These pineapple cupcakes are topped with a milk chocolate ganache and a homemade pineapple candy!
As we drove through what I shall refer to as the pineapple district, we asked our guide how he chooses which pineapple stand to stop at. “The one with the prettiest girl working there, of course.” Guess I should have known. Economics 101: Sex sells.
The pineapple in my pineapple cupcakes was not the best pineapple. In fact, it wasn’t even organic! Instead of my typical trip to Whole Foods, I headed to our local supermarket chain, Dierbergs, to do my shopping this week. The reason for this unprecedented trip was that I had remembered seeing canned pineapple cut into fun shapes like stars. I thought I could candy some shaped pineapple and it would be a really cute cupcake topper. After browsing the store and talking to the manager, I learned that the shaped pineapple was only available seasonally (stars for July 4th, Christmas shapes in Dec.,etc.). Oh well. Turns out it wasn’t such a great loss, I was able to make candy and shape it myself as you will read about later.
Since I was already there and Dierbergs did not carry organic pineapple, I ended up buying a can of conventional crushed pineapple to use in the cupcakes and candy. I will say though that Dierbergs is starting to carry more and more organic products. The problem is that there is an inconsistency in how they are shelved. Some are mixed in with the conventional products while some have their own sections. It seems to me that the organic products should always be presented with the conventional products so that consumers can see their options and make an informed choice. End soapbox.
Armed with my canned pineapple (Note how despite the fact that I was willing to go through the effort to make my own candy, I didn’t want to mess with cutting a whole pineapple), I headed home to bake.
I got the recipe for the cupcakes from Coconut & Lime:
For those regular readers among you, you may note that I made:
- Coffee cupcakes that didn’t have a strong coffee flavor
- Tomato cupcakes that didn’t have a strong tomato flavor
- Tangerine frosting that didn’t taste like tangerine
- Beer cupcakes that didn’t have a strong beer flavor
My second complaint about these cupcakes was that they were a bit too moist (greasy?). The bottoms of the cupcake wrappers were slimy. This has not happened to me before and I hope it does not happen again.
For the frosting, I opted for a milk chocolate ganache. The goal was to make the chocolate taste pineappley by adding some pineapple rum. True to the trend, there was no detectable pineapple taste (or rum taste for that matter) even when adding more pineapple rum than planned.
I got the recipe from Allrecipes. Here is the recipe with my modifications:
Milk Chocolate Ganache
- 9 oz milk chocolate chopped
- 1 C heavy cream
- 2 T pineapple rum
- Place the chocolate into a medium bowl.
- Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
- Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot.
- When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum.
- Allow the ganache to cool slightly before frosting.
Saving the Best for Last – The Pineapple Candy
While the cupcakes were a letdown, the candy topper was not! The pineapple candies were awesome! They were sweet but not overly sweet with a strong pineapple flavor and a melt in your mouth consistency. They were also easy to make aside from being messy and sticky.
If you choose to make these, I would recommend putting them on the cupcake the day you are going to serve them. I left them on the cupcakes for a couple of days and they got soggy. Good thing that I had extras not on the cupcakes to snack on. I got the recipe from about.com. I have reprinted it below.
Homemade Pineapple Candy
- 1 C granulated white sugar
- 1/2 C packed brown sugar
- 1/4 C heavy cream
- 1 can 8 ounces crushed pineapple, undrained
- 1 T butter
- 1 t pure vanilla extract
- Place white sugar, brown sugar, heavy cream, and pineapple (with juice) in a heavy saucepan.
- Stir and bring to a gentle boil.
- Cook, without stirring, until the temperature reaches 242 F. on a candy thermometer.
- Remove from heat. Stir in butter and vanilla.
- Stir to combine, then beat until creamy, thick, and light in color.
- Drop by the teaspoonful onto the a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Let cool to harden. If the mixture becomes too thick to drop onto the pan, add a teaspoon of very hot water, beating well after the addition.
Taking my sex sells pineapple economics lesson into account, I probably should have given the cupcakes batty eyelashes and red puckered lips. However, since I didn’t have to sell these cupcakes, I instead opted for a fashion lesson from one of my favorite musicals, “You’re Never Fully Dressed without a Smile.”