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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Pineapple Cupcakes with Italian Butter Cream

Pineapple Cupcakes with Italian Butter Cream
This frosting requires some special equipment. First you need a stand mixer. I caved in and bought one just for the occasion. The second thing is a candy thermometer. I saw one at Macy's in the Martha Stewart section while getting my mixer, but I found one at Target that seemed identical for $4.00 less. You can't skimp on these two things really. That being said you need both of those only for the frosting, so if you don't have a stand mixer and have no desire to buy one, just use a simple cream cheese frosting or something. :) I also want to mention that many people do not feel comfortable eating raw egg white. If this is something that concerns you use pasteurized eggs, egg white powder, or meringue powder as a substitute.

Pineapple Cupcakes
~makes 24 cupcakes 350 oven
1 stick butter + 2 tablespoons (room temp)
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 1/2 cups of fresh chopped pineapple (give or take)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean

First, separate your egg whites and place them in a metal bowl in the fridge. (if you are making the frosting too, put another 6 egg whites in a separate metal bowl in the fridge at the same time) The colder the egg whites the better they fluff up.
In a saute pan, add brown sugar, the vanilla bean (slice the bean with a sharp knife, scrape the contents in to the pan and then toss the rest of the bean in with it) and 2 tablespoons of the butter. Set it to low heat and stir it occasionally until the butter melts. 
Add pineapple and continue to cook on low for 20 minutes. Once it's done, remove the vanilla bean, and pour it in to a blender. Puree it for a few seconds, it should be the consistency of apple sauce. Measure out 1 1/4 cups. It should be all of it. If you don't quite have enough, it's no big deal. As long as it's a little over a cup, which mathematically it should be.
Set the puree aside to cool.

In a small bowl measure out flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk together, set aside.
Cream butter and sugar for three minutes.
Alternate adding the puree and the dry by thirds mixing between each. Add vanilla and mix.
Remove your egg whites from the fridge and beat on medium until foamy, then beat on high until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites in to batter until there are no more white streaks.
Fill cupcake liners. Now be careful not to over fill these, because of the butter and brown sugar, they will explode, also make sure you have an oven thermometer or again, they may explode. Fill them just over halfway. Bake them for 20-24 minutes. Don't take them out until they start to brown a little. If they do explode, they will most likely still be edible, so don't pull them out.

Italian Butter Cream
6 sticks of very soft butter (I took mine out the night before)
6 very cold egg whites
a pinch of cream of tar tar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1/2 cup of water

Okay, brace yourself this frosting seems complicated but I swear as long as you have the right tools it's no big deal, and OMG amazing.
First heat your water and sugar in a sauce pan, stir it a few times and let it get to a boil. Once the sugar is dissolved, stop stirring and let it boil. You need to let it get up to 240 degrees and not over 250. This will take about 8 or ten minutes. If you've made caramel before it's the point when it's still clear but really bubbly and starting to get thicker. 
While you are waiting, put your egg whites in the stand mixer on medium and add a pinch of cream of tar tar. If you can have the egg whites in the same bowl that you will be using for the mixer it will be helpful, because the sugar needs to cool in this bowl, being cold will help it along.
Once your sugar reaches 250 remove it from the stove and add it in to the egg whites while the mixer is still going. Pour it in on the side and try to avoid the actual mixing device so as not to spin the sugar.
Now, go find something to do. Seriously let that baby run for like ten minutes while it cools.
Once the mix has cooled, start to add your butter in a stick at a time. It may get ugly and curdle a little, it's okay.
Once almost all your butter is in, add the vanilla extract. Add the rest of the butter and turn the mixer on a higher speed until the mix starts to look like frosting.
It's very light, almost like whipped cream but very buttery. 
Now when I first tasted the frosting my initial reaction was "Oh, that taste like butter" but then, the rest of the flavor hit my mouth. WOW, that's good.
Frost your cupcakes and pack them up fast before you eat them all!


Just an added edit. I've found that not everyone was as in to the rich butter flavor of the frosting as I was. I brought them to a party and only 3 out of the 15 or so people there actually ate the frosting, the rest of the people scraped it off. I would advise to frost these cupcakes with a knife and quite a bit less frosting than I used, also these must be served at room temp so the frosting is light and very soft. As it gets cold, it's the consistency of butter and that's unpleasant for anyone.


Mike said...

I ate the crap out of that frosting and it was delicious.

Thanks for the cupcakes!

KitschyGirl said...

I'm glad some people shared my affinity for butter. :)

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