Oh, and yipes! It's the last day of Iron Cupcake: Earth! Which is kinda funny, I made this the day after the new ingredient was announced and now I'll be sneaking it in right before the deadline! I was hoping this month might be 'herbs' because I had a few ideas kicking around that I wanted to try. This one is based on one of my favorite pastas, pesto! Okay, okay, the cupcake doesn't taste just like pesto, but it has most of the components. I just couldn't bring myself to add the garlic. I had planned to, but when the time came I just couldn't do it. I'm kinda glad now because these cupcakes awesome just the way they are! Sweet and nutty with an elusive subtle flavor.
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare your mini muffin tin with a spray of Baker's Joy and cupcake liners.
In a food processor, buzz the toasted pine nuts and a tablespoon of the sugar. (Go slowly so you don't end up with pine nut butter.)
In your mixer, beat the butter and the rest of the sugar until light and fluffy.
Meanwhile, sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and parmesan together.
In another bowl, mix the buttermilk and vanilla.
When the butter/sugar is fluffy, add the eggs one at a time. Scrape the bowl down well.
Mix in the pine nut mixture.
Add about a third of the flour mixture, followed by a third of the buttermilk mixture. Mix until incorporated and scrape the bowl.
Add another third each of the flour and buttermilk, scraping the bowl.
Finish with the last third of flour and the last third of buttermilk. Scrape the bowl down and beat until you're sure it's all incorporated.
Spoon into cupcake liners and bake about 12 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
Remove from oven and let cool COMPLETELY before frosting.
7 Minute Frosting
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
In large metal bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over pan of barely simmering water and mix with handheld electric mixer at low speed. Gradually increase speed to high, beating until mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped basil. Transfer bowl from pan to folded kitchen towel on counter and continue beating until mixture is cool and billowy, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla.
A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5021935
A delicious treat from CIRCLEMONKEY http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5335273
a sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery, http://www.acupcakery.com/
PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5243382, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!