Life by Chocolate

Chocolate, white, milk, dark, in all its forms forms life. Chocolate truffles, caramels, and other confections are at the core of enjoyment. This is life by chocolate because death by chocolate is the wrong attitude.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bergamot Lemongrass Curry Angel Food Cupcake

Summer 2009 Cupcake Crawl Voting Link Please click on the link and scroll to the bottom.

During the Virtual BBQ and Fried Chicken Throw Down, The Gourmet Girl was tweeting about the Summer Cupcake Crawl. Well, I signed up and here is my soon-to-be-award-winning entry or at least a fun cupcake. Enjoy and remember, "Nothing Says Summer like Lemongrass"!

Nancy helped me with these spicy, yummer irrational cakes. At LBC, we make a great confection using white and milk chocolate and lemongrass curry. I wanted to mimic that in a cupcake. Many of our confectionary flavors started out as ice creams. For example, Orange Cinnamon Ganache Truffle Dark Chocolate started out life as a wonderful ice cream. We also use any seconds or slightly imperfect chocolates we make to create ice cream flavors for our restaurant and the students that come and eat dinner there, closing the loop and bring the creative cycle back to its beginning. Now, I'd like to expand that cycle.

Inspired by our Bon-Bon Bay, a lemongrass curry confection, I wanted to create a light cupcake that had the spicy flavor of curry coupled with the richness of white chocolate. I could not decide if I should use a buttercream frosting or a white chocolate ganache to top this great cupcake, until I remembered that Kim, my wife, loves buttercream frosting. So, I decided to use an Italian Buttercream to top off this spicy angel food cupcake.

NB: I weigh everything. I have converted my measurements from grams to ounces for your convenience. The only thing I left in teaspoons was the salt. Also note, that this was one of the most unforgiving cupcakes I have ever made. Be very careful not to over bake the angel food and make sure it is very smooth on top before baking and fill to the top. Check at 15 minutes and do not for any reason go past 20 minutes. Make sure your oven is preheated. Turn it on at least 1/2 hour before you need it.

Bergamot Lemongrass Curry Angel Food Cupcake

13 oz Egg Whites (about 1 1/2 cups or 12 egg whites)
1/4 oz Cream of Tartar
1/4 oz Vanilla Extract
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3 drops Bergomot
6.5 oz Sugar

7.24 oz Confectioners (10X) Sugar
4.5 oz AP Flour
1/4 oz Lemongrass Curry.

Preheat oven to 350F.

1. Let egg whites stand till room temperature. (About 30 minutes.)
2. Add cream of tartar, vanilla, bergomot and salt to egg whites and then beat to stiff peaks.

3. Gradually add sugar until sugar is dissolved and egg whites are stiff.
4. Sift 10X sugar, flour and lemongrass curry together and fold into whipped egg mixture, slowly. Do not collapse the meringue.
5. Line a cupcake pan with cups and spray lightly. Then spoon mixture into cups. I recommend filling cups to the top. If you don't you'll get mini-cupcakes.

Here Nancy is using a portion scoop, Ice Cream Scoop to you civilians, but later switched to a table spoon.

Bake in the over for 15-20 minutes. I baked the full 20 minutes and they came out nicely. Let the cupcake cool completely before frosting. When the cake is bouncy, it is done.

Naked Angel Food Cupcake.

Vanilla Italian Buttercream Frosting

A brief word about decorating. You can pipe the buttercream, if you like and achieve some wonderful looks, but I wanted a simple, light and airy look to these Angel Food Cupcakes. To me, Angel Food Cake is the epitome of light cake. Nancy, my sous-chef from China, on the other hand insisted that cupcakes had to have a smooth top. So, she made all of hers with smooth butter cream tops and I spiked mine. I prefer the spiked look. It just looks fluffier.

Italian Meringue
1/2 lb Sugar
1/4 lb Water

1/4 lb Egg Whites

3/4 lb Butter, softened
1/2 oz Vanilla (or your flavor of choice.)

1. Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan and heat to 230F.
2. When sugar has reached 230F, start whipping the egg whites on high to soft peaks. (Use the whisk attachment on your mixer.) Continue to cook the sugar until 240F.
3. When the sugar reaches 240F, add to the egg whites. Turn the mixer down to low and add the sugar steadily but do not collapse meringue.

4. Increase the speed to high and continue to whip until the mixture has cooled to room temperature. (It has to get below 85F. You do not want to melt the butter into the meringue.)
6. Add the soften butter a few pieces at a time. You can either cut the butter into chunks or using a glove just grab pieces as I do. There is nothing like the feel of soften butter in your hands.

So, use food service gloves.

7. Add vanilla and continue to whip until there are no chunks of butter and the buttercream is very smooth.

Don't forget to scrape down when needed.

This will come out like silk. Then, the next step is to decorate. Again, you may pipe with a star tip, you may use a mini spatula or a butter knife. Have fun with it.

To see the rest of the Summer Cupcake Crawl entries, click here. Go vote for me, Bergamot Lemongrass Curry Angel Food Cupcake. (You have to scroll to the bottom of the page.) Thanks.

Next post, my Fresh Cherry Pie.

I'd like to thank Nancy for being such a great help in the kitchen and factory.

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