Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Iron Cupcake Savory Round 1

I must be a glutton for punishment. The last two months I have had either the most votes or the second most votes in the competition, only to not win the prize pack due to random number generation. It makes me further believe that machines are really out to get me. Terminator, anyone? Just kidding! What would you all do without my Iron Cupcake entries? Besides, I need an obsession or I just get snarky.

No, seriously, even before I knew the outcome I had started working on this cupcake and I knew I would enter it regardless. Iron Cupcake is too much fun! I'm not the only Iron Cupcake baker that was bit by the Cinco de Mayo bug, there's something so satisfying about these type of flavors so I'm not surprised. I wanted sweet and smokey and herby all at the same time, but I also wanted something that would bite back a bit. One thing I knew I ABSOLUTELY had to try was Alton Brown's avocado buttercream recipe (have I ever mentioned my slight obsession with Good Eats?) Anyway, moving on, here's my take on a sweet and savory treat with south of the border flavors.

Cupcake Vera Cruz
A sweet corn and cilantro cupcake with a hot pepper mousse and an avocado buttercream, garnished with a lime wedge red salt crystals.

2 cups flour
1 cup maseca
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup corn kernels fresh or frozen (thawed and dried)
2 tsp salt
2 TBS plus on Tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
2 cups milk
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp vanilla

Combine flour, maseca, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Mix well. Add eggs, corn, honey, milk, oil and vanilla and mix to combine. Chop cilantro very fine and mix in gently. Line muffin cups with liners and fill 2/3 full with batter. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

Hot Pepper Filling
1 cup room temperature cream cheese
1 tsp cumin
1/2 cup hot pepper jelly ( I used jalapeno jelly)

Combine all three and whip until fluffy.
Core out top of cupcakes and pipe filling into the center, replacing the top.

Avocado buttercream
(Inspired by Alton Brown and tweaked just a bit)

3/4 cup mashed avocado
1/4 cup butter
2 tsp lime juice
zest of one lime
1 1/2 pounds powdered sugar
1 -2 TBS heavy cream

Place the avocado and butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment along with the lime juice and beat until lightened in color, approximately 2 to 3 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and beat until smooth. Add the lime zest and mix to combine. If not using right away, store in the refrigerator.

Pipe onto cupcakes. Garnish with a lime wedge and a sprinkle of margarita salt or red salt. Makes 24.

Overall these are VERY YUMMY! I don't know if I would serve them necessarily as a dessert, but I would have no hesitation serving them along side a grilled main meat dish with the same flavors, like a Salmon Vera Cruz or a grilled Chipotle Chicken. However, a good friend of mine tasted one and said it's totally dessert worthy (but she also happens to not like overly sweet things.) Either way, I will definitely make these again.

This is the first entry for this month, I have ideas for one or two more savory cupcakes, so keep your eyes peeled. I'll let you know when the voting opens. The winner of this month gets these great prizes:

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 .

The cupcake ID bracelet is insanely adorable and of course I've been coveting a Jesse Steele apron for as long as I can remember. So when the time comes, vote!


amylouwho said...

I love hot pepper jelly with cream cheese! GENIUS!! I made some jalepeno jelly last summer. It's so easy and great on paninis.

How's the avocado buttercream?

Celia and Scott said...

You're so sophisticated when it comes to cupcakes -- I had no idea! (And yes, I did take time out of my oh-so-busy schedule to vote for your 3 cupcakes last month. Damn that computer generated winner!)

But I actually have a non-cupcake related question. It's a photography question: Do you use a special lens to keep your subject in focus but blur out the background? I have a Canon SLR and want to experiment with new lenses but have no idea which direction to go. Please help Camera (and Cupcake!) Guru! Thanks!

Emilie and Branden said...

Omigosh. Sweet corn anything. Yes, please.

Anonymous said...

I just licked my screen. Oh how I wish that actually worked. Nice Job.