Monday, April 5, 2010

Cupcake of the Month: April Foolishness

Even though I know by May, when it’s 105 degrees in my kitchen, I will regret this resolution, I decided that a fun goal now that I have my very own little corner of the internet to talk about it I am going to try to make one fun seasonal cupcake a month! In March clearly the Car Bomb reigns supreme, but now that it’s April I couldn’t wait to get started on festive springtime cupcakes. I love Easter because it is the perfect holiday to welcome spring colors with open arms! Goodbye rich chocolate desserts of winter, hello fresh fruits and delicious creams!

My first batch of springtime cupcakes was made with a Pillsbury Funfetti cake mix. Inspired by my trip to Hawaii last August when I feel in love with a traditional Hawaiian coconut dessert called haupia, I simmered 1 cup coconut milk on the stove and added 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 tbsp cornstarch, then allowed the mixture to come to a rolling boil stirring constantly with a wire whisk. The result was not quite the haupia I had expected. I ended up with lumpy, syrupy concoction, but it tasted good. So I flipped the cupcakes and gave each one a quick dip in the coconut icing before plopping them into a bowl of sweetened coconut flakes I dyed with green and yellow food coloring. I found that 3 drops of yellow and 4 drops of green plus about 4 drops of water mixed in with every cup of coconut makes for a nice color that’s not too overwhelming. I topped the first batch with my roses, carrots, and little eggs I made out of leftover midges since I didn’t have any jellybeans in the house.
Once the first batch of cupcakes has been sent off to better homes, imagine my excitement when a potluck BBQ got planned for the day before Easter. Armed with an opportunity to try again I decided to go the “store bought” route to make my life a little easier. For this round I used a white cake mix for the cupcakes. To make 24 cupcakes I only needed half a 16oz tub of store bought vanilla frosting. Using room temperature frosting, I whipped it in my trusty Kitchen Aid with the whisk attachment and drizzled in about 2 to 3 tbsp of milk to loosen it up and make it easier to spread. Then, I add 6 drops of each yellow and green food coloring to make it a little closer to the color of my coconut “grass.” I spread a little less than a tablespoon of frosting on each cupcake and again turned them upside down into a bowl of colored coconut to coat them. I topped some of them with my tootsie flowers and others with speckled jellybeans. If you try this out be sure to save a little frosting to use as the glue to stick the jelly beans and flowers to the cupcakes, otherwise they’ll just roll right off.

No comments: