Wednesday, January 19, 2011
I whipped up these tasty little treats for a Miss America party that my sister-in-law hosted. We all picked a state (I was Illinois) and made sashes. It was a lot of fun. We were supposed to bring a food from the state we picked; however, I thought such a party was a great excuse to make these beautiful little cakes! They have been on my to do list for such a long time. These precious little cakes require you clean and reuse your mixing bowl 3 times, but trust me, it is soooo worth it!
The pavlova cupcakes come from a book appropriately titled "Cupcakes, Cupcakes, and More Cupcakes." Above the recipe it tells a little story about the origin of the cupcake. The tale goes that the chef who created this dessert created it in honor of his Russian ballerina love. The whipped cream and meringue remindful of the dancer's tutu. How sweet! Maybe my husband will make a dessert after me! haha, not likely, but maybe he will make a video game character after me :)
Ingredients for the cupcakes
2 1/2 cups white flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk (I used whipping cream b/c I didn't have whole milk in stock)
Directions for the cupcakes
Preheat oven to 325. Insert liners into medium cupcake pans. Sift flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, vanilla, and sugar on medium speed until mixture is light and fluffy (3-5 minutes). Reduce mixing speed to low, add eggs one at a time, mixing well between additions. Next, alternate between adding dry ingredients and milk, mix until blended into a smooth batter (this will be a thick batter, not like your normal think cupcake mix). Fill the cupcake linters two-thirds full and bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack for 10 minutes.
Ingredients for Meringue
4 egg whites
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup of sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. cream of tartar
Directions for Meringue
In the bowl of an electric mixer (the bowl must be completely dry with no traces of oil*), whisk eggs and salt for 3 minutes. Gradually add sugar, followed by powdered sugar and finally cream of tartar. Mix for ~3 minutes until meringue is shiny and set. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with with a circular tip (wilton # 12 or 7). Pipe kisses (like hershey kisses) onto a flat baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 2 hours at 160 or until the meringue sets completely. **
Ingredients for Sauce
2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries (I used frozen, its cheaper and it works great)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp Grand Marnier
1 Tbsp lemon juice
Directions for Sauce
Blend berries in a food processor, adding powdered sugar, Grand Marnier, and lemon juice until smooth. Work berry puree through a dense sieve to rid cause of any seeds.***
Ingredients for Whipped Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
5Tbsp powdered sugar
Directions for Whipped Cream
Whisk cream with vanilla extract and powdered sugar with mixer fitted with whisk attachment until cream is achieved.
Assembly: To assembly these beautiful babies, spread whipped cream over cupcake, and whole and broken meringue pieces to whipped cream, add berries of your choice (I used raspberry and blueberry) then drizzle with sauce.
Ok, I know what you are thinking. That is a lot of steps! However, if you make the sauce ahead of time it will cut down on a lot of work. Trust me, these cupcakes are worth the effort. I promise!
*If you rub your bowl down with a lemon slice and then whip it dry, the acidity of the lemon juice will neutralize any traces of oil.
** baking at such a low temperature keeps the meringue white. i was able to bump it to 185 and reduce about 20 minutes of time.
*** Sauce can be stored in the freezer for 4 months