Wednesday, May 16, 2012

My spidey senses are tingling

I'm sensing yet another cupcake challenge, courtesy of "Cupcake Champions" (more "Cupcake Wars" episodes featuring winners of past shows). I, of course, couldn't resist trying it myself.

The latest episode highlighted the Broadway show, "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark," with a visit from the webslinger himself, who famously crept around the required ingredients for the first round. As he is a superhero, it was no surprise that the contestants would have to bake their first cupcake using superfoods, but with a catch; they had to use all six of the ones presented to them, including pumpkin, oats, molasses, apricots, currants and kale.

Unfortunately, the resulting cupcakes were far from the best featured on the show; however, that didn't stop me from making an attempt, as well. Honestly, I think it was just too many ingredients competing with each other, which explains the less than attractive unbaked cupcake (it's not entirely raw, so "unbaked" seems to explain it better) I came up with in a pinch.

The "cake" is similar to the one I did for my guest post on Charissa's site, as in has oats and protein powder for that extra superhero punch. I also incorporated the pumpkin, molasses and currants into the base, leaving me with just apricots and kale for the top (I originally planned on including the kale in the "cake," as well, but then I could hear Florian saying how didn't want all the required ingredients crammed into just the cake).

As much as I love kale, it didn't seem to fit with my initial vision for this cupcake, but it did add some texture and color to my frosting, not to mention a fun, natural way to garnish my creation. I cut some holes in a piece of kale leaf to resemble some web and coated it in a black molasses "symbiote" (Spider-Man fans know that a black "symbiote" was responsible for the origin of Venom).

Personally, I think this cupcake is much prettier garnished simply with some fresh apricot slices. That's actually how I served it to myself in the end ... although I did eat the "web," too :-)

My "Cupcake Wars"
Spidey Superfood
Taste Challenge Cupcake
*Makes one Rawdorable cupcake, inspired by the "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark" superfood taste round on "Cupcake Champions" (must include pumpkin, oats, molasses, apricots, currants and kale)
  • 1/4 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1 Tbsp. Sunwarrior Rice Protein Powder in natural flavor
  • 1  1/2 Tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tbsp. date paste
  • 1 tsp. blackstrap molasses
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. organic raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • dash of sea salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. currants
  • *"Butterdream" or whipped canned coconut milk "cream" for frosting, mixed with a hint of vanilla, very finely chopped curly kale ends and folded in fresh apricot puree (I mixed about 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract and 1/2 Tbsp. of the kale into 1/4 cup of the frosting, and then folded in 1/2 Tbsp. of fresh apricot I had blended into a puree)
  • Either fresh apricot slices or a molasses-coated kale "web" (a piece of kale cut to resemble a web and coated in a blackstrap molasses "symbiote") for garnish
In a mini food processor or blender, grind the cashews, oats and protein powder into a flour-like consistency, and transfer the "flour" to a bowl.

Next, add the pumpkin puree, date paste, molasses, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, ginger, cinnamon 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).

Stir in the currants, and then form the batter into a cupcake shape, using a reusable silicone cupcake liner or small ramekin. Frost the cupcake with either "butterdream" or whipped canned coconut milk "cream" (allow a can of coconut milk to set unshaken in the fridge until chilled and the "cream" has separated to the top. Remove the "cream" and whip to a fluffy consistency) mixed with vanilla, very finely chopped curly kale ends (the curly ends of the kale are fluffier) and fresh apricot puree.

Garnish with either fresh apricot slices or a molasses-coated kale "web." Enjoy!


*Note: Next time I might put the kale in the "cake"
rather than the frosting. Let me know if you try it.