Friday, May 30, 2014

Week 17, May 30th,2014 ~ Raspberry Coconut Red Velvet Cupcakes

I know I am super late posting these but it happens...i made these cupcakes for my sisters birthday since I am such a nice sister! She loves red velvet but up until now I have avoided them because they are kind of safe and I didn't have a good way to make them my own. Since these cupcakes weren't about me I combined flavors that she liked hoping it worked out. I filled the cupcakes with a raspberry compote and topped them with coconut cream cheese frosting and I was pretty pleased with the outcome! The frosting was piped on to look like hydrangeas, since she is all about flowers and she especially likes them in this color combo. The technique was pretty easy, I used a closed star Wilton 2D tip. I am not about to explain how to do it but I will link the instructions I followed, incase  I have been such an inspiration that you want to recreate my 

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes

For the red velvet cupcake:

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-2 T red food coloring (or any color I actually made mine more of a pink)--less if using gel gel food coloring 
  • 1/2 tsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350. 
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. 
  3. In a large bowl gently beat the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the went and mix until smooth.
  5. Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake papers, about 2/3 full.
  6. Bake in oven 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once halfway through.
  7. Let cool before filling and frosting

For the raspberry compote:

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1 ounce water

  1. Slowly simmer the berries and sugar over low heat for about 10 minutes.
  2. Dissolve the corn starch in the water and slowly pour into the berries stirring constantly until thickened.

For the coconut cream cheese frosting:

If you are not piping the frosting then half the recipe

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

  1. In a medium bowl, use electric mixer to combine cream cheese and butter; beat until creamy. 
  2. Mix in vanilla, then gradually add the powdered sugar. Mix for about 2 minutes, if frosting is too runny you can add more sugar, if too think add a little milk. 
  3. If you are going to try the hydrangea technique you will need to split the frosting in half and dye each batch a different color. Visit this website for instructions! 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Week 16, May 22, 2014 ~ Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

This is probably one of my favorite cupcakes so far! Mainly because if anyone knows anything about me it is that I love cookies and cream! Oreos and ice cream! It was also one of my favorites because after the past few weeks not going smoothly (with sinking cupcakes and melty frostings) this cupcake came out perfect! Fun tip--you really do need to change out your baking powder ever 3 months and baking soda every solved the sinking cupcake problem! The cupcake was a dark chocolate cupcake with brown sugar as well as white, which gave it more of a Oreo taste than if I had just made a regular chocolate cupcake. I also liked how moist this cupcake came out. The Piece de resistance though was the homemade cream filling! It was super easy and tasted as good as the original! Though this one you could eat by the spoonful...I found it very hard not to! The frosting was a traditional vanilla buttercream with finely crushed up oreo; I also incorporated some of the leftover cream filling so more oreo goodness! Then I had some mini oreos laying around so i put those on top. If I hadn't had those I would have just crushed up oreos and put those on top!

The recipe made 16 cupcakes

For the chocolate cake:
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 ounces semi sweet chocolate
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 large egg yolks, room temp
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder--I use Hershey's Special Dark
  • 1/2 cup brewed coffee, room temp

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
    2. Melt the chocolate and set aside to cool.
    3. Beat butter and sugar until fully combined and looks like wet sand; add the melted chocolate once cooled and mix to combine.
    4. Mix in eggs and egg yolks one at a time until just combined.
    5. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream until just combined.
    6. Sift flour, salt, baking soda, and cocoa powder in a separate bowl.
    7. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture a little at a time until just combined.
    8. Add the coffee and mix till combined.
    9. Fill cupcake liners and bake with 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
    10. Set aside on a wire rack and let cool while preparing the filling and buttercream.

    For the Cream Filling:
    • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar 
    • 1/2 cup shortening 
    • 1/2 Tablespoon granulated white sugar 
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
    • 3 Tablespoons hot water
    Add all the ingredients to a bowl and beat until combined and it is the consistency of Oreo cream is that easy! Set aside about a 1/2 cup for the frosting. Fill each cupcake with about a tablespoon of filling.

    For the Buttercream:

    • 2 sticks unsalted butter
    • 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
    • 3 tbsp heavy cream
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup cream filling
    • 10 Oreos, finely crushed--I used double stuffed
    1. Cream the butter and cream filling until it is really light and fluffy. About 5 minutes, scraping the sides occasionally.
    2. Gradually add the sugar, mixing after each addition--frosting will be pretty thick by the end.
    3. Add the vanilla and  3 tbsp of heavy cream and beat the frosting for a few more minutes.
    4. Add the crushed oreos and mix until evenly distributed.

    The Finished Product!!

    Happy Baking :)

    Tuesday, May 20, 2014

    May 16,2014~Tater Tot Goat Cheese Mac and Cheese

    Now for a break from your regularly scheduled programming! I present what could be the greatest macaroni and cheese to ever exists! It combines all off my favorite foods! Mac and cheese, goat cheese, bacon, and tater tots! It was inspired by this post on buzzfeed, as soon as I saw it the wheels started turning!

    Now you can use whatever tots you want but I would recommend the Alexa Potato Puffs. The filling has a hint of cream cheese and chive and they are seasoned with cracked black pepper and garlic so they add a lot of flavor on their own! Also for the cheese I use a mac and cheese blend from Stop & Shop that is sharp cheddar, american, and swiss cheeses...If you want to be real fancy I would use a sharp cheddar and gruyere or fontina but I didn't want to make a $20 mac and cheese!  Let's just get on with it...I could talk this up all day!

    Serving: 3 as an entree 4 if it was a side dish 

  • 1/2 pound cavatappi pasta --you can use whatever you want this is just what I prefer, I think it holds to the cheese better...but really anything with lines is good
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk--I usually use whole but whatever is fine
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese; save 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top
  • 4 ounces soft goat cheese
  • 1/2 bag tater tots--how much you need depends on what you are making it in you want enough to cover the top
  • 4 slices worth of crumbled bacon, or if you are lazy like I am you can use the precooked real bacon bits

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil and cook cavatappi and cook al dente. It should have a slight bite to it  Drain and set aside. While that is happening you want to par bake the tater tots. I cooked mine for about 20 minutes; you don't need to worry about them being cooked through or rotating them since they will finish cooking on the mac and cheese. 
    2. Melt the butter in the large pot you cooked the pasta in. Add the flour and whisk until you have a paste.  Slowly add the milk while whisking until there are no more clumps.  Add seasonings and cheeses while still whisking; until the sauce is thick and all the cheese is melted.
    3. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir, and mix in about 3/4 of the bacon. Put the mac and cheese into a large casserole and then top with an even layer of the tots and a sprinkling of bacon and shredded cheese.
    4. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the tots are a golden brown.
    5. Experience the awesomeness! 

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    Week 15, May 12, 2014 ~ Chocolate Caramel Creme Cupcakes

    I think summer is going to prove to be a problem...On Sunday,after weeks of 45 degree weather, we had an 80 degree day! Anyways everything just felt meltier...I think the butter got too soft and the frosting lacked some of the bounce it normally does--I will just have to play around with it I suppose! This week I made a caramel cupcake with chocolate chips, a caramel creme filling, and caramel and chocolate buttercream swirl. The Frosting is basically 2 separate frosting swirled. I will explain it better below.

    This recipe makes 12 cupcakes:

    For the Caramel Cupcake:
    • 1 1/2 cups  all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup dark brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 cup  unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 large eggs, room temperature
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
    1. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. 
    2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the butter and sugars together at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. 
    3. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until combined. 
    4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients until no flour remains, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Slowly stir in the cream, careful not to overmix. 
    5. Fold chocolate chips into batter.
    6. Fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 full, dividing the batter between all 12. Bake cupcakes for 22-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. 
    For the Caramel Creme filling:
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
    • 1/2 cup heavy cream
    • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

    1. Place the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan, stirring to combine. Without stirring, bring to a boil over high heat, swirling the ingredients in the pan occasionally. 
    2. Continue boiling until the mixture reaches an amber color (not too dark, or red). Remove from heat and very carefully (the mixture will quickly expand and sputter) add the cream in a slow steady stream, being sure to stir constantly.
    3.  Cool to room temperature and then beat with the powdered sugar until combined.
    4. Fill each cupcake with 1-2 tbsp.
    For the Chocolate Buttercream:

    • 1  cups butter, at room temperature 
    • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder*
    • 2  Tbsp heavy cream or half-&-half
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract

    1. In a the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with whisk attachment whip butter on medium-high speed until butter turns almost white and is fluffy about 5 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. 
    2. Add the cocoa powder then add in powdered sugar gradually. Mix until well combined.
    3.  3 Tbsp heavy cream and coconut and mix on low speed until fully incorporatedscraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add more cream if frosting is too thick.
    4. Increase mixer to medium-high speed and whip mixture until pale and very fluffy about 4 - 5 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl.
    5. Fill a piping bag and then put the rest in another container (if using a kitchenaid) to make the caramel buttercream
    For the Caramel Buttercream:

    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter; room temperature
    • 3 cups confectioners sugar
    • 1/4 cup caramel sauce --store bought or homemade 
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    1. Whip the butter for 3-5 minutes until light and fluffy
    2. Add the confectioners sugar one cup at a time until fully incorporated
    3. Add the caramel sauce, vanilla, and beat for another 4-5 minutes until fluffy 
    4. Taste and add more caramel if you want

    Now comes the super technical part! I should of taken photos but I think it is easy enough to explain. You need:
    •  two 12' pastry bags
    • one 16' pastry bag
    • a pastry tip- I used Wilton 1M 
    • You don't NEED it but a large coupler makes it easier
    First fill the 2 12' pastry bags with the two frostings and then set up the larger bag like you would normally and then cut the tips off the bags filled with frosting and carefully place them in the larger bag next to each other. Test the bag and squeeze until both frostings come out at the same time! It is like a soft serve swirl ice cream in frosting form! It is honestly not the hard and it looks would probably look really cool with 2 different colored frostings like for a graduation or something!

    I may post something non cupcake related this weekend...I made the most amazing macaroni and cheese ever and more people need to know about it!

    Happy Baking :)

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    Week 14, May 5, 2014 ~ Tiramisu Cupcakes

    I am slacking this week....I know many of you must of been patiently sitting at your computers waiting for this weeks cupcake post Monday afternoon and for that I am deeply sorry for making you wait! lol ANYWAYS this week I made tiramisu cupcakes for Mother's Day since it is my mom's favorite dessert and we kind of celebrated Mother's Day this past weekend. When I tried the cupcakes I thought they were just OK; I had higher hopes for them but the frosting was not my friend this week. I first attempted to make a swiss meringue mascarpone buttercream but I don't know if it was a fail or not but I just didn't like it so I dumped it and made a regular mascarpone buttercream instead but I still didn't love it. Though when other people tried it they thought it was really good so I must just be going crazy! The cupcake is a vanilla cupcake that I brushed with a coffee/kahlua mixture (like when you soak the ladyfingers in regular tiramisu) and then it is topped with an espresso rum mascarpone buttercream then I dusted it with cocoa powder. I did like the cake part though I think I over did it with the coffee/kahlua mixture because eventually I just poured it right onto the cupcakes...I wouldn't recommend kinda messy!

    This recipe made 15 cupcakes

    For the Cupcake:

    • 1 1/4 cups cake flour or Canadian bleached all-purpose flour - I used regular all-purpose and they came out fine
    • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 large eggs
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup canola oil (vegetable or extra light olive oil also work)
    • 1/2 cup buttermilk 

    Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
    1. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1¼ cups cake flour (or Canadian flour), 1¼ tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp salt. Set flour mix aside.
    2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 2 eggs with the whisk attachment on medium speed (15-20 seconds).
    3. Add ¾ cup sugar and continue to beat on medium speed (30 seconds).
    4. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed (1 minute)
    5. Reduce mixer speed to medium/low and slowly add about half of the flour mixture. Add half of the buttermilk, then the rest of the flour mix and the rest of the milk. Beat until just combined and smooth, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl. The batter should be thin.
    6. Pour batter into a lined muffin pan. Fill to about ½ full.
    7. Bake for 12 -14 minutes at 350°F. Let them cool in the pan for a couple minutes, then remove.

    This recipe came from

    I also used this recipe for my Boston Cream Cupcakes!

    For the soaking liquid:

    • 1/4 cup espresso (I used instant espresso and hot water but you could also use a dark coffee like italian do I know so much about coffee?)
    • 2 tbsp Kahlua
    • 3 tbsp sugar
    1. While the cupcakes are in the oven combine the hot coffee, Kahlua and sugar, and stir until the sugar is dissolved.  
    2. Place the warm cupcakes on a wire rack and place a baking sheet underneath to catch dripping liquid. Poke a few holes in the tops of the cupcakes with a skewer to better absorb the liquid.
    3.  Using a pastry brush, brush the soaking liquid onto the tops of the cupcakes until all the liquid is used up; this should take several brushings.
    4. Once the cupcakes are cool you can frost them.
    For the mascarpone buttercream:

    • 1 stick butter, room temperature
    • 8 ounces espresso mascarpone, room temperature (if using regular add 2 tsp of instant espresso to the frosting)
    • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 2 tbsp dark rum
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • pinch of salt
    1. Beat the butter for several minutes until fluffy.
    2. Scrape down the sides of the bowl then add the mascarpone and mix for a few more minutes.
    3.  Add the sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. 
    4. Add the rum,vanilla, and salt.

    Happy Baking!