Apple Pudding Cupcakes, with Bourbon-spiked Buttercream Frosting
Cake from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Baking
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Cinnamon
1.5 lbs. Granny Smith Apples, peeled and grated
2 1/3 cup cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 cup sour cream
1. Preheat over to 350 F. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon over the apples and let them sit for 15 minutes to expel some of their juices.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a medium-sized bowl.
3. Pour the apples over a fine mesh sieve and let the juices drain. Don’t press down, just let the natural juices leak through. Set Aside.
4. Beat eggs and sugar together in a mixer on medium-low speed until thickened and pale yellow, about two minutes.
5. Add the oil, pouring slowly, until just incorporated.
6. Add the sour cream on low speed until the white streaks are gone.
7. Pour in the dry mixture in two separate batches. Mix until just incorporated in the batter.
8. Finally, add the apples. Stir in by hand to prevent over-mixing. The batter will be runny, but don’t fret, that’s normal.
9. Spoon the batter half way up cupcake liners. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar in a thin layer on top. Top with batter until just below the liner.
10. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
11. Let cool to get ready for the pudding and frosting.
Apple “Terrine” adapted from frenchgardening.com
2 lbs. sweet apples; I used Fuji
½ cup hard local cider; I used Aces here, local to Sonoma County
1 ½ tsp. fresh lemon juice
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp. Calvados (apple brandy)
2 eggs, beaten
6 tbsp. butter
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Peel and chop apples into two inch pieces and place in a baking dish along with the lemon juice and cider. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until they are soft enough to mash down with a potato masher or a fork (if you’re feeling particularly ambitious.
3. Remove from heat and mash, along with the butter, Calvados, eggs, and butter. Cover in tin foil, bake for another 40 minutes, until much of the liquid has been absorbed.
4. Remove from oven and chill.
5. Once chilled use an immersion blender to finish off the smoothing process of the apple. Set aside.
Brandy Buttercream Frosting adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cakes: Fillings & Frostings
3 cold egg whites
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
2/3 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
¼ cup water
1 tbsp. light corn syrup
1 ¼ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 2 tbsp. pieces
2 tbsp. high-end brandy; I used Knob-Creek
1. Stir together the egg whites and cream of tartar, until the cream of tartar completely dissolves. Set aside until the sugar is ready
2. Clip a candy thermometer to a small saucepan. (Make sure it’s immersed in the liquid but not touching the bottom.) Combine the 2/3 cup sugar, the water, and the corn syrup. Cook over low heat, partially covered until the sugar dissolves, about 5 minutes. Stir often. Raise the heat to high and let the syrup bubble vigorously, until the thermometer reaches 240 F; this is soft ball stage. Wipe down the sides of the pot with a damp pastry brush. Remove from heat.
3. As soon as the sugar is off the heat, begin to whip the eggs and cream of tartar mixture with the 2 tbsp. of sugar on medium speed until soft peaks form. About 5 to 10 minutes.
4. Reduce the mixer speed to low while you pour in the hot sugar mixture. Try not to let it hit edges of the bowl because it will harden on contact. Once all of the syrup has been added increase the speed of the mixture. Beat until stiff peaks form.
5. At this stage, you can begin to add the butter one-piece at a time until combined. Using a spatula wipe down the edges as the butter has a tendency to hang on the edges of mixing bowl. If you notice that the butter is forming tiny lumps, place the mixing bowl over a saucepan of boiling water and whisk vigorously by hand until combined.
6. Once the consistency is right, add the brandy and give it a final stir. Using immediatley or set in the fridge until ready.
1. Cut a small circle from the top of the cooled cupcakes, going about an inch down. Remove the circle and fill with a dollop of the apple “terrine.” Cover up with the remaining circle of cupcake.
2. Top the cupcake with a generous swathing of frosting.
3. Sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy.
Pairs Well With