There is no denying that "Cupcake Wars" is one of my favorite shows on television. I enjoy watching all the cupcake chaos televised on the Food Network, but especially love sampling the recipes and putting my Rawdorable spin on them. In case you've missed my "Cupcake Wars" related posts, here are some of the links:
- "Rainbows or Unicorns" (my Q&A with Stephanie Sparkles, winner of the first all-vegan episode of "Cupcake Wars")
- "~*~*~ Rainbows, Unicorns & Cupcakes ~*~*~" (My Rawdorable versions of Stephanie's winning cupcakes)
- "A Modern Twist" (The second part of the post lists my ideas for the Girl Scout episode of the show)
- "Prepping for cupcake battle" (icings and garnishes)
- " 'Rawified' Cupcake Wars bases" (constructing my versions of four winning "Cupcake Wars" cupcakes)
- "My biggest cupcake fan" (putting my spin on a Sticky Fingers Bakery cupcake)
On this past Sunday's episode of the show, one cupcake in particular caught my eye to recreate in my special way. It came from the round 1 taste challenge, where the contestants had to make a cupcake incorporating ingredients like cheddar cheese, jalapeno peppers, baked beans and other cowboy fare, as they called it.
While most of the contestants went with a corn cupcake base (one even added in some baked beans), the one I wanted to try most was Johnnie Sue Messler's cheesy pound cake topped with a ring of buttercream and a dollop of strawberry salsa. Since I've had some trouble finding info about the bakeries involved and the recipes (probably because the episode re-airs tonight and no one wants to spoil the surprise for anyone who has yet to watch it), here's what I came up with from memory:
*My Rawdorable version of Johnnie Sue Messler's strawberry salsa topped cheesy pound cake from this episode of "Cupcake Wars"
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/8 cup coconut flakes
- 1/8 cup almond pulp (leftover from making fresh almond milk) and/or almonds
- 1/2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp. date paste
- 1/4 tsp. raw organic apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- dash of sea salt
- *"Butterdream" mixed with Punk Rawk Labs Nutmilk Cheese in Plain (macadamia or cashew will do. I used about a 50:50 ratio. You could also use just the butterdream)
- *Strawberry Salsa (stir together 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries, 1 tsp. finely chopped jalapeno pepper, 1/2 tsp. finely chopped shallot or white onion, 1/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 tsp. date paste and a light squeeze of lime juice)
- *a piece of strawberry cut like a star, some fresh cilantro leaves, a thinly sliced jalapeno pepper ring and a long strip of lime rind for garnish
Next, add the date paste, apple cider vinegar, vanilla and sea salt. Whisk to combine (a whisk helps keep the "batter" fluffier). The batter should be moist, but not so damp that it requires "baking" in a dehydrator (although you could if you desire).
Form the batter into a cupcake shape, using a reusable silicone liner (this green one is shaped like a bullfrog, as Hayden thought that's what I meant when I said the cupcakes from this episode were to represent bull riding), small ramekin or tea cup (you can also form the batter into 2 or 3 mini cupcakes). Frost the cupcake(s) with a ring "Butterdream" icing mixed with nutmilk cheese (I piped mine on for a more professional look).
Put a dollop of strawberry salsa in the center of the frosting. Then, garnish with a fresh strawberry star, cilantro, jalapeno pepper ring and long piece of lime zest (I thought it represented the star logo with a lasso). Enjoy!
If you want to know the other cupcake flavors and who wins this episode, tune in to Food Network tonight for the replay :-)
Since publishing this blog post, I received a comment that really made me reconsider which "Cupcake Wars" episodes I decide to highlight on this site. I hate to admit it, but I got so wrapped up in the cupcakes that I didn't stop to think about what the true theme of the episode was this time.
It was about bull riding, something that I don't know much about, nor want to celebrate. I thought it was so cute when Hayden, who also lacks knowledge on the subject, said the episode was about a bull frog. From that point on, I seemed to be oblivious about the true meaning of the event. It's no excuse, though.
From now on, I'll only blog about the episodes where the event is cruelty-free. My apologies to anyone who may have been offended by this post, and thanks to Bitt for bringing it to my attention. Please check out this link that she included in her comment: http://www.sharkonline.org/rodeocrueltybullriding.mv