Thursday, October 23, 2008

Iron Cupcake:Earth - Cheesy Goodness!

When I learned of this month's secret ingredient, I was really excited, and looking forward to the challenge. Cheese is not only a staple in our home, but is an ingredient that we truly love and use quite often. The range of cheeses available is astounding; from Velveeta to Morbier, from a baby Swiss to Drunken Goat. One of our favorite cheeses is Brie, so I decided to use it as the base for my plans.

One of our favorite local restaurants, The Blackhawk Grille, makes an appetizer that's to die for; composed of almond and coconut crusted brie, fried, and served with a cranberry marmalade, it's perfection in every bite. I wanted to do a filled cupcake this time around, and knew that I wanted a dense yet tender cake to hold it up. I also wanted to incorporate some form of crispness to represent the crust, and a soft icing to echo the meltiness of the brie.

I chose to do an almond pound cupcake, filled with cranberry sauce and topped with a brie and cream cheese frosting and freshly toasted coconut. There's also a slice of rind on top - not only does it look beautiful, but for those who chose to eat is along with the cake, it will add a depth and earthiness which works nicely with the tart, sweet, and nuttiness that the other components add to the product.

I loved this, and will definitely make it again. Everything came together quickly, and held together nicely. I loved the nuttiness of the coconut, the lusciousness the almond paste gives, the crispness at the edges of the cake, the tartness of the filling, and the buttery mouth feel of the frosting. I'd also try it with a cranberry whipped cream and the brie incorporated into the filling. I sent these to the office with E Thursday morning, and after getting there at 8 a.m., they were gone half an hour later. I've heard good things from our taste testers, and I may be whipping up another batch of these for the holidays!

The finished product
almond pound cupcake with cranberry filling
and topped with a brie-cream cheese frosting,
freshly toasted coconut and a slice of brie rind,
which adds a nice earthiness to the cupcake

Cross shot to show the cranberry filling
and the cake's texture

Voting opens on Sunday, October 26th at 12 Noon, and runs through Thursday, October 30h at 12 Noon at Nobody Puts Cupcake in a Corner. As always, I would love to have your support, and appreciate your votes. Tell you friends, your family, your mail man, your dental hygienist...
well, you get the point!

In the last round, I placed 4th out of 62 entries - not too shabby! This time, as the only representative of West Virginia, I'm hoping for 1st!

This month, the prizes up for grabs are the following:
Iron Cupcake:Earth is also sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers.

Remember, without our wonderful sponsors, Iron Cupcake would not be possible, so please support them and shop away! With the holidays fast approaching, nothing can be quicker (or simpler) than purchasing your gifts online - pick something special up for the baker in your life.

Almond Pound Cupcakes
adapted from an Odense original recipe
makes 16 cakes
  • 7 oz. almond paste
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 T baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, and line muffin tins with paper cups.
  2. Using the large hole side of a box grater, grate almond paste into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the almond paste with the butter and the sugar until well-mixed.
  4. Add eggs in one at a time, beating well between each.
  5. Beat on high until light and fluffy.
  6. Combine the baking powder and flour, and add into the mix, alternating with the milk. Beat on low until just combined.
  7. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
  8. Cool, in tin, on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  9. Take cakes out of tin, and cool on rack for another 30 minutes.
Brie and Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from "Cupcakes Galore," by Gail Wagman
makes enough to top 12 cupcakes
  • 2 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. Double-Creme Brie, rind removed
  • 1 t lemon juice
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, cream together butter, sugar and the cheeses until fluffy.
  2. Beat in lemon juice on high for 30 seconds.
  3. If too soft or liquidy, place frosting in refrigerator until it reaches a good spreading/piping consistency.
Cranberry Filling
  • 1/2 cup whole berry cranberry sauce, canned
  1. Open can.
  2. Portion out 1/2 cup.
  3. Stir.
Seriously. That's it.
You can make your own sauce, or you can be me, and pick the best money can buy, because it's delicious.
Toasted Coconut
  • 2 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened
  1. Spread coconut on a baking sheet.
  2. Place in oven and broil on high until shreds start turning a light brown, and the smell of coconut starts wafting through your kitchen, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Cool for about 15 minutes, and use as desired.
  1. Using a serrated knife, cut a little cone out of the top of cupcake, and remove.
  2. Fill with cranberry sauce, replace cake cone, and lightly press to even out the top.
  3. Pipe or spread frosting, and sprinkle with toasted coconut.
  4. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

hey Carly,

that cupcake looks so yummy, it looks pretty to. I hope you get first this year. i might try and make some myself.