Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sticky Fig Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Glaze

Sticky Fig Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Glaze
from Cupcakes! by the new-love-of-my-life-second-only-to-Martha, Elinor Klivans

IT'S TIME FOR AN OSCAR PARTY!!!!! And these cupcakes are glamorously red-carpet worthy!!
Tasty, elegant and festive looking, and unusual...a perfect dessert for celebrity gazing.

This recipe makes 6 extra-large cupcakes. Pans for extra-large cupcakes have cups with a 1-cup capacity and usually have 6 cups per pan.

2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup water
1 cup dried figs, quartered (Calimyrna or Black Mission figs work equally well)
1-1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp grated lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioner's sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
(Whipped cream is easiest made by first keeping a glass bowl and the beaters in the freezer to chill. When whipped, refrigerate immediately.)

1) Make the sauce:
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter, cream, and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring often, until the butter melts and the brown sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium-high, bring to a boil, and boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside.

2) Make the cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 6 extra-large muffin tin cups with large paper liners. Spray the inside of each liner lightly with non-stick cooking spray. (I didn't use liners and I don't believe in sprays - just good old-fashioned Crisco shortening! Cupcakes came out of their little pan easy-peasy!)

Put the water and figs in a small saucepan and bring to a boil; set aside to cool while you prepare the batter.

Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. Add the eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla, mixing until smooth and thick. On low speed, mix in the flour mixture to incorporate it. (My dear readers, you know how I love and adore batter!!! At this point in the baking process, I indulged my cravings and licked a spoon or two, a spatula, and the beaters. - Then, I continued on...!!!)
Mix in the figs, with any liquid that remains in the pan (there was a good amount of liquid left when I made this).

Fill each paper liner with 1/2 cup of batter, to about 1/2 inch below the top of the liner. Bake until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out wet, about 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 225 degrees.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the brown sugar sauce on top of each cupcake. Return the cupcakes to the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack.

Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and place on the wire rack. Let cool completely.

3) Serve the cupcakes:
Warm the remaining brown sugar glaze over low heat. Remove the paper liners from the cupcakes and place each cupcake on a plate. Drizzle with glaze and a little bit of heavy cream.

4) Store the cupcakes:
The cupcakes can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.
The sauce can be made ahead, covered, and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Warm before baking the cupcakes.

Easy to bake? Heck NO, but decadent enough to have been well-worth the ride! :-)
We ate one immediately!

The rest?! En route to the Oscars!!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes

Chocolate and Chocolate and more...Chocolate!!!!!!!!!

The Delicious-with-a-capital-C-for-Cupcake-Queen Elinor Klivans strikes again with her Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes! These little treats pack an ENORMOUS punch! Indeed, I am still crashing from my chocolate/sugar high after sampling just 1. Oh. And, ummmmmm, licking quite a bit of batter, filling, and mousse.....oops!!!
These are the perfect treat for a birthday gift, and baked especially at a birthday girl's request! I only hope my husband and I manage to save her 1/2 a dozen. (Or 1)

Chocolate Mousse Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water

Chocolate Fudge Topping
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 2 pieces
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup of the Chocolate Fudge Topping at room temperature
1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

Remove cupcakes from pan onto wire rack for cooling (about 20 minutes) With a verrrrry sharp knife, gently cut the tops from the cupcakes. Set the bottoms aside. Frost the tops with the chocolate fudge topping. Plop a spoonful of the mousse filling on each of the bottoms and EVER-SO-CAREFULLY place the frosted tops back on (Elinor recommends using a metal spatula for this step, but I used my fingers!) Put the cupcakes in the fridge for a bit until the mousse hardens/becomes firm.
If chocolate makes you all melty inside, these are a dream come true!!!!!! Exquisite.

Happy Birthday to ME !!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Valentine's Day White Velvet Cupcakes!!!!
Valentine's Day is my favorite holiday of all time!!!! It is celebrated far and wide (and for much of the month of February) in my household :-) And Valentine's Day Cupcakes?! What a sweet delight to bake and give to the one you love. 
In preparation, I have purchased many a Valentine / heart / pink & white kitchen gadget with which to perform this loving task -

Those darling pink and red heart-shaped cupcake liners are made out of silicon and are reusable - GUSH!!!!!!!!
Given my love of all things Valentine, you can imagine my sorrow when I realized I will be out of town and away from my kitchen next week on a book tour....When, JOY OF JOYS!!!, my mother came to the rescue with her special favorite Valentine Cupcake recipe - White Velvet Cupcakes. These are a DREAM, and the special treat she bakes for my dad every year for Valentine's Day! 
So straight from my mother's kitchen to yours!!! - AND, for your sweet ears to enjoy, I left the recipe written exactly as she sent it to me so you can get a sense of just how precious and adorable my mother is!!!!

White Velvet Cupcakes 
- Eleanor Delaney

I have the White Velvet Cup Cake recipe.  It is as follows:
350 degrees
4 lrg egg whites
1 cup milk
2 1/4 tsp vanilla. 
3 cups sifted cake flour  ( make sure it is cake flour and that you sift it)  Most important!
1 1/2 cups sugar

1tbl. plus 1 tsp baking powder, 

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tbl. softened butter
Fill 2 12 cup cake pans with liners.  In med bowl combine egg whites, vanilla and  1/4 cup milk.  In lrg. bowl
combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix together to blend.   Increase speed for 1.5 min.  

Add egg whites, vanilla and milk mixture in 3 equal parts, beating for 20 seconds between additions.  Pour

into tins 2/3 to 3/4 full.    Oven 15-to 20 min.  Let cool completely. At least 10 min or frosting will melt.
Frosting - 2 sticks softened butter, 4 cups powdered sugar, 1 tbl vanilla, 1 tbl. milk or a little bit more if needed
for the right consistency.   Combine all ing. and beat.    DO NOT REMOVE PAPER LINERS.

or - 
Choc butter cream frosting

2 sticks softened butter    

3 1/2 cups conf. sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

2 tsp. vanilla

4 tbl. heavy crean
Cream butter for a few minutes  on med.  Sift (do this, or there will be lumps)  powdered sugar and cocoa
in same bowl until absorbed by butter.  Add vanilla, salt and cream.   Done!
or -
Marshmallow Frosting
2 sticks softened butter
1 cup conf. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 sm jar of marshmallow fluff           Combine all ing. with beater.
You can buy different colored sugar sprinkles to sprinkle on top of frosting.
Or you can buy beautiful individual sugar flowers for the tops.
For a heart shaped choc. top
Melt milk choc.  I just use Nestles choc. chips.   depending on how many you want to make,
get a sm. or lrg.  Make sure you have a lot because you might make mistakes, so you want to make
sure you have enough choc.  I put the chocs. in a microwave safe bowl.  I don't know how long you leave
it in for, just check after 30 seconds.  You don't to melt the choc. completely.  Almost, and then you
can stir it to the right consistency   Using a sm. zip lock bag, pour choc. in pushing it to one corner, then
cut a teeny tiny hole in the corner.  Twist bag tightly - make sure you have zipped the bag closed.  Then
make a heart shape on the parchment covered cookie sheet.  It takes a few times, at least it did for me to
get it just right.  Put whole pan in freezer.  Doesn't take very long to harden.  Remove, ever so gently,
and stick on top of cup cake.  Your hands are warm, so it melts very quickly. is her postscript......
About the cupcakes!!!  I just remembered - all that talk about teeny, tiny hole in the corner of the zip lock bag
for the melted choc. to make choc. hearts.  Whew!!!!!   Don't make a teeny, tiny.  I think it might work better
with a bit larger hole so as to make the hearts thicker.  They might not break as readily.  And, I melted some
white choc. and drizzled it over the top of the cup cake after frosting it but  before placing the choc. heart on ever so gingerly.
I'll try to send you the picture of the cupcake.  I'm not sure if this new computer can do that.  We'll see.
That's it then,  Aren't you glad you asked me for the recipe?    mmmmmmm??   xxoo
 HERE IS HER PICTURE!!!!!!!! without further ado - TAH DAH!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Orange Chiffon Cupcakes with Orange Butter Icing 
...let me say that 1 more time...
Orange Chiffon Cupcakes with Orange Butter Icing 
My husband is watching the Super Bowl and the house is punctuated with occasional shouts of "TOUCHDOWN!!!!!!" I am in the kitchen baking Orange Chiffon Cupcakes. I am in housewife heaven. Chiffon is heaven, especially orange chiffon. I am not waxing poetic when I tell you that these Orange Chiffon Cupcakes are a dream come true!!!!!
Chiffon Cake itself was top secret until 1947, when General Mills bought the "secret recipe" from Harry Baker. This juicy little tidbit is from my favorite book cupcakes!
These cupcakes are not for the faint of heart. They were difficult and time consuming to bake. But I promise you, they are worth all of the love, sweat, and tears.

Orange Chiffon Cupcakes
Yield 12
325* for 30-35 minutes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup canola oil
4 cage-free eggs, separated
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons orange zest (grated orange peel - I used pure orange extract)
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

In a large bowl, sift together flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar, baking powder, and salt. Use a large spoon to make a well in the center of the flour mixture, and add the oil, egg YOLKS, water, orange zest, orange juice, and both vanilla and almond extracts. Beat until smooth and creamy and set aside.
In another bowl, beat egg WHITES and cream of tartar on medium speed until mixed, then beat on high speed until whites become shiny and smooth and stick to beaters - the beaters will cut a line through the whites. Slowly beat in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
Stir 1/3 of the egg-white mixture into the rest of the batter. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the rest of it in until blended completely.
Pour the batter into a pitcher or measuring cup with a lip - then pour into the cupcake tins. Fill to the top of the tin, about 1/2 a cup each. DO NOT USE PAPER LINERS - chiffon cupcakes like to rise up light and fluffy over the top of the tins. I greased my tins for easy removal.
Bake for 30-35 minutes at 325*
Place 2 cans on top of a wire rack - when cupcakes are done baking, turn the cupcake tin upside down on the cans - this allows air to circulate so the cupcakes cool gently.

Allow to cool for about 45 minutes - Several of mine actually slipped out onto the rack while cooling!

In the meantime, make the Orange Butter Icing -
Stir together -
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
This icing is sooooooooo creamy and pretty I gobbled it up, yes, quite a bit :-)

Just gorgeous!
Spread a thin layer of icing on each cupcake and GLORIOUS HEAVENLY CHIFFON CREATION!