It's as if Fall snuck in overnight without making a sound. All the offerings at the farm stand have changed and I myself am more than delighted to welcome all the new produce. The apples were orderly lined up in bins, pumpkins ready to take home; I just love this time of year.
I've seemed a little down; with good reason I assure you. On top of a medical emergency in my own house, my best friend was diagnosed with that ugly word, so ugly; I don't even want to write it. I felt helpless, but I'm finding ways to be of use. I know food will be an important part of that. Bringing food and a smile to someone who isn't well is always a boost.
When she wins her fight, and I have complete faith she will; I think a trip for the two of us is long overdue. I could see us stopping in France first. We could easily rock berets, and I could balance at least 6 baguettes underneath my arm and I think Fall would be the perfect time of year.
Until we step off that plane, I figured why not bring a little of France to us. When I saw Patty's Apple Spelt Pound Cake, I knew I was going to make it. Somehow though, the tour bus got side tracked and I ended up making these cupcakes.
I just felt like getting off the congested roads and taking a little detour. I knew the cake would be good and lighter than a traditional pound cake, due to the fact it had beaten egg whites in it.
Brandy Apple Cupcakes with Blue Cheese Buttercream
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 cup peeled, cored and chopped baking apples (I used Jonathans)
¼ cup brandy
¾ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs, separated
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ tsp. sea salt
Combine sugar, brandy and apples in a bowl and set aside.
Add egg whites to the bowl of a mixer and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In another bowl combine butter, egg yolks, flour, cinnamon, vanilla and salt, stir to combine. Add apple mixture and stir till combined.
Fold egg whites into the batter and scoop batter into 12 paper lined muffin cups.
Bake in 350 degree F oven for 16-18 minutes.
Blue Cheese Buttercream
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
2-3 tbsp. milk
Beat the butter on high speed for 2-3 minutes until it softens and lightens in color. Slowly add in powdered sugar and beat until combined. Add salt and blue cheese and slowly add in milk until the frosting is spreading consistency. I will add more if it seems too thick. The blue cheese really does pop in the icing and cuts through some of the sweetness.
You can either spread the frosting on or use a star tip and piping bag like I did.
Makes 12 cupcakes.
I also had a little bit of fun with some melted dark & white chocolate. I bought an Eiffel Tower mold the last time I was at my favorite cake store; Spun Sugar in Berkeley, CA. Somehow I never leave empty handed? For the gilded look, I combined a little bit of gold luster dust with a little vodka and brushed it on.
You must go see Patty's icing job she did on the Pound Cake, her frilly baking panties are really showing on that one.
You'll have to let me know where you are headed next, so I can tag along on the bus.