M&M Cupcakes

History - This was two experiments in a single dessert. First, I wanted to see if I could make a cupcake with leftover M&Ms throughout the cake. Unfortunately, the candy all sank to the bottom. I don't think the batter for this particular cake is thick enough to support bits of candy. I suspect I'll need a very thick, muffin-like batter plus some flour dusting of the candies to make the suspended in the cake idea work.

Second, I wanted to try making a raspberry cream cheese frosting. Again, it needs some work. I was disappointed that the raspberry flavor wasn't stronger despite using a generous portion of concentrated raspberry puree. Also, the tanginess of the cream cheese tended to dominate the flavor. Maybe next time trying a frosting based upon a more neutral-flavored cheese like marscapone might work better.

Rating - okay

Ingredients - white velvet cake

Ingredients - raspberry cream cheese frosting

Instructions - cupcakes - Preheat oven to 350F. Line 12 regular size cupcake tins with paper liners. In a medium bowl lightly combine the egg whites, 2 tablespoons milk, and vanilla. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients and mix on low speed for 30 seconds to blend. Add the butter and remaining milk. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase to medium speed (high speed if using a hand mixer) and beat for 1 1/2 minutes to aerate and to develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides. Gradually add the egg mixture in 3 batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition to incorporate the ingredients and strengthen the structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Fold in the M&Ms. Scrape the batter into the prepared cupcake tins. Bake 14 to 16 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean and the cupcakes spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Let the cupcakes cool in the pans on racks for 5-10 minutes then remove to wire rack for complete cooling.

Instructions - frosting - Beat the butter at medium speed until creamy. Add cream cheese and beat until combined. Sift 1/2 cups of the powdered sugar into the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Add the remaining sugar and beat until smooth. Add the raspberry puree and beat until just mixed. Frost the cupcakes only when the cupcakes are completely cool. If not cool, place the frosting in the refrigerator until ready to use. Once the cupcakes are frosted, decorate the tops with M&Ms.

To make concentrated raspberry puree, place two 12 oz bags of frozen raspberries in a strainer suspended over a deep bowl and thaw completely. This will take several hours. Press the berries to force out all of the juice. There should be 1 cup. Reserve the berries. In a saucepan (or in a microwave on high power - use a 4 cup glass measuring cup), boil the juice until reduced to 1/4 cup. Pour it into a lightly oiled heatproof cup. Puree the reserved raspberries and sieve them with a food mill fitted with the fine disc. Or use a fine strainer to remove all seeds. You should have 1 cup liquid puree. Stir in the raspberry syrup and 2 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice. All of the extra puree can be frozen for later use.

Storage

Room temperature - poor
Refrigerator - good
Freezer - unknown

Keep these in the refrigerator. Add the M&Ms for the tops just before serving. If the M&Ms go in the fridge, the moisture tends to dissolve off the coloring. I put a couple in the freezer; thaw in the refrigerator before eating or the M&Ms in the cupcakes will be like tiny rocks when you bite into them.