Lemony Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes with Lavender and Rose Frosting28

Posted by chockylit in Citrus,Experimental Recipe,Herbs & Flowers (Wednesday August 1, 2007 at 6:45 pm)

Lemony Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes with Lavender and Rose Frosting

The last time I did ice cream cone cupcakes I took a traditional chocolate and vanilla approach. These cupcakes were tailored for a garden brunch hence the lavender and rose frostings. I used a simple syrup to flavor the frosting. This technique can be used with any herb, spice, or edible flower and you can use any leftover simple syrup to make cocktails… a very handy technique with a great upside.

Just how far to fill the cone is very dependent on the recipe. The last time I made them I had some overflow. So, this time I was conservative and ended up with some extra room. So fill at your own risk. I recommend just over the ridge for the recipe below.

My take on ice cream cone cupcakes is this. They are very cute, no doubt, but not practical when it comes to eating. It is near impossible to get frosting and cake in the same bite without ending up with a bunch of frosting on your nose. The cone also ends up on the chewy side. So while they make a great presentation, I will stick to regular cupcakes when taste matters.

Lemon Cupcakes
12 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup milk
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
zest of one lemon

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated.
3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
4. Measure out milk and vanilla.
5. Add flour mixture and milk alternatively, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
6. Mix in lemon juice.
7. Fill the ice cream cones about 1/2 inch from the top (just over the lower ridge). Tap the cones to ensure the batter fills the bottom. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.

Note: The batter makes 12 regular cupcakes or 12 ice cream cone cupcakes plus about 4 regular cupcakes. (I had one package of 12 cones with some batter left over for regular cupcakes.)

ice cream cones supported by cupcake papers
I used the sturdy cupcake papers as holders for the ice cream cones. While they stand on their own, it is a bit easier to transfer into the oven with the cupcake papers. Simple flip the papers and cut an X into the bottom. Stick the cone into the X.

Lavender Simple Syrup

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon lavender flowers

1. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan set over medium high heat.
2. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
3. Stir in lavender and let the mixture sit over the heat, undisturbed for 3 minutes or until thick and syrupy.

Rose Simple Syrup

1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon crushed rose petals

1. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan set over medium high heat.
2. Heat the mixture until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.
3. Stir in rose petals and let the mixture sit over the heat, undisturbed for 3 minutes or until thick and syrupy.

Lavender and Rose Meringue Frosting

1 cup sugar
4 egg whites
lavender and rose simple syrups

1. Whisk the egg whites and sugar over a water bath in the standing mixer bowl until it reaches a temperature of 110 degrees fahrenheit. This only takes only a couple of minutes.
2. Transfer to standing mixer and whisk using whisk attachment at high speed until soft peaks form.
3. Remove half of the mixture and set aside.
4. With the mixer on medium speed, drizzle lavender syrup into the mixer. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Add food coloring, if desired. Remove from the mixer bowl and set aside.
5. Return the other half of the mixture. With the mixer on medium speed, drizzle rose syrup into the mixer. Beat on high until stiff peaks form. Add food coloring, if desired.

Assembly
1. Frost cooled cupcakes with a large star tip.
2. Top with sprinkles.

pink sprinkles

fresh fig and almond cupcake bombe14

Posted by chockylit in Experimental Recipe,Italian-Inspired,Other Fruits,Step-by-Step Photos (Sunday July 8, 2007 at 7:46 pm)

fresh fig and almond cupcake bombe

When I got the idea for this cupcake the weather in San Francisco was uncharacteristically balmy which got me thinking of ice cream. By the time I executed on the idea we are back in the typical pattern or blanketed in the chilling marine layer. None the less, this was a fun cupcake to make, the second along the idea of a “cupcake ice cream bombe”, my first attempt being the grean tea, lavender, honey bombe I made last summer.

I got the idea to use the crushed amaretti cookies from a Martha Stewart repeat I caught last week where the owner of Baked in Brooklyn used the same in a lemon tart crust. I have been wanting to do something with figs after having eaten a basket of them and the amaretti idea sealed the deal.

The cake recipe was completely off the cuff. I am not sure how it would translate to a full size cupcake (not sure how much it would rise and how full to the fill the cupcake papers), but the end result in the sheet pan was exactly what I was looking for, very moist and very almondy. I got the gelato recipe from here and I will admit it wasn’t what I was hoping for and didn’t resemble the fresh fig gelato I so enjoyed during one past trip to Italy. That being said, the resulting gelato was fine – I could definitely taste the fig, but I guess I wanted something creamier.

I am trying the cupcake for dessert tonight, so I will update the post with the “end result” a bit later.

Update: The flavor combination is great and I am loving the frosting. Very delicious. Not as tangy as cream cheese frosting, but not as sweet as butter cream. The fig gelato definitely needs to be creamier, but otherwise I am really liking this cupcake. I want to try it again, but with a non ice cream filling – almond cupcake with a fig filling that is.

Fresh Fig Gelato

14 ounces (350 g) perfectly ripe figs
1 lemon
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Peel the figs and blend the fig pulp with the juice of one lemon.
2. Combine the milk with the sugar and stir the mixture into the figs.
3. Freeze in an ice cream machine per the manufacturer’s directions.

fresh fig gelato
fig gelato

Almond Cake
9″x13″ sheet pan / 350 degree oven

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted/room temp
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs, large/room temp
60 grams amaretti cookies
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Prepare a 9″x13″ baking sheet by lightly coating with butter, covering with parchment paper, then lightly coating the parchment with butter.
2. Beat butter on high speed until soft, about 30 seconds.
3. Add sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 15 seconds after each.
5. Using a food processor, grind up amaretti cookies to the consistency of sand but with some chunky bits.
6. Measure out flour, baking powder, and salt into a medium sized bowl. Add the amaretti cookie and whisk to combine.
7. Measure out the milk, almond extract, and vanilla. Stir to combine.
8. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
9. Add about one third the milk mixture and beat until combined.
10. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
11. Pour onto a prepared baking sheet and smooth out.
12. Bake for 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

prepped sheet pan
prepped sheet pan

amaretti
amaretti cookies

crushed amaretti
crushed cookies

almond cake made with crushed amaretti
baked cake

Mascarpone Frosting

12 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and mascarpone cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar, almond extract and vanilla. Beat until combined.
5. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

Note: This recipe makes more than enough frosting. I tend to like to make a full batch and freeze the leftovers for later (better than not having enough frosting), but you would be safe to cut the recipe in half if you are not interested in having leftovers.

Assembly
Recipe make approximately 10 cupcakes
1. Cut two rounds of cake for each cupcake that fit in the cupcake paper.
2. Put a round in each cupcake paper.
3. Fill with fig gelato leaving room for the top cake disk.
4. Place cupcakes in the freezer and chill for 1 hour.
5. Frost with mascarpone frosting and top with a decoration. Store in the freezer.

cake disks
step 1

step 1 - cake disk
step 2

step 2 - fig gelato
step 3

step 4 - cake disk
step 4

step 5 - frost
step 5

chocolate cupcake stuffed with ginger caramel, frosted with mango ganache, and topped with a mango-Ginger won ton110

Posted by chockylit in Asian-Inspired,Chocolate,Experimental Recipe,Step-by-Step Photos,Tropical Fruits (Tuesday June 12, 2007 at 4:18 pm)

chocolate cupcake stuffed with ginger caramel, frosted with mango ganache, and topped with a mango-ginger won ton

The impetus for the recipe was that I wanted to approach the challenge of creating a fruity chocolate ganache frosting. The remainder of the components just fell in place. For a first try, I would say the frosting was fine. I could taste the mango and of course the chocolate, but the mango was subtle. There was also the issue of the texture, not bad but definitely unexpected for a ganache which is normally very smooth. I contemplated beating the ganache in an electric mixer and possibly adding some powdered sugar to smooth it out, but didn’t want to dull the taste further. If I had managed to get some mango liquor on the other hand, I would have definitely beat the cooled ganache with a cup or two of sifted powdered sugar and added liquor to taste. Maybe next time…

As for the end result, I used my favorite rich, chocolately cupcake base so I was off to a good start. The caramel and frosting tasted great together, but all in all I would say the flavors were a bit too subtle. I would pump up the ginger in the caramel, likely with fresh, chopped ginger, and pump up the frosting as I described above. I think this cupcake is definitely worth another take.

On a side note, my next post may be a bit slow to come. I gave birth to my first child this past weekend a couple weeks on the early side (but full term and quite healthy). Naomi and I have some work to do over the next couple weeks, but once things settle I hope to be back at it and newly inspired. Thanks for all your well wishes!

Naomi Porro
Naomi Porro, Born June 8th, 2007

Cupcakes
~15 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

100 grams Valrhona 61% cacao (or any bittersweet chocolate)
1-1/2 sticks butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon fleur de sel or any salt

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. Add butter to the chocolate and place the bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir until chocolate melts and butter is combined.
3. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Let mixture cool for 10 minutes.
4. Beat in an electric mixer for 3 minutes.
5. Add one egg at a time, mixing for 15 seconds between each
6. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt into the mixture, return to the electric mixer, and mix until blended.
7. Scoop into cupcake cups and bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Ginger Caramel

2 tablespoons water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fleur de sel or any salt
1 teaspoon ginger powder

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, salt, and ginger powder. Stir until combined.
9. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside to cool.

cupcake filled with ginger caramel
giner caramel filling

Mango Chocolate Ganache

meat from 1 mango
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate like Valrhona 61% cocao
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon fleur de sel or any salt

1. Puree mango meat in a blender or food processer. You should end up with around a half a cup.
2. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
3. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
4. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
5. Add vanilla, mango, and salt. Stir until combined.
6. Let cool to room temperature.

Note: The texture of this frosting isn’t as smooth as regular ganache due to the pureed mango. But it tastes great and looks fine. I was also planning on adding mango liquor to taste, but couldn’t find any locally. If you do happen to come across some, I think it would be a great addition as the mango flavor is otherwise mild.

Mango Ginger Won Tons

spring roll or wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
1 mango
1 tablespoon fresh chopped ginger
1 egg, beaten to blend
grapeseed oil for frying, or other vegetable oil

1. Trim the wrappers into 2″ squares.
2. Chop the mango into a small dice. The meat from a half of a mango will likely be enough, but the leftover mango-ginger mix makes a great topper for salmon.
3. Chop the ginger into a fine dice. Mix mango and ginger together.
4. Lay out your cut wrappers so they face you in a diamond shape.
5. Using a pastry brush, brush egg along the top edges of the wrappers.
6. Spoon a small amount of mango and ginger into each wrapper.
7. Fold the bottom pointed corner of the wrapper up over fruit and press to seal. You will end up with little triangles.
8. Fill the bottom of a heavy pan with 1/2 inch of oil. Heat the oil to between 360°F and 375°F. 9. Working in batches, add spring rolls to hot oil and cook until golden and crisp. About 30 seconds per side. 10. Using slotted spoon, transfer spring rolls to paper towels to drain. Set aside to cool fully.

Note: I happened to have purchased 4″ wrappers, but they come in many sizes. I cut the wrappers with kitchen shears into 2″ squares. This proved to be a good size for cupcake decorating.

brushing egg on wrapper
brushing egg on wrapper

stuffing won ton
stuffing wrapper

folding won ton
sealing wrapper

Assembly
1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with caramel.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Scoop a tablespoon of ganache on top of each cupcake. Smooth with a small offset spatula.
5. Top with a won ton.

Blueberry & Raspberry Ricotta Almond Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting60

Posted by chockylit in Berries,Cheese,Italian-Inspired,Nuts (Sunday May 20, 2007 at 12:42 pm)

blueberry ricotta almond cupcake with cream cheese frosting

It was bound to happen. Can’t be pregnant, be a cupcake baker, and not make pink and blue cupcakes, right? I made these for the last day of birthing class. We have a snack break every class and it’s always filled with healthy savory treats. So, while I was bringing cupcakes, I wanted to make them relatively “healthy” (without sacrificing taste, of course).

This recipe is a slight variation from one I made a while back. I wanted to try using fresh almonds (hooray for vitamin E and “good” fat) instead of almond paste. The resulting cake was good, but not “almondy” enough. Next time around I would add a half teaspoon of almond extract. I actually really liked the grainy texture that the ground almonds added. But if this sounds unappealing to you, stick to the almond paste (or really grind the hell out of your almonds). As with the last recipe, this one turned out very moist. I could see these standing up to a few days of refrigeration.

I figured between the almonds, the berries, the eggs, the ricotta, and the cream cheese, I ended up with a fairly balanced treat. Fruits, healthy fats, protein, etc. to counter the heavy dose of sugar (yum, sugar). But to keep myself honest, I used my copy of Accuchef software to calculate the nutritional value. Scroll to the very end if you are curious, but perhaps some things are better left unknown…

On a side note, I have had to turn on comment moderation for the time being. So while it may seem like your comment has been posted, it will not show up on the blog until I approve it. This will hopefully be temporary. If anyone has any questions about this, feel free to email me directly.

Cupcakes
~15 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

4 ounces almonds, slivered/peeled
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
1 stick butter, unsalted/room temp
4 eggs, large/room temp
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries

1. Grind almonds with 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor until very fine. Transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer.
2. Gradually add the remaining 1 cup of sugar to the ground almonds while beating at low speed.
3. Add the ricotta and beat to combine.
4. While beating at low speed, add a tablespoon of butter at a time, waiting for the butter to incorporate until adding the next pat. The butter must be at room temperature or it will not incorporate well.
5. Stop the mixer, scrape the bowl, then beat at medium for about 2 minutes.
6. Crack eggs into a bowl and break up with a fork. At low speed gradually add eggs about a tablespoon at a time, waiting for the eggs to incorporate until adding the next bit.
7. Beat again at medium speed for about 2 minutes.
8. Measure out flour, salt, and baking powder into a bowl and whisk to combine.
9. With a rubber spatula, fold flour mixture into the cake batter until combined.
10. Wash and dry the berries. Toss with a small amount of flour. This will help keep the berries from sinking.
11. Fold berries into the batter.
12. Scoop batter into cupcake liners, about 2/3s full.
13. Bake at 350 for about ~25 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean

Note: I wanted “pink” and “blue” cupcakes so I divided the batter in two and added blueberries to one and raspberries to the other. You could do this, mix the berries, or even use different fruit.

blueberry ricotta almond cupcakes cooling
cooling cupcakes

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and vanilla. Beat until combined.
5. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like.

Assembly
1. Frost cupcakes.
2. Top with a candy decoration, berries, or slivered almonds.

Note: I kneaded store-bought white fondant with gel food coloring, rolled out with a little corn starch to prevent sticking, and stamped out small shapes to top the cupcakes.

blueberry & raspberry ricotta almond cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Approximate Nutritional Value per Serving

Without frosting
Per Serving: 216 Cal (50% from Fat, 9% from Protein, 41% from Carb); 5 g Protein; 12 g Tot Fat; 5 g Sat Fat; 5 g Mono Fat; 23 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 16 g Sugar; 51 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 78 mg Sodium; 84 mg Cholesterol

With frosting
Per Serving: 478 Cal (43% from Fat, 6% from Protein, 52% from Carb); 7 g Protein; 23 g Tot Fat; 12 g Sat Fat; 8 g Mono Fat; 63 g Carb; 1 g Fiber; 56 g Sugar; 70 mg Calcium; 1 mg Iron; 167 mg Sodium; 117 mg Cholesterol

Jackfruit, Banana, and Peanut Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting24

cupcakes topped with chopped peanuts and salt

I have heard of Jackfruit. After all, I do live in San Francisco and get exposed to a variety of “exotic” ingredients. This was, however, my first time tasting it and to be honest, I am not sure how to describe it. I am told that I need to try the real (fresh) jackfruit as opposed to canned (canned was admittedly what I had on hand), but have also been warned of the amount of work it involves to wrangle one into submission. I have since learned that many Asian grocery stores sell manageable chunks of fresh jackfriut, so I wouldn’t have to commit to a large whole one.

So, while I can’t easily compare jackfruit to something familiar to the US palate, I will describe the resulting cupcakes as tasty starting off with a hint of banana then rounding out with a jackfruit or “tropical” flavor. They are dense and muffin-like with definite chew and crunch. The cake could be lightened up some by cutting back some on the jackfruit and peanuts.

Cupcakes
20 cupcakes / 350 degree oven

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup oil
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces canned jackfruit, drained and chopped
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

1. Whisk flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar in a medium sized bowl.
2. In a separate medium sized bowl bowl, beat eggs to break up.
3. Add oil, coconut milk, and vanilla to the eggs and mix to combine.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix to combine.
5. Add jackfruit, mashed bananas, and peanuts to the rest of the ingredients and mix to combine.
6. Scoop into cupcake papers about 2/3s full with an ice cream scooper.
7. Bake at 350 degree oven for ~25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

jackfruit and banana
jackfruit & banana

Cream Cheese Frosting

12 ounces or 1-1/2 packages of Philly cream cheese
1/2 stick butter
4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar

1. Bring butter to room temperature by letting it sit out for 1 or 2 hours.
2. Sift powdered sugar into a bowl or onto parchment.
3. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.
4. Add 4 cups of the powdered sugar and beat until combined.
5. Add more sugar until you get to the consistency and sweetness you like

Assembly
1. Frost cupcakes.
2. Chop some unsalted peanuts with salt.
2. Sprinkle peanuts on top of cupcakes

jackfruit, banana, and peanut cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

S’mores Cupcakes40

Posted by chockylit in Chocolate,Experimental Recipe,Step-by-Step Photos (Sunday April 22, 2007 at 8:18 pm)

s'mores cupcakes

For some reason being pregnant has made it nearly impossible for me to come up with cupcake ideas. I find this very troubling and hope it will pass. (Probably just in time for me to have no time to make cupcakes, haha.) So, now I have resorted to quizzing my husband and friends for ideas, most of which I shut down. “Nah, that doesn’t sound good,” is my typical response. However, at dinner last night my friend Margaret suggested s’mores cupcakes. Immediate appeal. And someone (Margaret? Chris? Me?) came up with the idea of topping the cupcakes with homemade marshmallows that I would then toast with the culinary torch. Toasted marshmallows! Yum!

The end result was delicious, as I hoped. The cake had some issues (see note below), but tasted nice and graham crackery, especially with the graham cracker bottom. The cake wasn’t too sweet, which is good considering the very sweet marshmallow filling. All on all, I found it a successful representation of s’mores in cupcake form.

I just did a quick search for S’mores Cupcakes and found this take, posted just a few days ago. They look pretty darn tasty.

Note: I just posted a new page, linked to on the right, that includes a list of basic equipment one might need to make cupcakes.

Graham Cracker Cupcakes
15 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 6 whole graham crackers
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter
3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs, from 2-1/2 whole graham crackers
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Combine 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.
2. Scoop a heaping teaspoon into each cupcake paper, pressing down to cover the bottom.
3. Beat butter on high speed until soft, about 30 seconds.
4. Add brown sugar. Beat on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5. Add eggs one at a time, beat for 30 seconds after each.
6. Whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
7. Measure out milk and vanilla together.
8. Add about a fourth of the flour to the butter/sugar mixture and beat to combine.
9. Add about one third the milk/vanilla mixture and beat until combined.
10. Repeat above, alternating flour and milk and ending with the flour mixture.
11. Scoop into cupcake papers three-quarters full.
12. Bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: This recipe takes great, but needs a bit of work. The cupcakes didn’t rise much (which is fine) but also shrunk quite a bit on cooling… my only real complaint. I suspect that there is too much butter and next time I try the recipe, I will cut the butter to 1/2 cup.

graham cracker crumbs
scooping crumbs

making the graham cracker bottoms
pressing crumbs

baked cupcake
baked cupcake

Chocolate Ganache

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate like Valrhona 61% cocao
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan, pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Let cool to room temperature.

Marshmallows from MarthaStewart.com

Vegetable oil, for brushing
2 packets unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Line a 9-by-9-inch baking dish with foil. Brush foil with oil. Set aside.
2. Put granulated sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of water into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Cook, without stirring, until mixture registers 238 degrees on a candy thermometer, about 7 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, put 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let soften for at least 5 minutes.
4. Attach bowl with gelatin to mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. With mixer on low speed, beat hot syrup into gelatin mixture. Gradually raise speed to high. Beat until mixture is very stiff, about 7-9 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Pour into prepared dish, and smooth with oiled fingers.
5. Set aside, uncovered, until firm, about 3 hours.
6. Sift 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar onto a work surface. Unmold marshmallow onto confectioners’ sugar; remove parchment. Lightly brush a sharp knife with oil, then cut marshmallow into 1/2-inch squares. Roll each marshmallow in the sugar to coat.
7. Marshmallows can be stored in an airtight container up to 3 days. And they are great in hot chocolate.

homemade marshmallow
transferring marshmallow

cutting up marshmallows
cutting squares

Assemble

marshmallow fluff

1. Using a small pairing knife, cut off the top of the cupcake in the shape of a cone. Flip the top over and cut off the cone.
2. Fill the cavity with fluff.
3. Replace the top of the cone.
4. Scoop a tablespoon of ganache on top of each cupcake. Smooth with a small offset spatula. (I dip the spatula in hot water, wipe off, then smooth.)
5. Top with a marshmallow and toast with a culinary torch.

marshmallow filling
filling cupcakes

toasting marshmallows
toasting marshmallows

Red Hot Cupcakes31

Posted by chockylit in Experimental Recipe,Spices,Step-by-Step Photos (Sunday April 1, 2007 at 7:18 pm)

red hot cupcakes

I was batting around a lot of cupcake ideas this week and asking for input. All I knew was that I was wanted to do a meringue frosting. The Red Hots idea came from a coworker – Red Hots and a flaming top of whipped frosting were definitely a match. I was sold.

Red Hots themselves offer no nutritional value, basically corn syrup and artificial flavors, but then those flavors are so simple – cinnamon and chili. It seemed easy enough to mimic the flavor in a very natural and tasty cupcake.

My first try was somewhat successful. There is a “foodiness” to the cupcake that distracts from the flavors somewhat, but topping the cake with a red hot infused frosting was just the trick in making the statement I intended.

The cake has a light, airy texture, is not too sweet, and has an interesting crunch from the chili powder. The frosting is sticky and sweet with a definite red hot flavor. Together they make a nice combination with the end result being sweet but not over powering.

Red Hot Cupcakes
15 regular cupcakes / 350 degree oven

1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
5 teaspoons ancho chili powder
1/4 cup grape seed oil (or vegetable oil)
4 egg yolks
1/4 cup water
5 egg whites
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tarter

1. Sift flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, and chili powder into the bowl of a standing mixer.
2. In a medium bowl, combine oil, egg yolks, and water. Stir to combine.
3. On a low setting, start to beat the dry mixture and slowly add the wet. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat until the mixture is incorporated.
4. Transfer mixture to another bowl. Wash and dry mixer bowl.
5. Whip egg whites with whip attachment on medium-high speed until foamy. With the mixer on medium speed, add cream of tarter and slowly add sugar. Beat on high speed until stiff peaks form.
6. Scoop a cupful of the stiff egg whites into the batter and stir to combine. This should lighten up the batter.
7. Transfer the batter to the egg whites and gently fold until there are no more streaks of egg white.
8. Scoop into cupcake cups about 2/3s full and bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Note: I prefer the taste of ancho chili powder, but by all means, feel free to swap out with your favorite chili powder or powders.

sifting dry ingredients
sifting dry ingredients

mixing wet ingredients
mixing wet ingredients

Red Hot Meringue Frosting

5 egg whites
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup red hots, ground in a food processor until fine

1. Combine egg whites and sugar into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer and set over a bain marie (water bath)
2. Whisk by hand for a few minutes until the sugar is dissolved or preferably until the mixture reaches 110 degrees Fahrenheit
3. Transfer bowl to electric mixer, beat on medium speed for 10 minutes
4. Add ground up red hots.
5. Beat on high speed until stiff glossy peaks form, about 5 to 10 minutes more.

Note: I ground up the red hots in a small food processor for about 30 seconds. It was partially a fine powder and partially small chunks. I liked the variety. It turned the frosting pink and added a nice crunch.

red hots
red hots

Assemble
1. Scoop a good sized mound of frosting with an ice cream scooper onto each cupcake.
2. Using a clean finger, smooth frosting down and over the edges of the cupcake and into a round shape.
3. Using a clean finger, poke out some spikes onto each cupcake.
4. Lightly brown with a culinary torch for an added touch.
5. Top each cupcake with a red hot candy.

scooping frosting
scooping frosting

smoothing on frosting
smoothing frosting

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