Saturday, November 12, 2011

Blueberry Pomegranate Ginger Cupcakes Painted Purple

This week’s GO BLUE post is dedicated to a color bigger than blue — Purple!
…Because it’s made from a combination of blue and red …
…Twice the color …
…Get it?

Earlier in the season, I pledged to bake something Michigan themed every week. While plotting out all of the possible Michigan themed baked goodies I could create, blueberry served well as a go-to ingredient — in theory anyway. As it turns out, blueberries are not blue at all once you bake them into something, and if you heat them on their own, the purple REALLY comes out.

Yesterday, as I browsed the web for recipes (an activity that is fast becoming my Saturday morning ritual), I stumbled upon Paint it Purple, an annual global campaign created in 2010 by The Pixel Project to raise the profile of the USA’s National Domestic Violence Awareness Month worldwide (description copied verbatim from the website). The campaign has since been extended into November to account for November 24: the International Day of Elimination of Violence Against Women and the 16 Days Against Gender-based Violence.

The project and the message — it's time to stop violence against women together — really touched me, and I knew immediately I needed to become involved. 

Last September, I became involved with Ann Arbor's Take Back the Night, a nonprofit organization designed to raise awareness of sexual assault against women. I joined the group because violence against women, and sexual violence in particular, makes me sick and I wanted to do something to prevent it.  Speaking out against sexual violence was virtually out of the question — almost every time I’ve tried to voice my frustration with sexual violence against women, I’ve been reduced to anger-driven tears. Helping plan and facilitate a rally and march around campus to raise awareness of sexual violence — that was something I could do.

Know what else is something I can do to raise awareness about violence against women? Bake cupcakes!!

Amidst the many way methods of participating in the Paint if Purple campaign, submitting a cupcake recipe was most up my ally. According to their website, I have until November 17 to submit a recipe. I also have until November 20 to submit a blog, as part their Blog Carnival!

…No time like the present!

I dedicated the rest of my day to researching cupcake recipes to improve the chance that an original cupcake recipe would be successful. This was manifested in a lot of careful scrutiny over baking powder versus baking soda proportions in all of the recipes I’ve followed or adapted in the past several months. Fun, really...

These Blueberry Pomegranate Ginger Cupcakes with Blueberry Frosting are dedicated to every woman who has ever been victimized because of her gender. May it never happen again.

Blueberry Pomegranate Ginger Cupcakes (a Young Idealistic Baker original recipe)
Makes 12 cupcakes
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 1 1/2 cups flour 
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger 
  • 1/2 cup blueberries + 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk 
  • Heat blueberries and pomegranate seeds over low heat for 5-10 minutes, or until juices leak out and start bubbling
  • Cool berry mixture in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or bring to room temperature before using
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners
  • In a medium bowl, blend butter and sugar until light and fluffy
  • Add eggs and vanilla extract
  • In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger
  • Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and blend until incorporated
  • Add berry mixture and blend
  • Depending on how much liquid is in the berry mixture, you may need to add 2-4 of milk — add as much as necessary to turn the mixture from dough-like to batter-like
  • Distribute batter evenly among muffin tins and bake for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Blueberry Frosting (also a Young Idealistic Baker original recipe)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • Heat the blueberries over low heat for 5-10 minutes, or until juices leak out and start bubbling
  • Cool berry mixture in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or bring to room temperature before using
  • In a medium bowl, blend butter until light and fluffy
  • Add berries and vanilla and blend until incorporated
  • Add powdered sugar, one cup at a time until spreadable or pipable frosting consistency is acquired

Happy baking and if you have one more moment to spare, forward this recipe on to any woman you know who has ever been the victim of gender-based violence. Let her know she is not alone and there are many people fighting to take back the power and Take Back the Night!

So bake a cupcake, write a blog, post a tweet, and no matter what else you do today, take some time to stand up, step in, and speak out against violence against women. (slogan from SAPAC — Sexual Violence Prevention & Awareness Center)

1 comment:

  1. Awesome original recipe and such a great cause. These look yummy and definitely painting it purple : )