Well, Easter has come and gone. It has been quite some time since my last post. I don’t know what in the world I’ve been doing! Currently I seem to be glued to the telly. It’s World Cup time and although neither my husband nor myself are usually big sports fans, we suffer a change of personality every four years when the Cup gets underway. Luckily, we can watch all of the matches from the comfort of our air conditioned living room (who am I kidding…air conditioned local pub :) ). And thank God for air conditioning because that swampy Virginia summer weather has settled in quite comfortably around here and thus entrenched seems unlikely to be dislodged for quite some time. Yeah, we had been enjoying a lovely Spring, but recently the temperature has been hovering right around 90° F ( 32° C) with around 80% humidity or so. Anyone who has spent one damp and soggy minute hanging around here in the summer will tell you “it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity”. Never truer words were spoken. Humidity, we’ve got tons of it! Needless to say, it is most definitely margarita weather, either frozen or on the rocks. Anything to bring your core temperature down. I think it was my craving for that delicious sweet, salty and blessedly icy drink that inspired me to make these Margarita Mini Cupcakes. They have all of the great flavours so reminiscent of that wonderful cocktail such as tequila, fresh limes and you will even find that the fluffy swiss meringue frosting is sprinkled with just a touch of salt. That’s right they’re sweet and salty, tart and boozy. Could they get any better?
Well perhaps only in that they are bite sized, easy to pop right into your mouth without exerting a lot of effort…which should be avoided at all cost in heat advisory conditions like we’ve been experiencing. They would be a very welcome addition to any cookout, picnic or potluck. And definitely keep them in mind for the next time Cinco de Mayo rolls around. I think we’re going to be in for a long and steamy summer, and it is only just beginning! Guess I’ll just have to take comfort in the little things…( well the little things and some nice ice-cold, boozy and refreshing drinks…)
Margarita Mini Cupcakes
Source: Tide & Thyme
For the Cupcakes:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 3 limes, zested and juiced
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup tequila
For the Tequila Lime Buttercream:
- 2 cups sugar
- 8 egg whites
- 3 sticks butter, room temperature
- 2 1/2 Tablespoons lime juice
- 2 Tablespoons Tequila
- lime zest and wedges, for topping
- fleur-de-sel, for garnish
Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare mini muffin tins with paper liners or baking spray.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together and set aside. Cream butter and sugar on a high until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly before adding the next one. Add lime zest and lime juice. Add vanilla.
Turn mixer to low. Add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18 – 20 minutes (25 minutes for the full-sized cakes) or until a skewer shows only moist crumbs attached, rotating the pans at the halfway point.
Allow cupcakes to cool 5 minutes in the pans before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. While the cupcakes are still warm, brush the tops with tequila or tequila/orange mixture if desired.
To make the frosting, place the stand mixer bowl over a simmering pot of water (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water). Whisk the sugar and egg whites until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture registers 160°F with a candy thermometer.
Place bowl on the stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high-speed until the mixture is cool and holds stiff, glossy peaks (approximately 10 minutes).
Change to the paddle attachment and beat in one tablespoon of butter at a time on medium. The mixture might appear curdled but keep beating, it will pull back together.
Add lime juice and 1 Tablespoon tequila. Increase speed to high and beat until the frosting reincorporates and is smooth and fluffy. Beat in remaining tablespoon (or “spoons” – no judgement :) ) of tequila, if desired.
Frost the cooled cupcakes with the buttercream. Garnish with lime zest, lime slices, and fleur-de-sel.
Margarita Mini Cupcakes brought to you by: Runcible Eats (http://www.leaandjay.com )