Wednesday, May 19

Mini grapefruit & olive oil cupcakes with candied pistachios

A few months ago I made a olive oil and blood orange cake for Ben's birthday. 
It was super duper delicious and I've been meaning to make it again.

Unfortunately the blood orange growing season does not correspond with my wants and desires..and blood oranges are loooong gone in NYC!

So when a friend asked for some type of tasty citrus cake for her birthday, I decided to adapt the blood orange cake into some sort of grapefruit cupcake. 

The original recipe (here) turned into this:

For the cake
2 medium (red) grapefruits
½ cup whole milk
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
2 large eggs
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon sea salt

For the topping (optional)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup raw pistachios

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease muffin tin with olive oil, or set out clean silicone cupcake holders (which is what I used).

Once all the preheating and greasing is done, grate the 2 grapefruits to get zest. Put aside in a little cup or bowl. Then supreme the grapefruit over a large bowl. I let the actual pieces fall into the bowl and reserved most of the juice for further squeezing into a measuring cup.  It was a little interesting (read: HARD) to supreme the grapefruits, but not impossible despite my relative inexperience. Once the fruit segments are in the bowl, measure the juice (you should have about 1/4 cup) and then add around a 1/2 cup of whole milk. Add the olive oil, eggs, and sugar to the juice/milk mixture and stir well to combine. 

In a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients, and then mix in the wet ingredients, zest and grapefruit segments. Stir until batter is smooth.

Fill the muffin tin or baking cups around 1/2-3/4 full and pop them in the oven for 16-18 minutes. I know that my oven cooks a little unevenly and dries food out quickly, so you might have to tweak cooking times. 

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the topping:
Put the sugar in a saucepan set over medium heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved and has turned into a dark syrup. Make sure it doesn't burn or get too hot!

While  you're creating your syrup, you can throw the pistachios into the microwave for about 45 seconds to get them a little toasty. Once they're toasted, toss them into the sugar syrup and mix them around.

Working really quickly, spoon a few pistachios and the now caramel-like sugar onto the top of each grapefruit cupcake. It will harden into a brittle like substance almost at once. 

Once all of the cupcakes are covered, pop them into tupperware containers. If you let the cupcakes sit out for a bit (like overnight) the sugar will soften back into a syrup and will sink into the cupcakes keeping them nice and moist. 
I wish I had better pictures..but here is what they looked like: