Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Thanks Monica - Tamarita Cupcakes

As I mentioned in another recent post (A Tamarita from Modern Spice), tamaritas have quickly become one of my favorite cocktails. They're so simple and refreshing! Cupcake lover that I am, I recently set out to create a version that pays homage to this delightful beverage. First I made one recipe of tamarita as a liquid for the batter. When the batter wasn't thin enough, I made another tamarita and added it.

What emerged from the oven was a dozen light and airy cupcakes with not nearly enough classic tamarita flavor. I would have to do something about that pronto.

(When my husband mentioned it looked like the 'naked' cupcakes were smiling I wondered if that was because I've finally returned to my summer cupcake pilgrimage, after my fall three weeks ago.)

My husband also noted that tequila offers little flavor and I suddenly had the answer to my flavor challenge. The next time I will add one traditional tamarita to the batter but then substitute more of the flavorful ingredients for tequila in the second recipe - i.e., one additional tablespoon, each, of the chutney, sour mix, and triple sec instead of the alcohol.

When competing against sugar in the icing, the tamarita flavor again fell flat, so I added more chutney to the mix.

The flavors in these cupcakes are far more subtle than those in the cocktail, but still quite good - a little sweet with a little heat. See what you think and let me know!

Tamarita Cupcakes
Makes one dozen

1/2 cup oatmeal, ground to flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/4 cup yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tablespoon tamarind-date chutney
1 recipe, tamarita (see below)
1 recipe, revised tamarita - substitute one additional tablespoon each of chutney, triple sec and sour mix in place of tequila

Tamarita recipe

1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) tequila such as Cuervo Gold
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) triple sec
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) store-bought tamarind-date chutney (see note)
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) sour mix
lemon wedge for garnish - for this recipe, squeeze into cocktail

Note: please do not use tamarind extract, tamarind paste or fresh tamarind juice in this recipe; it will not give you the right taste. The tamarind-date chutney has just the right mix of sugar and spice to really play up the taste of the tamarind.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grind oatmeal in food processor. Mix with all other dry ingredients. Add eggs, yogurt, canola oil, tamarita, revised tamarita, and chutney, combining thoroughly.

Fill cupcake papers 3/4s full and bake for 25 minutes until golden brown. Do not overbake. When completely cool, add icing:

2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
1/2 recipe revised tamarita
2-3 teaspoons tamarind-date chutney, to taste*
*VOE - Taste for spicy heat and decide how much you want after spreading some on one of your completed cupcakes.