Although there are still some conflicting stories about how the ever-popular cupcake came about, it’s generally agreed that they got their name by the method they were made: One cup of butter, two cups of sugar, three cups of four, and so on, all in nice even cup-based measures. Eventually, it seems like younger generations that have become removed from the baking process only saw the product, and assumed that they were named because they were all baked in little cups, thus their small size and shape. These days, most people just think of cupcakes as miniature cakes, and not much more. If you ask me, the cupcake still has a bit more evolving to do, and the next step is pretty clear, isn’t it?
Naturally, it only makes sense that they become literal cups made out of cake!
Browsing through a quirky little junk store, a pile of silicon ice cube trays and various molds caught my eye, and I dug in, thinking of the adorable frozen shapes I might plop into cold drinks. However, it was the shot glass mold that grabbed my attention, and after confirming that it was oven safe up to about 500 degrees, I began scheming my grand cupcake plan.
Going with nontraditional Asian flavors, I whipped up a quick matcha-flavored batter, pouring it into the molds and placing a sheet pan underneath just for insurance. As predicted, it did bubble up but not over, and so the mushroomed ends simply needed a trim once cooled. The tricky part came when it was time to remove them. Despite a liberal spray of cooking oil with flour, those cakes refused to loosen their grip on the silicon, and my first victim tore horrifically. Thinking on my toes, I tossed the remaining cups into the freezer, forgot about them for a few hours, and was able to take them out intact once fully frozen.
Filled to the brim with sweet adzuki bean mousse, the presentation was almost as good as the taste! This is one format that the frosting-lovers among us would adore, since the deep pocket allows for far more filling than any standard cupcake. While it may take a bit more effort to make, this latest evolution of the cupcake might be it’s most impressive yet. I won’t tell if you just use this mousse in any old cake though, since it’s far too good to be contained to just one type of baked good!
Adzuki Bean Mousse
2 Cups Cooked Adzuki Beans
6 Ounces (1/2 Package) Firm Silken Tofu
1/4 Cup Plain Soymilk
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Dark Brown Sugar, Packed
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
2 Tablespoons Instant Clear Gel
Toss your cooked beans and tofu into a food processor or blender, and crank up the power. Once the mixture is mostly pureed and there are no more chunks of tofu remaining, add in the soymilk and vanilla, and pulse to combine. In a separate bowl, mix together both sugars and the instant clear gel, and slowly sift these dry ingredients into your machine while the motor is running. Once fully incorporated, continue blending for a minute or two to dissolve the sugar, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture feels mostly smooth and slightly thickened. Pipe into or on top of cupcakes, or eat with a spoon- Those beans make it much healthier than your average mousse, after all!