Blueberry Lemon Basil Cupcakes

Hubby and I are in a cooking club. We meet once a month at someones house. The host picks a theme and we all make something from that theme and watch a movie that also fits into the theme. This month, hubby and I hosted and our theme was “Stuff It!” (and we watched The Right Stuff). I decided to make Stuffed tomatoes, Bacon wrapped goat cheese stuffed dates, Stuffed strawberries, and of course Stuffed cupcakes. I’ll be posting about the rest of those goodies soon…

So for the cupcakes, I wanted to do something summery. Hubby loves blueberries so I decided to do lemon cupcakes stuffed with blueberries and blueberry preserves. I found this recipe while I was on the hunt for a good lemon recipe and was intrigued at the idea of putting basil into the frosting. So I made half of my frosting without the basil and half with the basil.

Everyone seemed to enjoy the basil flavor in the frosting. I thought it could have used a little more basil. Maybe since I did a buttercream instead of frosting, it wasn’t as prominent as the original blogger’s was.

The cake was deliciously lemony and very moist. I really loved this cake. The Swiss meringue buttercream was a hit as always.

Lemon Cupcakes – from A Good Appetite – makes 6 (I doubled to make 12)
2/3 c all-purpose flour
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t baking powder
pinch of salt
3 T unsalted butter, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
1/4 c plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 and prepare muffin tins.

Stir flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
Beat the butter until light and fluffy. On high speed, gradually beat in the sugar until light & fluffy. Lower speed and add egg, beating until just blended. Then beat in lemon zest & lemon juice. On low speed beat in flour mixture & yogurt until just blended. This will be a very light fluffy batter.

Divide half the batter evenly among the 6 muffin tins. Place a scant teaspoon of blueberry basil sauce on top of the batter in each cup, try to keep to the center as much as possible. Top with the remaining batter.

Bake for 18 minutes. The edges should just be turning golden brown. Let cool on wire rack.

Lemon Basil Buttercream – adapted from DB recipe
– I made a 1/2 batch and it covered my 12 cupcakes. This is the 1/2 batch of frosting:
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice (from 1 large lemons)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 large basil leaves, chopped (next time I’d use more)
Put the sugar and egg whites in a mixer bowl or another large heatproof bowl, fit the bowl over a plan of simmering water and whisk constantly, keeping the mixture over the heat, until it feels hot to the touch, about 3 minutes.

The sugar should be dissolved, and the mixture will look like shiny marshmallow cream.Remove the bowl from the heat.

Working with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer, beat the meringue on medium speed until it is cool, about 5 minutes.

Switch to the paddle attachment if you have one, and add the butter a stick at a time, beating until smooth.

Once all the butter is in, beat in the buttercream on medium-high speed until it is thick and very smooth, 6-10 minutes.

During this time the buttercream may curdle or separate – just keep beating and it will come together again.

On medium speed, gradually beat in the lemon juice, waiting until each addition is absorbed before adding more, and then the vanilla.

I divided the frosting in 1/2 so that I could make some with and some without the basil. Stir basil into frosting.
To assemble cupcakes:
Once cupcakes are completely cool, use the cone method to put about a tsp of blueberry preserves and 1 fresh blueberry into the cupcakes.

Pipe frosting onto cupcake tops. Garnish with blueberry or small basil leaf.

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11 Responses to “Massaged Kale Salad”

  1. #
    Lauren — August 30, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I’m so glad you posted this! Aarti’s kale salad is on my list of dishes to make, and it’s good to know that you guys enjoyed it.

  2. #
    Fun and Fearless in Beantown — August 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I saw this on the first episode of Aarti Party and it looked so good to me! Kale is something I’ve also never worked with in our kitchen so I definitely want to give this recipe a try!

  3. #
    Josie — August 30, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    I love kale, and I was intrigued by this as well – I really want to try it now! Great picture!

  4. #
    Lauren — August 30, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    I picked up all of the ingredients this morning to make the salad, and it is now sitting in my fridge waiting to be devoured for lunch. It’s GREAT! Who knew raw kale could be so good?!

  5. #
    Lizzy — August 30, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Kale is one of my favorite foods but I haven’t had it raw yet. I am bookmarking this!

  6. #
    Kate — August 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm

    Wow sounds interesting! I’m very curious to try it myself. I love kale.

  7. #
    Christine — August 30, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    I saw this on Aarti Party too – looks good – glad you tried it!

  8. #
    We Are Not Martha — August 31, 2010 at 1:51 am

    I love kale and am on a new-found mango kick, so I’m sure this is absolutely wonderful 🙂


  9. #
    Sherry G — August 31, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    I don’t know if I could get anyone in my family to try this, but it looks so interesting! I have never tried kale, but I would like to!

  10. #
    Cara — August 31, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    I made a massaged kale salad once but it was just “eh”. I don’t think I massaged enough. But I might have to try it again, and do it the right way, since you both loved it!

  11. #
    Elina — September 2, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    I LOVE massaged kale – love, love, love it. It tastes completely different than “regular” – not as “green” if that makes sense. 🙂
    I also love the next food network star. I should check out Aarti’s show since this recipe sounds like it’s right up my alley. 🙂

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