Saturday, January 24, 2009

Orange Muscat Polenta Cupcakes with Pine Nut Cream Icing

This is the story of my almost Iron Cupcake: Earth entry.

I love cupcakes. Who doesn't? A couple of my new year's resolutions involve creating more original recipes and submitting them for publication and to recipe contests. Taking all that into account, it seemed to me like participating in Iron Cupcake: Earth would be a great way for me to get myself motivated and reach out a little.

This was my first opportunity to participate and I was really looking forward to the challenge. But when the secret ingredient was announced, I was a little bummed. You see, we were challenged to create cupcake recipes that incorporate wine. Oh geez, wine? I don't drink it, don't particularly care for it, and know absolutely nothing about it.

So I racked my brain trying to come up with an idea for this challenge as the days passed and the deadline approached. Finally, only a few days ago, I remembered a local winery that makes a wine I remember tasting many moons ago and actually liking. So, I procured myself a bottle of Muscat Love, an orange muscat wine from the fabulous Witch Creek Winery.

Once I decided on the wine, the rest just fell into place. My vegan guides informed me that my cupcakes would be a marriage of California and Italian-inspired flavors. What I finally came up with in the end was a rather unique and most definitely adult treat: Orange Muscat Polenta Cupcakes with Pine Nut Cream Icing.

The cupcake itself combines the flavors of polenta via cornmeal, while providing texture with the incorporation of toasted pine nuts, and lots of orangey goodness with zest and orange extract. After they were baked, each cupcake was blessed with a small amount of syrup consisting of Muscat Love, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and sugar. Finally, they were topped with an icing of creamed pine nuts, sugar, and even more Muscat Love, orange zest and orange juice. Yum!

Unfortunately, my timing was all off and my cupcakes didn't reach the finish line 'til after the deadline had passed. I am, however, totally in love with the recipe I created and have committed myself to perfecting it even further, after which I will share it with the world.

As for meeting the Iron Cupcake deadline, I'll do better next month. This, I do swear!

And if you're able to get your hands on some Muscat Love, I recommend it. It's delish!


Ricki said...

Sorry you missed the deadline--but what a great combo! Looking forward to the recipe. And what a cute name--muscat love! (How very Captain and Tenille!)

veggievixen said...



jessy said...

too bad you missed the deadline, Marni! but i know you'll make it next month. wowzers! your cupcakes sound awesome on so many different levels. i would have never thought of the combinations you did - amazing! they all sound sooooo good & i can't wait for you to perfect your recipe so i can make some of your tasty boozy cuppies! mmmmmmm! i'll fo 'sho keep my eye out for that Muscat Love wine, too! i loooooove wine so much! hooray!

Derrick said...

This cupcake sounds amazing. We have a bottle of orange muscat that we just opened and were hoping to use for your cupcakes. Unfortunately, we didn't realize the recipe wasn't up. Can my wife and I get it to complete our bottle?