Iron Cupcake: Summer Berries IV

June 23rd, 2009

I didn’t think I’d have time for this final entry, but I was at the grocery store the other night and noticed that the raspberries weren’t THAT expensive…and it all went downhill from there.

I almost left them this way...but no.

I almost left them this way...but no.

Well, not REALLY downhill. I did, after all, make these fairly wonderful cupcakes.

Ah, that's better!

Ah, that's better!

The nut on top may look a little out of place what with those sugary little sprinkles, but they both serve their purpose.

You want the breakdown?

Toasted hazelnuts are one of the nicest kitchen smells.

Toasted hazelnuts are one of the nicest kitchen smells.

Well, raspberries are lovely with yogurt. So I found a nice-sounding recipe for yogurt cake. My vanilla extract isn’t quite ready yet, so I scraped myself a nice juicy bean and called it vanilla yogurt cake. As you can see from the first picture, I pressed a raspberry into the middle of each cupcake before baking. Before I pressed each one in, I dropped a tiny bit of rose water into the middle of each raspberry. Just because.

You could call the sprinkles unnecessary, but really, when are sprinkles ever not necessary?

You could call the sprinkles unnecessary, but really, when are sprinkles ever not necessary?

The cupcakes came out smelling incredible, but the raspberries were quite tart. I considered filling the middle of each with a little blood orange marmalade I made this past winter, but I wasn’t sure if it was good or not (there were little bits of white stuff in the marmalade that I decided was either pith or mold and figured I should play it safe). I settled for just dropping a bit of agave nectar into each one to give it a more neutral sweetness.

Crumbly little cupcake stub!

Crumbly little cupcake stub!

I’m not entirely sure where I got the idea to add orange and hazelnut (well, besides an excited late-night session with the Flavor Bible when I first found out this month’s theme) but I’m glad I did. I used a little Frangelico (my absolute favorite drink…yes, straight up…well, usually on the rocks) and a whole lot of orange zest. I also toasted some hazelnuts, which is what you see on top there. Oh, toasty hazelnuts…

There's that raspberry!

There's that raspberry!

So, yes, there is a lot happening in these little guys. But it’s all quite nice together – the cake is soft and sweet and the raspberry provides a burst of juicy tartness in the middle, with the barely-perceptible rose water enhancing the red berry flavor and giving the whole thing a lingering floweriness. The natural sweetness of the toasted hazelnuts is deliciously rounded out by intense, creamy orange. Yummm.

There's a lot going on here, but trust me, it works.

There's a lot going on here, but trust me, it works.

Raspberry Yogurt Cupcakes with Orange and Hazelnut

First, Make the Cakes:

  1. 2 eggs
  2. 1 cup plain yogurt
  3. 1 cup sugar
  4. 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  5. Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
  6. 1 tsp light rum
  7. 2 cups AP flour
  8. 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  9. 1/2 tsp baking soda
  10. About 1 cup fresh raspberries, washed & drained
  11. Rose water

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, sugar, oil, vanilla and rum. Stir gently until well-combined. In a separate smaller bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the yogurt mixture and mix well. Pour into lined mini muffin tins. Press a raspberry into the middle of each one, with the open side of the berry up. Add 1 tiny drop of rose water to the inside of each raspberry. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cakes are puffed and lightly golden around the edges. Cool slightly in pan, then remove to wire racks to cool completely before finishing.

Then, Make the Frosting:

  1. 3 egg yolks, room temperature
  2. 1/2 cup sugar
  3. 3 Tbsp water
  4. 1/2 lb. (2 sticks/1 cup) unsalted butter, soft & cut in Tbsp
  5. Zest of 1 orange
  6. 1 Tbsp Frangelico
  7. Few drops each yellow and red food coloring

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the yolks on high until light and foamy, about 5 minutes. While they’re whipping, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan over high heat and bring to a temperature of 248. Turn off the mixer and drizzle some of the syrup in, then turn it on and mix it in, alternating off and on until all the syrup is incorporated. Whip until cooled to room temperature. If there are any large chunks of solidified sugar after that, remove them – they won’t break down and there isn’t enough sugar in them to make the frosting any less sweet. Switch to the paddle attachment and turn the mixer to medium-high, then add the butter 1 Tbsp at a time, waiting for each addition to be fully incorporated before adding the next. If the frosting curdles, just wait it out and let the mixer beat the air back into it – it’ll work itself out. Beat in the orange zest, Frangelico and gradually incorporate the food coloring until you have a light orange (or a brighter one if you want).

To Assemble:

  1. Cupcakes
  2. Agave nectar, honey (orange blossom would be lovely) or marmalade
  3. Frosting
  4. Toasted hazelnuts*
  5. Red sprinkles (optional)

Place a tiny amount of your sweetener of choice into the middle of each raspberry. Place the frosting in a pastry bag fitted with an open star tip (if it’s not big enough the zest may clog the tip) and cover the raspberries with a small piped pile of frosting. Place a hazelnut on the top of each pile of frosting and add sprinkles, if desired.

*To toast hazelnuts, preheat the oven to 350. Spread the nuts out in a single layer on a baking pan and bake for about 10 minutes, until the nuts are fragrant and have blistered skin. Remove to a kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the nuts and rub the skins off. Allow to cool completely before using.

Our June ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:

Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com, JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com; TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM http://www.upwithcupcakes.com/. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com .

6 Responses to “Iron Cupcake: Summer Berries IV”

  1. CB says:

    Sprinkles are NEVER unnecessary! Love the flavor combos you got going on there. I hope you win! Wait. I hope I win! I hope we both win! ;)
    Clara @ iheartcuppycakes!

  2. Lacy says:

    Pretty good post. I just found your blog and wanted to say
    that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way
    I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

  3. Carolyn Jung says:

    You need to open a cupcake store! ;)
    I’d be a regular customer. ‘Course, I’d be 50 pounds heavier. But it would be worth it. Hah.

  4. I thought they looked good in the first pic but then I saw what you did to it and I LOVE it! Topping it with a hazelnut is inspired :)

  5. These look beautiful. I love your description of how they taste – you really have a way with words!

  6. looks like you’re well on your way in pastries…just remember the lil guys like us when you it big! :)

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