Music

October 28, 2014

Crosseyed and Painless Cupcakes

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In the first of a two part tribute to the Talking Heads, I present an apple walnut cake, cored with apple cider fleur de sel caramel and topped with a Maker's Mark buttercream, candied walnuts and smoked fleur de sel.

 

C A K E  I N G R E D I E N T S

  • 2 1/3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, chopped apple, about 1 1/3 pounds whole apples
  • 1 cup diced toasted walnuts or pecans

 

C A N D I E D  W A L N U T S  I N G R E D I E N T S

  • 1 cup toasted walnut halves/pieces 
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter

 

D I R E C T I O N S

  1. Frosting

    1. Follow directions for the Jameson Italian Meringue buttercream, substituting the following:

      1. Brown sugar for Castor/Superfine sugar
      2. 2 tbsp Maker's Mark instead of Jameson
  2. Salted Caramel Filling
    1. Follow directions for the Fleur de Sel Caramels, however make the following changes:
      1. Use 1 cup apple cider or apple juice, and reduce on low heat to 1/4 cup.  Cool.
      2. During the second heating phase (after cream and sugar mixtures are mixed), take the mixture to 238-244 degrees instead of 256.  This will allow the mixture to be less stiff and more liquidy
  3. Cupcakes
    1. Preheat oven to 325
    2. Line tins with cupcake liners for 16 cupcakes.
    3. In one bowl, beat sugars and eggs until combined, then add eggs one at a time.
    4. In another bowl, whisk (or sift) flour, spices, salt, baking soda.
    5. Add flour to butter sugar mixture in two parts, mixing until well combined.
    6. Fold in apples and walnuts, letting the apples release thier juices.
    7. Fill the prepared tins with batter about 3/4 full.
    8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it.
    9. Store in airtight storage, preferably refrigerated, until ready for use.
  4. Candied Walnuts
    1. Heat medium non-stick skillet on medium heat.  Prepare a piece of parchment paper that is 16 inches wide.
    2. Add sugar, butter and walnuts, mixing frequntlyt.  As the sugar starts to melt, stir constantly until all sugar is melted and walnuts coated.
    3. Immediatly transfer the nuts to the parchment paper, and break up any clusters into individual nuts.  Cool and transfer to airtight storage until ready for use.

 

 

LINKAGE

  1. http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/old-fashioned-apple-cake-with-brown-sugar-frosting-recipe
  2. http://natashaskitchen.com/2014/01/11/5-minute-candied-walnuts/

October 08, 2011

Peaches en Regalia Cupcakes

 

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Peaches en Regalia is a modern jazz fusion standard, and one of the most well known songs by music legend Frank Zappa.  The song is included in the underground version of The Real Book, which is a series of books containing compilations of popular jazz tunes that provides an indispensable resource for aspiring and current jazz musicians.  Having a song published in The Real Book is the ultimate "street cred" for a jazz composer.  My introduction and love for the song and Frank Zappa came from none other than my favorite band, Phish.  This recipe is appropriately titled as a tribute to both groups of talented musicians.

The recipe begins with a classic buttermilk cake recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum that is converted into a delicate cupcake recipe.  Nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and ginger are added to spice it up.  A delicious peach preserve is injected into the center, though my original plans were to make a whiskey peach preserve from scratch (check back, as I may work on this idea).  Finally, the cupcakes are topped with a Jameson italian meringue buttercream to give the dessert pizazz.

Here's a great video of Phish covering Peaches en Regalia in 2009, with close-ups of Trey Anastasio rocking the solos.  Now you can really have your cake and listen to it too!

 

 

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