Rematch! Rematch! Julie versus the poached pear cupcake
Last night, I used a really ripe Bartlett pear, and it poached to tender pretty quickly, but this fresh Bosc pear took about 40 minutes.
Poaching the pears until fork tender. It took longer to poach, but it sucked up a lot of the poaching liquid, which had less sugar and more port wine that last night's liquid. It imparted a better flavor into the cake.
Batter, with baking soda this time!
Batter in cups ... (please please rise, just to the top, please?)
Baked cupcakes--we have liftoff! As I was hoping to have happen last night, the papers filled 3/4 up baked to the top. Actually, I was hoping it would be just a little shy of the top so I could top off with frosting.
Last night, I wondered if I could make a "fluffier" or more full-bodied frosting, and tonight, I made three toppings, all based on the reduced poaching liquid. This time, the reduced syrup was thicker and tasted better--almost flowery, and had an awesome color.
Thanks to Jen B. for being tonight's guinea pig--I sliced each in half so we could have a taste of each. As my special tester, Jen also got to bring the leftover cupcakes home, since I really can't keep that stuff in the house once I've had my taste. *sigh* I'm glad I have friends who are willing to come over on the fly on testing nights.
The royal icing with more sugar was just way too sweet, and I didn't like how much of the powdered sugar I could taste. Also, piping it is not for the weak of heart. The reduced syrup was almost like jelly, and Jen said it would be perfect for a tea party. I liked the way it tasted--it was a bit zippy ... snazzy ... happy! Ultimately, we both liked the slightly mellower taste that the poured icing offered best. It let the taste and moist texture of the cake shine through better than the other two, but smelled, tasted, and felt nice on it's own, as well.
I smooshed it a bit when I was slicing it in half with a butter knife.
I call this a success! Julie: 1, cupcake: 1 ... we called a truce and made nice, so Julie and cupcake are officially best friends.