Friday, July 23, 2010

Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes

The scoop:
I recently discovered that I have a perfect audience for pretty much anything I want to bake. Work. The people that I work with will eat juuust about anything I bring in. That's good news for me, since it means I can bake more often without having to worry about eating it all! :)

So I decided to make lemon cupcakes the other day. Then I thought "hey, wouldn't those be awesome with a raspberry filling?" After that, I could only wonder what sort of frosting would work best with a raspberry-filled lemon cupcake. The solution hit me like a ton of bricks. A light cheese-based frosting would be perfect!

My first choice was mascarpone, but the Kroger I went shopping at didn't carry it. They did carry ricotta, however. And thus was born the Raspberry Lemonade cupcake.

I used:
  • Ina Garten's lemon cake recipe (sans syrup portion, and included a weee bit more buttermilk in the batter; I think next time I'll add ~1/4 cup each sugar, buttermilk, and lemon juice. It did turn out well though.) I got 2 dozen cupcakes and a thin-ish 6-inch round out of this recipe.
  • Martha Stewart's Mascarpone Frosting recipe (obviously, I substituted ricotta for mascarpone. Otherwise, I pretty much doubled this recipe, using a 15 oz. container of the cheese, 2 cups of cream, and 1 cup of confectioners sugar.) By the way, that was waaaaay too much for 2 dozen cupcakes. Stick with the original portions unless you have a ton of cupcakes or a very large cake. :)
  • My own hastily whipped up raspberry concoction. 
    • 1 12 oz. bag of raspberries
    • somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 cup of sugar
    • somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 cup lemon juice
    • ~2 1/2 tsp. corn starch
    • Bring all ingredients to a boil, lower heat and simmer until it is the desired thickness when allowed to cool (I tested it by waiting for it to cool on my stirring utensil). I don't have exact measurements on this one, since I sort of threw it together, but I'll make sure to pay better attention next time I make it. :)

After the cupcakes and the filling were both completely cool, I filled a pastry bag fitted with a round piping tip (large enough for the raspberry seeds to pass through) with the raspberry filling. I've seen a few different methods for filling cupcakes, some of which involve cutting out a portion of the cake and spooning or piping the filling into the cavity. Here is what I did (and I have to say, it worked quite well) :
    • Push the tip through the top of each cupcake and gently squeeze the bag until you feel the cupcake give a little.
    • Release the pressure on the bag as you lift the tip out of the cupcake.
    • Be careful not to overfill them! I ended up with one cupcake that looked like it had been stabbed in the side!
I topped off each cupcake with a generous dollop of frosting and a fresh raspberry. I am really very pleased with these cupcakes. Definitely a keeper! :)

I was going to take some photos of the last four cupcakes, but they met with a sad accident that involved an unbalanced tray and a quick trip to the floor. Needless to say, I'm not too happy about it, but I do plan on making more this weekend, and will be sure to share step-by-step photos next week! Maybe this time I'll make mascarpone frosting like I originally intended!

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