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Can you put meat proteins (not butter, but meat) into desserts successfully? I want to try oyster cupcakes. Can it be done?

Hi I'm hoping to hear your opinions. I am looking to make oyster cupcakes. I am curious if it's possible to take something like an animal protein (in this case oysters, but in general for example beef meat, chicken meat, etc) and successfully turn it into a sweet treat (and I really mean sweet, not savory)?
Basically can you cover meat with enough sugar and sweetness to sort-of disguise it?

I'm thinking I can puree the oysters to get them super fine.

Help me concoct this please!! Thanks

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  1. Pureed oysters? Just saying those two words in serial conjunction sort of turns my stomach. And not in a good way.

    How about, instead, something like oyster fritters (deep fried in a sweet crepe batter) and then drizzled with either a fruit syrup, or a perhaps some honey?

    Short of all that, there's always Bacon Candy ...

    1. caramelized bacon seems to have been the darling of this idea the last 5 or 6 years. makes me wonder if oysters are too lean.

      1. I've done a bacon crumble on apple cake and bacon maple syrup cinnamon buns

        1. but if you're going to add enough sugar and sweet to disguise the flavor....what's the point?

          Personally, I love oysters, but oyster cupcakes? Blergh.

          6 Replies
          1. re: sunshine842

            it's not as much disguising the flavor as it is making it palatable to people who don't like them.

            i think it would be successful in my eyes if someone who didn't know they were in there took a bite and didn't even think it tasted different from any other cupcake.

            i need to experiment.

            1. re: curiousaboutcafos

              Why would you deliberately serve food to people if you know they don't like it?

                1. re: youareabunny


                  If someone doesn't like them, I say More for the rest of us!

                  1. re: elenacampana

                    Exactly! If people don't want to eat something, don't make them!

              1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                You are not proving any point by disguising the flavor. And if they have an undisclosed shellfish allergy or religious constraint at the root of their refusal are you prepared to handle the consequences?

            2. In a light corn bread batter with sugar of course...might be nice, but maybe chopped, not puréed ?

              2 Replies
              1. re: jill kibler

                yeah a sweet oyster corn muffin not a cupcake sounds a lot better.

                1. re: hill food

                  I definitely second the chopped not pureed thought.

                  this turns into kind of a pound cake in my results:

                  I usually up the cornmeal a bit and decrease the flour and sub-in lemon zest for the orange and limoncello for the amaretto. of course opposite to you I'm more interested in making sweet things a bit savory so I often add rosemary. I can see adding sauteed oysters.

              2. There are meats that the Chinese have sweetened (sweet & sour pork, lemon chicken) and I consider most BBQ sauces sweet. Meat seems to go well with sweet things. I think it would be wrong to hide the meat. Be bold. Go with your idea of using oysters (or some other animal protein) in a cupcake. Promise you'll get back with us about what you eventually did and how your cupcakes turned out.

                1. You "can" do most things, technically, but I'm really curious as to why you want to.

                  (If you really have to put meat in a cupcake I think duck would be way better than oyster, though.)

                  11 Replies
                  1. re: lamb_da_calculus

                    because i'm on this kick right now with oysters and clams.

                    they are super super healthy and i feel like it'd be a good way for people who don't like them to get them in their systems for health!

                    out of any of the meats you can eat, anything of animal origin, it's the best of both worlds! it's nutrition that comes from the least sentient of beings PLUS they are the healthiest animal foods you can eat out of anything else.

                    besides the health aspect i'm also just curious as to if it's possible.

                    1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                      <they are super super healthy and i feel like it'd be a good way for people who don't like them to get them in their systems for health!>

                      So why not look for savory protein concoctions that would incorporate oysters/clams? Or are you living in a compound full of peeps who only live on cupcakes?

                      1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                        There is no possible definition of the work healthful or even healthy that could include bivalves, except that they're high-protein/low-carb, and here you want to load them up with simple carbs like flour and sugar and put them into a freaking cupcake.

                        As filter feeders living in shallow coastal waters, they eat almost nothing but fish poop and contaminants, pollutants, effluents and other nasty upstream runoff from nearby urban areas, loaded with heavy metals, PCBs, petrochemicals and other toxic waste. Nearly every case of Seafood-borne illness in recent years has been traced to shellfish rather than deep-water finfish -- not to mention the periodic fun breakouts of Red Tide that hit the coast randomly all over the country and usually without warning.

                        And I don't think you want to know how the farmed stuff is raised in SE Asia.

                        "Healthy"? Are you joking?

                        I love clams, mussels and oysters as much as anyone and even eat them raw. But I don't fool myself into pretending I'm eating Health Food.

                        1. re: acgold7

                          I love oyster stew & oyster fritters. What you wrote got me thinking I should reconsider ever eating oysters again. But before I'd scratch oysters off my future menus, I thought I'd double check. I couldn't find any article about the dangers of eating cooked oysters. I even read a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is evidence about the risks of eating raw oysters. I'm not trying to be disrespectful here with you. I am honestly curious about your claims. Please post a link that verifies what you say, as I missed it.

                          1. re: i_am_Lois

                            With all due respect, I'm not your personal research librarian. But a simple Google search on the phrase "pollution in shellfish" produced 2.5 million hits in less than a second. On the first page alone were more than a dozen articles dating from 1930 to the present from all over the world and both coasts of this country which directly related to this topic, with specific mentions of coliform bacteria as well as urban pollutants, PCBs and the other things I mentioned just from memory. Even the industry trade groups acknowledged, grudgingly, that deep-water fish were safer than shallow, near coastal shellfish.

                            I love oysters as much as you do. I'm not planning on eliminating them from my menu, cooked or raw. But again, healthy? Maybe, maybe not. Certainly not "the healthiest animal foods you can eat out of anything else."

                            I can't begin to address the argument from the OP that it's okay to eat one animal just because it's much stupider than another animal which therefore isn't okay to eat, because that's logic I just can't begin to comprehend. So oysters are okay but shrimp are not?

                            1. re: acgold7

                              OK I typed in "pollution in shellfish" as you so generously provided... even though you're not my personal librarian, and then did a bunch of reading. What it boils down to is we should only eat oysters harvested from trusted suppliers, and there are risks when eating raw oysters. Not a problem in regards to the question curiousaboutcafos posted. Cupcakes are baked.

                              1. re: i_am_Lois

                                No, it doesn't boil down to just that. There's much more. You must have missed the part about pollutants that aren't cooked out, not bacteria.

                        2. re: curiousaboutcafos

                          first off -- shellfish are not meat. Meat is muscle fiber of a land-based animal. Fish is fish, and shellfish are shellfish.

                          I'm with acgold in looking askance at your claims that it's okay because they're not sentient...

                          and I'd love to see a few peer-reviewed quotes saying that shellfish are "the healthiest" food you can eat.

                          1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                            It is nice to think that you are doing something good for your body with oysters and clams. I would like to know the origin and whether they were farmed or live taken.

                            1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                              You'll quickly negate the healthfulness factor with all the sugar you'd need to cover up the seafood flavor. It's just NOT a good idea. People can get nutrients in many ways with many other foodstuffs.

                          2. I don't know if you can turn a hunk of roast beef into dessert, but you can make sweet beef jerky, chocolate covered bacon, and candied pork rinds.

                            1. beignets.

                              IIRC mincemeat pie did once use beef tallow and offal in addition to nutmeats.

                              but the query "basically can you cover meat with enough sugar and sweetness to sort-of disguise it?" is the stumper for me.

                              you can disguise anything if that's your goal.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hill food

                                There is a fabulous mincemeat recipe containing both ground beef and beef suet in Craig Claiborne's "NYT Cookbook."

                              2. i was going to try and get this experimented with before thanksgiving but i think i'll put it off for christmas.

                                if i end up experimenting i will post my results in case there is anybody ever interested in trying it for themselves.

                                wish me luck!!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: curiousaboutcafos

                                  shellfish, vegetarian dishes and sweets are very traditional for a Christmas Eve (no meat for you until you've attended Xmas Mass - why midnight vigil Masses became so popular)

                                  so bang. all in one.

                                2. I think that any health benefit in a food item would be offset by surrounding it with enough refined flour, sugar and fats to disguise it completely.

                                  If you want to hide oysters in food to trick people into eating them, I think I'd put them in something savoury. Oysters have a fairly distinctive flavour, and you'd have to work hard to cover that in a sweet dish - pureeing into a meatloaf would be much easier.

                                  For sweet meat dishes - I'd look at older recipes. In medieval times, for example, mixing fruits and meat were more common (ham with pineapple is modern holdover). Look for old-style mincemeat, for example.

                                  Disguising chicken or beef in a dessert so that someone can't tell the difference would be difficult, I think, unless the quantity is so small that it is overwhelmed by the other ingredients.

                                  1. The flavor of oysters will not be hidden well enough in a sweet baked good unless you used so few oysters as to make your original point moot.

                                    There are lots of sucessful recipes made with beans and/or tofu as ways to add protein to desserts.
                                    If you insist on using a meat product then start with a more neutral tasting one like chicken or pork.

                                    And don't save one for me.

                                    1. Try fried oysters or chowder. It's probably the texture that they don't like.

                                      If you're bent on hiding them in cupcakes then maybe roast til dry, dip in chocolate, chop them up, dip in chocolate again, roll in cinnamon or cocoa powder, then fold the pieces into chocolate cupcake batter. Maybe add peanut butter to hide them even more.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: youareabunny

                                        and bury them out in the yard sealed up in heavy crockware for a few months like kimchee.

                                        1. re: youareabunny

                                          chocolate-covered oysters just made me throw up a little in my mouth.

                                          the beauty of an oyster is that distinct whiff and taste of the sea.

                                          op: if you're of a mind that oysters are healthy (they are!) then burying them in a cupcake is not the answer. especially if you're then surrounding them with vegan fake butter and crap like agave.

                                          everything is delicious fried. :) make fritters.

                                          1. re: youareabunny

                                            And a handful of scotch bonnets so your tastebuds are traumatized enough to not register the chocolate and oysters in the same bite....

                                          2. Think of it like zucchini. Healthy. Zucchini cake? Not so much. I love oysters but all these ideas of cupcakes and chocolate? No...

                                            1. You could. But there are lots things one can do that one should not waste time doing.

                                              There is a classic sweet meat dish: mincemeat pie, which used minced beef and beef suet.

                                              I would suggest that sausage and cured meats - the classic forcemeats - make the best candidates for complementing a sweet dish.

                                              Not. Oysters.

                                              1. You could look up some old episodes of Cupcake Wars on the Food Network. They frequently have to bake with unusual ingredients (jalapeños, squid, broccoli, chicken - I'm pretty sure they've done oysters), often not with great results.

                                                1. This just seems like a pointless exercise and a waste of good ingredients.

                                                  No one will be nutrient deficient by not eating oysters so why force the issue? Someone who thinks they dislike oysters will not be won over by a concoction which totally disguises them. But they may be annoyed enough to add you to their list of dislikes... ;-)

                                                  There are really no perfect foods. Each food has pluses and minuses - which is why "moderation" is such a good philosophy.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. This made me throw up a little in my mouth.

                                                    Why would you want to purée oysters and put them into cupcakes so no one would know they are even there? As someone whose DH is allergic to shellfish, the idea is completely appalling, both as a health safety issue and a taste issue. Whatever health benefits the oysters have would be negated by the cups of sugar you'd have to add, not to mention all the flour, eggs, oil, butter, etc.

                                                    Eat some raw oysters, follow them up with a regular cupcake and chase it all down with a multi vitamin.

                                                    1. Well, they do on Cupcake Wars... but they have varying degrees of success! The ones that work best seem to go with LIGHTLY sweet or even savoury cupcakes - too much meat and too much sugar just doesn't go together. The idea of pureeing them and trying to hide them is nauseating to me. I've tried to eat them a few times but I HATE OYSTERS. Cooked, raw, made into chowder or standing on their heads, I still haven't been able to stomach them. I love calamari and scallops, but oysters are just too 'oystery'.

                                                        1. Can I just say that this is the weirdest post I've seen on CH?
                                                          I have nothing else to add that hasn't been said.