Monday, November 14, 2011

Hawaiian Zephyr Cupcakes

These cupcakes get their name because of two things.  The first thing-pineapple, it makes me think of Hawaii.  I remember staying on the island of Kauai and the place had no air conditioning, just these big windows with shutters.  You could open the shutters and get a nice cool breeze.  The gentle breeze, or zephyr, is the second thing.

This cupcake is very moist and gets its pineapple flavor from pineapple soda in the batter as well as pineapple juice that it brushed on over the top while the cupcake is still warm.  The top has a honey rum glaze sprinkled with toasted pecans.  Also, the crowning touch is a dollup of cinnamon whipped cream with fresh pineapple bits on top.

I am very happy with the results and I will definitely be making these again! The recipe makes about 1 dz cupcakes.

Also, thanks to all of you that voted me in to Top 9 yesterday, it made my day!
Hawaiian Zephyr Cupcakes
by flourtrader

1/4 cup buttermilk
1 egg
1/2 cup pineapple soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 tbs butter, cubed
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
pineapple juice (drained from 8 oz can of pineapple tidbits)

3 tbs honey
2 tbs rum
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup toasted ground pecans

1/4 cup whipping cream
1 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
8 oz can of drained pineapple tidbits

For cupcakes, grease the top edge of muffin cavities and fill with paper liners.

Sift together baking soda, salt, baking powder and flour.  Whisk in sugar and set aside.   Take out a small saucepan and fill with butter cubes and soda.  Place over medium heat and cook until the butter is melted and mixture starts to boil.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Also place a cooling rack over a sheet of wax paper, making sure all the space below the rack is covered.

In a small bowl, beat together egg, buttermilk and the vanilla extract.  Set aside.  Then pour the cooled pineapple butter into the flour blend.  Stir with a wooden spoon until no dry streaks remain.  Lastly, blend the buttermilk/egg mixture into the batter.

Pour the batter evenly into the 12 liners.  Each liner should be about 2/3 full.  Place in oven and bake until tester comes out clean, which is about 15-20 minutes. Once baked, let cool in pan for about 2 minutes then remove and place on cooling rack.

Using a pastry brush, brush the pineapple juice over the tops of the warm muffins.  Let soak in and then brush a second layer over the top.  Let cupcakes cool completely before glazing.

To prepare the glaze, fill a small sauce pan with honey and rum.  Place over medium heat and let come to a simmer.  Remove and add powdered sugar.  Stir with a wooden spoon until no dry streaks remain and then beat for 2 minutes to make sure all the powdered sugar lumps are dissolved.

Then dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes in the glaze, making sure the excess drips off before placing upright on cooling rack. You may have to tip the saucepan to get complete coverage.  Also, when you get down to the last one or two, you may have to pour the glaze onto the cupcakes because there is not enough to dip the cupcake into.

After they all are glazed, sprinkle with the toasted pecans. It will take a few hours for the glaze to set.

The topper is something you will want to do right before serving.  Fresh fruit as well as whipped cream is better when eaten right away than stored in the fridge for hours.

In a small bowl beat cream, sugar and cinnamon together until soft peaks form.  Place a dollup or pipe the cream onto the center of the top of the cupcake.  Then place a few pieces of pineapple tidbits on top.  Now they are ready to serve!
                                          **LAST YEAR: Chinese Chews**