Guava Filled Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting
Lately I have been enjoying the cakes from a Dominican/Spanish bakery near my home. You may even say an addiction is forming. I fell in love with the guava filling used in the Dominican cake and I can't get enough of the meringue frosting (Suspiro) they use. I did try making my own Dominican cake last month, but it wasn't a total success. Even my boyfriend, who is Dominican, bluntly informed me that it didn't taste at all like Dominican cake. I've heard you need to make a lot of them before you get it right. So one day, hopefully not too far away, I'll succeed at making this divine cake and share it with you. Until then, I had the cunning idea of taking the guava filling and meringue frosting and adding it to vanilla cupcakes. These babies are so good you won't be able to stop at one! In fact, I think I caught myself eating 6 in one day! The vanilla flavor of this recipe is subtle and the guava filling complements it perfectly. I was a bit intimidated when making the frosting for the first time, you kind of feel like you need 6 arms. But if you keep your mind on the prize (silky smooth, delicate meringue) and follow my notes you'll be fine. This frosting also goes extremely well on chocolate cake (as tested at Thanksgiving).
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 3/4 cups sugar
2 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1 & 1/2 cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1/4 can Goya guava paste
4 tsp sugar
1 & 1/2 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar (granulated)
1/4 cup water
4 egg whites
2 tablespoons sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit (176 degrees celsius).
2. In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the butter and mix on low speed, until the mixture looks like fine crumbs (about 3 minutes).
3. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
4. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate small bowl. Beat half of this mixture into the flour/egg mixture. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, add the rest of the milk mixture and beat for another 30 seconds.
5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with mixture and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.
6. Make the guava filling: cut the guava paste into small cubes and place in a small saucepan along with the sugar and water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer until the guava is completely dissolved and resembles a sauce. Remove from heat and cool completely.
7. Make the meringue frosting: In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar and water and bring to a boil. When the syrup begins to thicken slightly, after a few minutes, begin to beat the egg whites with the salt at maximum speed. Add the sugar by sprinkling it over the egg whites. Be very careful when doing this, as if you add too much sugar at once the egg whites will become flat. You need to sprinkle it like a fine mist of rain for best results. Continue to cook the syrup, being careful to keep stirring it to prevent sugar crystals from forming.
The syrup for the meringue frosting
8. The syrup is done when you put a spoon in it and the dripping looks like a thread. Add the syrup to the egg whites which should now have soft peaks, continuing beating on maximum speed. Continue beating meringue on high speed until desired consistency is reached. When it's done, the meringue should have a shiny appearance. The bowl should feel cool to the touch once the meringue is ready.
9. Using a small sharp knife, carefully cut out the centers of the cupcakes. Place the guava filling in a piping bag and fill cupcakes.
10. Pipe the meringue frosting onto the cupcakes.
1. The syrup must be hot while pouring it into the egg whites, to get them cooked properly and avoid the egg smell. Never let the syrup cool because it will stick to the pan and it gets very hard when cooled.
2. Make sure all the utensils and machine to be used for making the frosting are clean and free of grease, oil or butter residue. After washing them thoroughly wipe with vinegar or vodka and dry thoroughly. If not cleaned properly the meringue won't come out right and will be flat.