Archive for Abbi-Gail Adventure

#81: Day of the Dead Chocolate Cinnamon Cupcakes

In September 2009, I started a cupcake adventure. (At this rate, I may never finish! And, I’m not sure I even want to, so, ha!) If you haven’t read about it yet, you can do so here.

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Would you look at that? Yummy! I can still smell the cinnamon/chocolate combo!

I made the icing first…butter and powdered sugar.

Milk, Mexican vanilla, and cinnamon were then added to round out the icing, which was set aside until later.

The base of the batter was (used guessed it), butter and sugar.

Four eggs were separated and the yolks were added to the cake batter.

More Mexican vanilla…this time in the batter.

Then, Mexican chocolate was added. This was something I’d never purchased before, so it was exciting to try something new.

Mexican chocolate comes in disks like this:

The chocolate was then melted (I used the microwave) and added to the batter.

Dry ingredients were added next…

And the whites I saved earlier were beaten until they formed stiff peaks.

So fluffy!!

The beaten eggs were then mixed into the batter.

And baked! These cupcake papers were a birthday gift from a friend. She found them at IKEA and they are designed in such a way that you don’t need a muffin tin…just a cookie sheet. Very cool!

They made cupcakes bigger than regular sized, but not quite “jumbo” sized.

Next, the icing I had set aside earlier was added to the top.

YUMMY!!!

If this recipe (or any other from the Abbi/Gail Adventure) intrigues you, I highly recommend getting Gail’s book. Your local library may even have it. This recipe is on page 138!

 

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#50: Creme Brulee

In September 2009, I started a cupcake adventure. (At this rate, I may never finish! And, I’m not sure I even want to, so, ha!) If you haven’t read about it yet, you can do so here.

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Doesn’t that just look yummy?! You can almost taste that sweet caramel on top, can’t you? Mmm!

These cupcakes start with dry ingredients mixed together and set aside while the butter and sugar get creamed together.

Egg yolks are added and whites are saved for later.

That makes the base of our batter.

Milk comes next…

and alternates with dry ingredients…

…to form a more complete batter:

Then the real excitement begins! Grab a tube of caramel ice cream syrup.

And add it to the batter.

Nom nom!!

Remember those eggs whites we set aside earlier? They are going to come into play now.

Whip it…whip it good!

Until the whites form stiff (but not dry) peaks like so:

Fold the beaten egg whites gently into the batter.

Portion out your batter into cupcake papers and while those are baking, mix together the ingredients for the frosting.

Over low heat, melt together the frosting ingredients.

It’ll start to get frothy as it warms up.

We want to slowly bring the mixture to a boil, stirring non-stop, for one minute.

We allow that concoction to cool a bit, add vanilla, and beat until it’s thick enough to spread.

Now that these beauties are done baking, it’s time to top them off!

I wouldn’t necessarily call this “frosting”…probably more like a glaze. It took several tries to figure out how much to put on top of each cupcake. Too little and they didn’t get adequately covered (and a cupcake frosting shortage is a shame!); too much and it dripped over the edges.

But there were some, like this one, that were p-e-r-f-e-c-t!

Here they are, packed and ready to go…off to the home of a hungry family!

If this recipe (or any other from the Abbi/Gail Adventure) intrigues you, I highly recommend getting Gail’s book. Your local library may even have it. This Creme Brulée recipe is on page 93!

 

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#106: Dessert Cups

In September 2009, I started a cupcake adventure. (At this rate, I may never finish! And, I’m not sure I even want to, so, ha!) If you haven’t read about it yet, you can do so here.

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Need a simple way to make a dessert that doesn’t require many ingredients? You’ve come to the right post!

Ingredients:

  1. Candy Melts by Wilton or Make’n Mold wafers or other baking chocolate (regular chips in chocolate, white chocolate, mint, etc. work fine, too.)
  2. Cupcake papers (save your cute ones for another project…this is a good chance to use up those out-of-season or mismatched ones!)
  3. Fruit or other “filling.” I chose to use thawed, frozen strawberries from my grandparents’ farm. Yummy!

You start by melting the wafers in a microwave or double boiler.

You then use a pastry brush to get a dip of chocolate…

And “paint” a layer of chocolate all over a cupcake paper like so:

Here’s what a single layer looks like. You can tell by the transparency of the chocolate in the bottom that it’s important to do several coats! At least with candy melts. I’m not sure you’d have the same problem with chocolate chips or other baking chocolates.

I did a total of three coats and had some issues getting a smooth coating. The first coat was a little tricky to get on, and after that, subsequent coats of warm chocolate kept melting the previous coats.

So…they looked a little globby, but since they were going to be covered up, it wasn’t a problem! :) I refrigerated them for 15-20 minutes to make sure the chocolate was nice and set.

Once the chocolate had cooled and hardened, next came the really fun part! Peeling off the paper! The three coats made them nice and sturdy, but I still worked carefully to remove the wrappers.

Here they are peeled and ready to be filled!

I drained my strawberries and placed a scoop in each cup. I wish I had had more berries to go around and some whipped cream to top them off!

The original recipe suggested drizzling the fruit with raspberry sauce, but I just sprinkled each one with a pinch of sugar instead.

Darling!

Since making these, I’ve thought of so many fun ways they could be used! Mini ice cream bowls, “baskets” for Easter treats, pudding cups, yogurt parfaits.

You could even use them as mini serving bowls to hold nuts, mints, sprinkles, garnishes, and other small party foods.

And since Candy Melts come in so many colors, you could even make these bowls in pink or blue for a baby shower or in a bride’s wedding colors.

The best part? No dishes to wash…just serve and eat!

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