Saturday, December 22, 2007
i paused, thought, and thought some more when i received the instructions about the swap. it mentioned something about having holiday inspired cupcakes - completely apropos for the season. sure, the obligatory decadent chocololate and spice flavors are the way to go (hey, i gave in - i made my all time favorite black forest cupcakes) but somehow, i know that in the back of my head, it was not my holiday cupcake.
i was happy with the black forest idea. if there is anything i look forward to every year during the holidays, it would have to be a box of chocolate covered cherries. i never liked it when i was growing up - too confusing, too gooey, too weird and hmm, not anything like ferrero rocher. but suddenly, december of 2002, i dragged my mom along to search for chocolate covered cherries. i remember she told me that i never liked it, with that i responded - i know, i never liked it, but now i think i'm ready for it. from then on, it was my holiday in a box.
driving home one afternoon last week i figured though black forest is holiday inspired enough, it doesn't really encompass what holiday is for me. then i remembered a cake we would have - not really my top fave, but my mom likes it a lot - then like a calling, i knew it was meant to be.
a special cupcake like this needs respect - and a special place on the table. my regular box will not serve it right, so a basket it is. the effort it took to produce one makes me more than qualified to be a grandma.
a number of people from the swap asked me for the recipe. here are the steps, and if you are patient enough, you are more than welcome to try.
2 dozens vanilla cupcake - use whatever recipe you enjoy
fill the cupcakes with custard.
simmer 5 cups whole milk with 1 cup sugar until reduced to about half the amount. let the mixture. transfer to a double boiler, add 8 egg yolks and cook until thick (about 15 minutes). let the mixture cool, add 3 T butter and 1 t vanilla.
top the custard filled cupcake with meringue, bake at 400 degress until brown - or torch it like crazy.
beat 8 egg whites with 1/4 t cream of tartar and 3/4 cup sugar until stiff.
check out the following links for the cupcake swap event: