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Chocolate Wasted Cupcakes

Chocolate Wasted Cupcakes| Licious FoodIt’s that time again … yep, I am talking about my birthday. Another year older and all that jazz. Happy to be alive and such but the getting older not so much. Father Time and I have a love/hate relationship.

I know it shouldn’t be about gifts but I do love them so! Hi, my name is Jennifer and I love gifts, lots and lots of gifts. Big surprise. My birthday was a couple Fridays ago and I spent it going to a second job interview while also doing nothing.  On the positive, I did not cry hysterically and mope in the bed. I’m known to do that. This year hasn’t been what I expected but when does life ever go according to plan? Seriously.

Let me tell you what did go according to plan, these cupcakes. In my Dave Chappelle voice, “It’s rich, bitch!” Can you tell I watch alot of tv? I do, I totally do. I own it.

The cake portion is dark chocolate and moist, great flavor. When coffee is added to chocolate you know it’s going to be a great thing. The next step in this “wasted” glory is dark chocolate cheesecake filling – thanks Kraft Philadelphia Dark Chocolate Indulgence! Finally topped with a Caramel Chocolate Ganache. Oh. Em. GEEEEEEE. This Ganache is the Holy Grail of Goodness and possibly “diabeetus”.

Cooking Fail alert!  The caramel the first time was cooked too long so when I added the cream it turned into a “hard crack”. I lost a good whisk to the Hard Crack Tragedy of 2012. RIP.  Cooking on electric sucks at times. Feels like Goldilocks trying out the three bears’ porridge; “It’s too hot”, “It’s too cold”, and sometimes I get “it’s just right.”

Chocolate Wasted Cupcake is worth all the trouble and then some since the taste had me talking in tongues and exclaiming to myself, “damn, I’m good!” Modest Mouse that’s me. :)

So to all my fellow Virgos, “Happy Birthday!”

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Chocolate Wasted Cupcakes
Makes 12

Chocolate Cupcakes
Adapted from Sweetapolita Classic One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients
3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon Birds Custard Powder (if no custard powder, cornstarch)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ounce Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
1/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon brewed coffee, hot
3 tablespoons vegetable Oil
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350. Melt your unsweetened chocolate in microwave. Line your cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners, set aside. I typically set my microwave to power level 5 aka 50% and start with 1 minute and 30 seconds and increase by 10 seconds until melted. Sift all the dry ingredients together into a large mixing bowl or your stand mixer bowl(Flour to Salt). Add all wet ingredients to dry mix and mix/blend with your mixer until incorporated, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Place batter into the cupcake liners; fill the batter half way. Bake cupcakes approximately 14 to 17 minutes. Once you start smelling Chocolate goodness check them to see if they are ready. I use the toothpick trick to test my cupcakes. Let the cupcakes cool; approximately one hour to one-half hour.

Whipped Chocolate Ganache Frosting
Recipe from The Boy Who Bakes

Ingredients
8 ounces of dark chocolate (60-70% Cocoa Content), chopped
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/8 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup unsalted butter, chopped/cubed

Directions:  In a large glass or metal bowl (heatproof) place chopped chocolate and set aside. In a small saucepan add sugar, corn syrup, and water. Cook until it starts to bubble or registers 350F on candy thermometer (5 to 8 minutes). Remove from heat and let cool for one minute. While stirring the sugar syrup mixture add the whipping cream and stir for additional two minutes. Pour caramel cream mixture over the chocolate. Let the chocolate melt; approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Stir caramel and chocolate together until mixed well. Using either your hand mixer or stand mixer whip butter into the chocolate caramel. It should resemble mousse; a light and airy texture. If you can’t get that airy texture place the ganache creation to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and then try whipping it to get that mousse like texture.

Assembly of Cupcakes
1. Core the center of cupcakes out. Keep the cored pieces to either use as garnish (cake crumbles) or just add it back to the cupcake once you pipe the cheesecake filling into the cupcake.

2. Take the Philadelphia Dark Chocolate Indulgence and place into a sandwich bag. Snip off a corner and pipe the cheesecake filling into the cupcake.

3. In a large pastry bag with your favorite tip add the whipped ganache and pipe onto the cupcakes. Voila! Serve promptly or refrigerate until ready to eat. These cupcakes will need to be refrigerated!

Notes: Room temperature sour cream. I simply take out the measured sour cream and set on counter 30 minutes prior to baking. Room temperature egg – I place egg in hot tap water for five minutes prior to baking.

Nothing left but “Crumbs”

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I am journeying back to New York City in my mind to collect my thoughts about the best damn cupcakes I ever had the pleasure to taste minus my own (yup that’s me, modest mouse).

Crumbs Bake Shop was not even in the plans for my NYC trip it was just serendipity, plain and simple. Can I say when I walked into the store and saw the case, I truly wanted one of everything … it all looked so delicious and fantabulous! If I was a Billionaire and hung with the likes of Ophree or the Queen I would have bought all the cupcakes since that would be how I would roll.

It took awhile to decide what cupcakes would have the pleasure of leaving with me. Cookie Dough was looking good and so was Mama Mia, Milkshake, Red Velvet, Half Baked, Happy Birthday …. Happily, I did reach a decision and it was chocolate all the way with these two beauties:

Cupcakes from Crumbs

I like to think I made the right decision.

I was going to try and wait to eat my cupcakes when I returned home to Virginia but I did not have that much restraint, I had to sample one or both before the trip back home. I only sampled one; Devil’s Food was my poison and it was de-frickin-licious! It was perfectly chocolately with a surprise (to me) creamy center and Vanilla Buttercream. The cupcake was not one note like some chocolate cupcakes or cakes can be at times. Oh, did I mention the size of the cupcakes? They are ginormous – seriously, GINORMOUS. You get your money’s worth when you buy cupcakes from them

I should also mention that Crumb’s cupcakes freeze beautifully. I froze my cupcakes so they would have a chance to remain fresh until I arrived back home. Using the freezing and refrigeration technique I was able to enjoy Devil’s Food and the Blackout cupcake upon returning back home.

The Blackout Cupcake is a chocolate lovers dream … if you love chocolate, plus more chocolate, and then some more – then this cupcake is for you (and me). It’s moist and rich and I could not eat it in one sitting, it actually took me a few days.

So, if you are going to New York City or California, Washington DC, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey or Virginia you need to find Crumbs Bake Shop and indulge – you only live once unless you believe in re-incarnation.

Until Next Time,
Jennifer

One last look …

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Crumbs Bake Shop – 43 West 42nd St (5/6th Ave) – New York, NY 10036 – 212/221-1500

Nice & Naughty Dulce De Leche Cupcakes

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Dulce de Leche Cupcakes

Do food bloggers share the same mind?  I am inclined to think so when I saw a posting from one of my favorite food bloggers, Joy the Baker, earlier this week for Dulce de Leche Cupcakes.

It was like I read her mind (perhaps she was thinking loudly) and I say I read her mind since I am sure she probably has her posts planned in advance while I am a spur of the moment blogger and Dulce de Leche popped in my head on  late Saturday night early Sunday morning.

Perhaps it was just kismet or it’s just one of those unexplainable things.  I just thought it was one of life’s funny things.  *shrugs*

There is no real great inspiration for these cupcakes, I needed to send some bake goodies out to a friend whose birthday was on February 14th … yeah, I know I am majorly late.   It’s the thought, right?

The cupcakes are moist and delicious with hints of cinnamon and caramel.  It’s a simple Martha Stewart recipe, yes I wrote “simple” and “Martha Stewart” in the same sentence, with a few adaptations by me.

The Dulce de Leche buttercream is the naughty; it’s so naughty that your thighs will be repenting once you have a taste.  It’s rich and oh so good!

This recipe is “guinea” approved.

P.S.  You might want to have a glass of milk to chase this nice yet sinful cupcake.

Until Next Time,

Jennifer

Cinnamon Cake
Makes 24 cupcakes or 2- 8 inch rounds
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Versatile Vanilla Cake

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of cinnamon
2 large eggs plus 3 large egg yolks

2 teaspoon of Vanilla Paste

4 tablespoons Hershey’s Caramel Syrup

1 cup low-fat buttermilk

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit.

In a small bowl mix buttermilk and caramel syrup; set aside.  Sift all dry ingredients together in a bowl; set aside.  In a mixing bowl cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs one at a time to the creamed mixture; incorporating well.  Add vanilla paste and cinnamon and mix.   Alternate adding sifted dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture to wet batter; mix until combined.

Scoop batter into lined muffin tins bake for approximately 23-25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for approximately 1 to 2 hours.

Dulce De Leche Buttercream
Makes 6 cups
Adapted from Wilton’s Buttercream

Ingredients
2 cups (4 sticks) salted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup Dulce de Leche
8 cups of sifted confectioners sugar
4 tablespoons of milk
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon of sea salt

Directions
In a mixing bowl whip butter and dulce de leche together for approximately 5 minutes.  Add confectioners sugar two cups at a time to the blended and continue whipping; after confectioners sugar has been added should be extremely stiff.  Add milk, lemon juice and salt and whip once again.  The frosting should be thick yet manageable if too thick continue to add 1 teaspoon of milk until you get the consistency desired.

Finally, use a pastry bag and a large tip and pipe buttercream onto cooled cupcakes and serve.

 

*If you don’t have the caramel syrup simply omit.

Birthday and Cupcakes

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Today is the day that I am a little bit older but apparently not wiser since I just realized why my mixer was being a pain in the tuchus, it was set on the wrong bowl setting! I have had this mixer for over a year and never did it occur that the bowl setting was the problem. Since I have corrected my problem it creams, mixes, and whips like a dream!

My single requirement for this day is that I am off, no work allowed on my day. Thought being, why should I be stressed on my day ?? So it has been a great day and I have received many birthday wishes from family and friends and that means the world to me! Of course with birthdays having cake (or cupcakes) is an important thing. I began thinking on what to make … whattomakewhattomakewhattomake???

A great idea came to me last night – Brown Sugar Cupcakes and Chocolate Chip Buttercream!!!! I have dubbed this brizillant creation “Chocolate Chip Cookie” Cupcakes. Genius! This treat takes all the fabulous components of a Chocolate Chip Cookie yet in a cupcake form. The cupcakes are moist and the chocolate chip buttercream sweet. When I ravaged (yes, ravaged) my cupcake it reminded me of the rich “Dinky Doozie” from Great American Cookie Company, a favorite indulgence for me when I happen to venture into a mall (so twice a year).

Having a great birthday is always a good thing – this cupcake is pure sinful rich exquisite icing on my birthday. LOL

Brown Sugar Cupcakes

The Brown Sugar Cupcake recipe is from the book Demolition Desserts by Elizabeth Falkner (I have added this book to my wish list) which I located from fellow food bloggerMolly’s Menu; so with that being said, I am simply posting the link so you can get the recipe for yourself. I did not make any changes to recipe; I followed it to the letter. Don’t forget to let the cupcakes cool!

Chocolate Chip Buttercream

1 stick of room temperature butter

1/4 cup of vegetable shortening (Crisco)**

4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

4 Tablespoons milk

2/3cup Mini Chocolate Chips

In a mixing bowl cream softened butter and shortening. Add 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar and mix. Add remaining 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar. (Should resemble thick paste) Add Vanilla Bean Paste and milk. Mix until you achieve smoothness and consistency. (If mixture is too thick continue to add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time) Fold chocolate chips into buttercream until incorporated.

** I used Crisco Shortening “sticks”, they make for easy measurement and worth extra pennies to have in my opinion. You can omit the shortening, and subsitute with additional butter.  I find that the shortening gives me the little bit of stiffness I am in need of especially when shipping cupcakes or transporting cupcakes in the summer time.

Icing the cupcakes

Like before, you can either do the old fashion icing of the cupcakes – using a spatula or knife to ice the cupcakes or you can get all fancy with it and look like you just ran to your favorite Cupcake shop by using a pastry bag (tip or no tip – you decide!) and pipe the icing on the cupcake.  Today I chose to extra fancy and pipe the icing with a tip.

Until Next Time!

Debil’s Food Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream

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Debil's Food Cupcakes v1

Finally back and blogging – Yay! I have so many ideas churning for future postings however work is still as crazy as ever so I need to figure out how to accomplish future postings since I want to share my thoughts.

To play catch up, I have finished my resume.  I also have been given a quasi extension so my job is not ending as soon as I thought — this gives me time to get all my ducks, chickens, and bears in a row.

I did not win the cupcake contest that I entered; though I am proud that I did enter. So that’s life in a nutshell.

Now on to Debil’s Food Cupcakes.. yes Debil’s Food. I happen to love the movie, “Water Boy” (don’t judge) and with the extra touch of chocolate added to these cupcakes they are not the Devil but the “Debil”.

During the making of these cupcakes- a gadget died, my hand mixer.  It died of an apparent icing overdose, R.I.P. hand mixer. *sniff* Luckily it died after I finished mixing the Oreo Buttercream!  I still have my stand mixer (yet it is not my ultimate dream fantasy mixer.. The Kitchen Aid.)

These chocolate cupcakes are moist and delicious and easy to make.  They will be sure to please any chocolate lover!  The Oreo Buttercream compliments the “Debil’s” Food so when you bite into the cupcake it is pure Heaven on your mouth yet Hell on your thighs!

“Debil’s” Food Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream Icing

Adapted from ChockyLit’s Devil’s Food Cupcake with Chocolate Buttercream

Makes 12 cupcakes

Cupcakes
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup Ghiradelli’s 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup Buttermilk
¼ cup plus 1 Tablespoon of Butter, salted

1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste

1 egg, room temperature

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a microwave safe bowl add ¼ cup chocolate chips and 1 Tablespoon butter and melt together at 50% power in the microwave for approximately 1 minute 30 seconds.  Set melted mixture aside.  In a mixing bowl add all ingredients except the egg; cream mixture together until incorporated.  Add egg to creamed mixture and beat on high for approximately two minutes.

In your cupcake pan add your cupcake liners.  Add cake mixture to each individual cake liner; filling batter 2/3 full. (I use an ice cream scoop to add the mixture to the cupcake liners.  I found that tip through other food bloggers.)  Bake cupcakes for approximately 16-20 minutes.  Take out the oven and let cool.

Icing
1 stick of room temperature butter **

4 cups of confectioner’s sugar

1 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste

¼ cup milk

½ cup crushed Oreos

In a mixing bowl cream softened butter.  Add 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar and mix.  Add remaining 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar.  (Should resemble thick paste) Add Vanilla Bean Paste and milk.  Mix until you achieve smoothness and consistency. (If mixture is too thick continue to add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time) Mix in crushed Oreos to buttercream until incorporated.

** If you want a more resilient buttercream try using ½ stick of butter and ½ cup of shortening (like Crisco).

Icing the cupcakes

You can either do the old fashion icing of the cupcakes – using a spatula or knife to ice the cupcakes or you can get all fancy with it and look like you just ran to your favorite Cupcake shop by using a pastry bag (tip or no tip – you decide!) and pipe the icing on the cupcake.  I chose to pipe the icing using no tip since I just wanted to be fancy!
Viola! You now have “Debil’s Food Cupcakes with Oreo Buttercream to enjoy and share!

Until next time -Happy Eatings!

I entered a Cupcake contest …

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I am not a contest type of person … really. I hate losing or the fact that I just might not measure up. I like to think I don’t care what others think but at times I do …

However, reading a post on Bakerella one day about all the ways to be competitive in the food world and the Duncan Hines contest caught my interest. I love Duncan Hines! If I have to make a cake from a box it’s my go to cake from a box; especially the Butter Cake.

From the get go I had many ideas and my thought for my entry was chocolate but the chocolate idea did not work out exactly as I had hoped. I will be posting the recipe on my next blog update (I haven’t forgotten I have to do four posts this month — I still have time).

Banana Mania Cupcakes is my take on my love of bananas, growing up in the South, with a dash of Toffee. It is a great summer dessert, not overly heavy and it satisfies. The cake alone is yums — I would know since I ate three cupcakes after baking. Have to test the goods ya know! The banana whip icing is just well icing! :)

I can’t win this contest alone I need votes; I need votes every day until July 28th so if you happen to stumble along this blog and would like to vote for Banana Mania simply click on the link below (you can also view the recipe by clicking on the link)

Vote for Banana Mania Cupcakes

If you would like to share with your friends so they can vote too — I am not opposed to that either.

Happy Eatings!

<3

Banana Mania Cupcakes

Updated on 12.21.10, new link provided for Banana Mania Cupcakes; Click here for Banana Mania Cupcakes Recipe!

My Colors are Blush and Bashful

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“My colors are blush and bashful.”

“No, your colors are pink and pink.”

“Steel Magnolias” – I could watch that movie every day. You know it’s a favorite when you can quote backwards and forwards.

A sea of pink

Last weekend I had to bake over 50 plus cupcakes along with a cake made for a princess. I must say, I will never do that again! The Mom/co-worker I made the creation for nagged me from beginning to end. She reminded me why I don’t do baking professionally. I love baking and cooking but on my own terms and if you nag me/question me constantly you take that love away and bring out my evil side.

Cake topper

My kitchen looked like a pink bomb went off in there! Pink was everywhere … swirled in the cupcakes and cake, the icing, the flowers, the sprinkles. The only thing homemade was the buttercream. I decided to use box cake mix instead of making batter from scratch. I was on a time crunch since it was my work weekend. There was also the daunting task of creating a cupcake/cake tier from scratch but I managed.

Finished product v1

Using cake boards, ribbon, goblet glasses, double sided tape and adhesive squares I was able to create a pretty cool cupcake tier! The world wide web is a very wonderful thing. Have a question, simply googlelize and your answer will be found. If I ever have a pleasure of making a cupcake tier again – I will utilize cake dummies to separate the tiers. I think it will make it pleasing to the eye and perhaps a tad more stable. Last weekend was a total learning experience … some things I would repeat while others I would not.

Cupcake Tier How To’s

Cake Journal
Wedding Cupcake Tower
Instructables: Two Tier Cupcake Stand

Caramel Cake ….

Most of my thoughts on food are totally random.  I have no idea what I plan to make or create until a thought pops into my mind.  This is how the thought of Caramel Cake came into my thought process.  So naturally, I search the web for Caramel Cake recipes and I found one (the World Wide Web can be such a great place), not the traditional sort that I recall from my childhood but a good equivalent.  The recipe meets my requirements; simple and easy.  Can I get a Woot, Woot!?!

The cake is buttery, light, yet a nice balance of sweet and salty.  I likey.  Caramel glaze ( I believe I overcooked – I am 90% sure I did) was much better after it cooled. I added a smidge (approx 1/4t.) of apple cider vinegar while cooking.  I think if I make the glaze again I will also try adding some butter to the glaze.  I love a buttery caramel; helps balance out all the sweetness.

Caramel Cake
Recipe from Gourmet Magazine

For cake

  • 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
  • 1 cup well-shaken buttermilk

For caramel glaze

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Butter an 8-inch square cake pan and line with a square of parchment paper, then butter parchment.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until pale and fluffy, then beat in vanilla. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. At low speed, beat in buttermilk until just combined (mixture may look curdled). Add flour mixture in 3 batches, mixing until each addition is just incorporated.

Spread batter evenly in cake pan, then rap pan on counter several times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake until golden and a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then run a knife around edge of pan. Invert onto rack and discard parchment, then cool completely, about 1 hour.

Make glaze:
Bring cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, and a pinch of salt to a boil in a 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Boil until glaze registers 210 to 212°F on thermometer, 12 to 14 minutes, then stir in vanilla.

Put rack with cake in a shallow baking pan and pour hot glaze over top of cake, allowing it to run down sides. Cool until glaze is set, about 30 minutes.

Recipe can be found and printed at Epicurious.com

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