I can go about my food writing days pretty much unfazed by food trends now. I couldn't describe to you how jarring it was to write about a food trend you know (or, at least hope) is going to die the instant you finish the piece.
Cupcakes are an interesting case study. They're often subject to bucking trends, but when it comes to bitesize pastries that do just as good as cute gifts as they do naughty treats you eat six at a time without a second thought, they're still a clear winner. Whether it be a Rainbow or a Fidget Spinner cupcake, I usually don't mind the adornments as long as the core dessert stays the same.
Delish has gone and ruffled my britches, though, with their new creation, the Pickle Cupcake. You thought they were crazy serving Pickleback Shots in a pickle shot glass? If not then, how about when they made Pickle Pizza, Pickle Hummus, Pickle Wings, or even Pickle Bread? Clearly, they've only scratched the surface.
No one, not even the moreish oddball that is me, could anticipate pickle desserts. How could I? How could you? How could anyone in his or her right mind go off and make pickle cupcakes? Only Delish.
To most (even the most avid pickle eaters), the idea is repulsive. It sounds like a weird pregnancy craving that's gotten way out of hand. The guys at Delish promise that the cupcake itself is not bad, only the thought of it. I really hope they're right.
Delish claim that with about half the sugar of a normal cupcake, it's not very sweet, which makes the dill and chopped pickles not so weird. "Think of it as a muffin with a fluffier crumb." This does take the initial sting out of the shock of hearing the words "pickle" and "cupcake" together, but you still can't shake off that gut feeling that something's not quite right.
The recipe is a fairly simple cupcake recipe. Apart from, you know, the pickles. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. In another, cream together butter and sugar, add the eggs to this, and then beat until combined. Then, it's time to get weird. Add sour cream and pickle juice and beat it until it's mixed.
Then, stir in the flour mixture and add some chopped pickles. Yep, just throw them right in there. Line your cupcake holders, and place in the oven. I can only imagine what that baking smell must do to your olfactory system.
Things get really weird with the frosting. Not being able to decide what would taste delicious on a cake made with pickle juice, the guys ended up trying peanut butter, chocolate, and vanilla buttercream. Nothing worked. Eventually, they decided on a not-so-sweet cream cheese frosting (that still feels gross).
Taste tests left people very confused. Most people didn't dislike it, but they didn't like it. Frosting, however, was definitely voted a no-go. Brave enough to have a go yourself? If you do, maybe have a backup batch of normal cupcakes at the ready, or go to your nearest rainbow cupcake stall.