guava cupcakes

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Yes, I know. They sort of look like muffins topped with pepperoni. This is still a work in progress. It’s guava paste. Maybe cutting them into cubes would’ve been better.

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I realized after making these that I am developing sort of a love/hate relationship with guavas. Maybe more with guava products. At least as far as baking with them goes.

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The reason is that while I really love (and miss, having grown up in a tropical region) the flavor of fresh guavas, and the products that can be made from fresh guavas, like guava jam, guava juice, jellies, and puree, etc., I find that in using fresh guava or freshly made guava products for baked goods, the flavor seems to get lost, or is barely there.

And using frozen guava juice concentrate seems to be somewhat of an answer, but it is super sweet and often has other artificial flavorings and colors. The pure guava flavor still seems to get lost.

So when I found a guava pulp concentrate in a Mexican store nearby, I decided to give it a whirl. I decided to use it like applesauce and make a muffin recipe that normally calls for applesauce. It had almost the same texture and consistency of applesauce, so I figured it would substitute well.

And because I was almost sure that the guava pulp would not be enough, this is where the guava paste come in. I decided to slice little circles of guava paste, a popular product that is most often used which, while good, also is something where I feel the flavor, though strong, is sort of a sanitized, generic taste of guava. It’s good, it just doesn’t taste like real guava. (I probably sound like a guava snob.)

Initially, I decided to top the muffins with only one circle of guava paste. In the center. But the result was kind of like a “boob” cupcake in appearance, and I also found myself wanting more of the paste. Also, because the batter looked gray-ish, I added a few drops of food coloring. I know, I’m such a hypocrite.

So, I ended up dotting the tops with at least three circles of guava paste. Left out the food coloring because this time I added more of the guava pulp, and it had a more pleasant yellowish pink color, and wasn’t gray.

I also initially put chopped almonds, which added a nice crunch, but I decided to leave them out, because they distracted rather than complemented the guava flavor, I thought.

Here’s a picture of the initial “boob” cupcakes, with chopped almonds:

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I think I like the final product, but might need to try making them one more time. I like them enough, I guess. How’s that for love/hate? I gave them away (appropriately, to someone who is part of an Hawaiian cultural and dance group), and only have the “boob” ones left, and as I write this, I’m eating one, and just not feeling it.

I think maybe if I have one tomorrow for breakfast, with my coffee, instead of tonight, not only might the flavor be stronger, I’m hoping, but being more in the mood for a muffin at breakfast time might change my opinion of them. It was still fun to make.

Anyways, I hope you enjoy!

Guava Cupcakes (based on Taste of Home’s applesauce muffins recipe)

ingredients

1/2 cup butter (4 ounces), room temp.

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1and 1/3 cup guava pulp concentrate

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)

method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 count standard muffin pan with paper liners, or grease liberally with butter. Set aside.

Sift and whisk flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon into a bowl, to incorporate well. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar with a hand held mixer, or using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and egg and mix well, scraping down the sides and mixing again to incorporate well.

Alternating between the guava pulp and the flour mixture, incorporate by mixing on low speed and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Start with about a third of the flour mixture, mix, then add about half of the guava pulp. Mix. Then repeat.

When dividing equally into 12 cupcake liners or molds, add about 4 Tablespoons for each cupcake. Top with about three circles of guava paste that are about the size of nickels.

Bake in the middle rack of the oven for about 18-22 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean when tested in the middle. Cool on a wire rack. Goes well with cream cheese.

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