Friday, March 6, 2009

Vanilla Pistachio Cupcakes with Pomegranate Icing

After making pomegranate cupcakes last week I decided I wanted to try using pomegranate juice in my cupcakes again this week but this time in the icing.
Vanilla & Pistachio Cupcake with Pomegranate Icing
At first I was just going to make a plain vanilla cupcake but then this morning I started thinking some nuts added to the batter might be good. I was thinking almonds but there weren't any in the cupboard, what was there were some finely chopped pistachios so I went with them. They add a nice texture & flavor to the cupcakes & certainly make for a pretty presentation sprinkled on top.
Homemade Pomegranate Molasses
For the icing, I wanted to make sure the pomegranate flavor was really there so I decided to cook some of the pomegranate juice down to pomegranate molasses. (Really I wanted to try making pomegranate molasses & it was super simple. I'll use what's left as a glaze for chicken next week.) I think the color of the icing came out really pretty, even Matt commented on how good the cupcakes looked. Still I think the pomegranate flavor could have even been stronger in the icing. If I do this again I'll use more of the molasses & maybe leave out the milk. I wrote the recipe as I made it but play around with it if you want a stronger pomegranate flavor.

Vanilla Pistachio Cupcakes

6 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 c + 1 T sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
seeds for 1/2 a vanilla bean
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c buttermilk
2 egg whites
2 T pistachios, finely chopped (plus extra for the top of the cupcakes)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare 6 muffin tins.

Cream the butter & 1/2 cup of the sugar together until light & fluffy. Beat in the vanilla & vanilla seeds. Add the baking powder, baking soda & 1/4 cup flour, beat until just combined. Beat in half the buttermilk. Beat in 1/4 c flour. Add the last of the buttermilk & finally the last of the flour.

In another bowl beat the egg whites until glossy, stiff peaks are formed. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter. Once combined fold in the remaining egg whites. Gently fold in the pistachios.

Fill each muffin tin with 1/4 cup batter. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.

Allow to cool completely on a rack.

Pomegranate Icing

1/2 c powdered sugar
1 t pomegranate molasses (see below)
1 t milk
1 1 t pomegranate juice

Stir everything together until smooth. If too thick add a little more pomegranate juice as needed.

Makes 6 cupcakes

Pomegranate Molasses
(from Simply Recipes)

1 c pomegranate juice
1 T sugar
1/8 t lemon juice

Put all ingredients in a small saucepan & bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until reduced but at least half & thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let cool before using in icing.


toontz said...

So pretty! And they sound yummy.

Lori said...

Kat these sound so yummy. I love the color and the taste idea! What I loved when I used POM juice for the icing is that the tartness took away the sweetness.

Stacey Snacks said...

Get it over with already!
You need to open a shop
Kat & Matt Cupcakes!

Beth (jamandcream) said...

Great colour. My daughter would love them

vanillasugarblog said...

you have been making some very creative little items lately! I am so loving this one...

Dewi said...

Pomegranate icing sounds like a killer here, I am sold.
I have one pomegranate tree in my back yard, hope that this year will give me lots of fruit.

Jen said...

Oh yum- it's lunchtime here and your cupcakes are making me even hungrier. I love the pink icing with the green pistachios.

Elle said...

How funny that we both made POM icing! I love the color of yours, though. So pretty!

Anonymous said...

I'm in love with the icing and pistachio color combination! They sound delicious.

Anonymous said...

These look amazing! I love the colors

Brilynn said...

The pom juice definitely gives it a pretty colour. And I'm sure the molasses will be good on chicken too...

Lori said...

You are by far the most creative with this pomegranate juice wave that has hit food blogging. These look stunning and sound so great!

Esi said...

I made the cupcakes last night. So yummy and I loved the crunch from the pistachios!

grace said...

pink and green make such a lovely color combination! this is so unique, and i think it sounds delicious. i'm currently waiting to receive a batch of pom wonderful, and i definitely want to use some of it for these!

Creative Classroom Core said...

Horray! Another excuse to use POM!
Love it!

Peter M said...

Sometimes less is more...let the main ingredients stand out I say!

Karen Brown Letarte said...

I love your cupcakes-- they are always so ingenious! These are especially pretty with the chopped pistachios on top.

Deborah said...

these are gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful information about pomegranate with us. With all this buzz about superfriuts flying around I feel it is very important for us to know in detail what we consume. Looking forward to see more posts like this from you.

dining table said...

This is a very lovely cupcake! I like the icing. The color made it more pretty.

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