Monday, July 20, 2009

Iron Cupcake: Earth-- Herbs, part one

This month is my first time to compete in Iron Cupcake: Earth. IC:E is a contest where each month we are given an ingredient and challenged to create a cupcake showcasing that ingredient. This month's ingredient is Herbs.

I went to Greenlife Grocery where there were a lot of herbs from which to choose.

My choice was
Elderflower. During one of my trips to the U.K., I was served Elderflower Presse and really enjoyed it. I knew that World Market carried it, but just had never bought it, so I wanted to try to incorporate that in my recipe as well.

Special ingredients from left to right: Gooseberry Jam, Dried Elderflowers, Elderflower Presse, Gooseberries
In my research about Elderflowers, I learned that Gooseberries and Elderflowers pair well together. I really like Gooseberries, but they are not American. You can find Hartley's Gooseberries in online stores specializing in British foods, but I knew I could find them at The English Rose in downtown Chattanooga. World Market also had some Gooseberry Jam, so I picked up some of that as well when I bought the Elderflower Presse.
Elderflower and Gooseberry Cupcakes
Elderflower Cupcakes with Gooseberry Jam Filling and Whipped Cream Icing with Elderflower Presse and a Sugared Gooseberry on top
Makes appx. 3 dozen

1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dried elderflowers, (or two teaspoons fresh elderflowers)
5 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup Elderflower Presse

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add extracts and elderflowers. Mix in eggs one at a time. Add flour and elderflower presse a little at a time, alternating between the two. Use a large scoop to measure the batter and place into a lined muffin pan. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let cool 15 minutes before moving cupcakes to a cooling rack and continue to cool.

Filling Instructions:
Warm the jam in the microwave until you are able to stir the jam easily. With a paring knife, carve a circle in the top of the cupcake. The point of the knife should be towards the center with the handle angled outwards. It is similar to the way you would carve the top off a pumpkin. You will be left with a sort of cupcake cone. Remove the cone and fill the remaining space with approximately 1/2 teaspoon of jam. Place the cone back on the cupcake.

2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 teaspoon Elderflower Presse
2 tablespoon sugar
canned gooseberries
sugar as needed

In a large mixing bowl place the whipping cream, Elderflower Presse, and sugar and stir to combine. Cover and chill the bowl and wire whisk in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. When chilled, beat the mixture until stiff peaks form.

If you were to taste the icing alone, you may find that it does not have as much flavor as you would expect. The sweetness of the cake does not need to be overwhelmed by the icing. However, feel free to add a few drops of lemon and/or vanilla extract to taste.

To sugar the gooseberries, drain from can. While they are still slightly damp from the syrup, roll them gently in sugar. Let dry completely before transporting to the cupcake.

Click here for the Printable Recipe at Tasty Kitchen.

Voting starts July 28th, 8PM and runs until August 5th, 12 PM at NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER, If you'd like to take part in the challenge, check out all the details at Iron Cupcake: Earth and join the fun.

I am competing to win the following prizes made by wonderful contributors:
Our June ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH,
A delicious treat from CIRCLEMONKEY
a sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery,
PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY,, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS,, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books,; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, .


megandenise said...

Loved these cupcakes. Usually I just go for the frosting but.... the cake part is very different and tasty. of course the suprise filling is my favorite.

Jackleen the Chloreen Queen said...

I cannot wait to try this recipe. I really enjoyed your blog.

Anonymous said...

I loved the cupcake. It was fun and interesting to know what you had put in there.

Steve P. said...

Elizabeth let me try one of these cupcakes last week. Even though the flavors were new to me, I thought the cupcake was delicious.