Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pineapple Parsley Cupcakes

I never know where inspiration will come from before I create a new recipe. This cupcake evolved from several sources. First, I mentioned the possibility of pairing pineapple with green chiles and a close friend immediately put on a sour face. Next, I remembered the fabulous Pineapple Cilantro Sorbet offered this summer by Christopher Elbow Chocolates but decided I didn't want to copy his creativity outright. Finally, a bunch of parsley stared at me from the back of the refrigerator. I had chosen my flavor combo for the week.

I mixed up my batter, poured it into cupcake papers, and then popped the pans in the oven. But the adventure had just begun. I've often heard that baking is unforgiving compared to most other cooking - you've got to measure and get the right proportions to end up with good results.

Although I wouldn't exactly call these bad results the cupcakes clearly 'fell' while in the oven. My best guess is that there was a bit too much liquid in the batter, which caused the cupping effect.
But, after all, they are called cupcakes.

And the cupping effect is a great thing for icing lovers because you end up with an extra dose of the creamy stuff in each bite.

So I'm satisfied with the experiment. The cake was moist and light and the whole combo had just the right amount of pineapple and parsley. Give these a try and let me know what you think!
Pineapple Parsley Cupcakes
Makes 16-18 cupcakes
1 3/4 - 2 cups pineapple chunks, fresh or canned with juice reserved
1/2 cup oatmeal, ground
1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg and two egg whites
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
1/4 cup parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In food processor, chop pineapple fine; set aside. Grind oatmeal in processor and then add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, egg, oil, vanilla yogurt and parsley. Blend well, transfer to a bowl and stir in pineapple.
Fill cupcake papers 3/4s full and bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes in pan, and then remove while still in cupcake papers. Cool completely. Carefully remove from the papers. Spoon icing into 'cups' and then enjoy.
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons lowfat cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
3 cubes pineapple, minced fine
1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons minced parsley
Blend together butter, cream cheese, sugar and pineapple juice with a spoon. Stir in pineapple and parsley.