So there is some little part of me that just wants to transport into the movie Ratatouille. Maybe it’s because I would love to go to Paris and eat great food and see some beautiful places. Until then, I resorted to my beloved wall of books and grabbed Chocolate & Zucchini by Clotilde Dusouiler off the shelf. The cover of it has a great shot of a market and immediately I dream of walking down a lovely cobblestone street and shopping at a Parisian market. I thought it would be fun to try the signature recipe, Chocolate & Zucchini cake. The batter uses shredded zucchini and dutch processed cocoa giving this cake a deep chocolate flavor. If you have any zucchini to use up and are tired of typical zucchini bread you should probably give this a shot. Happy baking!
One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to play in the kitchen. I have been crazy busy at work the past few weeks and decided to make a treat for the people who have helped me out. I woke up Sunday morning and the sun was shining, I was craving a tropical drink and looking forward to watching some sunny golf at Pebble Beach. Birds were chirping and a-holes were still lining the street with chairs to reserve parking spaces, go figure. We finally dug out the Volvo and it pretty much was our first trip to the grocery store since the big snow. Before we left the house I searched through a few books and decided to make Baked’s Aunt Sassy cake in the form of a cupcake. I have been staring at this cake for awhile and I wanted to make something a bit more unusual, something with some color, something new… after all spring is in the air. The cake is made with finely ground pistachios and is not too sweet. It has a very pretty light green color to it and the batter tastes so yummy. The frosting was heavenly… a buttercream with milk, vanilla and honey, what more can I say except pure f’ing genius. The frosting had a such a rich texture and was really fun to pipe. I finished them off with a dusting of crushed pistachio and a drizzle of honey. The cupcakes were such a hit at work and they are just super pretty to look at. Thank you Matt and Renato for sharing this recipe!
I had no time to bake a Birthday treat for my baking buddy in time for her Birthday this year so I thought I would bake something really yummy this weekend for her. I decided to make some maple bacon cupcakes frosted with maple cream cheese frosting. My goal was to make a cupcakes that tasted just like pancakes and bacon with syrup. This batter was based off the recipe from the book Baked Explorations (a Brooklyn based bakery). I skipped breakfast today and starting cooking some bacon with my lovely bacon press (if you love bacon, I suggest you pick one of these up). After it cooled, I cut up the strips into little pieces and began to work on the batter. I used grade B maple syrup in the batter and then when it was all done I tossed the bacon with some flour (this prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the cupcake) and folded them in. I filled the muffin tins with batter and placed them in the oven. Total baking time was about 22 minutes. Our kitchen smelled wicked awesome while these were baking. I sampled them warm from the oven and they were great. Then one more after it had completely cooled and it was even better. Later in the evening, after I finished cooking beef barley stew, I went ahead and made the frosting. Some maple syrup, butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and serious whipping action and I reached the perfect flavor to top them off. All of the flavors work so well together in this cupcake and I am in love with this recipe since I am a huge fan of pancakes and bacon.
My husband and I started a farm crop sharing program this summer so every week we get a mystery box of a the most wonderful farm fresh produce. This week we got strawberries, kale, romaine, spinach, and rhubarb. Fantastic, but what on earth is rhubarb, Yeah, it’s has a pretty pink hue to it but it looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. When I was little I think I had it once, my dad made this awful jello mold with wine and I have been scared of it ever since. Well, I was chatting at work and found out that Debbie did a cooking class at The Chopping Block a few weeks back and they made rhubarb cupcakes. She was so kind to share the recipe with me and said they were fantastic.
This morning I woke up super early and decided to give it a go with the rhubarb cupcakes. I started to dice the rhubarb and tried a little peice- it was so tart I thought these cupcakes were doomed. They were very simple to put together, imagine a vanilla cupcake from Magnolia bakery studded with little pink gems of tart rhubarb. After they came out of the oven I wanted to try one pre-frosting but Jason kept telling me to wait. I frosted them with some sweetened whipped cream. I had one and it was out of this world good. The cake to frosting ratio was perfect and the tartness to creaminess levels made perfect sense. Thank you Debbie for sharing this keeper of a recipe and thanks to Genesis Growers
for providing us with delicious ingredients that will make some fun kitchen adventures this summer!
Yesterday I learned that Kathy’s Birthday was on Monday so I asked Jason if he could deliver a birthday treat to her at work. After putting much thought into what I could come up with I decided to really have some fun in the kitchen….. Thomas Keller cupcakes from his new book Ad Hoc!
To date, this might just be one of the most fun kitchen episodes I have experienced. I mean to start, the cupcake recipe is a buttery white cake with a crisp top. The batter starts out like almost any other great cupcake batter (think along the lines of the recipes for a Magnolia cupcake or one from Billy’s Bakery- whole milk, butter, sugar, you get the idea) but near the end you whip up a bunch of egg whites until you have almost stiff peaks and fold the dream-like clouds into the batter.
Once the batter was complete I measured a level 1/3 cup dry measuring cup full of batter and placed it into a lined muffin tin (I was certain this would create a disaster but Mr. Keller would not publish this if it did not work). I was simply in awe as none of the cupcakes ran over the edge or they did not rise enough, they came out perfectly.
After the cupcakes cooled and I enjoyed a relaxing glass of red, I got the energy I needed to make the chocolate buttercream. Oh and I bet you’re thinking that this is just like any other buttercream recipe… Nope. For this recipe I started out by making homemade marshmallow over the stove top. Then, I whipped it on the stand mixed for ten minutes to cool it so the butter would not melt once I added it. I added 3 1/2 sticks of butter, in 1/2″ slices, two to three pieces at a time until they were mixed in well. I adjusted the speed and let Mr. Kitchen Aid work the magic. After this came together I added 5oz. of cooled chocolate (I used 61% chocolate) and then threw it in the fridge to get to the right consistency to be piped onto the cupcakes.
These are the perfect treat for any celebration- happy baking!
P.S. Happy New Year and thanks again for stopping by. I promise to have more kitchen adventures this year and appreciate your support.
*Full recipe can be found in the Ad Hoc cookbook available through The Cupcake Forest store*
So the love of my life got me the most fabulous leather bound recipe journal for our three year anniversary and I could not think of a better way to start the official Forest recipe collection than with our wedding cake recipe.
I had to make the carrot cake after Jason got to feeling better and I had to score the perfect pen to write in this little treasure. I was really nervous to write in it and wanted to make sure I had the recipe correct so I had to make it and scribble in a few notes in my old recipe journal. I am also such a moron when it comes to spelling so it will take me a bit of time to get all of my recipes in the book.
Well, if you think I am posting this special recipe you might as well start experimenting with the few ingredients I have listed below (good luck). This is the moistest, yummiest, delicious carrot cake studded with walnuts, gems of pineapple, flakes of coconut, and raisins topped with out of this world with fluffy top-secret cream cheese frosting.
Michelle made our wedding perfect with this cake. Having the recipe truly is the perfect wedding gift. Thank you Michelle!
Since this week couldn’t get anymore chaotic due to craziness at work, I figured, why not make some cupcakes… I wanted to do a banana themed cupcake and frost it with something totally unique.
For this project, I used Giada’s Banana Cupcake recipe. The batter was filled with chunky mashed banana, cinnamon and nutmeg. The batter came together very quick and then I proceeded to fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full with the batter. After baking for about 18 minutes at 325, I pulled them out of the oven and then they cooled.
I started whipping up the frosting, a heavenly blend of cream cheese, marscarpone cheese, fluff, honey, and a little bit of cinnamon. After this was done I piped a mound onto each cupcake and sprinkled them with toasted walnuts.
This cupcake is a special treat and is also a great accompaniment to a cup of coffee.
Last night I decided to make these cupcakes for Heather’s birthday at work. I used my all time favorite red velvet cake recipe by from Gale Gand’s Just a Bite cookbook. I usually frost these with frosting recipe in the book but I was feeling a bit more dangerous so I decided to pair the beauties with Grandmother Paul’s Cream Cheese frosting recipe from Katie Lee Joel’s “The Comfort Table”.
(A special thank you Biagi for introducing me to this recipe- It is heavenly). I was a bit worried that the marshmallow fluff would get too stiff being refrigerated so I talked it over with Biagi and she said it would be fine. So after my kitchen confidence was restored I made the cupcakes as the recipe stated but I only baked one dozen at a time since my oven can be stubborn to work with more times than not. They came out even and I was so happy. Today, I love you Mr. Oven-thanks for coming through for me.
Anyways, I let them cool and then I started to make the frosting. It consisted of room temperature cream cheese, a stick of butter, some powdered sugar, and marshmallow fluff. I could have eaten all of the frosting it was so yummy. I fetched my pastry bag and decided to pipe the frosting on the cupcakes using a wide 1/2” round tip so they would look like a little clouds. Everyone who had them loved them- yeah, point me!
Today I had a marathon baking day… to cold to go outside. I was thinking I could do a new bacon cupcake- one that speaks of breakfast goodness. I did a bunch of research on the internet and I ended up blending a few recipes together. For the cake portion of this treat I used brown sugar, maple syrup, bacon fat, buttermilk, and flour. After everything was blended together, I added about a pound of fresh chopped center-cut bacon to the batter. I baked the cupcakes for about 15 minutes at 350.
For the frosting, I took a stick of butter and a few tablespoons of maple syrup and mixed that together. I then added some powdered sugar and decided it needed more maple. To balance it out, I added some maple extract and that brought the frosting to my desired level of sweetness. I piped the frosting on the cupcakes and then topped with a small piece of bacon.
So after a lovely weekend I decided to end it with a simple treat… vanilla cupcakes with a cinnamon streusel topping. I must admit I am addicted to the topping of crumb-cake and I like to go light on some types of frosting so this seemed brilliant.
While making these I confronted Jason with an interesting thought…. what am I making- are they cupcakes (because of the vanilla cake and the recipe came from a book dedicated to cupcakes) or are they muffins (no frosting involved and can be enjoyed with coffee for breakfast)?
So I decided to blend the two terms… cup-in or muff-cake. I am sticking to muff-cake because it is way funnier.
Anyways, this recipe is from the Cupcakes book by Shelly Kaldunski.
To start with I made the crumb topping that consisted of flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and unsalted butter. After that was assembled, I started to make the vanilla cake batter. Once that was done I filled a buttered muffin tin with the cake batter and topped evenly with the crumb topping. After about 20 minutes in the oven these little muff-cakes were golden and delicious.