In the Dutchess County Spotlight
Say it with Cupcakes
A Beautiful Spring Cupcake Bouquet for Mother's Day
Sure, every Mom loves flowers...but she might also like something a bit sweeter, too. To help satisfy every deserving mother's sweet tooth, Chef Melissa Walnock of The Culinary Institute of America has a great suggestion for how to create a beautiful "bouquet" of floral cupcakes for Mom that's sure to please.
Chef Walnock used the following recipes, adapted from the Baking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America (Wiley, 2004) cookbook, for the cupcakes and the buttercream frosting. "I am using the denser pound cake recipe instead of a lighter chiffon cake to ensure the lollipop stick remains in the center of the cupcake," says Chef Walnock. "A lighter cake may not keep the stick from pushing through the top." As for the frosting, if you are pressed for time, the chef suggests making it using the simple recipe on the back of the box of confectioners' sugar.
Frosting your cupcakes to look like daisies, begonias, or any of Mom's other favorite flowers is easy when you use a pastry bag and a plain round or special "petal" or "rose" piping tip that you can find at most kitchen and craft stores. To create a two-tone effect that mimics the look of flowers in your garden, place two complementary-colored frostings side by side in a piping bag.
Don't worry if they're not perfect...Mom will love the cupcakes just because you made them!
For a brief step-by-step video showing how to pipe the petals onto your cupcakes to create the perfect bouquet, visit www.ciachef.edu/CupcakeBouquet. The following recipes have been modified from The Culinary Institute of America's Baking At Home with Culinary Institute of America, which is available at stores nationwide or at www.ciaprochef.com/fbi/books.html.
Sour Cream Pound CakeMakes 2 dozen mini-cupcakes
- 3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for greasing
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- A pinch of salt
- 1/8 cup sour cream
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350Â°F. Prepare mini-muffin pans by lining with paper cups.
- Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a bowl and set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, granulated sugar, and salt on medium speed, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed, until the mixture is smooth and light in texture, 4 to 5 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, blend the sour cream, egg, and vanilla extract. Add the egg mixture to the butter mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the sifted dry ingredients. After the last addition of the egg mixture, mix on low speed until just blended, scraping down the bowl as needed, 1 minute.
- Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Bake approximately 8 to 10 minutes until they are light brown and spring back when the tops are pressed.
- Remove the muffins from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
Nutrition analysis per cupcake: 30 calories, 1g protein, 4g carbohydrate, 1.5g fat, 25mg sodium, 10mg cholesterol, 0g fiber.
Simple Buttercream IcingMakes about 4 cups
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted, plus extra as needed
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or whole milk, plus extra as needed
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium speed until it is very light in texture, 2 minutes.
- Add the confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and mix on a low speed until the sugar and butter are blended, scraping down the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Increase the speed to medium and, with the mixer running, add the cream in a thin stream. Increase the speed to high and whip the buttercream until very smooth, light, and with a good spreading consistency. Adjust the consistency if necessary by adding a bit more confectioners' sugar or cream. Use to fill, ice, and decorate a cake.
Note: Once blended, buttercreams can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. To use after refrigeration, let the buttercream soften at room temperature for about 15 minutes. Transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the paddle attachment until it has a smooth, light spreading consistency, 3 to 4 minutes.
Nutrition analysis using heavy cream per one-ounce serving: 140 calories, 0g protein, 18g carbohydrate, 7g fat, 10mg sodium, 20mg cholesterol, 0g fiber.