Monday, April 10, 2017

Fig Cupcakes With Goat Cheese Frosting


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    As I write up this post I'm elegantly finishing off stuffing my face with one of these cupcakes. Have you ever had an idea that is almost certainly a bad idea until you go with it anyway and then you realize it was actually a great idea? That was me and this jar of fig preserves from Trader Joe's. It was shouting to me to involve it in a cupcake situation. Figs in cupcakes? Really, Rache? And then I rounded the dairy aisle (looking for quail eggs, mind you) and found an 11 ounce log of chevre for $4.99. FOUR NINETY-NINE. If you've never paid attention to goat cheese prices you'll be disinterested to know that .50 per ounce is a practically unheard of price. So cheap I had to buy some. So I started thinking about how well figs get along with goat cheese and how goat cheese has a similar flavor to neufchatel or cream cheese and then it all sort of meshed into a "fig newton meets silky cream cheese frosting" project. So I came straight home and tried it out and holy wasp mummies, Batman, these are good. The fig preserves got mixed into the batter, dolloped into the cupcake tins, and shmeared on top. So when I say you taste the fig, I mean you taste the fig. I have this vendetta against dry cupcakes. I'm not sure whether it's the fig preserves actually occupying space in the batter that does this, but these cupcakes are so soft and moist - the only situation where this word is permitted - that even I am satisfied. I know goat cheese in frosting might seem a little out there, but it lends a sour edge to the frosting, cutting back on the dramatic sweetness of the figs. I don't like when people think of figs as purely an autumn thing. Fresh figs, of course. But I vote for preserved figs all the year round, especially in early spring when most fruits aren't in the game yet! Also, step outside your front door and forage some wild-flowers to top your cupcakes. Violets, red-bud, wild peas, wood sorrel, pansies, clover, honeysuckle, and dandelions are all edible! I promise you're not gonna die or anything if you take a second to google what you plucky before garnishing your gorgeous cupcakes! If you're looking for a fresh take on Easter dessert, this might be the boy for you. Read on!

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Fig Cupcakes With Goat Cheese Frosting
Makes 12-15 cupcakes

- for the cupcakes -

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, separated
2/3 cups whole milk
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small jar fig preserves, divided

- for the frosting -

1/2 cup salted butter, softened
8 ounces plain, chevre-style goat cheese
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 Tablespoon whole milk
3-4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

to make cupcakes:

1.) Beat softened butter with sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add in egg yolks and 3 Tablespoons of fig preserves.
2.) In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Alternating with the milk, add dry ingredients to butter mixture and beat well.
3.) In a small glass bowl whip egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold gently into the cake batter so as not to break down the egg whites.
4.) Line cupcake tin with paper liners and fill cups 2/3 of the way full. Dollop a dab of fig preserves into the center of each - the batter will rise and cover most of it.
5.) Bake at 350 degrees F. for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden brown.


to make frosting: 

1.) Whip butter and goat cheese together with vanilla bean until smooth and creamy. Add in milk, powdered sugar, and salt and beat until fluffy. If needed, add more powdered sugar, but don't over-do it. This is a soft frosting.
2.) Pipe onto cupcakes, then smear additional fig preserves on top. Garnish to suit your fancy.

7 comments:

  1. Ooh, those look good! I love the garnish too, so pretty. You are very creative with your food! ♥

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  2. Now, these look good! Are the fig preserves essentially like the filling of a fig newton? Because I would definitely go for that! I was poking around at the grocery store last night and found a jar of fig preserves, but they were a golden color and looked more liquid—are there different kinds?

    Also, what would you recommend as a similar alternative for goat cheese in the frosting, supposing one couldn't get goat cheese (or was too chicken to try it yet)?

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    1. It is REALLY similar to a Fig Newton, which is actually where I drew inspiration from. I would imagine there are different varieties of fig preserves but make sure what you get is mainly figs and not just fig-jelly, as the point is to actually have the fruit in there! But I know that figs do come in a variety of types. As far as the goat cheese goes, you may substitute cream cheese for the goat cheese, if chicken-ness prevails. ;) Either way, let me know what happens - if you like figs, you definitely want in on this project!

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  3. Aloha. First-time-commenter / devoted-appreciator-of-your-genius here. Just HAD to say: I tried these recently, and they were deeeeviiiine. =D <3 <3 <3

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    1. Cristina - Aloha back and welcome to the L&G family! It means so much to me that you not only took the time to make these cupcakes (and that they turned out for ya!) but that you also took the time to come back here and tell me. I'm so pleased to meet you and glad that you got to experience this fig deliciousness first-hand! :)

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    2. A pleasure meeting you too, Rachel! Three cheers for yummy figgyness!!!

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