Saturday, November 22, 2014

Week 37, October 12, 2014 ~ Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

These are basically like those chocolate oranges that you have to crack open and get at christmas but in a cupcake and more grownup because I used Grand Marnier! I love orange flavored everything so I liked them a lot. I did kind of phone it in with the decorations. Originally I wanted to do candied oranges but those were a big time commitment and I didn't have the right type of oranges, then I wanted to dip orange slices in chocolate, which I did with one, but I didn't think they would hold up over the few days it takes the cupcakes to usually disappear.  So in the end I just went with some gold sparkles that I had. This is just a chocolate cupcake with a chocolate orange mousse filling and a chocolate orange ganache. I do with I went with a cupcake that wasn't so moist and would have held up better to the mousse filling but I didn't really give it much thought at the time and just used my goto chocolate cake recipe.

This recipe makes 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 dark chocolate ( I used an 80%)
  • 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.
    For the Mousse filling:

    • 3 cups dark chocolate chips
    • ½ cup heavy cream
    • Zest of 2 oranges, very finely minced
    • 1 ½ cups whipping cream

    1. Melt the dark chocolate chips, 1/2 cup heavy cream, and orange zest together in the microwave and let cool to room temperature.
    2. Whip the remaining heavy cream into firm peaks. Slowly fold in the chocolate mixture a little at a time. If this mixture is too runny chill it in the fridge for a few minutes and then whip again until it is firm. You may need to repeat this a couple of times. 
    3. Fill the cooled cupcakes with a tablespoon or so of the filling
    Chocolate Orange Liqueur Ganache Glaze
    1 1/3 cups dark chocolate chips
    1/3 cup heavy cream
    1 ounce orange liqueur
    2 tbsp honey
    1. Scald the whipping cream almost to the boiling point and pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips in a small bowl. Let stand for 4-5 minutes, then stir until smooth.
    2. Add the liqueur and honey to the chocolate mixture and stir well until completely smooth. Dip each cupcake into the glaze and smooth out if necessary.
    3. Garnish as you see fit and if you want you can put them in the fridge so the glaze firms up.
    Is this not the cutest little bottle of alcohol?

    Sunday, November 9, 2014

    Week 36, October 6, 2014 ~ Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

    These have quite possibly ruined pumpkin pie for me, and everyone knows I love pumpkin pie. These are just so much better. I usually only eat 1 or 2 of the cupcakes I make but I am pretty sure I ate about 6 this week. They are like blending pumpkin pie together with whipped cream with just a little bit of tang. The crust is a pecan gingersnap crust and they are topped with a vanilla mascarpone whipped cream. 

    This recipe makes 24 cupcakes:

    For the crust:

    • 16 gingersnap cookies
    • 2 graham cracker rectangle
    • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
    • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 3 Tablespoons melted butter
    1. Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake tin or spray with nonstick spray.
    2. In the bowl of a food processor, grind all ingredients for crust, except for melted butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add melted butter and process until mixture resemble wet sand. 3.Press mixture by the tablespoon into each cup. Bake for 10 minutes.

    For Cheesecake:

    • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    • 3 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese, softened well
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/4 cup heavy cream
    1. In a mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger until no clumps of sugar remain. 
    2. Add cream cheese to mixer, then pour sugar mixture over cream cheese and blend together until smooth. Mix in eggs one at a time. Blend in pumpkin and vanilla, then mix in heavy cream. Tap bowl forcefully against countertop to release some of the excess air bubbles.
    3. Divide mixture over crust in muffin liners, filling nearly full. Bake in preheated oven until nearly set, about 20 - 25 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack at room temperature, 30 minutes. Then transfer to refrigerator and chill 3 hours until set. 

    For the Vanilla Bean Mascarpone:

    • 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 bean. 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