Vail’s cupcakes featured on national television |

Vail’s cupcakes featured on national television

Caramie Schnell
VAIL CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyThis cupcake uses tofu in place of butter, eggs and oil.

Our hometown cupcake girl, Liz Rackoff of Batter Cupcakes, made her national television debut Sunday night on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.

After a lengthy submission process, Rackoff was selected to compete in season four of the show, which has been referred to as the “Iron Chef” of the cupcake world. Batter Cupcakes was the first company from Colorado to be selected for the show. She didn’t play it safe on the show either, choosing to use a slew of interesting Asian ingredients, including chili paste, sesame oil, ginger and lychee. She also used tofu as a replacement for the standard additions of butter, eggs and oil.

And while Rackoff was eliminated after the first round, she is a winner in our eyes. In case you’re interested to whip up a batch yourself, she was kind enough to share her recipe for the cupcake with the Vail Daily.

1 block silken tofu

2 cups sugar

13⁄4 cups flour

3⁄4 cups cocoa powder

11⁄2 teaspoon baking soda

11⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 tea spoon chile paste

1⁄3 cups almonds

1⁄4 teaspoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

1⁄2 cups water (omitted at altitude)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in an electric mixer until well combined. Add the tofu, chile paste, vanilla, sesame oil and water. Mix for 2 minutes. Fold in almonds.

Fill the cupcake liners 3⁄4 full with batter and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan, and cool them on a wire cooling rack.

Orange Lychee Filling

1 10 ounce can lychees

1 teaspoon pure orange extract

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Remove the lychees from the can and pat dry with a paper towel to absorb the syrup. Place lychees in a food processor and pour orange extract on top of lychees, puree completely. Transfer lychee puree to saucepan and add cornstarch to the puree. Turn stovetop to medium heat and stir puree mixture for five minutes, or until thickened. Remove from heat and cool.

Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese

1⁄2 cup unsalted butter

11⁄2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure ginger extract

Whip the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until fully incorporated. Add powdered sugar 1⁄2 cup at a time, until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the pure ginger extract. Mix for another 30 seconds until ginger extract is well blended.

Walnut-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Lychee

1 can lychees

8 ounces melting chocolate

1 bag walnuts, chopped

Line cookie sheet with wax paper. Remove 12 lychees from can and pat dry with a paper towel to absorb syrup. Meanwhile, melt 8 ounces of chocolate in a microwave safe bowl for 2 minutes. Add 1 or 2 walnuts to the center of each lychee. Roll in melted chocolate with a spoon and then place on wax paper to cool. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until the chocolate hardens.

To assemble: Remove the center of the cupcake to make space for the lychee filling. Fill a small piping bag or use a spoon to add lychee nectar to center of cupcake. Fill a large piping bag with frosting, and add desired amount to top of cupcake. Place one chocolate lychee on top of each cupcake.

Recipe courtesy Liz Rackoff.

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