Thursday, April 24, 2008

Status update

I'm sorry I've pretty much disappeared!  I'm incredibly sick right now and have been for most of the week. And honestly, no one want's to eat food that a sick person made so I haven't been doing any baking.

Very soon though I will have cheesecake to show you and then hopefully some new cupcakes. Sorry about the delay!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Hershey's Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes


That's right. Another recipe inspired by Never Bashful With Butter. That woman is my ultimate hero. I have never cooked any one of her recipes or recommended recipes without absolutely loving it. In fact, not far from now I'll be posting about her amazing sugar cookies that I make every holiday these days.
The recipe itself actually comes from the Hershey's website and also here's a link to NBWB's original post on it since I used her recipe for the caramel (which I totally ruined, but we'll get to that later).

Finished cupcake

Technically I was making these cupcakes for my cousin who had just turned seventeen. I was running a bit late but his only real request was "Chocolate". I honestly couldn't get any more out of him then grunts, but what do you expect from a seventeen year old boy? I figured it wouldn't be too hard to find a recipe for a simple chocolate cupcake, but I wanted one with a little bit more to it than chocolate. I wanted something that would make it stand out but not be too time consuming. I definitely found that in this recipe. Also I'm not above saying that I think I'm getting better at speeding up my cooking these days. I tend to lose a lot of time in the checking, double checking, and triple checking. Let's just say I've managed to achieve a reputation in my family for reading recipes wrong and I've been working hard to turn that around.

Ingredients Mixing together

I've filled cupcakes before, but every time I'm going to do it I get nervous for some strange reason. Like I'm going to accidentally cut the cupcake in half or something ridiculous. Luckily enough that didn't happen. I do however wish that I had had a bit more luck with the filling. I've never tried to make caramel before so I know it's totally my fault, but I just could not make stuff thicken. Alas, I loaded up the cupcakes anyways. One layer caramel and one layer chocolate chips. Muffin uses chocolate shavings and I regret not doing the same. Not only was the caramel not thick enough to be noticed easily, but the chocolate chips didn't fully melt in the warm cupcake and managed to overpower the caramel. Oh and I also want to mention that if you've never filled cupcakes before, it's simple. Just take a small knife and cut a a cone shape out of the top of the cupcake. Fill the cupcake and then cut off the tip of the cone so that it doesn't sit above the cupcake and look funny :)

Opening the cupcake Filly A few chocolate chips on top

When I brought brad his 12, he scarfed one down in absolutely no time at all. However, his pleasant sounding grunts weren't really a for sure for sure indicator of whether or not they were good. I had two that I really liked, but honestly I can't remember the taste anymore. After the second one I was just so put off of chocolate. I'd been eating a lot of it for the past week or so in bar and kiss form so the cupcakes were overkill for me. However my mom must have eaten like five of them, she thought they were amazing.


Well I'm sure you're done drooling now, so if you want you can make them for yourself. Again the recipe is from the Hershey's website

Hershey's Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes
Makes about 30 cupcakes

2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

CUPCAKES: Line muffin cups (2-1/2 inches in diameter) with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Frost.

Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate Frosting
(I used two batches to frost all my cupcakes generously)

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

Never Bashful With Butter's easy Caramel recipe

1 Cup heavy cream
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla

In the pan you'll place the butter, half of the cream and half of the sugar. bring mixture to a boil. When the mixture begins to thicken slightly, add the remaining sugar. bring to a full boil. when the mixture starts to thicken and turn a light brown colour, add the remaining cream and sugar.

turn temperature down to a few notches below medium. The mixture should remain boiling. stir constantly and do not allow the bottom to scorch. keep stirring and heating for about 10 minutes. when the mixture starts thickening up like pudding, remove from heat.

Let cool about 5 minutes (caramel will still be hot) or until the cupcakes are out of the oven.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Glaze

Well I know I'm a tad late, but I finally got these pictures uploaded off my camera. I've been awfully busy with photo projects for college but who doesn't have time for cupcakes? Especially when they look like this.

Peanut Butter Cupcake with Chocolate Glaze :)

When it comes to flavor combination, peanut butter and chocolate is something that I can't resist. Whenever I see a recipe that combines the two, I have to just tell myself to resist, that I need to try a new flavor. Well this time I couldn't.

Mmmm Peanut butter Melting Chocolate

This is going to sound really silly, but I've never actually heard of a peanut butter cupcakes. I just haven't ever conceptualized peanut butter in cake form before, so when I stumbled across this recipe in Elinor Klivans book Cupcakes!, I just had to make them.

Mixing Adding the egg
Finished Batter Finished cupcakes

My dad scoffed at the idea and asked me why I had to ruin perfectly good cupcakes with peanut butter. I just told him that he was going to regret making fun of them when they were done and delicious and he couldn't have any. However, when they were finished and amazing I wanted to show them off so I went back on my word and let him have one and he apologized :)

Mmm The first bite

I think if I made them again though, I might actually fill them with chocolate. I was in such a rush to try one that I poured the chocolate on before it was done cooling, so I couldn't really get much on without it dripping of the edges of the liner. I think filling the cupcakes with just a bit of chocolate and having a thin layer on top would really balance out the peanut butter flavor a bit better.

And without further ado, here is the recipe :)

Peanut Butter with Chocolate Glaze Cupcakes
Recipe by Elinor Klivans from her book Cupcakes!
Makes 12 cupcakes

For cupcakes

1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter, room temp
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk

For chocolate glaze
1/4 heavy whipping cream
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

To make cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin tin cupcs with paper cupcake liners
Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl and set aside

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until smoothly blended and lightened in color, about 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Mix in egg. Add vanilla and beat for 1 minute or until batter smooth.

On low speed, add the flour mixture in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture and mixing until the flour is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.

Fill each liner with a generous 1/4 cup of batter, to about 1/3 inch below the top of the liner. Bake just until the tops feel firm and are lightly browned and a toothpic inserted in the center comes out clean, about 22 minutes. There will be cracks on the top. Cool cupcakes for 10 minutes in the pan on wire rack.

To make chocolate glaze
In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter over low heat until the cream is hot adn the butter has melted. The mixture should form tiny bubbles and measure about 175F on a thermometer; do not let it boil.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the milk chocolate and let it sit in the hot cream for 30 secs to soften. Add the vanilla and whisk the glaze until it is smooth and all the chocolate has melted. (Return the glaze to low heat if necessary to melt the chocolate completely, whisking constantly.) The glaze should be thick enough to hold its shape when spread over the cupcakes. If it is too liquid to spread, let it sit at room temp for 5-15 minutes, depending on the temp of your kitchen.

Using a small spatula, spread 1 tbsp of glaze over the top of each cupcake.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Gooey Caramel Butter Bars

So as soon as burnt sugar was mentioned as a topic in the LiveJournal community BakeBakeBake I had the perfect recipe in mind. Unfortunately I had loads of school work plus lots of cooking for easter standing in my way.

I did remember to make the recipe though and even though I ended up submitting it on the day of, that certainly can't take away from how delicious it was. I'm not even kidding, look at these things:

more gooey goodness :)

That's a fresh one before it had fully set sitting on top of a melted caramel candy :) After they did set though, I tended to heat mine up for about 10 seconds in the microwave to get the caramel nice and melty again.

Caramel candies closeup

I had to unwrap quite a few Caramel Candies but it was worth it. Plus they looked even more delicious once I melted them:


They don't look like they have a lot of carmel in them from the side view, but they definitely do :)

Cookie bar slice Cookie bar slice

I actually only baked a half batch that night and the next morning they were almost gone!! I don't even know when my parents found the time to eat them but apparently they did

cooked What was left

The recipe is originally from Jill O'Connor's Sticky, Chewy, Messy, Gooey, but I followed it here on taste and tell: