Saturday, September 27, 2014

Week 31, September 1, 2014 ~ Grown up Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

I had such higher hopes for the appearance of these cupcakes but alas it was about 90 in my apartment and the frosting refused to be pipeable. I tried to make it work least they tasted good. Since it was the first week of school--no I am not in school but I work at a school. Well anyways I decided to get all nostalgic and make a cupcake version of my favorite school lunch; peanut butter and jelly! But grownup style to remind my self that I am in fact a grownup! What made them grownup was the addition of chambord, which for those who don't know is a black raspberry liquor. I started with a peanut butter cupcake and swirled in a chambord raspberry compote and topped them with I chambord buttercream and a drizzled peanut butter flavored candy melts on top. 

This recipe made 16 cupcakes

For the raspberry compote:

  • 4 cups Frozen Raspberries
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 4 tbsp Corn Starch
  • 3 tbsp Chambord
  1. Put frozen raspberries in a medium pot and heat on medium-high until berries boil down, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. Once raspberries come to a boil, stir in sugar, and return to a boil.
  3. Add corn starch and chambord to a separate bowl and stir together and add to the raspberries.
  4. Stir vigorously for 1 minute until thickened and there are no clumps of cornstarch.
  5. Remove from heat and let cool before adding to cupcakes.

For the peanut butter and jelly cupcakes:

1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp sour cream
2 tsp baking soda
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
Raspberry compote

1. Preheat the oven to 350 and line your cupcake tin.
2. Beat the butter, peanut butter, and sugars together till creamy, add the eggs and vanilla and beat again till fluffy.
3. Sift the baking soda, flour and salt and set aside.
4. Beat the sour cream into the butter mixture till smooth.
5. Beat the flour into the mixture at high speed until it’s well-combined, then spoon into your lined cupcake tray. Make sure to only fill 2/3rds full. Add 1 tbsp of the compote to each cupcake and swirl around with a fork.
6. Bake cupcakes for about 15-18 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Put on a wire rack to cool.
For the buttercream:
  • 2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup chambord
  • splash of vanilla extract
 Beat the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, scraping the sides of the bowl occasionally. Reduce the speed to medium-low and gradually add the powdered sugar until its mixed well. Add the Chambord and vanilla, beat on medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy. You may need to add extra powdered sugar if it is too liquidy. Or you can add a couple tablespoons heavy cream if too thick still. Then decorate how you want.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 30, August 25,2014 ~ German Chocolate Cupcakes

Guten Tag! This post will be in all German in honor of these German Chocolate Cupcakes!....yeah no I am not going to do that...I may have taken German for 6 years but that was over 10 years ago (#gross)  and meine Deutsch ist schricklich! I can sing Happy Birthday though. This was a cupcake I was saving for a lazy week when I didn't feel like creating something more original...and this was the most exhausting work week ever! I we were basically rebuilding our store and I was working 10 hour days....I was definitely feeling my 29 years of life that week! So the fact that I was able to whip these up should me pretty impressive! Also now that work is finally settling down hopefully this is the week I completely catch up on my posts! I stayed somewhat traditional with these cupcakes, I made the cupcakes with German chocolate and made the coconut caramel pecan topping that is standard with a German Chocolate cupcake. I did get a little crazy and make a caramel coconut pudding to put inside just to make it more caramely and do something a little different. I did get a little lazy with the decorating. I was going to make a chocolate frosting to pipe around the outside and make it prettier but I went the more "rustic" route and drizzled chocolate on top. Anyone that watches Food Network knows rustic is code for lazy....I am looking at you Ina Garden! These were pretty much everything I like in a sweet...chocolatey, caramely, and coconutty so I liked them! Side note: this was also the week I realized it was time to replace my baking soda. The cupcakes sunk a bit in the middle which means your baking soda has run its course. I typically have to replace my baking soda once a month and my baking powder every three months or so. 

This recipe makes 16 cupcakes! I think I actually made some mini once instead of all regular sized cupcakes though

For the caramel coconut pudding: 
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons  cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/4teaspoons salt
  1. Whisk together 1/4 cup of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the sugar over medium heat. Let the sugar caramelize, swirling the pan if necessary to caramelize it evenly. Be careful to make sure it doesn't burn.
  3. Once the sugar has completely caramelized, remove from heat and slowly pour in the 1 1/2 cups of milk while whisking constantly. The caramel will bubble and steam violently at first and might even seize up. Once all the milk has been added, return the pan to the medium heat and whisk until all the caramel has dissolved. Boil for a few minutes until slightly thickened.
  4. Slowly whisk in the milk and cornstarch mixture, vanilla, coconut, and salt and stir until pudding has thickened. Add the salt. Chill for at least one hour before using.

For the Cake:
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 ounces Bakers German's Chocolate
  • cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup cocoa
  • 1  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1  stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tin and set aside.
  2.  In a medium heat-proof bowl, pour the boiling water over the German's Chocolate. Stir until smooth and set aside.
  3.  In another medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In the mixer beat sugar and butter for 1-2 minutes on medium until light in color. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, and mix well. 
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add the German's chocolate and vanilla. 
  5. Add flour mixture by thirds, alternating with sour cream and end with dry ingredients.
  6. In a medium bowl with a hand mixer (or if you have another bowl for your mixer use that with a clean blade) beat egg whites to soft peaks. Use a rubber spatula to gently stir the beaten whites into the batter. 
  7.  Divide the batter equally amongst the cupcake tins. Bake until a tester inserted in center of each cake layer comes out clean, 20-24 minutes.

For the Coconut Pecan Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup full-fat evaporated milk 
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, diced 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 oz. dark chocolate, melted

  • 1. In a medium saucepan combine, evaporated milk, egg yolks, brown sugar and butter. Cook mixture 10-15 minutes over medium heat, while stirring constantly, until thickened.
  • 2.  Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer.  Stir in vanilla and mix in shredded coconut and chopped pecans.
  • 3. Allow the mixture to cool before using.
4. Once you have spooned the topping onto the cupcakes drizzle with the melted chocolate.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Week 29, August 19, 2014 ~ Ooey Gooey Toffee Cupcakes

I am not entirely sure I would call these cupcakes, they are more like individual cakes (but I guess that's all a cupcake is). I did find that this cupcake was best served warm straight from the oven so maybe they would be better for serving them at a dinner party. Either way they were an explosion of toffee goodness! I topped them off with a salted caramel mascarpone whipped cream; which has quickly become my go to cupcake topper! And now that Market Basket is back up and running I can stock up again since it is half the price there than anywhere else! I got the idea for this cupcake from a list I saw on BuzzFeed for the best recipes from Disney World that you can make at home. This one stood out to me because I had never heard of it before but that's probably because I don't go to many of the full service restaurants and this Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake can be found at Liberty Tree Tavern in the Magic Kingdom...adds that to places to visit next trip. The only thing I would have done differently is used foil cupcake liners or just sprayed the cupcake tin with nonstick spray instead of using paper liner because it was hard to peal off since the cupcake is so sticky. 

This recipe made 16 cupcakes

For the bottom layer:
1 cup granulated sugar
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 stick butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350 and prepare cupcake tins
2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl.
3. Add the egg and melted butter and mix all the ingredients together-I found it easiest to use my hands. The mixture should be like wet sand.
4. Distribute evenly amongst the cupcakes tins and pack firmly-about 2 tbsp per tin. Set aside and prepare top layer.

For the top layer:

4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 + 2 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup Heath bar pieces

1. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. 
2. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time, beating to make sure it's well combined.
3.  Slowly drizzle in the melted butter. 
4. Fold in the chocolate chips and Heath bar pieces. 
5. Distribute the mixture evenly amongst the cupcake liners and make 20-25 minutes. the cupcakes should be gooey but not liquidy.
6. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the salted caramel mascarpone whipped cream:

  • 8 oz Mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  1. in a bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream, caramel sauce and salt. 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 the cupcakes and top with more Heath bar bits.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Week 28, August 15, 2014 ~ Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Cupcakes

I am sooo far behind! Work has been consuming my life and I am finally getting back into me normal routine. Considering I have spent more hours at work than home the past few weeks I am proud of myself for even finding time to make cupcakes. Week 28 was my birthday (Happy first 29th Birthday to me!) so I had to make something extra special obviously! I was really wanting an extra chocolatey cupcake and I love all things sweet and salty and peanut buttery! I used my favorite Guinness chocolate cake recipe,I think I like it better than chocolate cupcake recipes that use coffee, and filled them with a peanut butter sauce and topped them off with a whipped chocolate ganache, all atop a pretzel crust. For decoration I kept it simple with a pretzel and peanut butter drizzle. The chocolate ganache was kind of amazing and gave the cupcake a more sophisticated look than a plain ganache may have. I definitely think this cupcake is a top 10 contender! I am about 4 weeks behind on posts so I will just get on with it!

This recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes!

For the Pretzel Crust:
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 heaping cup crushed pretzels
1.In a medium bowl, mix together the three ingredients
4. Drop about a tablespoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of each cup. Use a small glass to pack down the crust.

For the Guinness Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups Guinness
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  •  3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder - I use Hershey's Special Dark
  • 2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 egg
  • 1 1/3 cup sour cream
  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. 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 Peanut Butter Filling:
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1. Combine all three ingredients and mix until smooth.
2. Fill each cupcake with about a tablespoon of the mixture. I injected mine with a pastry bag and bismarck tip.

For the Whipped Chocolate Ganache:
  • 2 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/3 cups heavy whipping cream
  1. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer. 
  2. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate chips. Let it stand for a couple minutes to melt the chips and then stir until smooth.
  3. Let it cool to room temperature then whip with a mixer until it is firm enough to hold shape.
  4. Pipe on the cupcakes any way you want
Top cupcakes with a pretzel and peanut butter drizzle (I used wilton peanut butter candy melts.