Brainfully Delicious

July 31, 2008

I’ve mentioned my friend Dean several times, but there is one thing I haven’t mentioned yet, one of the things that make him so fun and loveable.

You see, my dear friend is obsessed with zombies. Yes, zombies, those rotting, brain eating, undead creatures that might just bring about the apocalypse one of these days.

And no, I am not exagerating by calling this dear man obsessed. He has games and an unbelievable amount of movies (I believe he said he has 4 copies of Night of the Living Dead and I, being such a great friend, convinced him to buy Zombies Gone Wild… :)). He loves to pretend to eat his fiancee’s brains…..he even dressed up as Zombie Elvis for Halloween last year!

Yes friends, the King still lives….just not the way you might hope *g*

Anyways, I really wanted to do something special for Dean for his birthday, and what could a zombie lover enjoy more than brains?

This is more about the decoration than the cupcake itself, but as I wanted to post this I’ll give you the recipe anyways.

Brain Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
4 oz white chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon milk

Preheat oven to 325F. Place liners in cupcake pan

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs one at a time then the melted chocolate and vanilla.

Working in two or three additions, alternate adding in the milk and flour mixture, making sure the flour is last. Mix just until well blended.

Divide batter into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Whipped Cream Frosting

2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon chocolate liqueur
1 box white chocolate instant pudding
Red food coloring

Mix all of the ingredients for the whipped cream except the pudding mix in a bowl and put in the fridge with your beaters/whisk to chill while you make the cupcakes.

Beat until stiff peaks form then stir in the pudding mix and add food coloring until you reach a nice brain color shade.

Scoop the icing into a frosting bag with a medium round tip or a ziplock bag. Draw a line of icing down the middle, then squiggle the two halves to make it look like brains. Invite all zombie friends over and enjoy πŸ™‚

This is really a fun cupcake. If you really wanted to get into the swing of things you could use food coloring to color the cupcakes themselves and even add a gooey filling. I have a hard time believing my dear friend is not one of a kind, so it isn’t likely you’ll know someone with the same obsession, but these would be great for a theme party or for halloween…as long as you don’t mind eating a twisted treat πŸ™‚

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Taste & Create XII: Birthday Madelines

July 29, 2008

This month is very special for Taste & Create. Though it has only been a few months for me, this monthly event has been bringing food bloggers together for a year. Yes it is Taste & Create’s first birthday!

I was hoping to special birthday cupcakes or something like that to help celebrate, and instead my partner, the talanted woman behind Fuss Free Flavorsoffered something I had been considering making for a while. Instead I made chocolate drizzled birthday Madelines πŸ™‚

Madelines
Source:
Fuss Free Flavors

75g Unsalted butter – melted and cool
100g Plain Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Large Eggs
90g Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
Pinch of salt

Whisk the eggs and sugar together until they have doubled in size and are light and fluffy. Slowly fold in the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the vanilla. Slowly add in the melted butter, gently folding all the time.

When mixed cover the bowl and put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, the batter should be foamy and full of air. Put a dollop of the mixture into a well buttered Madeleine tray, each mold should be about 2/3 full.

Place in an oven at 375F for around 7 minutes until risen, golden and shrinking away from the edges of the mold.

Leave for a few minutes and then turn out. Add a drizzle of melted chocolate and enjoy.

Happy Birthday Taste & Create πŸ™‚


Devilishly Devine

July 28, 2008

I have really been a naughty blogger this month. With friends’ parties, birthdays and a procrastination inducing heat wave, I haven’t posted in quite a while, but hopefully the next few posts will make up for it.

Yes, I have continued baking, while I was baking in my air-condition-less apartment. These particular cookies are absolutely evil. Or at least perfect for inducing evil giggles, especially considering the below is considered one cookie if you go by the recipe.

Are you giggling wickedly yet?

The cookies themselves are great, but honestly the cookie dough is better than any you’ve ever had. It’s hard not to eat it all raw.

Jacques Torres’ Chocolate Mudslide Cookies
Source: New York Times

1 1/2 cups unsweetened chocolate, in chips or chunks
8 cups semi-sweet chocolate, in chips or chunks
3/8 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Melt the unsweetened chocolate and 4 cups of the bittersweet chocolate over a double-boiler.

Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy and add the eggs one at a time, blending until mixed.

Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the butter mixture and mix just until combined.

Add the melted chocolate and mix until combined and stir in the nuts and remaining chocolate pieces. Pour the mixture onto a parchment-lined baking sheet or tray. Put the mixture into a refrigerator for 5 to10 minutes until slightly, but not completely, hardened.

Reverse the sheet or tray onto another piece of parchment paper on a hard surface. Use a knife to divide the mixture into 30* squares. With your hands, roll each of the squares into a ball and evenly space them on one or two parchment-lined baking sheets (leave much room for them to spread).

Bake the cookies for 15 to 25 minutes, until crusty on the outside (they should still be gooey on the inside). Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before eating.

*The original recipe called for only 20 cookies, but they never bake right for me that big. It’s up to you if you wanna try them mondo or a little smaller πŸ˜‰

With this much chocolate, this recipe isn’t one I make often, but it is well worth trying at least once, just to nibble the raw dough πŸ˜‰


S’More Please

July 1, 2008

I’ve been trying to think of a good introduction for this one for a while but for some reason nothing has come to mind. Which is actually pretty funny considering the idea for this tasty treat came to me pretty quickly.

That whole weekend was actually the same. None of the recipes I had recently collected sounded good but I knew I wanted to make something chocolate (does that surprise anyone? hehe) I was thinking along the lines of making a pie, something with pudding, maybe some whipped cream…nothing really special.

It was just one of those days where nothing really sounded right, and then I saw a picture of s’mores. A simple tasty treat that we have all had before, just revised a bit. πŸ™‚

Β 

These need a little work to be perfect because the crust was a little fragile. Then again, that helps keep it much more faithful to the original treat.

S’more Bites

pudding:
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
pinch of salt
2 cups whole milk
4 oz chocolate, finely chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup melted butter

mini-marshmallows

Whisk cornstarch, sugar, cocoa and salt for the pudding in a saucepan, then gradually whisk in milk.

Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Allow to boil until it’s nice and thick. Do not stop whisking while it’s cooking. Remove from heat and whisk in chopped chocolate and butter until melted. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven at 350F. Mix all of the ingredients for the crust into a large bowl and press into the cups of mini-tart pans. Bake for approximately 8 minutes or until lightly browned.

Carefully remove the graham cracker cups from the pan and fill with the pudding. Top with marshmellows, move to a cookie sheet and place in the broiler until the marshmellows are lightly browned. Enjoy while still warm and messy πŸ™‚

Β 

These are simple and tasty and lots of fun. A little more work than the original treat, but still worth the time to experiment with πŸ™‚