Tag Archives: Cupcake

Madeleines Turned Petit Almond Citrus Gateau

10 Mar

In a stroke of genius the other week, I remembered that I had not yet used my gifted Madeleine pan.  Chris and I were going to the store anyway, so I found this beautiful recipe at food52.com: Citrus Madeleines.  Instead of a grapefruit, I grabbed an orange and paired it with the lemons already in our fridge.  The first step required lots and lots of zesting.  Towards the end my arms grew tired and I zested my finger a bit – Ouch!

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One of my favorite parts came next: mixing the zest with sugar.  The sugar coated the zest perfectly and it just looked beautiful.

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The rest is your basic baked good recipe.  Mix the dry and the wet separately, and then combine them until just barely mixed.  I really attribute this step as a make or break moment in any baking project.  It’s the difference between dry and dense or moist and fluffy.  The latter of course being the preference.

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A little more…

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Stop!

Here’s where my Madeleines turned gateau.  While I was mixing the perfect batter, I asked Chris to pull out the Madeleine pan and prep it for baking.  Just as the batter reached the barely mixed goal, Chris exclaimed that he couldn’t find the pan.  I too searched high and low, but came up empty-handed.  Thinking fast on our feet, we looked through the cabinet and chose a mini cake pan as a stand in.  I was slightly disappointed, but still hopeful that they would taste delicious.  Chris buttered the pan (with Smart Balance) and I lightly dusted it with flour.  We then evenly divided the batter into each rectangle.

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I topped them off with a few sliced almonds and popped them into the oven.  They turned out a beautiful golden brown, although slightly sunken in from the weight of the almonds.

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Taking a look at my final product, I dubbed the tiny cakes Petit Almond Citrus Gateau.  I cut one in half and sampled the fruits of my labor.  It was light, fluffy, and balanced.  Chris had 2 cakes exclaiming that they were, “the best things we ever made.”

The next week Chris asked me to make the cakes again for his friends dessert and wine birthday party.  We decided to bake them in a mini cupcake pan this time around.

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These small cupcakes turned out a bit dry.  I think they were just a bit overcooked.  Next time I’ll adjust the baking time a bit more to accommodate for the smaller size – OR I’ll just get a Madeleine pan so I can do the batter justice in that playful shell shape.

 

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Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes with Lime-Spiked Frosting

14 Jul

The cupcake that inspired this blog. The strawberry tasted like a warm jam when these came fresh out of the oven.

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Grappa

14 Jul

Salted Caramel Cupcakes with Grappa

Almond Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting topped with Sea Salt and Caramel Crunch. One of my go to favorites when I’m in the mood to bake.

Chocolate, Good. Espresso, Good. Chocolate Stout Espresso Cupcakes, Amazing!

21 Feb

As Chris mentioned in our post about our lamb dish, we went for a short, 10-mile day hike in O’Neill Regional Park earlier in the day.  I’m not sure what it is about hiking, but it always leaves Chris and I craving beer and comfort food.  While the hike served as inspiration for what to cook, Food52 provided guidance and recipes.  Since starting this blog, I stumbled upon the website Food52, and fell in love with the modern look, pristine photos, and unique recipes.  Within an hour of arriving home with the groceries, I began to throw together our dessert: Chocolate Stout Cupcakes.  While the recipe calls for Guinness, Chris suggested getting a more boutique stout.  He ran off to grab the stout, while I found the mint and ginger (ingredients for other items on the list this week).  When I found him, he had a bottle of Young’s Double Chocolate Stout in our basket.

I started by boiling the water to make espresso from the powder we had on hand (for camping).  Thinking that I was super smart, I skipped the step of warming the stout and mixed together the hot espresso and cold stout.  I then added the butter, only to discover that the liquid was no longer hot enough to melt the 1/2 cup block.  I transferred everything to a microwave safe bowl and heated it up to ease the melting process, melted a second 1/2 cup block of butter (yes there’s that much butter in cupcakes!), and poured it in with the stout and espresso.

Next, I added the dark, unsweetened cocoa powder and vanilla, stirring it all into a nice chocolate liquid to coat the flour and dry ingredients.  I found it curious that this recipe called for melting the butter, while others suggest cutting the butter with sugar.  At this point, I imagined that this cupcake wouldn’t be as light and fluffy as others.

Chris mixed together the dry ingredients while I diligently stirred the chocolate base.  He also blended the eggs and sour cream together into a nice cream mixture.  I then grabbed the hand mixer, and put it on low in the egg and cream mixture while Chris alternated between the chocolate liquid and dry ingredients.  I instructed him to wait until just a second after the last big of dry ingredient disappeared into the mixture before adding more.  We made the perfect team 🙂

We put the cupcakes in the oven at 350 for 20 minutes, rotating them half way through, and they came out just perfectly.  While they were baking I made the powdered sugar, espresso, chocolate glaze.  I accidentally added 1-2 extra tablespoons of water (it’s quite thick and difficult to mix), but overall this was a happy mistake.  The recipe instructs you to dip the cupcakes (and not ice them) in the glaze.  I jumped the gun and tried to do this right away, but failed miserably.  See the cupcakes are still pretty delicate when warm and the glaze is a bit heavy, and when you dip a warm cupcake in the glaze the top of the cupcake falls off into the glaze.  Chris took this opportunity to nab the broken cupcake top and sample my finished product.  He claimed that they were delicious, but I still had work to do.

I took a break, let the cupcakes cool, and then tried again.  This time, it worked.  I dipped each cupcake in the glaze, spooned a bit extra on top if there were gaps or holes, and then placed them on cookie sheets to catch any drips.  We also chose to use my silicone cupcake liners for half of the treats (I only have 12).  While these weren’t great for holding on to the cupcakes while dipping, I actually really liked the look and feel of them.  Note: Plan to make a little more glaze than the recipe recommends.  While I usually have more than enough frosting, I was left with 8 unglazed cupcakes.  We had just picked up some fresh whole bean coffee, so we topped each cupcake off with one bean in the middle.  They weren’t the prettiest cupcakes in the world, but they smelled fantastic.

After our feast of lamb, mash, and chard, I sampled a long-awaited chocolate stout cupcake.  Heavenly!  The texture was certainly different from that of my past cupcakes, but in a beyond delicious way.  The glaze was perfectly sweet, and the roasted bean on top was a pleasant crunch as I devoured the treat.  I usually find myself seeking professional cupcake tasters to finish off the batch that I tire of after 2-3, but this time I’m feeling a bit greedy.  You might just have to steal them from me to get a taste.

A Good Use For Blackened Bananas

16 Jan

Every week we buy a bunch of bananas for breakfast.  And inevitably one or more end up as a gooey mess that we throw away because we forget to eat them in time.  But every so often if we remember, we make a delicious treat from these long yellow fruits.  This is one such treat.  Colleen has filled my tummy with tasty banana muffins (on multiple occasions), but this time we felt like something a little different.  So Colleen searched the interwebs high and low for a cupcake recipe with which to use these soon to be deceased monkey toys.  She found cupcakes with chocolate, peanut butter, lemon, honey, rutabaga (wtf) and more – but we set our sights on caramel and cinnamon. We decided to use Colleen’s new cupcake pans that come included with a handy spike in each cup, on which we planned to skewer a caramel candy.

The recipe had some odd proportions and instructions, which led Colleen to mix the sugar in with the dry ingredients instead of whipping it with the butter.  We weren’t really sure of the implications of this error, but went forward anyhow.

The butter, while light and fluffy, certainly didn’t cream together as smoothly as it does with the sugar added in.  And the egg didn’t mix well with the butter alone.  But once we added all the ingredients together, the resulting batter was business as usual (for a cupcake).  To top it off, we spiked the batter with a generous dose (ok, a Tbsp) of spiced rum.  Because we’re classy we used “Admiral Nelson’s” spiced rum, which was $5 cheaper than The Captain.  Admirals are ranked higher than captains right?

We poured a small amount of batter into the cups and then placed a caramel on each of their spikes.  We covered each caramel completely with the remaining batter.

350 degrees and 18 minutes later.  Well. 18 minutes…and then another 2 minutes…and then we swapped it around inside the oven (because the back cupcakes were browning faster than the front ones).  Finally another 2 minutes and voilà, beautiful golden, aromatic cupcakes wafting banana through the apartment.

We whipped up a cinnamon buttercream frosting.  It’s a blend of, you guessed it, butter, cream (cheese) and loads of sugar.  I filled a decorating bag and went to work icing the cupcakes.  Colleen has nothing to do with why they look like how I wrap my Christmas presents…  The frosting tasted delicious and spicy and there was way, way too much to use it all on the cupcakes.  This seems to happen every single time we make icing for cupcakes.

The finished product!  We saved them for dessert, but my stomach wasn’t feeling super so Colleen ate them and I watched with envy.  Colleen reports, they’re absolutely delicious (moist, sweet and spicy).  The caramel candy wasn’t as gooey as we had hoped, maybe next time we’ll try a caramel cream.  Later we had to shoo Stoli, one of our three cats, away from the platter, but not before she claimed one of the cupcakes for her own.  While we may let her keep rodents, she did not get to keep the cupcake.  Kitteh dibeetees iz srs bznass.  Srsly.

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