Taste & Create: Fudge Makes Everything Better

February 25, 2009

It’s been a long time since I have participated in a Taste and Create event, but I have been pretty excited about getting back into it. Especially since my partner this time around was once again Cupcake Project. Who doesn’t love a good cupcake?

Unfortunately I am a day late posting this. Not off to a great start, but I have a good excuse! We got really excited about the idea of her Chocolate Cupcakes with Bourbon and Pecan – less the Pecan. We started in plenty of time, and were pretty excited about the prospect. I mean, what could be more exciting than boozy cupcakes? Like boozy brownies! Unfortunately, they didn’t quite turn out. I don’t know if it’s because we tried to make half of them with Rum and half with Jack and messed up our measurements or what, but they just weren’t posting quality.

So we dropped those and instead decided to make, and share her Fudge Brownie Cupcakes. Or Colapsacakes, as my man called them. Not very pretty, but definitely tasty.

Fudge Brownie Cupcakes
Source: Cupcake Project

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 cup
fudge, room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon chocolate liqueur

Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined. Mix in fudge.

Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine.

In another bowl, mix the milk and chocolate liqueur and stir to combine.

Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the liquid ingredients and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry.

Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. Note that these cupcakes will not dome. Do not overfill them. Bake at 350 F for 30-40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

The batter for these things were awesome. It was light and fluffy, like a mousse. We added some chocolate chips to the batter, spread a thin layer of extra fudge on the cupcakes and topped with chocolate whipped cream (you can use the whipped cream from this recipe)

I don’t know why the tops collapsed so much, but these were so tasty, it didn’t really matter 🙂

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No Introduction Needed

November 24, 2008

Some recipes are easy to blog about. Whatever I baked just introduces itself, either because of what it is, the reason I chose to try it or whatever. These cupcakes, for some reason have been the exact opposite. I made them around June, and though they were absolutely amazing, rich, moist, chocolatey, with soft melted chocolate bottoms, I have really been drawing a blank.

I found this recipe on I Heart Cuppycakes (don’t you just love that name?) and I don’t really know what it is about these things that fascinated me so much. Wine and alcohol in general always seems to work well with chocolate, so it’s a pretty logical jump to add it to cupcakes (hell, I’ve already done it with brownies!), but even with my great lack of knowledge of wines, I just had to try this one.

I didn’t even want to wait for a real reason (a.k.a a party, a holiday, whatever) so I made these as both regular and bite-sized cupcakes, and loved them and then sat waiting for inspiration to strike so I could blog it. Well I have finally given up on the idea of a brilliant introduction, and have brushed the imaginary dust off the pictures so I can share it with all of you.

Red Wine Cupcakes
Slightly adapted from: I Heart Cuppycakes

1-1/4 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup red wine
1/4 cup boiling water
1 bag of chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake tins with papers, or grease well.

Combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.

Cream the egg, sour cream, oil and wine together in mixer for two minutes. Stir in flour mixture until well combined.

Add 1/4 cup boiling water and stir. Fold in chocolate chips. Batter will be fairly thin. Pour into prepared cupcake tins and bake for approximately 17-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Once they have cooled completely, cover with frosting, as desired. Enjoy!

The batter of these things was so thin that the chocolate chips all sunk to the bottom and melted, leaving a soft, creamy, amazing cupcake. It’s like having icing on the tops and bottoms! How could anyone resist that? 🙂


You Can’t Have Just One

November 19, 2008

I don’t know what it is about Oreos, but they are one of the very few things in this world that everyone seems to love. I don’t think there is a single person I know who would turn down an oreo, and you really can’t say that for any other type of store bought cookie. Even if you just like the cookies themselves, or just the cream, they bring up so many happy chocolate-crumb-and-milk-mustache memories.

Well, several months ago (even before I made homemade oreos) I was blog surfing and saw these beautiful oreo cupcakes on Epicurian Escapsim. Yes, milk’s favorite cookie is now in cupcake form, and now that I have finally tried the recipe I gotta say, it will easily become a favorite.

How can anyone resist a crumbly, chocolatey cupcake that comes with an icing so creamy, it’s almost better than dunking the cookies themselves in milk 🙂

Oreo Cupcakes
Source: Epicurian Escapsim

180g unsalted butter
400g brown sugar
250g dark chocolate
3 large eggs, separated
2 teaspoons vanilla
200g plain flour
100g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
8 Oreo cookies, smashed to bits
1 3/4 cup milk

Icing:

225g unsalted butter
400 – 600g icing sugar (to taste)
1/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup marshmallow fluff
8 Oreo cookies, smashed to bits

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Set aside. Heat the oven to 180C and line cupcake tin with papers.

Beat the butter until it is soft, then add sugar and mix until fluffy.

Stir up the egg yolks, then add them to the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and the chocolate.

Mix the flour, baking powder, soda in a bowl, then mix that in with the first mixture, alternating with the milk. Stir in the bashed Oreos until evenly distributed.

In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until peaks form. Fold in the batter, mixing well.

Scoop into the cupcake liners straight away, filling them 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack before icing.

To make the icing, beat the butter, then add in the sugar gradually and mix well. Add milk and vanilla and continue to mix. Once this much is to your taste, stir in the fluff with a spatula. Add the bashed Oreos until the texture is even. Spread or pipe on the cupcakes and enjoy! 🙂

We left the bashed oreos out of the icing, opting to place half an oreo on top, and we only used approximately 200 g of the powdered sugar, but all of those options are completely to your taste. These are oreos after all, so have fun with it!


Cupcakes Outside the Comfort Zone

September 17, 2008

I have mentioned that I am a picky eater. I know that I can be a little ridiculous with it sometimes, but it isn’t really something I can control either. It’s just who I am. However, with the experimentation I am doing with this blog, I want to step outside of that comfort zone and get a little daring. (Keep in mind something daring for me will probably be normal for most bakers).

It’s probably a little ironic to use something as comforting as cupcakes (which bring up happy icing-covered memories) for something like this but the end result sounded great so I thought it would be a good idea to just dive in.

At this point you’re probably asking yourself what it is about this recipe that is so daring. It’s actually not one, but two things: mayonnaise and sour cream. The mayonnaise because of an incident when I was a kid making sandwiches with mom and tasted from the wrong knife….and the sour cream because of my great aversion to anything with the word “sour” (it took much googling to convince myself that the tart I made a couple months ago wouldn’t actually be “tart.”) I am sure there is a deeper meaning to that one too but I really don’t need to know all the varying depths of my insanity. 😉

Anyways, this recipe marries the wonderful goodness that is chocolate with two things I have taken great pains to avoid in the past, and thank god it turned out well. I also had a new and very enthusiastic helper, who ended up wearing almost as much chocolate as we put in this, so I was too busy enjoying the company, the chocolate, and the scent of these to-die-for cupcakes to really worry about the end result. Which, by the way, really did turn out incredible. 🙂

Mint Cupcakes
Slightly adapted from: The Reckless Chef

2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
3 oz chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons mint extract
2/3 cup water
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon sour cream

Preheat oven to 350.

Mix your dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the eggs, oil, milk, and water and fold them into the mix with a fork. Add mayonnaise, sour cream, and vanilla, and beat the mixture on low-speed. Add in the mint extract, and if the batter smells like plain chocolate instead of mint chocolate, add a bit more. Blend until the dry ingredients are no longer dry, and you have a consistent texture throughout.

Melt the 3 oz of chocolate in a double boiler then mix well into the batter.

Put cupcake papers into your cupcake pan. Pour batter into each cupcake paper, being as generous as you want. These raise decently but it’s always more fun if they come out as monster cupcakes.

Bake the cupcakes for 17 minutes, and test for doneness at any point after that. When a toothpick stuck in the middle of the biggest cupcake in the batch comes out clean, take them out of the oven and let them cool for a few minutes before removing from the cupcake pan.

Decorate as desired and enjoy 🙂

These are really amazing cupcakes. Perfectly moist and the mint chocolate is just irresistable. The kind of thing you can impress everyone with…if you can bear to part with any of them. 🙂


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 🙂

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 🙂


Treats “Just For”

June 16, 2008

It’s always nice to give someone a treat or a gift “just for” and tends to mean a bit more than when it’s for a holiday or special occasion.

These cupcakes I was originally going to make for a new friend who loves white chocolate, but things kinda fell through, so instead I have made them this weekend, just for 🙂

I wasn’t really happy with the frosting. It was tasty, but nothing great and definitely not worth a “wow,” but the cupcakes themselves are subtle and sweet and most definitely something worth trying again.

White Chocolate Cupcakes
Source: Baking Bites

1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 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.

And just in case you want to try the frosting yourself…

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Source: Magnolia Cookbook

(this recipe is divided cause it would have made way too much…)

3/4 butter
3 tablespoon milk
4 1/2 ounces chocolate melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 sifted powdered sugar

Cream the butter in a medium sized bowl. Add in the milk and blend well. Mix in the chocolate and beat until well incorporated. Add the vanilla and beat for three minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar until you reach the desired taste and consistency. 

Once the cupcakes have cooled completely, frost as desired and sprinkle with more white chocolate. Enjoy.

I was pretty happy with these. Not only did I get to practice with my new decorating tips, but these really are great cupcakes.


A Taste of Yellow: Sunny Caramel Cupcakes

March 22, 2008

With so many different foundations and charities out there, it’s always hard to choose which ones to support. Do you go with the big ones that already have a huge backing and are more likely to make a bigger difference with the money? Or a smaller one that can really use even the smallest amounts?

It’s a hard decision, but one of the ones I try to support is the LiveStrong Lance Armstrong Foundation. It’s one of the bigger ones out there (you see the LIVESTRONG bands everywhere now), but his story, coming back from a tough battle with cancer to not only succeed, but to completely dominate his sport, is incredibly inspiring.

So when I saw there was a food blogging event created by Barbarah of Winos and Foodiesto support this foundation I knew I had to join in. Barbarah is asking all bloggers to participate in the blog event A TASTE OF YELLOW by making a dish containing some type of yellow food in memory of those we have lost and those still fighting cancer.

The deadline for this event is April 19th, 2008, and the roundup of all entries will be posted on LiveSTRONG Day, which falls on May 13th this year. If you want to participate simply cook and blog about some type of yellow food and send a picture and a link to Barbarah. This is blog is about my small contribution.

I wanted to make something that could bring a smile to anyone. Something happy and sunny, that would bring thoughts of spring. The season that at least to me, represents changes, and new beginnings. I saw this recipe on Katie’s Kitchen for caramel cupcakes, and I knew it was perfect. Hopefully these sweet treats will usher in a nice warm spring, and I dedicate them to everyone out there fighting cancer, with the hope of many more springs to come. 

Caramel Cupcakes
Source: Katie’s Kitchen 

125g butter, chopped
100g white eating chocolate, chopped coarsely
2/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup golden syrup
2/3 cup milk
1 cup plain flour
1/3 self-raising flour
1 egg

Preheat oven to 325F

Combine butter, chocolate, sugar, syrup and milk in a saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth. Transfer mixture to a bowl, cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk sifted flours then egg into mixture.

Divide among cupcake tray and bake for 30 minutes for standard size cupcakes. Move to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

I tried to make an Italian Meringue for the icing but it didn’t really turn out and I didn’t have enough eggs to try again so I just used a whipped cream frosting. Just whip some cream until it’s nice and thick and peaks begin to form then add a box of instant pudding. I chose french vanilla.

 

Frost the cupcakes by either spreading it with a knife or pipe it on. Make or buy some fondant, roll it out as thin as you want it then using cookie cutters, cut out as many flower shapes as you want. If you want to do layers of different sizes, brush some water on one side of the smaller one to seal the two pieces together. Place on cupcakes as desired.

Just a few notes about the recipe. It calls for golden syrup and self rising flour. According to Wikipedia, golden syrup is used as a substitute for honey for those who can’t eat honey, and it’s much like corn syrup. You can use either if you can’t find it in a store, or you can order it on amazon.

As for self-rising flour, if you don’t have any you can make it easily by mixing 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/4 tsp salt. Just make sure you mix it well.

As for these cupcakes, they are really easy to make and have a wonderful, subtle caramel flavor. They are definitely worth trying.

There is still plenty of time to join in this event and it really is well worth it. Give it a try if you get the chance.