Monday, April 25, 2011

And the winner is...Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes

I have a good reason for announcing the cupcake contest and getting votes and making them and then not posting about it for three weeks: grad school. In between baking them and now I had
  • a conference to go to and present a poster at
  • a project due the same weekend as...
  • class
  • another project due for a different class
  • a research paper
So okay! I also had to feed myself and go running, but I did bake these and they were pretty good and now they are all gone. Blackberry Vanilla won by a few votes, but carrot cake was coming up from behind toward the end. I will try to do something like this again and maybe find a way to make it even more interesting...and delicious. Now - the cupcakes!

These ones were a little more complicated that I had originally anticipated because you have to make the coulis first. That's not a big deal, but if you aren't prepared for that extra time (and a lot of coulis), I think a thinned jam would also work really, really well. The blog has recently changed layout and now doesn't have the story that links to the coulis recipe (kind of annoying, plus I like blogs that have a story to the recipe. That's what makes blogs different from cookbooks. Anyway...), but I'm nice and found it for you here.

Blackberry Vanilla Cupcakes from The Good Mood Food Blog:

Makes 12 cupcakes

For the cupcakes -
1 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 Tb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ c. milk
½ c. blackberry coulis

For the frosting -
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
3 c. powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tb. blackberry coulis

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 180c (or 355 Fahrenheit if you live in America). Line a cupcake pan with paper liners. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk and blackberry coulis. Add half of the dry ingredients to the bowl of the mixer and mix on low speed until just combined. Mix in the blackberry coulis/milk mixture. Mix in the remaining dry ingredients on low speed just until incorporated. Do not over-mix.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared paper (or silicone) liners. Bake 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar and blackberry coulis in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed until smooth and well blended. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired. This is best done in a cute apron.
Jamie and I added extra coulis to make it more tart, but that didn’t really work. Overall, these were very light cupcakes and really tasted more like frosted muffins. We were both fairly unimpressed with how un-berry like these are. After talking with my mom about it, she suggested adding cherry extract to make it more tart and to bring out the berry flavors. If I ever make these again, that’s what I’ll do. At the very least I’ll keep it in mind for future berry cupcakes. My coworkers were fairly impressed with these and if you have a need for a very light dessert, these are it. Not my favorites, but still a tasty effort in the end.

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