in Love with a
Fluffy Sponge Cupcake
Kissed with Marshmallow Vanilla Frosting
How's that for a recipe title? I was inspired once again by the menu at Plus Minus Café in Mont Tremblant. I know most people's favorite cake flavor is chocolate, but I love vanilla. And this one contains passion fruit (my all-time favorite fruit), orange and vanilla.
I've been playing around with baking cakes in different fruits lately. This time, I thought it would be fun to bake the vanilla white cake inside an orange shell so that the shell would infuse the cake.
The frosting I used is a favorite of mine that is light, airy and can take on any flavors you throw into it, including cinnamon and nutmeg or passion fruit and orange.
This is my submission to Sugar High Fridays, a dessert-focused food-blogging event created by fellow Canadian and food blogger extrodinaire Jennifer from The Domestic Goddess. This month's event is hosted by the amazing and inspiring Fanny from Foodbeam.
This half recipe makes 1 dozen cupcakes.
For the Orange Shells
12 orange shells (I used clementines)
For the Cupcakes
3 egg whites (about 6 tablespoon)
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar (optional, but it will help stabilize the egg whites when beaten)
¾ cup flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks (about ¼ cup)
¾ cup sugar
2½ tablespoon cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon passion fruit, scooped (straining the seeds is optional)
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed orange juice
For the Frosting
1 cup sugar
½ cup water
4 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons passion fruit, scooped (straining the seeds is optional)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed orange juice
To prepare the orange shells: Slice off the top of the orange and use a grapefruit spoon to clean it out. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 250°F. Bake the shells for 1 hour, until they are dried out. Transfer the orange shells to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature.
To get ready for the cupcakes: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F.
To make the cupcakes: Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites and cream of tartar (if using) until soft peaks form.
In another bowl, working with a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat egg yolks until thick and lemon colored. Gradually, beat in sugar.
In a small bowl, mix the water, vanilla, passion fruit, and orange.
Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with water and flavorings, adding the dry ingredients in 2 additions and the water mixture in 1 (begin and end with the dry ingredients). Scrape down the sides of the bowl as required and mix only until the ingredients are absorbed into the batter. The batter will be thick.
Using a rubber spatula, fold the egg whites into the cupcake batter in 3 additions.
Using a piping bag, fill the cupcake shells (or orange shells) ¾ full.
To bake the cupcakes: Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden on top and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the cupcakes to a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature. When cool, the cupcakes can be wrapped and kept at room temperature overnight.
To make the frosting: Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Boil the mixture until it reaches 248˚F (120˚C) on a candy thermometer.
While the sugar is melting, working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form.
Reduce the mixer speed to medium. While beating the egg whites, carefully drizzle the hot syrup into the bowl, pouring it between the spinning beater(s) and the sides of the bowl. Increase the mixer’s speed to high and beat the egg whites until cool (but not too much or the mixture will separate). Frost the cupcakes and drizzle with reserved passion fruit.
These cupcakes have a delicate crumb, light and fruity taste, and are perfect for a shower or afternoon tea.
If you want to serve them in the orange shells, give your guests a spoon to eat it with because the orange shell gets hard and difficult to peel without using a pair of scissors. But, as they say "It is better to look good than to feel good."