I love you enough to bake Cupcakes!

by Michelle on February 18, 2008

Oh dear……Valentine’s Day was fast approaching.

Hmmmmm…what to bake..what to bake!

I’ve got to do something! I can’t miss an opportunity to bake even though I just had surgery and can not be on feet more then 30 minutes at a time.

Cupcakes…..PERFECT!!!

I can bake in batches and pop them in my freezer until I’m ready to frost and decorate. Plus I can just defrost a few at a time….excellent portion control! And cupcakes are so cute!!!

I had wanted to order a Norpro Mini Cheesecake Pan and the Chicago Metallic Mini Heart Cupcake Pan for a few months. And now that I could justify the expense I went ahead and ordered both of them. I love Amazon.com!!!

I started scanning the blogs and found some wonderful cupcake experts. I am now copying and pasting like crazy and have more ideas then time which is how I work best. Just need to sort through my huge list of recipes and narrow down my options. Of course I want to make them all but again I can’t bake 24/7 although I would like too.

I knew I was going to make my husband, Joe, Brownie Cupcakes with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting. And I knew I was going to make Vanilla Cupcakes. I also was very intrigued with the Matcha Green Tea Cakes. Since we’re in the middle of a horrible midwest winter I thought a Lavender/Lemon cupcake would add a bit of sunshine and summer to my menu.

So I narrowed my list to 4 cupcake recipes and 7 frostings. I knew this list was very doable but I also knew I probably would not make everything on my list. But I like to keep my options open for last minute creative splurges or unforeseen accidents and, dare I say it…failures! Plus my friend Lucy and I were in deep discussion mode on Cupcakes and the creative ideas were flying!!!

Feb 13th, 2008

I made Joe his Brownie Cupcakes with Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting. I’m not much of a brownie lover but Joe was very happy.

Brownie Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from The Joy of Baking

4 ounces (120 grams) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/4 cup (250 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup (105 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line 12 muffin tins with paper or foil baking cups.

Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Once the chocolate is melted and smooth, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Then stir (can also use a hand mixer) in the sugar. Add the vanilla and then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in the flour and salt until well blended.

Evenly divide the batter between the muffin cups. Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake has moist crumbs. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Note: I baked the Brownie Cupcakes in my Mini Cheesecake Pan in a convection oven. I baked them at 300 degrees for 17 minutes.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
Adapted from Southern Food

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 to 2 3/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Melt chocolate with butter in top of double boiler over hot water. Remove from hot water; stir in sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Slowly beat in confectioners’ sugar until desired spreading consistency is reached. Makes enough chocolate sour cream frosting for a tube or bundt cake, 2-layer cake or about 30 cupcakes.

They do look pretty good! Although Joe did not care for the edible gold glitter nor the bejeweled serving plate!

Feb 13, 2008

Today I made Little Chocolate Devil’s Food Cupcakes dipped in Ganache. Oh boy were they good! But I’m literally addicted to ganache and keep a container in my frig at all times. I love to dip pretzels in ganache and potato chips are not bad either. Everyone should have a container of ganache in their refrigerator, it would be a much happier world.

Little Chocolate Devil’s Food Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from The Foodnetwork Kitchens

1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons natural unsweetened cocoa (not Dutch-process)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
1 cup sugar
2 large whole eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup water

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk the flour with the cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Beat the butter with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and gradually add the sugar. Beat until light and smooth, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low and beat in the whole eggs and yolk 1 at a time, incorporating each fully before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Bring water just to a boil in a small saucepan and remove from the heat. With the mixer at low speed, beat the flour mixture into the butter mixture in 4 additions. Drizzle in the hot water, about 2 tablespoons at a time, and mix briefly to make a smooth batter. Divide the batter among the muffin cups filling them 2/3 full. Bake until the centers of the cupcakes spring back when pressed gently, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a rack for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely before frosting.

Ganache
Recipe Adapted from My Mom

8 ounces semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped
3/4 cup heavy cream

Put the chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil. Pour cream over chocolate and shake the bowl gently so cream settles around the chocolate. Set mixture aside until the chocolate is soft, about 5 minutes. Whisk gently until smooth, taking care not to incorporate too many air bubbles.

Dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the frosting. (Frosting can also be chilled and whipped, then piped or spread onto the cupcakes.) Set them upright and let stand 1 or 2 minutes, until frosting is slightly set, then decorate with fresh berries, candies, or chopped pistachios, if desired. Let cakes stand on rack until frosting is completely set.

Note: To dip the Mini Cupcakes I use tongs.

Feb 14, 2008

Well….the big day has arrived!! So far I’ve made 2 varieties of cupcakes and both have been delicious. So I decided to make 2 varieties today after all it’s Valentine’s Day!

First I made Matcha Green Tea Cakes with Pomengranate Cream Cheese Frosting ong>. Oh my…they were so good and so far the best I’ve made.

Matcha Green Tea Cakes
Recipe adapted from Raspberry Eggplant

¾ stick unsalted butter (at room temperature)
¾ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1 large egg (at room temperature)
½ teaspoon pure vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ teaspoons baking powder
1¼ cups flour
½ cup + 2 tablespoons whole milk
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon matcha powder

1. Preheat oven to 350° F. (convection oven 325)
2. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl.
3. Beat in egg, vanilla, salt, and baking powder
4. Add half the flour and mix to just combine with the wet ingredients.
5. Add half the milk and mix to combine.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5, adding the matcha powder with the last addition of milk.
7. Beat at low speed until smooth and shiny, about 30 seconds.
8. Divide batter among mini muffin pans lined with foils or papers. Bake for 12 minutes, rotating the pans after 7 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean.
9. Cool on a wire rack until the cupcakes come to room temperature.

Pomegranate Cream Cheese Frosting

6 ounces cold cream cheese
2 tablespoons butter (at room temperature)
1 ¾ – 2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted
2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses*

1. Using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until it is just soft.
2. Add the butter and pomegranate molasses and mix to fully incorporate.
3. Gradually add 1 ¾ cups sugar and mix well.
4. Add the remaining ¼ cup sugar, if necessary, and beat well to incorporate (I found 1 ¾ cups to be enough, but some people like their frosting sweeter).

Frost the mini cupcakes using a large star tip. Top each cupcake with a sprinkling of edible gold glitter or cinnamon and top with a cinnamon heart.

Note: To make the Pomegranate Molasses I just reduced 100% Pomegranate Juice by about half. I added no sugar due to it being added to frosting which already contains sugar.

And for dessert for tonight’s dinner I made Vanilla Cupcakes stuffed with a Whole Fresh Strawberry and Cream Cheese Frosting and topped with a sprig of Fresh Mint. They were heaven in a baking cup!!! I only made 3 of these and I wished I’d made a dozen. They would be perfect for a summer BBQ!

Strawberry Stuffed Vanilla Cupcakes
Recipe Adapted from The Food Network Kitchens

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or for convection ovens 325 degrees. Line the muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.

In another medium bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until light and foamy, about 2 minutes. While beating, gradually pour in the butter and then the vanilla.

While mixing slowly, add half the dry ingredients, then add all the milk, and follow with the rest of the dry ingredients. Take care not to over mix the batter. Divide the batter evenly in the prepared tin.

Bake until a tester inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove. Cool on the rack completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe Adapted from My Mom

1/2 c softened cream cheese
1/2 c softened butter
1 t vanilla
4 c powdered sugar
1-2 T milk

Cream butter and cream cheese. Beat in powdered sugar. Add vanilla and milk. Beat until desired consistancy.

To assemble: Cut and remove a strawberry (coned) shaped portion of cupcake from the top of each cupcake, leaving about 1/2 to 1-inch of cake in the bottom. Stuff each cake with a strawberry. Spoon and spread icing over the top of the cupcakes. Top with small mint leaves or candied leaves.

All Rights Reserved 2008 © Big Black Dog

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