It was almost spring for two days over the weekend. Now it's snowing. It's time for some serious sunshine. Here's my winter-needs-to-be-over-poem for you to enjoy (and mock, feel free)...
Skirts and grass, you know my love
Strong with courage
it's easier to dream in the sun.
Pink and brown lead to green
With some rain, not cold
Eat better, sleep better, run better, run faster
Then pause, and live.
I smell your sweet lilac breath
Wishing for those library days of yesterday
Wishing for those stargazing evenings of tomorrow
Dreams are easier in the sun
Life is dreams in the sun.
Dreams are life in the sun.
I'm finally doing the Iron Cupcake Challenge again this month. This month is nuts and grains. I've always wanted to incorporate more healthy desserts into my menu, and while this isn't "healthy" by any stretch of the imagination, there are some healthy components, so it's not all guilt! The cake is a yellow cake with polenta and quinoa. I've mentioned polenta before, but chances are you haven't heard of quinoa. It's seems to be a a food that only vegetarians/vegans know about. It's a South American (pseudo)grain that is high in complete proteins. It's one of the best foods you can eat if you don't eat meat. Unfortunately, it's also gross. Not just bland, the flavor is really unappealing. BUT, put with other foods so the flavor is covered up it's really good. It has an unusual crunchy texture that I really enjoy given other flavors are involved. So I threw a handfull of quinoa in the batter, and suddenly you have a protein rich cake!
The mousse is only slightly nutmeg flavored, and the overall flavor of the cake is pretty gentle. A nice light dessert, you definitely won't feel overwhelmed (or incredibly guilty!) eating one.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup polenta
1/4 cup cooked quinoa
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temp
2/3 cup whole milk, at room temp
6 T butter
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a large roll pan and cover with parchment paper, spray again. Or prepare as for regular cupcakes.
In a large bowl, stir together flour, polenta, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In another bowl, beat butter and sugur until light and fluffy. Whisk in eggs, milk and vanilla. Add egg mixture to flour mixture all at once. Stir until just combined. Add the cooked quinoa.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread out thin. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean and the cake is browned. Cool in pan for 5 minutes. Cut out circles the size of your finished cakes.
160g heavy cream
160g whole milk
2 whole nutmegs
4 medium-sized egg yolks
80g granulated sugar
25g cornstarch, sifted
2 tsp powdered gelatin
240g whipping cream
Pour the milk and first part of the cream into a saucepan. Add the nutmegs. Heat to boiling, then turn the heat off, cover and let infuse for at least 30 minutes. Then remove the nutmegs. Beat the egg yolks with the sugar until white, thick and fluffy. Add the cornstarch, beating carefully to ensure that there are no lumps. While whisking vigorously, pour some of the milk into the yolk mixture to temper it. Put infused milk back on the stove on medium heat. Pour yolk mixture back into the milk while whisking vigorously. Keep whisking vigorously until mixture thickens considerably. I've seen that you are supposed to cook it until it coats the back of a spoon, and if you run your finger through the layer on the spoon the line stays. If your cream curdles a bit, just whisk it and then strain. Add the gelatin and let it melt completely. Let cool. Beat the second part of the whipping cream and fold into the cooled egg yolk cream. Let set up a bit (~ 1 hour).
(I used cupcake molds with removable bottoms.)
Cut out parchment paper to line the sides of the molds. Place one cut out piece of cake in the bottom. Spoon mousse on top. Place on more layer of cake, and then spoon one more layer of mousse. Let set up in the fridge at least 2 hours. Optional: roll the top edge of the mousse in finely chopped pecans, and decorate with a flower (I used primroses).
Our March ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com, JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com; TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM http://www.upwithcupcakes.com/. Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com . And as a special thank you, we would like to once again thank DIANAEVANS - http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5599270 for her participation in the February challenge. An incorrect link was posted and we want to be sure that she gets the recognition she deserves. Thanks again Diana!
- A Bunnycake Easter Plushie by DOGBONEART, http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=21636297.
- A whimsical piece by CAKEASAURUS, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5729584.
- as well as a pair of cupcake earrings from LOTS OF SPRINKLES at http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6057281.
- a collection of all new printed cupcake liners, 200 in all from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery, http://www.acupcakery.com/
- PLUS, IronCupcake:Earth can not forget our good friend, CAKESPY, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5243382, who is now going to be doing a piece for our winner each month until further notice - sweet!