February 13, 2011 by Dana
You may have noticed that this is the first cupcake recipe I’m sharing on Food for Thought.
You see, to make a cookie look good, you basically just have to make it and bake it properly. I mean, who ever saw a batch of perfectly golden brown delicious chocolate chip cookie that didn’t look scrumptious? No one.
But cupcakes? Well, they are an entirely different story. You have to decorate cupcakes for them to look appetizing. And I’m sorry to say that I have absolutely zero artistic ability.
In fact, I have so little artistic ability, that I am quite possibly the only person in the history of the world that has actually hurt themselves in elementary school art class. And by “hurt themselves” I mean my parents were called, I was rushed to the doctor, and I needed 3 stitches.
I wasn’t running with scissors. I wasn’t putting anything into the hot kiln. I was just sitting there, doing my project, when I cut myself and started bleeding all over the place. In art class.
So, considering the last time I attempted to be artistic in any fashion resulted in me being held down in the doctor’s office with a needle piercing through my skin, I was, admittedly, a little nervous when Pom Wonderful gave me a free sample of their new Pomegranate Concentrate, and asked me to use it in a Valentine’s Day cupcake.
I knew that I couldn’t just “make” a cupcake. I’d have to decorate it, too. So I called my friend Jill, aka the Cupcake Queen, and asked her to bring over her pastry bag and decorating tools.
I had all the best intentions to have the cupcakes ready to decorate when Jill arrived so that she could help me, but, in true Dana fashion, I hadn’t even started them yet. Jill left me with the pastry bag and tools, and I was left to my own devices to decorate my cupcakes.
Coming up with the idea for the recipe, creating the recipe, and making the cupcakes were, well, a piece of cake. But icing the cupcakes? Not so much.
It took me a good hour to figure out how to use the pastry bag, and by the time I “mastered” that, I was spackled with frosting up to my elbows, had it all over the kitchen table, and had globs of it stuck in my hair. I had the patience to frost about four cupcakes using the pastry set, and after that I just used a butter knife to spread the frosting, and then dunked them top side down into a big bowl of sprinkles.
For the Cake:
2 oz margarita mix (thawed if frozen)
2 oz warm water
1/2 oz pomegranate concentrate (about 3.5 teaspoons)
2 oz egg whites (about 2 large eggs)
1.5 cups all purpose flour, sifted
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 oz tequila
For the Icing:
4 tablespoons butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese
1 tablespoon pomegranate concentrate
3 tablespoons water, plus more as needed
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 12 cupcake trays with wrappers. (Makes about 12 cupcakes)
2. In a small bowl, combine margarita mix, water and pomegranate concentrate.
3. In a medium sized bowl, combine egg whites, and 1/8 cup pomegranate/margarita mixture. Set aside.
4. In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Combine well.
5. To the dry ingredients, add butter, tequila, and remaining pomegranate/margarita mixture. Mix on low speed until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1.5 minutes.
6. Add half of the egg white mixture to the cupcake batter. Beat for 30 seconds. Add the remaining egg white mixture, and beat for 30 additional seconds.
7. Evenly divide the batter among the 12 cupcake wrappers (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake).
8. Bake the cupcakes for 14-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
9. To make frosting, mix butter, cream cheese, pomegranate concentrate, water, and confectioner’s sugar with a wooden spoon. Once the ingredients are combined, mix with a hand mixture until icing is smooth. Add additional water to reach desired consistency, if necessary.
While it may have looked like the same fourth grader that cut herself in art class had decorated the mis-matched cupcakes, they luckily tasted much better than they looked!
Update 4/11/2011 I am submitting this to BSI Cream Cheese, which is going on at Recipe Rhapsody.