The Cook's Tour: Late to the Party

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Late to the Party


The cupcake party, that is.  I know cupcakes have been all the rage in the food world for the last couple of years but I never really got on that bandwagon.  I like cupcakes as much as the next person, but I've never considered myself the kind of person who has to follow along blindly behind the leader of the foodie trend train.  


A few weeks ago, I needed a small amount of buttermilk for a recipe. And, of course, you cannot buy, say a half-pint, or pint, of buttermilk. Noooooo, it's only sold in your regulation quart size. But I figured I would use up the rest of it somehow.  Which brings me to Martha Stewart. Something else I was never caught up in. But I got this great deal for a subscription to Martha Stewart Living with a freebie subscription to her cute little Everyday Food magazine.  How could I pass this up?  In my first issue (March 2010) there was a full page ad for "Cupcakes Galore," a web gallery overflowing with delicious-sounding, and luscious-looking cupcakes.  But I didn't want to make giant cupcakes.  I wanted just a delightful, bite-sized, pop-the-whole-thing-into-your-mouth, cupcake.  And there they were: Mini-Carrot Cake Cupcakes!  They looked fabulous and they had that all-important ingredient - buttermilk. Luckily, a friend was having a belated Valentine's Day brunch and asked me to bring a dessert - hello, cupcake!  For such a small item, they were a huge hit!  That's them in the photo at the top. They are chock full of raisins, cinnamon, and carrots (natch), but I think what really set them apart from the rest of the cupcake crowd, was the maple cream cheese frosting.  With a generous tablespoon of pure maple syrup and a sprinkling of shredded coconut, the flavor melding with the carrot cake was deluxe!  I was hooked.


Well, now I was on this cupcake high and needed more.  I scoured the web for mini cupcake recipes, but nothing spoke to me.  Back to Martha I went and she saved the day.  Banana Buttermilk Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream was the answer to my cupcake habit because I still had buttermilk in the refrigerator and perfectly ripe bananas on my counter. It was like the perfect storm.  I altered the recipe a bit, though. Since I had leftover maple cream cheese frosting from the first batch, I utilized that.  And this recipe was for full-size cupcakes, so I simply altered the baking time to accommodate mini-cupcakes.  These were even better than the carrot cupcakes, I think, because they were made with sifted cake flour (instead of all-purpose flour), which made them lighter than air.  Here they are in the photo below, all dressed up and ready to go!




Yeah, I was late to the party but I'm on board now!  How about you?  What's your favorite cupcake?


Print Carrot Cake Recipe Here!


Print Banana Buttermilk Recipe Here!


Print Basic Cupcake How-To Here!


Print Maple Cream Cheese Frosting Here!


Carrot Cupcakes on FoodistaCarrot Cupcakes

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