I spend a lot of time baking.
I spend even more time playing video games!
I love to play all kinds (well… I guess I’m not really into sports games) but there’s one game in particular I keep going back to.
I’m not going to bore you all with the details of the game, but what you do need to know about is Lulu.
This is Bittersweet Lulu. She is a magical little purple yordle who likes to get up to mischief. But most importantly… sometimes she turns her enemies into hopping, helpless little cupcakes.
So if I was going to make a consumable version of her magical cupcakes, there were a few things I wanted to make sure I kept in mind. Lulu has a bunch of catchphrases, but one of my favourites is “Yup, that tasted purple!”.
So these cupcakes had to taste purple.
Grape is the only flavour that I think truly tastes purple. The only way I knew how to integrate grape into a dessert was through grape jello, so I took inspiration from my strawberry cake and made a grape cupcake.
The other thing I considered (because I’m a little weird) was that Lulu’s cupcakes weren’t actually cakes really. They were people.
And people are a little red and gooey on the inside.
Yeah, I’m totally weird. But it amused me, so I did it! But what is red and goes with grape flavour? Originally I was going to go with a raspberry preserve but the idea of grape/raspberry wasn’t quite sitting right with me.
But that’s okay, because I found a recipe for pomegranate curd.
You should know, pomegranate curd actually comes out a weird brown colour due to all the egg yolks. So make sure you have some red food dye nearby!
And FYI, the pomegranate flavour worked lovely with the grape, with the tanginess playing really well in the cupcake.
And did grape jello do the trick to make things taste purple?
Add a little fondant, sprinkles and a spherical, red, pretzel m&m, and the cupcake takes on a whole personality.
A personality that makes it that much more hilarious when you take a hefty bite out of the cupcake, right into that red goo..
Call me twisted, but I couldn’t stop giggling after the first bite of cupcake.
But it’s okay, Lulu would have giggled too.
Grape Cupcakes with Pomegranate Curd Filling
Curd recipe from Parsley, Sage & Sweet
Frosting Recipe from Allrecipes.com
- 2 cups white sugar
- 1 (3 ounce) package grape flavored gelatin
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 4 eggs, separated into yolks and whites (room temperature)
- 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
- 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup whole milk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- purple food colouring (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin
- 1 tablespoon 100% pomegranate juice
- 3/4 cup 100% pomegranate juice
- Juice of one lemon
- 1/2 cup superfine sugar
- 6 egg yolks
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1-2 tablespoons grenadine
- red food colouring (optional)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- food colouring (optional)
- Curd: In a small heat proof bowl or cup, sprinkle gelatin over the tablespoon of pomegranate juice, let sit until softened. When ready to add to curd, place cup or bowl in simmering water until the gelatin is completely melted, dissolved and smooth.
- Whisk yolks and salt together in a medium sized bowl.
- In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, combine juices and sugar. Stir and heat to just below boiling.
- Temper hot juice and sugar mixture into the yolks, whisking constantly, then pour everything back into the pot. Over medium heat, whisk constantly and fairly quickly until thickened (you should be able to draw a line through the curd on the back of a spoon with your finger, and it will stay.)
- Stir in melted gelatin and then butter until combined. Strain curd into a new bowl or large glass measuring cup. Stir in grenadine until uniform in color, and desired amount of food colouring, if using. Let cool for a few minutes.
- Cover curd with plastic wrap, pressing it on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let set in the fridge until thick.
- Cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 2 standard muffin tins with paper cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and dry grape gelatin until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time, mixing well after each.
- Combine the flour and baking powder; stir into the batter alternately with the milk. Blend in vanilla. Whip egg whites to soft peaks. Carefully fold into batter. Scoop approx. 1/4 cup of batter into each liner.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a small knife inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool in their pans over a wire rack for at least 10 minutes, before removing completely to cool on rack. Repeat liners, batter distribution and baking until out of batter,
- Frosting: In a saucepan, stir together the sugar, water and cream of tartar. Cook over medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is bubbly.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whip the egg whites and vanilla to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar mixture while whipping constantly until stiff peaks form, about 7 to 10 minutes. Whip in food colouring if desired.
- Assembly: Using a small sharp paring knife, core cupcakes by angling the knife towards the middle and moving the knife in a circle, cutting out a cone of cake. Cut off the point of the cone, saving a thin disk of cupcake.
- Fill the core of the cupcake with the curd. Top the curd with the disc of cake.
- Using a piping bag or offset spatula, top each cupcake with frosting, If desired, decorate the cupcakes with fondant pieces, sprinkles and candy,
- For Lulu: If you’re looking to make Lulu’s cupcakes in particular, it’s pretty straightforward. For the eyes, use circles of white fondant for eyes, dotted with a black edible marker. For the mouth, use circles of black fondant, cut in half, then molded to be slightly exaggerated with your fingers. Top in the middle with a red pretzel m&m and add a light sprinkle of rainbow jimmies behind the cupcake’s features.
Makes approx. 30 cupcakes.