The absurdist (fruit and cheese platter cupcakes)

  • For the cupcakes
  • 315g plain flour
  • 300g caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 10g finely grated orange zest
  • 3 eggs
  • 250ml orange juice
  • 220g unsalted butter, melted
  • 250ml vegetable oil
  • 25g finely grated Parmesan
  • For the brown sugar sauce
  • 250g dark brown sugar
  • 125ml water
  • 8 black figs, trimmed and roughly chopped
  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1g orange zest
  • For the honey goat cheese icing
  • 300g goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 250g cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 25g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 125g icing sugar
  • 20g honey
For the cupcakes:

1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/Gas mark 4. Line 2 muffin tins with 18 to 19 cupcake liners.

2) Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and orange zest in a medium bowl.

3) In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix the eggs, orange juice, butter, and vegetable oil on medium speed until incorporated, about 2 minutes. Turn the mixer to medium-low speed, and add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix until just combined.

4) Fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes completely.

For the brown sugar fig sauce:

1) In a medium saucepan, bring the brown sugar and water to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the figs, butter, and orange zest, and heat until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool.

For the goat cheese icing:

1) In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, whisk the goat cheese, cream cheese, and butter on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, and gradually add the icing sugar until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary. Add the honey and beat until incorporated.

To assemble:

1) Peel the cupcake away from its liner, and place upside down on the top of a new, fresh liner. The narrow end of the cupcake should be facing up at this point. Pour 2 to 3 tbsp. of the brown sugar fig sauce on top of each cupcake, allowing the sauce and figs to drip down the sides. Fill a piping bag equipped with a star tip with the honey goat cheese icing, and pipe stars on the top of each cupcake. Sprinkle the tops of the cupcakes with the Parmesan.

Cook's Note: For an extra fun touch, place a small piece of fruit on a decorative toothpick and place in the top of the cupcake.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

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