You'll find potato starch on the baking aisle at most of your local supermarkets and health-food stores. Also known as potato flour, it helps ensure the cupcakes will have a fine crumb and moist texture.
6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 ounces potato starch (about 1/3 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 cups sugar
10 tablespoon butter, softened
3 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup half-and-half
2 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
Dash of salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
Garnish: 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 350°.
To prepare cupcakes, lightly coat 24 muffin cups with cooking spray. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Weigh or lightly spoon potato starch into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, potato starch, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon salt, stirring well with a whisk.
Place 1 3/4 cups sugar and 10 tablespoons butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine milk and half-and-half. Add flour mixture and milk mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat just until combined. Fold in bourbon and 1 tablespoon vanilla. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffins cups; bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans; cool completely on wire racks.
To prepare frosting, combine 1 cup sugar and 1/4 water in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes, without stirring, or until candy thermometer registers 250°. Combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and dash of salt in a large bowl. Using clean, dry beaters, beat with a mixer at high speed until foamy. Pour hot sugar syrup in a thin stream over egg white mixture, beating at high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low; continue beating until egg white mixture cools (about 12 minutes). Fold 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa into cooled meringue mixture, and top each cupcake with about 2 tablespoons frosting. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa evenly over cupcakes, if desired.
Potato starch is NOT the same thing as potato flour. You would get a very dense and dry product if you used potato flour. Both can be found in the gluten free section of your grocery store, just make sure you get starch. If you can't find potato starch, corn starch works as a pretty good substitute.
This has to be the best cupcake and icing I have ever made at home! Overall, these cupcakes are super easy to make and the icing (though it sounds like a lot of work), is the easiest / most fail proof out there if you have a stand mixer. Times on the icing should be followed to a "t;" you can feel free to omit the cocoa if you want white frosting too. Sub out low-fat buttermilk for the half & half and whole milk amounts; works great. For the cakes, use cake flour in lieu of all pupose and don't omit the alcohol (honey whiskey or spiced rum work well) - the flavor is needed to balance the potato starch. The fluffy, oh so chocolate-y icing can be mounded high and tastes just amazing on these moist cakes. I only got 18 cupcakes from the batter; the cupcake wells were almost full and the bake time was about 3 min longer in my oven than called for in the recipe. Everyone loved these desserts and were amazed I made them myself; no one believed they were "light." ENLOY!
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