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Cherry Cordial Cupcakes

blue dress, 50s, Suzy Q Homemaker
So, Cupcake Hero!! This month's special ingredient was olive oil, which, lemme tell you... I've never used it outside of sauteing and stuff like that. So this was an experience. I went and pulled some recipes together from the internet, which mostly consisted of chocolate cakes.... and tried it out.

What resulted turned out better than I could've imagined, and nothing like I planned.

Cherry Cordial Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes

the recipeCollapse )

I'd originally planned on doing something with cherries and kumquats, but they just *don't* sell them near me. It's really tragic. So while I didn't get the citrusy fruity flavor I was looking for, what resulted is fabulous. Tastes wonderful. Would make again.
darkside, cookies and alcohol
i'm so excited cupcake hero is back! i mean, i came in on the tail end of it with the "Made of Awesome" cupcakes and i *still* have no idea whether they received my entry or not and... well, whatever. the past is just that because it's baa-ack. huzzah. i was so happy to find that out, despite finding it out rather late.

august's challenge ingredient was bananas. which generally lends itself to banana (nut) bread for me. which, ok, i don't *hate* it, per se. but i've been so burnt out on fruity breads with bits in them. just gets on my nerves. and i was at such a loss thereafter because, although i know there's more to bananas than banana bread, i couldn't think of anything.
except, maybe, the best smoothie flavor i've ever had outside of mango: banana pina colada. which, surprising, as i don't like coconut at all. not at all. but i was going to make it happen. a pina colada cupcake, replete with banana.

boldly, i strode into the store and bought what necessities were required for this endeavor. thankfully, living at home meant the perks of mom paying for the pineapple, bananas and the extracts, but it also meant that i was on a fixed staple budget. no fancy stuff for me, no sir.

i ran a trial run on sunday, just seeing how my flavors worked and who would eat it. 12 cupcakes in a 5 person house? lasted the half an hour it took to cool them from the oven. no frosting/icing/whatever at all. which, you know, helps because i didn't have the other necessity for my icing--cream cheese. no matter. at least they went over pretty well.

so, last night was the big run. my brother'd just set off for a vacation in japan and i knew that the cupcakes would last just a smidge longer, even if my sister came up with her daughter (the cupcakes still didn't last long. in fact, they were barely out of the pan before the first 7 were gone.). and this time, i was prepared for a double dose of pina colada goodness.

on the whole, i'd consider it a success! i'll probably still tweak the recipe here and there just in case i want a stronger flavor (i'm still looking for pineapple extract to up that sweet and tarty flavor), but on the whole, i like it. i was debating what to call it, really. it is two pina coladas: one in the cupcake and a second in the icing. but it will only fit in one hand! it could always be the drink that gives you the slip. but, you know, puns are highly overrated.

so, i present:
Two Pina Coladas
cupcakeCollapse )

frostingCollapse )

Pictures can be found here @ flickr

daring bakers, first post!

bread, what low carb?, foodie
The February 2009 challenge is hosted by Wendy of WMPE's blog and Dharm of Dad ~ Baker & Chef.
We have chosen a Chocolate Valentino cake by Chef Wan; a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Dharm and a Vanilla Ice Cream recipe from Wendy as the challenge.

February’s challenge is a Flourless Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Valentino, inspired by Malaysia’s “most flamboyant food ambassador”, Chef Wan. Recipe comes from Sweet Treats by Chef Wan

Recipes below for Chocolate Valentino, Hazelnut Whipped Cream and Quick Caramel ToppingCollapse )

The original recipe calls for the cake to be served with whipping cream. BUT the Daring Baker mods decided to make this more of a challenge and ask that we hand make Ice Cream. My house being the way it is meant that, while I own a pretty awesome automatic ice cream maker, I had nowhere to store the bowl (which needs to be frozen, used, then refrozen) in our freezers. Nowhere. :( Instead, I made a whipped cream with a little sugar and some hazelnut syrup, knowing the flavor goes well with chocolate and because I couldn't find any Bailey's Irish Cream (I'd been to a restaurant that did that and served it with their Guinness Chocolate Cake. Oh God. To die for). To add some more flavor levels, I also made a quick and dirty caramel sauce.

The cake tastes like the chocolate used in the recipe. In my house, everyone loves milk chocolate, though Cadbury UK spoiled me and made me hate American milk chocolate. So, in compromise, I used about 10 oz of milk chocolate and 6 oz of semi-sweet chocolate. This made the cake extremely sweet, as far as I'm concerned, and should I make it again, I'll probably cut back to half and half or balance more in favor of dark. The caramel and the whipped cream were sweetened as well, so it was a shock to this little diabetic's senses.

Because I don't celebrate holidays, it wasn't that big of a deal to ignore that a real Valentino is cut into a heart shape. But it bakes well in a 6x8 or a 7x7 pan, or a springform pan. I decided to go for cupcakes, and ended up putting the rest into a 6" round--no springform pans in my house as yet, but it's in the works. When it comes out ofthe oven, it may sink, but will look like a brownie on top and wet-fudgy in the middle.

The Good, The Bad, and the UglyCollapse )

Pictures! One day, I'll learn to take better picsCollapse )
blue dress, 50s, Suzy Q Homemaker
so, in my wanderings online, i found this awesome little blog about Cupcake Hero--the Iron Chef of cupcakes online. one theme ingredient, a deadline and the cupcake wars are off.

totally intrigued and wishing i had cupcakes, i decided to join in the latest round: White Chocolate. which, probably isn't my smartest move because no one in my family likes white chocolate. :(

raiding my cabinet yielded some pumpkin. so, being the curious sort, i set off to find some combo of pumpkin and white chocolate that will strike you. the answer? pumpkin white chocolate cheesecake. and believe you me, you cannot go wrong with cheesecake. the recipe i found called for a gingersnap crust, so i wanted to find a similar type of cupcake. one long search and lone recipe later, Made of Awesome was born.

recipe beneath the cutCollapse )

as for me and my household, we liked them very well. they were mellow and not overwhelmingly of white chocolate. in fact, the first and most clear taste was the pumpkin, which we are very fond of. i just wish i had a camera that took better pictures.

will i make them again? definitely. they were pretty fantastic.