Mojito Cupcakes

I know, I know – it’s been far to long since I’ve posted, but don’t fret, I’m still alive! It’s just been a crazy few weeks…

In the last few months I’ve returned to the United States after more than 7 months abroad, I moved to a new apartment in the awesome Greenpoint neighborhood of Brooklyn and I started my senior year of colleges. It’s been quite the adventure these last 2 months settling into a new place, a new routine, a new life. So in the spirit of this new life, I am working on a new banner with my roommate and I am planning on posting a lot more in the future!! I promise! In fact, I already have many posts a brewin’ in my head, especially as the leaves turn and my favorite ingredient – PUMPKIN! – is starting to hit the shelves!

So to start things off, here are some cupcakes that I made a few weeks ago.

It was my friends 21st birthday, and in the spirit of all things alcoholic, I made some mojito cupcakes! I think I’m going to start adding alcohol to everything I made now as the addition of rum made these super tasty. Now all my roommates and I are big fans of mojito’s. So much so that when we walk into a party, we bring everything that is needed to make them – rum, limes, mint and sugar! We are walking bar. The cupcakes and the frosting both had copious amounts of rum and lime and I added some crushed mint to the frosting to give it the classic mojito taste.

MOJITO CUPCAKES

(Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker)

INGREDIENTS:

Cupcakes:

  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup mint leaves, bruised
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • Zest and juice of 1½ limes
  • 2 tablespoons white rum
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:

  • 1½ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4¼ cups powdered sugar
  • 1½ tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons white rum
  • Bunch of crushed mint

DIRECTIONS:

1) Combine the buttermilk and the ½ cup mint leaves in a small saucepan over medium heat. Warm until just starting to steam (do not simmer), then remove from the heat and cover. Let steep for 15 to 30 minutes. Once finished, strain the milk into a bowl using a fine mesh sieve. The milk may appear curdled or clumpy, but don’t worry, it will come back together. Press on any milk solids and mint leaves to extract all the liquid possible. Give the milk a quick stir to smooth it out and set aside.

2) While the mint is steeping in the milk, preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners; set aside.

3) In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

4) In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).

5) Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.

6)  Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and rum. Mix until combined. (The mixture may start to look curdled at this point, but don’t worry, it will all come back together, power on!)

7) Reduce the mixer speed low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.

8) Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for approximately 25 minutes or until just slightly golden and a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pan at the halfway point.

10) Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack. B

11) To make the frosting, whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds.

12) Add the lime juice, rum and mint and mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached.

13) Frost cupcakes and garnish with a lime wedge and sprig of fresh mint.

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Lemon Lime Bars

Sometimes, you have those nights, when it’s 9:30 pm, you want to bake something, but realize that anything you make is going to take almost an hour from start to finish (unless you make 5-minute cake of course). Well, that happened the other night and instead of settling on something that would actually be done in an hour, my roommates and I settled on lemon bars, which may take 10 minutes to bake, but then take another 2 hours to cool down in the fridge. Whoops! Well, we went forward anyway (actually, I didn’t realize they would have to cool for that long until I was half-way through making them, so there was no turning back).

The outcome – expedited by the freezer – was still delicious. I have a hard time in general with custards and this was no exception. I don’t think I let it heat up for long enough, making the lemon custard a little more liquidy than I would have liked, but after baking and freezing, it turned out just fine. I myself, am not the biggest sour lemon eater, but all my roommates, who suck on lemons as a hobby, said that they were the bars had the perfect balance of sweet and sour. I added coconut into the crust as per the recipe. I’m not sure it added anything to the crust, although mine wasn’t sweetned, so perhaps some sweet coconut would have tasted better and added to the texture. They are a delicious lemon lime bar that should be made in advance of any occasion, not in a rush 😉

LEMON LIME BARS

(Adapted from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking)

INGREDIENTS:

For the crust:

  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbs dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melter

For the lemon lime filling

  • 11 large egg yolks
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbs fresh lime juice
  • 2 tbs grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbs grated lime zest
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

DIRECTIONS:

For the crust:

1) Preheat the oven to 3oo°F. Butter the side and bottom of a 9×13 inch baking pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2) Spread coconut on baking pan. Toast in oven for 7 to 10 minutes until it turns golden brown. Remove from oven, toss the coconut, and return it to over for 3 more minutes.

3) Put the graham cracker crumbs in large bowl, add the toasted coconut and brown sugar, and toss with hand until combined. Add the melted butter.

4) Use hands to combine, then turn it out into the prepared pan. Using your hands, press the crust into an even layer on the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to create a perfectly even crust.

5) Put the crust into the fridge for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Let the crust cool before adding the filling.

For the lemon lime filling:

1) Increase over temperature to 325°F.

2) Whisk together the egg yolks, eggs, sugar, lemon and lime zests, and lemon and lime juices in large metal pot. Whisk until combined.

3) Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until the mixture registers 180°F on a candy thermometer – about 10 minutes.

4) Remove from heat and whisk in butter and cream. Pour through a fine-mesh sieve directly into the cooled crust. Use a rubber spatula to press the curd through the sieve.

5) Make sure the curd is evenly distributed. Tap the pan gently against the counter to make a level layer.

6) Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the filling is just set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature. Wrap the pan in plastic, being sure to not let the plastic touch the filling, and put in fridge for at least two hours.

7) Enjoy 🙂

Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (less if you are using the thinner topping), or about five minutes beyond the point where the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.

Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners’ sugar.