Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mango-Vanilla Buttercream Meltdown

Mango-Vanilla Cupcake with Mango Curd filling, Vanilla Buttercream frosting and a Toasted Coconut & Macadamia Nut topper

What a tropical-sounding cupcake!  This cupcake was inspired by the ingredients available to me in Heidelberg.  Buttermilk of many different fruit flavors is readily available, see Cherry Layer Cake.  After spotting the Mango Buttermilk, I knew I had to explore this flavor profile.  Added bonus: mangos are plentiful right now.
Designing/thinking about this cupcake, I couldn’t decide on how to top such a delicate flavor.  A go-to choice is almost always some fresh fruit – unless it’s going to sweat or melt.  Repeat hot tip: Don’t slice most fruits (strawberries especially) when decorating cakes and cupcakes since the natural juices will trickle out over the delicate frosting.  When not topping a cake or cupcake with fruit, I love using a savory or textural component, e.g. nuts, cookies, etc.

Preparing to toast the coconut and chopped macadamia nuts.
Oh yeah!  Burnt to a crisp.
Whew!  This is much better.
All three cupcake toppings.
I asked my FB friends for their ideas on this cupcake.  I loved the suggestion for toasted coconut with chopped macadamia nuts as well as my never-fail Animal Cracker backup.  And something I hadn’t considered…cookie crumbles.  I tried all three.

After the cupcakes were cooled, I cored them with one of my favorite cupcake implements...

... and filled them with my amazing Mango Curd.  Truly, so easy to make.
Baking and filling the cupcakes was the easy part – starting in the morning was a no-brainer considering the heat wave we were experiencing.  What I failed (epically failed) to consider was the importance of the heat on the buttercream.

The outside temp was 37°C (98.6°F) and inside in the coolest place was 31°C (87.8°F).  I swear the kitchen was hotter than either of those!  And I made buttercream. That was a big mistake.  Vanilla-Mango Buttercream was yummy…and it became soup in no time.
These had been lovely tall swirls or well defined roses... prior to the Great Buttercream Meltdown of 2013.

I scraped all the frosting off.  Hoping the buttercream would recovery overnight, I popped it into the fridge.  That was so not happening.  As soon as I brought the container out of the fridge, it returned to some sort of viscous state…something oozy or maybe it was stretchy?

Fortunately, I had put the cupcakes already loaded with the Mango Curd in the frig overnight – they looked so appetizing and delicious.  If only I could get some cooperation from a lil bit of frosting.
I piped on this little swirl - it's the base of a towering swirl, but I didn't have enough buttercream to cover two dozen cupcakes with a lovely tall mountain of frosting.  I think it looks like a wild rose, maybe?
I quickly whipped up some Vanilla Buttercream, frosted the cupcakes, took a few pictures, and delivered them to friends and school mates – with strict instructions to “eat immediately or refrigerate!”

The finished product did not match my vision, but, I think the taste was very close to my goal.  I learned that ideas can be fluid and changing – much like life and recovery and parenting and relationships. 


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