Cake: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.
5. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant.
6. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one-third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed.
7. 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 and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients.
8. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Divide the batter between the muffin pan.
9. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and springy to the tough – a toothpick inserted into the centers should come out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling on the rack.
9. For the Buttercream: Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or other large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a pan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 8 minutes. The sugar should be dissolved, and the temperature should be around 150 degrees. Remove the bowl from the heat.
10. Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 8 minutes. Add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.
11. Once all the butter is in, and the strawberry puree and vanilla. Beat the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6 to 10 minutes. Then add in the lemon juice and a tiny bit of food coloring and continue beating for 1-2 minutes. During this time, the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.
12. To Assemble the cupcakes: Put a some chocolate mousse in a piping bag fitted with a tip like THIS. Insert the tip into the cupcake and gently squeeze in the chocolate mousse filling. Then place frosting in another piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe frosting on top of the cupcake and put white and chocolate sprinkles on top.
Source: Cake: Dorie Greenspan, Inspiration Chef Mommy