Tag Archives: stay calm blog

Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes

13 Sep

Chocolate Caramel Goodness!

Happy Monday readers!

Last night I made Chocolate Caramel Cupcakes – complete with gooey caramel centers, milk chocolate mousse, and rich chocolate cake. The recipe took me longer than I had hoped, and I had to make some adjustments along the way, but I came out with a great cupcake and a flawless recipe. Please enjoy!! I’m warning you though, the milk chocolate mousse is really good…I was tempted to pipe the frosting straight to my mouth and skip the cupcake all together. Don’t worry…I didn’t 😉

 

 

 

Chocolate Caramel Mousse Cupcakes (makes 24)

Ingredients:

Chocolate Caramel Cupcake    

24 Kraft Caramel squares

1 1/2 cup (170 g) all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 pinches salt
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs

Caramel Sauce

10-14 Kraft Caramel Squares

¼ cup of Half and Half

Milk Chocolate Mousse Frosting

1 cup of milk chocolate chips

2 cups of Nestle Toll House Cocoa Powder

1 stick of softened butter

¼ cup of vegetable shortening

1 cup of whipping cream

1 ½ cups of powder sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, sugar and vanilla essence in a bowl.
  3. Add milk, vegetable oil and eggs.
  4. Mix everything together until smooth, either by hand or by using an electric mixer at slow speed. If the batter is too thin – add a little bit more flour.
  5. Pour batter into cupcake liners, making them half full.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes
  7. Take cupcake from the oven and place a caramel square on the top of each cupcake. Bake for 5 more minutes, until the caramel has melted onto the cupcake.

Before baking the caramels

Mousse

  1. Cream together the butter, vegetable shortening, and powdered sugar
  2. Slowly add in cocoa powder and whipping cream
  3. Beat on medium high speed until soft peaks form
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, put your chocolate chips and ½ tbs of butter – Heat on high for 30 seconds. Stir until completely combined and melted.
  5. Add melted chocolate mixture to the mixing bowl – mix until well combined

**Note: Do not over mix this frosting, if you do, it will begin to curdle and separate. It takes about 10 minutes for the mixture to form soft peaks and become frosting like **

Caramel Sauce

  1. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt the caramel squares with the half and half. Stir continuously or else your caramel will burn.

Pipe your frosting on the cupcake and drizzle with caramel. Now enjoy!!

Birthday Celebrations!

7 Sep

I made birthday cake this weekend! To be honest, I have never prided myself in fabulous, or even out of the ordinary, cake making skills. But I have to say that this weekend, I was pretty darn impressed with myself. I made two cakes, each of which got rave reviews from everyone who had a piece.

The first was a Sesame Street cake for my niece Sofia’s 2nd Birthday!!

It was a funfetti cake, filled with double berry buttercream, and topped with vanilla cream-cheese frosting. I was really pleased with how the filling turned out. I refrigerated it over night and it was almost like icecream in the center of the cake . The berry flavor complimented the cream-cheese frosting on the outside of the cake, and gave the cake a refreshing flavor. Sofia liked it – and that’s all that mattered 🙂

Happy Birthday Sofia!

 To get the different textures on the cake, I used a fork, a knife, and a spoon. Techinique and decorations like these can be done somewhat easily. Since you are looking to get a “fluffly” texture, you don’t have to be worried about being perfect. The more imperfect, the better!

For Elmo and Cookie Monster, I used a spoon ans did little “swoops” in the frosting. I used a fork for the Grouch and just scraped the surface enough to raise the icing in lots of little peaks. Big Bird was easy, I just used a knife and spread the icing in different directions.

I bought the face pieces from Amazon (but they can be purchased on eBay as well). It was $3 for the set and they came within 4 days of me ordering them. They worked perfectly and gave my characters a more realistic look!

The second cake I made was for Adrienne. Adrienne loves butterflies, so I made her a butterfly cake. I didn’t use a butterfly shaped pan though, I just baked a sheet cake and cut out the shape I was looking for. (I was able to make cake truffles with the remaining cake! Yum!) The cake was a marble cake, topped with a french-vanilla cream cheese frosting. If  I would change anything, I would have added more vanilla cake – the “marble cake” was a little heavy on chocolate. But other than that, I thought the cake had a great flavor palet.

Butterfly Marble Cake - Better pictures to come!

 I will be uploading some better pictures and more detailed recipes this evening. So keep an eye out for them. Until next time, stay sweet! xoxo

Double Cup Cupcakes

2 Sep

Hello readers! Can you believe that September is already here? I am happy to say that I have been busier than ever with baking projects. From bridal showers, to birthday parties, my plate has been pretty full. I am excited though, to share with you today’s INGENIOUS cupcake topper idea. I know you are going to love it!! So without further adieu….I present “Double Cup Cupcakes”

I got this idea from one of my favorite blogs, “Confessions of a Cookbook Queen” (http://confessionsofacookbookqueen.blogspot.com/2010/05/cupcake-cupcake-toppers.html. They are cupcakes with cupcake toppers, so cute, and so easy!!

Cupcakes on Cupcakes..this is an idea I can get behind!!

Picture by Confessions of a Cookbook Queen

You will need:

Frosting of your choice

  • Piping Bag
  • Sprinkles
  • Red Sugar Pearls
  • Reese Cups

Simply unwrap the Reese’s cup, but leave the paper wrapper on. Pipe frosting on top like you would a regular size cupcake. Add miniature sprinkles and tada!! You have a really cute cupcake topper.

**Hint: You could also use these for cake toppers, or miniature candies at a child’s birthday party. The options are endless.

For the cupcake portion, you could use almost any recipe. I would choose chocolate to compliment the Reese cup.

Chocolate Cupcakes
Makes 18-24 cupcakes

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I always use Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat until smooth with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes.

Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each cup no more than 2/3 full.

 Bake 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting, I say cream-cheese or butter cream: Recipes for Frosting found here!

Now, top them with sprinkles and the miniature cupcakes candies! These have to be the cutest double cup, cupcakes ever!!

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A Sweet Little Cupcake

Today’s  blog is dedicated to a sweet little girl named Madelyn. 

Madelyn

I went to high-school with Madelyn’s mom, Danielle. While I have never “officially” met Madelyn, the pictures that her mommy posts on FaceBook let me see what  a sweet little child she truly is. Madelyn is a special little girl not only because of her adorable chubby cheeks and her two-tooth smile, but because she has Down Syndrome, and fights every day to do things that we all tend to take for granted. Please take a second and visit Madelyn’s fundraising page. Danielle and “Maddy” are raising money to walk in the “Step up for Down Syndrome” walk on October 16th. To read more about Madelyn and the walk, or to donate to a great cause, please visit http://www.firstgiving.com/madelyncopello

Red Velvet Cupcakes

31 Aug

What is better than a moist chocolate cake? I’ll tell you….a moist chocolate cake, colored red, and topped with the creamiest cream-cheese frosting you could imagine. That my friends, is better than moist chocolate cake!

Red Velvet cake and I used to have a bittersweet relationship…I could never get the recipe right. That was until I found a recipe that I actually like. I adapted this recipe from Bobbly Flay’s show “Throwdown with Bobby Flay” . Enjoy the recipe, and enjoy all the praises you get when you pass these little guys out. Happy tuesday!!

My Red Velvet Masterpieces

Red Velvet Cupcakes (adapted from “Throwdown with Bobby Flay”)

Makes 16 Large cupcakes – 24 regular size cupcakes

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 ½  granulated sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups buttermilk
  • 3  large eggs
  • 2 tsp of red food coloring
  • 1/8 cup of water
  • 2 tsp of vanilla
  • 1 ¼ tsp of vinegar (white or apple cider)

Directions

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a bowl and set aside. (**Sifting is very important here – I usually skip sifting, but I don’t skip it in this recipe because without sifting, your cupcakes won’t be fluffy and moist.)

In a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix oil, sugar, and buttermilk until combined. Add eggs, food coloring, vinegar, vanilla and water and mix well. Add the dry ingredients a little bit at a time and mix on low, scraping down sides occasionally, and mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix, or the batter will come out tough.

Line a 16-cup cupcake pan with paper liners, scoop the batter into the liners and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 30 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. Let cool

Creamy Dreamy Crean Cheese Frosting

  • 2 packages of 8 oz. Cream Cheese
  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1 tbs of vanilla extract
  • 2 Sticks of unsalted Butter

Cream together cream cheese and butter – Mix on high speed up soft and well combined

Add the powder sugar one cup at a time – mixing thoroughly after each cup

Add in the vanilla and mix well

Beat on medium high speed until desired consistency is achieved.

ENJOY!!

Mini Coconut Lime Cupcakes

13 Aug

This wonderful recipe landed in my inbox and absolutely made my day  today! If I didn’t already have plans tonight, I would head home after work and bake these immediatly! Tomorrow is Saturday though, so you can bet I will be baking up these little lime goodies! Enjoy the recipe – let me know how they turn out 🙂

Coconut Lime Cupcake – Mini Version!

Makes approx 48 mini’s and one dozen (12) regular size cupcakes

Cupcakes:

 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

 2 cups sugar

Zest of one lime

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

 1 ½ tps baking soda

 1 ½ tsp salt

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp vanilla

¾ cup milk

The juice of one lime

¾ cup Toasted Coconut + 2 cups for garnish

 Lime mini wedges

Green food coloring

  1. Preheat oven to BROIL. 
  2. Line cupcake pans with liners.
  3. On an ungreased cookie sheet, lay coconut spread out on sheet.  Put in the oven and broil until about 1/5 of the coconut has browned.  Move around the coconut after 30 seconds to get more even browning. Watch carefully and DO NOT OVER TOAST!!!!! It should only take a minute or two. Set aside to cool.
  4. Turn oven down to 300 degrees.
  5. Measure sugar into a medium bowl.
  6. Prepare the sugar by working the lime zest into sugar by pressing the back of a spatula down into sugar, thus releasing the oils from the zest into the sugar.  This process should take about five minutes, and the sugar will become very fragrant.  
  7. Cream the butter for 2-3 minutes using electric mixer and the paddle attachment.  Add the sugar to the butter mixture and continue creaming until fluffy.
  8. While butter/sugar are creaming, in another bowl sift together flour, salt baking soda and baking powder and set aside. Sift at least twice to ensure all ingredients are combined.
  9. Add eggs one at a time to butter and sugar, mixing thoroughly after each egg.
  10. In a measuring cup that pours, mix together the milk, lime juice and vanilla. 
  11. SLOWLY alternate adding the flour and milk mixture to the butter/sugar.  Begin and end with the flour and make sure to mix very well after each addition. Do not over mix.
  12. Fold in the toasted coconut.
  13. Add 6-10 drops of green food coloring and fold in until you get the desired green color you want.
  14. Fill liners 1/2 full with batter.  DO NOT OVER FILL!!!
  15. For Minis: Bake for 8 minutes and rotate pan 180 degrees in oven. Bake another 2-3 minutes.
  16. For Regular: Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes and rotate pan 180 degrees in oven.  Bake another 3-5 minutes.
  17. Cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to completely cool.

Lime Buttercream:  

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

 2 lbs (approx 6 cups) powdered sugar

 1/4 -1/2 cup milk

 Zest of a lime

 Juice of a lime

1 tbsp light corn syrup

Mini lime wedges 

  1. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter.
  2. One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar.  Between each cup, add a splash of milk.   Mix until smooth & scrape down the sides after each addition
  3. Before the last cup of sugar, add the zest and juice of the lime.  Mix until smooth.
  4. Add the corn syrup.
  5. Add any remaining milk until you get the texture and consistency you want. 
  6. Mix on high for 4-5 minutes.

To Assemble:

  1. Pipe a dollop of buttercream on the cupcake.
  2. Dunk the cupcake upside down in the toasted coconut.
  3. Top with a small lime wedge. 

This recipe was created by Betsy Eves, author  of the blog JavaCupcake.com! Thanks Betsy for the fantastic recipe!!