Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Kaylee's Cupcake: Matcha Cake with Strawberry Preserves and Strawberry Swiss Buttercream

If you didn't guess from our DnD inspired cake, Mr. C and I are both pretty big nerds. For instance, Mr. C could tell you the individual background history of about 90% of all the characters in Star Wars. Yes, even Kit Fisto. He is also reading the Silmarillion. Again. For fun. I'm more of a comic book nerd. I can explain to you, in great detail, the timeline of all the Robins. This includes how they donned the cape, how much they hated Batman, and how much of a d-bag Jason Todd was. I have also watched the entirety of Star Trek: The Next Generation enough to name every episode in which Wesley Crusher is there just to be annoying (there's a lot of them).

Being big ol' Nerds (with a capital N), Mr. C and I both jumped at the chance to make cupcakes for an after-party for Firefly convention last month. If you haven't happened to come across this series, think "Sci-Fi" meets "Spaghetti Western". And then add Nathan Fillion. A great series deserved a great cupcake to represent it. This is what we came up with:

Kaylee's Cupcake (6)

And this was our inspiration:

Kaylee is the quirky little mechanic aboard Serenity who loves engines, sweet foods, and pretty things. Her cupcake represents her personality perfectly: we started with a matcha cake - a must for a story which takes place in a Chinese-inspired world. We then filled it with strawberry preserves and topped it with a light strawberry swiss buttercream - an reference to the memorable scene where Kaylee first tastes the almost-extinct red berry. Even the lop-sided icing represented Kaylee's efforts to act like a lady (something she never quite is able to pull off). The whole thing together was, dare I say it, pretty shiny.

Kaylee's Cupcake (2)

Kaylee's Cupcake

Matcha Cake with Strawberry Preserves and Strawberry Swiss Buttercream
adapted from The Sweetest Kitchen

Makes 12 cupcakes

1 cup cake flour, not self-rising
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh matcha powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup skim yogurt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Strawberry preserves

1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and matcha powder. Whisk to combine. Using your hands, add in the butter and incorporate until the butter is crumb sized and mixed throughout the flour.

2) In a large cup, whisk together eggs, milk, yogurt and vanilla. Using a spoon or an electric mixer on slow, add wet ingredients in three parts. Beat until ingredients are just incorporated. Do not overbeat.

3) Divide batter evenly among 12 cupcake liners. Bake 17 to 20 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean.

4) Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack. Once cupcakes have cooled completely, cut a small cone, about an inch down, into the cupcakes and fill the hole with strawberry preserves.

Strawberry Swiss Buttercream
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
3/4 cup butter, softened and cubed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup pureed strawberries

1) Place egg whites and sugar in a double boiler. With the water simmering, whisk the whites until the sugar grains have all disintegrated.

2) Remove from heat and pour into a large bowl, careful not to drip any water into the eggs. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs until they form stiff, glossy peaks. Reduce the mixer speed, and slowly add the butter, one small cubed at a time. Mix until it seems like your mixture has begun to curdle (don't worry, it hasn't!) and then keep mixing until smooth. This will take quite a while, but don't give up!

3) After smooth, slowly incorporate the pureed strawberries. Use immediately.

Kaylee's Cupcake (3)

"Couldn't get ahold of no flour, so it's mostly protein. In fact, it's pretty much what we just had for dinner. But I tried to get the frosting as chocolatey tasting as possible."

Edit: I got an email from a reader asking about the Firefly-con that these were made for: Can't Stop the Serenity is a global event that raises money for Joss Whedon's charity, Equality Now. Look out for a Can't Stop the Serenity even near you - it's tons of nerdy fun and it's for an amazing cause!


Heaven is a Cupcake said...

It's so good I have to comment twice - amazing :D Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Monet said...

I have only heard good things about Firefly...and I must say that these cupcakes are stunning! I love the pink and green combination. It reminds me of spring flowers!

Stephanie said...

I've never seen Firefly but I absolutely love your cupcakes! Great color combo and they're beautiful!

Joy said...

Hmmmmm Matcha.

Jo Lynne
@ Carpe Cupcakes

HUGE FireFly fan...and a fan of all things cupcake.

Kathleen said...

these look super yummy, and definitely shiny! The frosting also reminds me of Kaylee's floofy dress in Shindig :)

Shilpa said...

Shiny! I love it!

ceecee said...

the icing looks especially delicious

lauren said...

That's great! It really is a very Kaylee cupcake! The icing reminds me of her fancy dress in "Shindig" too! I'd love to see what you'd come up with for the other characters!

Barbara said...

The pink of her "Shindig" foofy dress,and the green of her work outfit make the perfect contrast of our little Kaylee! Shiny!

Anonymous said...

I'm an utter Browncoat and love cooking, so to see these cupcakes is absolutely divine! Awesome :)

Kyle said...

Hey, I really liked the way these looked so decided to try to make some for myself. I don't have much cooking experience but managed to make something that tasted pretty good with this recipe. So thank you for posting it!

My swiss butter cream turned out a little on the runny side though. Do you have any tips for making it thicker? The whole process of making it was a new experience for me.

Thanks for the delicious recipe and for keeping the firefly spirit alive!


C&C Cakery said...

I'm glad you tried out the recipe, Kyle! Don't worry, swiss buttercream is a finicky thing - if it's too warm / if too much butter is added at once / if the egg whites aren't fluffy enough / if you don't whip long enough / if the strawberries had too much juice, it could cause problems. Even if it wasn't perfect, I'm sure it tasted good!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was wondering (since I'm from England) whether or not your measurements are different over there to ours here? A cup apparently is various different amounts depending on where you're from. SO I wanted to know which cup measurment you work from, ie: US, Metric,Imperial etc. Thanks alot :)

C&C Cakery said...

We're in Canada, so we use metric measurements :) But, there's not a lot of difference between that and US measurements. A cup is 250mL here, but in the US it's 237mL - Your cake wouldn't flop because of a few extra mL here and there ;)

Anonymous said...

Thanks alot, have found some Matcha powder at last so I will give them a try :)

Patrik said...

Shiny! =) As Kaywinnit Lee Frye a cupcake can be, and it tasted lovely =>

Anonymous said...

What icing tip did you use on these cupcakes? I think it's a perfect match to Kaylee's dress, but I haven't figured out how to replicate it.

Thank you for such a creative idea!

Kris said...

Hello :) I plan to try this recipe for more than a year and still haven't got the possibility (but finally I got the mixer/blender - whatever you call it).

I just have one question. I might need to bring the cupcakes to a different house after making them (would take about two or 2,5 hour to get there) - will the buttercream stay ok or it will "melt/get bad"?

C&C Cakery said...

Hi Kris!

This swiss buttercream is just fine for the long term. Frost the cupcakes while the buttercream is soft, then pop them in the fridge and they'll get pretty hard (it's all that butter in them!). They transport pretty easy this way. I would make sure to keep them out of the fridge for about an hour before eating, however. That way the buttercream can get nice and soft again :)

Kris said...

Thank you very much for such a quick answer! :)

One more question, I just realized - how large cupcake liners did you use? I can get small, medium or large here, not sure which size is best...

(never baked cupcakes, so you can imagine :))

Thank you very much in advance!

C&C Cakery said...

It all depends on what size cupcakes you want to make. The recipe and the times are probably for "medium" (we call those "standard"). If you go for the larger ones or the smaller ones, the time baked might be tweaked a bit. The smaller ones will bake faster, the larger ones will bake more slowly. Check your cakes doneness with a knife/tooth pick - if it comes out clean, you're fine! Good luck! You can reach us through our Twitter quicker if you have any more questions:

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eng sara said...


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