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Sunday, July 28, 2013

Japanese Slipper Cupcakes


This month's Baking with Spirit Challenge over at Cake of the Week is Midori.  Well, um...Let me see.  Midori.  Never tried it and not in the BIWB liquor cabinet.  What to do?

First, immediately go to BevMo, get a bottle and taste it.  Check.

Second, search the Midori web site for cocktail and recipe ideas.  Check.

Third, pick a cocktail that seems fun and feminine.  Japanese Slipper.  Check.  {Please note: Midori has no baking recipes.  That had me a bit scared.}

Fourth, search the internet for baking recipes using the Japanese Slipper as inspiration.  Check.

So, believe it or not, there is only ONE recipe on the web that I could find for a Japanese Slipper Cupcake.  The Lone Baker.  Nice name, killer photo.

Once I had the idea and a good graphic, I set to work creating a solid recipe that I thought would bring out the 3 flavors of this cocktail: Midori, orange (Triple Sec) and lemon.  I knew that baking with Midori might be tough, so I decided to just use it in the frosting.  That left the cupcake to be the showcase for the orange and lemon flavors, with the addition of Triple Sec of course.  

Found my cupcake recipe "base" on Paula Deen's website.  I know...Think what you like.  But, you have to admit, she does have some very good recipes.  I needed something to bring out the citrus flavors and hold up with the Triple Sec.  Check.

Scored on her recipe for an orange creamsicle cupcake that infuses the citrus zest into the sugar.  Great technique and something I will bring to all my citrus baked goods.  

And, I will tell you, this Midori Seven Minute Frosting has changed my life.  

I had no idea this frosting was so easy and so delicious.  We never had this when I was a kid because we didn't have a stand mixer and there was no way my mom was going to stand with a hand mixer for 7 minutes.  Lower in fat, too, than buttercream frosting.  A good thing!

Thank god for my Kitchen Aid mixer, Bella!  And, now I also have no fear of my future with Swiss Meringue Buttercream.  



These are a shocking light green color and I love the pop of orange in the liners and sprinkles on top.  Super moist and so full of citrus flavors.  A very nice cupcake version of the Japanese Slipper Cocktail.  Super festive, too!!

And, please check out all the other Midori-inspired baked creations this month at Cake of the Week.

Enjoy!

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Step-by-Step

In a small bowl, mix sugar and citrus zests, let sit at least an hour.  Stir to loosen any clumps.
  
Assemble your dry ingredients and juice your orange and lemon.

In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar/citrus zest mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at time and beating well after each addition.

Mix in the sour cream and vanilla until just combined.

With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, alternating with the Triple Sec/citrus liquids.  Finish by hand. 

Fill the cupcake liners about 3/4 full.  I always use a #12 scoop.

Bake as directed.  When done, these cupcakes will spring to the touch and are very light in color.   Remove to a cooling rack and cool completely before frosting.

Now it's time to make the Midori Seven Minute Frosting!  So exciting and scary at the same time.  Cooking egg whites and monitoring for temperature...Yikes!!

Martha has a great recipe and a video showing how to make this easy frosting.  I had no idea what I'd been missing.  And, to be honest, this frosting needs a lot of flavor, so don't skimp on the vanilla (or other flavorings you'd like).

Get your bain marie all ready.  Really easy peasy.  Just be extremely careful not to have the bowl EVER come in contact with the simmering water.  This will create sugar crystals in your finished frosting.  You don't want that...Trust me.

In the mixing bowl combine sugar, corn syrup, water, egg whites, and cream of tartar*. Whisk to combine.  Place this bowl over the simmering water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 160F on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.

This is the start of the process.  Already it's 75 degrees.  
*Martha's recipe does not include cream of tartar, but Paula's does.  So, I added a bit.  I might add a bit less next time.  Still learning this technique.

Move the bowl to the mixer with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous.  This is the temperature at 3 min and 4 min. You'd like it to be 80F or below at the 5 minute mark.

This will take about 5 minutes.  The frosting will really start to pull off the sides at this point.  And, your mixer's pitch will significantly lower.

Beat in the Midori and vanilla.  And, yes, it's okay to beat well.  This frosting seems to really hold and not break.

This frosting will be glossy and stiff.  Fill your pastry bag and use this immediately to frost the cupcakes.  I had enough frosting to cover at least 6 more cupcakes.

If you like, which I did, brush a little bit of Midori on the cooled cupcakes.  I wanted a bit more Midori flavor than just in the frosting.  It's a tough flavoring to bring forward, so to speak.

Sprinkle with colored sugar and place a maraschino cherry on top (optional).


Japanese Slipper Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes
Adapted from Paula Deen’s Bake Sale Orange Creamsicle Cupcake

Ingredients
2/3 cup sugar
Zest of 1 orange and 1 lemon
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 cup Grand Marnier or Triple Sec (orange liqueur)
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)

Maraschino cherries with stems for garnish (optional)

Directions
1. In a small bowl, mix sugar and citrus zests to infuse the orange and lemon flavors into the sugar.  Let sit at room temperature at least an hour.  Stir to loosen any clumps.
2. Preheat oven to 350F.  Place 16 cupcake liners in muffin tins. 
3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cream of tartar.  Set aside.  In a measuring cup, combine the triple sec, orange juice and lemon juice.
4. In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and the sugar/citrus zest mixture until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape the bowl a few times.
5. Add the eggs, one at time and beating well after each addition.  Scrape bowl.  Mix in the sour cream and vanilla until just combined.
6. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture, alternating with the citrus liquids.  Begin and end with flour mixture.  Mix on medium just to combine.  Finish by hand. 
7. Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 full (#12 scoop).
8. Bake for 18-20 minutes or springing to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes.  Remove to a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

Midori Seven Minute Frosting
Makes about 4 cups (enough to frost 24 cupcakes)

Ingredients
3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp light corn syrup
2 tbsp water
3 large egg whites
1/8 scant tsp cream of tartar
1 tbsp Midori (melon liqueur)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
Neon green food gel

Directions
1. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer combine sugar, corn syrup, 2 tbsp water, egg whites, and cream of tartar. Whisk to combine. Place this bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (bain marie).  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until mixture reaches 160F on an instant-read thermometer, about 2 minutes.
2.  Move the bowl to the mixer which has been fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the mixture on high speed until glossy and voluminous.  This will take about 5 minutes. 
3. Beat in the Midori and vanilla.  This frosting will be glossy and stiff.  Use this immediately to frost the cupcakes. 
4.  Sprinkle with colored sugar and place a maraschino cherry on top (optional).

P.S. I did place these in the refrigerator.  The frosting held up but did shrink just a bit.  I think that's the help of the cream of tartar.  A-ok on Day 2.

So, I couldn't wait.  You know me too well by now to expect anything less.  I'd never even had a Japanese Slipper Cocktail until I made these cupcakes.  Super moist, super subtle flavors.  A nice balance of flavors.  And, even more surprising, these taste just like the cocktail!
  

About one thing I am absolutely positive.  
I'm unconditionally and irrevocably in love with Seven Minute Frosting.

Ellen

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7 comments:

  1. So is seven minute frosting just meringue, or does the corn syrup add something extra? It's not available in the shops over here, but I think it's available on Amazon.

    I love the look of these cupcakes, especially with the extra midori brushed over the tops before adding the icing. I think I'll use some of my DIY stuff to make these asap.

    Thanks for making the effort to enter BWS - I am so appreciative!

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  2. Ellen, these are GORGEOUS! I'm definitely going to try making this frosting. You are still Queen Frostine, so if this 7-minute frosting has your stamp of approval, then I must try it :) ESPECIALLY if it's life-changing!

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  3. I love midori and these look fantastic! YUM!!

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  4. I am super impressed with your recipe making skills! I have a friend who loves Midori Sours so I'll have to pass this recipe on to her!

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  5. Never thought of baking with Midori! So glad I came across your site, I love it!!

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  6. I had some in the liquor cabinet, but gave it away to a friend when I moved; it had been opened. These cupcakes just look luscious and your buttercream is perfect! I hope baking is helping you through your loss--you're in my thoughts, love you, XOXO

    ReplyDelete

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