Archive | August, 2013

Day 24 – Boston Cream Cupcakes

24 Aug

I wanted to start this beautiful weekend off right.  And, I figured, I like Boston.  I like cream.  I definitely like cupcakes.  So, Boston Cream Cupcakes (recipe below from Yummly) seemed like a logical choice.

(Insert where picture would have been…I got so excited to see the end result I totally forgot to photograph the cupcakes alone…oops!)

The cake is dense.  The full-size has an angel food cake feel and taste, but without the almond flavor.  Mini is a little dry.

Cream filled

The egg cream is like a custard with a sweet vanilla flavor.

ganache

The ganache is silky with a good semisweet flavor.

Boston Cream Cupcake          Mini Boston Cream Cupcake

The flavors and textures mesh well together.  Chocolate seem a little overpowering at first, but after the initial taste, it all balances nicely.  (Note: The pastry cream is a bit of a process, but the ganache is really easy to make, so it’s not an overly complex recipe.)  It isn’t necessarily a ‘WOW’ cupcake, but a fun, pretty simple, even dessert.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 3.5

– Overall Taste: 3.5

– Appearance: 3.5

– Ease of Making: 2.5

– TOTAL: 16.5

RECIPE

Boston Cream Cupcakes (recipe from Yummly)

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (8 oz) white sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup (5 1/2 oz) buttermilk

For the pastry cream filling:
1/4 cup (2 oz) white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large egg yolks
2/3 cup (5 1/2 oz) whole milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache:
1 cup (6 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup (3 oz) heavy cream

For directions visit Yummly.

*Tomorrow: Cherry Coke Float Cupcakes*

New stuff!

23 Aug

So, I got some fun, new things in the mail today.  Couldn’t wait to share it with you guys!!

First, an 11 1/2 pound bar of chocolate…that I may or may not have been tempted to take a bite out of…

Big ole bar of chocolate

Next, I got a very exciting gift package from my mom and my Aunt Nancy who are 2 of my biggest supporters.  This box of goodies made me so excited to bake!!

Assortment of Cups

I mean, look at all those!!  Colors, stripes, flowers, minis, full-size.  There’s even a tie-dye!!  I’m so excited!  I still have a few of my first ones to finish, but keep your eyes open for these ones coming soon!!

Alright, that’s all the excitement for this post.  See y’all tomorrow!

 

Day 23 – Sour Cream Fig Cupcake

23 Aug

I am all about ‘in-season’ fruit!!  So, I thought a fig cupcake would be appropriate, since they’re best in August.  Not a super-popular fruit, or cupcake ingredient for that matter, so I was intrigued when I found these Sour Cream Fig Cupcakes (recipe below from Fancy Edibles).

Sour Cream Fig Cupcake          Mini Sour Cream Fig Cupcake

This cake is crazy fragile!!  I could barely get them out of the pan without having them fall apart.  And they taste like those fruit-filled sugar cookies you can buy.

frosting

The frosting is a typical cream cheese frosting, maybe even a little less sweet than usual.

Sour Cream Fig Cupcakes          Mini Sour Cream Fig Cupcakes

They really don’t mesh together.  Neither one has a bad taste (at all), but together they simply taste like the individual parts put together – there’s no real cohesiveness.  The whole thing might work better if you were to fill the cakes with the preserves post-baking, instead of before.

(Note: the minis are WAY to fragile – not even worth attempting.  Full-size they sunk in a little.  You may want to spray the paper liners too – cupcakes crumbled while I was unwrapping.  They are a little hard to frost, cause the center is so sunken in.)

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 3

– Overall Taste: 2.5

– Appearance: 2

– Ease of Making: 4

– TOTAL: 15

RECIPE

Sour Cream Fig Cupcake (recipe from Fancy Edibles)

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

pinch of salt

1 stick butter

1 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup sour cream

fig jam or preserves

Frosting:

4 oz room temp cream cheese

1/2 stick room temp butter

1/2 lb confectioner’s sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

For directions visit Fancy Edibles.

*Tomorrow: Boston Cream Cupcakes*

Weekly Winner #3

22 Aug

So, here I am – 3 weeks of cupcakes (and 3 extra pounds) under my belt…hmmmm….

Anyway, here was this week!

Brownie Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting

Brownie Cupcake with Marshmallow Frosting

Chocolate Coffee Cupcake

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes

White Texas Sheet Cake Cupcake

te Texas Sheet Cake Cupcake

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake halved

Funfetti Cupcake

Funfetti Cupcake

Homemade Hostess Cupcake

Hostess Cupcake

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcake

Cupcake

Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcake

Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcake

And, with 21 points, this weeks winner is…

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake          Mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes from une gamine dans la cuisine.  Check out that day here.  This flavor-packed cupcake will join our first 2 weekly winners on August 31 in our Monthly Competition!

Also, starting in September, I’ll have some “Helpful Tips” available with each Weekly Winner – just some helpful things that I’ve picked up over the years that might make your baking a little easier too!

Day 22 – Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcakes

22 Aug

Finishing out week 3 of cupcakes is Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcakes (recipe below from She Knows).

Banana Cupcake          Mini Banana Cupcake

The cake is moist, very banana muffin-like.  Good flavor — a little strong on spices by itself.

Cupcake filled          White Chocolate Frosting

The mousse is nice and chocolate-y.  Again, not too dark and not too milky.  The frosting was a little thin.  I added slightly more powdered sugar.  The end result was very creamy and very yummy!  Not oversweet though, which is nice.

Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcake          Mini Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcake

These have an amazing balance!  The sum is better than the parts!  It comes together and blends so nicely!

It’s almost like eating honey butter on top of a banana muffin.  Smooth from top to bottom.  Silky and delicious.  Would be great for afternoon tea!  (Another dangerous, I-could-keep-eating-these-all-day cupcake, like the Lemon/Strawberry ones.)  But the name doesn’t do it justice. White chocolate frosting doesn’t taste like white chocolate.  And the filling is a mousse, so it doesn’t taste ‘chocolate-filled’.  All very light and fluffy.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 5

– Overall Taste: 4.5

– Appearance: 4

– Ease of Making: 3

– TOTAL: 20

RECIPE

Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcakes (recipe from She Knows)

Chocolate mousse filling recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped

Banana cupcake recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2)
  • 1-1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

White chocolate cream cheese frosting recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 6 ounces cream cheese
  • 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Sprinkles (optional)

For directions visit She Knows.

*Tomorrow: Sour Cream Fig Cupcakes*

Day 21 – Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes

21 Aug

I’m clinging to the last bits of summer with these Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes (recipe below from Pastry Affair).

Cupcake          mini

The cakes are moist and delicate.  A little soggy where the berries are.  They do have a nice lemon taste, with a slight tartness from berries.

frosting

Typical cream cheese frosting.  Creamy.  Smooth.  Vanilla.

Cupcake          Mini cupcake

The frosting cuts through some of the tartness of the berries, which is nice.  But the frosting and the lemon flavor don’t seem to complement each other very well.  Perhaps a little lemon in the frosting would tie them together.  (Note: the mini is wwaaaaayyyy too soggy.  Full-size is much better.)

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3

– Frosting Taste: 3

– Overall Taste: 3

– Appearance: 3.5

– Ease of Making: 3.5

– TOTAL: 16

RECIPE

Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes (recipe from Pastry Affair)

Raspberry Lemon Cupcakes  Ingredients:
3/4 cup (169 grams) granulated sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
1/3 cup (76 grams) sour cream (or plain, non-fat yogurt)
1/4 cup (59 ml) vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1/2 lemon
2/3 cup milk
1 1/2 cups (9 ounces or 255 grams) fresh raspberries

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups (500 grams) powdered sugar

For directions visit Pastry Affair.

*Tomorrow: Chocolate-Filled Banana Cupcakes*

Day 20 – Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

20 Aug

So, speaking of fun, childhood things…

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes (recipe below from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice).  Well, if I must.

Hostess cupcakes          Mini Hostess Cupcake

Cakes are dense, but not dry.  Very springy.  And very, very chocolatey.  Not strong, or dark, just chocolate.

Filling

The filling is very sticky.  Yummy, but sticky.  But, that’s what marshmallow fluff is, right?

ganache

Ganache is smooth and creamy.  Good semisweet flavor, not too dark, but not milk chocolate.

Hostess Cupcake          Hostess mini

(No matter how much sugar I added, I couldn’t prevent my squiggles from running together…)

The ganache is slightly overpowering to the cupcake, but overall it’s yummy!  Rich, chocolate flavor, cut just slightly by the fluff filling.  The chocolate flavor is a bit more obvious in the full-size cake, but the minis are pretty similar.   (Dangerous!  Cupcake gets tastier with every bite!!)

This whole cupcake is very easy to make!  There are 3 parts, but ganache is super easy to make, as is the filling (unless you are making your own fluff — which is an option).

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 4

– Appearance: 4.5

– Ease of Making: 3.5

– TOTAL: 19.5

RECIPE

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes (recipe from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice)

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water
Filling:
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 + 1/4 cups marshmallow fluff/creme*
Ganache:
5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy cream, warmed in a saucepan
Squiggles:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1-2 teaspoons milk
For directions visit Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice.
*Tomorrow: Raspberry Lemon Cream Cheese Cupcakes*

Day 19 – Funfetti Cupcakes

19 Aug

Who doesn’t love a Funfetti Cupcake?  I know, I know, they mostly come in box form.  That’s why I had to try this homemade Funfetti Cupcake (recipe below from Mom Luck).

Funfetti Cupcake          Mini Funfetti Cupcake

Alright, so they do taste a bit like a box cake…huh.  Very dense, maybe borderline dry.  But they’re so cute!

frosting

Frosting is simple and creamy.  Strong vanilla flavor — maybe more than it needs.

Funfetti Cupcake          Mini Funfetti Cupcake

Oh, those are adorable!!  Right?!  Now, the frosting cuts a little of the dry, density of the cake.  Very sweet!  Like a sugar cookie with frosting!  (I didn’t say bad…I said sweet.)  It’s a great, easy take on a traditional funfetti cupcake.  If you’re a box-free enthusiast (like me), this is exactly the look and flavor without the box!

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 2.5

– Frosting Taste: 3

– Overall Taste: 3

– Appearance: 4

– Ease of Making: 4

– TOTAL: 16.5

RECIPE

Homemade Funfetti Cupcakes (recipe from Mom Luck)

Ingredients
  • 1/2 Cup Softened Butter
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 2 Large Whole Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 Cups of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/8 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Cup of Milk
  • 1/3 Cup of Assorted Sprinkles
Frosting Ingredients:

2 Sticks of Softened Unsalted Butter
3-3 1/2 Cups of Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons of Vanilla Extract
1 Tablespoon of Milk
1/4 teaspoon of Salt
Sprinkles for Topping

For directions visit Mom Luck.

*Tomorrow: Homemade Hostess Cupcakes*

Day 18 – Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

18 Aug

Because there’s more than one way to make a PB & J!!  These Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes (recipe below from une gamine dans la cuisine) are totally different from the ones we made last week!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake          mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake

Cupcakes have an almost angel food cake density.  (Minis aren’t quite as nice cause they are super-dense!)  They have an even taste, not bold or overly sweet.  Light almond flavor.  (Minis also lost a lot of the flavor profile.)

Peanut Butter and Jelly frosting

This cupcake is unique cause all of the PB & J is found in the frosting.  Not the cupcake.  It’s a creamy frosting, not fluffy.  It reminds me of a Peanut Butter, Jelly and honey sandwich…without the bread… (Note: I added extra powdered sugar to thicken.)

Cupcake filled          Mini cupcakes filled

Just a dollop of jam or jelly.  Not much to say about that.  (I put the ‘caps’ back on after the jelly — good trick, especially if you core too big a hole.)

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake          Mini Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake          Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcake halved

This whole is better than its parts, for sure!  The light sweetness of the cake balances nicely with the sweet frosting.  (Minis don’t offer the same balance.  Not enough cake to hold up to frosting.  In short, don’t do minis!)  And, you can top with a chocolate chip or a dollop of frosting!  I like options!!

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 5

– Frosting Taste: 4

– Overall Taste: 4.5

– Appearance: 4

– Ease of Making: 3.5

– TOTAL: 21

RECIPE

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes (recipe from une gamine dans la cuisine)

cupcake ingredients
2 cups Cake flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons (that’s 1 1/4-sticks)unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 room temperature eggs
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
3/4 cup room temperature sour cream (or plain yogurt)

filling ingredients
1/2 cup seedless raspberry jam, well-stirred and at room temperature.

frosting ingredients
1/2 cup (that’s 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Special Dark)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup seedless raspberry jam (feel free to use your favourite flavour)
3-4 cups confectioners’ sugar

For directions visit une gamine dans la cuisine.

*Tomorrow: Funfetti Cupcakes*

Day 17 – White Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes

17 Aug

We need a little something simple.  I think these White Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes (recipe below from The Taste Tester) are the way to go!

White Texas Sheet Cake Cupcake          mini te Texas Sheet Cake Cupcake

These cakes are very spongy.  And wet.  Kinda sticky.  They have a light almond taste, but that’s about the only distinct flavor.  Made with salted butter, which doesn’t surprise me based on the Texans I know (haha) but is unusual for baking.  (Note: the batter is extremely liquid-y.  Just so you know.)

frosting

The frosting (or I should say glaze) tastes a lot like the frosting.  Sweet almond flavor.  Now, it is a glaze, so it hardens very quickly.  (By the time I was done photographing it and ready to frost, it was hardened…which is why my glaze looks a little messy…)

te Texas Sheet Cake Cupcake          mini te Texas Sheet Cake Cupcake

There are no big, bold flavors to these cakes.  They have a very even almond taste together and apart.  Not unpleasant, just simple.

Scoring Sheet:

– Cupcake Taste: 3.5

– Frosting Taste: 3.5

– Overall Taste: 3.5

– Appearance: 3

– Ease of Making: 4

– TOTAL: 17.5

RECIPE

White Texas Sheet Cake Cupcakes (recipe from The Taste Tester)

For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup salted butter, cut into cubes
1 cup water

For the glaze:
1/2 cup salted butter
1/4 cup whole milk
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For directions visit The Taste Tester.

*Tomorrow: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes*
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