Atis Delight Cupcake -soft cupcake with the distinctive sweet taste of ripe atis (sugar apple) and bits of fresh atis pulp. Frosted with plump dots of slightly sweetened whipped cream. Price available upon request.
the (sweet) fruit of my labor
I finally did it! An atis cupcake that has real atis flavor. I am very proud of this creation because a lot of my friends were intrigued when I told them about this project. Atis in a cupcake? Bacon in a cupcake sounds stranger to me! This cupcake perfectly captures the distinctive sweet taste of atis and it smells like one, too. My good friend D._ said biting into a chunk of atis pulp (deseeded, of course) was a delicious surprise. The cupcake also has a nice pinkish tinge.
I was inspired to create this cupcake after reading about a popular avocado cake being sold somewhere in Manila that has garnered rave reviews. I thought it was a great idea but one made with atis might be even better. Besides, I have easy access to the fruit as we have a prolific atis tree in our backyard. And they are nothing like the puny, blackened, sorry little things available in the market or grocery stores.
Although we eat atis fresh from our tree, we cannot have the fruits on demand. There is the usual waiting game and sometimes we play this game with the birds and bats that also feast on the fruits even if they aren’t ripe yet. I thought of freezing the pulp so whenever I need some (for the cupcakes) I can just reach for my stash in the freezer. So I put some deseeded, pre-measured pulp in a ziplock bag, pressed the air out and stored it in the freezer. After a week, I used the thawed pulp in the cupcakes. It worked wonderfully well and was as good as fresh.
I would rank this as one of my favorite cupcakes because of its unique, incomparable flavor and light texture. And hey, atis is one of my favorite fruits as well!
September 30th, 2009
Citrusy Sunflower Cupcakes – soft cupcakes flavored with freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices and crunchy poppy seeds. Iced with semisweet chocolate glaze and decorated with marshmallow petals dipped in yellow sugar. With a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips in the center. Price available upon request.
more flavors to come!
It slipped my mind that this blog just turned a year old this August. Wow. And I thought I would have ran out of cupcake ideas within a year’s time. The truth is, I have a growing list of cupcake flavors that I want to try. One of my recent successful experiments was the atis (sugar apple) cupcake. I am still improving on it though and I still haven’t thought of an appropriate frosting so stay tuned. My niece M._, the middle of our family’s tres Marias, also requested a ginger cupcake so this flavor is in the queue as well.
I have been working on citrus flavors lately. I was happy with my orange cupcake and calamansi cupcake. Next up, the tried and tested orange and lemon combo.
Most of the recipes for citrus cakes call for poppy seeds so I decided I want those in these cupcakes as well. I just didn’t know where to get them. The bakery supply store I go to has stopped stocking it. What to do, what to do? Since my search was becoming futile by the day, I put this project in the back burner and started on other flavors in my list. After several months or so, I chanced upon a blog that mentioned that poppy seeds are available at Santis Deli—wonderful!
I used my orange cupcake recipe (an iteration of a sour cream cupcake that I have been using to create other flavors as well), replacing half of the orange juice and zest with lemon juice and zest. While the baked cupcakes were flavorful and moist, they didn’t rise as much. I never had this problem with the orange cupcake so I was bewildered. What worked after several tests was an adjustment in the amount of baking soda—I doubled it. For the chocolate glaze on top, I used semisweet chocolate which perfectly complemented the citrus flavor of the cupcake.
I could not find any yellow marshmallows to make the sunflower petals so I just dipped the white ones in yellow sugar crystals. A better alternative I should say as the sugar added a nice sparkle and shine to the “flower.” If you don’t have any colored sugar on hand but have food coloring, you can make your own. Put enough sugar in a small, clear plastic bag such as a ziplock bag and add small drops of food color (liquid or gel are fine). Seal the bag and massage the sugar until the color evens out. I thought of using chocolate sprinkles in the center to resemble the sunflower seeds but the mini chocolate chips look better and taste better.
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the poppy seed drug test
Hold that poppy seed bagel if you are applying for a job or a driver’s license and have a scheduled drug test coming up. That inocuous treat can show up in the test as—gasp!—morphine.
Poppy seeds used in culinary dishes come from Papaver somniferum, aka the opium poppy. Yes, it is the same plant from which opium is extracted. Although opium is produced by “milking” the seed pods rather than the seeds, all parts of the plant can still contain opium alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Therefore, if you still insist on eating that poppy seed bagel prior to your urinalysis, it can result to a false positive. In the US people have been fired, job applicants rejected and lawsuits filed because of poppy seed influenced-drug test results. To weed out the false positives, the test threshold for morphine and codeine have been raised from 300 nanograms (ng)/milliliter (mL) to 2,000 ng/mL. I just don’t know if these problems have been encountered here in the Philippines. Probably not as poppy seeds-studded food are not exactly staples here.
Wait, since the seeds have traces of opium alkaloids, can that poppy seed-covered bagel make you high? No. The seeds have very low level of opiates and because they are contained in food, there is no danger of you suddenly bursting into a giggling frenzy even if you eat a whole poppy seed cake.
Sources: The Straight Dope, Wikipedia, Snopes.com
September 6th, 2009