Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"E" is for EARTH DAY Cupcake!

Today is Earth Day! And in celebration I thought I would make a cupcake to honour Mother Earth and all her splendor! Somebody was recently telling me about the Blueberry Ricotta Pancakes topped with Lemon Curd that they had for breakfast at Stone Face Dolly's and I thought I would use that as my inspiration. How perfect is it that blueberries are blue and water is blue and half the earth is blue! ;) Every little bit of this cupcake is inspired by our lovely planet, down to the sprinkles and liner.

the blue and green cupcake = PLANET EARTH
the yellow liner = SUNSHINE (enveloping the earth as well!!)
the white frosting = THE CLOUDS
the sprinkles = RAINBOWS

I love fruit paired with lemon and these sure hit the spot! The blueberries 'melt' when they cook and get all runny and sweet and the frosting is so light and delicious! I think Mother Earth would be proud! :)

This cupcake has 2 parts:
1. The Blueberry Ricotta Cupcake
2. The Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Part 1: The Blueberry Ricotta Cupcake
I could only find a recipe for Strawberry Ricotta cupcakes, which made it easy to subsitute for blueberries. In doing my googling I realized that these cupcakes have very similar ingredients to actual blueberry ricotta pancakes! I made the batter green by using gel food colouring (I mixed blue and yellow) and adding it to the last little bit of milk/ricotta mixture before adding it into the rest of the batter. I needed to add extra milk as well then what the recipe called for. Hopefully you can find yellow cupcake liners to use as "sunshine". You can also omit the food colouring and just make these as regular non-earth day cupcakes! :)

Blueberry Ricotta Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (half a stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 egg
8 ounces ricotta cheese mixed with 1/4 cup whole milk (I ended up using about 1/2 cup of milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcakes papers and set aside.
3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and set aside.
4. In the bowl of a mixer cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Add the egg and beat for another 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla.
6. Add the ricotta mixture alternately with the flour mixture, starting and ending with the flour mixture.
7. Fold in the blueberries.
8. Divide among the 12 cupcake tins and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until risen and very lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool completely before frosting.

Part 2: The Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
I loooooooove lemon. Normally when I'm making a lemon frosting I like to make a meringue, but today I thought I'd try something different, and I sure am glad that I did! This frosting is so light and delicious I could eat it right out of the bowl. I always like to add a bit of extra lemon then what I recipe calls for, so use your judgement and adjust the amount of lemon to get the desired flavour. I found this recipe on the Cupcake Bakeshop by Chocklit website.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes

1/2 stick butter
8oz of cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups confectioner’s sugar

1. Soften the butter in a mixer on high speed
2. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined
3. Sift the confectioner’s sugar
4. Add about half of the confectioner’s sugar and lemon juice and zest to the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat on high speed to combine
5. Add the remaining confectioner’s sugar in stages until desired consistency and sweetness is achieved

Final Assembly
Pipe the frosting onto the cupcake and top with rainbow coloured non-pareils (sprinkles).

1 comment:

  1. that is a groovy cupcake, perfect for earth day.