Posts tagged ‘cupcakes’

November 6, 2011

Easiest Chocolate Cake

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My internal dialogue was definitely discouraging, while making this cake. No egg, who bakes a cake without eggs – even brownies have eggs, this was certain to be a disaster. And now add lemon juice or vinegar! What was this going to taste like? And really!? I’m going to prepare this cake right in the baking pan! No mixing bowl? No creaming the butter, but melt it? Huh? Where am I!? What is going on? After all of that, the batter was thinner than pancake batter! We were surely headed for thin deflated cupcakes. Certainly, you are asking me why would I even consider this recipe after reading it? Well it comes from the Joy of Baking website, a place I trust and the photo was very enticing. New and different is what I like, new challenges!

Joy of Baking – Chocolate Cake

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup granulated white sugar

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder(not Dutch-processed), sifted

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup warm water

1 tablespoon lemon juice(or vinegar)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven.

In an ungreased 8 inch square cake pan, stir together the flour, sugar, sifted cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Add the melted butter, water, lemon juice, and vanilla extract. With a fork, mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

Bake in preheated oven for about 35 minutes, or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

**NOTE: I made these into cupcakes rather than a cake. Fill the baking cups 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes – or until a toothpick comes out clean.**

In the end, this is a very good simple recipe. It’s a heavier, moist cake. Not a light cake. The best description was somewhere between a brownie and cake. I’m more amazed by how well this cake came out and that it doesn’t have any eggs! (can’t get over that!).

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~Enjoy~

Amanda

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October 31, 2011

Ghosties Cupcakes

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We have been reading the “Three Little Ghosties” book by Pippa Goodhart, this Halloween. It has best illustrations! (by AnnaLaura Cantone"). This is where I got the name for these cute little cupcake treats.

For my daughter’s Halloween Party at school we were assigned a dozen cupcakes. For this recipe I used my Chocolate Cake recipe and Vanilla frosting recipe:

Chocolate Cake

2  cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 package of instant chocolate pudding (only the powder)
1 1/4 c. milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pudding powder and salt. Measure out the milk, set aside.

With an electric mixer in a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time allowing each to incorporate well before moving on to the next ingredient.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk.

Use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter. It makes the perfect size cupcakes. Scoop a heaping scoop of the batter into each cup. Stick one Reese’s miniature peanut butter cup in the middle of the batter in each cup.

Bake for 18-20 minutes. (The time will depend on your oven.  Since moving and changing ovens I have had to cook these for 21 minutes otherwise they deflate because they aren’t cooked thoroughly.)

 

Vanilla Buttercream

1/2 cup shortening (used the Crisco stick because it’s easier to measure)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) – room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
2-4 T. whole milk
1 T. vanilla extract

In a stand mixer, beat the shortening and butter together, add the vanilla bean and extract.  Incorporate the sugar gradually – 1c. at a time. Once sugar is incorporated (it will look dry) add the milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you get the consistency you like. It will be about 2-3T for a medium consistency.

Cover with a wet cloth while not in use, or place in the fridge if you plan on using it much later.

Use a cake decorating bag or a zip lock bag and spoon in the frosting. Cut a big sized corner off the bag. Pipe on the ghosties by holding your bag straight up and down and squeeze some frosting in a spiral motion onto the cupcake. You can also squeeze the frosting out and press down a little then back up and then down again, repeating this action.  

Eyes & Mouth

Melt some of your favorite milk or dark chocolate in the microwave (at 30 second intervals stirring each interval until completely melted) or melt in a double boiler (I use a small pot with a few inches of simmering water, and a metal mixing bowl that is big enough to sit on the pot, not in it).

Allow the chocolate to cool enough to handle.  Pour your chocolate into a zip lock baggie, cut a super small tip off the corner of the bag and pipe on the eyes and mouth. Using dots for the eyes and different shapes for the mouths – oval, sad, circular – filled in solid with chocolate.

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July 30, 2011

S’mores Cupcakes

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That classic summertime, campfire dessert. A gooey mix of melted chocolate, toasty marshmallow and crunchy graham crackers. This is one of the things I most look forward to each camping trip – you cannot camp without eating S’mores! That would be criminal.

As much as I love summer, and S’mores, it’s only natural that I create a special summertime cupcake! I spent a lot of time searching the web, looking at recipes and photos deciding how I thought best to represent S’mores in a cupcake form. I saw everything from a graham cracker crust (similar to a cheesecake) with chocolate cake and a marshmallow on top to a chocolate cupcake with marshmallow crème with graham cracker crumbs sprinkled on top.

I really wanted that graham cracker flavor but the texture of melted chocolate and gooey marshmallow – to stay true to S’mores. So I decided to go with a graham cracker flavored cake, replacing some of the flour with ground graham crackers. Then topping the cake with Nutella (the texture is just like melted chocolate and it tastes so good) and using my favorite Meringue frosting and torching it – which is a good reason on its own to make these cupcakes!

(Note you could also use marshmallow crème in place of the meringue. Pipe the crème on and then torch it)

Graham Cracker Cupcake Recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup ground graham cracker
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. room temperature butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°

In a food processor, process the graham crackers until you have a fine powder.

Whisk together flour, ground graham cracker , baking powder, and salt.  Separately mix milk and extract, set aside.

Combine butter and sugar in a large bowl or in a stand mixer. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time allowing each one to incorporate well before moving on.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk.

Use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter, heaping scoops so the cup is about 3/4 of the way full. It makes the perfect size cupcakes.

Bake for 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

If I told you that this recipe for Meringue is from chef Thomas Keller, the chef of two 3-star Michelin rated restaurants: The French Laundry and Per Se, you might be inclined to skip the frosting and choose the Marshmallow crème. Please don’t! It is not as difficult as you may think. The recipe is, after all, in Chef Keller’s Ad Hoc at home cookbook – for the home cooks (ambitious cooks). This is a fantastic meringue for frosting, lemon bars, lemon tarts and lemon pies! I highly recommend at least attempting this frosting…then you can say you are able to cook like a 3-star Michelin chef (wink wink).

Meringue Frosting

1 ¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon water

3 large egg whites, at room temperature

½ teaspoon of vanilla extract (if using for frosting)

Combine 1 1/14 cups of the sugar and the water in a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat to 220°, stirring at first to dissolve the sugar. (Note the syrup will boil vigorously and become very clear when it reaches this temperature, still use a thermometer).

Meanwhile, in a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium speed until they begin to look foamy, then gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon of sugar. Increase the speed to medium-high and whip until the whites form soft peaks.

With the mixer running, slowly add the sugar syrup, pouring it down the side of the bowl to avoid the whisk. Add the vanilla, if using, and continue to whip until stiff peaks form and the bowl is cool.

Assembly

Cool the cupcakes. Spread some Nutella onto the cupcakes (while resisting the urge to lick the spatula)

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Pipe the meringue onto the cupcakes, leaving enough of the chocolate showing for the S’mores look. Fire up the torch and toast the tops!

~Enjoy~

Amanda

October 19, 2010

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

Delish devil’s food cake, creamy chocolate ganache filling, topped with white chocolate buttercream frosting.

I seriously don’t think that I could say anymore that would entice you enough to want to try these cupcakes. This was the birthday flavor of the month. A definite must make again recipe (as if any of the recipes I post I wouldn’t make again). The ganache turns into this thick creamy center in the cupcake kind of like a chocolate truffle. It’s sinfully delicious and makes you want another one! Luckily all of these were pretty much designated to be given to people, otherwise I would not have let one of these tastey cakes go to waste!

Cupcake Recipe

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 package of instant devils food pudding (only the powder)
1 ½ c. buttermilk
1 t. vanilla extract
1t. almond extract
1/2 c. room temperature butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pudding powder and salt.  Separately mix milk with vanilla and almond extracts, and set aside.

With an electric or stand mixer in a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time allowing each to incorporate well before moving on to the next ingredient.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk.

Use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter. It makes the perfect size cupcakes.

Bake for 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Frosting Recipe   

1/2 cup shortening (Crisco has sticks and they are so much easier to measure)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) – room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
2-4 T. whole milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1 c. melted white chocolate

I used Wilton’s Candy Melts for the white chocolate because the Candy Melts, melt nice and smoothly too. Melt according to the package directions. (or use almond bark or your favorite white chocolate chips or bars).

In a stand mixer, beat the shortening and butter together, add the cooled melted chocolate and beat at low speed 1-2 on a KitchenAid stand mixer.  Now, incorporate the sugar gradually – 1c. at a time. Once sugar is incorporated (it will look dry) add the milk 1 T. at a time until you get the consistency you like. It will be about 3T for a medium consistency.

Cover with a wet cloth while not in use, or place in the fridge if you plan on using it much later.

Filling Recipe – Ganache

1 ½ c. heavy cream
15oz semi-sweet chocolate chips, or coarsely chopped

Place chocolate in a heat proof bowl. In a saucepan heat the cream to just before it reaches a boil. Pour the cream over the chocolate and allow the chocolate to melt and the mixture is smooth.

Now you need to completely cool the ganache either in the freezer for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator covered.

Once completely cooled whip the ganache with a whisk or using a hand or stand mixer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Assembly

Using a cupcake filling tip on a decorating bag, fill the bag with filling then inject the cupcakes with the filling. (or use this method).

To decorate use the coupler only (without a decorating tip) and pipe the frosting in a circular motion. I sprinkled some black sugar flake I found at Michael’s Art and Craft store.

Triple Chocolate Cupcakes

September 27, 2010

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

 

In my office I self appointed myself to make cupcakes for the office birthdays. It was a reason to practice baking, I can get creative with cupcakes, and everyone loves cupcakes. This month the request was for a simple vanilla cake with vanilla frosting. So to make plain vanilla a little more exciting I chose vanilla bean. I used my favorite cake recipe (see also lemon raspberry cupcakes). I had been looking for a butter cream frosting that tasted like something you would get from a local bakery that was not greasy like the buttery recipes I always came across.  Alas, I found one!! It’s actually from Wilton cake website, and several of my favorite baking blogs use the recipe as well.

This cupcake recipe can be altered for any flavor your heart desires, for chocolate I would add chocolate pudding powder and a 1/4 cup of cocoa powder (and bump the amount of milk to 1 1/4 cup). For the lemon recipe on my blog I experimented with vanilla pudding and lemon pudding it was good either way the lemon zest and juice really is what makes the lemony flavor. I haven’t tried other flavors yet, but you can be sure I will be experimenting.  This recipe will likely remain my staple cupcake recipe.  The pudding cake comes out so good!

Cupcake Recipe

2  cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 package of instant vanilla pudding (only the powder)
1 1/4 c. milk
2 t. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean
1 1/2 sticks room temperature butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pudding powder and salt. Cut vanilla bean lengthwise and then using the blunt edge of your knife scrape out the vanilla bean. Separately mix milk and vanilla bean and extract, set aside.

With an electric mixer in a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time allowing each to incorporate well before moving on to the next ingredient.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk.

Use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter. It makes the perfect size cupcakes.

Bake for 18 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes

Frosting Recipe   

1/2 cup shortening (used the Crisco stick because it’s easier to measure)
1 stick butter (1/2 cup) – room temperature
4 cups confectioners sugar
2-4 T. whole milk
1 T. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean

In a stand mixer, beat the shortening and butter together, add the vanilla bean and extract.  Incorporate the sugar gradually – 1c. at a time. Once sugar is incorporated (it will look dry) add the milk 1 T. at a time until you get the consistency you like. It will be about 2-3T for a medicum consistency.

Cover with a wet cloth while not in use, or place in the fridge if you plan on using it much later.

Behind the scenes – mini food blogger in training, (in dress up).

The new cupcake carrier! SO much more convenient – Target for about $20
May 23, 2010

Lemon Raspberry Cupcakes

I was inspired by the fake-out spring weather we got over a week ago. Now that we have gone back to winter in May I wanted to bring out the flavors that remind me of warmer weather! What better way to do that than with citrus? I knew I wanted to make lemon cupcakes with a pudding cake recipe and some lemony cream cheese frosting. Now what else can I add to compliment it? Strawberries? Yea! Then a co-worker suggested raspberries! Even better. (I originally made this recipe and filled the cupcakes with seedless raspberry preserves which was good, but making my own raspberry filling was tastier, the preserves were too jammy for me).

Lemon Pudding Cupcakes:
(adapted from http://www.carlyiscooking.blogspot.com)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 package of instant vanilla pudding (only the powder)
3/4 c. milk
1 t. vanilla extract
1/2 c. room temperature butter
3/4 c. sugar
the zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
2 eggs

Preheat oven to 350

Whisk together flour, baking powder, pudding powder and salt. Spearately mix milk and vanilla, set aside.

With an electric mixer in a large bowl combine butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add lemon zest then the eggs one-at-a-time.

Incorporate the dry ingredients and milk by alternating – half of the dry ingredients and half of the milk.

A great tip got from the http://www.carlyiscooking.blogspot.com website was to use a small ice cream scoop for the cupcake batter – great tip! Perfect size cupcakes.

Bake for 18 to 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
(from http://www.xplicitsweetness.blogspot.com)

8 oz cream cheese, softened
4 T butter, softened
1 fresh lemon, juiced
5 c powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in 2-3 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Blend in the lemon juice. Add the remaining powdered sugar according to your own consistency preference.

The filling…
12oz. fresh raspberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 T lemon juice

Mix all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Over low heat, cook the filling until boiling.

Using a cupcake filling tip on a decorating bag, fill the bag with filling then inject the cupcakes with the filling. (or use this method)

To decorate the cupcakes I used a cake decorating tip and placed a raspberry on top.