Thursday, December 30, 2010

I am still here...

Hi everyone! I just wanted to apologize for the lack of postings in the past few weeks... I try to get at least one recipe posted per week, but it has not happened recently...
Just wanted to say that I still am alive (haha!) and that I am working on a few recipes to post here. So, stay tuned!
Until then, have a happy holiday season, and may the new year bring lots of happiness, health, and love!

Yours truly,


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Easy Double Chocolate Vanilla Cupcake

Oh, what a joy it is to see a happy child enjoy a birthday treat! This week, the son of one of the dentists I work with had his ninth birthday. When I asked the parent what her son would like for his birthday cupcake, she simply said: he loves vanilla and chocolate! I thought BINGO! Simple vanilla cupcake with chocolate frosting would be a perfect combination. However, I did want to add a fun surprise to the cupcake, and so I decided to fill it with chocolate pudding. Result? This is the note I got on my desk later that afternoon:

Isn’t this sweet? J

How easy was this cupcake recipe? SUPER EASY!!! I did resort to boxed cake mix, but I added my flair to it, thanks to the recipe recommendations in Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make. If you are ever in a pinch to make cupcakes, it is good to have a cake mix in your pantry (I always have at least one vanilla and one chocolate). Both the cupcake and frosting recipes are from there. The frosting recipe is the same as my Mint Chocolate Cupcake recipe, so just follow the recipe posted there.

I do want to focus on how to fill the cupcake though. Choose a smooth filling (any type of pudding, or even frosting). Here are some ideas of filling recipes from Wilton. Whatever filling you choose, I use a piping bag with the 230 Wilton round tip inserted (no coupler needed).
 Fill the bag with the chosen filling, then poke the center of the cupcake with the tip, and squeeze! I make sure to go at least half way deep into the cupcake (even 2/3 deep) so that when you start squeezing, the filling stays more in the center and not just at the top. When the top of the cupcake starts to crack a little because it is expanding, then stop. Once you fill all your cupcakes, you can frost the top of it with your chosen frosting and hide the hole you have created. No one will know, and when they take a bite of the cupcake, they will be pleasantly surprised with the yummy goodness they have just encountered! Happy eatings!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cherry Cordial Cupcake

Happy greetings everyone! Hope all the tryptophan-induced comas are gone and everyone is working towards the next holiday :) 
Here is one of my latest cupcake adventures. One of the doctors I work with happens to L-O-V-E cherry cordial candies! That nice combination of chocolate and cherries is just to die for... So, I thought I could try my hand at replicating this little piece of heaven in cupcake form. The result? Something A-mazing! Well, and by replicating, I mean sticking a frozen cherry cordial into a nice and moist cupcake prior to baking, and voila! The resulting cupcake came out wonderfully: moist chocolaty cupcake that had an added moistness bonus from the cordial itself. I only froze my candies for about 10 minutes, but I think next time I will try to freeze them for longer (maybe 30 minutes or so?) and hope the candy stays whole during the baking process. If it seems that the cherry cordial chocolate shell did melt during baking, then let the cupcake cool completely before eating, so that the chocolate has a little bit of time to harden again.
So onto the recipe: the chocolate cupcake batter is the same from my  chocolate mint cupcake, just without the mint chips. The frosting is an invention of mine that turned out pretty good! Hope you enjoy these yummies!

Cherry Cordial Cupcakes - serves 20-22 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups AP flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 sticks (12 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
20-22 Cherry cordial candies, frozen

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the muffin cups with paper lines.
2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. in another medium bowl, with an electric mixer on high, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the melted chocolate. Beat in the vanilla. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in batches, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and beating just until blended. 
4. Fill the paper liners 1/2 full. Place one cherry cordial candy into each filled liner until the candy is completely submerged. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean 15-20 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the baking pan, place on a wire rack, and allow to cool completely.

Cherry Buttercream Frosting

2 sticks (16 Tbsp) butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
10-15 Maraschino cherries, finely chopped
2 Tbsp liquid from Maraschino cherries
1 Tbsp heavy cream
3.5-4 cups powdered sugar

With an electric mixer with the whisk attachment, beat the butter until soft and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract, liquid from cherries, and heavy cream into butter and beat until well blended. Start to add powdered sugar and mix after everyone cup or so of measurement. If the buttercream has too much of a stiff consistency, add a little more heavy cream, and if it is too runny, add more powdered sugar.

Originally adapted from: Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make