I'm gonna do this post in english. Simply because this is my entry for the annual Ice Cream Cupcake Contest, and I do not trust Google Translate. (For those interested, I do have a translate button on the right, under the pictures and the blog list. It does do its job some of the time, I'm actually quite impressed how well it translates some things, but there's always a few things that gets completely lost in translation. Some things just irritates me, for instance it keeps translating dl into cups. Other things are quite hilarious, lol-worthy even. But enough about that.)
The Ice Cream Cupcake Contest is hosted by Cupcake Project and Scoopalicious, and when I saw that international entries were allowed (both blogs are american) I was in! Basically you have to make a cupcake that has ice cream in it in some way, blog about it and keep your fingers crossed you might take home the grand price of a $250 gift certificate!
Immediately, my first thought was to make a baked alaska cupcake. In Sweden baked alaska is known as glace au four. It's a dessert made of a ice cream on top of a sponge cake, topped with meringue. The meringue stops the ice cream from melting, when it bakes in a very hot oven for just a few minutes.
Sounds like something you just have to make into a cupcake, right? What I ended up with was a cashew cupcake with a blackberry purée swirl, dark chocolate ice cream with cashew praline and meringue topped with more blackberry purée.
Now tell me that doesn't sound delicious? That slightly tart blackberry purée with the sweet meringue, together with the intense flavour of the dark chocolate ice cream and crunchy sweet and salty praline. Mm-hm.
The recipe makes more ice cream than you need for the cupcakes, but that's not a problem, right? You could make the cupcakes with store bought ice cream too, but I do urge you to make this ice cream for another occasion, because it really is good. You could also use a store bought jam instead of the blackberry purée.
The recipe is reeeaally long, so let's just get to it, shall we? You can choose whether you wanna start making the cupcake or the ice cream, but I'm gonna start with the cupcake recipe. It just makes more sense that way.
Makes about 16
Cashew cupcakes with Blackberry swirl
5 tbsp of unsalted butter
1/3 cup chopped cashews
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cardamom
1 cup all-purpose flour
A pinch of salt
½ cup + 3 tbsp whole milk
1 3/4 cups blackberries
2 tbsp water
3 tbsp granulated sugar
Start with the blackberry purée for your swirl. Mix blackberries, water and sugar in a pan. Put on medium heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Use a strainer to get the seeds out, and you should end up with a nice purée. Let cool.
Start preheating your oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter for the cupcakes in a pan. Add the milk and set aside.
Put the cashews in a mixer (or chop by hand). You want it to almost get to a fine powder, but leave a few chunky bits as well.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and the sugar until fluffy. Sift in the flour, baking powder and cardamom and mix carefully. Add the milk and butter and the salt and combine until you have a smooth batter. Finally, add the cashews.
Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin. Fill them until about half full. (Make sure you get the cashew pieces, they tend to wanna stay at the bottom of the bowl.) Add a bit of the blackberry purée (maybe ½-1 tsp) and use for example the handle of a spoon to make a swirl pattern (if possible, sometimes the purée just wanna drop to the bottom and stay there, but don't worry if it does). Add more cupcake batter, you want the cups to be about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 17-20 minutes. Let cool completely.
Dark Chocolate Ice cream with Cashew Praline
½ cup + 3 tbsp powdered sugar
3½ tbsp double cream
1½ tbsp unsalted butter
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
3½ oz cashews
4½ oz 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
3 egg yolks
½ cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp double cream
A pinch of salt
½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Start with the praline. Chop the cashews, quite finely (but not as fine as the cashews in the cupcakes). Mix sugar and cream in a pan. Cook on a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.
Take the pan off the heat and add the butter, but do not combine immediately. Wait for one minute and then stir in the butter.
Add the vanilla extract, salt and the chopped cashews. Make sure you mix it all together well.
Spread the mixture on a baking paper. Let cool slightly, and then put in fridge to set for at least 30 minutes.
Then on to the ice cream. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler. Stir in the milk, a little bit at a time. Don't freak out if it looks like a mess at first, just keep stirring, don't take it off the heat. It should combine nicely after a while and leave you with a nice and shiny chocolate milk.
In a bowl, whisk sugar and egg yolks until creamy. Add cream, salt and vanilla extract and finally the chocolate milk.
If you have a ice cream maker, use it to freeze your ice cream according to the manufacturer’s directions. When it's almost done, fold in the broken up praline. Put the ice cream in the freezer while you prepare the cupcakes.
(You can make the ice cream without an ice cream maker, but it takes about 4 hours in the freezer. Just make sure you stir it a few times, and that you add the praline before it freezes completely.)
Take a small knife to cut out a piece in the middle of your cupcakes. Try not to go all the way to the bottom, but make it wide enough to get some ice cream in there. (You can save the cut-out pieces and make cake pops, if you wish, or just throw them away. Or eat them as you go. Hey, why not?)
Fill the holes with the ice cream, and put a little extra on as well, so that you have a little ball of ice cream in the middle of your cupcake. Just make sure it's nice and centered, we don't want any ice cream out on the sides of the cupcake. The meringue has to completely cover that ice cream when it goes in the oven.
Put the cupcakes in the freezer. The ice cream should be completely rock hard frozen (well, almost) before you put the meringue on, otherwise it'll melt too quickly after it's been in the oven.
Speaking of which..
6 egg whites
½ cup + 3 tbsp granulated sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 525 degrees F.
Separate the egg whites from the yolks and put them in a bowl. Make sure you don't get any yolk in there. Also make sure the bowl is completely clean and dry.
Beat the whites, the lemon juice and 1/3 of the sugar until almost stiff. Then add the rest of the sugar and keep beating (preferably not by hand). When the meringue is done, it should be thick and glossy. You should be able to turn the bowl upside down without it falling out.
Put the meringue in a pastry bag. Take your cupcakes out of the freezer. Pipe around and on top of the ice cream, covering it completely.
Place the cupcakes on a baking sheet and place it in the oven for about 7-8 minutes, keeping the oven door open. The time may vary, and I suggest you keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn. You might wanna poke them a bit too, and turn them, to see if they brown evenly.
(You could use a kitchen blowtorch for this step, although I haven't tried it myself.)
Drizzle some blackberry purée on the top of the cupcake (if the purée is too thick, just add a little water) and serve immediately. Enjoy!
Phew. That was one long recipe..! I'll put the translated measurements up another day, for you Swedish peeps. I also have a step-by-step on the ice cream that I'm gonna put up. If you've never made praline before, I thought it would be nice with some pictures to show you how to make it.