Friday, April 1, 2011

Fake-Out Cupcakes

For April Fool's Day, I made these herb bacon savory muffins and topped them with whipped cream cheese.  To create the effect of a chocolate cupcake, I colored the batter with a liberal amount of brown food coloring and tinted the cream cheese to create a two-tone pastel effect.  To prevent green flakes which might show through even the brown coloring, I infused the milk with the herbs and strained them out before preparing the batter.

Next time I will allow the cream cheese to come to room temperature before frosting because it was very hard to get the cold cream cheese to come out of the pastry bag smoothly, resulting in gaps and unevenness.  For color effect on the frosting use a pastry bag equipped with a star trip.  When filling the bag, put yellow cream cheese toward side and pink cream cheese toward the other.  Then when the pastry bag is squeezed, you'll get a swirled efffect.

Fake-Out Cupcakes (makes 12-15)

2 cups all purpose flour1/2 teas dried rosemary
1 Tbsp baking powder1/2 teas dried thyme
1/2 teas salt1 egg
1 teas sugar1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teas onion powder1 cup milk
1/2 teas garlic powder1/4 cup bacon bits
8oz whipped cream cheese

Optional Step:  Combine 1 cup milk with 1/2 teas rosemary and 1/2 teas thyme.  Cover and place in refrigerator several hours before you are ready to make the batter.  Then you can strain out the herbage, allowing you to have their flavor without seeing the pesky green herbs which can still show through the "chocolate cake."

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a dozen muffin tins with cupcake paper.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, onion powder, and garlic powder.  Make a well in the center.

If you have added herbs to the milk, strain the herbs at this time.  Otherwise, add the herbs now.  In a small container combine egg, oil, and milk.  Add a liberal amount of brown food coloring to the liquids.  I added about 2 teas. of gel.  You may need more or less.  Stir the liquids and coloring.  Adjust the coloring until it is a few shades darker than the desired "chocolate" color.

Pour the liquids into the center of the flour mixture and beat until combined.  Stir in the bacon bits.

Fill muffin tins to about half full and bake for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center comes out clean.

Cool completely and frost with whipped cream cheese.

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