Sunday, May 06, 2007

On Imperfection: Mint Cream Filled Cupcakes

Mistake #1: Overfilling the cups in my mini-muffin pan, resulting in awkward shapes

Mistake #2: Not whipping my frosting to stiff, stiff peaks, resulting in runny buttercream

Mistake #3: Not pureeing my raspberries for the frosting, resulting in unsightly chunks

Mistake #4: Rushing the frosting of the cupcakes, resulting in a gloppy mess

You know what? It didn't matter one bit. I was so embarrassed to bring these mint cream filled vanilla cupcakes with raspberry buttercream to a picnic full of strangers, but as the guests gobbled them up, I realized I've been reading too many food blogs, forgetting about the real world of eating. These ugly suckers tasted delicious (and some folks even said they looked nice, though I think that's a stretch), and that's what matters.

The recipes come from the fabulous Cupcake Bakeshop -- a goddess of baked goods from the Bay Area. The raspberry buttercream recipe is here, while the vanilla cupcakes with mint cream is here. I used a mini-muffin pan and adjusted the baking time to 15 minutes. I also tweaked the mint cream a bit, so I'll give you my recipe--use the leftover syrup in a cocktail or drizzle on fresh strawberries.

Mint Cream

1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
Large handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
1/2-3/4 c. freshly whipped cream

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Ad the mint leaves, stir, and bring to a boil for a minute or two. Turn off the heat and let the syrup sit for 3-4 minutes. Strain syrup into bowl or storage container. Let cool.

Put the whipped cream in a small bowl. Pour 1/2 tablespoon of syrup down the side of the bowl (not over the middle of the cream) and stir vigorously. Taste. If you want more mint flavor, add another 1/2 tablespoon in the same manner, stirring vigorously. Repeat until you have the mint flavor you want.


Jill said...

They were delicious!

Kate said...

I often will beat myself up for food that doesn't look so great, and always forget that taste is really what matters, and often more importantly, the fact that it is homemade from scratch can be such a rarity these days that it's snatched up like gold. Those cupcakes may not have been the prettiest but they didn't come in a cardboard box.

'Nuf said.

Erin S. said...

Thanks Jill!

Kate--I think you're exactly right--homemade really seems to knock people's socks off, even when it looks a little goofy.

Connie said...

glad they got gobbled all the same!

Vanessa said...

They're authentic and they look it. I bet the flavor was incredible. I want one!

Erin S. said...

Thanks Connie and Vanessa--next time I will either A) pick an easier recipe or B) make sure I have plenty of time to be careful.