Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lime Chiffon Cupcakes

Good grief do I have a doozy of a recipe to share! And it all started with a wedding. Oh no, not me! But one of Kris's close friends is getting married next year and it got me thinking about what I would maybe one day want should I ever decide to get hitched. The first thing to consider of course, is the food. I think some good ol'country food would be grand. Maybe with a French twist as an homage to my heritage. Smithfield ham and Dijon Moutarde? Sweet potatoes would have to make an appearance, as would corn. This is starting to sound like Thanksgiving... Holiday food aside, my biggest pickle would actually be the wedding cake. Although I love to bake and decorate, I never wake up in the middle of the night hankering for some cake. Weird, I know. Most of them are too chocolaty or dense and sweet. Buttercream is delicious- one teaspoon at a time.

This theoretical problem stayed with me for a few days until I just had to sit down and think about it and came upon a Lime Chiffon Cake recipe. Not too dense or sweet! A departing intern at work was the perfect excuse to try it out. And it was very good. Very pretty too. But I could do better...

The lime filling was delicious but there wasn't enough with each bite and I didn't like Cooking Light's frosting which was made with Cool Whip. Also, not enough frosting in general. The Solution? Cupcakes! For the frosting I went with a whipped cream frosting that has a block of cream cheese in it to keep it sturdy and delicious. A bit of lime juice and ginger essence thrown in for good measure and we were good to go. Did I mention delicious? Because these were DELICIOUS. Just about perfect in every way I could conceive of for a cake OR cupcake. At least, to me.

Lime Chiffon Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes about 36 cupcakes
Adapted from Cooking Light


Lime Filling:

  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
Lime Chiffon Cake:
  • 2 cups sifted cake flour (7 1/2 ounces)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 7 tbls canola oil
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 3 limes)
  • 3 tbls water
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp pure lemon extract
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 8oz block of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp ginger essence
  • 4 tbls lime juice
  • 2 cups whipping cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees

To make the cake, in a large bowl combine 2 cups cake flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk well to remove any clumps. In another bowl, whisk to combine the oil, lime juice, water, lime zest, lemon extract and 3 egg yolks. Add the oil mixture to the flour mixture and whisk well until it is smooth.

In the bowl of a mixer, whisk the egg whites on high speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue mixing at high speed. Once the whites have reached the soft peak stage, add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time. Keep beating until the egg whites are stiff.

Fold 1/4 of the stiff egg whites into the cake batter. Once incorporated, add the remaining stiff egg whites, carefully folding the mixture until homogeneous.

Fill your cupcake liners almost full and bake for about 15 minutes or until the tops are starting to turn golden brown and the cake is receding from the sides. Let them cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile make your lime filling by combining the sweetened condensed milk, the lime juice and lime zest. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a mixer, add the softened cream cheese, sugar, ginger essence and lime juice. Mix on high until smooth and fluffy. On medium speed, slowly pour in the whipping cream. Mix on high until stiff peaks form. Refrigerate until needed.

To assemble- with a small sharp knife, cute a cone out of the top the cupcake and cut off the the bottom of the cone. Fill the cupcake with lime filling and replace the cupcake top. Frost the top of the cupcake to cover the cut and garnish with blueberries and mint leaves.

If you are making these on your own, it will probably be easiest to fill all the cupcakes at once and then frost them. If you have a partner in crime, an assembly line will be easiest where one person fills the cupcakes and the other frosts. Just be sure to let everyone decorate!

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