Thursday, October 16, 2008

Iron Cupcake: The Honey Jack

I'll give you one guess what this month's ingredient is and here is your clue...

No, it's not awesomeness. It's CHEEEEEEESE!! Yes, cheese. Cheese in a cupcake had me a bit perplexed. I wanted to steer clear of the obvious easy ones and I wanted the cheese in the cake and I didn't want it to be cheesecake. (Am I losing you here?) Anyway, after some experimentation I finally came up with this delectable square little morsel of yummy.

The Honey Jack Cupcake with Toasted Pear Meringue Frosting

Have you ever gone to a fancy shmancy restaurant and saw on the menu and pear walnut salad of somekind? That's basically the flavors I was going for, but not nearly as strong an of course in cupcake form. I started with a very basic honey cake and added VERY finely shredded monterrey jack cheese. I mean fine. I used a microplane and grated for an hour. Ugh. I will never get that hour back as long as a live. Next, I created a candied walnut filling that baked into the cupcake and then topped it all off with a pear flavored fluffy meringue frosting and toased the whole thing up with my handy little torch I stole from hubby's tool chest. Overall, I think the flavors are very nice together. It doesn't scream cheese, but there is a moist saltiness in the cake you definitely taste. It's not too sweet, so my husband loves it and the flavors are very subtle. And of course I had to use my square cupcake pan because right now I am completely in love with it. The whole recipe is below.

Start with Walnut mixture:

• 1 cup finely chopped black walnuts
• 1 tsp olive oil
• 2 TBS brown sugar
• 1 TBS real maple syrup

In a small fry pan, mix all ingredients together and let simmer until the sugar is dissolved and everything is well coated. Set aside.

Cake Ingredients:

* 2 cups flour, sifted
* ½ tsp each baking powder and baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup honey
* 2 large eggs
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
* 8 ounces sweetened condensed milk
* 1 cup monterey jack cheese, super finely shredded


1. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a medium bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and extract.
3. Pour in flour mixture in thirds adding 1/2 can of sweetened condensed milk in between (beginning and ending with flour mixture.).
4. Add in grated cheese and blend well for two minutes.
5. Put in muffin cups 3/4 cup full only.
6. Top with walnut mixture.
7. Bake in 350 oven for 20-25 minutes.

For Frosting

2 tsp meringue powder
2 TBS water
1 egg white
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup pear nectar

Beat first three ingredients until soft peaks form. While beating combine sugar and nectar in a small saucepan and simmer until sugar completely dissolves. SLOWLY drizzle the syrup into the beating meringue and then whip on high until stiff glossy peaks form. Pipe onto cakes and toast under broiler or with a kitchen blow torch.

There you have it! It's very different from anything I usually make. I, mean, I'm really a buttercream girl at heart. But this is a nice change. The voting will open for this cupcake on October 26th and I'll post a reminder to go and vote for me. I am determined to win one this year! As a reminder, here's all the great prized I get if I come in first.

Art on the Menu Cupcake Creation

Cute little Cupcake earrings
by Lots of Sprinkles

Sassy Sweet Tee from BakeLove Bakewear

Hello Cupcake Cookbook

Taste of Home Cookbook

Fiestaware Head Chefs Utensils

Cupcake Courier Caddy

a Jessie Steele Apron

and 1-800-Flowers

See, you totally need to vote for me so I can spoil myself rotten with all these goodies.


Debbie said...

Again can I just say they are to DIE for, ate one tonight, yummy, thanks Vanessa.

y0hmama said...

I was so hoping to score one of these tonight - but of course, you snooze you lose so I'll have to try again next month :) I think the meringue is a cool idea and I LOVE the blow torch! Definitely different, you are so creative and "out of the box", or I guess "square" this month :) Good Luck Vanessa, you'll win one of these months!!!

Erin J. said...

I've tagged you. Check my blog. :)

Bethany said...

that looks amazing. and love the photo.

joanna said...

When does the voting open and end?
Thanks for the Cinderella stuff! I am going to have to make a larger hairband, so thank you for throwing in the extra ribbon! :)