Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Strawberry Rhubarb Short Cupcakes with Whipped Coconut Cream

I have been dying to try one of Chef Chloe's recipes since seeing her whoop the butter right out of the Food Network's Cupcake Wars.  It was such an inspiration to see a vegan being highlighted on such a meat-centered network.  I had been wanting to make her Raspberry Tiramisu cupcakes that won, but I didnt' want to go to the store and buy amaretto and raspberries.  My garden will be full of raspberries in another month.  So, I decided to mix it up a bit and take a little from here and there and put my own twist on it.

Let me just say that although there is no orange in the title of this recipe, orange is a key component to the flavor of this cupcake.  Just like the PPK girls think raspberries and chocolate should get married and have beautiful little raspberry chocolate deserts, I think orange and rhubarb are soul mates.  Their love is sercret love though, due to the well-established relationship between rhubarb and strawberries.  I'm not trying to break up a happy home, I just think a third party really spices things up.

For this cupcake I used Chef Chloe's vanilla cupcake recipe from her Rapsberry Tiramisu cupcake.  I also added about a half teaspoon of valencia orange zest to the batter.  While the cupcakes were baking, I made my strawberry rhubarb filling (with orange).

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam
2 stalks rhubarb finely chopped
5-6 strawberries finely chopped
the juice and zest of half an orange (I used whatever zest was left after I had added a tiny bit to my batter)
1 cup sugar (I could have used less, I realized after tasting, but it's still tart enough)
1 Tbsp cornstarch

I mixed this all and cooked over medium high heat until it was bubbly and gooey and then simmered it a bit longer.  I used a wooden spoon to stir it, and while I don't know that this is a crucial element, I kind of feel like it might be.  I set it on the back porch to cool and took my cupcakes out to join it.

While things were cooling out back, I made the whipped coconut cream from Chef Chloe's Berry Cobbler  recipe.  I would strongly recommend using one of the brands of coconut milk she suggests.  Mine didn't have a thick cream on top so I had to fiddle with freezing it and such to harden it up so it would get fluffy-ish.  I'm sure it works if you do it right, and the flavor was awesome anyway.

For the assembly, I used a grapefruit spoon to scoop a little hole out of the top and saved my scooped out part.  I filled each cavity with jam and had a little jar left over for toast.  Then I placed the removed part back on top and topped the whole thing with whipped coconut cream.  I served it in an ice cream dish without the wrapper and we ate it with a fork.  So fancy-like, the person you share them with will feel so special (bonus if you cut a strawberry slice to look like a heart and put it on top).

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