Saturday, August 25, 2012

Closing this blog and opening a new blog!!

I realize I haven't spent as much on this blog like I had originally planned - and I also am not making as many cupcake recipes and I really miss blogging. I want to expand my blog.  I bake all kinds of things, make healthy recipes, fun crafty stuff for my house and kids ( hello Pinterest addiction)  and other fun things, so I have decided to close this blog and start a new one. It is still under construction, since Blogger has changed so many things in building, designing and posting a blog that I am having to learn how to blog all over again. I am not terrible computer savvy and don't know HTML at all. Quite a challenge teaching myself through online tutorials that I come across. So bear with me I hope to have it up and running soon. And I will have all the recipes from this blog with pictures on my new one.

This is the new blog  Pineapple and Coconut  So check it soon, sign up to follow and I am hoping my new blog "home" will be even better than this one!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sweet potato cupcakes with pecan streusel and toasted marshmallow frosting

So I am actually a little embarrassed. I made these last year and am just now blogging them. Better late than never? At least its a couple days before Thanksgiving so maybe these can also serve as a warning for how not to toast the marshmallow frosting.  What is she talking about? you're thinking that cupcake looks perfectly toasted. Oh you just wait a few more pictures here....  

My husband works almost every Thanksgiving so I make goodies for him to take to work and share with the others that also end up working. I decided to make these sweet potato cupcakes with marshmallow frosting I found on Annie's Eats but I decided to kick it up a notch as Emeril likes to say and I added a pecan streusel topping before they were baked and I toasted the marshmallow frosting. Or burnt it. Maybe. ha

So I decided to just wing the streusel topping. I don't suggest that. It totally melted into the cupcakes and didn't have that crunchy streuselly topping I was hoping for. Still really good though

I think it was more close to pecan pie filling.

Instead of opening a can of sweet potato puree I roasted one in the oven. Well I was roasting a few anyways for us to eat so I threw in an extra one for the cupcakes. Love the orange color.

Into the batter it goes

The sweet potato makes it a thick, almost muffin like batter

plopped into the prepared pan. I used my favorite dark brown liners

 With the streusel topping ready for the oven

 See how the streusel baked in and its just the pecans? They still tasted amazing but not exactly the look I wanted.

 Marshmallow frosting is so good. Not like the tasteless, nasty marsmallow fluff you can buy in a jar at the store, but light and vanillaey and creamy.

So then its time to toast them. Um. I don't own one of those cute little creme brulee torches that totally would have toasted these to perfection. I need one. Hint hint, Santa. So instead I decided to broil. Ummmm. Yeah

 Dude. oops

 Like this actually reminded me of the lava flows you see on TV on volcano specials.  Cool looking but totally not appetizing. Except when I make s'mores I totally set the marshmallow on fire and it looks like this and I eat it. ha ha. 

I lost more than half my cupcakes. I tried scraping the frosting off and starting over but they just smelled burnt and I had no more frosting left and didn't feel like making more

 So I watched them a little closer this time. Some still burnt a little but not too bad.

 This is how they were all supposed to look. Well like the one in the middle. Not the slightly burnt ones


So yummy

Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting
slightly adapted From Annie's Eats
For the cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1½ cups sugar
3 large eggs
17 oz. sweet potato puree
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
8 large egg whites
2 cups sugar
½ tsp. cream of tartar
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon; stir together with a fork and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Mix in the sweet potatoes and vanilla extract, beating just until combined.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. (Note: I just set my clean, dry mixer bowl over simmering water, to avoid dirtying two bowls.) Heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until it reaches 160° F with an instant-read thermometer. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk starting at low speed and gradually increasing to medium-high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form. Mix in the vanilla until combined. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Brown with a kitchen torch NOT in the oven under a broiler

For the pecan streusel I used a mixture of all purpose flour, brown sugar, butter, cinnamon and pecans.
I don't remember the exact amounts which is because I made it up instead of following a recipe. Next time I will follow a recipe. And not broil them.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I'm here..I'm here...

Hi. I had a comment asking me if I wasn' t blogging anymore. But I am!  I am just SO BEHIND. Two kids under two has me so busy by the time I sit down at night to blog I usually pass out from sheer exhaustion!  I have been baking and taking pictures but haven't had the time to edit my photos and post blogs. But. I made a promise to myself NO baking in the month of July just so I can blog all that I have made. I am getting new photo editing and watermarking software so its quicker. That's what takes the longest and I know I don't have to post tons of pics, and some of my latest creations I haven't taken a ton of process pics, but I still like to post lots of pictures. So I promise I will be posting lots soon, fun new recipes, some things I should have blogged about a while ago and the birthday cakes I am working on for my baby's 1st birthday tomorrow! 

Thanks for hanging in there I promise lots of goodies soon!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Happy Cinco De Mayo

Since my last post was for one bowl ( er two bowl) cupcakes for two a vanilla and a chocolate version I thought why not a Margarita version for today. I will be making these today so I don't have a picture right now but here is the recipe

(these are my original margarita cupcakes found here)

One Bowl Margarita Cupcakes for Two
serves 2
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tsp lime juice/extract
zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon milk
½ tablespoon tequila

glaze - 1 tbsp tequila

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.
In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in juice/extract, zest and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk and tequila. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, or until cake is set. Cool in pan for 5 min and brush on the 1 tbsp tequila evenly between the cupcakes. 1 tbsp might be to much so pour it in a shot glass and top it off with more. Do a shot of tequila. Why not? Its Cinco de mayo!! Take cupcakes out of pan and et cool completely on a wire rack, then frost as desired.

For frosting for two cupcakes my guess would be
1/4 cup butter - softened
2/3-3/4 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons lime juice
1 tablespoon tequila
zest of one lime
pinch of coarse salt like kosher salt
mix butter til light and fluffy - add in powdered sugar til you get stiff consistency, add the juice and tequila til you reach desired consistency and add salt and zest

you can also try these cupcakes I made for Cinco De Mayo Last year

Monday, April 11, 2011

Just two Cupcakes. Literally

You ever have one of those mornings/days/nights when you REALLY want a cupcake, or two in case you have someone to share them with, and you don't want to make a whole batch be it box mix or scratch but you want a cupcake. And you want it bad?

Well a friend of mine, who is a fellow cupcake fan, showed me this post from How Sweet It Is blog a few weeks ago.  A recipe that makes JUST TWO CUPCAKES. No making a giant bowl of batter and baking only two. But enough batter to make just two. How awesome is that???  And in her post she says its a one bowl cupcakes for two but with having to melt butter in something I can't call it a one bowl process. Maybe a one big bowl one smaller bowl. And her recipe is for vanilla cupcakes which I made first  and loved and then I adapted the recipe to make chocolate cupcakes for two. Also using one big bowl one small. So here are my pics of the process for the vanilla cupcakes. Also bonus here is since there aren't many ingredients this takes just a few minutes to whip up the batter. Takes longer to preheat your oven!!


 Egg white



 Oops spilled some vanilla

 Melted butter.   Yum

 Dry ingredients

 Batter all mixed together


 Two cupcakes ready for oven

 Not bad of a mess for just two cupcakes

 OH yeah!! Frosting!  I remembered I had some Oreo crumbs in my freezer from something else I had made and I had some whipping cream so I whipped up Oreo whipped cream frosting

 cream, powdered sugar, vanilla   no spills this time

 mmm whipped cream

 you want to know what's insanely tasty?  Oreo whipped cream.

 Fresh out of the oven. Not sure why this pic came out so bright. You can see there are two vanilla cupcakes though. That's the point. Ha

 Again. Sorry for the need to wear sunglasses to look at this picture. I didn't use a flash I swear. Not sure why so bright. But again. Just two cupcakes

 I guess for some reason I felt that I needed more things to clean since these cupcakes didn't require much cleanup from making. So I got all fancy and got out a piping bag to frost the cupcakes with

 Totally worth the mess.

 I couldn't stop licking the Oreo whipped cream out of the bowl. It was that good

 The cupcake was kind of flat ( I like more of a dome) so I compensated with a sky high swirl of frosting.
So thanks again to How Sweet It is for this recipe. I will post it at the end

Now for MY version. Chocolate
I liked these better than the vanilla. Has nothing to do with the gal that came up with the vanilla. Those were good. I liked how the chocolate were a bit denser and moist. The vanilla I made were a little drier and lighter. 

I went crazy and melted a whole two teaspoons of chocolate chips. I know. Out of control

 I subbed cocoa powder for one of the tablespoons of flour

I also used oil in place of the melted butter. Just to see the difference

I also used my bigger pan ( 12 cup as opposed to my 6 cup) and I filled the empty cups with water. Didn't do that with my vanilla. And this batter made slightly more so my cupcake liners were FULL

Beauty eh?

Oh yeah. Frosting. I had some coconut Italian meringue buttercream in my freezer. Always good to have frosting in the freezer just in case...

These were so yummy. And I shared with the husband both times. I'm nice like that

So there ya have it. Cupcakes for two. Vanilla or Chocolate. And I am thinking the possibilities really are endless. You could do any citrus flavor for the vanilla ones. Like for example lemon cupcakes use lemon extract instead of vanilla and add in lemon zest, same with orange or lime. For the chocolate you could use any type of cocoa powder and chocolate to melt from milk to dark or even add espresso powder and use coffee instead of milk to make a mocha cupcake. See lots of possibilities

Here are the recipes for the cupcakes only. For the frostings I just winged the Oreo whipped cream and already had the coconut frosting on hand. So frost with whatever you want.

One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two

One Bowl Vanilla Cupcakes for Two
serves 2
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla (yes, a full teaspoon – they are super vanilla-y!)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.
In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in vanilla and melted butter and stir until mixed. Add flour, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the 2 cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.
(side note: mine took about 15 minutes to bake)

Chocolate Cupcakes for two
by me. A Cup Full of Cake

Chocolate Cupcakes for Two
serves 2
1 egg white
2 tablespoons sugar
 2 tbsp canola oil
1 coffee or chocolate extract
3 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 heaping teaspoon of baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons milk
2 tsp chocolate chips melted and cooled
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin pan with 2 liners.
Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl in microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted. They will still hold chip form so stir when they are completely melted. Set aside.
In a bowl, add egg white and sugar and whisk until combined. Add in extract and  oil and stir until mixed. Add in melted chocolate. Scrape into the bowl with a spatula since the amount isn’t much. Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and stir until smooth. Stir in milk. Divide batter equally between the two cupcake liners.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.

My notes: This makes 2 cupcakes depending on the size of your muffin tin. I have two that are slightly larger than my others so those the batter doesn’t quite make it to the top of the liner. My smaller tin the batter fills the liners completely with none left to make a third.  The first time I made these as the one bowl vanilla cupcake recipe I didn’t fill the other spaces with water and the cupcakes came out really flat. This time I filled them just under halfway with water and I sprayed a bit of nonstick cooking spray around the edges of the two spaces where the cupcakes were going to be baked so in case they poofed out onto the edges they wouldn’t stick. Also these took me 20 min to bake not 10-12 like the vanilla ones did. But even with those mine weren’t done until 15 min. Just depends on how long you preheat your oven and if it has even heat all throughout or if there are hot spots. Since you are making just two cupcakes its easier to make sure they get baked directly in the middle of the oven.

Also since the chocolate chips aren't that many I think next time to make it easier to scrape them out of the bowl once melted I will add the oil in with them and then melt and cool. That way they're easier to scrape out. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

New Cupcake Pans and cupcake baking tips

I have been doing some cupcake baking research lately since I had a recent batch of cupcakes ( to be blogged soon!) that didn't puff up with the nice dome that I normally strive for. So I tried to figure out why this happened. Was it because I didn't fill with enough batter? Did I over mix? Were they under baked and shrank when cooling?  So I decided to look around online and see what people had to say about how to achieve the perfect dome on scratch baked cupcakes.

One of the first items I found was ingredient order. Some sites said to not do the typical creaming of the butter and sugar at first, if you are using a butter sugar method. One of my favorite sites, Cake Journal has an excellent tutorial HERE about this method. I have recipes which do the creaming butter and sugar first method, some add melted butter later and some are with oil and no butter at all. The recipe that instigated this research was a butter and sugar creaming first recipe.

Another method is oven temperature. How long the oven is preheated. Not just get it to 350 Deg F and pop in the pans but really heat the oven for a while. Is there an oven thermometer inside the oven to ensure that the oven is indeed at that temp? Are there hot or cold spots in your oven?  Some people rotate pans halfway through baking to make sure the cupcakes bake evenly but opening the oven door can cause cupcakes to fall flat. At least doing so before 15 min of baking and a lot of my cupcake recipes are done at about 15 minutes. 

One the subject of oven temperature I found on Cake Central message boards that many bakers start out with a higher oven temp for preheating and then lower once the cupcakes are in either immediately or after 5 minutes of baking. Some bakers start at 400 deg F and drop to 350 deg F, other bakers start at 375 deg F and drop to 325 deg F. And it depends on the oven too. Electric tend to take longer to drop down in temp than gas do - but it depends on the oven

Another factor could be your leavening agent's age. How old is that baking powder/soda? Older powders might not be effective anymore. Try to keep as fresh as possible. And when a recipe says to have ingredients at room temp have everything out of the fridge and measured out and on the counter for a while. Maybe a couple hours ( unless in the middle of a 100 deg summer!)  And when the batter is ready have it sit 15-20 min to let that baking powder start its magic. Once that time is up bake the cupcakes and see if that helps.

And another factor I found out about is pan color. I read that lighter colored pans don't produce cupcakes with the nice dome as well as darker pans do. The darker pans heat quicker and keep the heat more even. So you know what I did today??  That's right. I bought NEW cupcake pans. I have two sets of cupcake pans. One pair is a darker metal that is from Baker's Secret that I have had FOREVER, and the other is a lighter aluminum from Wilton. The Wilton pan's cups are smaller than the Baker's Secret pans so I have more issues with my cupcake paper liners buckling. The Baker's pans are larger cups and take more batter. So for a recipe yielding a dozen cupcakes I would get 9 maybe 10 out of that pan.

Baker's Secret pan on the left, Wilton on the right

I have been discussing this with my friend Stephanie over at Sweet Creations by Stephanie and she sent me a pic of her pans she had. They are Wilton pans, but darker than the ones I have. She raved about them so I ran to Bed Bath and Beyond today and picked some up. 4 of them to be exact. With coupons of course. And I cannot WAIT to bake with them.

I like how there is more of an edge on each side to grab the pan without sticking a hot mitt right into  a freshly baked cupcake ( or batter if heading in to the oven) and these are heavy too. Heavy is good.  Plus they just look nicer than my old ones. My old pans are being retired and I will use them as flower formers for my gumpaste and fondant flowers. 

The pans can be found HERE . I just so happened to have time to run to Bed Bath and Beyond today to get them and was stoked they had them. But obviously they can be ordered online as well. I will be experimenting with the other techniques I mentioned above and will report back soon with my results. I have lots of fun things I have been making lately and will be blogging a lot more soon.