Monday, September 20, 2010

Tiger Tiger Cupcakes

I grew up in Hamilton. Yeah yeah, I've heard it all before. You can go ahead and pity me if you'd like - everyone else seems to. I don't mind. The thing is, growing up in Steeltown is not too bad. In fact, some of the best memories I have took place around that city: Getting pipping hot fries straight from the fry truck and eating them right under the power lines, catching buckets full of fireflies on a steaming hot summer night, crying tears of joy with the rest of the town while we watched the Leafs squeak into the playoffs.

That last one is a little sad, seeing as we always ended up crying tears of remorse when the Leafs eventually lost in the playoffs. You may not know this, but Hamilton is really not known for their stellar sports teams. The Bulldogs do well, though I always thought they did better while they were still the Canucks. The Blue Jays had quite the hay-day when I was growing up, but I think they may go the way of the Expos sooner than we think.

Finally, there's the Tiger Cats. The CFL's little joke. But, if you were born and raised in Hamilton, you are required to love them. Even after a ten game loosing streak, we would all go down to the local creamery joint and watch the game together over a big bowl of Tiger Tiger ice cream. It's a favourite around Ontario - I even managed to find some out in western Canada - but some of you Yanks may not know what you're missing. Picture a creamsicle, then shove some black licorice strings in the middle. You've got yourself Tiger Tiger. May seem weird, yes, but I promise you, it is amazing. I still have cravings every year during the end of football season. Instead of running around looking for a carton, though, I've decided to start making cupcake versions of the Hamilton treat. The recipe I've developed tastes just like the ice cream. Dare I say, it tastes better than the ice cream.

tiger (4)

I thought I'd finally share this recipe with everyone while I enter in this month's Mystery Box Challenge. If you haven't come across this contest, you really must check it out. This month the winner receives:
Super cool, eh? Well, sit back and enjoy the taste of my favourite childhood memory. Even if it is full of tears. Tears that only a failed CFL league could bring.

tiger (11)

Tiger Tiger Cupcakes
Anise Cakes with Marshmallowy Creamsicle Frosting and a Black Licorce Drizzle

Makes 18 Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/4 milk
2 teaspoons anise extract

1)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt together. Set aside. In a small cup, mix together the milk and extract and set aside.

2) Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately beat in flour mixture and milk mixture.

3) Spoon batter into cupcake papers and bake for 20-25 minutes or until your tester comes out clean. Set out to cool before icing.

Creamsicle Frosting
1/4 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 pinch salt
1 tsp orange extract
orange food colouring (optional)

1) In heatproof bowl, whisk together the water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and salt. Set the bowl over saucepan of simmering water and beat constantly until mixture holds stiff peaks (about 5 to 7 minutes).

2) Remove from saucepan. Beat until frosting is cooled, about 2 minutes. Beat in orange extract and food colouring (if you wish). Pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

Black Licorice Drizzle
1 tablespoon water
1/3 icing sugar
1 tsp anise extract
black food colouring

1) Mix everything together in a small bowl. If it is too runny, add a bit more icing sugar. If it is to thick, add a bit of water. Drizzle over the cupcakes in stripes.

tiger (8)

Go Ti-cats Go! At least you have a better season record than the Leafs!


Jamieanne said...

Wow, they look amazing! I'm always so impressed by your entries! Good luck in the competition! :)

Lina Thomlinson said...

Wowza! I love black licorice so I am totally on board with these. What a clever flavor combination and they look lovely to boot! Thanks for sharing the recipe and good luck in the competition.

Anonymous said...

Your icing and drizzle look like they're to die for. good luck!

Monet said...

So can I please have one? These look like some amazing pieces of tiger goodness! I loved hearing about your hometown too...Thanks for sharing a unique cupcake recipe...I just adore black licorice so these would be such a hit with me!

Anonymous said...

What incredible cupcakes! I love these!

Joyti said...

I dont know where Hamilton is...
But your cupcakes look gorgeous. The drizzling is a very nice effect. And the name is far too cute :)

Evan @swEEts said...

Man these cupcakes look fierce!

Unknown said...

gorgeous cupcakes! It's amazing how much yummier everyone's sound after reading the inspiration. It's great you were able to recreate them so well!

Rick said...

Those are adorable! Love tigers.

n said...

Lovely cupcakes, as usual!
Did you grow up in Hamilton - Ontario? If so, this is so funny! I already told you (via Twitter) that one part of my family lives near Vancouver.. Another part,my grandmother for instance, lives in Guelph! I have spend some childhood holidays there and also visited Hamilton !!
Small world:)
Keep up the baking !!

Torviewtoronto said...

lovely cupcakes perfect for the season

Stephanie said...

Yum - sounds great and I love the way they look!

Anonymous said...

These are so cute! Good luck :) PS, I've got a giveaway going on that I think you might be interested in :) Stop by and check it out!

Mary @Delightful Bitefuls said...

These look incredible - wow, so great!

Good luck in the competition!

Great blog; so happy I found you!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls

patissierement-votre said...

This is such a great idea for Halloween :)

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