Sunday, October 16, 2011

Candycorn Cupcakes

Thursday, I was in the grocery store.  And I spotted candy corn.  I don't even like it that much.  But I had to buy it.  It was calling out to me.  It is nearly Halloween, after all.  I just knew I could turn it into an interesting cookie.  But, then I didn't.  Instead, I made cupcakes.

These actually turned out to be much cuter than I really thought they would.  And, the cake recipe was fantastic.  It's a little complicated in that you mix up most of the batter, but then you whip up a meringue and fold it into the batter.  This step adds a fluffiness to the cake that takes it from being an ordinary, every day cupcake to a very tender, exceptional one.

Candy Corn Cupcakes:
2 large eggs, separated

1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, at room temperature

1 cup granulated white sugar, divided

1 teaspoon pure vanilla

1/2 cup rice milk

1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350.

Separate eggs and set aside.
Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until soft, about 1 minute.  Add 3/4 cup sugar and beat until soft and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Add in the egg whites, one at a time, and beat after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mix well.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the flour mixture in three batches, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Move the mixture to a separate bowl.

For this next part, you need the bowl of your mixer to be very clean.  Squeaky clean. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy.  Add the cream of tarter and beat on high speed until soft peaks form.  Slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat on high until stiff peaks form.  With a rubber or silicone spatula fold in some of the egg white mixture into the batter mixture.  Fold until combined and then fold in the remaining egg white mixture.  Be careful not to overfold so the mixture doesn't deflate.  

Divide the batter evenly among three bowls (or, two additional bowls to the one you already have.  Each bowl should contain 1/3 of the batter mixture).  Add Americolor orange gel coloring to one of the bowls.  Add egg yellow to another.  Leave the third without coloring.
Divide each color of batter evenly among lined cupcake pan, starting with the uncolored batter on the bottom, followed by the orange, topped off by the yellow.  Bake for 18-25 minutes (mine took 21 minutes).
While cupcakes are cooling, mix up your favorite frosting.  Also divide it into thirds and color just like you did the batter.  Put each color into a disposable piping bag.  Snip a .5 inch section off the tip of each.  Fit another disposable pastry bag with a very large piping tip. (I used this one.)  Insert each of the three bags into the bag fitted with the pastry tube so that you are squeezing all three colors through the tip at once.  (Here's a great tutorial.)  Top with a piece of candy corn and watch them get gobbled up!      

Source:  Cake slightly adapted from Joy of Baking.


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