Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I've had two things in the kitchen for the past month or so that I've been itching to use. One is a few more bags of blueberries in the freezer from our berry-picking expedition last month. The other is two sets of really nice, professional-grade, extra-large pastry tips (a few of them so big that I still haven't found a coupler to use them with, and I have an extra-large coupler already). Those two things finally came together yesterday, in some most unusual cupcakes.
Now, let's be clear -- these aren't muffins (though they did end up with a little bit of a sugary crust on top that's reminiscent of muffins). These aren't your typical white cake base with blueberries thrown in. Oh no. These are BLUE. Well, alright, they're more like purple, but that's the color you get when you mash up blueberries. I suppose I could've food-colored them to death to make them actually blue, but the natural color is pretty, so I left well enough alone.
The berry flavor of the cake is pretty subtle, but the frosting adds a nice hit of flavor to balance it all out. I actually tried filling them, too, using some leftover blueberry puree... um, bad idea. It was drippy, counter-staining carnage. It might still be a good idea, but you'd need to either thicken the hell out of it with cornstarch first or else just use some jarred blueberry preserves. I'll also lay a little of the blame on the fact that I'd never tried to make filled cakes before, so I don't exactly have the technique down. Ah, well. After one disastrous-but-still-tasty test cupcake, I decided to leave well enough alone with the rest of them.
Adapted from The Casual Baker
About a pound of blueberries
1 c butter
1 1/2 c sugar
1/4 c milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c blueberry puree
2 c + 2 tbsp flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 tbsp butter, room temperature
1/2 c blueberry puree
Few drops vanilla
2 1/4 c confectioners' sugar
1. Place the blueberries in a saucepan with a little bit of water. Sprinkle a bit of sugar over the top (use your own judgment, based on how tart your berries are). Cook until the berries soften and become a tickened sauce. Cool slightly, then puree with a stick blender or in a regular blender or food processor.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar.
3. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then the milk, vanilla and blueberry puree.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder.
5. Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until blended.
6. Fill muffin cups (greased or lined with papers) about two-thirds full.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let sit 5 minutes, then depan and let cool on a rack.
8. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and blueberry puree until thoroughly combined. Beat in the sugar, adding more if needed, to crease a smooth frosting.
9. Frost cupcakes with a knife or pipe with a piping bag and large tip.