Archive for the ‘cupcake’ Category

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Easter Cake Pops!

April 26, 2009

Well, my first foray into baking post-babies was to try out the Cake Pops from Bake-rella‘s lovely blog.  You can find the recipe and lots of examples there. She creates the cutest little pops for all kinds of occasions and I (and Beth) thought we’d try out her Easter concoctions!

Strawberry and Chocolate cake balls

We started out rolling all the cake mixture into balls.  Boy was that messy, but tasty!

Cake ball close up

You have to rinse your hands periodically or the cake just sticks to you rather than forming a ball.

We neglected to read the part in the recipe ahead of time that mentioned the need for refrigeration… So we opted for the freezer method… Unfortunately, many of our pops cracked, we figure from the contrast of super cold inside versus warm dipping medium.

Some needed “stiches”…

Stiched chick

We dubbed him “Franken-chick”

We made chicks, bunnies, easter eggs, cup cakes, white sheep, and black sheep.

chicksbunnieseggs and cupcakessheep

Though I must say, I think our black sheep looked more like porcupines.  What do you think?

Black sheep

Well, pretty or not.  Cracked or not.  Black sheep or Porcupines.  They were fun to make and darn tasty too!  I’ve had requests for turkeys at Thanksgiving, so we’ll see how that goes!

Cake Pop gathering

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Gooey Chocolate Cakes

April 1, 2008

Gooey cakes solo

Ah! Another scrumptious Tuesday with Dorie. This week it is Gooey Chocolate Cakes! This recipe was super easy and didn’t require much in the way of hardware. Didn’t even need a mixer. Just a bowl and a whisk (and a double boiler)! I took Dorie’s advice and got some disposable muffin tins. She was right! They were just the right size to make six. The only issue I had was the chocolate I sprinkled on didn’t sink into the batter. I think I may have chopped it too small. Didn’t effect the taste, just made the bottoms extra gooey.

Gooey cakes on parade

Made a night of it! Asked some friends over for dinner, popped the muffins in as we were loading up our plates and by the time we had finished eating, out they came! So yummy! Served ours with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some chocolate syrup, mmm! I just had to have people over… They just wouldn’t be the same reheated another day, so had to have enough people to eat them up while they were fresh, didn’t I?!? Of course, I didn’t have my camera, so the pictures are on my friend Fu’s camera… They’ll be along later!

I do wish they were a bit bigger. Didn’t last nearly long enough 😉

Gooey Chocolate Cake

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

5 ounces bittersweet chocolate,

4 ounces coarsely chopped,

1 ounce very finely chopped

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 large egg yolk, at room temperature

6 tablespoons of sugar

Getting ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. butter (or spray – it’s easier) 6 cups of a regular-size muffin pan, preferably a disposable aluminum foil pan, dust the insides with flour and tap out the excess. Put the muffin pan on a baking sheet.

Sift the flour, cocoa and salt together.

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water, put the coarsely chopped chocolate and the butter in the bowl and stir occasionally over the simmering water just until they are melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and yolk until homogenous. Add the sugar and whisk until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add the dry ingredients and, still using the whisk, stir (don’t beat) them into the eggs. Little by little, and using a light hand, stir in the melted chocolate and butter. Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups and sprinkle the finely chopped chocolate over the batter.

Bake the cakes for 13 minutes. Transfer them, still on the baking sheet, to a rack to cool for 3 minutes. (There is no way to test that these cakes are properly baked, because the inside remains liquid.)

Line a cutting board with a silicone baking mat or parchment or wax paper, and, after the 3-minute rest, unmold the cakes onto the board. Use a wide metal spatula to lift the cakes onto dessert plates.

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S’mores Cupcakes

March 22, 2008

S’mores Cupcakes

S’mores Cupcakes

Ok. You say “marshmallow” and the first thing I think of is “S’mores”, so it’s only fitting that I make a S’mores cupcake. I’m sure it’s not a terribly new idea, but boy is it tasty! Nothing brings of memories of Girl Scout camping trips like the smell of a perfectly toasted marshmallow. And I like mine a golden brown color, here, folks. None of this “set it on fire, blow it out and call its charred remains toasted” nonsense. If I wanted to eat charcoal, I’d lick one of the logs.

Roasting the perfect marshmallow takes time. Patience. The willingness to be a human rotisserie… but thankfully, little culinary torches are readily available and your local hardware or cooking store. So, my cupcakes are nicely toasted and I didn’t even have to build a bonfire in my backyard. A fact that I’m sure would please my neighbors and the fire department very much if they knew of their good fortune. Especially since my hubby is a bit of a pyro. Burnt off all his arm hair once because he put gasoline on a fire before he lit it *to get it going faster*. The ensuing fireball was quite spectacular. Luckily only his arm hair was affected. Untold amounts of mocking pleasure for all those present, however. To which he replies, “yeah, but it got it started, didn’t it?” He’s so special.

I wanted my cupcakes to have all the components of a true S’more, so I have 3 distinct layers. I have a layer of graham cracker crust pressed into the bottom of each cupcake (I made this by combining graham cracker crumbs and butter in a food processor), topped with a milk chocolate cake, then the marshmallow fluff (lightly toasted with a torch) and finally some graham cracker crumbs for garnish. For the marshmallow topping, I just put a tub of marshmallow fluff in a pot of boiling water until it got gooey and then spread it on the cupcakes.  And I have to say, using the torch was so fun!  I guess my hubby isn’t the only pyro in the house!  I strongly recommend consuming these while the marshmallow is still warm… makes them that much better! Yum! If you can’t eat them right away, pop them in the microwave for about 10 seconds and it’s back to being heaven…

S’mores Cupcakes

Graham Cracker Crust

6 tbs. butter

1 ½ c. graham cracker crumbs (or about 24 crushed graham crackers)

¼ c. sugar

In a small saucepan or the microwave, melt 6 tablespoons of butter.

Measure 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs into a medium bowl.

Add 1/4 cup of sugar to the graham crackers.

Add the melted butter.

Stir or blend together with your hands.

Press into the bottom of the baking cups.

Old Fashioned Milk Chocolate Cake

3 ½ c. cake flour, sifted

½ tbs. baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tbs. salt

6 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 c. water

1 c. butter, softened

2 c. granulated sugar

½ c. brown sugar, lightly packed

1 ½ tbs. vanilla extract

6 XL eggs, warm in shells

1 c. buttermilk

Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl.

In medum heat-proof bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate in water, stirring occasionally until smooth and remove from heat.

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter on medium until creamy. Continue beating while sprinkling in granulated and brown sugars, 1 tbs. at a time.

Add vanilla and beat until very light.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until thoroughly blended after each, then beat until very light and creamy.

Blend in chocolate.

Add flour in 3 parts alternating with 2 parts of buttermilk. Beat on lowest speed until each addition disappears.

Fill each cupcake cup ½ way and bake at 350°F until a toothpick comes out clean or the cake springs back when pressed lightly. Approximately 20 minutes.

Additional equipment needed: culinary torch

Top each cupcake with the marshmallow frosting and roast to the desired toasty-ness. Sprinkle toasted cupcake with a pinch of graham cracker crumbs.

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Marshmallow Mermaid Cupcakes

March 22, 2008

Marshmallow Mermaid Cupcakes

Marshmallow Mermaid Cupcakes

This cupcake creation was inspired by the movie Waitress. I love pies and was so terribly disappointed that they did not include recipes on the DVD for that movie! They have such wonderful sounding pies! Just a little section under “Special features”. Would that be so hard?!? But I digress. I don’t know much about making pies, but cakes? That’s another story!

I’m a sucker for lime. You offer me lime-flavored anything and I’m there. And for me, when I think of limes, I think of Key limes. And when I think of Key limes I think of Florida and the ocean, so it was a natural progression for me to use key lime for my Marshmallow Mermaid cupcakes! For this cupcake, I’m combining Key Lime Blondies, marshmallow frosting, mini multi-colored marshmallows and edible glitter.

This is a new creation for me! I’ve never made any of the components before! Boldly into the fire I went! The first hurdle I ran into is the unavailability of key lime extract in my neck of the woods. But I persevered! I found a lovely recipe on Recipezaar for Key Lime Extract. The straining process was rather long, but the end result was worth it.

Key Lime Extract Shot

It came out such a gorgeous green!

My next challenge was the Blondie base. Blondies/Brownies don’t rise as much as cake batter, so I had to decide how much batter to put in each cut to achieve “cupcake” height… I experimented with different levels (some were very sad little cupcakes. I had to put them out of their misery *yum*). I found ¾ of the way full was the way to go. The Blondie batter makes for a very flat cupcake. If I were topping these with just regular icing, it would have been disappointing, but since I’m covering it with mini mallows, it makes for a lovely, flat decorating surface. I decorated some with whole mallows and others I cut the mallows into 4 pieces. Which one do you like better?

big and little mallows

All in all I think this cupcake was a great success and a great learning experience. I always prefer to make things I’ve never made before. Keeps my kitchen interesting! Plus, if I actually ever get to open my bakery *sighs dreamily* I’ll have lots of inventions stored up!

Marshmallow Mermaid Cupcakes

Key Lime Coconut Blondies

1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
2 c. (packed) golden brown sugar
3/4 c. (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
3 tbs. key lime juice
3/4 c. shredded sweetened coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a few muffin pans with aluminum foil liners. Butter and flour foil. Whisk 2 cups flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in medium bowl to blend. Using an electric mixer beat the brown sugar and the butter, in large bowl, until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, then key lime juice. Add flour mixture and beat just until blended. Stir in shredded coconut. Fill each baking cup ¾ full.
Bake dessert until top is golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Cool completely in pan on rack.

Makes 24 cupcakes. For the traditional Blondie, bake in a 9×9 pan, lined with foil that has been buttered and floured, and it will yield 16 Blondies.

Marshmallow Frosting

1 lb. unsalted butter (at room temperature)

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract (optional) *I used key lime extract

1 (16 ounce) tub marshmallow cream (such as Marshmallow Fluff brand)

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy.

Beat in one-fourth of the sugar until fluffy, and then repeat with the remaining sugar.

Beat in the vanilla, and then stir in the marshmallow cream until well blended.

Yield: 24 servings

Additional Supplies: mini multi-colored marshmallows and edible glitter in a green/aqua/turquoise color (whatever floats your boat.)

Top cooled cupcakes with marshmallow frosting, mini marshmallows (cut into 4ths or whole) and edible glitter. Enjoy! …makes me want to go on vacation somewhere sunny and warm.