понедельник, 11 июня 2012 г.

Celebration Champagne Cupcakes

Celebration Champagne Cupcakes

Champagne Cupcakes 
Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup butter softened 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 3/4 cups flour 
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 1/2 cup champagne
Instructions: 
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
3. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix. 
4. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. 
5. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup champagne and 1/2 cup sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble a little).
6. Add flour and champagne mixture alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Batter will be thick.
7. Fill cupcake papers with 1/4 cup level measures of batter. Bake for 17-22 minutes. Set aside.

Champagne Whipped White Chocolate Ganache 
Ingredients: 
  • 8oz white chocolate 
  • 2 cups heavy cream 
  • 1/8 cup champagne 
Instructions: 
1. Melt chocolate in a double-boiler over hot water.
2. In a saucepan, bring to boil the heavy cream to boiling; remove from heat when it froths and add champagne. 
3. Whisk 1/3 of cream into chocolate until smooth. Slowly whisk in remaining cream. Refrigerate overnight or freeze for a few hours. 
4. Whip until stiff. 

Champagne Swiss Meringue Buttercream 
Ingredients: 
  • 5 large egg whites 
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar 
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes 
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 4 tablespoons champagne 
  • Pinch of salt 
Instructions: 
1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with vinegar on paper towel, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F, or if you don't have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
2. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool. 
3. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed continuously, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth)
4. Add vanilla, champagne, and salt, mix well. 
5. Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.

Chocolate Coconut Porter Cupcakes

Chocolate Coconut Porter Cupcakes 
(Makes 24 cupcakes) 

Cupcakes 
Ingredients: 
1 stick unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp coconut extract 
1 tsp vanilla extract 
2 eggs
1 (8oz) container sour cream 

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin tin with cupcake liners. 

In a medium saucepan, combine coconut porter and butter and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Then whisk in cocoa powder until smooth and let cool.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. 

In a large bowl, beat eggs, sour cream, and coconut and vanilla extract until smooth. Add cooled chocolate mixture to the sour cream and eggs and beat until just combined. 

Slowly add dry ingredients and beat briefly on a slow speed, scraping down sides as needed. 

Fill each cupcake paper 3/4 of the way full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 17-18 minutes  (Mine baked for 17 minutes and came out perfect) 

Remove cupcakes from oven and let cool 10 minutes before removing from pan and placing on wire rack. 

Cool completely before filling.

Filling 
Ingredients: 
1 (5.1 oz) box vanilla pudding 
1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk 
1/4 cup heavy cream 
1 cup flaked coconut 
¼ tsp coconut extract 

Direction: 
Whisk together until thick and creamy. Stir in coconut. Chill until ready to use.

Frosting 
Ingredients: 
1 cup butter (2 sticks, room temp) 
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup cocoa powder
6 cups confectioners’ sugar, divided
5 fl oz coconut milk 
1 tbsp Maui coconut porter
1 tsp coconut extract 
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
toasted shredded coconut (for garnish, I made about a cup) 

Directions: 
In a small, microwave safe bowl, melt unsweetened chocolate. Heat in 30-45 second intervals, stirring frequently, until mixture is smooth. (I let mine sit on top of the stove, in a glass bowl, on top of a burner, while the oven preheated and in melted perfectly.) Let cool to room temperature. 

Transfer chocolate to a larger bowl. Beat in butter, cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, coconut milk, coconut porter, coconut and vanilla extract, and salt, (basically everything else) :) beating until frosting is smooth and fluffy.  

Add more confectioners’ sugar for a thicker frosting if desired.

Healthy Trail Mix Muffins

Ingredients 
· 1/4 cup ripe banana mashed 
· 1 tablespoon canola oil 
· 3/4 cup Splenda 
· 1/4 cup Splenda brown sugar blend 
· 2 eggs 
· 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour 
· 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
· 1/4 teaspoon salt 
· 1 teaspoon vanilla 
· 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
· 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 
· 3/4 cup nonfat yogurt 
· 1/2 cup trail mix (I used a raw granola trail mix from Spouts) 
· Extra Splenda brown sugar blend and chopped pecans for topping (optional) 
Directions 
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a muffin pan with paper muffin liners and spray them with cooking spray. 
2. In a large bowl, stir together the banana, sugars, vanilla, yogurt and eggs. Combine the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; add to the wet mixture and mix well. Then fold in the trail mix. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Cups should be at least 3/4 full. 
3. Then sprinkle with Splenda brown sugar blend and chopped pecans. 
4. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until muffins spring back when touched lightly.

135 Calories - 4g Fat - 6g Sugar

Blood Orange Vanilla Cake for a Special Day

Hope everyone had a great long weekend, those of you that had one. (thank god for bank holidays) I had an eventful one myself. This weekend I got to experience something new, the other half and I went to the symphony. They were playing Beethoven, and it was wonderful. We went to a great restaurant for dinner early that evening, Biga on the Banks, and then had time to stop in at a bar for a drink before the concert. Got to bake and relax, nothing better than that!



Ingredients:
5 large egg whites (5 ounces/150 grams) at room temperature
3/4 cup blood orange juice (180 mL/6 liquid ounces), at room temperature
zest of 1 blood orange
2 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (9 grams)
2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (10 ounces/285 grams)
1 3/4 cups sugar (12 ounces/350 grams)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder (19.5 grams)
3/4 teaspoon salt (5 grams)
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (6 ounces/170 grams), at room temperature and cut into cubes
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Grease and flour two round 8-inch pans. (I used 9-inch pans)
2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine and stir the egg whites, 1/4 cup of blood orange juice, zest, and the vanilla. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the dry ingredients together on low speed (I use the “stir” setting on my mixer) for 30 seconds.
4. Add the butter and remaining 1/2 cup of blood orange juice, and mix on low speed until just moistened. Increase to medium speed and mix for 1 1/2 minutes.
5. Scrape the sides of the bowl and begin to add the egg mixture in 3 separate batches; beat on medium speed for 20 seconds after each addition.
6. Divide the batter in two, spreading it evenly with a small offset palette knife. If you have a kitchen scale,  weigh to ensure 2 even layers.
7. Bake 25-35 minutes or until a cake tester comes clean when inserted into the center. Be so careful to not overbake. Check cake at 20 minutes, but not before, and once you feel it’s almost ready, set the timer for 2 minute intervals. Let cool on racks for 10 minutes before loosening the sides with a small metal spatula, and invert onto greased wire racks. Gently turn cakes back up, so the tops are up and cool completely.
8. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days, refrigerator for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 2 months. Best eaten the same day as baked.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Ingredients:
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, cut into cubes
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons blood orange juice
zest of 1 blood orange
Pinch of salt
Method:
1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and vinegar, to remove any trace of grease. 
2. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly, until temperature reaches 140 degrees F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
3. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool. 
4. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed continously, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). 
5. Add vanilla, blood orange juice, zest, and salt, mix well.

Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.

Green Tea White Chocolate Brownies

So it is already getting up in the 90's here in Texas. It's going to be insanely hot before we know it and it’s getting me in the mood for summertime. Swimming and BBQ’s and getting into the car that feels like you are going to internally combust, and forget it if you have leather seats, it’s like sitting on molten lava. Oh boy! It sucks for everyday life, but it’s great for going to the beach or floating the river with an adult beverage, which I need to make an effort to do more of.  There's just something about summertime though that even though it's super hot and you have to watch out for that back sweat stain on your favorite t-shirt, it's still great.

I may be kind of weird. I get excited about going to the grocery store. It's so easy to look at it as a chore, just something to add to your list of things to do that day and fight the crowd, but I just love to explore the aisles. I was doing just that at one of our local specialty grocery stores when I ran across this sweet matcha by rishi. Its matcha powder mixed with cane sugar. You can make green tea lattes with it, or cocktails, and of course you can bake with it. So I couldn’t resist picking up a bag. Look at that lovely green color it imparted into the brownies. You may notice there is no sugar in the recipe and that is because my matcha powder is sweetened. If you are using unsweetened matcha I would start by adding 1/4 cup sugar and maybe a 1/2 cup if you like your brownies really sweet. The white chocolate naturally adds sweetness. Feel free to play with the recipe.

Green Tea White Chocolate Brownies 
Ingredients: 
1 cup flour 
6 tbsp butter 
2 eggs 
1/2 tsp vanilla 
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted 
1/2 cup white chocolate chips 
Directions 
1. Preheat oven at 350. Grease and flour an 8x8 baking pan. (I used Pam for baking and dusted with a little extra flour) 
2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and white chocolate and heat at thirty second intervals until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool. (about 10 minutes) 
3. Stir in eggs and matcha powder until combined, then add flour, vanilla, and almond extract just until incorporated. Lastly stir in almonds and white chocolate chips. 
4. Pour into prepared pan and spread into even layer. Bake about 20 - 25 minutes or until lightly browned. 
5. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Cut and enjoy.