Chocolate Peanut Butter Hi-Hats

September 5, 2011 at 2:58 PM | Posted in cupcakes, recipe | 6 Comments
Tags: , ,

HAPPY LABOR DAY
… to ALL my dear cupcake freaks.

Labor Day always signals the end of summer for me. So the holiday is a little bittersweet. But it’s Husband’s 3rd most favorite holiday (besides #1 Thanksgiving and #2 Halloween). He loves any reason to get together with family, eat hamburgers from the grill and swim in Aunt Katie’s pool.

Aunt Katie is Todd’s aunt but even before we were married I was calling her Aunt Katie. When Aunt Katie told me that she loves chocolate+peanut butter (Who doesn’t??), I knew EXACTLY what I was making for her combination Labor Day-Birthday party.

I got the idea from my friend, Stef’s super delicious blog.

But you know me. I never follow directions. I always make changes. You can see Stef’s recipe (here). You know it’s bound to be delicious too.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Hi-Hats
Recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Martha Stewart and Cupcake Project

Makes 18 cupcakes

For one-bowl chocolate cupcakes
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened Dutch process cocoa (I used E. Guittard unsweetened red dutch process cocoa)
1-1/2 sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water

For peanut butter cream cheese frosting
2-8oz cream cheese, room temperature (I used Neufchatel 1/3 less fat instead)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter (I used Jif)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted

For chocolate coating
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (I used 1/2 milk chocolate and 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate)
3 tbsp peanut oil (I used vegetable oil)

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking power and salt. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract and water.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 15-17 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting—
In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, cream the peanut butter, butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. Gradually add the powder sugar 1/4 cup at a time until you get the desired consistency and taste. Add vanilla extract.

Using a Magic Tip 9ST round tip, pipe cream cheese frosting onto cupcake. Freeze to set frosting while making chocolate coating.

To make chocolate coating—
In a heatproof bowl, combine the chocolate and oil and melt over a saucepan of simmering water.

Stir until chocolate melted and smooth. Let cool for 15 minutes.

To assemble cupcakes—
Holding the cupcake upside down by the bottom, dip the cupcake into the chocolate until all the frosting is covered. (I think it’s easier to take the liners off.) Let excess chocolate drip off.

Then let cool at room temperature for 15 minutes so the chocolate firms up.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A+
He’s a huge fan of chocolate+peanut butter like his aunt so I knew he’d love this one too.

Wifey rating: A
The chocolate and peanut butter combination is so classic and decadent esp in this cupcake. Yum!

Other rating: A+
All of my husband’s family raved between chocolate+peanut butter bites. The birthday girl loved them!

Happy St Patrick’s Day Twenty Ten

March 17, 2010 at 12:06 AM | Posted in cupcakes | 9 Comments
Tags: , ,

Oh boy. My mom said this would happen. I know what’s going on. I’m getting old. And time is flying! But I’m only thirty… *trailing off into incoherent mumbling*. This is TOO soon!

I’ve been blogging cupcakes for *looks over at sidebar copyright* 2 years and who knows how many months and I can’t remember other months being this cupcake inspired. Or maybe this year is just more busy so I feel like March holidays worthy of baking cupcakes are coming fast and furious.

There was the Giant Cup-Pie for Pi Day, my Hubs’ birthday cupcake, Cupcake Hero entries, various client cupcakes and now…

Truthfully I had to wiki St. Patrick’s Day. Did you know that… ?

It is named after Saint Patrick (circa AD 387–461), the most commonly recognized of the patron saints of Ireland. It began as a purely Christian holiday and became an official feast day in the early 1600s. However, it has gradually become more of a secular celebration of Ireland’s culture. (Source)

And…

Originally the colour associated with Saint Patrick was blue. (Source)

Blue?? For serious??

However, over the years the colour green and its association with Saint Patrick’s day grew. Green ribbons and shamrocks were worn in celebration of St Patrick’s Day as early as the 17th century. He is said to have used the shamrock, a three-leaved plant, to explain the Holy Trinity to the pre-Christian Irish, and the wearing and display of shamrocks and shamrock-inspired designs have become a ubiquitous feature of the day. (Source)

Whew! That’s a lot more than I remember. Most of my St. Patrick’s Day memories are green in every shade, shamrocks, chocolate gold coins, rainbows, leprechauns and pots o gold. I’m smitten with shamrocks. But I couldn’t find my super cute mini shamrock cookie cutter (did I ever have one?) so you all will have to use your imagination caps and pretend that my spade is a shamrock. Do it for me. Don’t call a spade a spade. It would mean a lot.

Oh… I can’t forget the pinching. Lemme just tell ya. I’ve gotten my fair share of pinching. Now I make sure I have green every March 17th. Even if it’s just a bit of green frosting on my upper lip. Got milk cream cheese frosting?

And one more thing. I am fighting the urge to say “Top o the morning to ya!” but my resistance is futile.

Shamrock Cocoa Mint Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Hershey’s and Confetti Cakes

Makes about 12 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For cocoa mint cupcake
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
6 tbsp Hershey’s Cocoa powder (I used Trader Joe’s Chocolate Mint cocoa)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk, room temperature (I used 1/4 cup lowfat milk+1/4 half-and-half)
1 large egg, lightly beaten, room temp
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup boiling water

For cream cheese frosting*
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
8oz cream cheese, room temperature
8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
green food coloring gel, to desired shade of green

* You’ll probably have some frosting leftover depending on how much you frost each cupcake. I didn’t. HA HA!

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir to combine. Then add melted butter, milk, egg and vanilla extract. Beat for about 2 minutes until all ingredients are well incorporated. Add boiling water. (Be careful of splashing!) Don’t worry if batter looks thin.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting—
In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine the butter and cream cheese. Add 1 cup of powder sugar. Mix well. Add the vanilla and milk. Slowly add the remaining powdered sugar until everything is well combined and you get a smooth stiff consistency. (Note: You may not use all the powdered sugar.) Add green food coloring a couple drops at at time until you get your desired shade.

To assemble cupcakes—
Use a serrated knife to cut of the “dome” part of the cupcake. Cut the dome to desired shape with your mini cookie cutter. Discard (or eat) the cutout. Fill a piping bag+large round tip (I used a Magic Tip 9ST) with cream cheese frosting and pipe a mound of frosting on the base of the cupcake. Try to keep border b/c when you put the dome back on top it will spread the frosting towards the outer perimeter. Repeat with each cupcake.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A
He likes chocolate but doesn’t reach for mint flavored anything first. He liked the hint of mint in the chocolate cake and of course the cream cheese frosting was his favorite part. But you knew I was gonna say that right?

Wifey rating: A/A+
I tend more towards flavors then decorating but this was pretty simple to do and I love the frosting that peeps out from between the cake layers. It reminds me of my preferred method of eating cupcakes: tearing it in half and turning the top upside to make a cupcake sandwich. This way I don’t have to mutilate the cupcake and shamrock shape is really cute. But I could be biased. *wink*

Other rating: (Will update rating later)

Happy National Pomegranate Month!

November 12, 2009 at 7:49 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 16 Comments
Tags: , ,

According to POM Wonderful, November is Pomegranate month. Did you know that? I DIDN’T! And the only reason I know about it is purely a cowinky dink!

One of my Sunday vices is going to Costco for family size portions of peanut butter, diet coke, toilet paper and bottled water. I always make a list b/c if I don’t I’ll leave the store with whatever the demo ladies are handing out. To be honest, the list does nothing. I still spend $200 and leave with 10x the things on my list. *smacks head* But I can’t resist a deal! I think that’s how they get ya. You see that toilet paper is like $5 for 20 rolls and if you quickly do the math in your head… Well that’s just a lot of clean bums ya know? I can just imagine Costco’s CEO probably sitting in his pimped out penthouse office somewhere laughing at me.

Right now Costco is decked out for the holidays. There are Christmas lights, wrapping paper, ribbons and toys lining the aisles. Last Sunday I restrained myself and quickly walk passed all the holiday deals but then I saw this >>

… and before I realized what happened. I watched myself buy it. It was like an out of body experience. There was something about those pomegranate arils. They were calling out to me. “Buy us. You know you want to buy us. Pomegranate cupcakes…” I know! I know! I’m such a sucker! But like I said above. It’s pomegranate month. You call it impulse buy. I call it fate.

Yeah that’s my story.


POM Velvet Cupcakes w POM Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe from POM Wonderful

Makes about 30 cupcakes (I got 45 cupcakes!)

For POM Velvet Cupcakes
2-1/2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
16 oz (2 cups) granulated sugar
14 oz (1-1/2 cups + 4 tbsp) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups buttermilk
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp vanilla extract
15 oz (3 cups+5 tbsp) all-purpose flour
1-1/2 oz (5 tbsp) cocoa powder
3/4 oz (1 tbsp+1 tsp) baking soda
pinch salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

For POM Cream Cheese Frosting
1-1/2 cups POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
4 oz (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
14oz (3-1/2 cups) powdered sugar (I used about 4 cups)

1 cup arils from 1-2 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates, garnish

NOTES: Original recipe was given in metric system and I tried to convert into US system (in parenthesis) as close as possible. If you have a kitchen scale, I recommend going that route to be more true to the recipe though.

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with liners.

In a small saucepan, reduce the pomegranate juice, over medium-low heat, down to 3 oz (about 1/3 cup).

Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, cream sugar and soft butter on medium-high speed, until the mixture is pale yellow and fluffy, reduce speed to low and add the eggs in one at a time. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, pomegranate juice reduction, white vinegar and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with the wet ingredients in 2 additions, ending with the dry ingredients. Finish off with the heavy cream, beat just until combined.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely before frosting.

To make frosting—
Reduce the pomegranate juice, over low heat, down to about 1/2 cup. Let cool.

In a stand mixer, fitted with flat beater, cream butter on medium-high speed for 1 minute, add the cream cheese and continue to mix for 2 more minutes. Reduce speed to low and slowly add in the powdered sugar and the pomegranate juice reduction, mix until the sugar is fully combined.

Using a Wilton 1M star tip (or your favorite star tip) pipe the frosting on each cupcake. Garnish with pomegranate arils.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A
He liked the red velvet inspired favor with a hint of pomegranate. But he says that he can’t replace the original red velvet cupcake.

Wifey rating: A (for taste) / B (for recipe)
Taste: I love pomegranate so the chocolate and pomegranate flavor was awesome together.
Recipe: I wasn’t impressed with the cream cheese frosting recipe. I’m not talking about the taste. The frosting was GOOOOOOD. But the first time I made it (following the recipe), it was runny and soft. I hate when that happens esp with frosting! The second time I made it I cut the pomegranate reduction and increased the powder sugar to thicken it up. When I make it again I might cut the pom reduction even more or up the cream cheese. I’d rather not add more powder sugar b/c it was a little too sweet and I only added 1/2 cup more.

Iron Cupcake #4: [Summer Berries]

June 22, 2009 at 10:24 PM | Posted in cupcakes, Iron Cupcake | 71 Comments
Tags: , ,

Ah Iron Cupcake. How I heart thee.

I’m not sure if you know this about me but I’m kind of a cupcake event freak addict. I know I know. I hide it well. But when I find one I get a little giddy. I think it’s because I find a lot (See Nikki? 2 words!) of inspiration from themes that someone else chose for me. Don’t ask me why but ideas seem to flow more freely after I have the theme figured out. I know. I’m wackadoo.

This month’s theme is summer berries and here in California the sweet strawberry goodness is abundant. I’m buying strawberries by the case every week from Costco. You can often find Hubs hulling strawberries by the bowlful for an after dinner treat. He even offered to help hull the strawberries for this recipe without me even asking. It’s pretty darn cute how much he loves his Oxo strawberry huller. So I knew as soon as I saw the theme I would be using strawberries.

But finding the right time to bake seems harder in the summer for a couple reasons:
(1) I become a lazy baker in the summer
(2) It’s harder to find ppl to give away my goodies during bikini/diet season.

Thankfully Father’s Day gave me a perfect opportunity to bake. *fist pump*

Now I know what you’re thinking… What’s up with the pirate theme, CB? *shrug* What can I say? I’m a sucker for cornball names and themes. And flowers and ladybugs didn’t seem very manly for a Father’s Day cupcake. Arrrgh matey? (That’s pirate talk for “Ok friend?”.) No more questions or you’ll be walking the plank.

Happy (belated) Father’s day to all the dads out there.

Thanks to IC’s sponsors this month–
*A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5021935
*A groovy linocut piece from BLOCKHEAD PRESS http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6108705
*A sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin’ Cakes Cupcakery, http://www.acupcakery.com/
*A sweet artist piece CAKESPY, http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5243382
*HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, http://www.fiestaproducts.com
*HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, http://blog.hellocupcakebook.com
*JESSIE STEELE APRONS http://www.jessiesteele.com
*TASTE OF HOME books, http://www.tasteofhome.com
*A t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM http://www.upwithcupcakes.com/
* 1-800-Flowers, http://www.1800flowers.com


Straw-Berried Treasure Cupcakes <– Get it? I crack myself up!
Recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Martha Stewart & 4 Ingredient Cookbook

Print this recipe

Makes about 18 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For one-bowl chocolate cupcakes
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cups unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder (I used E. Guittard unsweetened red dutch process cocoa)
1-1/2 sugar
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water

18 strawberries, wash, pat dry and tops removed

For marshmallow cream cheese frosting
2 jars (7oz each) marshmallow creme
2-8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used Neufchatel cheese)

brown sugar, garnish

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, combine flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking power and salt. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract and water.

Fill cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 17-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting—
In a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater, combine marshmallow creme and cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy.

To assemble cupcakes—
Remove the center of the cupcake using the cone method. (I used a 1.5″ cookie cutter as a guideline.) Insert strawberry into the cupcake. Using a Magic Tip 7ST tip (or your favorite star tip) pipe the frosting on the cupcake. Garnish with some brown sugar on top. (Don’t skip the brown sugar. Trust me.)


ENJOY!

Husband rating: A+
I always know when he likes a cupcake recipe when he eats more than 1 without me asking if he wants another one. He’s a cream cheese frosting purist but said that the marshmallow creme added a yummy combination.

Wifey rating: A+
This chocolate “cake” was so easy and fast to make. That Martha is a genius! Definitely bumped my current go-to recipe off the list. I love the chocolate, strawberry and marshmallow+cream cheese frosting combination. The sprinkle of brown sugar on top made for a perfect sweet crunchy bite!

Other rating: A+
I brought the cupcakes over for a family Father’s day party and T’s dad raved that this was the best cupcake I’ve baked so far! (And trust me. He’s eaten ALOT of my cupcakes!)

Chocolate and Licorice Cupcakes

February 13, 2009 at 10:42 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 22 Comments
Tags: ,

Hallelujah! Its finally Friday!

Its about freaking time! This week seemed to drag for me. Maybe its because I was anticipating the long weekend? *shrugs

I usually spend my Friday nights hanging out with hubs. Sometimes we’ll eat out. Sometimes we’ll eat in. I prefer to eat out. Hubs prefers to eat in. But my little brother (he’s 17 and ALOT taller than me but he’ll always be baby to me) called me last week to see if he could come over tonight so I could teach him how to bake cupcakes for his “friendgirl”. So we ate in. Bacon cheeseburgers. Onion rings. Cherry coke. Just in case you were wondering… (Hey don’t judge me! Friday calories don’t count right?)

Wait! I got sidetracked by burger talk. Friendgirl? Don’t you mean girlfriend?

Nope. Its friendgirl. Friendgirl must be a new term. Its more serious than just dating but not as committed as girlfriend. Whatever you say bro. Either way. I couldn’t pass up the chance to see my little brother AND bake cupcakes so that’s how I spent my Friday night.

When it came to flavor he knew exactly what he wanted. Friendgirl’s favorite candy is chocolate covered red licorice. Um eeewww? I know I said black licorice in my previous post but I guess I was mistaken. It suppose to be red. It doesn’t matter either way. The combination sounds narsty to me. Needless to say I was skeptical. But little brother wouldn’t budge. Not even for red velvet. He wanted chocolate licorice.

What was my husband’s contribution? The name. Chizzler. Get it? Chocolate + twizzler.

I am not making that up. It was either Chizzler or Chocorice.

My husband thinks he’s so funny. But he’s not.

Please stop laughing. You’ll only egg him on.


Chizzler Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

Print this recipe

Makes about 12 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For chocolate cupcakes
2/3 cup AP flour
2-1/2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Hershey)
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used Ghiradelli chocolate baking chips)
1/2 cup + 3 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

For red licorice buttercream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powder sugar, sifted
2 tbsp milk (I used half-and-half instead)
1/2 tsp cherry oil

INSTRUCTIONS

To make chocolate cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare pan with cupcake liners.

In a bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside. Put the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and set over simmering water in a saucepan. Stir frequently until melted, about 5 minutes. Remove bowl from saucepan and let cool to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.


Stir in the sugar until combined. Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined. Then add vanilla extract. Gradually add flour mixture and fold into chocolate mixture. Try not to overmix.

Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake for about 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool before frost.

To make licorice buttercream—
In a stand mixer fitted with flat beater, cream the butter. Gradually add powder sugar and stir to combine. Add milk and cherry oil. Beat until smooth.


[NOTES: I wanted the frosting to be a bright red so I added some red food coloring too.]

Frost cupcakes with a Wilton 1M piping tip. Garnish with sprinkles.

ENJOY!

Husband rating: N/A
Hubs doesn’t like licorice so he passed.

Wifey rating: A
The chocolate cupcake was moist and extra chocolate-y from the cocoa powder and bittersweet chocolate. I have to admit the frosting really does taste like red licorice. I am not a huge fan of licorice but if you are, then you’ll love it!

Other rating: A+
Little brother isn’t a huge dessert person (gasp!) but he raved about this cupcake. “It totally works Clara! I told you so!” He was pretty excited to give it to friendgirl tomorrow. Isn’t young love so cute?

Updated 2/15/09: My brother sent me a text message: “She said it was the most delicious thing ever. I got major friendboy points!”

Holly’s Chocolate & Caramel Cream Cheese Cupcakes

November 13, 2008 at 10:13 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 19 Comments
Tags: ,

The internet is a crazy thing.

More and more its becoming the norm to meet friends, reconnect with old school chums and fall in love using the internet as the medium. Of course I won’t pretend that I haven’t been contacted by a Nigerian prince wanting to leave me all his money more than once but for the most part I’ve met some absolutely amazing people online. Some of them I’ve even met in real life and others I hope to meet someday. One whom I’d like to meet someday IRL is Holly from Phe/MOM/enon. (Holly, if you’re ever in CA you best let me know! I live near DisneyLand and I have a “friend” that can get us in free in exchange for some cheese! *winkwink*)

Even though Holly and I have never met IRL she’s definitely someone I consider a friend and not just an internet acquaintance anymore. She’s a fellow TWD baker, hosts the Art You Eat event and basically an all around swell person. Case in point. I happen to mention to her that I loved how she frosted her recent chocolate-chocolate cupcakes with fat round swirls and asked her what tip she used. (Just FYI I am a decorating tip addict!) She emailed me about using her 1A round tip and immediately I was jealous. I have been looking for that tip EVERYWHERE but no one near me seems to have it. When I mentioned my tip envy, without hesitation, she said she’d get me one! What did I tell you? I love that girl.

True to her word I received my gorgeous 1A round tip a few days ago and knew I would bake up some Holly-inspired cupcakes to say thank you. Chocolate, caramel and cream cheese… All her favorite things in a cupcake.

I’d say thats better than a Hallmark any day. Am I right? Of course I am. HAHA


(Recipe adapted from Hello, Cupcake! & Food and Wine | photos from me!)

Makes about 18 cupcakes (I got 20 cupcakes)

INGREDIENTS

For caramel cream cheese frosting
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped (I used 1 whole vanilla bean)
1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1-8oz package cream cheese, cut into cubes

For chocolate cupcake
1-3/4 cups AP flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1-1/2 sticks (12 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar (I used light brown sugar)
2 large eggs
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

To make caramel cream cheese—
In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, vanilla bean and seeds. Cook over high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Using a wet pastry brush, wash down any crystals from the side of the pan. Cook over moderate heat without stirring until a medium-dark amber caramel forms, about 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the butter and heavy cream. (Don’t worry if the butter separates.) Discard the vanilla bean.


[NOTES: Mine took about 12 minutes.]

Transfer half of the caramel to the large bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk and beat at low speed until the caramel cools slightly and comes together, about 5 minutes. With the machine on, beat in the cream cheese, 1 cube at a time and beating well between additions, until silky. Transfer the frosting to a bowl and refrigerate at least 6 hours, until very firm.

Reserve the leftover caramel for drizzle. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.

[NOTES: The caramel cream cheese recipe only made enough to frost 9 cupcakes so next time I'll probably double the recipe.]

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven 350F. Prepare cupcake pan with liners.

Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. In another medium bowl with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy about 3 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternatively with the buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.

Fill the cupcake liners about 1/2-2/3 full. Bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean about 17-20 minutes. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

To assemble cupcakes—
Pipe on the frosting using a 1A round tip. Drizzle with leftover caramel. (If caramel is too thick, microwave in intervals until you get the consistency you want.)

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A
He’s not really a caramel person but he loves chocolate and cream cheese frosting and was pleasantly surprised at how much he loved the caramel+cream cheese frosting combination.

Wifey rating: A/A+
I am still searching for THE chocolate cupcake recipe but this one is pretty darn close. It was moist and so chocolate-y! But the icing on the cupcake (literally) was the caramel cream cheese frosting. OHMYGOD. Amazing. I bet you could probably make an easier caramel cream cheese frosting by adding pre-made caramel topping to cream cheese frosting too. But the thing about making your own caramel is the timing. If you don’t cook it long enough, it doesn’t have much flavor. If you cook it too long, you risk burning it. If you do it just right, its like a tongue-gasm in your mouth!

Hankie Pankie Cupcakes

August 26, 2008 at 9:06 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 39 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Sometimes inspiration isn’t subtle.

Sometimes it hits you smack in the face.

Last week I went shopping at one of my favorite stores, Old Navy, at my local mall. I strolled down the aisles, craning my neck every which way to check out all the different shoes, purses, swimsuits, belts, PJs, tank tops etc when I came across this graphic tee:


(photo credit: OkRockSteady)

… and all the sudden my brain started storming my next cupcake. I decided to bake up a play on words from a “better than sex” cake recipe for my Hankie Pankie cupcakes. I found a semi-homemade version online but I definitely have plans to make it scratch next time. (Please, don’t disown me cake mix haters!) I just know they’ll be a hit at T’s department meeting tomorrow. I just wish I could be there to see his face when he has to say the words “hankie pankie” to his coworkers! LOL

PS. You know I totally bought the tshirt!


(Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com | photos from me!)

Makes 24 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1/2 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
6 ounces caramel ice cream topping
3 (1.4 ounce) bars chocolate covered toffee, chopped (I used Heath toffee bits)
1 (8 ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed (I made homemade, recipe below)

INSTRUCTIONS

Bake cake according to package directions for 24 cupcakes. Cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.


Make slits across the top of the cake, making sure not to go through to the bottom.

[NOTES: I used a skewer and poked holes through the top of each cupcake.]

In a saucepan over low heat, combine sweetened condensed milk and caramel topping, stirring until smooth and blended. Slowly spoon the warm topping mixture over the top of each cupcake, letting it sink into the slits; then sprinkle the crushed chocolate toffee bars liberally across the entire cake while still warm.


[NOTES: I combined the condensed milk and caramel topping in a small bowl and nuked it in the microwave for about 30 secs instead. Saucepan is probably better but I got lazy. haha]

Let cake cool completely, then top with whipped topping. Decorate the top of the cake with swirls of caramel topping.


ENJOY! :)

Husband rating: A+
He’s not really a caramel person but he raved between bites.

Wifey rating: A+
Its not called better than sex cake for nothing. Enough said. LOL

Updated 8/27:
Other rating: A+
T’s CWs loved the cupcake. He said it was really funny b/c one of his department heads was talking to them and took a bite of the cupcake in the middle of his speech and all the sudden exclaimed “Oh My God! What’s in this cupcake? The ooozy stuff. Its good!”

Whipped Cream recipe after cut.

Continue Reading Hankie Pankie Cupcakes…

Cupcake Hero #8: [Jalapeno]

August 20, 2008 at 1:46 PM | Posted in Cupcake Hero, cupcakes | 24 Comments
Tags: , ,

Who knew a teaser could bring out so much impatience?!? Sorry readers. I don’t know where the time went! I can’t believe its been 10 days since my teaser. Before there’s a riot… Are you ready?

This month’s Cupcake Hero ingredient is a hot one. How hot is hot? Its jalapeno hot! Jalapeno? Yes! I said jalapeno! Right now our fearless Cupcake Hero leader, Laurie, is taking the last month of her summer cupcake vacation so Rachel and Teri graciously stepped up to host this month. But damn. Did they ever pick a doozie!? And if that wasn’t hard enough, they also said that it has to be a sweet cupcake, not savory. Well… there goes my omelet cupcake idea! LOL

I racked my brain for hours, days, weeks. At first I thought about chocolate, bacon and jalapeno but then I got inspired… by my ice cream scoop. Not following me are you? Come on! ICE CREAM! Its summer and who doesn’t like ice cream in the summer? I do and I am not even an ice cream freak like my husband. I know at least one esteemed CH hostess will appreciate my ice cream arse kissing. Am I right, Rachel?? ::winkwink::

Remember my I-Scream-Cupcake 3 months ago? That’s right! I’m bringing ice cream cupcakes back, baby!

SIDE NOTE :
I promise we didn’t forget! Nikki and I are currently taste testing the last few awesome red, white & blue inspired Cupcake Hero July entries. Much respect for Laurie doing this every month! It’s harder than you think! I am baked out! But we’re hoping to have a winner soon! Stay tuned. (We are still accepting bribes as well. Only unmarked bills, please.)

Chocolate Avocado-Jalapeno Ice Cream Cupcake


(Recipe adapted from The Splendid Table & Cupcake Bakeshop | photos from me!)

Makes about 10 waffle bowls

INGREDIENTS

For ice cream
1-2 fresh jalapeno peppers, minced (pull back on the seeds/ribs to cut some of the heat)
Zest of 1 large lime
Juice from 1/2 of a large lime
2 ripe, dark-skinned avocados, peeled and mashed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch salt
1 quart good-quality vanilla ice cream, softened (I used Dreyer’s Vanilla Bean)

For chocolate cupcake
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla

For whipped cream
1-1/2 cups whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp granulated sugar

[NOTES: This makes a good amount of whipped cream. You could probably 1/2 the recipe but I like making more than less. I just freeze the leftovers for another time.]

waffle bowls
lime zest for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

To make ice cream—
In a large bowl, combine the jalapenos, lime zest, lime juice, avocado, vanilla, sugar and salt. Work in the ice cream so mixture is well blended.


Freeze the ice cream, covered, up to one day.

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.

Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.

Scoop batter into waffle bowls about 1/4-1/2 full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. (Depending on how much you fill the waffle bowl)

[NOTES: This time I put my waffle bowls in oven safe bowls that still gave them room to flare and I was able to fill the waffle bowls with more batter.]

Cool completely before adding ice cream.

To make whipped cream—
In mixer with whisk attachment, whip the cream, vanilla extract and sugar on high speed until thick.

To assemble cupcakes—
Scoop ice cream on top of cupcake-wafflebowl. Pipe or dollop with the whipped cream. Garnish with some lime zest.

ENJOY! :)

Husband rating: B/B+
He loves the cupcake baked in a waffle bowl but was iffy on the ice cream esp the jalapeno bits. He had a tiny bite and said that its not something you think should taste good but you can’t help going back for another bite.

Wifey rating: A-
I agree with hubs. I compare the ice cream to a bag of salt & vinegar chips. Its shocking on your tongue but you find yourself eating more and more. I think avocado as a dessert is an acquired taste so I liked it more than T.


Click images to enlarge
A couple more pictures of my ice cream cupcake b/c I love them so.

Happy Retirement Cupcakes

May 18, 2008 at 6:54 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 28 Comments
Tags: ,

This past weekend was crrrrrazy! I had 4 cupcake orders – 2 Friday, 1 Saturday and 1 Sunday. On top of that madness, my modem crapped out! Readers, I don’t think you truly realize the ramifications of this catastrophe! NO INTERNET! for 24+ hours… AAARRRGGHHH!! I was seriously going through withdrawals. I have a feeling I can’t deny my addiction now.

After baking 60+ cupcakes, needless to say, I do not even want to think about baking cupcakes right now. Actually there is a cupcake box strategically placed on my KA mixer so that I don’t have to look at it! LOL. While I am on my cupcake baking hiatus, let’s start my weekend recap with…

I am no stranger to retirement. I’ve baked retirement cupcakes before when T’s mom retired after 26 years as a nurse.

But this time it was 3 of T’s coworkers that were retiring from his department after a combined almost 90 years of working in the education profession. That’s a long freaking time! Its always nice to hear about teachers that devote so much of themselves to enriching students’ lives since most of the time the media only reports those teachers that have committed statutory crimes. I don’t condemn the media for wanting to make the public aware of people who commit crimes esp if they are in close proximity to kids but you never hear about the teachers that make a positive difference. At least not enough IMO. Thats too bad. I am sure that the good ones outweighs the bad.

When T’s department head ordered 48 cupcakes for the retirement party I was a little nervous. I always get a little nervous with big orders. Its one thing to bake 12 cupcakes. Its quite another to bake 4 times that many esp in my tiny kitchen. But I knew I wanted to do my part, albeit a small part, in saying thanks to all 3 of these great teachers so I was ready for the challenge. Since she didn’t give me any direction much more than “I trust you” I decided to go with mini chocolate cupcakes and my new obsession with dual color swirl frosting.

School Pride Chocolate Cupcakes
(Recipe adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop | photos from me!)


Click image to enlarge

Makes about 15 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For chocolate cupcakes
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temp
1-1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoons vanilla

For “school colors” buttercream
2 sticks butter
7 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
blue and yellow food coloring or paste, to desired shade (I used Wilton royal blue and golden yellow)

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.

Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined.

Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.

Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 2/3’s full. Turn oven down to 350 degrees and bake cupcakes for about 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Cool completely before frosting.

To make frosting—
Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl. Add 5 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla, beat until combined. Add more powdered sugar until you get to the consistency you want (not too stiff so that its hard to pipe)

Take out half of the buttercream and using blue food coloring, tint to desired shade.

Add yellow food coloring, tint to desired shade, to the remaining half and beat to combine.

To assemble cupcake—
Fill pastry bag with both the blue and yellow buttercream frosting, one on opposite side from the other. Do not mix them together to keep the colors separate until you pipe onto the cupcake. Even though I use a 1M piping tip, you can use your favorite tip to get the frosting affect you want.

[NOTES: I think the next time I do this affect for a big order I need to buy bigger piping bags or use new bags after every "refill" b/c the blue and yellow frosting started mixing together and creating "green". Ooops!]


Click image to enlarge

ENJOY!

Husband rating: A+
Usually he’s a red velvet-cream cheese man but he always says that this chocolate cupcake is a close 2nd. haha.

Wifey rating: A+
An oldie but goodie.

Other rating: A+
There were none left by the end of the party. T’s department head squealed when she noticed the frosting! All his CWs loved the chocolate cupcake and dual school colors swirl frosting affect too though there were a couple USC alums that made comments about my choice of blue and yellow paying homage to UCLA. Gotta love die hard fans… they see a conspiracy in everything! LOL

Avogadro’s Chocolate Cupcakes

April 24, 2008 at 5:56 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes | 39 Comments
Tags: ,

Ok. I admit it. I am a nerd. Actually to be specific – I am a science nerd.

I majored in biology in college but was also considering double majoring in chemistry. I think its in my genes. My mom has a masters in Chemistry and my dad has a PhD in engineering. Too bad that most of their smart genes went to my brother, the doctor. LOL. Thats how my parents introduce him to their friends, my son… the doctor. Good thing we get along really well or I’d wanna kick his arse.

But being the black sheep has its perks. I think a black sheep means that you aren’t tied down to parental expectations and I love the freedom I have with my parents when I come up with quirky ideas. They just inadvertently roll their eyes, nod their heads and continue to think silently there must have been a mix up at the hospital.

Let me try to explain for you non-science people (like my history nerd husband) what exactly Avogadro’s number is. Its the number of atoms in exactly 12 grams of 12Carbon. The mass unit, mole, is defined as this number of “entities” (atoms or molecules) of any material. The value for this number is:

NA = 6.0221415 x 1023 mols-1

If you are a nerd like me you’ll already be laughing at the name of my new cupcake once you see that one of my cupcake ingredients is avocado. I use to make my college classmates laugh by saying “Avocado’s number” during study groups. Lame? Well I guess you just had to be there… *shrug

What can I say… we’re science people. Thats the best we got. LMAO

Now I know what you are thinking… Whaaaaaaat? Avocado in a cupcake? But bare with me. In many Asian cultures avocados are mixed with milk, sugar, coffee and/or rum to create sweet, not savory, dishes.

“…although the avocado is best known for its staring roll in guacamole, this multifaceted culinary actor can also take on rolls usually played by eggs, butter, and even shortening. The results are delicious, healthy, and very green.”
~ Alton Brown

Continue Reading Avogadro’s Chocolate Cupcakes…

Cupcake Hero #5 [Celebrating Earth Day]

April 22, 2008 at 1:26 AM | Posted in Cupcake Hero, cupcakes | 50 Comments
Tags: , , , , ,

<— You all know what that image means right?

CUPCAKE HERO TIME!

This month was a little bit of a doozy b/c it wasn’t really an ingredient. Our sneaky hostesses with the mostesses, Quirky Cupcake and Tempered Woman decided to throw us aspiring cupcake heroes a curveball by promoting some cupcake creativity in honor of April’s “green” holiday. (See how genius I am? Posting on the actual holiday date! LOL)

“Earth Day is a name used for two different observances, both held annually during spring in the northern hemisphere, and autumn in the southern hemisphere. These are intended to inspire awareness of and appreciation for the Earth’s environment. The United Nations celebrates Earth Day, which was founded by John McConnell in 1969, each year on the March equinox, while a global observance originated by Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in, and since January 1970 also called Earth Day, is celebrated in many countries each year on April 22, including the U.S.” ~Wikipedia

Now I know what you are thinking… What makes *my* cupcakes earth friendly?

Let me count the ways…

1. The “veggies” are pesticide free ;)
2. They promote organic fruits and veggies. Support your local farmers.
3. My edible play dough of choice is fondant but I decided to go more whimsical. The “veggies” are made of leftover easter candy (recycle/reuse)
4. When I went to the grocery store to buy a couple cupcake ingredients I brought my TJ insulated neoprene bag to avoid using the plastic bags. Did you know it takes more than 1000 years for a disposable plastic bag to break down in a landfill? (reduce)
5. I used rechargeable batteries in my digital camera to take all the pictures. Batteries contain heavy metals, such as mercury and cadmium, which have become a major source of contamination in dump sites. (recycle/reuse)

There you have it!

Five earth friendly reasons why I should win Cupcake Hero.

Wish me luck! ::crossing fingers::

HAPPY EARTH DAY EVERYONE!

Continue Reading Cupcake Hero #5 [Celebrating Earth Day]…

Cupcake Hero #4: [Marshmallow]

March 14, 2008 at 8:06 PM | Posted in Cupcake Hero, cupcakes | 23 Comments
Tags: , ,

I have to say that Easter is one of my favorite holidays. Its not b/c I am religious… its more commercial for me. Actually its “post” Easter b/c thats when all the easter candy and bunny related stuff is 75% off! You better believe I stock up!

I had a couple ideas right away when the Cupcake Hero ingredient was announced. I automatically thought about my favorite Easter candy – cadbury eggs – but I explained in a previous entry that it didn’t work quite the way I intended. Oh well… back to the drawing…er… baking board. Then I decided to be more adventurous and make a cupcake that embodies all things that come to mind when I think of Easter.

Second times the charm right? ;)

Is less really more? I hope not b/c this cupcake has alot going on!

HOPPY (early) EASTER EVERYBUNNY!
♥o♥o,
Me and my bunnies, Snickerdoodle and OpieBun

Chocolate Carrot Cake w/ Marshmallow Cream Cheese Frosting


Click image to enlarge
(Recipe adapted from grouprecipes.com | photos from me!)

Makes about 24 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For the cupcakes
2-1/2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1-1/3 cup unbleached AP flour
2/3 cup unsweetened coca powder
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 eggs, room temperature
1-1/4 cup honey
2/3 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1-1/2 cups grated carrots

For the frosting
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese ,softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 jar (7oz) marshmallow creme
4-5 cups powder sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes—
Preheat oven to 350 F.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler then set aside to cool. In bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl beat eggs then add honey and beat until light. Add butter to eggs and beat well then stir in vanilla and lemon zest. Add cooled chocolate and mix well. Stir in buttermilk then dry ingredients just until combined then stir in grated carrots.

Pour batter into cupcake liners.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before taking out of pans then cool completely and frost.

To make frosting—
Cream butter and cream cheese. Add marshmallow fluff to butter and cream cheese mixture until incorporated. Add 4 cups powder sugar and mix well. Add additional powder sugar until you get desired consistency.

Frost cupcakes with 1M piping tip and garnish with shredded carrot and/or chocolate jimmies.

ENJOY! :)

Husband rating: A
He really liked the chocolate and carrot cake combination. He said he tasted more chocolate than carrot cake but he wasn’t complaining about it. ;)

Wifey rating: A/A-
I am not a big fan of carrot cake so I wasn’t sure what to expect but I liked the chocolate and carrot cake combination. The marshmallow cream cheese frosting was to die for!


Click image to enlarge
OpieBun (L) ~ me and Snickerdoodle (R)
Notice the size difference between cupcakes and bunnies? OpieBun is 15lbs and Snickerdoodle is 4lbs.

Chocolate Mint Buttercream Cupcakes

February 19, 2008 at 3:56 PM | Posted in cupcakes | 24 Comments
Tags: ,

Apparently today is National Chocolate Mint Day. Uh.. ok. I am not complaining… but what about the far more worthy National Chocolate Caramel Day? ;)

Since I froze some chocolate+ganache cupcakes that were leftover from my 2nd batch of caramel turtle cupcakes over the weekend, I decided to celebrate this “sweet” holiday with some chocolate and mint cupcakes.

Mint Buttercream Frosting


(Recipe from Cupcake Bakeshop by Chocklit | photos from ©iheartcuppycakes! )

Frosts ~24 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon all natural peppermint extract
green food coloring

INSTRUCTIONS

To make frosting–
Beat butter until creamy, scrape bowl. Add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, milk, and peppermint extract, beat until combined. Add more powdered sugar as needed to get piping consistency. Add green food coloring until you get desired shade of green.

I use my favorite piping tip, 1M, to make the purdy swirl and then topped with my favorite chocolate mint candy – York peppermint patty.

ENJOY! :)

Husband rating: A
He really liked the combination of mint and chocolate but he’s still a peanut butter and chocolate fan more.

Wifey rating: A+
Oh.MY.GOD. I am usually not a mint person (unless its york peppermint patties or gum) but these cupcakes were freaking amazing!

Side note: Check out my latest baking buy – a flour sifter from Ikea. Its small and cheap but isn’t it uber cute?!! It makes sifting so fun! (Yes, I am a big dork. But you all already knew that right?)

Eat to the Beat #1

February 17, 2008 at 2:29 PM | Posted in blog event, cupcakes, Eat to the Beat, youtube | 8 Comments
Tags: , , ,

I am addicted to food blog events! And I have found yet another one that tickles my food entering fancy! Anyone that knows me well, knows I am clueless about music so this event should prove fun and informational! ;)

Thanks Elly for hosting! Looking forward to the next one!

For this event, please make and blog about a food or drink that somehow relates to a song, an album, a band, etc. Maybe you’ll create a dish based on a song’s literal lyrics about food. Perhaps you’ll allude to a band’s name in your creation (Smashing Pumpkin bread, anyone?). Maybe your favorite band is from Poland or your favorite song is about Chicago, and you want to blog about popular cuisine in those locations. As long as you explain why the food/drink you have chosen to make reminds you of something musical, it works for this event. From “On Top of Spaghetti” to “The Spaghetti Incident;” from Pearl['s] Jam to “She Don’t Use Jelly,” the possibilities are endless.

Song inspiration: Red Red Wine by UB40
Food: Red Wine and Chocolate Cupcakes
Explanation: I think its obvious… ;)

I admit its a 2for. Who doesn’t love 2fors? You gotta love 2fors, right? Well I don’t care what you think! Its my blog! LOL.

Recipe after the cut.

Continue Reading Eat to the Beat #1…

Cupcake Hero #3: [Liquor]

February 15, 2008 at 11:02 AM | Posted in blog event, Cupcake Hero, cupcakes | 18 Comments
Tags: , , ,

Not exactly the ingredient I was expecting for the month of Valentines’ Day. But I am SO down! Cupcakes that get you crunked. Hellz yes!

A little birdie told me that our co-hostess with the mostess, TemperedWoman, likes her vino so in my excellent attempt to suck up and get a win I knew what I had to do…

Now I have no idea what the difference is between a red zinfandel and white zinfandel (aside from the obvious) much less that Zinfandel wasn’t a brand name! I must have looked like a big newb going up and down the forbidden liquor aisle looking for the “Z” shelf. How was I suppose to know they don’t organize alphabetically? (Doesn’t it feel like the liquor area is always in a far corner at the back of the grocery store with dim lighting? Reminds me of the porn section at the video store… uh… I mean thats what I am told. ::looking around innocently::)

Finally after the labels were starting to go blurry and I was getting cross-eyed, I dialed up my alcoholic friend, April, on my trusty cell phone. (Seriously what did ppl do before cell phones?). She patiently gave me a crash course in Wino 101 and explained how wines were categorized on the shelves. But I could not for the life of me find a Zinfandel so she said a nice Shiraz would probably be a good substitute. So FYI if the cupcakes taste like butt, blame April. I can give anyone her phone number+address if you wanna crank call and toilet paper her house. No seriously… I can. LOL

And to top off my wine shopping experience, I was NOT carded. sigh… I have crossed *that* line. Looks like I am officially “old” now…

Thanks to Laurie and TW for hosting! Who says liquor and cupcakes don’t mix? I am a believer now!

RED WINO AND CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES


(Recipe adapted from AcmeInstantFood | photos from ©iheartcuppycakes!)

Makes ~14 cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

For cupcakes
1-1/4 cup sugar
1 cup AP flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup red wine (I used a shiraz)
1/4 cup boiling water
1/3 cup toasted pecans, chopped

For ganache
1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate
3/8 cup whipping cream

INSTRUCTIONS

To make cupcakes–
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with papers, or grease well.

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl. Cream the egg, sour cream, oil and wine together in mixer for two minutes. Stir in flour mixture until well combined.

Add 1/4 cup boiling water and stir. Fold in chopped nuts. Batter will be fairly thin. Pour into prepared cupcake tins and bake for approximately 17-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

[NOTES: I put the ganache on the cupcake straight out of the oven b/c the warm cupcake keeps the ganache spreadable.]

To make ganache–
Place chocolate in bowl. In saucepan bring whipping cream to boil over high heat. Pour hot whipping cream over chocolate and stir until chocolate melted. Spoon ganache over cupcake. Allow ganache to cool before adding frosting.

Garnish with chocolate dipped strawberries. (What goes better with wine than strawberries right? oh wait… thats champagne. dammit! ah well…)

ENJOY! :)

Husband rating: A-/A
He really liked the chocolate and pecan combo. The wine was faint but you can definitely get a wine sensation from it.

Wifey rating: A
The cake was incredible and you can definitely smell the wine. Since I am not a wine drinker, its not my favorite cupcake but if you have an affiinity for red wine, you’d probably go nuts for it!

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com. | The Pool Theme.
Entries and comments feeds.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 219 other followers

%d bloggers like this: