Sunday, June 29, 2008

Cantaloupe Cupcakes - Cupcake Hero Entry

I promised an update today, and it's still technically Sunday, at least where I live, so this counts. Well, the month of June is almost over, and so as a habitual procrastinator it’s time for me to submit my Cupcake Hero entry. This month cupcake hero is being hosted by April of Abby Sweets. The theme selected this month was a summery melon theme, which really threw me. A few weeks before this theme was announced, I was considering making melon bars (I made tropical fruit bars instead), I told a friend, about the idea and she responded “Baked melon? Really?” And it occurred to me that she was right, melon is not a flavor one typically associates with baking. I was left with a challenge.

How to flavor a cupcake with melon? This poses a number of problems. The first is what flavors to compliment it with? Melon is not an overwhelmingly strong flavor, especially if you are unlucky enough to get a tasteless melon. I got lots of suggestions, but it seems to me that pretty much any other fruit (banana, pineapple, coconut), would overwhelm the taste of the melon. Then a friend of mine suggested prosciutto and melon as inspiration. I didn’t think I would want to use actual prosciutto in my cupcakes, but matching the something salty with the melon sounded like a good idea, maybe in the form of a salted caramel frosting. As I was bouncing this idea around in my head, I continued to seek ideas for other kinds of melon cupcakes, people suggested pistachio, mixed fruit, Midori, and finally what I settled on, Green Tea (Matcha).

But of course, Green Tea and salted caramel really didn’t seem to go together, so what was I to do? Why, make two kinds of cupcakes of course! That’s right, this is another edition of Animus Cupcake where two cupcake recipes duel it out for supremacy. I don’t know if I’m actually allowed two cupcake hero entries, so only one of them may be an official cupcake hero contestant (If I had put this post up earlier I would have had people vote on which cupcake would progress to the Cupcake Hero battleground).

So who are the contestants? On the sweet and salty side we have Cantaloupe Cupcakes filled with cantaloupe curd and topped with salted caramel frosting with candied prosciutto (yes, you can candy prosciutto). On the Green tea side we have Cantaloupe and Matcha Cupcakes with a Cantaloupe and Matcha Swiss Meringue Butter Cream frosting. Post your votes as to which you think is the superior cupcake, or just ogle the pictures and wish you lived somewhere near me. Either way, I hope you enjoy the recipes.

About cantaloupes: I was able to use one large cantaloupe for everything in both of these recipes. Having a good cantaloupe was key. Here are the things I look for when choosing a cantaloupe: 1) The outside of the melon is sort of veined, between the veins the melon should be yellow, not green. If the melon looks green there, it is not ripe. 2) Push on the ends of the melon, it should give just a little. If the melon is rock hard, it’s not ripe. 3) smell the melon, a good melon will smell faintly through its husk, especially at the ends. If you’re sense of smell isn’t very good, put the melon in a plastic bag and close it. Take the bag with you while you do the rest of your shopping, and then open the bag and smell in. It should smell very strongly of cantaloupe. I did these three things before choosing the cantaloupe I used for this recipe, and got one of the most delicious melons I’ve had in a long time

Cantaloupe Cupcakes (I used the cake recipe from Cupcake Bakeshop)

Makes 15 cupcakes

1 ½ cups flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/8 cup vegetable oil
½ tsp vanilla
½ cup pureed cantaloupe
¾ cup diced cantaloupe

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar.

2. In a separate bowl beat together the eggs, oil, and vanilla.

3. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat to combine. The batter will be very dry at this point, don’t worry.

4. Whisk in the pureed cantaloupe. Fold in the diced cantaloupe.

5. Fill cupcake liners with a ¼ cup measure. Bake cupcakes for ~22 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean (the recipe at cupcake bakeshop says to bake for 30 minutes). These cupcakes are very moist, and somewhat sticky on top.

Cantaloupe Curd

Makes about a cup, which is just enough to fill both cupcake recipes, if limit to 1 tsp of curd/cupcake

3 egg yolks
¾ cup sugar
½ cup melon puree
1 tsp lemon
3 Tbs butter, cut into chunks

1. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, melon puree, and lemon juice. Place the mixture over a double boiler and begin heating.

2. Stirring constantly, heat the mixture until it is hot to the touch, or 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Make sure you don’t not let the mixture get to boiling.

3. Remove the mixture from the heat, and let it sit for 30 seconds. Stir the butter into the curd until it melts. Put the curd into the fridge to let it set.

Salted Caramel Frosting (also from the Cupcake Bakeshop)

Makes 3-4 cups

When I made this frosting, I made more of a burnt caramel frosting. This was mostly due to accident, but it tasted REALLY good. For making the caramel I chose a pan that looked thick, but evidently did not heat evenly. The result was that one side of the pan turned dark (up to 350+ degrees according to my candy thermometer), while the other side was still clear. The caramel by itself was pretty strongly burnt, but when mixed with the other frosting ingredients it was divine. The recipe I’m providing here is for the regular caramel frosting, but if you want to make it burnt, just let at least some of the caramel get very dark.

4 Tbs water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbs light corn syrup
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbs butter
½ tsp lemon juice
½ tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter (softened)
8 oz. fat free cream cheese
3 cups powdered sugar (the bakeshop recipe uses 5-6 cups, but I thought three was plenty).

1. Stir together the water, sugar and corn syrup in a deep saucepan, and cook covered over medium heat for three minutes

2. Turn the heat up to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil. You should no longer stir the caramel, but you can shake it to ensure even heating (I tried shaking to no effect).

3. Cook until the caramel turns an even amber color (to make it burnt, let at least some of the caramel turn dark brown, see the picture below to see what mine looked like). Remove the caramel from the heat and let it sit for 30 seconds.

4. THIS PART IS DANGEROUS. Wearing oven mitts and standing back, pour in the heavy cream. The caramel will bubble up a lot. Carefully stir in the 2 Tbs butter, lemon juice, and salt.

5. Pour off the caramel into a bowl, and let it sit until it is cooled and thickened. At least 20-30 minutes.

6. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese and two sticks of butter until fluffy. Beat in the powdered sugar until fully combined. Then beat in the caramel until fully combined.

Candied Prosciutto

1 Tbs butter
1 ½ Tbs Olive Oil
4-5 Sheets thin sliced prosciutto
Granulated sugar

1. Heat the oil and the butter in a frying pan until it begins to bubble. Lay down the prosciutto in one layer on the bottom of the pan. The prosciutto will begin to crinkle and look like bacon. Cook it until it is dark and crispy.

2. Remove the prosciutto from the pan and place it on a paper towel to drain.

3. Place the prosciutto on a metal wire cooling rack. Cover the cooked prosciutto liberally with sugar. I found the best way to do it evenly was to use a sifter/strainer to shake the sugar over the prosciutto (if you place the rack over a bowl, you can catch and reuse the sugar later).

4. Use a cooking torch to caramelize the sugar you have sprinkled over the prosciutto. Be careful when you do this. Also, the prosciutto will have residual grease from cooking in it, and may catch lightly on fire. Don’t worry about it, mine always seemed to go out immediately.

5. Once you have caramelized one side of the prosciutto, flip it over, and repeat the caramelizing process with the other side. When you are done you should have crispy, and caramelized prosciutto.


2 cups salted caramel frosting

2 Tbs caramelized prosciutto, finely chopped

Melon curd

1. Using the cone method, cut a hole in the top of each cupcake, and fill it with 1 tsp melon curd.

2. Fold the 2 Tbs chopped prosciutto into the frosting. The prosciutto will have a tendency to clump, so it’s easier to sprinkle it over the frosting than to just dump it all on.

3. Liberally frost the cupcakes.

Matcha and Cantaloupe Cupcakes (I based this recipe on one from Raspberry Eggplant)

Makes 12 cupcakes

¾ stick unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup sugar
1 egg

½ tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
1 ¼ cups flour
½ cup + 2 Tbs cantaloupe puree
1 Tbs + 1 tsp matcha (green tea) powder

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a standing mixer cream the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg, followed by the vanilla, then salt, then baking powder.

2. Mix in half the flour, followed by half the cantaloupe, then the other half the flour, the remaining cantaloupe, and the green tea powder. The batter should look similar to guacamole.

3. Use a quarter cup measure to fill your cupcake cups. Bake for about 18-12 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean

Cantaloupe and Green Tea Swiss Meringue Butter Cream

3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) of butter
3 Tbs cantaloupe puree
1 ½ tsp matcha powder

1. Whisk the egg whites and the sugar together over a double boiler. Whisk constantly until eggs are foamy, sugar is dissolved, and the mixture is hot to the touch or registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer.

2. Put the egg mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on high until stiff peaks form, and the mixture is cooled to room temperature. This should take 7-8 minutes.

3. Add the butter, 1 Tbs at a time, mixing completely after each piece is added. After the 3rd, 6th, and 9th tablespoons of butter, add one tablespoon of melon extract. Add the matcha powder along with the last Tbs of butter.

4. Continue beating until fully combined. The cantaloupe puree in the frosting will keep it from really coming together and being pipeable. Place the frosting in the fridge for at least an hour, and it will firm up.


1. Using the cone method, fill each cupcake with one tsp melon curd

2. Frost liberally.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Slow News Day

Sorry for the somewhat slowed rate of posts recently. For the second half of the summer I'm back in Chicago, which means a little less cooking for me. I'll still be posting, don't worry (I'll have a new and exciting post up tomorrow). It also means the backgrounds of my photos might be a little different (yes, I may photograph things on something other than that one plate I always use). Anyway, thanks for reading. Like I said, there will be more recipes posted soon!

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Pizza Posts

This post has been delayed by about a week, mostly because it was a little more involved in writing up than most of the posts I do. I threw a potluck dinner for some friends, and decided to make pizzas. I made three kinds: roasted garlic with vegetables, thai, and tomato-basil. I think all three turned out tasty, but the crust ended up too thick for my taste (it was on the doughier side). This was my first experience with yeast, so I don’t know if the recipe is to fault or I am (I couldn’t seem to make the dough stop rising). The recipe itself came out of A Great American Cook by Jonathan Waxman. The mechanics of making and getting three pizza’s into an oven without a pizza peel or similar device turned out to be a little complicated, and I’ve included the method I used here (it involves tin foil and a rimless cookie sheet). Rather than posting one really long post about all three pizzas, I’ve decided to make three separate posts, one on each pizza, and this introductory post that includes the dough recipe I used, the cheese blend I used, and the basic instructions. The pizza recipes can be used with any dough recipe, or even a premade crust, this is just the recipe I used.
The reason I used the method I did for handling the pizzas is because I needed to prepare one pizza while the another was in the oven, and transferring the pizzas from one surface to another mostly seemed to deform them. This method worked well enough, but if you’re only making one pizza, or have a pizza peel, use that.

Pizza Dough
Makes enough for all three pizzas

8 cups whole wheat flour, plus extra for dusting
2 Tbs honey
¼ cup olive oil
2 ¼ ounce packages of active dry yeast
4 cups warm water (between 85 and 115 degrees)
4 tsp salt

1. in a very large bowl (I used my big soup pot) combine two cups of the flour with 4 cups of water, the honey, the olive oil, and the yeast. Mix well. The mixture should start out looking like dirty water (i.e. don’t expect it to look like a dough). Let the mixture sit in a warm, draft-free spot for 1 hour, or until doubled (the mixture will become sort of wet and spongy when it rises)

2. With a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining six cups of flour and the salt. Now a dough should form. Knead the dough for ten minutes. As you knead the dough should stick to the bottom of the bowl, but not the sides (this will begin to happen as you knead). If the dough seems too moist, sprinkle on a little more flour, if it is too dry, add a little more warm water.

3. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours, or until doubled in size. If you’re not making the pizza right away. Put the dough into a ziplock bag and put it in the fridge.

4. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. When you are ready to make the pizzas, break off one third of the dough, and form it into a ball. Working on a floured piece of tinfoil, press the ball flat into a disk, and begin using the palm of your hand to push out the dough. It will shrink back. Just keep doing it. I found as the pizza got bigger, lifting an edge of the pizza, grabbing from underneath, and pulling gently became more effective than pushing with my palms.

5. When the pizza is the desired size, top it. Slide the rimless baking sheet under the tinfoil, and then slide the whole thing into the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the crust is baked and the cheese is melted.

6. While pizza number 1 is baking, you can set up the tin foil and prepare pizza number 2.

Cheese Blend

This is just the blend of cheeses I used on 2 of my pizzas, I think it’s a little more interesting than plain mozzarella.

4 oz. mozzarella
1/3 cup parmesian
2 oz gouda
4 oz provolone

I used the grater blade for my food processor to grate them all together, then just mixed them up.

Tomato Basil Pizza

This is the third type of Pizza a made for my friends. It was on the simpler, more traditional side, but still tasted very good. I think using really fresh basil (I picked the basil I used from a plant I have) does a lot for this recipe. I used canned Italian tomatoes instead of fresh, because they’re cheaper. No one complained about the difference.

Tomato Basil pizza

Makes ~14 inch pizza

1 rolled out pizza dough
3 Tsp Olive Oil (I actually used roasted garlic oil)
½ 28 oz. can peeled, whole Italian tomatoes. Drained and diced
½ cup fresh basil leaves
2-3 Tsp minced garlic
1 ½ - 2 cups cheese blend

1. Use a pastry brush to apply the olive oil, then put down the garlic and basil, and then the tomato (putting the basil underneath helps protect it from the heat a little). Sprinkle the cheese

Thai Pizza

Whoever it was who invented the Thai pizza deserves to win the Nobel Prize in pizza making. This is a pizza that rests whole heartedly on its sauce, and what a sauce it is. The peanut butter combined with the tanginess of soy sauce and the sweetness of honey , with just a little chili spice is to die for. I tried a little of it on its own, and thought it was only ok, but spread on the pizza it worked its magic. Of all the three pizzas I made, this one definitely outshined the rest.

Note, if you haven’t read my dough post yet, read that first!

Thai Pizza Sauce

Makes ~1 cup

3 ½ Tbs smooth peanut butter
3 Tbs brewed black tea
3 Tbs rice vinegar
2 Tbs low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp chili paste
1 Tbs minced fresh ginger
2 tsp honey
½ tsp sesame oil

1. Mix it all up. Let it sit for a little while for some of the flavor of the ginger to combine with the rest of the sauce.

Thai Pizza

Makes one ~14 inch pizza (My pizzas were irregularly shaped, makes it hard to measure)

1 Rolled Out Pizza Dough
½ cup Thai pizza sauce (see above)
1/3 chopped green onions (green and white parts)
1/3 thinly sliced red onion
3-4 Tbs minced garlic (use depending on your tastes)
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
5 oz shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Spread the thai pizza sauce around the crust generously. This sauce is on the liquid side and will run, so be careful.

2. Top first with the green onions, then the garlic, then the red onions. Cover the whole thing with cheese.

3. Bake for about 10 minutes or until dough is cooked and cheese is melted (see dough post for more details)

4. Once the Pizza comes out of the oven, top it with the carrots and the fresh cilantro.

Roasted Garlic Pizza with Veggies

This is the first of the three pizzas I’m posting about this week. For background, as well as cooking instructions and the dough recipe, check out the introductory pizza dough post.

I got the idea for this pizza from one of my favorite pizza places I ate at when I was a kid. There was a restaurant I my home town called Bertuccis (this is not the chain restaurant Bertuccis that you sometimes see around). They made a number of wonderful pizzas (including a to die for clam pizza I hope to recreate someday). One of my favorites was a pizza with chicken, red peppers, and broccoli. I don’t remember what the sauce was, but I know it wasn’t tomato. I embarked on this pizza hoping to recreate just a little of that childhood memory, though I skipped on the chicken because I had some vegetarian friends coming. I thought this pizza was tasty, but not my favorite. I made it with a roasted garlic béchamel sauce, white onions, broccoli, and red peppers. If anything, it could have used something to give it a little more kick (this can be solved with the addition of some red pepper flakes to the top), and maybe just a little salt. This pizza was also the one that faired the poorest on reheating. Still tasty though.

Roasted Garlic Béchamel Sauce

Makes ~ 1 cup

2 Tbs unsalted butter
2 Tbs all purpose flour
1 cup milk
~ 10 cloves roasted garlic
1 tsp chopped fresh garlic
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

1. Melt the butter over the heat. Once completely melted, stir in the flour. Cook briefly, (45 seconds to a minute) stirring constantly. Do not allow the flour to color.

2. Add the milk and whisk to combine. Add the roasted and fresh garlic. Add the parmesan, and salt to taste. Let the mixture get hot enough that it just starts to bubble.

3. Pour the heated sauce into a blender, and mix until smooth. This step is optional, skip it if you want chunks of roasted garlic in your sauce.

Roasted Garlic Pizza with veggies

Makes one ~14 inch pizza (my pizza’s were irregularly shaped, makes it hard to guess a size)

Rolled out Dough for one pizza
½ cup Roasted Garlic Béchamel sauce (see above)
½ medium white onion very thinly sliced
2-3 Tsb chopped garlic (use as your taste prefers)
2 cups broccoli (just the florets)
½ red bell pepper, sliced
1 ½ - 2 cups Cheese Blend (see Dough post)

1. Use a pastry brush or spoon to spread roasted garlic sauce all over the pizza. Be generous.

2. Add the raw garlic, followed by the white onion, then the broccoli and red peppers. Top it all off with the cheese.

3. Bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until dough is cooked and cheese is melted (see dough post for more details).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Roasted Sweet Potato Empanadas

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you might be thinking to yourself, “Hey, haven’t I seen that before?” And of course the answer is sort of. I’ve been making empanadas lately because I had some leftover puff pastry in my freezer, and didn’t feel like going shopping. I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner with a friend of mine, and she had brought over sweet potatoes, so this is what we settled on. I truthfully don’t know if I should call this an entrée or a dessert, they’re pretty sweet, but on the other hand, they are made with potatoes. What I do know is that I’ll call them good any time I eat them.

I didn’t try it, but I think this would be really good with either some goat cheese, or if you’re not quite adventurous some cream cheese. Try it yourself and let me know what you think.

Roasted Sweet Potato Empanadas

Makes 9 empanadas

2 Large sweet potatoes
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbs packed brown sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
½ cup chopped pecans
Flour for dusting
1 egg beaten

1, Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Cut the sweet potatoes into ~ 2 inch chunks (I left the skins on mine). Place them on foil on a cook sheet and roast until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes.

2. While sweet potatoes are roasting, unfold the sheet of puff pastry. Cut the pastry into three strips by cutting along the folds, and then cut each strip into thirds.

3. Working on a well floured surface, roll each piece of puff pastry out into a roughly 5 x 5 inch square. Set the squares aside.

4. Put the roasted potatoes in a large bowl. Use a masher to mash them up. Mix in the salt, brown sugar, maple syrup, and pecans.

5. Place equal portions of the potato mixture on each square of puff pastry. Put the filling on one half of the pastry, leaving a border of between one and two centimeters. Fold the puff pastry over the filling, and then curl up and crimp the edges (see photo below for final product).

6. Place the empanadas on an oiled cookie sheet (they even stuck to my non-stick sheet). Brush each empanada with egg. Use a fork to poke holes in the empanadas. I poked three sets of holes in the larger ones and two in the smaller ones.

7. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until puff pastry is puffed and golden.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange or Mint Frosting

These cupcakes were the dessert I made for the potluck I threw this weekend. The cupcakes have a hidden layer of bittersweet chocolate ganache in between the frosting and the cake. Instead of my regular full sized cupcakes, I decided to make these minis. I sometimes like to do that if I’m making multiple flavors, because that way people can try both without feeling too guilty (of course I know plenty of people who would just take two full sized cupcakes to try both flavors). I think these came out really well, with a nice, deep chocolate flavor. I made them the day before I served them, and I noticed that in the day between making them and serving them the bitterness of the bittersweet chocolate ganache had mellowed a little, which I liked. I tried to use mandarin orange to flavor the frosting, but I don’t think it came through, so regular orange juice would work just fine. I preferred the mint cupcakes, but everyone else preferred the orange.

This recipe has some rather odd measures, this is the result of it having come from a recipe I first divided in half, and then decided to make 1 and a half times of (that’s 75% of the original recipe for those keeping track).

Dark Chocolate Mint and Orange Cupcakes

Makes about 60 mini cupcakes

1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/3 + 2 Tbs cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s special dark)
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (I used 60% cocoa bittersweet)
½ cup + 1 Tbs warm water
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
3/8 cup well shaken buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cup all purpose flour
¾ tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp mint extract
½ tsp orange extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, whisk in cocoa powder and chocolate chips, combine until chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Add the water and mix until smooth.

2. Remove from heat. One at a time, mix in sugar, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.

3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Sift it over the liquids and mix to combine.

4. Separate the batter evenly into two bowls. Whisk the mint extract into one bowl, and the orange extract into the other.

5. Use a tablespoon measure to fill the mini-muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean.

6. Make sure to find a way to keep separate the mint and orange cupcakes, so you don’t swap their frostings.

Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

½ cup heavy cream
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 cup bittersweet chocolate

1. Heat the cream and the butter over medium high heat. Once the butter is melted, whisk the mixture. Allow the mixture to heat until it is at a near boil.

2. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let it sit for a minute, then whisk.

Orange Swiss Meringue Butter Cream

3 egg whites worth of egg white powder (I think this varies depending on the brand you use, the package will tell you)
Enough orange juice to reconstitute 3 egg whites worth of powder (The package will tell you how much this is. For me it was 6 Tbs)
1/3 cup sugar (this recipe relies on the orange juice for the sweetness, and so has less sugar than the mint)
1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
¼ tsp orange extract
Food coloring (optional)

1. Whisk together the egg white powder and the orange juice. Once combined, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites. Once the mixture becomes foamy slowly add the sugar. Place the mixture over a double boiler and whisk just until the sugar has dissolved (test by rubbing a small amount of the meringue between your thumb and forefinger).

2. Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat, and resume mixing with the electric mixer. Beat until stiff peaks form, and the mixture is completely cooled.

3. Add butter one Tablespoon at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Beat in the orange extract and food coloring.

4. Once all the butter is mixed in, the frosting will look soft, and like it will never hold a peak. Keep beating! You’re going to want to give up, don’t, keep beating. For my the orange frosting first became curdled, and then as if by magic became a nice, thick, and pipe-able consistency.

Mint Swiss Meringue Butter Cream

3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1 ½ sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
½ tsp mint extract
Food coloring.

1. Whisk together the egg whites and sugar over a double boiler. Keep whisking until sugar is dissolved, and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees F).

2. Remove from the heat and begin beating with an electric mixer. Beat until the mixture has stiff peaks, and is completely cooled.

3. Beat in the butter one Tablespoon at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Beat in the mint extract and the food coloring.

4. This frosting also takes a long time of beating to really come together. Unlike the orange, it never seemed like it went through a curdled stage, but maybe I didn’t notice. This one also definitely took longer than the orange to come together.

This is what it looked like with butter added before all the beating

This is what it looks like after all the beating (also food coloring was added)


Use a pastry brush to paint the ganache onto the tops of the cupcakes. Let the cupcakes rest for a few minutes so the ganache can harden. Once the ganache is solid, frost the cupcakes with their respective frostings.