Sunday, February 15, 2015

Week 52, January 25,2015 ~ Creme Brûlée Cupcakes

The final cupcake! I did it! I made 52 different cupcakes in a year! I tried to post this a couple weeks ago but for some reason it got deleted and I was being stubborn about writing it all over again. So there is no better time than being snowed in to write it again. So for the final week I went out with a bang! Creme Brûlée cupcakes using a kitchen torch! I will be honest I probably am the last person that should be using a kitchen torch! But now I kinda want to try to torch everything! I will say that these cupcakes were really good however they don't hold that well. They were best eaten freshly torched, over time they got a bit soggy. The flavor was good but you don't get as much of the crunch you get if you eat them freshly torched. For the next year I am going to keep baking things weekly, I can't make any promises come summertime! 

This recipe makes 12-14 cupcakes!

For the Pastry Cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat heavy cream, milk, 6 tablespoon sugar, salt and seeds of 1/2 vanilla bean along with vanilla bean pod over medium heat (I used about a teaspoon of vanilla bean paste). Bring mixture just to a bubble, stirring occasionally.
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together egg yolks and 2 tablespoon sugar until well blended. Add cornstarch to egg yolk mixture and mix until very well combined and fluffy.
  3. Take about 1/2 cup of the hot cream mixture from pan, and while whisking, slowly pour hot cream mixture into egg yolk mixture. Replace back on heat and reduce burner temperature to medium-low. Then, while whisking hot cream mixture in saucepan, slowly pour egg yolk mixture into hot cream mixture in saucepan. Whisking constantly until thickened. Allow it to boil for about 30 seconds after it has started to cook out starchy flavor. 
  4. Immediately force mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Mix in 1 tablespoon of butter. Cover with plastic wrap pressing directly against surface of custard so it doesn't form a skin. Chill for about 2 hours.

For the Vanilla Cupcake:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 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
  • 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 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
  3. Add ¾ cup sugar and continue to beat on medium speed 
  4. Add vanilla and oil and beat on medium speed 
  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.
  8. Once cool fill with the pastry cream and spread generously over the tops of the cupcakes.
  9. Put cupcakes in fridge for about 20-30 minutes to set and then take them out a couple at a time to torch--if you don't have a torch you can put them under the broiler.
  10. Dip the top of each cupcake in granulated sugar and then torch. I did this twice for each cupcake for extra crunch.

If I was serving these immediately I would have let them cool for a couple minutes and then topped them with a little bit of whipped cream and a blackberry or raspberry for color.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Week 51, January 19, 2015 ~ Cannoli Cupcakes

The end is near! This week I made a cannoli cupcake that I kind of have mixed feelings about. I think I could have done more with them. It made a vanilla cupcake that had some orange zest in it and then topped them with a cannoli filling whipped cream. I wish I had done one of 2 things, either filled the cupcakes with a chocolate ganache or with more of the cannoli filling. I then topped them with pistachios and chocolate chips--I wish I had used chocolate shavings instead. The whipped cream was really good though and definitely reminiscent of a cannoli! 

This recipe made 6 cupcakes- you could easily modify this to make more though!

For the cannoli cake:

  • 3/4 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 C sugar 
  • 1/4 C butter, softened
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1/4 C ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 t orange zest
  • 1 T powdered sugar

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line two muffin pans with cupcake wrappers; set aside.
  2. Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. 
  3. In a different, larger bowl, mix together the butter, eggs, vanilla, and milk. 
  4. Add in the ricotta cheese, orange zest, and powdered sugar to the wet ingredients and then add in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined.
  5. Pour the batter into cupcake liners, 24 in total. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the muffin pans to a cooling rack. 
For the cannoli whipped cream:
  • 1/3 cup Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/3 cup Ricotta cheese, strained slightly
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  1. Combine the mascarpone, ricotta, and powdered sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the heavy cream and gradually increase the speed over a few seconds till on medium-high.  Slowly pour in the sugar and vanilla. 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.
  3. Frost and garnish with pistachios and chocolate chips.