Monday, March 7, 2011

Maharani Cupcakes

I made this recipe for an Indian food night.  When I came across it, I thought it sounded iffy, but there weren't many options for Indian desserts, so I tried it out anyway.  It is delicious and somewhat addicting!  The flavors work surprisingly well together.

Sweet Curry Lemon Curd:

1 cup white sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons mild curry powder
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 lemons, zested
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Sweet Basil Cream:

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 bunch fresh basil, washed and dried

Coconut Cupcakes:

1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/4 cups water
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons coconut extract
6 cups confectioners' sugar, divided
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature
Decorations: 1 tablespoon silver or gold dragees decorating candy (optional)


To make the sweet basil cream, heat the whipping cream in a saucepan until hot; do not boil. Turn off the heat and add the basil to the cream and allow it to steep for 1 hour.  Refrigerate the cream for 3 hours or overnight.  Strain and discard the basil.

Meanwhile, make the sweet curry lemon curd. Use a large microwave-safe bowl: the curd will expand to twice its volume as it cooks.  Whisk together the white sugar, 2 eggs, and curry powder until smooth.  Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter.  Cook in the microwave, stirring at one-minute intervals, until the mixture is thick.  Pour the cooked curd through a sieve and refrigerate for at least three hours or until set.  The mixture will have the consistency of soft pudding.  Alternately, make this on the stove by combining the ingredients in a saucepan, and cooking over medium heat until it thickens (about 15 minutes). Strain and chill as directed.

Preheat an oven to 350.  Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners.
  Combine the white cake mix and coconut flakes in a mixing bowl. Stir in the water, three eggs, vegetable oil, and coconut extract.

Scoop the cake batter into the prepared pans, filling the cups 2/3 full. Bake in the preheated oven until the edges are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool completely.

In a chilled bowl, whip the cold basil-infused cream and 3 cups of confectioners' sugar until stiff peaks form.  Refrigerate.  Beat the cream cheese and remaining 3 cups of confectioners' sugar until smooth and soft.  Fold in the whipped cream and mix gently until fully combined.

To decorate the cupcakes, spread a tablespoon of the lemon curd on top of each cupcake, followed by a dollop of the basil cream. Sprinkle with dragees if using.

Tips - you can make this with regular white or yellow cake if you don't like coconut.
  If available, gold or brightly colored sprinkles or dragees make great decorations for these cupcakes.

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