Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Wild Blueberry Cupcakes

When I worked as a guide in Denali National Park I didn’t own a single pair of pants that didn’t have a blueberry stain on them somewhere. It probably didn’t help that two of my favorite activities were berry picking and the tundra nap. I always though it would be great to use the blueberries to make a dye for yarn and t-shirts. The color is just beautiful, I just never had enough willpower not to eat them all instead. These cupcakes made with blueberry puree allow you to enjoy the beautiful color of the squashed berries without sacrificing the eating part. You will have to tell people that they are all natural, the color is quite dramatic as is the intense blueberry flavor. These really are cupcakes, soft and smooth, not resembling a blueberry muffin at all (in a good way).  I was thrilled with the results and can’t wait to make them again.

Wild Blueberry Cupcakes
adapted from Trophy Cupcakes
Makes 16 cupcakes (original recipe says 12, but I got 16)

Ingredients
2 Cups + 2 tablespoons sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 ½ cups of Sugar
2 large eggs
¼ cup of whole milk
1/2 cup of blueberry puree (recipe at bottom)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, line cupcake pan with paper liners. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add one egg at a time, beating each until incorporated. Sift dry ingredients into a separate bowl. Mix milk with ½ cup of blueberry puree and vanilla. Add wet and dry ingredients alternately to butter, sugar mixture starting and ending with the dry ingredients in three additions until just incorporated. Do not overbeat batter. Fill cupcake liners ¾ full of batter. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until cake springs back to the touch. Cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely before frosting.

Blueberry Buttercream Frosting
1/2  lb. (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup blueberry puree (recipe follows)

Using a stand or electric mixer on low speed add powdered sugar one cup at a time to butter. After 3 cups add blueberry puree. Add final cup of sugar, once incorporated turn mixer to medium high and beat until smooth.

Blueberry Puree:
Bring one pound of blueberries (you can use wild (for the bright color), cultivated, fresh, or frozen) to a boil in a sauce pan . Reduce heat to low and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 45 minutes) and the mixture is thick.Stir to prevent the bottom from burning.
Cool the blueberries slightly and puree using an immersion blender or potato masher. Press mixture through a fine sieve. Should make a little over one cup.

7 comments:

  1. Wow, the color certainly is striking! They look delicious, and I'd love to sample one!

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  2. Totally jealous re: your access to wild berries!

    I think it's great how the same puree gives you two different yet insanely gorgeous colors depending on the application.

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  4. Nicole - I finally made your Maple Walnut Scones - they turned out delicious (thanks to your lessons) - yum yum yum!!! I thank you, my family thanks you and my hips not so much!!!

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  5. I'm making these at the moment. Is it okay to use a food processor on the blueberries, instead of an immersion blender?

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  6. Yes, I'm sure a food processor would work fine as long as you run it through a sieve.

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