Cupcake Hero for June is Melon and is sweetly being hosted by April over at Abby Sweets. What a trooper to help out Laurie as a guest Hero host (and how fun is that?!). While I love melon as my favorite summer fruit, I originally thought...cupcakes. Really? Well, okay!
Funny, but a few weeks earlier, I had picked up this random jar of Watermelon Preserves at this fab Persian Market I'd happened into. What would I do with this I had wondered? Since I am the best type of impulse shopper, I put it in my basket and figured it'd be fun for something.
So when the Melon theme was chosen, I knew I'd use the preserve but wasn't quite sure how. For Cupcake Hero, I like getting really creative, and knew I wanted to use melon in both cake and frosting somehow.
I thought about it for a while, and have been so busy, it kept getting put off. Finally, I just thought, I need to do it. And while thinking about doing it, it all just came together.
I made my award-winning vanilla buttermilk cupcakes, filled them with chopped, crunchy, watermelon preserves...and then topped the soft cakes with a whipped cream frosting flavored with the puree of both honeydew and canteloupe melons. Watermelon, canteloupe and honeydew are my three favorite melons I eat all summer long. What better way to pay homage than with a Cupcake Hero.
The cakes with the preserve baked in were amazing. The preserve is interesting, I thought it would be a pureed thick jam-like substance, but it was really more like a syrup with thick chunks of preserved watermelon! So interesting. I chopped it quite fine, and mixed some into the batter and did a fill in the middle for the others. Both ways tasted just as good and did not change to seem the consistency of the cake.
The whipped cream frosting is one I always have trouble with...it mixed up nice and stiff but when adding the puree of the melons, it thinned out and never quite got nice again. So I just piped it in and let it settle and then topped with fun watermelon Jelly Bellies I'd found a few weeks ago.
Overall, the taste on these is amazing. If I was doing them again...I'd only add a tiny bit of puree to the whipped cream frosting or maybe do a buttercream whipped cream (half buttercream, with whipped cream added) to get a nicer piping consistency. But taste wise, win.
Triple Melon Cream Cupcakes
Makes 15 miniature cupcakes.
2/3c all purpose flour
2/3 tsp baking powder
1/16 tsp baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1 egg & 1 egg white, room temp
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/2c finely chopped watermelon preserve
Preheat oven to 350 and prep your muffin cups.
Cream the butter and sugar til insanely fluffy. Scrape bowl. Add one egg, beat til incorporated, scraping bowl down. Add egg white, beat til incorporated, scrape bowl. Add vanilla, whip til fluffy, remove bowl from mixer. Pre-sift flour, baking powder, soda, salt together. Hand fold in 1/3 of the dry mixture, then alternate with buttermilk, hand folding each time. Keep alternating, ending with dry. At this point, add your chopped watermelon preserve to the batter or put it into the middle of the cupcake. Bake at 350 for about 11-12 minutes.
Melon Cream Frosting
1/2c heavy cream
1/2c confectioners sugar
melon puree of your choice (I used honeydew and canteloupe)
Whip cream til thick. Add sugar, blend til mixed. Add puree. The mixture will thin...mine thinned too much for my taste, next time I might do a buttercream whipped cream mix instead.
Melon Whipped Buttercream
1/2 stick room temperature unsalted butter
1/4c heavy cream
1-2c confectioners sugar or to consistency you desire
Mix butter and sugar together until thick. Add heavy cream and beat until mixed. Mix in purees. Add sugar as desired for thicker consistency.