Sunday, April 29, 2012

Brownie Pudding

What do you do when a recipe doesn't turn out well?
You have a few options:
You can cry,
You can throw things,
You can vow never to bake again.
You can take the result, and turn it into something yummy.

In this case, the fudge brownie cupcakes I made turned out very badly.
I'm not sure what went wrong with these, but I added chocolate pudding and the leftover IMBC plus sprinkles :)
A super yummy treat for any occasion! And a great way to use messed up chocolate cupcakes.
I'm definitely going to try making these again, I'm curious to know happened.
Brownie Pudding
Brownie Cupcakes
Courtesy of What's for Dinner?
Unsalted butter- 1/2 c (1 stick)
Bittersweet chocolate- 2 oz, chopped
Flour- 1/2 c
Sugar- 3/4 c + 2 tbsp
Baking powder- 1/4 tsp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Eggs- 2
Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp
Mini chocolate chips- 1/2 c
1. Melt butter and chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Put in fridge and let cool, ~20 minutes.
2. Sift flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large bowl.
3. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add butter/chocolate mixture and stir well. Add chocolate chips and stir.
4. Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full and bake at 325 degrees F for 20-23 minutes. 

For the brownie pudding, make Jello instant chocolate pudding according to package instructions while the cupcakes are still warm. Take cupcakes out of the liners and crumble into the warm pudding. Stir together, then serve with a scoop of IMBC- ice cream would be good too, but I wanted to use the leftover frosting I had.
It may not look super pretty but it's soooo yummy.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Blue Moon Cupcakes

So here's the thing.
I'm not really into beer. 
But these cupcakes are awesome. 

Chris loves Blue Moon, so when I saw these on Erica's Sweet Tooth, I knew I had to make them.
The orange hints in the beer are brought out really nicely with the orange peel, and the cream cheese frosting is delicious!
Fun fact: Chris and the boys ate these cupcakes faster than any other treat I've ever made. And they've been the taste testers for A LOT, so that's a pretty big deal :)

Blue Moon Cupcakes
Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes
The Cupcakes
Flour- 2 1/2 c
Baking powder- 2 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Blue Moon beer- 1 c, plus more for brushing on the warm cupcakes
Milk- 1/4 c
Unsalted butter- 3/4 c, room temp
Sugar- 1 3/4 c
Eggs- 3, room temp
Vanilla- 1 tsp
Orange zest- 1/2 tsp
1. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. Combine beer and milk in a small bowl and set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, ~2 minutes.
4. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add vanilla and beat.
5. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk/beer mixture to the butter, beginning and ending with flour.
6. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. Bake cupcakes at 375 degrees F for 18 minutes, or until the tester comes out clean.
7. When cupcakes are done, poke holes in the tops and brush with beer.
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese- 12 oz, cold
Unsalted butter- 6 tbsp, room temp
Freshly squeezed orange juice- 1 tbsp
Orange zest- 1 tsp
Powdered sugar- 4 c (more may be needed to stabilize)
1. Cream butter and cream cheese in bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment until smooth and creamy, ~2 minutes.
2. Add orange juice and zest and beat.
3. Gradually add the powdered sugar (1 c at a time). After it's all been added, switch to whisk attachment and beat for an additional 2 minutes to fluff it up.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Ultimate Vanilla Cake

I've tried a lot of vanilla cake recipes.
The Vanilla Nirvana cupcakes didn't translate all that well to cakes.
The Almond Anniversary Cake wasn't as good when I subbed vanilla extract for the almond.
The Fluffy Vanilla Cake was good, but not great.
The 1-2-3-4 Cake was the same story.
Vanilla cakes are hard. They're not traditionally as moist as chocolate cakes, and even though there are tons of recipes out there, I've had a hard time finding one that stays moist and tastes super vanilla-y.

*Enter Warren Brown's Yellow Butter Cake*
It's so pure white, so beautiful. 
So vanilla-y. 
Not the easiest recipe to make, but so worth it.

It's filled with pastry cream (my first time making it), and topped with the most luxurious Italian Meringue Buttercream I've ever tried. I'm usually opposed to making IMBC recipes that call for a pound of butter, but just this once, I actually had enough butter in the apartment to try.
I've been putting off making this cake because I didn't feel like paying $9 for potato starch at Martin's or ordering it online. But then I found it for cheap at a cute shop in Harrisonburg called Grandma's Pantry!

I'm pretty sure this vanilla cake is The One.

THE Vanilla Cake
Yield: two 9" cakes or 2 dozen cupcakes
Note: Make the pastry cream first! It'll need to refrigerate for a while.
Pastry Cream
Courtesy of Macarons by Annie Rigg via The Faux Martha
Egg yolks- 3 (save whites for IMBC)
Extra-fine sugar- 3/4 c (food processing regular sugar is fine)
Corn starch- 1 tbsp
Whole milk- 1 c
Unsalted butter- 3 tbsp, diced
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp
Heavy cream- 1/2 c
1. Whisk egg yolks, half the sugar and corn starch in a medium heatproof bowl.
2. Heat milk and other half of sugar in a small saucepan just until it starts to boil.
3. Pour the hot milk mixture over yolk mixture and whisk constantly until smooth. Pour mixture back into saucepan and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it comes to a boil and thickens.
4. Strain into a clean bowl and add butter and vanilla extract. Stir until incorporated. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and leave to cool. Once cooled, put in refrigerator.
5. Once chilled (takes ~30-45 minutes), take out of the fridge. In a medium bowl, whip heavy cream until soft peaks form, then fold into pastry cream. Re-cover and put back in the fridge until ready to use.

Yellow Butter Cake
Courtesy of Cake Love by Warren Brown via The Faux Martha
Flour- 1 1/4 c
Potato starch- 1/4 c + 1 tbsp
Baking powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Half & half- 1 c
Vanilla extract- 1 tbsp
Unsalted butter- 1 1/2 sticks, room temp
Extra-fine granulated sugar- 1 3/4 c
Large eggs- 4
1. Sift flour into a medium bowl. Add potato starch, baking powder and salt, and whisk together. Set aside.
2. Pour half & half and vanilla extract into a small bowl and set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on the lowest speed for 3-5 minutes.
4. With the mixer still on low speed, add eggs one at a time.
5. Add dry ingredient mixture alternately with liquid mixture, starting and ending with dry. Don't wait until each addition is completely incorporated before adding the next.
6. Stop the mixer and scrape the bowl all the way down to the bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium an additional 15-20 seconds.
7. Prepare two 9" cake rounds- spray the bottom of each pan and line with parchment paper, but do not spray the sides of the pan (this will prevent the cakes from doming in the middle).
8. Divide batter evenly into the pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for 28 minutes (22 for cupcakes), or until the tester comes out clean.
9. Cool cakes 20 minutes in the pan. Use a small offset knife to loosen the cake from the rim of the pan. Carefully invert and remove parchment paper. Cool completely before icing.

Warren Brown's IMBC
Courtesy of Cake Love by Warren Brown via The Faux Martha
*I used some of the things I've learned from using Whisk Kid's recipe
Egg whites- 5
Extra-fine sugar- 1 1/4 c
Cold water- 1/4 c
Unsalted butter- 4 sticks (1 lb), diced into 1 tbsp pats
*I added 1/4 tsp clear vanilla extract
1. Pour egg whites into stand mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment. Measure 1/4 c sugar into a little bowl and set next to stand mixer.
2. Measure 1 c sugar and the water into a 1-qt, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Gently stir to combine.
3. Clip candy thermometer into sauce pan, and heat mix over medium-high heat. Partially cover with lid to capture the evaporating water.
4. When the sugar syrup reaches 200 degrees F, turn stand mixer on (high speed). When the egg whites start to form soft peaks, slowly pour in the 1/4 c sugar.
5. When the sugar syrup reaches 245 degrees F, remove thermometer and slowwwly pour into the meringue, with the mixer still running. Keep the mixer running on medium for ~8 minutes, until the mixture has cooled down.
6. Turn mixer back up to high, and add the butter 1 tbsp at a time. After all the butter has been added, keep beating for ~2 minutes (you can add the vanilla at this point if you'd like).

Spread pastry cream on first layer of cake, then stack. Place in freezer for 15 minutes to let it solidify (makes it easier to frost). Ice cake with a crumb coat, then let sit for 15 minutes. Frost with another layer, then decorate as you please.
Refrigerate after assembly!
This cake is so good. So rich, so yummy! You'll have pastry cream and IMBC leftover. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Blueberry Lemonade Cake

I've become a bit obsessed with the color yellow recently. And lemons. I love pretty much anything lemon-flavored.
But this? This takes the cake (terrible pun intended).

This is possibly the best cake I've ever made. Blueberry Lemonade Cake.
Glory Days has this delicious Blueberry Lemonade, and this is even better. I just don't have words for this cake.
I don't have any pictures of the inside of the cake because, well, we ate it too quickly.
But trust me, it's beautiful.
I made one 2-layer 9" cake, plus this 2-layer 6" to give away. I probably should have done it the other way around, eating only the 6-incher, but I just couldn't help myself.

Rosie at Sweetapolita suggests making your own lemon curd for the filling, but I used blueberry jam instead, and it was delightful!
Make this cake. IMMEDIATELY!
Blueberry Lemonade Cake
Flour- 2 c + 6 tbsp
Baking powder- 2 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Blueberries- 3 c (frozen are fine, just thaw completely first)
Sour cream- 1/2 c
Whole milk- 1/2 c (I used skim, and it was just fine)
Vanilla extract- 2 tsp
Pure lemon extract- 3/4 tsp
Lemon zest- 1 tsp
Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks), softened
Sugar- 1 1/2 c
Eggs- 4, large
1. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Transfer 1 tbsp of mix to a large bowl, then add the blueberries. Toss to coat, then set aside.
2. Combine sour cream, milk, vanilla, lemon extract and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until well combined.
4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the liquid mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Stir until just combined, then add the blueberries coated with flour.
5. Pour batter into 8 or 9" pans that have been greased and floured. Bake at 350 for ~25 minutes.
1 or 2 jars of blueberry jam, highest quality you can find. Super simple!
Lemon Frosting
Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks)
Lemon zest- 2 tsp
Powdered sugar- 5 or 6 c
Lemon juice- 1/4 c (60 ml or 2 oz)
Heavy whipping cream- 6 tbsp
Pure lemon extract- 1/2 tsp
Water- 2 tbsp
Pinch of salt
1 drop of AmeriColor Electric Yellow gel food dye (optional)
1. Cream butter and lemon zest in bowl of electric stand mixer with paddle attachment, ~3 minutes.
2. Slowwwly add powdered sugar one cup at a time. I've found using the cover/shield that comes with the stand mixer to be very helpful when it comes to powdered sugar... That stuff just loves to make a mess.
3. Add lemon juice, whipping cream, lemon extract, water and salt, and beat for ~2 minutes. Switch to whisk attachment and beat for an additional 2 minutes to fluff it up.
My attempts at using Photoshop for editing got a little out of hand...
I think this would be a great way to start the week, don't you?
Have a great one! :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cosmopolitan Cupcakes

This post is a little late, but things have been pretty hectic around here recently, and it won't get any calmer for... several months? Oh boy.
These cupcakes are from the little birthday celebration I had with my college friends :) I figured the recipe was a great choice for a 21st birthday :)
These pics are pre-Fancy Schmancy Camera!

Cosmopolitan Cupcakes
Courtesy of The Novice Chef
Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes
(This party was pre-21st birthday, so I had to make do with what I had. This is the recipe Jessica uses)
Jigger cranberry flavored/infused vodka- 1.5 fluid oz
Cointreau- 1/2 fluid oz
Fresh lime juice- 1 tsp
Cranberry juice- 1 1/2 fluid oz
Twist of lime zest for garnish
*Pour all ingredients into a shaker with lots of ice, shake vigorously for several seconds then pour into a cocktail glass.
The Cupcakes
Butter- 1/2 c, room temp
Sugar- 2 1/4 c
Eggs- 2, room temp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Baking powder- 2 1/2 tsp
Flour- 3 c
Buttermilk- 1/4 c, room temp
Cosmopolitan- 1 1/4 c
Zest of 1 lime
Pink food coloring (optional)
1. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until combined. Add lime zest and beat for ~10 seconds.
2. Combine salt, baking powder and flour in a separate bowl.
3. Alternate dry ingredients and the Cosmopolitan, beating on low until mixture is combined. Add buttermilk and beat to combine. *Add pink food coloring.
4. Line cupcake pans and fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 18-22 minutes, or until cupcakes spring back in the middle when touched lightly.
Heat 1/2 c Cosmopolitan in a sauce pan over medium heat until thickened and slightly reduced. Allow to cool slightly, then brush glaze on the tops of the cupcakes while they are still warm.
Cosmopolitan Buttercream
Butter- 1 1/2 c (3 sticks), room temp
Powdered sugar- 4 c
Meringue powder- 1 tbsp (optional)
Cosmopolitan- 3-4 tbsp
Pinch of salt
Pink food coloring
1. Cream butter until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides of the bowl, then add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
2. Add meringue powder and salt, and beat for ~10 seconds.
3. Add the Cosmopolitan one tablespoon at a time, then add the pink food coloring.

Friday, April 13, 2012

S'mores Cake + Cupcakes

I hate camping. In the words of Dr. Callie Torres of Grey's Anatomy, "the woods are dirty and there are many many bugs." I went to an outdoorsy sleepaway camp once when I was 11. It did not end well.

I'm also really not all that into s'mores. I was in Girl Scouts for about .2 seconds, so it's not even like I got sick of them. Not sure what it is, maybe because they're related to camping? Maybe it's the weird difference in textures?

But what I am sure of is that these cupcakes are incredible. The batter was runny and the marshmallow filling was a little chunky, but put together... AMAZING. The best part is, you don't have to get all dirty and gross to enjoy them!

S'mores Cake & Cupcakes
Adapted from Sweetapolita
Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield: 2 dozen cupcakes + one 6" three layer cake
Flour- 1 3/4 c
Sugar- 2 c
Dark cocoa powder- 3/4 c
Baking soda- 2 tsp
Baking powder- 1 tsp
Salt- 1 tsp
Eggs- 2
Strong black coffee- 1 c (hot)
Buttermilk- 1 c (room temp)
Canola oil- 1/2 c
Vanilla extract- 1 tbsp
1. Sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Beat on low to combine.
2. Add eggs, coffee, buttermilk, canola oil and vanilla, and beat for 2 minutes.
3. Pour batter into lined cupcake pans until 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15-17 minutes or until the tester comes out clean.

Toasted Marshmallow Filling
Large marshmallows- 8 OR 1/2 bag of baby marshmallows
Powdered sugar- 1/2 c
Butter- 1/2 c, room temp
Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp
Marshmallow fluff- 4 oz
Salt- a pinch
**For a boozy spin, add 1 tbsp Pinnacle Whipped Vodka (and an extra 1/4 c powdered sugar)**
1. Beat butter and confectioner's sugar in bowl of an electric mixer (paddle attachment) until blended. Add vanilla and beat for 3 minutes.
2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (a Silpat or a coat of Baker's Joy works too), then spread with marshmallows. Place on lower rack of oven and set to broil. Keep a very close eye on the marshmallows, and remove when nice and brown.
3. IMMEDIATELY scoop the browned marshmallows into electric mixer bowl. Add marshmallow fluff and salt, and beat for 2 minutes. If you wait too long to add the marshmallows, your filling will be chunky! Add vodka if desired and beat.

Malted Belgian Chocolate Frosting
Butter- 1 c, room temp
Confectioner's sugar- 1 c
Vanilla extract- 1 1/2 tsp
Malted milk powder (or Ovaltine mix)- 1/3 c
Bittersweet chocolate- 4 oz, chopped and melted
Heavy whipping cream- 1/4 c
1. Beat butter and confectioner's sugar in a large bowl for 1 minute.
2. Add vanilla and malted milk powder and beat on low speed until combined.
3. Add melted chocolate and beat to combine.
4. Add whipping cream and beat on medium-high speed for another minute.
5. Switch to whisk attachment, and whip on high for 2 minutes (to make it nice and fluffy).

Use a cupcake corer to remove the centers of the cupcakes once they have cooled. Try to resist eating the scraps, you'll need them in a minute :) Spoon toasted marshmallow filling, then top with the centers/remnants/scraps. Pipe frosting on, then top with chocolate sprinkles or a baby marshmallow. Serve with a glass of milk!
A pretty great way to enjoy s'mores without camping, don'tcha think?
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Love

Psst! Hey guys, can you keep a secret?
I'm in love.
With my camera. And these cupcakes.

These are strawberry cupcakes with incredible marshmallow frosting. With a peep on top!

Delicious. I don't think I'll ever make another frosting. This is THE ONE. And one of the best parts is no butter required!

And this camera? No words. I love it.
Strawberry Cupcakes
Adapted from Krissy's Creations
I doubled the original recipe, which turned out: 2 dozen regular cupcakes, 1 dozen mini cupcakes, and one 2-layer 6" cake (which would probably be 3 dozen cupcakes if I'd stuck with reg size)
Strawberries- 2 cups, pureed into 1 cup (frozen is fine, but thaw them first!)
Milk- 2/3 c
Vanilla extract- 1 tbsp+1 tsp
All-purpose flour- 3 c
Baking powder- 2 tsp
Salt- 1/2 tsp
Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks), room temp
Sugar- 2 c
Eggs- 4
Pink food coloring (optional)
1. Puree the strawberries using a food processor. Pour into a bowl, then add milk and vanilla. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl (stand mixer is best), beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.
4. Gradually add 1/2 flour mix with mixer on low speed. Once combined, beat in milk mixture, then remaining flour. Add pink food coloring if you'd like :)
5. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full (they don't rise very much).
6. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until the tester comes out clean. If making a 6" cake, you'll need to leave it in for around 45 minutes (but keep a close eye on it!).
Cool completely before frosting.

This little piggy spatula went wee-wee-wee all the way home!
Fluffy Cloud Marshmallow Frosting
Courtesy of Bless this Mess
I doubled the recipe, but I had a lot left over. You'd most likely be fine with one batch.
Egg whites- 2, at room temp
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Sugar- 1/4 c
Light corn syrup- 3/4 c
Vanilla extract- 1 tsp (I used Wilton's clear extract because I wanted pure white frosting)
1. Prep your stand mixer bowl- pour a little lemon juice on a paper towel and wipe down.
2. Whisk egg whites and salt on high speed until foamy. Slowly add the sugar while keeping it at high speed.
3. Bring corn syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep mixer going at high speed, and sloowwwly pour in corn syrup.
4. Beat until stiff peaks form, ~5 minutes. Add vanilla and mix to combine.

Use the frosting IMMEDIATELY. I used an extra large round frosting tip, then topped each regular-sized cupcake with a Peep. For the mini cupcakes, I sprinkled sanding sugar on top.
Happy, Happy Easter!

There will be more Easter treat fun coming soon :)

Copyright © Kelly's Konfections | Blog Template by Lilipop Designs