When I'm stuck for cupcake ideas, I think of ways I can translate my favourite desserts - puddings, custards, crumbles, pies, tarts - into cupcakes. On this occasion, I had some freshly purchased purple food colouring and was looking for something to compliment the blueberry cupcakes I intended on making. And what goes well with blueberries? Lemons. Yawn. But what's more interesting than lemons?! Rice pudding!
Creamy, sweet rice pudding is complimented so well by fresh, tart berries. I imagine this recipe would taste even better with fresh raspberries.
Ingredients (makes 12)
For rice pudding:
1/4 cup caster sugar
135 gms aborio rice
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
700ml full-fat milk
90 gms butter, softened
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup self raising flour
2 tbsps milk
1 cup blueberries (fresh, but you can also use frozen)
For cream cheese frosting:
340 gms cream cheese, softened
55 gms butter, softened
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
1/4 tsp vanilla bean paste
small amount of food colouring (I used Wilton's Violet)
1 tbsp icing sugar
fresh blueberries, to decorate (optional)
For the rice pudding, add the milk, rice, vanilla bean and seeds to a non-stick saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 30-35 minutes, or until creamy and the rice is tender, stirring regularly. Add the sugar and stir for about 2 minutes until dissolved. Place pudding into a small bowl, and refrigerate until needed.
For cakes, preheat oven to 180C/160C fan-forced. Place 12 paper cases into a 12 capacity cupcake tins.
Place all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixture, and beat until just combined. Increase speed, and beat until mixture is creamy and paler in colour.
Spoon mixture among cases. Sprinkle blueberries evenly among cases, pushing some into cake mixture and leaving some sitting on top. Bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Remove cakes from tin immediately, and allow to cool completely on wire rack.
Once both cakes and rice pudding and cooled completely, take a small sharp knife and - holding your knife at a 45 degree angle - slice a circle into the top of a cake. The circle should be about 5mm from the edge of the cake to make it easy to cover when decorating. By holding your knife at this angle, you are creating a cone-shaped hold in your cake, and the lid you've created should come easily. Set lid aside for later. Repeat with remaining cakes.
Spoon rice pudding into each cake. Replace the lid on each cake. If necessary, trim the pointed end of the lids off to it sits flush when placed back onto the cake.
For frosting, beat cream cheese and butter together in an electric mixer until smooth. Add half of the icing sugar and desired amount of food colouring and again beat until smooth. Gradually add the remaining icing sugar until you get your desired consistency (I use the full amount).
Spoon cream cheese mixture into a large piping bag fitted with plain 1cm tube. Pipe onto cakes.
Decorate cakes with fresh blueberries (if using), and gently dust cakes with icing sugar.
The recipe I've used for the rice pudding will yield a little more than you'll need for 12 cakes, but I certainly wasn't complaining. Feel free to cut quantities if you are crazy and don't wish to have an extra serve or so of pudding sitting in your fridge.
Baking soundtrack: Belle & Sebastian - Tigermilk.