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Baking Is Science For Hungry People: Chocolate Cupcakes

Hello Friends and Baking Fans,

I have made a slight modification (**gasp**) to my chocolate cupcake recipe from  Valentine’s Day. I think I’ve improved upon it slightly, but I may be slightly biased on that. I found it a little smoother tasting and better as a stand-alone, but… You tell me!

Chocolate Cupcakes

To make the cupcakes, I started with 1 cup (sticks) of unsalted butter. I added 1 cup of sugar to this in my stand mixer, and creamed the butter out of it! (hehe, you laughed a little admit it!) Anyways, from there, once creamed really well, gradually add in 2 1/4 cups flour, 1 tspn baking powder, 1/4 tspn salt, 2 tspn vanilla, 1/3 cup cocoa powder, 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup whipping cream. Mix really well.

Chocolate Cupcake Batter

Now this ooey gooey sticky deliciousness is ready to bake! I used these fun baking cups from Hobby Lobby, which (YAY!) don’t need muffin pans to bake them in – just stick the filled cups on the cookie sheet and bake away! Woooo!

Cupcake Batter To Bake!

So pour your batter into your liners and bake at 350 for around 20 minutes. It may be a little more or less, but mine came out to like 19:48 or something like that. Hence 20 minutes… I’d hate for you to have to time it that exactly! Yeesh.

Chocolate Cupcakes Done!

Once they have turned out and cooled, you can serve them with or without frosting or toppings. I stuck mine in the freezer for about 15 minutes to cool them quickly, since I was getting ready to leave… BUT I served with and without frosting, and they went over really well both ways! So let me know how you like these cupcakes, and I hope you enjoy this yummy chocolateness amongst all this heat out there! Maybe dipped in cool whip if you don’t want to make frosting… 😉 Mmmm! Anyways…

Craft You Later,
Beth

Baking is Science for Hungry People: Be Mine Cupcakes

Hello Baking Fiends — I mean Friends!

I am back with a collection of recipes that I made last night for my Valentines — I mean my guinea pigs — I mean my coworkers. Whew! That took a minute to get straight! I had asked a few of my coworkers yesterday what they wanted me to make and I got back Orange-Orange, Chocolate-Vanilla, and Chocolate-ChocolateMousse.

Now sadly I ran out of time and energy, and a working stand mixer (I’ll get to that later), and so couldn’t do the mousse. I could barely do the frosting, though thankfully my neighbors either didn’t hear my loud mixer or they at least didn’t call the cops on me. Could’ve gone either way, let me tell you, as the silly thing was loud and obnoxious to the Nth degree.

So I researched and gathered my ingredients, and made my plan of attack for the baking. I wanted to do the Orange first as that was a brand-spanking-new recipe from top to bottom.

Using a recipe that I followed almost to the letter, that I took from the TechnicolorKitchenInEnglish Blog, I mixed up my Clementine Cupcakes. Let me stop us all right here and say that I think these would have been great if I had baked them for a little less time, or added in more cream, as they came out a little dry the way I did them. I don’t think this was the recipe, but me adapting it to cupcakes a little less-then-perfectly. However I have been told the flavor of it is spot-on, and the frosting helps the dryness. Whew!

Okay for the Clementine Cupcakes, mix a little under a 1/2 stick of unsalted butter with a rounded 3/8 cup sugar in your stand mixer until creamy. Add 1 egg, beating well, and then add in a rounded 3/4 cup flour and 5/8 tspn baking powder, mixing well. Add in 1 tbspn milk (I will do 2 tbspn next time), the zest and juice of 1 clementine, and mix until smooth. Spoon the mixture into cupcakes and bake for 16-18 minutes at 350°F, until just set. Remove from oven and let cool, covered for overnight. ***Makes 12 cupcakes***

For the frosting, I beat 4 oz whipping cream into submission, added in 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, 1 tspn vanilla, and the zest & juice of 1 clementine. Mixed that until it was fully incorporated and then refrigerated it overnight to harden it up a bit. In the morning, I topped the cupcakes with the frosting and then 1 slice of a clementine. ***Makes frosting enough for 48 cupcakes (whoopsies!)***  Observe the masterpiece!

Clementine Cupcakes

 Next up, the Vanilla and Chocolate Cupcakes. I totally cheated on these, I will not lie, and since I was using the same recipe for both, with minute changes, I mixed the full batch up to split later. So, that said… 🙂 Let the fun commence again!

Cream 3/4 cup unsalted butter and 1 cup sugar. Gradually add in 2 1/2 cups flour, 2 tspn baking powder, 1/2 tspn salt, 1 tspn vanilla and 1/2 cup heavy cream. Mix well. Add a little extra heavy cream by the dollop if needed if the batter is too thick. Now, take out half of your batter and set aside.  ***Will have 30 cupcakes total depending on splits*.**

To the half still in the bowl, mix in 1/4 cup cocoa powder(quite thoroughly, then another 2 minutes’ worth for giggles, trust me!). Now you have your chocolate cupcake batter! Bake these for 20 minutes at 350°F, remove from oven, cool, and cover overnight.

To the other half, pour into the (rinsed) bowl, mix in 2 tbspns vanilla extract, and mix it really well. Now you have your vanilla cupcake batter! Bake these for 20 minutes at 350°F, remove from oven, cool, and cover overnight.

For the frostings… Caramel Frosting for Chocolate Cupcakes. Strawberry Frosting for Vanilla Cupcakes. Yum.

First make a caramel sauce (recommend doing this while you are cooking the split cupcakes). In a small saucepan over low heat, combine 5/8 cup brown sugar with 1/8 cup heavy cream, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon. Wooden is key, trust me. Once it starts to bubble lightly, add in a little over 1/3 stick of unsalted butter and stir until fully melted. Let sit (still over low heat), stirring occasionally, until starts to bubble again. Let it bubble for about 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.

Once caramel sauce has cooled, add to 4 oz of beaten-to-submission whipping cream, and mix with 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Put in airtight container (or place saran wrap directly against the frosting to form a seal-like ‘top’ and let sit like that), and refrigerate overnight.

For the strawberry frosting, beat-to-submission 4 oz of whipping cream, add in 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, 1/2 tspn vanilla, and 1/2 cup frozen (thawed) strawberry pieces. Beat this mixture up really well until the strawberry pieces are fully incorporated into the frosting. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Once the Chocolate Cupcakes have been topped with Caramel Frosting, top each cupake with 1 chocolate chip (I use the larger chips, works better, plus it’s more chocolate!), and observe the beauty!

Chocolate-Caramel Cupcakes

Once the Vanilla Cupcakes are topped with Strawberry Frosting, top each cupcake with a pinch of red sprinkles (or fresh sliced strawberry if you have it, which I didn’t). Yum!

Vanilla-Strawberry Cupcakes

Once I brought them into work, look how pretty they traveled! 🙂

Work Delivery 1

Work Delivery 2

Sprinkle bottle was used to keep them from sliding, just ignore that, haha…

I really really liked them all, thought the Clementines definitely needed improvement in the cake alone, but thought they all were equally delicious! Until later, though, please let me know what you think of these!

Craft you later!
~ Beth

Baking Is Science For Hungry People: Banana-Ganache Cupcakes

Hi Everyone, it’s been almost a week since my last post. I have been bad, and not done much crafty or cook/bake-y in the last few days. Okay, wow, that was shades of a Catholic confession there, ha-whoops! Anyways, I was looking around my kitchen Tuesday morning for breakfast and saw I had one banana left from the bunch. That one banana was in the stage of either-make-me-into-banana-bread-or-throw-me-out mushiness, and I really didn’t want to make a loaf of banana bread. Because then I have to eat it. And while I adore banana bread, I didn’t think I’d eat an entire loaf by myself this week. Plus I am trying (emphasis on that word, please) to eat healthier. Though I will say, personally I believe if it has banana in it, and not more sugar in ounces than your personal weight in pounds, then it has to be healthy….right?!? Okay, fine, WORK with me here people, just nod and smile and let me believe it, okay?!?!

Alright, moving along from my healthy-banana delusion… Upon further review of my fridge, I saw that I had some eggs, heavy cream, and a whole bunch (and I do mean a LOT) of  chocolate ganache left over from my Salted Caramel Lava Macchiatto Cupcakes last week. Hmmm, those ingredients plus one lonely aging banana?!? That seems obvious, does it not: BANANA-GANACHE CUPCAKES!!!! Okay, I’m chilling out, I promise. I just got super excited though. I looked up some basic cupcake recipes, just to see what all was used most commonly proportion wise. Then I pretty much used those as the thinnest-veiled-reference imagineable and made up my own recipe. I am sure you are shocked, really.

So here we go, with pictures illustrating the steps:

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Cream that butter!

1) Cream 2 sticks unsalted butter with 1 cup sugar. Add in 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Continue to cream them, and sometimes it helps to sing Prince’s “Cream” along with the mixer just to get your boogie on (quick soundbite here)!

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Creamed Egged Banana

2) In a small bowl (or if you want to cheat like me and use a cup, that is fine too!), beat together 2 eggs, 1 mashed banana (must be uber-ripe), 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 1 tspn vanilla extract. Make sure it is smooth.

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Flour Power

3) In another small bowl, mix together 2 cups flour, 1/2 tspn salt, 1 tspn baking powder and 1/2 tspn baking soda.

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Mix It On Up

4) In the creamed butter mixture, turn the beaters back on to low, and gradually add in half of the egg mixture, then half of the flour mixture. Add 1/4 cup heavy cream to the remaining egg mixture (in the cup) and mix well. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture to the creamed butter, and then finally the remaining flour.

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Make It Creamy

5) Once this is done mixing it was a bit dry-looking, so I added 1/4 cup of skim milk, just to moisten it up some. Make sure this gets mixed completely, no lumps, totally smooth. You will also smell banana strongly enough you will not believe you just used one banana!

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Pour It On Out

6) Now pour batter to about 3/4 full into your greasedcupcakes – either tin or the individual silicone cups like I used here. I also used cupcake papers because these are going to a group of people that don’t know me well enough to want my germs all over their cupcakes. Plus it keeps the frosting in better (later step, yes I’m getting ahead, but jeez hang with me!)… 🙂

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Baking Strong

7) Bake cupcakes about 20 minutes at 350 F, until tops start to lightly brown.

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Fully Cooked!

8) Remove and let cool on top of oven for about 5 minutes before removing from silicone or cupcake pans.

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Top It Off!

9) Once cupcakes have cooled significantly, top with the Chocolate Ganache we made last week that has been sitting in your fridge (covered) just waiting for the next project! Microwave the ganache about 80 seconds, and stir until evenly softened. I use a normal teaspoon to spread this, but I spray it with Pam first, and that works wonders for going on smoothly! Oh and if you didn’t make ganache with me last week (shame on you, I hate to bake alone!), then I would just make a 1/3 or 1/2 batch unless you really want a surplus of ganache.But let’s face it, who wouldn’t want a surplus of ganache?!?

Banana-Ganache Cupcakes: Voilà

10) Voilà we have a lovely batch of Banana-Ganache Cupcakes to Enjoy! 🙂

So that is it for today, I hope you all enjoy these. Side Note: I also toyed with topping each cupcake with a dried banana chip, however wasn’t sure how banana-y that would make it, so left that for another attempt. I’m sure this will be something I do weekly in some variation, so I have faith my ideas will all be implemented…..eventually. 😉

Please let me know if you try these and how you like them. I love feedback – lets me know that a) I’m not just talking to the internet-ether, and b) whether I need to improve or change anything for public consumption. I also like guinea pigs, and you guys make perfect ones, muahahaha! Okay enough with the creepy self-sound-effects. Until next time!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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