Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Raid the Cupboard

In the last few weeks I've been trying out some 'unusual' ingredient cupcakes with the idea of entering the "Most Unique Ingredient" at Cupcake Camp this weekend.

First up was the tomato soup cupcake as featured in the new book from Baked Explorations: Classic American Deserts Reinvented, the new book from the guys behind Baked bakery in New York. The recipe was featured in  Daily Candy so I thought I'd give it a go. I really didn't like it very much at all. The tomato soup overpowered the cake and I didn't even bother to make the frosting as I knew I'd never eat the cakes. Alas the weekend I made these was the weekend my camera broke so the pic is a bit dodgy. Also Manny had a cold so could taste nothing so I can't give a second opinion as the only other thing to taste them was my Brabinta. The second photo below shows how it should have looked when finished. My looked more like giant tomato muffins (that tomato soup really fermented when you added the baking soda - it was like something out of a horror movie!). I keep thinking about re-trying this recipe but with a lot more spice, as the spices really didn't come through in the cake in my opinion. Maybe trying it with Heinz soup, rather than the condensed soup as well as I'm told its makes a nicer, sweeter cake.

my tomato soup cupcakes

Baked's tomato soup cupcake

Next up was a cupcake I think I invented, as I've looked and can't find any cupcakes that are similar - if you've made them sorry! The reason I thought of this was all because the lady loves this....

the cornflake milkshake from Hawksmoor. Drooooool. One of the nicest things I've ever tried. I figured I would make some 'cornflake milk' by toasting the flakes lightly then adding to some ice cold milk, which I then left to soak for about 30mins or so. I then made a plain cupcake with the cornflake milk added. I added some cornflake crumbs to some of the cupcakes for extra taste (so I thought!). I was quietly confident this would work as the batter tasted really cornflake'y - like the milk that's left at the end of the bowl once you've scoffed the cereal. Alas the flavour baked out and what we were left with was a flavourless cake, and in the case of the ones I crumbled some cornflakes into, a flavourless cake with some soggy cornflakes in. Bugger.

Not willing to give up I made some cornflake milk frosting hoping it would save the cakes but it really didn't. Manny still ate them though! He really is the best taster in the world - and because he goes to the gym he works it off!

Next up was this weekends attempt. An yellow cake (ie no egg whites) infused with cardamom and saffron with a white chocolate and cardamom frosting. An Asian friend at work told me to ensure I used LOTS of cardamom to enhance the flavour. She suggested grinding it into the base but I wasn't that keen, instead I infused some hot milk with about 9 cardamom pods and a little bit of saffron and left to infuse for about an hour or two. The milk smelt very fragrant and I used equal quantities of  butter, caster sugar and baking powder and then 2 egg yolks, making up the remaining weight with the infused milk. The result was an incredibly moist, flavoursome cake. A little bit too flavoursome for me - I felt the cardamom was a little overpowering, but Manny happily scoffed them. I made a white chocolate and cardamom frosting using some of the leftover milk - I must say I'm not that fussed about white chocolate frosting, I find it a little too sweet.. Oh, and I baked some apricots into a few of them and Manny seemed to enjoy those when hungover yesterday, which didn't please the lady at work who was keen to try them!

I've just noticed that both cakes look kinda similar as they both have white frosting and I used the same cases for them - ooops. Honestly they're not - they're different cakes - you can tell by Manny's expanding waist-line, and the cardamom ones are more yellow inside!

the innards of the cardamom and saffron yellow cake

I have one more thing to try for Cupcake Camp with an unusual ingredient and then if that doesn't work I'm opting out of the comp! There are only so many odd(ish) things a girl can think of!

Btw, I've decided to name some of my posts this week in tribute to some of my favourite bands/songs for Halloween - this one is a tribute to Nunslaughter's Raid the Convent.


jessielou said...

These sound so interesting. The most inventive I have ever got were my avocado cookies. It's a shame the cornflake thing didn't pan out :( That could've been amazing!

Sarah-Jane - SiliconeMoulds.com said...

tomato soup cupcakes ? Why didn't I think of that ? Actually - I'm kinda glad I didn't lol.

Your's look the part - just without the frosting.

You've really got good with your frosting. What's the secret .... do tell :-)

Manny said...

I didn't find the cardamom too overpowering, I thought those ones were really nice and you could enter them in the competition. It was a shame the cornflake flavour didn't come through, the cakes were still nice and moist and the frosting was lovely :)

It sure is a pleasure being your no. 1 tester :)

blackbookkitchendiaries said...

i love the idea of cardamom and saffron in a cupcake it sounds really delicious:)

Victorias-Vintage said...

You have been awarded my Versatile Blogger award :) Vikki x