Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vanilla cupcakes with blueberry filling and mascarpone frosting


Happy anniversary to my wonderful parents! They have been married for 32 long years. Through so many ups and downs that life has brought them, they have overcome them and raised three great children (the greatest being me of course ha!), and provided us with a great life. I am so proud to have them as my "mae" and "pai". Love you guys!
Now, my parents love fruity cupcakes, so much so that when I make chocolate varieties, my dad especially sort of wrinkles his nose... Really? Who doesn't like chocolate?! Anyways, due to my parents preference to fruits, I was inspired to make these vanilla cupcakes filled with a blueberry and lemon filling, and then topped with a light mascarpone frosting. How did I come up with that combo? It's partly what I already had at home haha!
The vanilla cupcake recipe I found on Pinterest, and have been dying to try it out. It came out nice and fluffy, with that pretty little dome you expect to see on a great cupcake. It's one I'm happy to try again!! Each of the locations I got the recipes from are listed below.
Vanilla Cupcakes
Yields about 18 cupcakes
Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda 
1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup milk


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Line cupcake pan(s) with baking cups.
Sift and mix together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the yogurt, canola oil, and vanilla extract. Gradually add in the dry ingredients in 3 separate batches, alternating with the milk (start and end in dry ingredients). Mix until just incorporated.
Fill baking cups about 2/3 full (or a little less) and bake for 12-14 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer cupcakes to a cooling rack, and allow to cool to room temperature before frosting or serving.
Blueberry cupcake filling
Ingredients:
8oz frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1-2 Tbsp lemon juice
A pinch of salt


Directions:
1. Put all ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved and mixture has thickened.
2. With a paring knife cut cylinders out of the center of each cake and set aside. Fill with blueberry filling and “re-cap” with cut out cake. 


Mascarpone Frosting

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy cream
8oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, sifted

Directions:
With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until stiff peaks form (be careful not to overbeat, or cream will be grainy). In another bowl, whisk together mascarpone and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Use immediately.

Resources:
Vanilla Cupcakes inspired by Pastry Affair
Blueberry Filling inspired by Quarter Cup Kitchen
Mascarpone Frosting inspired by Martha Stewart

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mocha cupcakes


Recently I've been baking for different occasions/people, but then I forget to post it... Well, I certainly don't want to forget this recipe!
The "making" of this recipe started back last summer, when I was really supposed to come up with a chocolate/coffee cupcake combo for my brother-in-law (officially now!) for his birthday. I didn't get his treat made last year, so I promised him I would definitely make it this year.
So here is the promised cupcakes, and they turned out very well!!! The cupcake base is the famous Hershey's chocolate cake recipe, but I substituted the boiling water for hot coffee. All in all, it was birthday boy approved!
Mocha Cupcake
~Makes 24-30 cupcakes~

Ingredients:

-2 cups sugar
-1 and 3/4 cup AP flour
-3/4 cup cocoa powder 
-1.5 tsp baking powder
-1.5 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-2 eggs
-1 cup milk, room temperature
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 cup (very hot/boiling) brewed coffee

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two dozen-cupcake tins with cupcake liners; set aside.
Combine all dry ingredients (sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt) in a separate bowl by sifting and whisking it all together.
In a stand-up mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla until well incorporated. Add dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Stir in coffee (batter will be thin, that's ok!) and mix well until batter is even.
Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way full and bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until inserted tester (usually toothpick) comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature before next steps.

Mocha Ganache

Ingredients:
4oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (or you could do 8oz total of just bittersweet chocolate)
1 cups plus 2 Tbsp of heavy cream
1- Tbsp instant coffee granules
Optional: 1 Tbsp coffee licquour (like Kahlua) -- if not adding this, add another 1/2 Tbsp of instant coffee granules. 

Directions:

Place chopped chocolate and instant coffee granules into a heat-proof medium bowl. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour over chopped chocolate. Let stand for about 2 minutes (this step is important! Don't touch it at ALL for 2 whole minutes!)
With a whisk, gently stir the chocolate with the cream in small circles. Once chocolate is smooth, start adding 

Espresso Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough to frost 24 cupcakes

Ingredients:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2½ cups powdered sugar
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ teaspoons espresso powder

Directions:
1. Mix the espresso powder into the vanilla until dissolved; set aside.
2. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping once to scrape the sides of the bowl. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it is mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, about a minute or two. Add the espresso and vanilla mixture and continue to mix at medium-high until it is completely incorporated, scraping the sides as necessary.

Adapted recipes:
Chocolate cupcakes from Hershey's
Mocha Ganache from Annie's Eats
Espresso Buttercream Frosting from Brown Eyed Baker