May 19, 2013

I'm in Paris! Guest Post # 2 - Caroline from The Old Country Blog!

About The Old Country Blog 
As a recent journalist and National Geographic oral historian, Caroline has a passion for both writing and history.  She also loves to bake and was lucky to have grown up very close with both of her grandmothers. Thus, the creation The Old Country Blog! 

My German grandmother (who married a tall, dark and handsome Lebanese man) told rich stories about the old countries — food was often a major plot point. And, as a New Orleanian, she was raised on great food and immersed in Louisiana's unique way of life. 
Every Wednesday, The Old Country Blog serves up a new recipe with a side of history or a fun tradition.

The Long Life of the Cupcake
While individually sized cakes, baked in ramekins and molds are scattered throughout culinary history, the original cupcake dates back to 19th century America.  
E. Leslie’s 1828 cookbook, “Receipts” concocted the first cupcake. The petite cake saved time in the kitchen — large cakes take longer to cook through — and changed baking forever. 
The treats were called cupcakes not only for the individual serving, but also because they were often bakes in cups, many in teacups. And the darling nature of this process was not unnoticed,  The name Fairy Cakes was coined because of the dessert’s dainty size and charm — fit for a fairy.  In England, Fairy Cake is still a proper term for personal cakes, though they often have less icing and vary in size.  
Cupcakes reached a new level of popularity just after WWII, when packaged brands hit the market. The cupcake craze has only increased with boutique pastry shops and an infinite number of flavors — including my most recent kitchen experiment, Strawberry Jalapeño with Buttercream Lime Icing. 
For more info on Cupcake History: 

Cupcake Recipe 
Strawberry Jalapeño Cupcakes

·       3/4 cup strawberries
·       1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
·       1 teaspoon baking powder
·       1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
·       1/4 cup milk, room temperature
·       1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
·       1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
·       1 cup sugar
·       1 large egg and 2 large egg whites, room temperature
·       candied jalapeños*
Before we get started.  Here is how I candied the jalapeños …
-       12 slices of jalapeños from a jar
-       Pinch of salt
-       3T vinegar
-       ¼ cup sugar
Bring sugar, salt and vinegar to a boil. 
Add jalapeño and simmer for six minutes. 
AFTER THE STRAWBERRY IS PUREED, puree the candied jalapeños.
Set aside.
OK now back to the batter …

Puree strawberries.  Then, pour them in a bowl milk and vanilla, set aside.  
Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside.
Cream butter and sugar, slowly add in eggs.
Slowly blend in milk mixture. Then dry ingredients.
Before totally mixed, blend in candied jalapeños.
Bake for about 20 minutes at 350 in lined cupcake pan. 
Allow to cool and add icing. 
Buttercream Lime Icing 
1 cup unsalted butter, softened  
3 cups confectioner's (powdered) sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt – I may have sprinkled a tad more, to taste
1 tablespoon flavoring extract (Arak; but since it is scarce almond can work)
3.5 T lime juice
Mix it up. (If too runny, add more sugar. If too thick, add a splash of milk.)
Decorate! I topped mine with lime and strawberry slices. 

1 comment:

  1. Yuuuum! They look delicious! I am definitely going to try this recipe. I am not sure my cupcakes will be as tasty and good-looking as yours, though!
    Thank you for sharing!!

    Soul Designs


you are so cute! thanks for commenting:)