Growing up, I was taught that the way to celebrate this holiday was to plant a tree. So when I saw that this month's Mystery Box challenge was to create a cupcake for Earth Day, I decided to honor our good friends, the trees.
On an episode of Cupcake Wars (one of the few episodes I saw of it) the contestants were asked to bake cupcakes using ingredients that come from trees, and they were given a large table-full of ingredients from which to choose. However, most competitors chose the easy cupcake flavors -- maple, almond, and dates or figs in most cases -- and I was disappointed. I came up with a more adventurous idea to represent some of my favorite tree products: pear, almond, and...
My "Plant A Tree" cupcakes consist of a moist avocado cupcake, a caramelized cinnamon-pear filling, and a sweet, creamy almond frosting. The combination works surprisingly well - the cupcake is subtle (tasters said that they would not have known what was in them if I had not told them, although when tasting the cupcake by itself, without frosting or filling, they could detect the gentle avocado flavor) and the filling and frosting create balance with just the right amount of sweetness but without making it too rich.