Recipe courtesy of Hollis Wilder

Jalapeno Shrimp Popper Cupcakes

  • Level: Advanced
  • Total: 2 hr
  • Prep: 2 hr
  • Yield: 24 mini cupcakes
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Ingredients

Cupcakes:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 cups buttermilk

1/2 cup pickled jalapeno pepper juice

4 tablespoons minced pickled jalapeno peppers

2 tablespoons seeded and minced fresh jalapeno peppers

3 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

1 cup grated extra-sharp Cheddar

24 sheets red colored soy paper, cut to desired width and size

1 jar (at least 6 ounces) jalapeno jelly, favorite brand

Savory Shrimp Tomato Cream Cheese Mousse:

12 ounces cream cheese, cold

2 tablespoons tomato paste 

1 tablespoon shrimp paste 

1 tablespoon hot jalapeno sauce

Freshly ground pepper 

Cheese Tuiles:

Nonstick oil spray

One 6-ounce bag shredded Parmesan

Candied Jalapeno Feathers:

6 cups sugar

3 jalapeno peppers

Glazed Shrimp:

48 small shrimp, peeled, deveined and precooked

Nonstick oil spray

3 tablespoons jalapeno jelly

Directions

  1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Using a whisk, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, pickled jalapeno juice, pickled and fresh jalapenos, eggs and butter. With a wooden spoon, stir the wet ingredients into the dry until most of the lumps are dissolved. Don't over mix! Fold in  the grated Cheddar. Line two 2 dozen mini-cupcake pans with the edible soy paper wrappers (or use paper wrappers). No need to spray the pans. 
  2. Fill the prepared pans with the batter three-quarters of the way full using a small ice cream scoop. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 9 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pans when cool to the touch.
  3. Heat the jalapeno jelly in small pot until melted. Using a pastry brush, glaze the cupcakes with the jalapeno jelly, making sure not to glaze the wrappers. Set aside until assembly.
  4. For the mousse: In large bowl, beat the cold cream cheese using a hand mixer until smooth. Add the tomato paste, shrimp paste, jalapeno sauce and black pepper to taste. Mix until thoroughly incorporated. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (No need to add salt! Shrimp paste is salty enough.) Place in a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip and chill in the refrigerator until ready for assembly.
  5. For the tuiles: Heat a large nonstick saute pan sprayed with a thin layer of oil spray on medium heat. With your fingers, lay out in a single layer 1-inch diameter circles (about 1 tablespoon) of the Parmesan. Heat until they bubble and are golden yellow around the edges. Carefully lift out of the pan with a spatula, set off to a silicone baking mat and reserve until ready to garnish.
  6. For the candied jalapeno: Combine 3 cups of the sugar and 1/2 cup water in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and cook until the temperature reaches 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer, about 3 minutes. Wearing gloves, cut the jalapenos lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips. Place in a medium pot and cover with 4 cups cold water. Heat on high until the water comes to a boil. Allow to boil until the peppers are vibrant green, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the sugar syrup. Simmer until the jalapenos are tender to the bite, blistered and emerald green, about 15 minutes. Remove from the syrup. Cover a baking sheet with the remaining 3 cups sugar and roll the jalapenos until covered in sugar. Allow to dry in the sugar until hard. Set aside for assembly.
  7. For the shrimp: Thaw, rinse, drain and pat the shrimp dry. Heat a large nonstick saute pan sprayed lightly with oil spray. Add the jalapeno jelly and heat until liquid. Add the shrimp and toss until warmed through and thoroughly glazed. Set aside to cool or they will melt the savory cream cheese mousse. Reserve for assembly.
  8. To assemble: Pipe the glazed cupcakes with cream cheese tomato shrimp mousse.  Top with a cheese tuile, sauteed glazed shrimp and finish with a candied jalapeno. Serve on a small clear plastic plate.

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