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Posts Tagged ‘Cupcakes’

Nutella Buttercream Frosting

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

So I made chocolate cupcakes, but what did I frost them with?  Nutella buttercream frosting.

Somehow after making this recipe, I ended up with three unopened containers of Nutella in my cabinet.  I’m not sure how exactly that happened.  Considering I only bought one, I must have already had some of this chocolately goodness on hand.  Let this be a lesson to you:  always shop your pantry before going to the store.  I guess I’m going to have to find some pretty inventive uses for chocolate hazelnut spread in the coming months.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting (Adapted from My Baking Addiction)

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

3/4 of a jar of Nutella (13 oz jar)

Pinch of sea salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 pound powdered sugar

5 tablespoons heavy cream

Cream the butter and the Nutella together in a large bowl.  Mix until well combined.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, and mix until well blended.  Add the salt, vanilla, and slowly add the cream.  I added the cream one tablespoon at a time until the frosting was the right consistency.  The frosting should be smooth and fluffy.

I’ve been experimenting a lot with buttercream frostings, and I would have to say this one was my most successful.  As one of my friends said, “the frosting is really well structured.”  It also tasted delicious!

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Chocolate Cupcakes

Saturday, July 7th, 2012

You may or may not have noticed that I’m on a baking kick.  Though one of my favorite childhood memories is making Christmas cookies with my mom and sister, I have never considered myself a baker.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy baking, but I’ve never thought I was very good at it.  Baking is an exact science- perfectly measured ingredients to achieve the perfect texture- while my cooking style is more “a dash of this, a pinch of that.”  After moving to the Rockies, and numerous baking at altitude failures, I had pretty much written off baking.

Problem is I like challenges.  And I like reading recipes.  And I kept finding desserts that I desperately wanted to try.  So, about a year and a half ago, I started baking again.  It started slowly– a scone here, a cookie there–until last fall when I just couldn’t stop myself.  I was baking every other week.  There was always something I had to try.  So I keep trying new baked desserts, and I’m glad I decided to give it another go.

My most recent baking success?  Mini filled chocolate cupcakes.  There are certain things that I think everyone should have a recipe for:  pesto, mashed potatoes, pasta salad.  Chocolate cupcakes is one of those recipes for which everyone should have a go to.  Slight problem with that:  I didn’t have one.  When I was reading a recipe that called for “your favorite chocolate cake recipe,” I was at a loss.

After taking so much time off from baking, I hadn’t built up any standard recipes.  So, I had to find a one.

Here is my now go to recipe for chocolate cupcakes

 

Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from The Brown Eyed Baker)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup hot water

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 2/3 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder with the hot water until smooth.  In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Combine the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is complete melted.  The mixture should be smooth.  Transfer the butter sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until the mixture is cool.  This should take about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated after each addition.  Add the vanilla and cocoa mixture.

Add the flour in three additions, alternating with the sour cream.  Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners.  Each liner should be about 2/3 full.  Bake until a toothpick comes out clean.  This will take 18-20 minutes for full size cupcakes and 15 for mini cupcakes.

Cool before frosting and enjoy!

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How To Fill Cupcakes

Friday, June 29th, 2012

I never realized how easy it is to fill cupcakes.  It definitely takes some extra time, but the results are well worth the extra effort.

To fill my cupcakes, I used a corer that I picked up when I purchased my mini cupcake pan.  I have a feeling I’ll be using this corer a lot more in the future.

I inserted the corer into the cupcakes once they were fully cooled.  I twisted the corer slowly in a circle and slowly removed the corer.  I gently removed the circle of cake to place over the filling later.

 

Fill a pastry bag with the cupcake filling.  To steady the pastry bag, I folded the edge of a bag over a tall cup and then filled the pastry bag.  Pipe the filling into the hole left from the corer.

Once the cupcake is filled, replace the round piece of cake from the corer.  Then, frost the cupcakes!

There are several other techniques to fill cupcakes.  Some articles I read on the subject mentioned corers, others mentioned small biscuit cutters, and still others mentioned using injection tips to fill cupcakes with completely smooth fillings.  Now that I have a corer, I think I’m going to stick with this method.

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Pick of the Week

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

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On the Docket– Week of June 18, 2012

Monday, June 18th, 2012

From now on, On the Docket will be posted first thing Monday mornings.  I generally cook for the week on Sundays, so I spend a lot of time menu planning over the weekend.  While it takes a lot of time, it’s something I love to do.  Saturday morning, while my husband went mountain biking with a friend, I watched the Food Network and perused all the recipes I’ve clipped, a few magazines, and a couple of cookbooks to pick out a few meals for the week.

A few things I already tried

Broccoli Parmesan Fritters: These were delicious!  Rather than mashing the broccoli with a potato masher, which oddly enough is one of the only kitchen gadgets I don’t own, I put the broccoli in a food processor and pulsed it a couple of times, for a few seconds for each pulse.  My broccoli was a little smaller but still recognizable, as the recipe calls for.  I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my side dish repertoire.

Nutella Buttercream Frosting: I’ve been on a baking kick lately.  Each time I tell my mom about my baking adventures, she mentions Baked by Melissa, a cupcake shop in New York that specializes in miniature stuffed cupcakes.  Since we’ve been talking about these mini cupcakes so much, I decided to try my hand at making them.  More to come on what I tried.

A few recipes I’ve clipped

Baked Oatmeal:  I’m always looking for breakfasts that my husband and I can take with us to work.  I’ve seen a couple of baked oat meal recipes, and I think it’s about time to give it a try.

Lemon Basil Chicken Salad:  Chicken salad is one of my favorite summer lunches.  This one looks nice and light.  ‘Nuff said.

Grilled Salmon with Chilled Somen: My pantry is a disaster.  I have multiples of a couple items, some half full sauces, andthe remnants of a few ingredients that were purchased for one recipe.  One thing I’m trying to find a use for is a bottle of Ponzu sauce.  This recipe seems to fit the bill, so I’ll give it a shot.

 

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On the Docket– Week of June 11, 2012

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

I love Zite and Flipboard.  Every night before I go to bed, or right after I get home from work, I read through the Food and Cooking section on Zite and read the most recent posts from the magazines I’ve added on Flipboard.  As a result, I clip a lot of recipes to try when I have some time.

Here’s what I clipped last week.  I most certainly won’t try them all this week.  Let me know if you have tried any of these or if you have any tips!

Mojito Cupcakes from Brown Eyed Baker:  I think a drink-themed bakery sounds like a great idea.  I recently tried Mint Julep cupcakes for a friend’s Derby party, so I think another cocktail based cupcake would be delicious.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes:  One, I love potatoes.  Two, twice baked potatoes are one of my husband’s favorite things.  Adding a sweet potato to the mix just sounds delicious.

Mediterranean Chicken Salad:  I’m a big fan of salads for lunch.  This just looked good to add to my repertoire.

Salmon:  I’ve been a salmon kick lately.  I like tried and true recipes, and this seemed to fit the bill.

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