This week on Cupcakes Take the Cake, I saw a post about Cupcake Vineyards wine. Seriously, what could be better?? This just combines two of my favorite things. On a whim, I decided to stop in a liquor store while out buying cupcake groceries Saturday and managed to find it. They make Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay. I went for the Sauvignon Blanc.
That night, a friend came over, and I opened up one of the bottles to try it out. Let's be honest; even if the wine wasn't any good (3 buck Chuck?), it probably would have been constantly stocked in my wine rack regardless. Fortunately, it was a really good bottle of wine for the price ($11). Now I can justifiably keep spending money on this. Sunday in the midst of my near cupcake breakdown, I was about to open up that second bottle of wine (at 7:00 am), but pulled through and that bottle is now on my kitchen counter. You know, just in case of the next baking emergency.
Also, it might be worth mentioning that this wine is not made from cupcakes. At least two people (who will remain anonymous...) have asked me if it was.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Sunday, March 29, 2009
I've been getting a lot more large orders coming up. It's really exciting, especially since all this started about a month ago. Although I've been baking basically since I can reach the stove (which contrary to popular was NOT last year...), but my first cupcakes I made not from a box were only last August. I'm really looking forward to taking more orders, trying more recipes and hopefully this all leads to my own cupcakery.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I made these cupcakes last Thursday night to bring to work but got excited about the prettier cupcakes I made this weekend and posted those first. While these cupcakes are definitely not as beautiful as the flower ones, they were pretty awesome. I had first attempted S'mores cupcakes this past summer, and wasn't thrilled with the results. I tweaked the recipe a bit for the reattempt and was much happier.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
I love cake decorating shows like Ace of Cakes on Food Network and Amazing Wedding Cakes on WE. One of my favorite elements of these shows is watching them roll out and use the fondant. Fondant is a smooth, shiny sugar-based covering for cakes. I ordered some online from www.fondantsource.com last week. While you can make your own fondant, most professional bakers suggest buying it because it's easier and tastes the same as homemade.
The teal one was my favorite
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Last weekend when I was home and made the rainbow cupcakes, I also made some of these cupcake truffles. I initially got the idea from Bakerella's blog. Bakerella is known for her cupcake pops (she appeared on Martha - basically living my dream), and the cupcake truffles are a simplified, non-lollipop version of those.
These are made by mixing a baked cake with icing, rolling the mixture into balls and then dipping them into two colors of chocolate. I absolutely drove my mom crazy by making her drive all over Central Jersey looking for the chocolate molds that form the cupcake "liners."
These were a huge hit at my office. The instructions for these are here.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
My mom has been asking me to make tie dye cupcakes forever. So this weekend while I was home, I decided (a.k.a. was coerced) to finally bake the tie dye cupcakes. The end result ended up being more rainbow than tie dye, so I'm going to call them that. These were really pretty, and they're perfect for Easter/Spring coming up.
I used Wilton gel food dyes here, but I'm pretty sure that liquid ones would work as well. The color probably just wouldn't be as intense, and you would need to use more of them. I've seen these pretty awesome looking neon gel food colors in the supermarket, but I'm not sure who makes them. I think they would make pretty interesting looking colors.
After I dyed and mixed all the batter, I alternated spooning it into the cupcake trays. Suspiciously, despite it being my mom that wanted these, I was all alone when it came to the huge clean up using 6 different bowls caused. Hm...interesting.
The white cake recipe (makes 24 cupcakes):
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 C sugar
7 large egg whites
3 C cake flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 C whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
1. Cream together butter and sugar
2. Add egg whites and beat well
3. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt
4. Add 1/3 of flour mixture to butter mixture and beat until incorporated. Add milk and vanilla alternately with the flour mixture, ending with the flour
5. Divide batter between into lined cupcake trays
6. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until cake springs back when touched
Monday, March 9, 2009
For some reason, Hoboken celebrates St. Patrick's Day on the first Saturday of March, way before the traditional March 17. I had heard a lot about the craziness of the day, and I felt there was only one possible cupcake I could bake to celebrate the day-Chocolate Guinness cupcakes. The original recipe came from Feast by Nigella Lawson. I had used this recipe once before, and it came out really well so I was happy to revisit it. While the batter is made with beer, the Guinness taste is not very strong and combined with the cocoa powder, it makes for a very dark-colored cake.
makes 24 cupcakes
1 cup Guinness stout
1 stick unsalted butter, sliced
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in tins.
2. Pour Guinness into a large saucepan, add butter and heat until melted. Whisk in cocoa powder and sugar.
3. In a small bowl, beat sour cream with eggs and vanilla and then pour into butter-beer mixture and then whisk in flour and baking soda.
4. Pour batter into cupcake tins and bake for 17-20 minutes until cake springs back when touched slightly.
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Along with the raspberry-vanilla cupcakes I took to my sister's college last Saturday, I also recreated one of her favorite ice cream flavors in cupcake form-mint chocolate chip. I had made chocolate chip frosting before, so I knew I wanted to add mint (and a bit of green dye) to that for this cupcake's frosting. I've been experimenting with a few different chocolate cake recipes, but I decided to try the chocolate buttermilk recipe I saw listed on Martha Stewart when looking for something else. I tend to think that cupcakes made with buttermilk (like the vanilla and red velvet recipes I use) come out better in general, and was hoping this chocolate recipe would be a winner. In the end, however, I just didn't love it. It wasn't a bad recipe, but I think the one I've used from chockylit's Cupcake Blog found here is much better. The Martha one just didn't rise that much and was much drier than I would have expected from a buttermilk cupcake.
Another thing I realized while baking these is that I really don't like the foil cupcake liners. I had bought them for some S'mores cupcakes this past summer, and hate them then, but ran out of paper liners this time and had to use them. They separate from the cupcake too easily and get all out of shape.
Here's the recipe for the frosting (frosts 16):
1 stick butter
2 oz. cream cheese
1 tsp. mint extract
1/2 pound confectioner's sugar, sifted
3 T whole milk
1/2 bag Nestle's mini chocolate chips, semisweet
1. Cream together butter and cream cheese until fluffy
2. Add in mint extract. Mix well.
3. Add confectioner's sugar slowly, beating well.
4. Add milk as needed
5. Add 2-3 drops green food coloring
6. Once frosting is mixed properly, stir in chocolate chips
Monday, March 2, 2009
I really love the unexpected surprise of biting into a cupcake and finding some sort of filling. When my sister asked me to bake her cupcakes and bring them with me to her college on Saturday, I knew I would be doing a filled cupcake. She initially asked for raspberry frosting, but older sisters know best, and I went with a vanilla cupcake filled with raspberry with vanilla frosting. Plus I knew she'd be psyched to get whatever I baked her. I also made some mint chocolate chip ones that I will post about later this week.
I enlisted Morgan to watch me bake these. What a crazy and exciting Friday night for both of us, especially for Morgan. Being as I'm bad at delegating tasks, she was forced to just sit there and watch me. I don't trust anyone to help me with cupcakes, unless it's cleaning, and no one ever wants to do that. If I did pick a baking assistant though, it would be Morgan being as she was a chemistry major in college, and I always liken baking to chemistry. Plus, she was my high school lab partner, and I was usually the one dragging her down in labs.
I used the vanilla recipe from Sweet Revenge that was featured on Martha Stewart. The recipe can be found here. After trying every single vanilla recipe I could find (literally) and attempting to create my own, this recipe was a godsend. Most vanilla recipes produce cupcakes that are dry and bland, but this is way above the rest.
There are two methods of filling cupcakes. The first is marginally easier; you just inject the filling directly into the cake using a pastry bag or injector set. I think this is good when filling mini cupcakes. I prefer to cut a cone shape out of the cupcake with a paring knife, cut the bottom triangle off the cone, fill and then recover and frost. This allows more filling into the cake.
After I've cut the cone out of all the cupcakes, I usually eat all the extra cupcake scraps. This isn't a crucial step in the process, but I'd recommend it. Then I fill a ziploc baggie with the filling (in the case, Polaner seedless red raspberry preserves), cut the tip off the end, and squeeze the filling into the cupcakes. After that's done, I place the tops back on, and they're ready to be frosted.