I enthusiastically jumped in when I heard Laurie at the blog Quirky Cupcake was hosting a monthly cupcake event. The assignment for September? Make a cupcake with lime in the frosting, cake, filling, or all of the above.
Sounded sweet and tart -- right up my alley.
I searched through recipes for limey cakes to eventually turn into cupcakes and found this one for a Margarita Chiffon Cake with Strawberry Compote. I hesitated, a bit worried someone else would use the same recipe. Why wouldn't they, after all? Not only is there cake involved but there's also tequila, lime juice, and triple sec. The temptation was too great. I couldn't bear to continue searching. I'd found my recipe... and a little something to sip while baking:
I'm such a cheap date.
This recipe is for a chiffon cake. Epicurious' intro mentions a bit of the history surrounding chiffon cakes and I was intrigued: created in 1927 by the appropriately-named Harry Baker from California... insurance salesman and part-time caterer... he wouldn't tell a soul how to bake it for 20 years... in 1948, he finally sold the recipe to Betty Crocker (according to wikipedia -- epicurious says General Mills) who called it 'the cake discovery of the century'... vegetable oil was the secret ingredient, making the cake moist, light, and rich.
I think five egg yolks and 8 beaten egg whites have a little something to do with it too!
The cake, the glaze, and the strawberry compote are all swimming in margarita makings. Makes my mouth water just thinking about it.
You know how sometimes you're in the middle of working on a recipe and there's a moment when you know it's going to be really, really good even though you're nowhere near the finish line? This was one of those recipes. I think it was the lovely smell -- the tequila, the sugars, and all that fresh lime juice. So lovely. And the results? Even lovelier:
The ooey-gooey glaze drips down onto the plate and mixes it up the margarita sauce from the berries. The cupcake is the perfect thing to sop up it all up. Mmm. Mmm. Mmm.
Margarita Chiffon Cupcakes with Strawberry Compote
Makes about 24 cupcakes
2 1/4 c cake flour
1 1/4 c sugar, divided
1 T baking powder
1 t salt
6 large egg yolks
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/3 c fresh lime juice (altogether, you need about 4 limes to make the cupcakes and compote -- zest all of the limes before juicing)
1/3 c triple sec
2 T tequila
2 t grated lime peel
8 large egg whites
1/2 t cream of tartar
2 T fresh lime juice
2 T tequila
4 t triple sec
1 /2 t grated lime peel
2 c powdered sugar
6 T triple sec
1/3 c fresh lime juice
3 1/2 T tequila
2 T zested lime peel
1/3 c sugar
5 c strawberries, hulled and sliced
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Whisk flour, 3/4 c sugar (save the remaining half cup for later), baking powder, and salt in a large bowl to blend. Beat egg yolks and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl to blend. Add to the dry ingredients and beat just until smooth.
Using clean beaters, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in another large bowl or mixer until soft peaks form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, beating until stiff peaks form (but don't let the whites get too dry). Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites.
Line muffin pans with paper cups and fill with batter almost to the tops of the paper cups. Bake until tester inserted near the center comes out clean -- watch them carefully. Mine only took 10 - 15 mintues to bake. Cool on wire racks in muffin pans.
Whisk together the first four ingredients and then stir in sugar until combined. Add strawberries and toss. Let stand at room temperature for one hour or chill up to 4 hours.
Stir first four ingredients in a medium bowl then whisk in powdered sugar until combined. Spread over top of cooled cupcakes and allow glaze to drip down sides.