Cupcake Round-Up II: the results are in!7

Posted by in General (Monday October 29, 2007 at 1:23 pm)

The roundup results are in and there are lots of tasty looking cupcakes for you to drool over!

Here is how round-up II faired compared to the first one… There were definitely less submissions this time around, I would say a 30% drop. That is fine, we still had 39 folks participating and that is pretty good by my book. The drop in submissions was seen mostly in the chocolatey cupcakes category with spicy, fruity, and other staying pretty much the same from round-up one to two.

I could definitely see the fall influence in a lot of the recipes. And Garrett and I both so appreciate the level of creativity with some of the flavor combinations. Just peruse the list and you will see. A huge thank you to everyone who took the time to participate and spread the cupcake love.

Spicy Cupcakes

Pumpkin Chili Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache and Pumpkin Brittle
By Monica of
The Pastry Princess Blog

Arroz con Leche Cupcakes
By Gretchen of
Canela y Comino

Tuesday Afternoon Tea Cupcake
By Georgia of
Notes on Tea

Cashew, Carrot, Cardamom Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
By Cheryl of
Cupcake Bakeshop

Ginger Cupcakes with Candied Ginger Cream
By Alecia of
Insomniack

Pumpkin Bread Pudding Cupcakes with Apple Chai Glaze
By Brina of
Brina Bakes and Blogs

Apple Pie Cupcakes
By Mary of
Alpineberry

Pecan Pie Cupcakes (VEGAN!)
By Ros Vaeth of
Humanity Starts at Thought

Sweet Potato Casserole Cupcake
By Stefanie of
Cupcake Project

“Lil’ Pumpkin” Saffron Honeycakes
By Kristy of
Cakegrrl’s Cakery

Chocolatey Cupcakes

Bananas Foster Cupcakes
By Katie of
Salt and Chocolate

Red Wine Cupcakes
By Dana of
Dulcedo

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Icing
By Teri of
The Daily Raw Cafe’

Banana Chocolate Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
By Sarah and Amelia of
Cuppin’ Cakes

Drunken Devil’s Food Espresso Cupcakes
By Sara of
Ms. Adventures in Italy

Fondue Cupcakes
By Adrienne of
Aubedes etc

Fruity Cupcakes

Apple Pie Cupcakes
By Lisa of
Spicy Icecream

Mango Kulfi Cupcakes
By Roopa of
Raspberry Eggplant

Tropical Getaway Cupcakes
By Jessica of
Kitchen by the Sea

Banana Cream Cupcakes
By Amy of
Dessertations

Key Lime Pie Cupcakes
By Monica of
The Pastry Princess Blog

Linzer Cupcakes
By Steph of
A Whisk and a Spoon

Black Licorice Cupcakes with Orange Marshmallow Frosting
By Jaime of
Baking Memories

Apple Pudding Cupcakes with Bourbon Spiked Buttercream Frosting
By Lauren of
City by the Blog

Fresh Apple Cupcakes
By Gina of
Bradlee & Gina

Parsnip-Apple Cupcakes
By Meredith of
Cooking 101

Honey Orange Beet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Cupcakes
By Danielle of
The Graduated Bumblebee

Lavendar Pear Bear Cupcakes
By Roopa of
Raspberry Eggplant

Pomegranate Matcha Cupcakes
By Roopa of
Raspberry Eggplant

Fuzzy Navel Cupcake
By Laurie of
Quirky Cupcake

Poached Pear Cupcake
By Julie of
One-Wall Kitchen

Banana Pudding Cupcake
By Hannah of
Hannah’s Baking Edeavors

Canadian Thanksgiving Cupcake
By Sarah of
Sarah’s Sugar & Spice

Eton Mess Cupcakes
By Kirsten of
Hide & Seek

Other Cupcakes

Amaretti & Butternut Cupcakes
By Garrett of
Vanilla Garlic

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes
By Mary Jo of
Bash Cakes

Vanilla Cupcakes with Flan Filling and Purple Yam Frosting
By Aubrey of
The Other Side

Candy Corn Cupcakes
By Lara of
aral_traven

Petit Pois Muffins
By Charlotte & Freddie of
The Great Big Veg Challenge

Cupcake-a-touille!
By Tanya of
Luck x8

Cashew, Carrot, Cardamom Cupcakes with Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting23

Posted by in Carrots, Indian-Inspired, Nuts, Spices (Sunday October 21, 2007 at 4:47 pm)

cashew, carrot, cardamom cupcakes with cashew cream cheese frosting

This recipe is inspired by a delicious dessert I had when I was last in India. I actually didn’t know the name of the dessert, but I described it to my coworker and she informed me that what I had was Gajar Halwa or carrot pudding. I considered two preparations, one where I made the pudding and stuffed cupcakes with it and the second where I made the pudding and put it directly in to the batter. I opted for the second, simpler preparation. We were having an amazing weekend in San Francisco and I didn’t want to spend it all indoors.

These cupcakes are delicious and completely edible (meaning I could eat and eat them). The cake is much like a typical carrot cake, but mellower. Otherwise, it is just as moist and very flavorful with the crunch of the cashews and slight spiciness of the cardamom. The frosting is scrumptious. I am a fan of cashews and I am very happy with how this recipe came out – creamy, not too sweet, slightly tangy, and very “cashewy”. Together the cake and frosting result in a perfect mid-morning or afternoon treat – satisfying without overwhelming.

Cupcakes
makes 30 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 pound carrots
2 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon cardamom pods
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup cashews, chopped

1. Peel, rinse, and grate the carrots with a fine grater.
2. Sauté the carrots in clarified butter for 3 minutes. Add the water, bring to boil, cover and simmer for 3 minutes.
3. Remove the lid. Stir to cook off any remaining water.
4. Add the milk and cardamom pods. Simmer for 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
5. Add 1/2 cup of sugar and stir to dissolve. Simmer for 5 more minutes. You could stop here and have some yummy pudding to eat with vanilla ice cream.
6. Remove of the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. I spread the mixture on a sheet pan so it would cool faster. Remove cardamom pods.
7. In a large bowl, mix together the cooled, cooked carrot mixture, eggs, vanilla, 1-1/2 cups sugar, vegetable oil, and milk.
8. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.
9. Stir the flour mixture into the carrot mixture. Continue to stir until combined.
10. Add the chopped cashews and stir to combine.
11. Scoop out into cupcake papers about 2/3s full. This will give you a nice dome that won’t overflow, so long as your oven is hot enough.
12. Bake at 350 degree oven for ~25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

cardamom and cashews
cardamom and cashews

Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting

1 cup cashews
2-3 tablespoons vegetable or nut oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, room temperature
8 ounces or 1 package of Philly cream cheese
3-4 cups powdered sugar

1. Grind the cashews for a few pulses in a food processor to break them up.
2. Add two tablespoons of oil and continue to pulse until the nuts start to get creamy. Add more oil, 1 teaspoon or so at a time, until you get to a creamy consistency like chunky peanut butter.
3. Beat the butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy. Add the cashew butter and beat to combine. Scrape the bowl.
4. Sift 3 cups of the powdered sugar into the bowl. Beat to combine.
4. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

Note: If you add too much sugar and the frosting gets too thick, simply add a tablespoon or so of milk to soften it up.

Assemble
1. Frost the cooled cupcakes.
2. Garnish with a cashew or candied carrot.

ready for transport
ready for transport

Gluten-Free and Gluten-Full Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting39

Posted by in Chocolate (Sunday October 7, 2007 at 11:07 am)

chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

I was baking for two birthday boys this weekend, one with a gluten intolerance. I started with my favorite chocolate cake recipe which has much less flour than the typical recipe – I wanted there to be no discernible difference between the gluten-free and gluten-full versions. From there I decided on a salted caramel frosting – firstly because I have been dreaming of it since I tasted Trilly’s a few weeks ago – secondly given salted caramel is all the rage in San Francisco since B-Rite opened their creamery, it would surely be a crowd-pleaser and thirdly since I would end up with a masculine colored, latte-brown frosting, it would be perfect for a man’s birthday celebration.

As for the cake, I didn’t want to just do the gluten-free version. I did both side by side so I could compare the two. The gluten-free version did shrink a bit more and pulled from the sides of the paper. The biggest difference was this and the way they looked, but a side by side tasting showed very little difference between the two.

I deconstructed the frosting in my mind and thought I had a pretty good idea what the recipe was, but I called Trilly just to make sure I was on the right track. I was on the right track and got a couple of tips along the way. I went ahead and crafted a recipe. I can’t say if it came out exactly the same, but it did come out freaking tasty. Yum. I highly recommend the frosting. The caramel is very noticeable and the cream cheese adds just a bit of tang to balance the sweetness. The salt lies low flavor-wise and simply intensifies the richness of the caramel.

The cupcakes went over quite well. I recommend them if you are looking to satisfy a room full of adults.

Cupcakes
26 regular-sized cupcakes / 350 degree oven

7 ounces (200 grams) Valrhona 85% cacao (or any bittersweet chocolate)
3 sticks (343 grams) butter
2-1/4 cups (445 grams) sugar
8 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (90 grams) flour, all purpose
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (90 grams) flour, gluten-free
2 tablespoons (30 grams) + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
3/4 teaspoon + 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon + 1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum

1. Chop the chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. Add the butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate melts and the butter is combined.
3. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar. Let the mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. Measure out the regular flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/8 teaspoon salt into a small bowl.
5. Measure out the gluten-free flour, 2 tablespoons cocoa, 3/4 teaspoon baking powder, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and the xanthan gum into a different small bowl. Keep track of the gluten-free bowl and be extra sure to not get any regular flour in the mixture.
6. Transfer the cooled chocolate/butter mixture to the electric mixer and beat for 3 minutes.
7. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 10 seconds between each.
8. Scrape the bowl and separate into 2 batches by measuring out 2-3/4 cups of batter into a second bowl.
9. Sift the gluten-free flour into one bowl and mix to combine. Keep track of the gluten-free batch!
10. Sift the regular flour into the second bowl and mix to combine.
11. Scoop into cupcake cups only 2/3s full. I put parchment under the gluten-free cupcakes so I wouldn’t lose track of them. Bake all the cupcakes at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. If you are using cupcake papers, use a different color for the gluten-free.

Note: If the oven is not hot enough than these cupcakes may over-flow. One way to be safe is to either fill 2/3’s full or another trick I use is to preheat to 375, then drop the heat to 350 once I put the cupcakes in. I also rotate the pans after 15 minutes of baking. It is safe to gently move them at that point and I find the lower back of my oven to be a bit cooler.

gluten-free baking
gluten-free baking

Salted Caramel

4 tablespoons water
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt, kosher or sea

1. Combine the water, sugar, and the corn syrup in a deep saucepan and cook over medium heat.
2. Stir together with a wooden spoon until the sugar is incorporated.
3. Cover the saucepan and let it cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.
4. After 3 minutes, remove the lid, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a boil.
5. Do not stir from this point on, but it is important to carefully shake the pan so that one area of the caramel doesn’t burn.
6. Continue to cook until the caramel turns an even amber color then remove from the heat and let stand for about 30 seconds.
7. *** This is the dangerous part *** Pour the heavy cream into the mixture. Wear oven mitts, stand away from the pan, and be careful. The mixture will bubble up significantly.
8. Stir the mixture, again being careful. Add the butter, lemon juice, and salt. Stir until combined.
9. Measure 1 cup into a Pyrex measuring cup. Stirring occasionally, allow to cool until thick like molasses and warm to the touch, about 20 minutes.

Note: There was a small bit of extra caramel that I poured onto a small plate that I covered in aluminum foil and greased with vegetable oil. I transferred the plate to the freezer for about 30 minutes. I chopped the caramel quickly into squares (its starts to get soft) and topped each cupcake with a square.

Salted Caramel Frosting

2 sticks butter
8 ounces or 1 package of Philly cream cheese
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
1 cup salted caramel

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
3. Sift 3 cups of powdered sugar into the butter/cream cheese mixture and beat to combine.
4. Add 1 cup of the salted caramel and beat to combine.
5. Sift 2-3 cups of powder sugar, in 1 cup increments and beating between each, until you arrive at the thickness and sweetness you desire. I used 6 cups. The frosting wasn’t super thick, but it was starting to get pretty sweet.

Assembly
1. Frost cooled cupcakes with a generous amount of frosting.
2. Sprinkle each cupcake with sea or kosher salt. I ground some rock sea salt onto each.
3. Top with a caramel candy, homemade or otherwise.

chocolate cupcakes with salted caramel frosting

Cupcake Round-Up II8

Posted by in General (Monday October 1, 2007 at 10:59 am)

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

San Francisco doesn’t really have four seasons. The weather changes, but you will likely be freezing your butt off in July, sweating in October, and doused in rain in January. Having grown up in the North East I am very familiar with the four seasons and all it takes is one crisp, sunny day in September in San Francisco and I get nostalgic for fall. And there is nothing like fall and cupcakes. It’s like they were made for each other.

So, even though it hasn’t quite been a year since the last Cupcake Round-Up, Garrett and I agree that fall is a much better time to host it what with all the seasonal fruits and veges at your disposal. So, dust off those mixers and get baking!

This time around we are giving you a theme to help reign in the ideas. The theme is Re-Invention as this is a favorite past-time of Garrett and I both.

To participate just create a cupcake of your very own, post it to your blog / LiveJournal / flickr account / whatever, and then send your name, the name of your cupcake, a link, and a picture to both Garrett (vanillagarlic{at}yahoo{dot}com) and me (chockylit{at}gmail{dot}com).

All submissions are due by October 21st, and the round-up results will be posted on the October 29th.

We also added a new rule: No old posts will be taken as submission, we want you to take a fresh approach!

I am so looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with!

Cheryl