Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kick Off to Summer Baking

Being as I only got home from Australia last week and hadn't seen my parents or friends in a while, I hopped on the bus to Toms River at the end of a very long, jet-lagged week at work last Friday. Aside from the 2 dozen I had made Thursday night, I hadn't baked since before Australia and knew I needed to get my baking (and the blog) back on track. Although the weather has been uncooperative, it is essentially summer, and this means two things: heavy shore traffic and fresh summer fruits.

Vanilla bean cupcakes with peach frosting

Wanting to use the latter in cupcake form, I stole the mango that was ripening on our windowsill and made a mango lime curd from it. Having never made curd before, I had no clue what it was supposed to look or taste like. I just kept cooking it hoping I wouldn't burn it or take it off while the eggs were still raw. I'm pretty sure I got it right and being as there were no reported cases of salmonella poisoning, I think it was okay. I baked 3 dozen vanilla bean cupcakes to use as a base. My mom & I then headed off to Stop & Shop to find some peaches and other baking ingredients I had run out of (no surprises there).

Vanilla bean cupcakes filled with mango curd

I pureed the peaches and cooked them stove top to attempt to reduce the water so that my peach frosting would not be watery. No such luck there. It's a pretty tricky balance between adding too many peaches and having too thin icing and adding not enough and not being able to taste them. Half the cupcakes I frosted with the peach frosting and the other half I filled with the curd and topped with vanilla bean buttercream. I had some left over fondant flowers that I decorated the mango cupcakes with.

Inside of the cupcake with curd

I'm not sure how crazy I was about these. I think I just don't like mango, despite trying to force myself to like it by incorporating it into every type of dessert I can think of (sorbet, mousse cake, cupcakes). The next time I make the peach frosting, I think I'll pair it with a peach cake in order to maximize the peach flavor. My mom also suggested using peaches baby food instead of pureeing my own peaches, but this idea sort of grossed me out. I know baby food is just pureed grown-up food, but it still seems weird. I might have to try it and let everyone know how it goes though.

Cupcakes for the Morgan's fam - Mrs. R is making me a cupcake stand!


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