Thursday, January 3, 2008

Plum and Passionfruit Cupcakes

So, after deliberating all night, I finally figured how I wanted to do these. I remembered some other cupcakes that had a dual flavour combination, and thought about how they'd balanced the flavours... And these are what I came up with. Yes, they're tomato and basil cupcakes. And despite the fact that I can't stand raw tomato, I'm intrigued by these cupcakes. They're just the type of crazy thing I'd do.

As with the tomato cupcakes, the plum and passionfruit ones are not something that you can throw together in half an hour - though if you wanted to just make the cupcakes, I'd wholeheartedly support you as they're gorgeous.

As the recipe stands, it took me about seven hours to complete, with lots of waiting time and washing of dishes (and making of dinner) in between.

The truffles recipe is based on one I found at Gastronomicon. The cake recipe is my standard wet-ingredient cake which I modified from one I found ages ago on the internet. The glaze is based on the glaze from the tomato cupcakes at Cupcake Project, though mine's a lot runnier, and the cream... Well, it's just cream and passionfruit, after all.


Truffles

170g white chocolate, chopped
1/2c double thick cream
1/4c passionfruit pulp
1 1/2 T butter

Melt butter and chocolate. Stir through cream and passionfruit. Put in freezer for 4 hours, or overnight.

Scoop the ganache into balls with a melon baller or a teaspoon. Freeze again for 2 hours.

I was impatient waiting for the mixture to freeze the first time, and made it into balls after just two hours. Consequently, it took about three hours for the balls to freeze J

Melt some white chocolate. Dip the ganache balls into the chocolate and roll to cover. Place on a tray, and place in fridge to allow chocolate to set.

I think I just have issues with truffles. I've tried them once before, and the insides refused to set even after a couple of days. I decided it was cause I'd used plain cream, rather than double. So this time I bought double cream especially.

The insides got to a reasonable level of set-ness, but when it came to 'enrobing' them... Ick. The first three were okay, but the ganache melted so quickly that by the time I came to pick number four up it was a gooey lump. I still coated it in chocolate, which worked okay because the chocolate set, allowing me to recoat it without fear of melting, and resulting in some okay-ish looking truffles... But it was incredibly messing. I wonder if I should try to be patient and wait over night next time...

I still have rather a lot of ganache balls left that I couldn't be bothered to coat (I only did enough for the cupcakes), so maybe I'll try those tomorrow.

Plum Sauce

340g plums, de-stoned and roughly chopped
1/4c sugar
1/3c water

Stir over heat until sugar dissolves – about 1 minutes. Bring to the boil then simmer uncovered for 6 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 minutes, then puree if necessary (I didn't).

This makes slightly over the necessary cup. I added the leftovers into the glaze.


Cupcakes

1/4c sugar
1/2c margarine
1 egg
1/4t vanilla extract
1c plum sauce
1 1/2 c plain flour
1t baking soda

Cream sugar and margarine. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Alternately fold in plum sauce and flour/soda mix, some at a time, till all mixed.

Half fill cupcake tins, bake at 180C for 12mins. Tops will still be light when cooked. Cool on rack after 3 mins.

I got 19 cupcakes out of this, although they didn't rise as much as I was expecting - hardly at all. However, given the sweetness of the overall creation, this is probably a good thing.


Cream

mL cream
1/4 tin passionfruit

Whip cream. Fold in passionfruit.

May benefit from some icing sugar.


Glaze

1c honey
2 plums, chopped

Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes. Cool for 10-15 minutes.

I had a whole honey-jar full of this left over. I guess I'll use it on ice cream or something, though it's not as scrumptious as the plum sauce.


Assembly

Cut a small cone out of the top of the cupcake and hollow the cupcake out a little. Fill with passionfruit cream; replace top. Dip cupcake upside down into the plum glaze – twist as you bring it out to catch drips. Allow first layer of glaze to soak into cake, then redip. Top with a truffle & serve. Mmm.

Don't they look awesomely shiny with the glaze? The colour is stunning, especially compared to the rather bland colour of the un-glazed cake. And surprisingly, they hold the second layer of glaze well - three hours later they look just as glazed.


Results

My first reaction when I tasted the batter was: ho hum… my goodness these are good! The batter, which just tasted like batter on first contact, has this amazing plummy kick to it which is just… amazing!

Fresh out of the oven and I just couldn’t resist, even though I knew there wasn’t many… So I only had a third of one. And they are just as good as the batter promised. A non-descript grey colour with flecks of red, these are the ugly ducklings of cupcakes – they taste SO good. The plum flavour is absolutely perfect, a great balance between tart and sweet, and you can taste it through the whole cupcake, not just if you happen to get a piece of plum. I just love the plum sauce, and will definitely make it again even just as an ice cream topping…

So now I’m wondering about the watermelon and pineapple cupcakes… Does this recipe just need saucy ingredients? I wonder how a watermelon sauce or a pineapple sauce would work… Would it work? Thoughts, thoughts…

…back to the cupcakes. The problem I had at this point was that the cupcakes were SO good I didn’t want to tamper with them and risk making them worse… Even the thought of icing them was scary. But I had a plan to follow, so follow I did despite my doubts.

As it turns out, they are absolutely brilliant. The passionfruit cream, which I feared might be too overpowering, was exactly strong enough to combat the strength of the plum flavour, and the glaze, which was a bit sickly on its own, was just right on the cake. And the truffles? To die for… However, a word of warning - these are sweet cupcakes. If sweet's not your thing, stick to the cake and cream combo and skip the glaze (very sweet) and truffles (good until about number five, then sickening... But then, I can't eat too much white chocolate at the best of times.)

Regardless, I would definitely make these again.

Definitely.

9 comments:

Ashtah said...

Complicated as these may sound, they are worth the effort... I had the pleasure of eating one, and, well they are worth the effort!

Splotch said...

Hoorah!

I'm so glad you liked them. Thanks for commenting!! :)

Ashtah said...

: ) It was so difficult, having been given two...

I slowly savoured my one, then sat there contemplating the second one on the plate. I wanted to share its deliciousness with other people, but I also wanted to eat it. Particularly that truffle thing!

In the end Mum got half (she claimed diet) and I tried to offer Dad a half of the remaining half. Sadly this didn't quite work, and he ate all of the remaining truffle (what i was particularly eying off), and left me about two crumbs of cake itself.

Serves me right for trying to have my cake and eat theirs too, I guess! ; )

Ashtah said...

(And yes, that was a comment, not a post)

Splotch said...

:D

I promise to take your word for it.

O:)

Ashtah said...

Appreciated. : )

Stef said...

Wow! Way to go with those cupcakes! I love that you came up with it in a dream. They sound awesome!!

Splotch said...

Yes, I was quite proud :) You know you're obsessed with cupcakes when you start dreaming about them...

I think I need more practice at truffles though. They looked more like mishappen lumps than truffles, I fear :)

LadyShay said...

I absolutely love plums, I will def have to try this recipe. I'm scared to try the trumples [lumpy truffles:)] seeing as I've never made truffles before, and I'm a bit impatient as well.

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