Here they are... the cupcakes I said I will NEVER make again because they were so time consuming (compounded more so by the annoyance that the lemon juice mysteriously disappeared from the cabinet and Erik had to run to the store for more.... which is typical in this house.) I do have to say that these cupcakes disappeared at work quicker than the staff does when the boss goes home. But seriously, there was a line following me from my office to the "display area" where I usually put them out for everyone (read "the file cabinet in the secretary's area").
The cupcake is a white cake base, infused with a fresh raspberry filling, topped with a raspberry cream cheese frosting and garnished with a fresh raspberry. I don't eat fruit fillings, but everyone raved about these and my dear friend Jenn actually asked me to make her a cake like this for her birthday. My sweet hubby likes "healthier" cupcakes and loved these. So I guess I'll be making them again!
White cake: (if you opt to use a cake mix, use the egg white recipe and not the whole egg recipe. It does make a difference...) If you want to make the cake from scratch, I prefer Martha Stewart's Perfect White Cake mix... you can find the recipe here.
For the raspberry filling:
10 oz container of frozen raspberries (fresh frozen in sugar syrup)
1 TBSP water
3 TBSP sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
4 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/3 cup water
Filling instructions: Add water, sugar and lemon juice to the frozen raspberries in a small saucepan. On medium heat, cook them down until the raspberries start to fall apart. I think it took about 10 minutes or so. Once the raspberries start to fall apart, add 1 TBSP of the dissolved cornstarch and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from the stove and strain the raspberry mixture using a mesh strainer. Just when you think you've strained them completely, continue to press them against the strainer and you'll get more "puree" to come through. When completely strained, throw seeds away and put the strained mixture back on the stove. Add the rest of the dissolved cornstarch mixture and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and cool completely. The mixture will thicken upon standing.
To fill the cupcakes, make sure the cupcakes are cooled. I used a pastry bag to infuse the cupcakes, but that was MESSY. You're better off using a squeeze bottle. (Yes, I have already purchased a bigger squeeze bottle for this filling for when I "never' make them again.) Fill your cupcakes until the filling starts to ooze from the top.
For the raspberry cream cheese frosting....
1 stick of salted butter (room temperature)
1 tsp clear vanilla
4 c confectioner's sugar
1 block of cream cheese (not softened) - cut into cubes (*use Philly... trust me)
a few tablespoons of the raspberry filling
Beat the butter and vanilla until blended. Add sugar one cup at a time, scraping the sides frequently. Whip in the cream cheese, a few cubes at a time. By adding the cream cheese cold (and not softened), the frosting will retain some of its stiffness. Do NOT overbeat -- just whip enough to blend the cream cheese. Then fold in the raspberry filling (don't overmix the filling in - just fold it in). Using a 1M tip, pipe the frosting onto the filled cupcakes and garnish with a fresh raspberry.