I am a believer that love should be expressed on a daily basis through the smallest details. From cooking dinner, folding laundry, a routine “How was your day?” to a kiss and a hug. These recurring gestures are truly the act of love that makes your partner know that you are there for them.
So when it comes to Valentine’s Day, M and I never felt comfortable following the agenda to sit in a restaurant with other couples. How special is it if everyone is choosing from the same pre-fix menu? We still like to celebrate Cupid’s good gesture-we just prefer to dine on a different day.
I wish I could send these Vintage Rose Cupcakes to everyone who visits this blog and spends a moment to indulge on my passion for food. I created this cupcake for the POM Wonderful Cupcake Contest. If you like the recipe, I’d greatly appreciate it if you would vote here starting Feb 14th.
No matter if you celebrate on or after February 14, I wish you a very sweet Valentine’s Day filled with love-and desert.
Vintage Rose Cupcake
make 12 cupcakes
1/2 cup POM Concentrate
1/2 teaspoon gelatin (powdered)
1/2 cups granulated sugar (7 ounces)
Pinch of table salt
2 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/2 stick), cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen
1. Measure 1/2 tablespoon water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top. Heat remaining POM concentrate, sugar, and salt in medium non-reactive saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot but not boiling.
2. Whisk eggs and yolks in large non-reactive bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot pom-sugar mixture into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly with heatproof spatula, until mixture registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to leave trail when spatula is scraped along pan bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture until dissolved. Stir in frozen butter until incorporated.
3. Pour filling through fine-mesh strainer into non-reactive bowl. Cover surface directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until firm enough to spread, at least 4 hours.
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard-sized muffin pan with baking-cup liners, set aside.
2. Combine butter, chocolate, cocoa and espresso powder in medium heatproof bowl. Set bowl over saucepan containing barely simmering water; heat mixture until butter and chocolate are melted, smooth and combined. Set aside to cool until just warm to the touch.
3. Whisk flour, baking soda, and baking powder in small bowl to combine.
4. Whisk eggs in a medium bowl to combine; add sugar, vanilla, and salt and whisk until fully incorporated. Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined. Sift about one-third of flour mixture over chocolate mixture and whisk until combined; whisk in sour cream until combined, then sift remaining flour mixture over and whisk until batter is homogenous and thick.
5. Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups. Bake until skewer inserted into center of cupcakes comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
6. Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 15 minutes. Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack. Cool to room temperature before icing, about 30 minutes.
7. With a small knife, carefully carve a 1-inch-round by 1-inch-deep plug out of the bottoms of the cupcakes-you’re going to need the plug to refill the hole, so don’t chuck it out. Fill with pomegranate curd. Cut a small disk off the cake plug and place it back in cupcakes.
POM-ROSE MERINGUE ICING
2 large egg whites
3/4 cups sugar12 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon rose water
1 tablespoon POM concentrate
1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees).
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, rose water and POM concentrate until combined. Use rubber spatula, stir to get rid of air bubbles.
4. Fit piping bag with 2D tip and fill with icing. Start in the center and pipe icing in a circular spiral motion to create rose pattern. Alternatively use a small off-set spatula and spread icing onto cupcakes.