Fresh Pumpkin Cupcakes with White Chocolate Chunks and Cream Cheese Frosting77

Posted by chockylit in Cheese, Chocolate, General, Simple Recipe, Spices, Squashes & Gourds (Sunday October 22, 2006 at 11:35 am)

fresh pumpkin and white chocolate cupcake

A very good friend came to my house, made a mess of my kitchen making pumpkin muffins and left me with tons of leftover pumpkin meat. The nerve! So, what did I do? Make pumpkin cupcakes, of course.

This is a relatively simple recipe, easy to do, but yummy none the less. Very much like a carrot cake, the pumpkin flavor is subtle and the spices stand out. The cupcakes are not very sweet so the addition of the white chocolate is nice while not being overbearing. I topped them off with a standard cream cheese frosting from a recipe that can be found elsewhere on the blog.

Just a simple, tasty recipe for those leftover pumpkins…

I wanted to mention a couple of other things while I am at it…

Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the Worldis a new and unique cupcake cookbook with all vegan recipes. I contributed a recipe for vegan lychee-coconut cupcakes that can be found on page 122. I haven’t received my copy yet, so I can’t tell you much more about it, but I am really looking forward to checking it out. For those of you that have asked about dairy or egg-free recipes, this is the cookbook for you. I also hear that there are some gluten-free recipes as well.

I got an email about a new product. I rarely mention these types of things on the blog, as there are other venues for that, but I am terribly excited about this one. The Cupcake Courier seems like the perfect answer to, “How am I going to get a load of cupcakes to work without damaging them?” Normally I buy the disposable, plastic cupcake containers, but still need to find an appropriately sized bag, etc. I am really looking forward to seeing how well this works for carting cupcakes on the Vespa.

Pumpkin Cupcakes
24 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups shredded fresh pumpkin
4 ounces white chocolate, chopped

1. Cut open a pumpkin, take out the seeds and inner flesh, then chop into manageable chunks. Grate the pumpkin chunks, skin and all, with a box grated or food processor until you have four cups of grated flesh.
2. Measure the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, allspice, and nutmeg into a medium sized bowl and whisk to combine.
3. Measure the sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla into a large size bowl and stir to combine.
4. Add about a fourth of the dry mixture to the wet and stir to combine. Continue adding in fourths until all the dry is incorporated. The result with be a very thick batter (and a sore arm).
5. Fold in the pumpkin and chocolate chunks into the batter and scoop into cupcake papers about 2/3s full.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Assemble
1. Top cooled cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
2. I decorated the cupcakes with store bought pumpkin candies for the sake of time (and because I actually love/hate those both those and candy corn), but you could always get creative with marzipan if you have the time and inclination.

fresh pumpkin and white chocolate cupcakes

Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes with Toasted Walnuts, Homemade Toffee, and Cream39

Posted by chockylit in Chocolate, Experimental Recipe, Nuts (Saturday October 7, 2006 at 11:24 pm)

Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes with Toasted Walnuts, Homemade Toffee, and Cream

Sometimes I am just so enamored with a cupcake. This is one of those times. These little babies are tasty. Deliciously chocolately while not being too sweet, the burnt taste of the toffee with the cool cream, and add to that the texture and flavor of the nuts!?! Yum!

I had a little trouble with this recipe. The trouble lied mostly with getting all the bread soaked with the chocolate mixture and into the cupcake papers. My first attempt involved filling the cupcake cups with bread chunks then pouring in the batter. This proved very messy. My second, more successful attempt, which I really should have done in the first place, involved pre-soaking the bread chunks in the batter then scooping into the cupcake cups… One simple change and all was well.

Aside from that, I can’t say enough about the flavor experience that these cupcakes provide. The chocolate is right there, not too sweet, the sort of chocolate flavor you get from a perfect warm chocolate cake… The toffee, oh, the toffee… you can use store-bought toffee to save time, but I plead of you, do not! The deliciously complex taste of a slightly burnt, homemade toffee is the perfect crunchy companion to the already stellar chocolate thing going on. Seriously! Well worth the effort. The walnuts and whipped cream round things off resulting in what I consider to be my favorite cupcake creation so far.

The flavor combination was by request from my husband whose birthday is tomorrow. Unfortunately, between the two of us we have already devoured a number of his birthday cupcakes… Oops.

Toffee

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1 cup sugar

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring everything to a boil. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
2. The mixture will start to boil with vigor. Do not stir. Let the mixture boil over medium-low heat until the mixture turns a deep nutty brown, about 20 minutes
3. Pour on to a prepared baking sheet (either covered in a silpat or oiled parchment paper) and leave it to cool.
4. After the toffee has cooled, break it into small chunks.

Note: I like my toffee very dark – almost burnt. Getting the toffee just right for your taste can be a challenge. I think a nutty brown is a good place to start. One additional warning, if you cook it very long you could nearly ruin your pan or at a minimum create bunch of cleanup work for yourself. Don’t use your favorite pot or pan!

very dark toffee
cooled toffee

Chocolate Bread Pudding Cupcakes
27 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1-pound loaf dense white bread, 1 or 2 days old (I used Acme Pan de Mie, but you could use challah or brioche)
10 ounces Valrhona or any bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 large egg yolks
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup walnuts, chopped
toffee from recipe above, chopped

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, whisk together the cream, milk, vanilla, and cocoa. Bring to a boil, stirring. Remove from heat, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.
2. Chop bread into 1/2″ cubes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
3. Bring mixture back to boil and stir in chopped chocolate. Take off the heat and continue to stir until chocolate is melted.
4. Whisk together the egg yolks and sugar in a medium sized bowl. Slowly add the warm chocolate mixture, whisking constantly until combined.
5. Pour the mixture carefully over the bread cubes. Stir until all cubes are covered. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes.
6. Set aside about 1/4 cup each of the walnuts and toffee. Sprinkle the remaining into the bread cubes. Stir to combine.
7. Scoop soaked bread cubes into cupcake papers until bread cubes are level with the top of the rim.
8. Carefully pour the remaining liquid into each cupcake filling until nearly full.
9. Bake at 350 degrees for ~22-25 minutes until set.

baked cupcakes
baked cupcakes

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sugar

1. Whisk cream until soft peaks form. Add sugar and whisk until combined.

Assemble
1. Top cooled cupcakes with some cream
2. Topped with crushed toffee and chopped walnuts.

soaking the bread in chocolate