I was in a bit of a pickle or jam (or any other food pun), last week. The package I was expecting for work was delivered to the wrong address. Not a problem, right? Wrong. The courier would not re-deliver on the same day and it was the Thursday before Remembrance Day long weekend. It would just have to wait at the depot until Monday, right? Wrong again. The package contained an expensive ($1000) temperature sensitive enzyme that had to be frozen. It would not last a day, let alone the weekend. Have I conveyed to you yet how stressed I was over this? So, someone would have to go pick it up. But working in a very, very small company, no one was available to get it and I don’t have a car. I couldn’t even take the bus, since the depot is close to the airport and there is no bus route that goes there. What to do? The hubby was at work. Who would come to my rescue, but my
little younger sister. She was kind enough to take one and a half hours out of her day to drive me to pick up the package, back to work to drop it off (I wasn’t about to store chemicals in my home freezer) and then drive me home. And after the whole ordeal, she didn’t want gas money for the trouble, but instead she just wanted cupcakes.
I know what you’re thinking. Not another cupcake recipe! But wait, it gets better.
I was looking for a cherry cupcake recipe because I had an un-opened can of cherries that I bought to make black forest cake.
So I googled “cherry cupcake recipe” and the first result that came up was for Rosie’s Pinkalicious Cherry Cupcakes. The recipe looked simple enough (except for the fancy decorations) and I had everything needed for it.
But it wasn’t really the recipe that caught my eye, it was the website, Frosting for the Cause, on which the recipe was posted. Frosting for the Cause is a project that started in January, where everyday for a year, a cookie, cake or cupcake baker/decorator from Canada or United States would share one of their recipes as well as a story of a woman in their life who has faced cancer. By participating in this project, the baker/decorator agrees to donate a batch of their baked goods to a Women’s Hospice in their area as well as make a personal donation of $25 to the Canadian or American Cancer Society to help fund research for a cure to cancers that affect women. What a great cause!
Wow! I was just looking for a recipe to make a batch of cupcakes to thank my sister and ended up stumbling upon something so much more. This really makes me stop and think. What am I doing? Why am I stressing over a package when there are so many other more important things in life?
Cherry cupcakes (from Sweetapolita):
*Makes 2 dozen cupcakes
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 4 eggs, separated
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup whole milk (I used 2%)
- ¼ tsp almond extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp maraschino cherry juice
- 1 cup maraschino cherry halves (optional)
- few drops red/pink gel food colouring (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Cream the butter and sugar until very fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Sift dry ingredients together and set aside.
- Set egg whites aside to be beaten.
- Add the egg yolks to the creamed mixture, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
- Mix in extract.
- Add dry ingredients and milk, by alternating (beginning and ending with dry) until just combined.
- Fold in stiffly beaten egg whites, and the cherries/juice. For pinker cupcakes, add a few drops of pink gel food coloring to the batter.
Swiss meringue buttercream (from Sweetapolita):
*Makes approximately 5 cups of buttercream.
- 5 large fresh egg whites (30g each–total 150g)
- 1 1/4 cup (250 g) superfine granulated sugar
- 3/4 pound (3 sticks, 340 g) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
- 2 tsp (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease.
- Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160°F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
- With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so).
- Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth).
- Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, re-whipping in mixer for 5 minutes.
Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks. To thaw, place on counter overnight, and rewhip for 5 minutes with paddle attachment in an electric mixer.
Notes and Tips:
The cupcakes were easy to make. I used bing cherries because that’s what I had. The buttercream was not easy to make and took much longer than expected. I found it difficult to make it smooth and thick enough to use. I had to put it in the fridge and add more butter to make it less liquidy.