Monday, June 14, 2010


So I stole the "Zippy" thing from the same place I stole this recipe. A Piece of Cake. I've decided to take it a step further and call these lime zippies. So really the only thing I stole from Piece of Cake was the actual cupcake recipe. I used ginger syrup in place of her lime syrup and white chocolate buttercream from Epicurious instead of white chocolate cream cheese frosting because my cupcakes were going to be sitting in the heat.

my zippies hangin out in the fridge before embarking on their little journey.

Or so I thought. If my scouts are correct, these cupcakes were gone within minutes. I snuck a few and I'll tell you what, these babies are crazy delicious. Also this buttercream recipe is amazing. It made me a large mixing bowl-sized amount of buttercream. So. It was a LOT. I made a double batch of the cupcakes (resulting in 40), put a tower of frosting on each one, and I still have at least a cup and a half of the stuff.

I have been baking and cooking like my life depends on it lately. The past three days have been chock full of it. I'm starting to feel like I just put in a full days work everytime I'm done. I used, I kid you not, 8 sticks of butter and 2 dozen eggs in the past two days. Time for a break. That is after I bake yet another batch of mini cherry pies for Benny's parents tomorrow (I've been told it's not necessary but I insist!) and a bit of something for my parents on Thursday. Oh and another batch of macarons to take to Kym in Atlanta next week.

I've created a monster.

Nevertheless, let's take a look at the recipe, shall we?

Recipe Soundtrack: "Vivo Sonhando" by Antonio Carlos Jobim

Two Fun Facts:
-Up until recently I'd spent my whole life thinking that Jobim was named JOE BEAM. Because I had never heard anyone say his whole name. Not only is this a bit embarassing, but it has led to many confusing and frustrating Itunes searches. Now you know. So look at that, we're bonding.
-(Benny says, and I quote "If there is anything that says white chocolate buttercream to me it is the sweet sounds of brian wilson." I think that's a joke, but you never can tell.)

Recipes from Piece of Cake
and Epicurious

For the Cupcakes:
2 whole eggs
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons grated lime zest
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes, at room temperature

For the Syrup:
1 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced (you want big enough pieces you can easily get out of the syrup)
2 cups sugar
1 cup water

Place an oven rack to the center position and preheat it to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with paper liners.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together, the eggs, egg yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and lime zest. Fit the mixer with the paddle attachment and turn the mixer on low. With the mixer running, gradually drop in the butter pieces and mix until the texture is uniform and the bits of butter aren't discernable, about 2 minutes. With the mixer still on low, begin slowly pouring in the wet ingredients. When all the wet ingredients have been added, crank the speed up to medium and mix until the batter is light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Portion the batter into the muffin tins (a scant tablespoon in each liner) and bake until a toothpick comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly touched, 10-12 minutes. Let cool in the pans for about 5 minutes, then transfer them to a a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cupcakes are baking, make the ginger syrup: In a small saucepan, whisk together the sugar and water. Add the ginger slices, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally. Boil until the sugar is dissolved, and the syrup is clear and slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove ginger and set aside to cool. (I keep this in the fridge in a jar and use it for drinks and what have you.)
For the White Chocolate Buttercream:
makes about 8 cups
8oz good-quality white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli chips)
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup egg whites (about 8)
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons grated orange peel
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


Stir white chocolate and cream in heavy small saucepan over low heat until melted and smooth. Cool to room temperature. Using electric mixer, beat butter in medium bowl until fluffy; set aside.

Combine whites and sugar in large metal bowl. Set bowl over large saucepan of simmering water (do not let bottom of bowl touch water). Whisk until sugar dissolves and thermometer inserted into whites registers 160°F, about 3 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Using clean dry beaters, beat meringue until cool, stiff and shiny, about 10 minutes.

Beat butter, about 1/4 cup at a time, into meringue, blending well after each addition. If frosting looks curdled, place bowl over very low heat for 3 to 5 seconds to soften slightly. Remove from heat and beat until smooth. Repeat warming technique as necessary. Gradually beat in cooled white chocolate mixture, then orange peel and vanilla extract. Chill buttercream until beginning to firm, about 30 minutes. (I made this one day ahead of time and used the warming technique to get it to the right consistency.)

Some frustratingly sloppy piping here. I need a proper pastry tip.

For Decorating:
When the cupcakes have cooled, prick each one deeply with a fork about 4-5 times. Carefully spoon about 1/2 teaspoon of syrup over each cake. Allow the syrup to soak into the cakes for about 10 minutes, then frost and decorate as desired. Refrigerate any leftover cupcakes for up to 3 days.

There ya go! Little zippies. And a new use for my ginger syrup.

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