Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Maple Cinnamon Swiss Meringue & Sugared Pecans
1 cup chopped pecans
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream
-Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small bowl, combine pecans, brown sugar and heavy cream. Mix thoroughly. Spread into a baking pan, sprayed with cooking spray. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, or until coating is dry and slightly crystalized, stirring once. Remove from oven to cool and stir once more.
1&1/4 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¾ cup sugar
6 tbsp butter, at room temperature
6 ounces (or one small) sweet potatoes, peeled & diced
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla
-Heat the oven to 350 F and line a 12 cup cupcake pan with paper liners. Steam the sweet potatoes until fork tender, about ten minutes. Set aside to cool slightly then mash with a fork until smooth. In a medium bowl cream together the butter and sugar until light in color, about three minutes. Add the egg, sweet potato, buttermilk and vanilla. Mix until well combined. In a large bowl sift the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Pour the wet mixture into the dry and whisk until no large lumps remain. Do not over mix. Divide the batter evenly between the baking cups. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed in the center. Cool for three minutes in the pan then remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
2-3 large egg whites (75 grams)
½ cup plus 2 tbsp light brown sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple flavoring
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
-Add egg whites, brown sugar and salt to mixing bowl and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 160 F. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (This can take up to 10 minutes or so). Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture. Add vanilla, maple flavoring and cinnamon, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
Pipe buttercream on top of cooled cupcakes and top with sugared pecans, if so desired. Enjoy!
*Makes 12 cupcakes