Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rhubarb Cupcakes with Whipped Cream

One of the best parts of spring is the arrival of rhubarb in our garden! This year Bart made these delicious cupcakes for us to celebrate spring. The cupcakes are tender, delicious, and have just the right amount of spark from the rhubarb.

Rhubarb Cupcakes with Whipped Cream

1 ½ cups (6 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup (1 stick/4 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar—divided as 1 cup (7 ounces) + 1 cup (7 ounces)
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup (4 ounces) sour cream, room temperature
12 ounces rhubarb, stalks trimmed and cut into ¼-inch dice (3 cups—divided into 2 cups + 1 cup)
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
1 cup (8 ounces) water
Whipped Cream (unsweetened)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and 1 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla extract. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until combined after each. Stir in 2 cups diced rhubarb.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each ¾ full. Bake until cake test inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely.

To make rhubarb topping, use the tip of a paring knife to scrape vanilla-bean seeds into a saucepan. Add the water and remaining 1 cup sugar, and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1 cup rhubarb. Let cool completely. Remove rhubarb with a slotted spoon, and reserve. Return liquid to a simmer, and cook until reduced by half, 5 to 8 minutes. Let cool slightly, then return rhubarb to syrup. Once cool, rhubarb can be refrigerated in syrup for up to 1 week in an airtight container; bring to room temperature before using.

To finish, remove liner from cupcake, dollop a generous amount of whipped cream onto each cupcake, and top with rhubarb and some syrup. Serve immediately.

Makes 16 cupcakes.

Source: Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

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