Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Captain Kirk: Neapolitan Astronaut Ice Cream Cupcake

In a small town in Iowa, something spectacular will happen on March 22nd. Not during this year, no. And not next year. This special little event will be taking place in the year 2233. How do I know, you ask?

Because Gene Roddenberry told me so.

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For this month's Mystery Box Challenge, we were asked to use cupcakes to celebrate an extra special birthday. I ask you, what could be more special than the birth of James Tiberius Kirk? Or, the future birth? Whatever it is, the 22nd will be a day for nerds to celebrate. And what's a celebration without cupcakes?

These little treats are inspired by Very Small Anna, a blog that constantly excites us. She first came up with the fabulous idea to put astronaut ice cream into baked goods. Crazy? Maybe (crazy like a fox!). But such an appealing idea. What a better way to celebrate the future Captain of the USS Enterprise?

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We changed the original recipe around, creating a strawberry and chocolate cake with vanilla icing and a freeze dried cookie crush. Though this was probably one of the most labour-intensive cupcakes we have made thus far (and that's saying something), it's for sure one of the best. It tastes . . . well, like ice cream. Exactly like neapolitan ice cream. So, if you ever find yourself with some extra astronaut ice cream (come on, I know you're hording it from your last trip to the science centre), set aside some for these cupcakes.

I'd seriously break the prime directive for another bite.


The Captain Kirk
Neapolitan Astronaut Ice Cream Cupcake
adapted from Very Small Anna

Makes five cupcakes - just enough for your away team

1/8 cup butter, soft
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp fine salt
1/4 cup milk, divided
2 packages of neapolitan astronaut ice cream, one package of astronaut ice cream sandwich
1 egg white
1/8 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cocoa powder

1)Preheat the oven to 350. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk, then divide the dry ingredients equally between two small bowls. Whisk the cocoa powder into one of the bowls. Set both the bowls aside.

2) Open up your packages of ice cream and cut apart the three flavours. Place the vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and cookie (off of the ice cream sandwich) all in small bowls. With a mortar and pestle, crush up the vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate very finely. Take 1/8 cup of milk into the strawberry and an 1/8 cup into the chocolate. Stir until all the pieces have disintegrated (add a splash more milk if needed).

3) Cream the butter and sugar together with a hand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and continue to mix. Divide the wet ingredients in half and add the chocolate milk to part of the butter mixture and the strawberry milk to the other half. Whisk the chocolate and the strawberry so everything is evenly mixed. With a wooden spoon, mix in one bowl of dry ingredients into the strawberry and the other bowl of dry ingredients (the one with the cocoa) into the chocolate. Mix until just incorporated.

4) In another bowl, whisk the egg white until it reaches stiff peaks. Take roughly half of the egg white and fold it carefully into the strawberry. Do the same with the other half of the egg and the chocolate batter.

5) Scoop a spoonful of chocolate into five cupcake liners, enough to fill half the cup. Fill the cups the rest of the way with scoops of strawberry. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until your cake tester comes out clean. Set aside until cool before icing.

Vanilla Ice Cream Frosting
1 egg white
1/4 cup sugar
a pinch of cream of tartar
1/2 cup butter, soft & in small pieces
The vanilla part of three astronaut ice cream packages
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

1) Crush the vanilla ice cream up into a fine powder. Take a couple small pieces of butter, melt them in a bowl, then stir in the vanilla powder. Set aside to cool.

2) Set the egg white and sugar on top of a double boiler (on medium) and whisk until all the granules have gone. Take off the stove, add the cream of tartar, and whisk with an electric mixer until its formed stiff peaks. Add all the cubes of butter slowly (including the cooled vanilla butter) and mix until smooth (this process might take away - but stick with it!). Add the vanilla and mix until everything is even. Ice the cooled cupcakes and top with crumbled freeze-dried cookies.

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The winner of March’s Mystery Box Cupcake Challenge will receive prizes from:
Thank you to all our prize sponsors!


FromTheHeartsOf said...

Oh wow! These are amazing! I am following you now after I read the post on Cupcakes Take the Cake.

Island Vittles said...

these are so excellent! I had no idea that tomorrow was J.T. Kirk`s birthday. As a Star Trek geek I feel shame.

But you totally have me wanting to order some astronaut ice-cream. Theresa

Anonymous said...

I love that you use astronaut ice cream in this! Such a random and fun ingredient! Even more awesome that you chose to do a neapolitan flavor combo - they look great!

anna said...

Aw yeah! Love the different faces of Kirk you have going on. :)

Lorraine said...

Too funny! These look so pretty and sound delicious. Could you beam me up

Debbie said...

I am a serious Star Trek geek and these cupcakes look great! They were inspired:)

Melissa@EyesBigger said...

This is so awesome! That is all.

Rei said...

These look amazing!! But, how much Neapolitan ice cream is needed? By package, do you mean an ice cream sandwich's amount? Thank you very much!

C&C Cakery said...

Rei - two packages of neapolitan astronaut ice cream will do it for you, just like this: I bought an extra astronaut ice cream sandwich package too, but I'm sure you could do without it.

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