This past week, with Halloween around the corner, the baskets contained candy (for all 3 rounds) and when I was thinking what I'd bake today...let's say I was inspired. I think I've been pretty honest that I'm a candy corn "addict" and love when this time of year rolls around to have an excuse to buy several bags! So, that is my candy from my mystery basket that I used to add to the cupcakes. If you've seen the show, you know the judges give points for creativity and just adding candy as a garnish wouldn't do. I decided to make a ganache for my filling with candy corn and white chocolate, but it was the cupcake, with fresh pumpkin that will really grab the gold ring!
Fresh Pumpkin Cupcakes with Candy Corn~White Chocolate Ganache
& Vanilla Swiss Buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
3 cups freshly grated pumpkin
1/4 cup sour cream
Candy Corn~White Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup candy corn
1/2 white chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
I suggest mixing up the ganache before starting the cupcakes In a small saucepan, heat the heavy cream and candy corn together or medium heat. Stir frequently and lower the heat a bit once the candy corn starts to melt. When completely melted and "bubbles" appear around the edge of the heavy cream, remove and pour over the white chocolate. Whisk to combine.
Preheat oven to 350F-degrees. Use cupcake liners in muffin pans (recipe makes 18 cupcakes).
Cut a Sugar Pumpkin in half and scrape the seeds and membrane (or as my grandson says, "the guts") out. Peel the pumpkin; I use a porcelain peeler to make the job easier. Wrap the other half in plastic and refrigerate for another use.
Grate pumpkin, using a box grater or a grating attachment to your food processor; you'll need 3 cups.
In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oil and sugar together thoroughly. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and pumpkin pie spice and beat once more.
Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the batter, along with the sour cream and mix on low until combined completely. Finally stir in the pumpkin.
Scoop batter into the prepared lined muffin pan(s).
Bake 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown--use a wooden skewer (or your fingertips pressed on top) to check for doneness.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Mix up the Swiss Buttercream or you could use your favorite Cream Cheese Frosting recipe. Use an apple corer to remove a "plug" from the middle to allow the ganache.
Transfer the ganache to a piping bag with at least a #12 tip and fill the centers.
I like to place part of the "plug" back over the ganache to cover. I divided the buttercream into three bowls and colored one in yellow and one in orange besides the white. When I put it in the piping bag, I tried to swirl the colors.
I'm not holding out for the Chopped producers to call me, but I sure had a lot of fun making a unique cupcake that would be spooktacular on any Halloween table. Enjoy!