Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Mai Tai Cupcakes

Before I get started, I apologize, I know it has been FOREVER since I've posted. I have so many ideas backlogged, but I just can't seem to get rolling. Where has the summer gone?

Last night I participated in Iron Cupcake Chicago, a cupcake competition that began in Milwaukee and has picked up in some locations around the country. Here in Chicago, it is sponsored by Irma at Beautiful Cakes. There were 9 entries, but no judges as I had thought. Everyone one who attended had two votes - one for taste and one for appearance. And while I didn't win either category, how can you go wrong with tasting 9 fabulous cupcakes. And so, if I did my math correctly, that means I ate about 4 whole cupcakes. Not a good thing on a low carb diet. I walked extra fast this morning and for an extra couple of blocks to try and make up for it.

Now, on to the cupcakes. Mine first :) The theme was "tropical." I created a Mai Tai inspired cupcake - rum cake with orange/almond filling, lime cream cheese frosting and garnished with a flower-shaped dried pineapple round, a cherry and a fancy paper umbrella.

3 cups cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/4 cup whole milk
3 Tbls. Rum Extract (or real rum)
2 Tbls. Triple Sec

Cream butter and sugar. Add milk and extract. Combine flour and baking powder together. Add to liquid mixture one cup at a time. Pour into 24 cupcake molds. Bake at 350 for approx 18 - 20 minutes.

3 Tbls. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
6 Tbls. granulated sugar
1 cup Half & Half
4 egg yolks
Zest from one large orange
1 Tbls Triple sec
1 Tbls Almond extract

Cook all ingredients except almond extract in a small pot over medium heat. Stir or whisk constantly until it turns creamy (kind of like pudding). Remove from heat, add almond extract, stir well and let cool. Use piping bag to pump filling into cooled cupcakes.

1 stick butter, softened
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
Juice from 2 limes
Zest from 2 limes
4 - 5 cups powdered sugar

Mix butter, cream cheese and juice. Add sugar one cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.

Slice top and bottom off of a whole pineapple. Slice off all of the outside rind and cut out any remaining eyes. Slice remaining core and fruit into very thin disks. Place parchment paper on baking sheet. Place pineapple on parchment paper and bake at 225 for approximately 4 hours, flipping once.

Here is my full display:

Here are a few of the other entries:
Heather over at Flour Girl made these delicious Rice and Bean cupcakes with horchata:

The presentation winner was this chocolate mango cupcake:

And the taste winner was coconut with cocoa nibs. And I hope she doesn't read this, but she must have brought the most friends. I'm just sayin'.

A few other entries:

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