Friday, July 24, 2009

Iron Cupcake Herbs: Lime Ginger Cupcakes with Lime Basil Frosting

I have definitely been slacking off in the Iron Cupcake area lately, but this month I finally got things in gear and am competing again. It helped that the ingredient this month was herbs. I have some lovely basil growing on my porch and I needed to use it, so this challenge provided the perfect opportunity to try it in something sweet instead of just the usual savory stuff. The cupcakes I created are sort of Thai-inspired using lime, ginger, and basil, and boy are they good. I love, love, LOVE lime, and these cupcakes make such nice use of it, combining it with a subtle taste of ginger and basil in a not-to-sweet little package. Ahhh. Before I can give you the recipe, I need to tell you where to vote and mention the lovely prizes that go to the winner of this month's challenge. Voting goes from Tuesday, July 28 to Wednesday, August 5 at noon. To vote, click on this link or on my Iron Cupcake badge at the bottom of this page. The prizes and sponsers are:

A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH,
A treat from CIRCLEMONKEY,
Something from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery,
and art from CAKESPY,

Last and certainly not least, corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, JESSIE STEELE APRONS, TASTE OF HOME books , and a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM
Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers,
Learn more at the Iron Cupcake Cuphub:

And now, here's the recipe:

Lime Ginger Cupcakes with Basil Frosting
1/4 c. canola oil
1 c. sugar
zest of 1 lime
2 eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. fresh lime juice
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1/4 t. almond extract
1 T. grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 c. flour
1/4 t. salt
1/2 t. baking powder

Mix together butter, sugar, and lime zest. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well between each one. Add buttermilk, lime juice, vanilla, almond extract, and ginger and mix until combined. In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Add about 1/3 of the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing just until combined and repeating until all of dry mixture has been added.

Fill paper-lined muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or till tops are barely golden or a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Makes about 12 cupcakes.

8 oz. cream cheese (room temperature)
6 T. butter (room temperature)
zest and juice of 1 lime
1/2 t. vanilla extract
3 T. lime syrup (recipe below)
pinch salt
1 c. powdered sugar (more if stiffer frosting is desired)

Cream cream cheese and butter together. Add lime juice and zest, lime syrup, and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Slowly add salt and powdered sugar, mixing until thoroughly combined.

Lime syrup
1 c. water
3/4 c. sugar
1/3 c. lime juice
5 fresh basil leaves
1 lime peel strip (1 ½ inches x ½ inch)

In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, lemon juice, basil and lime peel and bring to a boil. Boil until reduced to about 1 cup. Strain and discard the basil and lime peel. Cool completely.

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