Friday, June 11, 2010

The Sara Cupcake


I'm back on inpatient pediatrics.  I wanted to bring in something special to share with my team for our first call together.  I didn't want to make something too sweet as we start at 6:30 AM, but sweet enough that it would still be a treat in the evening when things are busy. 

I decided to adapt a recipe from the Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook.  It has somewhat of a yogurt base, giving it a tangy feel, but still has butter.  This was my first time using almond meal, and I'm very happy with the texture of the cupcake.  I added some cherries... for health reasons (just kidding).  I named these after my roommate because she said that they were her favorite that I have ever made.  I knew that she would love them because it's not too sweet and has some of her favorite ingredients. 


The Sara (Yogurt & Honey with Cherry) Cupcake - Adapted from Crabapple Bakery - Makes about 4 dozen
  • 18 ounces plain yogurt
  • 1 cup + 4 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks)
  • 4 eggs 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 cups almond flour
  •  1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1 pound frozen cherries (or fresh pitted cherries)
  • 1/2 cup flaked almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.  Line cupcake tins with paper liners.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low-medium heat.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, almond meal, and sugar into a large bowl.  Use a whisk to combine ingredients.
  4. Put the yogurt, eggs, and vanilla into a small bowl.  Pour the melted butter into the bowl.  Whisk until well combined.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients.  Use a mixer on medium speed or use your muscle to stir together the ingredients so that they are completely combined.  Be sure to get the dry ingredients that are hiding at the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Stir in the cherries and flaked almonds.
  7. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter (these cupcakes will not rise all that much, but do not overfill liners).  Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.  Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
    As I mentioned, they aren't super sweet.  I therefore wanted to pair them with a nice and sweet frosting.  I chose to do a vanilla bean buttercream.  I purchased some vanilla bean paste and I love it!  I got the idea for it from Cupcake Project.  It's a great way to to get vanilla bean goodness without paying 4 dollars a bean.  You just use a teaspoon of it in place of one vanilla bean, and then your product will have all of those beautiful specks of black AKA the calling card of the vanilla bean.  You can buy it online, or it's at Williams-Sonoma.

    Vanilla Bean Buttercream - Makes about 4 cups
    • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
    • 1 pound (4 cups) confectioner's sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or seeds of one vanilla bean)
    1. Beat the butter on medium speed until pale and fluffy.  This will take a few minutes. 
    2. Slowly add the confectioner's sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Mix well on medium-high speed until well mixed.  Every once and a while kick up the speed to high and let that butter spin to get it nice and airy.
    3. Add the vanilla and beat on high speed until completely incorporated into the frosting.

    It wasn't enough for me to bring in cupcakes.  I had to decorate them, too.  I found this cool fondant punch kit from Wilton and decided to make little flowers out of them.  It was super easy to use!  Simply take a small piece of fondant and color it using gel colors.  I used Wilton Violet and Wilton Leaf Green.  Roll out the fondant on a clean surface sprinkled with corn starch and punch away (the kit comes with very clear instructions).  I then used a gold dragee for the center of the flower.  It makes the cupcakes look professional with very little effort.


    Even my attending enjoyed the cuppies... two of them, in fact:


    1. carly, i definitely miss your cupcakes... (and you too) on our service

    2. Hi, saucy's Mom here! I noticed you had trouble in a previous post - finding vanilla powder. saucy gave me some last Christmas - she found it at Starbucks, off all says on the label "Use in baking, measure for measure,just as you would vanilla extract, as a dip for fresh fruit, sprinkled over French toast or as a flavouring over whipped cream on coffee". It claims to be "especially rich with flavour extracted from fine bourbon vanilla beans". I have only tried it on the whipped cream atop my coffee - so reading the label has inspired me to try it on the other suggestions. Good luck, I enjoyed your post on the Baked Alaska. xoxo the fan

    3. Samar - I actually found Dr. Finks and gave him two of these cuppies. Next time I'll send you a page :)

      The Fan - oooo good tip on the vanilla powder! I'll inquire next time I'm in Starbucks :)



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