Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes

The other kind of cupcakes I brought to work last week was Chocolate Cream Filled Cupcakes. These were a big hit, since they look like the familiar kiddy treat :)

These chocolate cupakes were awesome, I might make them my go to for chocolate cupcakes. They were so light and fluffy and very simple to make. The cream filling was spot on, and the top was just melted chocolate. Very good cupcakes!

Chocolate Cupcakes (vegan) from Baking Bites
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1 tbsp coffee powder
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Get 24 cupcake tins ready.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, cocoa, soda and salt. Make three wells in the flour mixture. In one put vanilla; in another the vinegar, and in the third the oil. Dissolve the coffee powder in the cold water (or just use cold coffee for a slightly more mocha taste) and pour the water over the mixture. Stir until smooth.
  3. Divide evenly into prepared pans. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes. Put the cupcakes onto racks to cool completely before frosting.
  5. If storing overnight before frosting (they can be made a day ahead), just wrap completely in plastic wrap and keep at room temperature.
Vanilla Cream Filling from Baking Bites
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk (low fat is fine)
  • 1/2 cup butter (or trans fat-free shortening)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 scraped vanilla bean or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together the flour and milk and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat until thick. This will only take a few minutes. Sir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping and do not bring all the way to a boil.
  2. When thickened (consistency will be that of a thin pudding or custard), strain with a mesh strainer into a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let cool completely to room temperature.
  3. When the milk mixture is cool, cream the butter (or shortening) and sugar together in a medium bowl until light.
  4. Add in the milk/flour mixture and the scraped vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla extract) and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 7 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  5. Scrape into a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip, or a large ziplock bag with the corner cut off, and set aside until ready to fill your cupcakes.

Salted Carmel Vanilla Cupcakes

For my last week at work, I made lots of cupcakes for my co-workers. These were the more adult flavor. The salted carmel is very different than normal frosting, but I thought it was very good. The sweetness with the salt reminds me of chocolate cover pretzels (and I love those). The only thing I would change is the consistency of the frosting. It's not stiff enough to do anything except slather it on. Next time I would up the powdered sugar.

The cupcakes were ok, I like my normal vanilla cupcakes better, they have a little softer texture.

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes from Chow
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved (or 1 tablespoon extract)
  • 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Line 2 (12-well) muffin pans with paper liners. Alternatively, coat the wells with butter; set aside.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps; set aside.
  3. Place butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until very light in color, about 3 minutes. Add sugar and vanilla seeds (if you’re using vanilla extract instead, you’ll add it later), and continue beating until mixture is airy, about 3 minutes.
  4. Scrape down the paddle and the sides of the bowl, turn the mixer to medium speed, and add egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Add milk (and vanilla extract, if you’re using it in place of seeds), and mix until combined (the mixture will look curdled, but it’s not). Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined, about 15 seconds.
  6. Fill the muffin wells about halfway, and bake cupcakes until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Set the pans on a wire rack and let cool for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely before frosting.
Salted Caramel Frosting from Chow
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  1. Briefly stir together granulated sugar and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking, without stirring, until mixture turns dark amber in color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat and slowly add in cream and vanilla, stirring with a wooden spoon until completely smooth. Set aside until cool to the touch, about 25 minutes.
  3. Combine butter and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed until light in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add powdered sugar, and mix until completely incorporated.
  4. Turn mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add caramel. Beat frosting on medium-high speed until airy and thoroughly mixed, about 2 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until stiff, about 45 minutes, before using.

Tuesdays with Dorie - Chocolate-Banded Ice Cream Torte

Yes, I'm back. All the traveling and leaving my day job got the best of me for a few weeks, but I made it!

This week's recipe from Amy of Food, Family and Fun was pretty simple. The ganache was the only item that took any time, but only about 15 minutes. I used pasteurized eggs as the ganache is not cooked. Basically, its three layers of ganache and ice cream. Waiting for the layers to harden in the freezer is the hardest part.

I made these in ramekins. I wasn't the biggest fan, but my husband liked it (which is surprising since there wasn't much fruit it in).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Prosciutto Ring

My bread from The Bread Bible this week was the Prosciutto Ring. I had been eyeing this recipe since I got the book, but I never had any leftover prosciutto, until now :)

There is no pre-ferment to this bread, it is a simple one rise and bake, so it only took a few hours start to finish. The taste was good, but I thought some added flavor from a sponge would have been good to balance the saltiness of the prosciutto. I would make it again with some additions, because it was so easy to make.

Tuesdays with Dorie - Black and White Banana Cake

Yeah, the recipe makes a loaf, but since I had to make a summer themed cake for my cake decorating class I decided to change this up a bit to work. So instead of cooking it in a loaf pan, I made 2 - 9 inch cakes.

The recipe itself is pretty straightforward, I have been saving the last ripe bananas from our bunches in the freezer for an occasion such as this. I made a simple lemon buttercream for the frosting, and the flavors worked pretty well. I have this thing about banana and nuts, so this wasn't my favorite, but not too bad (some walnuts would have been good). The decorations on top are marshmallow fondant.

I will be sitting out next week as I will be out of town, so look for my post in 2 weeks!