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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Pomegranate Cosmo Cupcakes


Little pomegranate-bejeweled,
tangy and sweet treats...Smooth.
  If the truth be known, this is my signature cocktail.  No joke, I've made over a hundred of these for friends at Casa de Haertle.  I seriously honed my cocktail shakin' skills on this cocktail combination.  I won't go back to cranberry...Pomegranates are the only way to go, with this cupcake or the cocktail.  And, getting an extra dose of antioxidants in your diet isn't a bad thing either!



This recipe is inspired by one I found on I Heart Cupcakes, the name tells the story there.  And, I've actually modified the recipe enough that I think I can safely call it my own.  I'll be making these darlings again as I want to make more modifications for the cupcakes to "up" the booze quotient and to make them more "limey."  One of my fellow bakers, and taste-tester, commented that this was the best cupcake she'd ever had...An amazing compliment from an amazing baker herself.

Step-by-Step
I'd start with making the Pomegranate Molasses (if you aren't going to buy it...).  Place all the ingredients in a large sauce pan (I used a 4 qt), bring to a boil and lower to a simmer until you get 1 cup.  I didn't boil for as long as I should have (patience is one of my karmic lesson) so I got 12 oz.  My "molasses" is a bit thin, but that's okay.  It's tart, though, and that's what I wanted.
Mix up the batter for the cupcakes. 
I'm finding that if I incorporate that last little bit of ingredients by hand, then I don't risk over beating. 
This batter is yummy!  :)
Fill your muffin cups.  I'm using a bit less than a full #10 scoop (3.6 oz) these days.  With the new, fancy muffin pans, I'm reaching for more batter and a rise over the cup like the pros at Icing on the Cupcake achieve.  I've got "high hopes," I've got "high hopes"...La, la, la.  You get the picture.
Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pan, remove and poke holes in the warm cupcakes. 
While the cupcakes are baking, make the Grand Marnier sauce.  Easy.  Drizzle the Grand Marnier sauce on each cupcake.  Again, we're looking for the risotto technique: slow and small amounts.  It's pretty thick and not much will go in, but you can probably get 2 tsp in each.  Let them cool completely.
P.S. This Grand Marnier sauce is a WINNER...
Had to stop myself from using it in a cocktail right then,
but 9am is too early for booze.  ;) 
Make the buttercream and frost those lovely, tart and sweet babies! 
Garnish with some pomegranate seeds, sprinkles, lime candies, or whatever strikes your fancy. 
Okay, so I ~rarely~ ever sample a cupcake until the next day...
This one, well, it was cut open within minutes of frosting. 
I just couldn't wait!
Here is a technique for removing the seeds.  Worked great and minimized pomegranate juice spraying all over the kitchen.   

(Ellen’s) Pomegranate Cosmo Cupcakes
Adapted (heavily) from I Heart Cupcakes
Makes about 12 cupcakes (more if you use a smaller scoop)

Ingredients
For lime cupcakes
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp canola oil
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 ½  cup all-purpose flour (I now use bleached for my cupcakes)
¾ teaspoon baking powder
¼ tsp cream of tartar (a new secret weapon)
¼ tsp salt
1/3 cup +3 tbsp milk (okay, I cheated and used some half and half and some cream…)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (I used juice from 1 1/2 limes)
zest of 2 limes (I used only one, but I’ll move up to 2 next time)

For Grand Marnier glaze
1/3 cup sugar (more if you want it sweeter)
2 tbsp orange juice (fresh or from a jug)
1 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp Grand Marnier

For Pomegranate-Vodka buttercream frosting
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp vodka
3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
2-3 tbsp corn syrup
Pomegranate seeds, garnish

Instructions for the cupcakes
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar and salt. Mix together the milk, lime juice, and lime zest. Add flour and milk mixtures alternatively, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
3. Fill cupcake liners about ¾ full. Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes from the oven. While the cupcakes are still warm, poke holes in cupcakes with a toothpick or skewer and drizzle 1-1 1/2 tsp glaze over each cupcake. Let cool before frosting.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the Grand Marnier glaze.
In small saucepan, heat the sugar and orange and lime juices over medium heat until sugar dissolves.  Remove from heat; stir in the Grand Marnier and set aside.

To make Pomegranate-Vodka frosting
Cream the butter, vodka and pomegranate syrup in electric mixer (flat or wire beater) on low for 1-2 minutes until creamy and almost emulsified.  Slowly add sugar and beat until smooth, scrap along the way, increasing speed to medium.  Add 1 tbsp corn syrup in increments and mix on medium for 30 seconds, until you get the spreading/piping consistency that you like.  (I didn’t use more than 2 tbsp.)  Increase to medium high and beat for about 1 minute until fluffy.  Pipe or spread onto cooled cupcakes.

Pomegranate Syrup (Molasses) – You can also buy this at some stores.  I found it at Whole Foods after the fact...of course...
4 cups pomegranate juice
1/3 cup sugar (more if you want it sweeter)
3 tbsp lemon juice
Boil, simmer until reduced to 1 cup.  45 to 1 ¼ hour.  Store in fridge 2 weeks. 
Please note the pretty party bottle on the left. ;)

Ellen's (In)Famous Pomegranate Cosmopolitan Cocktail
In a shaker full of ice:
3 oz vodka
1 1/2 oz triple sec (or Grand Marnier for you top shelf fans)
juice of 1/2 a lime
splash of Roses' Lime Juice
1 1/2 oz of Pom Pomegranate Juice (I will use no other, trust me...)
Shake the hell out of it...Yes, you want the little ice chips (although hard core mixologists would baulk).
Pour into a frosty martini glass and enjoy!
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3 comments:

  1. Love the way these cupcakes look, very Holiday-ee!! They sound good, too!!

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  2. Oh Ellen, I have tears in my eyes! Kelly always had a Cosmo to drink for her birthday. She said that's how she got pregnant with her son!
    These are beautiful and along with cranberries, pomegranates are my favorite fruit. And, so good for you. I will be making these for Christmas and remembering a gentler time. XOXO

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  3. Hard to imagine a more delightful cupcake experience than these. I'm wondering if the anti-oxidant properties in the pomegranates will help counter the my excessive indulgence with these today?
    Oh yeah, and since I also have a pomegranate tree in my yard, perhaps next year at the Cucidati party we can juice some pomegranates, make some Cosmos, some cupcakes and ingest large quantities of sugar and alcohol?

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