Sunday, May 15, 2011

Shirley Temple Cupcakes

This is my second version of a Shirley Temple Cupcake (the first version was not documented on Pixie Crust). I wanted to make another version because i wasn't completely satisfied with the first recipe.

This version is a white cake with a hint of lime filled with pomegranate curd and topped with Shirley Temple flavored swiss meringue buttercream. In case you didn't know (as I didn't for a very long time) grenadine actually has a pomegranate base, not cherry.

For the Cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
2 tsp lime zest
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp lemon juice
6 large egg whites
3 cups sifted cake flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract or paste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees* (I baked my cupcakes at 325 degrees because my oven gets crazy hot, but just as a tip, I generally find that baking cakes at slightly under 350 degrees makes for better results)

Cream together the sugar and butter, beating with paddle attachment for at least 3-4 minutes.

In the meantime, sift the cake flour with the baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Add in the vanilla, zests, and juice.

Combine sour cream, water, and egg whites in bowl and lightly whisk.

Add in the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar in 3 parts, alternating with the sour cream and egg white mixture. Mix after each addition, but do not over mix. Scrape the sides of the mixing bowl and bottom to be sure that the sugar and butter is all incorporated.

Divide batter evenly into cupcake liners and bake in oven for 20-25 minutes, alternating halfway through. The cupcakes are done when they spring back to the touch.

PS: I added pink food coloring to my cake batter, hence you may notice the cupcakes are not "white" like a true white cake. I wasn't that happy with the color after they baked, so I recommend not adding any additional coloring to the cake.

For the Pomegranate curd
1 1/2 cups POM pomegranate juice
Juice from 3 limes
1 1/2 Tsp lime zest
1 1/4 cups sugar
7 egg yolks
1/2 stick up butter, cut into pieces
5 drops red or dark pink food coloring

Combine pomegranate juice, lime juice and zest, sugar, and egg yolks in a medium sauce pan set over low-medium heat. Continually whisk and gradually increase heat to medium. Cook until mixture has thickened enough to coat back of a spoon. Turn heat off. Add butter and stir until fully melted. Add food coloring. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve and place plastic wrap directly on top of the curd to prevent a skin from forming. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours before use. Mixture will thicken more as it chills.

NOTE: The curd will turn brown without food coloring due to the color of the POM juice and how its effected by being cooked with egg yolk, so the coloring is purely for aesthetics.

For the Shirley Temple Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

4 egg whites
2/3 cups sugar
3 sticks butter, unsalted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup grenadine (you may need to add more to taste- I kept adding until it tasted like a Shirley Temple)
3 tbsp sprite
1 tsp lime zest
4-5 drops Americolor Deep Pink food coloring

Combine egg whites and sugar in a heat proof mixing bowl and place over saucepan of simmering water. Continually whisk until sugar is dissolved and mixture reaches 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Place mixing bowl on a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and continually whisk until mixture is thick and fully cooled. Add butter, piece by piece, mixing well after each addition. Switch to a paddle attachment and beat for another 2-3 minutes. Add grenadine, sprite and lime zest.

To assemble:
Core each cupcake using a small paring knife. Use a pastry bag to pipe curd inside cupcake, or use a small spoon. Once each cupcake is filled, pipe frosting on the top of each and place a maraschino cherry on top (be sure to pat them down on a paper towel before use so they don't drip juice on the frosting).

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