Sunday, April 22, 2012

Island Escape

Pin It
♫ Put the lime in the coconut... 
Well actually, in this case, a mango. These mini cupcakes are bursting with coconut flavor in both the cake and fluffy frosting. I tried filling them with a mango mousse, but I didn't squeeze enough into the center for that component to stand out. Nonetheless, these are certainly tasty.
Okay, okay. The pineapple is only slightly random in these pictures. There is absolutely no pineapple in these cupcakes. I picked up this pineapple last week, but I guess I don't know how to select good fruit because my mother joked around that I have a fantastic eye for picking out the most unripe fruit out of the bunch. LOL. I grabbed the biggest one! It is almost ripe! Anyway, coconut just reminds me of the tropics and so does pineapple. I was going for a theme for these pictures. 
These pictures also came out with a very cool hue. I tried altering the white balance on the camera menu, but none of my pictures came out as bright or warm as I had intended. I hate cloudy days! All the cupcakes have already been eaten too, so there is no way to take more pictures!
The cake recipe I tried was delicious. Because it is made out of egg whites though, you risk over baking mini cupcakes. Once they spring back, take them out of the oven! The batch I baked until golden were quite dry unfortunately. I used Flour Bakery's recipe, but it is similar to Martha Stewart's recipe you can find online here.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Baking With The Sis: Neapolitan Cupcakes

Pin It
My sister is on her Spring break, so she is back in town! Mid April is an odd time to schedule break though, but I guess that's the way dental school rolls. None of my sisters' spring breaks coincided with mine. Sad.
When my sisters were younger, my dad used to buy neapolitan ice cream for them to eat. I however only remember him buying french vanilla ice cream. What made it special was sprinkling Rice Krispies on top to get that crunchy texture along with the silky smooth ice cream. Is that a weird combination? I just know it's one of my more vivid memories of my childhood. Of course what I remember the best deals with food. 
I have attempted to bake with my sister several times in the past. Yet, each project has gone terribly wrong. We made chocolate cookies that came out of the oven deformed, mangled, crunchy, and just bad. They looked like amoebas. We tried making buttercream together. Who knows what went wrong there. The frosting was curdled and lumpy. Today we made cupcakes and aside from this batch, they puffed up, sunk, and spread into amoebas in the cupcake tins. Come to think of it, whenever we need to refer to one of these baking endeavors, we just need to say one word: amoeba.
I must give her credit for the piping of the frosting on these cupcakes though. She did a fine job. She was able to utilize my brand new french piping tip. It is so pretty!
Below is the recipe for the buttercream frosting that literally tastes like strawberry ice cream. I ended up mashing the frozen strawberries with a fork instead of whipping out the food processor so that there were bright red speckles throughout. The cake itself is half chocolate cake, which you can find the recipe here, and the magnolia vanilla cake, which you can find a reference to here. I normally hate confectioner's sugar frostings because I find them grainy. However, I find that you just need to beat the frosting for a very long time so that it gets smoother, fluffier, and creamier. Enjoy!
Whipped Strawberry Frosting
From Sweetapolita
  • 3 sticks + 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons strawberry puree, made from frozen strawberries
  1. Beat the butter on medium speed of a mixer until pale and fluffy. Roughly 8 minutes.
  2. Turn down the speed to low and dump in the rest of the ingredients except for the strawberry puree. Beat for one minute, and then increase the speed to medium again for 6 minutes so that the frosting becomes very light and fluffy.
  3. Add in the strawberry puree and beat to thoroughly combine. Use immediately. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Rose Cherry Pistachio Cake

Pin It
This week's inspiration was one of the new Quaker oatmeal flavors: cherry pistachio. Talk about yum. I also make a box shaped cake. Creative adjectives are not coming to mind. Though, I employ much effort to state that I do believe the structure gives this cake more elegance. Sharp, crisp, clean.
I initially wanted to post this cake last weekend, however catastrophe struck and the cake was a mess. Who knew you could ever have too fluffy of a cake? The layers I baked simply fell apart in my hands. Sad because it did taste good. Sad because I spent so much time whipping up the batter. Sad because the pistachios cost me $14.99 a pound... Back to the farmers market I went so I could post these pictures today. It's been a while since my last post about those strawberries and cream scones. I am determined to keep up with this blog!
I love the color green, perhaps that's why I love pistachios!
I also had to brainstorm what design I wanted to decorate the cake with. I ended up jet doodling sketches of this cake curing calculus. I kid you not, the guy to my right was just doodling memes while the guy to my left checked out into la la dreamland for the period. Within my vicinity I was the most productive. No worries, I will hop right onto calculus studying this weekend!
The funny thing about this cake was that I thought I would have saved money by buying pistachios and shelling them myself. I bought a jar for $5.00 and to my dismay the shelled pistachios fill up a quarter of the volume of the container. Talk about a moment of utter despair when I just stared at the bowl of shells and then the pathetic jar of pistachios. Words of advice, just buy unsalted shelled pistachios. Save yourself the anguish.
This cake has fine crumb almost like a chiffon, but it is also dense. The pistachio flavor came out well, and the green hue is simply delicate. The cherries added a bit of tartness and the rose added a hint of a floral note to tie it all together. I also used the delicious buttercream frosting from Cherry Choc Cupcake. I posted the scaled down version I used below using marscapone, but definitely check out her post. This was definitely a fun cake for me to make despite the bumps in the road. Enjoy!
Pistachio Chiffon
Yields one 20 x 16 inch jelly roll pan
  • 120 grams cake flour
  • 160 grams sugar
  • 50 grams finely ground pistachios
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3/4 teaspoons cream of tartar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit
  1. Combine the flour, sugar, pistachios, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Whisk together the egg yolks, vanilla, water, and melted butter. Pour this liquid into the dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
  3. Put the cream of tartar into the egg whites. Beginning on low speed of a mixer, beat the egg whites. Increase the speed gradually to obtain soft peaks.
  4. Fold the egg whites into the batter in 3 additions. Pour into a parchment paper lined pan and bake until golden. Roughly 15 minutes for a 20x16 inch jelly roll pan.
Marscapone Buttercream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz marscapone
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature 
  1. Whisk together the sugar, flour, cornstarch, salt, and milk. Pour through a sieve to get any chunks out, and cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until it becomes thick. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. On medium speed of a mixer, beat the cooked milk mixture for a few seconds, and then begin adding in the butter a few tablespoons at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated, add in the marscapone.
  3. Beat the buttercream until fluffy, and then add in the vanilla. Use immediately.
  4. To get the cherry rose filling, add in some finely chopped dried cherries and a drop or two of rose essence depending on how you divvy up the frosting.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Pin It button on image hover