So, okay, I am due for another protein packed fighting fit recipe but, you know, there were cupcakes to be made. Extra delicious cupcakes. I also felt the urge to pipe swirls. So cupcakes you shall have!
Not just any cupcakes. Not dry sandy cupcakes. Oh, now that’s something. I really dislike dry, sandy cupcakes. What is that about? Cupcakes should not be a bland base for a super decorated technicolour frosted top. In many cases, the frosting is overly sweet and barely edible. We don’t subscribe to that here. A cupcake should be delicious sans embellishment. It should stand up on its own and be counted as a delightful mouthful of cakey pleasure for the senses. The frosting should also be fragrant and delicious and make you unconsciously reach for a spoon … because it tastes so good. Together they should transport your taste buds to a sensory heaven. If you just get a mouthful of sparkly pink sugar atop a pretty sand castle … well … umm. That is no fun at all. That feast for your eyes is suddenly forgotten.
Colour and props are lovely but flavour and texture are the king and queen of cupcakery. These cupcakes deliver them in spades. Any colour and props we like to add are purely embellishments.
Passionfruit and chocolate are made for each other. But then, passionfruit and cheesecake … that’s also a great partnership. Wait … chocolate and cheesecake. So much win right there.
All three together? It’s like a holy trinity of deliciousness! It is also a perfect combination for this time of year … although I think it would be perfect any time of year.
Soft, moist intensely chocolate cupcakes. Creamy, rich cheesecake frosting with the tart freshness of a whole lotta passionfruit love. Yes, you can eat the leftover frosting with a spoon. I always make enough for extra frosting. It must be done.
I used a medium closed star tip to pipe the frosting. The main reason is that it was the first tip I picked up from my trusty box o’tips.
Pipe and decorate these cupcakes any way you like. I merely topped them with a little fresh passionfruit pulp. One large passionfruit was enough to add a little to all twelve cupcakes.
It doesn’t take a trained eye to see that the Indian Summer we have experienced here in Melbourne is now well and truly over. The weather has turned much cooler and this past week the skies have been more grey, dark and dreary than I care to think about. This gets reflected in the lighting of my photographs but hopefully the lovely passionfruit colour (all natural) shines through, along with the chocolate.
Let the cupcakery begin. Enjoy!
40 grams 70% chocolate (I used Valrhona Guanaja)
125 grams unsalted butter, softened
125 grams sugar
2 eggs (59 grams each)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
100 grams plain flour
25 grams unsweetened cacao (I used Valrhona)
10 grams (2 teaspoons) baking powder
0.71 grams (1/8 teaspoon) sea salt
125 millilitres whole milk
Preheat the oven to 180℃.
Place 12 cupcake liners on a lined baking tray or in a muffin tin and set aside.
Melt the chocolate in a microwave for about 30 seconds. Stir until melted. Set aside.
Place the sugar, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of a mixer and whisk until the mixture is light, fluffy and the sugar is dissolved. Add the eggs and whisk until the batter is smooth and light.
Sift together the flour, cacao, baking powder, and sea salt. Add half the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Add the milk and melted chocolate to the batter, and beat until incorporated. Add the remaining flour mixture and beat on medium speed until the batter is smooth and light. Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners.
Bake for about 15 – 18 minutes until risen and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. You can store these, at room temperature, in an airtight container, if making ahead before frosting.
Passionfruit Cheesecake Frosting
I use Boiron 100% passionfruit purée for this frosting. Passionfruit are on the expensive side, and you will need a lot of passionfruit to obtain the amount required in the recipe (the purée is strained of seeds). I find that it is ultimately more economical and the consistency of flavour and quality means the frosting is perfect every time. Use any good quality fresh or frozen passionfruit purée, but make sure it is 100% passionfruit, with nothing added, for the best flavour.
250 grams cream cheese
125 grams pure icing sugar
115 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
100 grams 100% passionfruit purée
Whisk together the cream cheese and icing sugar until smooth and creamy. Whisk the cooled butter until slightly thickened. Add the butter and the passionfruit purée to the cream cheese mixture and whisk until smooth and thickened to a piping consistency.
Cover and refrigerate the frosting for 15 to 20 minutes before frosting the cupcakes if making the frosting in very warm weather. Otherwise, there is no need and you can frost the cupcakes immediately. This cream cheese frosting pipes beautifully and holds its shape without setting hard on standing or when refrigerated.
Pipe the frosting on to each cupcake. Top with a some fresh passionfruit pulp or a chocolate button.
Once frosted, store cupcakes in the refrigerator if not serving immediately.