Thursday, March 24, 2005

IMBB #13: Neopolitan Buttermilk Cupcakes

I look forward to blogging events. It's like going to a party where everyone has a little present for everyone else. Of course, this is because I, like so many other food bloggers, love food. Once a theme is anounced, I start brainstorming what I'll make. Cupcakes (or muffins) were a great choice by Maki. They're already like little presents.
Ok, enough with the present analogy.
For this month's Is My Blog Burning, hosted by i was just really very hungry, I was pleasantly surprised to see the theme because I can always use an excuse to make dessert. Cupcakes aren't something that I make often because usually I want the whole cake. But you have to love single serving foods sometimes.
Cupcakes seem a little less serious than full-sized cakes, so I had a difficult time narrowing down my ideas. Mainly, I wanted something that looked fun... oh, and taste good, too! I started with a cake from a Cooking Light recipe I had lying around, made it plain and then remade it. Into what? Neopolitan buttermilk cupcakes.
The final product was very moist and had a nice, subtle buttermilk-vanilla flavor. I think the moistness keeps them from getting over mixed when you mix in the strawberry and chocolate flavors, since I didn't detect any toughness at all. In fact, they had a very soft crumb. No egg yolks were used, since I wanted to keep the pink-white-brown color distinction clear. I used a cream cheese frosting, which is always a hit, but I think they would be great with a whipped cream frosting, too. I liked these a lot as a straightforward tasting, but fun looking cupcake. I'm also sure that these would do marvelously well at a bake sale.

Neopolitan Buttermilk Cupcakes
1 1/3 cups ap flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5/6 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbsp strawberry jam
red food coloring
1 tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 12 cup muffin tin, or line one with 12 paper liners.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
Cream together sugar and butter. Mix in egg whites and vanilla and beat throughly.
Add flour to egg mixture, alternating with buttermilk, in two or three additions.
Divide batter into 3 bowls.
Add jam and one or two drops of food coloring to one bowl. Mix.
Add cocoa powder to another bowl. Mix.
Scrape each batter into a piping bag (or a plastic bag with the corner cut off).
Pipe one layer of each batter into cupcake tins.
Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.

Makes 12 cupcakes. Cool on wire rack completely before frosting.
Store covered at room temperature.

Cream Cheese Frosting
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners sugar
Mix cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Add in confectioners sugar slowly until thick consistence is reached.
You can use reduced fat or fat free cream cheese for the frosting, if desired.

Speaking of cupcakes, why don't you check out Cupcake Takes the Cake, a cupcake blog that will enable you to get your fix once the IMBB party has moved on.