Friday, February 8, 2008

Cantaloupe Cupcakes

While cleaning my kitchen this morning I realized that I had a cantaloupe that needed to be used up STAT. I initially debated eating the whole thing, but just couldn't bring myself to do it. So, as a bit of a lark, I googled "cantaloupe dessert" to see if anything interesting popped up.

Nothing did. Or at least, nothing that looked good to me. Then I typed "cantaloupe cupcakes" and up popped a recipe from one of my favourite bakers and bloggers, Chockylit, which I thought might be fun to try if I adapted it a bit. The recipe has three components: cupcake batter, filling and frosting. I didn't change much from the original recipe, but I did puree all the cantaloupe instead of incorporating some of it diced, because I thought that it would cook more evenly. I also added more vanilla and used a buttercream icing, but that's just a personal preference.
Here's the cantaloupe, freshly pureed using a hand-blender:

And the cupcake batter before I poured it into the liners:

Fill the liners about 3/4 full so they have some room to rise:

This recipe made enough for 24 medium-sized cupcakes:

The puree heating up in anticipation of the sugar/cornstarch mixture:

Note the change in colour as the puree/sugar/cornstarch mixture boils and thickens into a jelly:

Below is a photo of me piping the filling into the cupcakes. This was my first time adding filling to cupcakes, and I wasn't sure how much should be piped into each. I also didn't know if I'd have enough for all the cupcakes, so I didn't use too much. I think that I'll know better next time - the cupcakes could have used more filling. I also think that the next time I make these I will double the recipe for the filling just to make sure I have enough.
By the way, please ignore the fact that I am using a baggie to pipe the filling (I couldn't get the tip onto my piping bag because the coupler wouldn't attach for some reason).
Please, however, notice my long nails... no biting!

And here is the final result:

From another angle:

The cross-section reveals the minimal amount of filling:

Overall, I was fairly pleased with how these turned out. This was my first experiment adapting a recipe and I think I did alright. These cupcakes have a very subtle cantaloupe flavour, and are a bit denser than a typical vanilla cupcake. A nice change from my usual chocolate cupcakes!

Cantaloupe Cupcakes

3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsps. vanilla (I like cupcakes vanilla-ey)
2 cups cantaloupe puree

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.
2. Scrape the flesh from one medium-sized cantaloupe and finely dice. Place the cantaloupe into a bowl and puree using a hand-blender (a regular blender works too).
3. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. Add the sugar and blend well.
4. In another bowl, gently whisk the eggs together, and add the oil and vanilla, blending well. Add 2 cups of the cantaloupe puree and blend well.
5. Add puree mixture to the dry ingredients until well incorporated, without over-mixing.
6. Spoon batter into muffin pans, filling the liners 3/4 full.
7. Bake cupcakes for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the cupcake comes out clean.
8. Allow cupcakes to cool before inserting filling or adding frosting.

1/2 cup cantaloupe puree
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. cornstarch

1. While cupcakes are baking, heat puree and water in a pot on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes.
2. Mix sugar and cornstarch together before adding to cantaloupe, ensuring that cornstarch is well blended to avoid lumps in the filling.
3. Add sugar/cornstarch mixture to puree and water, and mix well.
4. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until filling thickens.
5. Using a round 230 decorating tip pipe a small amount of filling in each cupcake.

1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1. Cream butter and shortening with electric mixer. Add vanilla.
2. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
3. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
4. Add food colouring if desired.
5. Using a round decorating tip (I used #12), pipe frosting onto cupcakes.


Lord of the Wing said...

Neee!!! I don't like cantelope but that looks soo goooood! Your blog is kick ass in the baking department.

Keep up the good work!

Denise said...

Thank you so so much- I had 4 ginormous cantaloupes crack on me and had no idea what to do with them. I baked the cupcakes and made the filling, but my cupcakes still need to chill. I burnt my fingers to sample a hot cupcake and it's wonderful. Can't wait until I can fill and ice them. I already pureed all my cantaloupes and put 2 and a half cups in freezer cups. I have enough to make 5 more batches and one pie. Thank you again so much!! You are a true blessing!