As my regular readers know from my music, film, and TV-related posts, food is just one of my many passions. Sometimes I like to do more than mention those other interests in favorites posts. Sometimes I'm inspired to create themed treats by those other art forms. Previously, I was inspired by the David Usher song, "Black Black Heart" to create my Black Black Forest Heart Cupcakes. Today, it's the brilliant re-imagined, modern-day BBC Sherlock Holmes television series (a new favorite, but already in my top 3 shows of all time) that guides my artist's whisk.
Sherlock" is bound to captivate your imagination and thirst for adventure. The protagonists remain Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, of course, but they are younger, more energetic, and more delightfully irreverent than you've ever seen them. In honor of this sharp-as-a-whip update, I've decided to reinvent on my classic red velvet cupcake with a tart pomegranate filling (inspired by my friend A's wedding dessert). In case it's not obvious enough, yes I am trying to kill 2 birds with with 1 post: introduce you to a new favorite TV show AND new favorite cupcake flavor. But if either one tickles your fancy, I'll still consider it a success =D.
For my readers in the U.S., if "Sherlock" sounds like something you'd like, you can watch Season 1 on Netflix Instant and Season 2 is currently airing on Masterpiece PBS (Sundays at 9 pm EST...the next new episode in 1 hour!).
Red Velvet Pomegranate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Miracle Frosting [Printable Recipe]
Makes 12 cupcakes
XIAOLU'S NOTES: I made Sherlock paper cupcake toppers inspired by this sticker design by Melissa Erickson. Feel free to make these cupcakes with or without the Sherlock toppers =p. If you want to download Sherlock toppers for your personal, private use, open THIS PAGE then PRESS Ctrl+S to download my free PDF printable. To make the toppers, print the PDF using the size option "Fit" on card stock, cut out the circular toppers using a 2-inch circle punch OR by hand using scissors, and finally tape a 4-inch paper lollipop stick to the back of each circle.
6 Bittersweets' Best Red Velvet Cupcakes (Recipe HERE)
1/2 to 3/4 cup Pomegranate Jelly (Recipe HERE)
Cream Cheese Miracle Frosting (Recipe below)
Sherlock-themed Cupcake Toppers (optional)
Once cupcakes have cooled to room temperature, heat pomegranate jelly in the microwave at 5-second intervals until it has softened enough to pipe. (Be careful not to overheat the jelly or it will become too liquid and run out of the bag uncontrollably.) Transfer jelly to a piping bag fitted with a long pointed tip OR a squeeze bottle. Insert tip into each cupcake and squeeze out a small amount of jelly into the cupcake. (You'll know the cupcake is filled to capacity when its top starts to lift slightly. You should immediately stop squeezing that that point or the jelly will start flowing up out of the cupcake.)
Spread or pipe frosting on to cupcakes (I used Ateco #808 - a large plain round piping tip), then insert the paper toppers down the middle of each cupcake. Enjoy and I hope you'll watch BBC's fantastic Sherlock series on PBS!
Cream Cheese Miracle Frosting
Adapted from Treats
Makes about 2 1/2 cups (enough to frost 12 cupcakes)
3/4 cup MINUS 1 to 2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into 8 pieces
3/4 cup (6 oz.) cream cheese, cool room temperature and cut into 6 pieces
Combine sugar, flour, cornstarch, and salt in medium bowl. Slowly whisk in milk until smooth. Pour mixture through a strainer into a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture boils and is very thick, about 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer milk mixture to clean bowl and cool to just below room temperature, about 2 hours (you can speed this up by popping the bowl into the fridge).
With a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment or electric handheld mixer, beat cooled milk mixture (about 313 grams) and vanilla on low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and add butter pieces one at a time followed by cream cheese pieces one at a time, beating well after each addition (about 8 seconds between each addition). Increase speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.