During our December KC meeting, we brainstormed flavors for our cupcakes, naming traditional Christmas flavors and new culinary trends.  Then Kathryn said, “Sugar Plum!”

“What exactly is a sugar plum?”

The room went silent.

“Isn’t is a plum coated in sugar?”

“A candied plum?”

“Isn’t it just candy?”

Kevin began typing on his laptop.

“Its..a dried fruit ball rolled in sugar,” he said

Again, the room went silent.

The challenge had been sprung.  KC was enlisted with the task of a modern day interpretation of a sugar plum cupcake.  Since flavor trends evolve throughout the years, we changed the traditional version of a sugar plum of dried fruit to a caramelized sugar encrusted pate a choux puff.  We baked a vanilla bean cupcake and filled it with a blackberry plum jam, and frosted the cupcake with Swiss Meringue Buttercream for a light, sweet finish.

The outcome: sugar 4 different ways! Baked into a cake, whipped into a meringue, caramelized, and lastly, sprinkled on top for a sparkling finish.

“I’m going to eat one of those,” Chad said from across the counter as he rolled out sugar cookies.

Everyone here at KC invites you to delight in the taste of sugar plums dancing across your palate!

 

Sugar Plum Cupcakes

Yield: 12

1/2 c + 1/3 C All Purpose Flour

1/4 t Baking Powder

1/8 t Baking Soda

1/4 t Salt

1/2 C Sugar

1/4 C Butter, melted

1 Egg White

1/8 C Buttermilk

1/3 C Milk

1 t Vanilla

1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped

Method:

Sift the dry ingredients together.  In a separate bowl, mix the sugar and butter together.  Add the egg white, buttermilk, milk, vanilla and vanilla bean.  Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just combined.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

 

Blackberry Plum Jam

1/2 C Blackberries, fresh

1 C fresh plums. sliced

1/2 c sugar

1 t lemon or orange zest

 

Method:

Combine the blackberries, plums, and sugar in a  small saucepan and allow to cook until thick.  (Add water if the mixture begins to get too thick).  Add more sugar to taste.  Mix in the zest last.  Let cool.

 

Swiss Buttercream:

 

5 egg Whites

1 1/4 C Sugar

1 1/2 C Butter, cubed

2 t Vanilla Extract

1/2 Vanilla Bean, split and scraped

Method:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar.  Heat over a double boiler, stirring, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is hot.  Then, whip the egg whites until a meringue forms and the bowl of the mixer is cooled down.  Switch to a paddle attachment and set to the lowest setting possible. Begin to add the butter, allowing each piece to be incorporated fully before adding another.  Add the vanilla and vanilla bean last.  Place into a piping bag

 

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