Saturday, October 15, 2011

A tale of apples, dieting and apple spice cupcakes 2 ways



 How bout them apples? 

Quite frankly I can't believe I can even stand to look at apples.

A little over a month ago as I sat down to do my charting, I felt an uncomfortable pinch at my waist.
My gosh, these are already SCRUBS & worse yet they are my 'fat girl' scrubs.  Sigh...


Yes, my baking obsession had gotten the best of me, or more appropriately, the worst.  I had been slowly gaining weight, but I was in denial.  I wore dresses instead of pants.  When I went to the beach, I sported a rash guard and surf shorts.  Sexy, right?  I avoided my scale like the plague.  But there was no denying the weight gain once my baggy scrubs started to have "screaming seams" as my co-worker, who is not known for mincing words, put it.  I won't go into the details of the diet, but let's just say it was intense. Strict!  NO SUGAR(processed or refined) or carbs whatsoever.  Well, I had done it to myself and drastic times called for drastic measures.

I baked without sampling.  That's right.  Not even a lick of the beater.  Not one single cookie crumb.  Torture!

I learned to enjoy baking through smell.   Baked good right up to the nose, eyes closed, and then inhale deep and long.  Ahhh.  My niece actually started offering me to "smell her food" before she ate it.  She so gets me.

I was allowed to eat 3 different fruits-apples, oranges and strawberries.  The oranges and strawberries saved my diet.  But the apples never cut it for me.  Worse yet, they were almost double the calories of the oranges and strawberries.  Didn't matter though.  I still had to eat them about once every 1.5 days.   Literally an apple a day.  Bleck.  Boring.

I made it through the diet.  My baggy scrubs were once again baggy.  I could wear my jeans(comfortably)again.  No more apples.  That was until I came across this recipe.

It IS fall and honestly, how bad can apples be in a cupcake?

Apples are AWESOME in a cupcake!!!

This cupcake is sturdy, almost muffin-like.  It has hearty chunks a fuji apples in every bite.  Very moist.  "10 out of 10" is my hubbie's rating.  And I reluctantly admit, that apples can be good in the right context.



I used 2 different frostings for these.  The first was my own experiment.  It is a whipped mascarpone honey frosting.  It is delicious, but the Hawaiian humidity got the best of it and it was more of a glaze as far as consistency.  I was hoping for big fluffy mounds of frosting.  Nonetheless, it was delicious.



  

The second frosting is homemade whipped cream and if you like a lighter, less sweet frosting, I would go with this one.

Both are good warmed up in the microwave for a few seconds and then topped with your choice of frosting.


Apple Spice Cupcake from Cupcakes

Ingredients


1/2 C unsalted butter at room temperature
3 apples(about 1lb), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 T plus 3/4 C sugar
1 C AP flour
3/4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t ground allspice
pinch of nutmeg
2 large eggs at room temp
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/4 cup sour cream

Method

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 F.  Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liner.  In a saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the 2 T of the butter.  Add the chunks of apples and the 2 T of sugar and cook, stirring often, until the apples are translucent and soft, 5-7 minutes.  Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
In a bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg.  In another bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the remaining 6 T butter and the 3/4 C sugar together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.  Slowly add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until combined.  Add the sour cream and reserved apple mixture and fold in until just incorporated.
Divide evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.  Bake until golden brown and toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.  Let them cool on a wire rack in the pans for 5 minutes.  Then remove from pan and place on wire rack an let them cool completely, about 1 hour.

Whipped frosting


Ingredients


2 and 1/4 C heavy cream, chilled
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Method

To make the frosting, place the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Whip on medium-low speed at first, gradually increasing to high speed.  Blend in the confectioners’ sugar gradually.  Whip until stiff peaks form, being careful not to over-beat.  Use a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip to frost the cooled cupcakes.  Sprinkle with ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce.  Store in an airtight container and refrigerate.

Honey-Mascarpone Whipped Frosting


Ingredients


8 oz mascarpone
6 T butter
1/2 vanill extract
3/4 powdered sugar
2 T honey

Method

In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the mascarpone, butter and vanilla together until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.  Gradually beat in sifted powdered sugar and mix until thoroughly combined, scraping your bowl as needed.  Add 2 T honey and mix until combined.










3 comments:

  1. Congrats on the weight loss! I've lost 57 lbs since March and I definitely understand the "enjoying baking through smelling" thing. I do the same thing!
    Your cupcakes look amazing!
    Thanks for sharing :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. WOW! These look great. Can't wait to make them this Fall! Check us out sometime @ BloomEveryday.wordpress.com. :) Would love for you to check out some of our recipes.

    ReplyDelete