Fig and Quinoa Cupcakes19

Posted by chockylit in Fig, Quinoa (Sunday October 11, 2009 at 3:29 pm)

Fig and Quinoa Cupcakes

Quinoa is some kind of wonder food (at least according to my daughter’s pediatrician) as it’s a unique complete protein and is gluten-free. My husband eats it often as a part of his generally healthy diet. It was his birthday this week so I thought to incorporate one of his current favorite foods into a cupcake.

I wanted this recipe to have quinoa in it, but I didn’t want it to taste healthy. It is a cupcake after all. So I started with a basic cake recipe, swapped some flour for cooked quinoa, and called it a day. The resulting cake was moist and tasty with a nice crunch/chew from the quinoa. It did however not rise up so much and shrunk a bit after cooling.

But that didn’t bother me in the least. What was to be fig filling became a fig layer and it all worked out great. I cooked up some figs with vanilla and sugar (they weren’t super ripe), layered some of the cooled mixture on each cupcake, and topped that with a dollop of cream cheese frosting. All together a tasty treat that everyone enjoyed.

As a final note, I used black quinoa I bought at Whole Foods. I tried the black as I thought it would look more interesting than the plain. Having tried both, it’s also a bit crunchier (in a good way) and nuttier. There is also red quinoa which would likely work just as well.

Quinoa Cupcakes
26 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3/4 cup quinoa
1-1/2 cups water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Rinse the quinoa well in a fine sieve under a stream of cool water. This will remove a natural coating that tends to make quinoa bitter.
2. Bring the quinoa and water to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Remove lid and cook off any remaining liquid. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
4. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.
6. Measure the flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
7. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.
8. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
9. Fold in the cooked quinoa.
10. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 3/4’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Note: These cupcakes won’t rise up very much due to the weight of the quinoa and will contract some with cooling.

Quinoa Cupcakes

Fig Filling

16 ounces figs, chopped
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons sugar

1. Add figs and water to a medium saucepan.
2. Add the vanilla and stir in the sugar and bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer.
4. After 10 minutes mash the figs in the pot with a potato masher.
5. Taste and adjust with more sugar if needed.
6. Cover and refrigerate until cool about 2 hours.

Fig and Quinoa Cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, room temperature
1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
3-4 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Beat butter at medium speed until creamy.
2. Add cream cheese and beat until combined.
3. Sift 3 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter and cream cheese. Beat until combined.
4. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like. I used 4 cups.

Fig and Quinoa Cupcakes

Assemble
1. Top the cooled cupcakes with a layer of fig filling.
2. Frost with a dollop of frosting.
3. Top off with a slice of fig.

Bacon Cupcakes Two Ways17

Posted by chockylit in Bacon, Chocolate, Corn, Experimental Recipe, Maple (Thursday October 1, 2009 at 1:35 pm)

chocolate, toffee, bacon cupcake

I have tried my hand at bacon cupcakes before and some of my coworkers were huge fans. I was planning some celebratory cupcakes for work and I decided on bringing back the bacon. I was tentative with my inclusion of bacon last time around and I was looking for a chance to push it a bit more.

The frosting is subtle enough that it works on both cupcakes. But to be frank, if I do the sweet corn version again, I want to find a way to nicely push the maple flavor. I am thinking maple candy chunks in the frosting. The sweet corn version is great though. The corn was super juicy and the bacon flavor just enough. I also really liked the chocolate version. It’s hard to go wrong with chocolate and toffee anyway, but the salty, smokiness of the bacon took it to another level.

Sweet Corn and Bacon Cupcakes
~24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1-1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup grape seed oil (or any tasteless vegetable oil)
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon maple syrup
5 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter
1 cup corn kernels, fresh, cut off the cob
4 slices cooked bacon cut into chunks

1. Sift flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. In a medium bowl, combine oil, egg yolks, water, and maple syrup. Stir to combine.
3. On a low setting, start to beat the dry mixture and slowly add the wet. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until ingredients are incorporated.
4. Transfer mixture to another bowl. Wash and dry mixer bowl.
5. Whip egg whites with whip attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. With the mixer on medium speed, add cream of tarter and slowly add sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
6. Scoop a cupful of the stiff egg whites into the batter and stir to combine. This will lighten up the batter.
7. Transfer the batter to the egg whites and gently fold until there are no more streaks of egg white.
8. Gently fold in the corn kernels and bacon.
9. Scoop into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Bake at 350 F for 20-23 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

corn

Bacon, Toffee, Chocolate Cupcakes
~20 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup high quality unsweetened cocoa powder like Valrhona brand
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-1/2 slices cooked bacon cut into chunks
1/3 cup chopped chocolate covered toffee, Poco Dolce or other brand

1. Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
2 Add egg and beat until well combined.
3. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.
4. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine
5. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.
6. Gently fold in the bacon and toffee chunks.
7. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2-2/3’s full. Bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

yum, bacon

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

2-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1 stick butter
5-8 cups sifted powdered sugar
~1/4 cup maple syrup

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar and maple syrup. Beat until combined.
5. Add more maple syrup and confectioners sugar until you get to the flavor, consistency, and sweetness you like.

sweet corn, maple, bacon cupcake

Assemble
1. Frost cooled cupcakes.
2. Top with a piece of maple sugar candy or crispy bacon.