Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Birthday Cupcakes

Years ago I saved this recipe (from a much forwarded email) and promptly forgot about it.
I chanced upon the recipe when going through my archives looking for a new recipe for chocolate cupcakes.
This recipe is astonishingly similar to the one from One-Pot Cakes so I suspect it originated there.

These were the cupcakes I made for my daughter's birthday last month.
I made several batches of these cupcakes and each batch baked up consistently good. Soft and sweet; not the toothache inducing sort of sweetness. The cupcakes remained moist even a couple of days after they were baked. A keeper recipe, no doubt.

6 tbsp unsalted butter
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 ¼ cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
a pinch of salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cup flour
½ cup hot water

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Prepare the cupcake pan (either grease and flour the pan or use cupcake holders).
Put the butter in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for about 45 seconds.
Add the chocolate and microwave for about a minute; till the chocolate is mostly melted.
Stir the mixture till the chocolate melts completely.
Add the brown sugar and stir till combined.
Add the eggs, vanilla, and salt and mix well.
Add the flour and sprinkle the baking soda. Mix well.
Stir in the hot water.
Spoon the batter into the cup; roughly ½ full.
Bake for about 15-20 minutes; till a tester inserted in one of the cupcakes comes out almost clean.

Though the yield is supposed to be a dozen cupcakes, I always had some batter leftover. So I'd say each recipe yields about 14 cupcakes.
Cool completely before frosting.
The cupcakes deflate slightly as they cool.

The frosting was similar to the one used here, except I omitted the coffee powder and the liqueur.
The cupcakes were topped with one of these flowers.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

It Was A Good Year

It all started with wanting to participate in Nupur's A to Z of Indian Vegetables.
It has been a year since my first post and quite a year it has been!

I had no idea where I was headed with this blog (not sure I know even now). But blogging has been one of the most creatively satisfying projects I've ever undertaken.

Along the way I've met some truly wonderful people, people I wouldn't have met if it hadn't been for this blog. A few of them right in my back yard.

A huge thank you to all who have visited my blog, commented on the posts, tried some of my recipes and, most importantly told me how they turned out.

Thank You!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Flowers From My Kitchen

The child couldn't make up her mind.
One day it was butterflies. An hour later ladybugs were requested.
Finally, she settled on flowers.
We were talking about the decorative topping for her birthday cupcakes.

Several year ago I had made simple designs using melted chocolate piped onto parchment paper and I remembered being quite happy with the results. Great to embellish simple cakes.
But since she wanted colourful flowers (not just chocolate flowers), I turned to candy melts.
Though the process of making these flowers is just a little time consuming, the results are so wow-inducing that it is worth all the time.

Here is how I made them:
Step 1
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper).
Melt about ½ cup of chocolate chips. I usually microwave them for about 20 seconds at a time till most of them are melted. At this point, stir the chips till they all melt and become smooth.
Spoon the melted chocolate in the corner of a zip top bag. Snip off a tiny piece of that corner. How much you snip off depends on how thick you want the outline.
Pipe the desired shape onto the parchment paper. Since I was making flowers, I piped an outline of the flowers.
Let the outline dry completely before moving onto Step 2.

Step 2
Follow directions on the package to melt the candy pieces. Spoon the melted chocolate in the corner of a zip top bag. Snip off a tiny piece of that corner.
Pipe the melted candy to fill in the petals and the center of the flowers. Make sure you completely fill into the outline.

Don't worry about flowers not being smooth. The side that is visible right now is the wrong side. The other side that is perfectly flat and smooth will be visible on the cupcakes.

After the flowers have cooled they slip right off the parchment paper.
They can be stored for several weeks in an airtight container.
As they taste pretty good on their own, you have to hide them from sneaky people.

The finished product:

Here is a flower topped cupcake. These were some super moist chocolate cupcakes. More about them in the next post.

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