Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Chiffon Cupcakes w/ Mango Curd filling & Mango Buttercream

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Mango season is here in full swing. I love going to the fruit store and then being led by my nose to the mango section where there are just so many varieties to choose from. Just yesterday, I came home with mangoes of four varieties. Each one has a unique flavor and mouth feel, but they're all packed with an unbeatable mango flavor!
My kind neighbor also gave me a bagful of sweet mangoes from her tree. Unfortunately, they were all ripe at the same time and they were just too many to eat. I first made the mango curd recipe to use up the mango pulp I extracted from these mangoes. Then, I thought I would attempt to showcase the amazing mango flavor in cupcake form. 

I didn't do the best job with the piping because I was in a big hurry to get it done so I could photograph and serve them. 
Vanilla Chiffon Cupcakes with Mango Curd filling and Mango Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Mango curd
250g Mango purée 
3 tbsp (45g) unsalted butter
1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp corn starch 
2 egg yolks 
Juice of 1 1/2 - 2 limes, to taste 
A pinch of salt 

1. Combine the mango purée, butter, lime juice and sugar in a saucepan. On low heat, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved completely. Taste, and add a wee bit more lime juice or sugar to taste. 
2. In a medium bowl, mix the egg yolks and  corn starch together until smooth and lump-free. 
3. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot mango purée in small quantities to the egg yolk mixture while stirring the egg mixture constantly. 
4. Add this mixture back into the saucepan and continue cooking, stirring continuously until the mixture is smooth, thick and coats the back of a spoon. 
5. Set aside to cool. 

Refrigerate if not using immediately. 

Mango Swiss Meringue buttercream 
1/4 cup egg whites 
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
A pinch of cream of tartar 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, chopped
A pinch of salt 
3-4 tbsp of mango curd 

1. Create a Bain Marie by placing a saucepan with some water on a stovetop and setting a heatproof bowl into the mouth of the saucepan. The base of the bowl must be big enough to fit into the saucepan but not so small that there is contact between the bottom of the bowl and the water. There must be a gap between the water and the base of the bowl on top. 
2. Into the bowl, add the egg whites, cream of tartar and the granulated sugar. Turn the stove on and allow the water below to heat the bowl while you whisk the mixture continuously. Maintain a low temperature. You don't want to cook the egg whites. If you have a sugar thermometer, you want to get the mixture up to about 145-160F. If you don't have a thermometer, the mixture should feel very warm to the touch, and the sugar should have completely dissolved. 
3. Take the bowl off the heat and using a stand mixer or a handheld electric mixer, beat the egg white mixture until the mixture forms soft peaks. Add in the pinh of salt and beat for another minute. 
4. Check that the butter is soft but not oily or gloopy. You would rather have it ever so slightly chilled than too soft. With the mixer running, start adding the chopped butter. Keep beating until the mixture resembles a fluffy, stiff butter cream. It may not resemble it for a while, but keep beating until you get to that point. Believe me - you will get there. 
5. Add the mango curd, one tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Stop adding when you're satisfied with the mango flavor. 

This frosting holds it's shape really well and is great for piping. If storing in the fridge, keep outside for about 15 minutes before you're ready to use it, and whisk the frosting briefly, using the mixer, until you get the original fluffy texture. 

This recipe makes just enough for 12 cupcakes. 

Vanilla Chiffon Cupcakes 
Makes 12 regular cupcakes
1 cup cake flour 
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla 
2 large egg yolks 
4 large egg whites 
1/2 cup castor sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar 

1. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. 
2. In a medium bowl, combine the milk, oil, vanilla and egg yolks. Whisk for a few minutes until well combined. 
3. Add the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir for 1-2 minutes until combined. 
4. In a clear, dry, grease-free bowl, whisk the egg whites along with the cream of tartar until it forms soft peaks. 
5. While continuing to beat, start adding the castor sugar to the egg whites. Keep adding slowly until all the sugar is incorporated and egg whites hold firm peaks. 
6. Fold the egg whites gently into the flour mixture in 2-3 parts. 
7. Spoon into a lined cupcake tray, filling each cupcake liner 3/4 full. 
8. Bake in an oven preheated to 180C/350F for about 18-20 minutes. The tops will turn golden brown. 
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before filling/frosting.
To assemble the cupcakes:
1. Using a cupcake corer or a small teaspoon, make a 3/4 inch wide hole in the center of each cupcake going in about 1/2 the way down the cupcake. 
2. Fill this hole completely with the cool mango curd. 
3. Using a piping bag fitting with a nozzle of your choice, frost using the mango Swiss meringue butter cream.
4. Refrigerate if keeping it for more than one day. Remove from the refrigerator and allow to come back to room temperature before serving. 
Warning: All the elements of this recipe use a fair amount of eggs. So the final cupcake has a faint eggy smell. It isn't too strong and it didn't really bother us, but if you're not happy with that, it can be masked with more vanilla in the cupcakes and maybe a splash in the frosting too. 
These cupcakes were soft, moist, not too sweet, but flavorful. The mango curd filling was slightly tart and ever so mangoey. The frosting was luscious and melt-in-the-mouth with a lovely hint of mango. Together, they tasted of a warm Indian summer. Bliss!

I am sorry I am unable to credit the cupcake recipe. The frosting and filling recipes were made up by me, but I forgot to bookmark the cupcake recipe and now I can't link to them!
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