Just try to tell me that's not the happiest looking cupcake you've ever seen! A few weeks ago, my friend Anne-Marie of 10 Rooms sent me a link to a Bake-N-Blog event hosted by Staci, over at Staci Edwards Design. It seems that Staci had fallen in love with Ming Makes Cupcakes and wanted to make all of the cupcakes on her site, but thought that 33 batches might be too many. So, she enlisted blogland to choose a cupcake and post about it today. I had a hard time deciding which one to make, and couldn't choose between the chocolate beet and the parsnip one. I thought folks might ignore the humble root vegetables in favour of the more glamourous ones. And then I saw this one, slathered in mascarpone cheese and whipped cream. Sorry, root vegetables.
Of course, being mesmerized by the possibility of putting an entire tub of mascarpone on cupcakes made me overlook the fact that these cupcakes had 2 ingredients I don't even like that much: apricots and sour cream. Sour cream baked in cakes is fantastic but I hate the smell and having to touch it! I used thick yogurt instead, and replaced the apricot jam with homemade peach preserve (just peaches and sugar, cooked). I put a heaping tablespoonful in each cupcake, but the cupcakes ate it, so they don't look a lot like Ming's. They are smiling, though, so that was a bonus.
I took a half dozen of these over to my friend P's house for dinner, where I had the most delicious risotto. The teenager in the house refused to try them, on the basis of the peaches, and the 3 year old licked up the icing only. My 2-year-old nephew demolished one in seconds flat after I picked the almonds off. I ate a couple myself, and I thought they were very tasty.
Peach and mascarpone cupcakes (cupcake 18)
Adapted from Ming Makes Cupcakes
1 cup flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup full-fat, thick yogurt or sour cream
peach, apricot, or any thick preserves. I think rhubarb would be wonderful, but I'm a rhubarb addict, and saving the last of my jam, so I won't know till next spring.
Preheat oven to 350℉. Line a cupcake tin with 12 paper liners. Sift flour, salt and soda together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar and then beat in egg and extracts. Add the yogurt. Batter will look curdled, but don't worry--it'll come together when you add the flour. Add dry ingredients and mix gently. Fill liners ⅓ full, then top with a tablespoon or so of preserves. Top with remaining batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine did not have a domed top, and neither did the originals, so don't worry if they look a bit fallen. More room for mascarpone! Cool, then top with:
8 ounces mascarpone
½ cup whipping cream
½ cup icing sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat all frosting ingredients together until soft peaks form. Dollop on cupcakes and top with toasted sliced almonds. Keep refrigerated.
These were fantastic--enjoy!