Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Key Lime Cupcakes & a Week of Cupcakes!

July 24th huh? That was my last post here and yet it was not the last cake that I did..........so I could think of this as slacking - only with all the kids home for the summer I am hardly getting to sit down let alone SLACK! To save you all from a rant about my having to chase children around to clean or shuttle future adults to library weekly for books and movies - we will just forget that stream of thought and do a Week Of Cupcakes!!

This cupcake is a Key Lime Cupcake. Now as usual nothing is original in my mind. This cupcake I am 100% certain has been done a million times over - I think this because I did a search to see if there were recipes and how folks did them. Why I did the search though is because a friend, Pennie, made a Key Lime pie. Never having made one myself I asked what goes into it. She explained it - surprised me that while there were separate steps NONE of them sounded all that hard, just time consuming a smidge (tiny smidge). The pie was wonderful!! It was totally gone by the end of the evening. A few days later she mentioned her husband suggested I try making a Key Lime Cupcake. And thus the search for what makes a Key Lime Cupcake to folks all over was mine.

There are TONS and TONS and TONS of different recipes. Key Lime cake as the base of the cupcake - Key Lime filling - Key Lime icing - and combinations of many different. To me it seemed like many of them were missing the Graham Cracker bottom - only then I noticed that many of them had Graham Crackers sprinkled INTO the cupcake paper and then the cake batter placed over that so it baked into a pseudo crust. Not what I was envisioning.

Finally I figured out what would be totally Yum and kinda close to Pennie's Pie - because that was my personal goal - a Graham Cracker cake. Figured that out in less time then it took to search all the Key Lime stuff. Substitute pureed Graham Crackers (cinnamon grahams are the best in my opinion - but I would put cinnamon in everything - except my husbands rubs for smokin' - he does that, but cinnamon doesn't belong there I think) for part of the flour in a basic Butter cake recipe. Gave that a WhipUp and taste tested it and OHMYGOODNESS that was YUMMY all by itself!! I immediately envisioned a Ton of different cupcakes I could do with that and sent the recipe to my Sis-In-Law who was looking to do a good S'mores cupcake.
So then there was the figuring out of the main part of the cake - Key Lime. I did more research on this then I would have thought because of the egg involved. The cupcake wasn't going to go into the oven a second time - the filling would be inserted into the cupcake after baking - that created a problem with the eggs. Although much research about the egg being combined with the sugar and the sugar/egg ratio then eliminating the possibility of salmonella poisoning being gone........it still made me nervous.

Key Lime makes me think of Lemon (duh) and one of my favorite Lemon treats is a Lemon Curd that my friend, Sarah, made me years and years and years ago. So my thought was why not make a Key Lime Curd which would kill off the salmonella problem - mix that with the Sweetened Condensed Milk that goes into the pie filling and pipe that into the center of a cupcake? Genius right? Again - surely someone has done this, but I didn't find it on line this time so I wasn't 100% it would work.

First task - Squeezing all these dang Key Limes. I did it with my glass lemon juicer - see it there in the back of the pic? Took me a whole piano lesson + some time to do it - Key Limes are way too tiny!!! Don't do that!!! See a few days later guess what I saw that someone had done.......used a Garlic Press because half a Key Lime fits perfect into a press - DUH!! Brilliant!! So do that - don't do what I did.
Then there was the melting of some butter. Do you love watching butter melt? At first I do. Not sure why. Then I become incredibly impatient and start moving the butter around to get on with it already.

Added the egg yolks - the Key Lime juice and a bit zest - the sugar - and waited - well didn't really WAIT.......

Rather I stirred and stirred and stirred and stirred until the wanted thickening happened and the consistency that was desired was reached. I have finally figured out that you do not want it to be thickened completely on the stove........that took a few doings years back to realize. See how Instant Pudding ruins our ability to learn things the right way? It will thicken a bit more as it cools off.

So a smart girl who runs a hobby blog about cakes and things she creates would have taken a picture of the process of adding the cooled Key Lime curd in with the SCMilk right? Or maybe a picture of the delicious Graham Cracker cupcake? Yeah probably - but who knows a smart girl like that around here?

What you see is what you get I am afraid. Hulled the center of the yummy cupcake - filled it with Key Lime filling - topped that with a White Chocolate Icing - sprinkled a tiny bit of the crushed grahams and then started taking them around the area for testing.

Only one person suggested a change.......which I was totally ready for - only after saying that he had something to say it turned out to be, "This is probably the best cupcake I have every had".

So I am going with this one is a winner. The next day I started getting calls asking me if I would make them for a neighbors Red Hat meeting - Winner.