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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Celebration Cupcakes for Bake-Along #44

Since this week is Narayan's birthday and we decided to celebrate his birthday today, I thought I should bake something he likes (obviously, duh!) and something that we all will love to eat. He likes many stuff like tofu, black sesame, etc. I stumbled upon this recipe from The Little Epicurean who adapted it from Delicious Coma. I was thinking, black sesame and matcha - interesting combination that I've never tasted before. However, after much googling, many people gave this combi thumbs up so I figured it would be a worthwhile bake.

Recently, I have been reading up on some baking science written by Rose who wrote about the 'reverse creaming' method for cake baking. Rose Levy Beranbaum literally shook the baking world in 1988 with her baby 'The Cake Bible' where new techniques for mixing and baking cakes were revealed by her as a result of her scientific research. If you are one who bakes, you would probably be very familiar with the idea of the 'creaming' method who means to cream your butter and sugar at the first step before you proceed with the rest. 

However, Rose came up with the method of mixing ingredients in a different order for better results - namely, to mix all the dry ingredients together first and then add the butter (fat) to the dry ingredients where the fat coats all the flour/dry ingredients. Thereafter, a minimum amount of liquid is added to the mixture, which coats the flour before adding the remaining liquid ingredients. 

To many bakers, they call this the 'reverse creaming' method. According to Rose, this method she chose is faster, easier and prevents overbeating of the batter that makes your cakes/cupcakes texture tougher. 

Incidentally, while I was doing my research, I came across Zoe's post on this and was convinced to try it. This is the challenge I'm posing to myself for this bake :) I love challenges, don't you?

I know I have written before that I wouldn't post recipes here due to copyright issues. However, I'm going to do so as I have taken the recipe from The Little Epicurean but used the 'reverse creaming' method. 





Black Sesame Cupcakes with Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting
makes 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

113g unsalted butter, room temperature
170g sugar
30g black sesame seed powder/flour
1 extra large egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla paste
1/4 tsp. salt
155g all purpose flour
162g milk


Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 160 degree celsius. 
  2. Put flour, black sesame powder, sugar, salt and butter with a paddle attachment and beat slowly until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined.
  3. Gradually pour in 1/2 of the milk and beat until milk is just incorporated.
  4. Whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated. Remember to scrape the sides of the bowl so to ensure full incorporation of all ingredients.
  5. If you see bits of flour, don't use your mixer anymore to prevent overmixing. Just use your spatula to fold in remaining bits of flour.
  6. Spoon batter into cupcake cases till 2/3 full and bake for about 20-22 minutes. Let cool.
  7. Begin preparing frosting. Once cupcakes are cool, use an apple corer/melon baller/fat end of piping tip to create a shallow cavity on top of cupcake.
Could you spot the tiny black speckles from the black sesame powder? :)

Matcha Cream Cheese Frosting:

113g unsalted butter, room temp
170g confectioner’s sugar, or more if you want stiffer frosting
226g cream cheese, cut into small pieces
1 Tbsp. matcha green tea powder, or more to taste


Method:
  1. Cream butter with paddle. 
  2. Add confectioner’s sugar and beat until combined. 
  3. Slowly add cream cheese. Mix until combined. 
  4. Add matcha powder and beat until fully incorporated.

For the frosting, use your cupcake corer to remove the middle portion of the cupcake.



prepare a piping bag with a medium star tip. 
Place frosting in prepared bag and fill the cavity until it reaches the top of the cupcake. 
Pipe a large rosette to cover the hole. 



Sprinkle the top with black sesame seeds.



Store cupcakes in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.

My verdict: The cupcakes turn out moist in texture, in fact, very soft and moist. Together with the matcha cream cheese frosting, I must say that this interesting combination of cupcake and frosting is definitely a keeper! Do not shun this recipe because of its trio combination - black sesame, matcha and cream cheese. It is a winner for me! And I must say, Rose's 'reverse creaming' method did it for me! I'm going to try this method whenever I bake.
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