Monday, June 30, 2008

Cupcake Hero - Melon!

Sorry I've gone missing for so long, I was visiting the lovely (humid) D.C. area - quite nice, in fact, we decided it wouldn't be bad at all to live there for a while.

Anyway. I'm in under the wire - I spent a day two weeks ago preparing the syrup I wanted to use for Cupcake Hero this month, and then ran out of time before we left. Hurray for getting them made though because they're SO dreamy!!!***

My submission for Cupcake Hero are these cute, cakes sweetened with watermelon syrup. The syrup itself is a project, but I'd have to say I would totally do it again, these are so yummers! Adapted from the white cake recipe on the back of the Softasilk box no less! Anyway - if you weren't told, I doubt you would know that the flavour is watermelon, since it's such a mild taste, but all of the flavour and some of the sweetness of this cake comes from pure watermelon syrup - and the blueberries go so well with it! Eat these warm out of the oven for the best taste/texture.

Summer Cakes
makes about 18

3 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup watermelon syrup
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups butter - unsalted
optional - dried blueberries and dye

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together.
in separate bowl...
Cream butter and sugar 'till fluffy (i always over-cream). Add syrup and whip like the dickens. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add milk and flour mixture and beat until just mixed. add dye and blueberries and beat till mostly smooth.

Using greased or lined cupcake pans, fill cups a little more than 3/4 full.
Bake for 15-20 minutes to until pass the toothpick / press test.

Allow to cool completely before glazing if you want a thick glaze - reheat for a few seconds in the microwave before eating. Otherwise, glaze and eat *right* out of the oven!


1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup watermelon syrup

combine, mix, add colouring

Watermelon Syrup

a few watermelons
a few drops of vanilla extract

remove pulp from watermelon(s). Cube, puree in blender. Strain into heavy bottom saucepan.
Cook juice over low heat (210 f), skimming occasionally for a few hours - until reduced to 1/8 volume, or to thickness desired.
add a drop of vanilla extract at a time, stirring and tasting until it's the taste you desire - i found the pure syrup to have an off-putting cooked melon taste that just a touch of vanilla helped. i think i used 3 drops and that was almost too much - the flavor of the watermelon is very very mild.

I used 2 of those mini watermelons and reaped something shy of 1 1/2 cups of syrup

***I typed that right after making and trying them fresh out of the oven. The next day I had another and they weren't on the level of dreamy anymore - just tasty tasty cupcakes. These cakes really are *best* super fresh.

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