Sunday, May 20, 2007

Cupcake time

Last Tuesday I picked up a cupcake cookbook while I was attending an essentail knife skills class at a local cooking store. I opened the sample book on display, drooled a little, grabbed a copy and headed towards the register. Once I actaully looked through the book I was in awe at all the recipes. There are 7 basic cupcake recipes, 8 different glaze/frosting/icng recipes, and 60 "specialty" cupcake recipes!!! Wow, I will be in cupcake heaven.

This morning I let my husband do the honors of picking the first cupcake recipe for me to make. Well first I bribed him by making him breakfast in bed. ;) He picked one for Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes. His mom and dad were coming over for dinner and he knew they would love that one.
If you want to make the Chocolate turtle cupcakes you will need all 3 of the following recipes. But you can make the brownie cupcakes all by themselves or just use the ganache recipe if you want to do that.

I am not sure if I slightly overcooked the cupcakes or if they would always be like this but some of them were stuck to the wrappers pretty good. So just make sure you do not overbake the cupcakes. Maybe even use a foil liner instead of the paper.

Brownie Cupcakes
(Source: A Bakers Field Guide to Cupcakes; By Dede Wilson)

This is a classic brownie batter in a cupcake shape. These cupcakes are very rich and fudgy and bake up with a flat top. The cupcakes will keep for 2 days at room temperature in an airtight container or for 1 week frozen in an airtight container.

Yield: 18 cupcakes

18 paper liners
8 oz. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces.
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 cup all purpose flour
¾ cup pecan halves (optional), toasted and finely chopped.

1) Preheat oven to 350 F. Place paper liners in all wells of one 12 cup and one 6 cup cupcake tin.

2) Melt chocolate and butter together in top of large double boiler or in large bowl in microwave; stir until smooth and combined, then cool to lukewarm.

3) Whisk in brown sugar until well blended. Then whisk in eggs one at a time, allowing each one to become absorbed before adding next one. Whisk in vanilla extract and salt. Add flour and nuts, if using, at the same time and fold until no streaks of flour remain.

4) Divide batter evenly among cupcake wells. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until inserted in center shows many moist crumbs. The tops will be dry and crackled in appearance and slightly puffed.

5) Cool pans on racks for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes to cooking racks to cool completely.

Cupcake tips:
-With brownies it is hard to gauge doneness – they will seem wet in the center compared to some other cupcakes – but they are done!
-You may leave out the nuts, of course, or substitute mini chocolate chips or white chocolate chips, or chopped cherries, or whatever add-in you like.

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Chocolate Turtle Cupcakes
(Source: A Bakers Field Guide to Cupcakes; By Dede Wilson)

Description: The basic brownie cupcake recipe is enhanced with caramel, pecans, and bittersweet chocolate ganache to make a cupcake with the flavors of chocolate turtle candies.

Field notes
: Anything with chocolate and caramel is worth eating, as far as I am concerned. While the basic recipe for brownie cupcakes yields 18, by the time you add all the extra nuts, chips, and caramel in this recipe, you end up with 2 dozen cupcakes.

Lifespan: Cupcakes may be baked 2 days ahead; glazed cupcakes are best served the same day. Store at room temperature in airtight container.

Yield: 24 candy-like cupcakes

24 brown paper liners
24 Kraft caramels
1 cup semisweet chocolate morsels
1 batch batter from “Brownie Cupcakes”
1 batch Ganache Glaze and Frosting
2/3 cup pecan halves, toasted and chopped.

1) Preheat oven to 350. Place paper liners in all wells of 2 – 12cup cupcake tins.

2) Chop 12 of the caramels into ¼-inch dice. If the caramel is sticky, spritz your knife with non-stick cooking spray. Fold chopped caramels and chocolate morsels into the cupcake batter. Divide batter evenly among cupcake wells. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in center shows many moist crumbs. Cool pans on racks for 5 minutes, then remove cupcakes to cooling racks to cool completely.

3) Melt remaining 12 caramels in top of double boiler or in microwave. Rewarm ganache if necessary to bring it to a fluid state. Drizzle ganache with fork or teaspoon over all and top with remaining buts. Chill cupcakes briefly, until caramel and ganache are set. Cupcakes are not ready to serve.

Cupcake tips
-The caramel, nut and ganache toppings can be layered repeatedly until you have as decadent a topping as you desire. Depending on how decadent you are, you might want extra caramels, nuts, and ganache.

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Ganache Glaze and Frosting
(Source: A Bakers Field Guide to Cupcakes; By Dede Wilson)

This ganache is the darkest, richest, most chocolatey icing in the book. If you use it right away, while it is liquid, you can coat the tops of cupcakes with it for a smooth, shiny, glazed appearance. If you let it lest overnight at a cool room temperature (or refrigerate it briefly), you can place it in a pastry bag fitted with a decorating tip and pipe rosettes, big swirls, or small bead shapes, or even use it for writing or other decorative details. The ganache will keep for 1 week refrigerated in an air tight container or for 1 month frozen in an airtight container.

Yield: 1 ½ cups glaze or frosting

2/3 cup heavy cream
10 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped.

1) Place cream in a medium-large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat.

2) Remove from the heat and immediately sprinkle chocolate into cream. Cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. The heat of the cream should melt the chocolate. Gently stir the ganache until smooth. If the chocolate is not melting, place over very low heat, stirring often, until melted, taking care not to burn the chocolate.

3) The ganache is ready to use. You may dip the tops of cupcakes upside down into the ganache, gently swirling them around, before flipping upright. Or you may apply liquid ganache with a spoon directly onto the tops of cupcakes. Alternatively, you may allow the ganache to firm up overnight at room temperature or until it is a spreadable consistency (Between mayonnaise and peanut butter). At this point you may apply it with an icing spatula or place in a pastry bag with decorating tip of choice. If it becomes too firm, or if you would like to return it to a liquid state, simply place over a warm burner or microwave briefly.

Cupcake tips:
- If you are using this as a fluid glaze and it seems thick, just add a little extra cream, a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired texture. Also, upon reheating, if the texture of the ganache is not smooth, dribble in a tiny bit of cold heavy cream and whisk together until smooth. Keep in mind that different chocolates will produce different textures with this recipe, as well as different flavors.


Jessica said...

OMG! These look amazing!

Carrie said...

Those look awesome!

What's Cookin Chicago said...

This is your brownie cupcake.... This is your brownie cupcake on crazy sugar high! I love it!! :)

Deborah said...

Wow, the turtle cupcakes look amazing!

Kayte said...

your cupcakes look so yummy! i want to try the brownie ones. they sound like they would be great!

Tami said...

Holy Moly these look good!