Recently I heard about a “fabulous” local cupcake shop called Trophy Cupcakes. They have two locations and are opening a third. Within just a few days I heard from several friends that this was THE place to get an absolutely amazing cupcake.
So, I was thrilled when one of my girlfriends brought a variety of these little gems to our weekly Bible study as the munchie of the evening. But I was far from blown away when I actually tried one. It was good, but not over-the-top amazing as advertised. I tried a different flavor thinking maybe chocolate chocolate wasn’t the way to go, but the vanilla was just as uninspired.
Still, these mini-cakes had been so highly touted that I vowed to give them another chance. This weekend, I decided to make a batch myself – thanks to the following recipe I found online.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line cupcake pan with paper liners
2 Cups + 2 tablespoons sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 ½ cups of Sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of blueberry puree (recipe follows)
½ teaspoon of pure Vanilla extract
Bring one pound of blueberries (fresh or frozen) to a boil in a sauce pan (preferably
organic and from your local farmers market). Reduce heat to low and simmer until most
of the liquid has evaporated (about ½ hour) and the mixture is thick (stir occasionally).
Cool the blueberries slightly and place in a food processor. Mix until smooth. For an
extra smooth puree pass mixture through a fine sieve before using. Makes about 1 ¼
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating
until incorporated after each one. Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix milk
with ½ cup of blueberry puree and vanilla. Add wet and dry ingredients alternately to
butter, sugar mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients in three additions.
Mix until just incorporated after each addition. Do not overbeat batter. Fill cupcake
liners ¾ full of batter. Spoon 1 teaspoon of blueberry puree into the center and mix in
slightly with a wooden skewer or small spoon. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until cake
springs back to the touch. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire
rack and cool completely before frosting. Frost with Blueberry Swiss Meringue
Buttercream. Top with a dollop of puree or a fresh blueberry.
Blueberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
5 egg whites
1 ¼ cups sugar
2 cups room temperature unsalted butter (4 sticks or 1 pound)
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons of blueberry puree
Pinch of salt
Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a
pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are
hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it
should feel completely smooth. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk
attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff
and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until
incorporated after each addition. The buttercream may appears curdled after all the
butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add
blueberry puree and salt and beat just until combined. Switch to the paddle attachment,
and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes. If using
buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room
temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the
refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and
beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.
Those of you who do any baking will recognize that this is a fairly complicated cupcake recipe. Certainly the most complex I’d ever whipped up. It took me several hours of kitchen-destroying, blue-goo covering baking before they were ready to be cooled. The frosting, as a true buttercream, was also tricky – not your standard, powdered sugar/butter/milk mix. But, as I put the final touches on top, they looked pretty stinking good. I have to work on my frosting technique because I still don’t have the hang of piping it on from a pastry bag, but otherwise, my blueberry topped cupcakes turned out just as I expected them to.
The problem is, I kind of expected mediocrity. And I wasn’t disappointed. Just like the store bought Trophy Cupcakes, mine were just ok. The cupcake part was moist and blueberry flavorful, but not enough so to justify all the work I’d just put into it. The frosting was just too rich. Like blueberry flavored butter with a hint of sweetness. Maybe that’s how Trophy likes it, as I remember feeling the same way about the chocolate and vanilla buttercreams that topped my previous indulgences. For me, a lighter frosting is always a nicer way to top a rich moist cake.
So, there you go. Trophy Cupcakes, I’m not a fan. Guess I should change that on my Facebook.