Days 198 to 209-Baking is Addicting!

Even though, I wanted to post every day. I have been baking and pet sitting more than usual lately. Here are all the photos from my recent creations:

day 199 (1 of 1)-4

day 200 (1 of 1)

day 201 (1 of 1)

A first birthday part. Strawberry cake with Lemon buttercream.  (Above)

day 202 (1 of 1)

Mango French Macarons with Pineapple filling.

day 202 (1 of 1)-2

Maple Bacon Cupcakes (also known as “The Spring Break Cupcake”from 2 Broke Girls) and my inspiration for the cupcakes. Chocolate Stout cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese frosting topped with Caramelized bacon.

day 202 (1 of 1)-3

Two tiered cake for a retirement party. The top layer is a Strawberry cake with Nutella filling and Italian butter cream. The second tier is butter cake filled with caramel and macadamia nuts with almond Italian buttercream.

day 203 (1 of 1)

Captain America cake for a seven year old’s birthday party. White cake with American buttercream.

day 203 (1 of 1)-2

day 203 (1 of 1)-3

Dark Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes with White Chocolate buttercream and Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes with White Chocolate buttercream for my boss’s baby shower decorated with Peeps.

day 209 (1 of 1)

Chocolate cupcakes with Strawberry buttercream.

day 208 (1 of 1)

Gluten Free Lemon Butter Cupcakes (adapted Pamela’s Vanilla Cake Mix) with Raspberry Cream Cheese frosting. One day I will master gluten free baking!

day 207 (1 of 1)

Traditional Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting.

I am back on track with Project 365, and more than half way through the Project. Anyways, hopefully everyone is enjoying spring!

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Day 197-Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

day 194 (1 of 1)

I know I am a little late in posting this recipe, but better late than never. On St. Patrick’s day, I made Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes (Recipe courtesy of Brown Eyed Baker).  I ran out of fondant and nothing to decorate the cupcakes, so I quickly made sugar cookies cut with a four leaf clover cutter.

Ingredients:

 Cupcakes:

Whiskey Ganache Filling:

  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting:

Directions:

1.  Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. 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. 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. Using a rubber spatula, fold the batter until completely combined. 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.

3.  Whiskey Ganache Filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then, using a rubber spatula, stir it from the center outward until smooth. Add the  whiskey and stir until combined. Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to be piped.

4. Fill the Cupcakes: Using a 1-inch round cookie cutter (or the bottom of a large decorating tip), cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes, going about two-thirds of the way down. Transfer the ganache to a piping back with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

5. Make the Baileys Frosting: Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip 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 all of it is incorporated. Add the Baileys, increase the speed to medium-high and whip for another 2 to 3 minutes, until it is light and fluffy.

6. Using your favorite decorating tip, or an offset spatula, frost the cupcakes. Store the cupcakes in an airtight container.

Day 180-Cupcake Fashion

day 180 (1 of 1)

Again, I am writing about my cupcake obsession…

 

For my birthday a couple years ago, my brother and sister-in-law gave me a beautiful cupcake necklace. I call it my lucky necklace, mostly because I feel special when I wear it.

 

This weekend, I was testing out different aperture settings and decided to photograph all of my jewelry. The cupcake looks so detailed; it is my favorite photograph that I took!

 

Day 169-Put Down the Cupcake?

day 167 (1 of 1)

Most people who know me, even just a little, know that I have a small, okay large, obsession with cupcakes. I even have a tattoo of a cupcake and it is one of my nicknames. I know that whoopie pies, pakes, and macarons are popular, but is there really anything better than a cupcake?

I feel like I can make a cake with the same ingredients as a cupcake but it would not taste and/or look nearly as good as a cupcake. I found the most delicious cupcake recipe from Domestic Ingenuity. You can find the recipes on her site. fully recommend trying this recipe; adding the Reese’s cup to the cupcake just adds a whole new layer and flavor that is complimented by the peanut butter frosting.

To answer my title question, you never put the this cupcake down!

day 167 (1 of 1)-2

Day 117 and Day 118-Pumpkin Cupcakes

 

When I was a child, I would not eat anything with pumpkin in it, no pies or cakes. Then one day, I tried a pumpkin cake and I fell in love. Side note: I fall in love with food pretty often.

Recipe adapted from the Neely’s.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 1 (12-cup) muffin pan with paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and  salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add the butter and the sugar. Beat with a mixer until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree and the vanilla extract.
  4. Slowly beat in the eggs, one at a time. Incorporate the dry mixture into the wet mixtures together until thoroughly combined.
  5. In separate bowl, mix together chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons of flour. Fold gently into batter.
  6. Using an ice cream scoop, fill each cupcake liner 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Bake until the tops turn golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the oven to a wire rack and cool completely before frosting .

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 Tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

  1. Combine the cream cheese, butter,in a large mixing bowl and blend for 2 minutes.
  2. Add salt, vanilla, and maple sryup, blend to combine.
  3. Add confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time. Once all sugar is added mix for 2 minutes.

Assembly of Cupcakes:

  1. With desired pastry tip, fill pastry bag, save one cupcake without frosting.
  2. Pipe on cupcakes.
  3. Drop a couple of chocolate chips for decorations. Enjoy!

Day 107-PB & J Cupcakes

This Tuesday was Boss Appreciation Day, and I made plenty of treats for my co-workers. I am submitting this recipe for a recipe contest, wish me and my friend luck!
I got some great feedback on the PB & J Cupcake. I was told several times that they did not expect to like this cupcake but loved the combination of flavors, and that I should try it with grape jelly.

Vanilla Cupcakes:

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. Sift flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon into a mixer bowl. Transfer bowl to mixer, and add egg, yolk, water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Beat on low speed until mixture is well combined and smooth, about 3 minutes.
  3. Divide batter among liners, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted into centers comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks for 30 minutes. Invert cupcakes onto racks, and let cool completely. (Cupcakes can be stored for up to 3 days.)

Peanut Butter Frosting:

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions

  1. Combine butter and peanut butter.
  2. Add vanilla, mixed until combined.
  3. Combine confectioner’s sugar one cup at a time, scrapping bowl down after each addition.

Assembling the Cupcakes

  1. You will need some prepared jam, jelly or preserves, flavor of your choice. I used raspberry jam that my friend made (he (DG) is an amazing caner).  While optional, I added some crushed peanuts for garnish.
  2. Equipment needed: two pastry bags fitted with two tips of your choice. I used a 1M for piping and circle tip for filling.
  3. First, you will fill the cupcakes with jam using a pastry bag.
  4. Then, you will pipe the peanut butter frosting on top the cupcakes.
  5. Dollop some jam on top the frosting and sprinkle the crushed peanuts.

Enjoy!

Day 24-Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Whoopie pies are really the child of cookies and cupcakes, they are a combination of the best parts of cookies and cupcakes!

I discovered this recipe for red velvet whoopie pies in 2010, and  made them for a White Elephant party. I had never made whoopie pies or had even tasted one at that point. Lets just say, I was impressed!

Whoopie pies (one of my friends calls them: cupcake tops!) are the greatest things ever, a mix between a cookie and cake with a soft, gooey, sweet filling, plus the name is just so fun to say!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, recipe courtsey of Mowielicious:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (4 oz) butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/4 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp red food colour paste

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line two baking trays with baking paper or silicone mats.

2. Whisk together the butter and sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt and baking soda. In another bowl, blend the red food colour paste with the cocoa powder

3. Whisk in the egg until completely incorporated, then add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk. Mix in the red cocoa powder mixture.

4. Fill a piping bag and pipe 5cm rounds onto the lined baking trays.

5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when touched. Allow to cool before filling with cream cheese frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine the cream cheese, butter,in a large mixing bowl and blend for 2 minutes.
  2. Add salt, vanilla, orange zest and juice, blend to combine.
  3. Add confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time. Once all sugar is added mix for 2 minutes.

Traditional Red Velvet, Creation #9

This Wednesday I will be back in Louisiana for the first time since November 2010 and I will be baking at sea level again (Yeah!). Every year for my mom and grandmother’s birthday, I make them red velvet cupcakes, and this year will be no different. My mother is an expert judge in red velvet cupcakes; therefore perfection is a must.

I have searched for the perfect red velvet cupcake, and it was a difficult task. While watching Cupcake War (I know I am obsessed), Florian Bellanger said a red velvet cupcake should be colored mostly from the cocoa powder, not just from food coloring. So, I found awesome cocoa powder, and pretty great recipe.

Recipe courtesy of the Food Network

Red Velvet Cupcakes:

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with line regular-size cupcake  pans with 24 regular cupcake liners.
  2. In mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder, and salt.
  3. In another mixing bowl, stir together the eggs and oil.
  4. In a mixing cup, mix together the buttermilk, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla extract and lightly whisk.
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture to the egg mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. We are trying to make a dark brown, red cupcake color, so add more cocoa powder, if the red is not deep enough.
  6. Then add the batter to the mini cupcake liners until they are 3/4-full and bake for 13 to 14 minutes, or until done. Alternately, fill the regular-size cupcake liners and bake 22 minutes, or until done. Let the cupcakes cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Directions:

  1. Combine the cream cheese, butter,in a large mixing bowl and blend for 2 minutes.
  2. Add salt, vanilla, orange zest and juice, blend to combine.
  3. Add confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time. Once all sugar is added mix for 2 minutes.

Assembly of Cupcakes:

  1. With desired pastry tip, fill pastry bag, save one cupcake without frosting.
  2. Pipe on cupcakes.
  3. Crumble saved cupcake and sprinkle over cupcakes. Enjoy!

Chocolate and Caramel Cupcakes, Creation # 8

Back to the basics, cupcake style! So, I know people poke fun at Ina Garten’s use of “good” ingredients, however, I never really noticed the difference until I used “good” cocoa powder then switching backing to Hershey definitely made a difference. By no means am I a chocolate snob, it was just something I noticed.

I may have added a little flavor by filling the cupcake with caramel sauce.

Recipe courtesy of Joy of Baking.

Chocolate Cupcake:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1 cup boiling hot water
  • 1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F, line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
  5. Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. (Do not over bake or cupcakes will be dry.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing. You can either spread the frosting on the cupcakes with a small spatula or if piping, use a large Wilton 1M open star tip to make lovely swirls. These cupcakes are best the day they are made, but can be covered and stored for a few days.

Caramel Sauce:

See this post!

Chocolate Buttercream:

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) semi sweet chocolate, melted and cool
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8 oz (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Melt chocolate in heat safe bowl over warm water and let cool.
  2. Sift cocoa, confectioner’s sugar and salt together. 
  3. In a mixer fitted with paddle attachments, cream butter.
  4. Add cool melted chocolate, mix well to combine.
  5. Add vanilla, mix to combine.
  6. Gradually add sugar mixture to butter mixture and mix for about 3 minutes.
  7. Add heavy cream, mix to combine.

Assemble Cupcakes:

  1. Cut center out of cupcakes with apple corer or 1 inch circle cutter.
  2. Fill squeeze bottle with caramel sauce and fill centers of cupcakes.
  3. With desired tip or spatula, ice cupcakes.

ENJOY!