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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Pineapple vanilla cupcake with pineapple frosting

Pineapple chunks and jam - a riot of textures

After a frenzied shopping spree at Phoon Huat , I discovered  among the  many purchases is a pack of candied pineapple I have no idea what I should do with . But not to fret, for a hobbyist experimental cook must always have all sorts of  things on standby in case the baking bug bites.

Thus began my search for a reason to use the candied pineapples. It came in the form of Billy's vanilla cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart's cook blog.

Admittedly, I am no  cupcake expert but in my humble opinion, this is one special way of making cupcakes.  I have to read the recipe twice to ascertain that what I am going to make  is anything but a pastry dough.

But the worry was really for nothing.  The cupcake  behaves as what cupcakes should, having a little dome and all.  Like all good  experiments, I added a handful of chopped candied pineapples and reducing the sugar by half. To add to the pineapple theme, 1/2 a teaspoon of pineapple and mango jam was 'jammed' into the uncooked dough before baking. On top of that, I made some red sugar sprinkles to be dusted on the icing. To complete its identity, the tiny cupcake was crowned with a wedge of candied pineapple.
Crown the cup with pineapple wedge for dramatic effect

Sure it looks good for the camera. But it tastes  good as  well. Light and fluffy, every bite is a pleasure in the form of pineapple bits or gluey jam. For someone who prefers the savory, I have to exercise restraint to reach for the second cup !

Ingredients for 7 big cups
 dry ingredients :
85g cake flour, not self-rising
 78 g  unbleached all-purpose flour
 1/2 cup sugar
 1/2 tab  baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt 
100 g unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, room temperature

Wet ingredients :
 2 small eggs
 0.5 cup milk, room temperature
1/2  teaspoon  pure vanilla essence

7 tiny candied pineapple wedges for decoration

Red sprinkles :
1/2 cup of white caster sugar
1 drop of red dye
Stir thoroughly with a spoon until the color is even. Let dry and set aside.

Butter icing :
1 tab butter, softened
3 tab icing sugar
1 pinch salt
Whisk until well combine. Chill until ready for use.

How to make the cupcake :
Increase baking time if cups are in silicon holder

Preheat oven to  160C degrees. Prepare cupcake pan with  7 big cups. Arrange evenly. Set aside.

In a big bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.

Add butter, mixing until flour mix is just coated with flour.  Mix will look yellow.

In another large bowl, whisk  eggs, milk, and vanilla.

On medium speed, add wet ingredients to dry ingredients in 3 parts, beat until ingredients are  incorporated. Do not overbeat.

Fill cups to 2/3 full.

Scoop 1/2 teaspoon of pineapple jam onto dough. Lightly push jam into dough.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a cake tester inserted in the cake center comes out clean. It should be just slightly brown.

Remove cups from cupcake holders. Cool.

Frost top with  a thin layer of butter icing, using the back of a teaspoon. For ease of application, bring out from the fridge 10 minutes before use.

Dip frosted cupcake in bowl with red sprinkles.
Use blue sprinkles and dye wedge blue for shark attack cupcake

Make a slit, push in decorative pineapple.

The cupcake tastes best at room temperature. Enjoy !

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