oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with
paper liners. In a medium bowl combine
the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir together with a
fork and set aside. In the bowl of an
electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and
sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down
the bowl after each addition. Mix in the
sweet potatoes, maple syrup and vanilla extract, beating just until
combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low
and mix in the dry ingredients, beating just until incorporated.
batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through,
until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, for about 18
minutes. Let cool in the pan briefly,
then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
To make the
frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a bowl set over
a pan of a few inches of simmering water. (Note: I use my clean, dry mixer bowl
right off the bat to avoid dirtying two bowls.) Heat the mixture, whisking
frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer
the mixture to an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk
starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until
stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until combined.
frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip (I used Wilton #21.) Pipe swirls of frosting on top of each
cupcake. Brown the frosting with a
kitchen torch**. Sprinkle lightly with
additional brown sugar, if desired.
*To make the
sweet potatoes, I baked sweet potatoes wrapped in foil at 400˚ F until
fork-tender through to the center. Once
cool enough to handle, I scooped out the flesh and mashed it until smooth.
often ask if there is an alternative method to brown the frosting without a
kitchen torch. Is there? Yes. Do I recommend it? No. If
you absolutely must, you can use the broiler in your oven. However, this offers far less control than a
torch and it is a short moment of distraction can easily result in ruined
frosting. Kitchen torches are
inexpensive and a fun and handy tool to have around. If it is feasible, I highly recommend
investing in one.
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