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.

My Colors are Blush and Bashful

“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