Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The "New Directions"

I have to admit that I am a total "gleek" when it comes to cupcakes, as well as the hit show "Glee," which was the theme for the latest episode of "Cupcake Champions." As promised, I took on another taste challenge, although in a "new direction."

For those of you not "gleeking out" over the musical sensation, let me explain; the "New Directions" is the name of the glee club on the show. It also is the perfect title for this post, since I took my Rawdorable cupcake-making in a "new direction." Instead of taking on the challenge in my usual cup-"cake" form, I opted to only maintain the classic cupcake shape.

To start, I found a way to "rawify" one of the inspirations from the taste challenge, serving them up in a cupcake-liner-lined (say that 10 times fast) ramekin with raw ketchup piped "icing" decor. On "Cupcake Champions," competitors had to make a cupcake inspired by traditional school lunchroom fare, such as sloppy joe's, tacos, mac n cheese and, of course, tater tots. None of them selected the tots, but I sure did (when I was in school, it was all about the tots; the same is true in "Napoleon Dynamite," but that's another story).

As always, I have to admit that this household is not entirely raw (my kids and I have all had our share of real tater tots), but it is fun to experiment from time to time. Therefore, I opted to make cauliflower tots by cutting cauliflower florets into "tot-like" shapes, marinating them in a combination of coconut oil, olive oil and sea salt (it gave the mixture time to soak in through the spaces in the florets), coating them in a thin dusting of almond meal (leftover almond pulp from making almond milk; ground flax would work well, too) and "cooking" them in the dehydrator for a couple hours or so.

It's crazy how much they look like tater tots when they are done. To serve, I piled them up in ramekin (lined with two cupcake liners for color), with some raw ketchup (I like the one from Ani Phyo's book, "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen"). Then, in the spirit of "Glee," I piped on the title of the show.

And to really get in the spirit, I decided to make a slushie-inspired cupcake, as well (the contestants on "Cupcake Champions" had to do this, too), but more like a slushie than a cupcake. I blended together frozen cherries and strawberries, along with some lime, in my old school food processor to make a cherry berry lime slushie on the fly. I mounded the slushie mixture inside and on top of a hallowed out lime to resemble a cupcake.

For the "cherry on top," I actually added a cherry, modified to look like a music note, and a strawberry heart. Then, I stuck a tiny straw in it, so you'd really know it was a slushie.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my new direction. Any other "gleeks" out there? (I'm going to miss watching the show this summer, but my hubby won't.)

Oh, and if you aren't a fan of "Glee," what is your favorite slushie flavor? Do you make your own? How do you like to serve it?