In the end, I chose a cupcake that wasn't complicated or pretentious, but simple, flavourful, and delicate. Since most of my kitchenware is still in storage, the only tools I had at my disposal were a balloon whisk and a mixing bowl. Yup, I created this using pure muscle! The biggest challenge, strangely enough, came not from the cupcakes themselves, but from pure luck. From the canister holding 5 litres of flour breaking in half while full, to the smoke alarm going off as the result of hot dishwater, it's been quite the trip. There were at least three incidents that caused me to almost pull out my hair and quit, but I'm glad I didn't - these babies were worth it.
For the Basil round of Iron Cupcake:Earth, I've made a cupcake that I like to call the Interlude, as to me, it pairs together the best that both Summer and Fall have to offer, so it's perfect at a time like this. The cake pairs apple and mango that have been marinated in Balsamic vinegar and roasted in the oven with some fresh Italian basil, and the icing is a thick glaze featuring lemon and more basil. I had my doubts, but these were amazing! They had an almost bread pudding texture, due to my lack of completely creaming the butter and upping the fruit content, and they were delicious both with and without the icing, hot or cold.The basil shone through without overpowering the other flavours, and everything meshed really well.
My test-tasters were E and his friend Travis; Travis, who hates both fruit and anything green, was up first. I didn't want to turn him off, so I didn't tell him any of the ingredients, and he didn't get icing on his. His first reaction? "This is really good - what's in this?" When I told him, he was surprised that not only did they taste great, but that he liked them - he said he'd definitely eat more of them. E loved them, and had them iced, both warm and straight from the fridge. He gave them a 9 1/2 out of 10, and judging by how quickly they're disappearing, they're a winner in his eyes, too. I'm definitely going to be making these again, and I wouldn't change a thing - this was definitely a memorable experience, and I can't wait for the next challenge!
As much fun as this was, it's still a competition, which means some incredibly awesome prizes are up for grabs, such as:
th and ends on Thursday, October 1st at Noon at No One Puts Cupcake in the Corner - You can also click on the badge in the right sidebar to vote. Don't worry, I'll write up another entry reminding you to vote, and hopefully, it'll be for me!
Now onto the cupcakes!
This recipe has three parts: the roasted fruit, the cake itself and the glazed icing, and is the amalgamating adaptation of one of Chockylit's cupcakes and A Good Appetite's icing. This makes 12 cupcakes, and is a definite must-try!
For the Balsamic Roasted Fruit:
- 1 apple, sliced in half and cored
- 1 mango, sliced in half, pit and peel removed
- 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Place the fruit in a container, and drizzle vinegar on top.
- Cover with lid, shake for 10 seconds, and let marinate for 20 minutes.
- Once marinated, drain fruit, and place on a lightly greased baking sheet, and roast for 30 minutes, turning fruit over once during cooking.
- Cool for an hour, remove the skin from the apple, and cut the fruit in chunks.
- Set aside.
For the Cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 cup roasted fruit
- 4 large basil leaves
- In an electric mixer (I used a whisk), beat butter on high until soft, about 30 seconds.
- Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add egg beat until combined.
- Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Add to the mixer along with the milk and beat to combine.
- Chop the basil leaves.
- Fold the roasted fruit and the basil into the batter.
- Scoop into cupcake papers about two-thirds full.
- Bake for 15 minutes, and then rotate the pan.
- Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.
For the Glazed Icing:
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 4 large basil leaves, finely chopped
- Mix powdered sugar, lemon juice, basil and 1 teaspoon of milk.
- Add more milk as needed by 1/2 teaspoon amounts until you achieve your desired icing consistency.
- After icing, allow cupcakes to sit until set, about an hour.