Vanilla Bean Cupcake Base
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 tablespoons cake flour
- 1 cup milk, room temperature
- 6 large egg whites, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 large vanilla bean
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
- 4 tablespoons oil
1 Preheat oven to 350°.
2 Grease and flour two 9in cake pans.
3 In small bowl combine milk, egg whites, vanilla, scraped insides of vanilla bean and set aside.
4 In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder and combine at low speed.
5 On low, add butter pieces one at a time and then oil; mix until resembles moist crumbs.
6 Add milk mixture and beat at medium speed for two minutes until light and fluffy.
7 Stop mixture, scrape down sides of bowl and beat again for about 30 more seconds.
8 Divide batter evenly between into cupcake tray (I suggest you use an ice cream scoop for a perfect amount, leaving a nice gap to the top of the paper so that it can expand without overflowing) and place in the oven to bake until toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean (start testing at approximately 12 minutes).
9 Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 5 minutes.
For the Tequila-Lime Frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2¾ cups powdered sugar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 2 tablespoons tequila
- Pinch of coarse salt
If you want an extra jolt of tequila, brush some over the top of the cooled cakes.
(You prepare this ahead of time, it's almost like a pickling, once the jalapeño slice has fully absorbed the sweetness you slip one sliced pepper into the center of each cake. Don't slice them too thick, or it can be a very unpleasant surprise, I like to almost shave them down. And make sure to take out the seeds, otherwise it's super spicy. Unless you like that, then hey.. have at it :)
- 1 pound jalapeño peppers
- 2/3 cup cider vinegar
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- Freshly grated zest and juice of 2 limes
Combine vinegar, sugar, cayenne, and lime juice in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sugar is dissolved and mixture is syrupy, about 5 minutes. Add jalapeños, bring mixture back to a simmer, and cook until peppers are slightly wilted and darkened, about 4 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer jalapeños to prepared jars. Return syrup to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Remove saucepan from heat. Stir in lime zest. Ladle hot syrup over jalapeños in jars. Wipe rims of the jars, cover with lids, and screw bands on until just barely tight.