Vanilla Bean Golf Ball Cupcakes 3.13 Dear Richard and Emily
“Oh, shoot.” [Lorelai walks to the kitchen where Sookie is frosting a golf ball cake]. “Sook-”
[Sookie flips the cake into the garbage can] “God!”
For the cupcakes:
1 whole vanilla bean*
¾ cup heavy cream
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ⅔ cups all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
For the frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup heavy cream
1 whole vanilla bean *
4 cups powdered sugar
½ tsp salt
Green food coloring
For cupcake assembly:
12 golf tees
12 white chocolate truffles
* I highly recommend using whole vanilla beans for this recipe. However, they can be expensive. So you can swap 1 vanilla bean for 3 additional teaspoons of vanilla extract.
For the cupcakes:
Use a sharp knife to open the vanilla bean and scrape out the center seeds. Add the heavy cream and entire vanilla bean contents (including the shell) in a small saucepan and place over medium-low heat. Allow the cream to reach a strong simmer but not boiling.
Once the cream reaches a strong simmer, remove from heat and allow to steep for 30 minutes. Then remove the shells from the cream and discard.
While the cream is steeping, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Mix in the egg, sour cream, and vanilla until smooth.
Add in the cream and mix until fully combined and smooth.
Gradually mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until fully combined.
Fill 12 wells of a prepared muffin tin with the cupcake batter about ¾ of the way full.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-22 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow the cupcakes to completely cool before decorating.
For the frosting:
While the cupcakes cool, prepare the buttercream frosting by creaming the butter and heavy cream.
Use a sharp knife to open the vanilla bean and scrape out the center seeds into the bowl. Discard the shell. Mix in the salt and combine
Add the sugar in a cup at a time, mixing in between each time. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula so that everything is fully combined.
Gradually add in the green food coloring until you get your desired shade.
To decorate the cupcakes:
Add the frosting to a piping bag or large ziploc bag with a corner snipped off. If you have a grass piping tip, insert that before adding the frosting. If you don’t have a grass tip, you can use a star or circle tip.
Pipe frosting onto each cupcake. Insert a golf tee into the center of each cupcake and add a white chocolate truffle to the golf tee to serve as a golf ball.
So this dish is a bit more of a deep cut for Gilmore Girls fans. You may have thought I was going to make one of Luke's burgers from the exchange from Dean and Jess when Dean orders for the construction crew. I can always distinctly hear Jess going “two plain burgers” all slow and sarcastic. I don’t know if I will keep this plan, but part of me wants to make Luke’s burgers my last dish (minus the Santa Burger). I don’t know, there is just something poetic about ending on Luke’s burgers. They’re so iconic to the show. But we’ll see.
The scene in which Sookie flips the golf ball cake into the trashcan is so comical to me. I didn’t want to make a whole golf ball cake because I need to practice my fondant skills before I reach that point. Originally, I was going to make golf ball cake pops for this dish even though I’ve never really liked cake pops. I’m not quite sure why, but I just haven’t. I didn’t want to buy special golf ball cake pop molds because when am I ever going to need to make golf ball cake pops again? I had this idea of rolling the cake pops in white pearl sprinkles before the candy coating hardened to create a textured golf ball look, but it just wasn’t working out. I nixed the cake pops and decided to go with cupcakes instead.
If you’ve been reading along this season, you’ll know that I have felt that the last few episodes have been uninteresting, but we get back into the good episodes with this one. I personally love the flashback scenes in Dear Richard and Emily. Chelsea Brummet, the actress who plays Lorelai, does such a fantastic job of portraying Lorelai as a teenager. I wish they would have brought her back for other episodes with more flashbacks of young Lorelai.
The flashbacks in this episode obviously give us a better look into how the relationship between Lorelai and Emily fell apart. Lorelai felt trapped in her childhood home, and wanted to raise Rory in a different environment, but Emily was hurt when her daughter left with just a letter and no goodbye. This is one of those conflicts that I think this show does so well. We as the audience can see and sympathize with both sides here.
The other major plot in this episode is Sherry giving birth to Gigi. Though there is a bit of logic bending in this episode (Sherry lives in Boston, which is 2 hours from Hartford, but both Rory and Lorelai seem to get to the hospital in a matter of minutes), I think it makes for a great story that Rory is the only person to help Sherry while she’s in labor. And then later, Lorelai comes to reluctantly support her too. While people may think Lorelai is often immature or selfish, I think she does something in this episode that many people wouldn’t be able to do. What do you think of Lorelai supporting Sherry when Chris is not able to be there?
Happy Cooking from the Hollow!
If you missed what I made last episode, catch up here!
Cupcake recipe adapted from Fresh April Flours