Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Week 21, June 23,2014 ~ Strawberry Pistachio Cupcakes with Vanilla BeanMascarpone Whipped Cream

I am going to keep this short this week...since I am going to DISNEY tomorrow morning!! I can only take credit for the execution of this cupcake...I was just fulfilling someone else's cupcake request! Since they can't be bothered to make cupcakes for themselves!...I kid, I kid... I do like all these things though so I am glad I made them! It is a fresh strawberry cupcake with homemade pistachio pudding and mascarpone whipped cream. It was the perfect combination of sweet and salty and the frosting was light and airy! I am sure there is more I can say about these cupcakes but I am technically on vacation and I have to finish packing...

This recipe was for 12-16 cupcakes depending on your tin!

For the Pistachio Pudding:

  • 1/4 cup salted pistachio nuts
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar; divided
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • 1 cups whole milk
  • 1 large egg yolks (save the white for the cupcake!-it will hold up in your fridge in an airtight container if you make the pudding in advance)
  • 1 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1.Pulse pistachios in a food processor until the nuts are tiny bits.  Add 1/6 cup sugar and water, and blend until mostly smooth.
2. Put the pistachio mixture into a medium sauce pan and add the milk. Whisk mixture over medium heat until hot; should take about 3-5 minutes.  
3. While milk is heating, whisk together 1/6 cup granulated sugar, egg yolks, cornstarch and pinch of salt.  whisking until it’s smooth.  Pour a 1/2 cup of the hot pistachio milk into the egg mixture.  Whisk together.  Add another half cup of hot milk and whisk to incorporate.  Return the egg mixture into the saucepan over medium heat.
3. Heat pudding mixture over medium heat until thick and bubbly--this happens pretty quickly, about 1 minute or so.  Whisk constantly.   Remove from heat and stir in butter and vanilla extract, until butter is melted.  
4. Place in bowl and cover with plastic wrap with the wrap touching the entire surface of the pudding and place in fridge for several hours at least.
This can be made up to 3 days ahead of time.

For the Strawberry Cupcake:
  • 2 tbsp strawberry jam or preserves 
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh/frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • pink food coloring
  • 1/3 cup milk

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, mix strawberry preserves and chopped strawberries. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and salt.
  2. In mixer, beat sugar and butter together until fluffy. Add egg whites, vanilla, and food coloring and beat until well incorporated. Add flour mixture and milk, beating on low speed until mixed. Fold in strawberry mixture.
  3. Fill cupcake liners in cupcake pan 3/4 full. Bake for 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for five minutes then remove the cupcakes onto a cooling rack and let cool for 45 minutes.

For the Mascarpone Whipped Cream:

  • 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  1. in a bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Gradually increase the speed over a few seconds till on medium-high.  Slowly pour in the sugar. Beat on medium-high until soft peaks form--this should not take more than a minute or 2...gradually lower the speed until you turn off the mixer.
  2. Frost cupcakes and top with pistachio pieces and/or strawberries

And I am sure over the last several months most of my Facebook friends felt this way:

or this way:

Sorry, I am not sorry!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Week 20, June 16,2014~ Spicy Bacon Guinness Cupcakes with Nutella Buttercream

A sign that I have lost my mind is when I make a cupcake that doesn't sound like it would make any sense at all...and that us what happened this week...

I knew I wanted to make another bacon cupcake but it needed to be different....so instead of just candying the bacon on top of the cupcake I candied the bacon inside of the cupcake too but I did a sweet and spicy ( some would say very spicy) rub. In my opinion you haven't lived until you have tried candied bacon...I highly recommend adding it to chocolate chip cookies too. I also decided to make a chocolate Guinness cupcake instead of a regular chocolate cake because bacon and chocolate go well together and bacon and beer go together...right? Then somewhere in my crazy brain I decided that hazelnut and bacon go good together...and boy was I right...I think this might be one of my favorite cupcakes yet...definitely the most creative. Also the Nutella buttercream is definitely one of the best frostings I have made to date. It was so light and fluffy and hazelnutty! I talk about this cupcake all day but I think it's time to move on... 

This recipe made 12 cupcakes!

For the candied bacon:

  • 10 slices of bacon --6 for the filling and 4 for garnish ( you are more than welcome to add more I kinda wish I did)
  •  2 tablespoons brown sugar
  •  2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (you can use less or use chili powder instead if you don't like it as spicy)

1. preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with foil and layout bacon on sheet
2. Mix the sugar and peppers together in a small bowl and generously rub the mixture all over the bacon
3. Cook in the oven for 25-30 minutes-even if it doesn't seem crispy enough it will crisp up a bit after you take it out of the oven
4. Transfer to a platter lined with paper towels and once cool chop 6 of the slices into small pieces and 4 of the pieces into fourths for the garnish; set aside till ready to add to the cupcakes.

For the Guinness cupcakes:
  • 3/4 cup Guinness
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  6 tbsp cup Dutch-process cocoa powder - I use Hershey's Special Dark
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 6 slices crumbled candied bacon

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Bring the Guinness and butter to a simmer in a heavy, medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl to combine. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sour cream on medium speed until combined.
  3. Add the Guinness-chocolate mixture to the egg mixture and beat just to combine. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour mixture and beat briefly.
  4.  Add the bacon and using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. 
  5. Divide the batter among the cupcake liners. Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool the cupcakes on a rack.
For the Nutella Buttercream:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp Frangelico or heavy cream
1. Beat the butter until smooth and creamy
2. Add the Nutella and beat until fully combined
3. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until fully incorporated
4. Add the liquor or heavy cream and beat for 2-3 minutes--if too thick add more liquid or more sugar if too thin.
5. Frost the cupcakes as you wish and top with a piece of candied bacon!

Happy Baking :)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Week 19, June 6,2014~ Chocolate Coconut Cream Cupcakes

This week I made chocolate cupcakes with coconut cream pie filling and a coconut buttercream. I know I make a lot of coconut cupcakes but coconut is my favorite so I don't care...I colored them turquoise just to do something different, the brand is Americolor I think. This filling probably came out the best out of all the custard/pudding situations I have made, it came out the smoothest. I don't have much else to say about these ones so I'll just get on with it!

This recipe made 15 cupcakes

For the chocolate cake:

  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 3/4 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 300°F, and line cupcakes tins
2. Chop the chocolate and add to the hot coffee and stir till smooth.
3. In a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
4. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly, 2-3 minutes
5. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate to eggs, beating until combined.
6. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. 
7. Divide the batter into the cupcake liners. Bake in middle of oven until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes.

For the coconut cream:

  • 1/3 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/8 cup cornstarch
  • 3 eggs yolks
  • 7 ounces coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cold butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract

1. In a small bowl whisk 1/6 cup sugar and the cornstarch. Add the egg yolks and whisk until smooth. 
2. Combine the coconut milk, whole milk, shredded coconut, 1/6 cup sugar and salt in a medium sauce pan over medium heat, bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, this should take about 4 minutes. Take off the heat.
3.To temper the egg mixture, whisk 3/4 cup of the hot coconut milk mixture into the egg mixture. Add the egg mixture to the sauce pan and bring back to a simmer whisking constantly until the surface just begins to bubble and thicken, this happens fast--should only take a minute. Remove from the heat.
4. Add the extracts and butter and whisk until it melts. Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic wrap touches the pudding so a skin doesn't form and place in the fridge for a couple hours until cool.
For the coconut buttercream:

  • 1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Coconut Extract
  • Pinch of Salt
In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add in one cup of sugar at a time, mixing in between additions. Once the sugar is completely incorporated, add in vanilla and coconut extracts. Add in salt. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Restart the mixer and turn the speed up to medium-high and beat for 5 minutes. 

Yes that is Orange is the New Black in the background and yes I finished it in 3 days...no shame!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 18, June 2,2014~ White Chocolate Macadamia Nut

Ok let's try this again...I wrote this post last week and somehow it got deleted so I was procrastinating on posting it again but I need to do it now so I can post this weeks cupcakes...Well anyways last week I made white chocolate macadamia nut cupcakes...I am not really sure what made me think of these since I don't eat them that often I'm cookie form. I think I just wanted to try a cupcake that wasn't chocolate or vanilla so I went with white chocolate and macadamia nuts were the first thing I thought of...it also helped that I already had the macadamia nuts. This cupcake was pretty good, not too sweet, the saltiness of the nuts helped offset the sweetness of the cupcake. The frosting was made with coffee creamer, which was interesting, however I found it a little on the artificial side but it was still good. I also tried a different Wilton decorating tip but I wasn't crazy about it. I don't remember which one it was but I know it came in a four pack with other ruffle border tips, and it was kind of funky looking. I liked it more though once I started on the inside instead of the outside.

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes!

For the cupcake:
  1. 1 1/2 cup flour
  2. 1/2 cup white sugar
  3. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  4. 1/2 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp baking powder
  6. 2 eggs + 1 yolk
  7. 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  8. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  9. 3/4 cup whole milk
  10. 4 oz white chocolate 
  11. 1/2 cup chopped macadamia nuts
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pan.
  2. Melt white chocolate bar and set aside.
  3. Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.
  4. In a stand mixer combine butter and sugar. 
  5. Mix in eggs one at a time.
  6. Add milk, vanilla, and melted chocolate until well combined.
  7. Stir in nuts.
  8. Incorporate dry ingredients and mix for 2-3 minutes.
  9. Fill cupcakes 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes.

For the frosting:

            1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
            4 cups confectioners sugar
            1/3 cups White Chocolate Macadamia Nut coffee creamer

1. Beat butter on medium speed for 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy
2. Gradually add the sugar, beating in between each addition.
3. Mix in the creamer, add more sugar or creamer until desired consistency is reached.