Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wet Chocolate Irish Coffee Cupcakes

It has been raining here in the Bay for about 5 days straight.  Yesterday, St. Patrick's Day, it was cold and dark and dreary and threatening to rain again so 98.99% of the pictures I took suck.  Stupid bad kitchen lighting.  When I was done, I set myself up outside so I could get try to get SOMETHING that looked decent and then... it started to rain. -.-  Why am I telling you this?  Well because it is still cold and windy but its gorgeously sunny too now.  Fickle Nor Cal weather plots to ruin my pictures, I swear!!!

My friends decided to have a St. Patrick's Day dinner last night and not only did I make some yummy twice baked green pesto potatoes but I also baked cupcakes that were worthy of any leprechaun's gold.

I say that mainly because they had booze and condensed milk in them.  I think that is the winning combination to making anything good, though haha.

I had the idea of Irish coffee cupcakes... but while researching it I stared getting bored because it had been done so many times.  Then I had a light bulb moment.  You should be able to TASTE the booze, not just let it bake out in the oven... and the best way to do that is to douse them in some kind of concoction and serve them wet.

Yup, I made the Irish coffee cupcakes into wet cupcakes.  Almost like my tres leches cupcakes, but with more booze and with a chocolate based so it could hold the coffee and whiskey better.

The frosting was still whipped cream to keep it light.. but it was infused with Bailey's Irish Cream and it was delicious.  Added a light sprinkling of brown sugar and green shamrocks as garnish, and topped them off with a chocolate shamrock.

Irish Coffee Cupcakes
makes 15, bake at 350* for about 18-20 minutes

3/4 cup (1.5 sticks) butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, separated
1 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon strongly brewed coffee

1. Cream together butter, sugars and vanilla.  Ad egg yolks one at at time.
2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda and set aside.
3. Add coffee to buttermilk.
4. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture in additions to butter/sugar mixture.  Always end with flour mixture.
4. Beat egg whites in a separate bowl until stiff peaks form.  Fold into the rest of the batter.
5.  Scoop batter into liners, make sure not to overfill.  Bake for around 18-20 minutes at 350*.
6. When cupcakes are cool, take a tooth pick and make holes throughout the cupcake, all the way to the bottom.
7. Ready the sauce!

Coffee-Jameson Sauce
1/4 cup Jameson Whiskey (Add more if you want them more boozey, I will next time for sure.)
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup  cool strongly brewed coffee
1/2 cup condensed milk

1.Whisk together all ingredients.
2. Slowly spoon 2 tablespoons, 1 at a time, over each cupcake.  (Note:  Cupcakes liners should be foil or silicone.)
3. Refrigerate over night or for 3-4 hours.  Spoon 1 teaspoon over each cupcake.

Bailey's Whipped Frosting
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream

1.Mix together all ingredients in electric mixer until stiff peaks form.
2. Frost!

This frosting is AWESOME.  I don't thinki can say it enough.  I really like lighter whipped frostings, but the faint taste of the Bailey's Irish Cream is wonderful, really. If i meet my fate by drowning, please let it be in a vat of this.

Add your garnish.  In my case, I first added the brown sugar and the green shamrocks.  To be clear, I actually was a bit crazy and separated out  my sprinkles.


Not only am i super proud of this recipe and the overall execution... but I also finally got to use the  tea cups that pandippo got me for Christmas!  Cuz I mean really, if you're going to eat a coffee based cupcake it should be in a cute little cup right?  Saucer is an added bonus.   SO CUTE.


If you want to be extra fancy, you can melt chocolate chips in a zip lock and pipe them into shamrocks.

Now my little cupcakes were ready to party.  And party they did. We did. Haha.

Pinkies up when partaking in these cupcakes.  Cuz we're fancy like that.

These cupcakes are the kind of cupcakes that you may want to eat with a spoon. The chocolate is actually super absorbent, more than the tres leches cupcakes were actually, so they aren't as messy as they could be.  But I think it's still easier to eat with a spoon.

I am definetely making these again next year.  I was actually chastised for not bringing more than one cupcake a person!  There were zero left overs.  Uh oh.  I had promised someone extras... but that clearly is not going to happen.

Hope you guys had an awesome Happy St. Patrick's Day too!


P.S.  And in case you're curious about what else was eaten that night?  Everything.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Strawberry Lemon Almond Bundt Cake

I normally bake cupcakes.  But last weekend, I baked this bundt cake.  Why?

1.  I went to Target and I fell in love with a cake pan. A gorgeous light teal bundt pan.

2. I pinterest.  And I ran across this a few weeks ago, and it was just begging to be baked. Begging!
3. I LOVE yogurt and strawberries.  I buy vanilla yogurt and slice up strawberries and shove them in the cup.  Nom. (Is it dollar strawberry season yet?)


And so it was pretty much decided for me when i rediscovered my pin last week that i had to go out and buy the pan.  Here is my version of the cake, with a few modifications added of course.  I upped the lemon and i added almonds.  Cuz we know how i feel about almonds...

Strawberry-Lemon Almond Bundt Cake
325*, 60 minutes for one 10 inch bundt pan

2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs room temp
2 tablespoons lemon juice 
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
10 oz vanilla greek yogurt
12 oz diced strawberries
1/4 cup flour (for tossing strawberries)
1 table spoon almond slivers 

1. In one bowl, sift flour, baking soda and salt together.  Mix in lemon zest.
2. In a second bowl toss washed strawberries with remaining 1/4 cup flour and set aside.

3. In your mixer beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add lemon juice. 
4. Alternate between adding flour mixture and yogurt to the butter mixture.  
5. Take your strawberries and gently fold them into the rest of the batter.  
6. Pour batter into greased and floured bundt pan and bake in oven at 325* for 60 minutes.  

The batter is delicious.  I know this because I sampled it.  It is really thick and is spotted with big chunks of strawberries and tiny lemon zest pieces.

And coming out of the oven?  Oh my god, so exciting to see.  You want to invite people over for dinner just so they can watch you take it out, I swear.  Gorgeous.

Let it sit for 20 minutes before taking out of the pan and placing on top of a wire cooling rack.  The rack should be inside a cookie sheet because the next step is messy.

Lemon Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk (optional)

1. Add lemon to powdered sugar, 1/2 a tablespoon at a time and whisk.
2. Once you get to your desired consistency, stop!  

Note: I added milk because it was still to stiff and I didn't want to over lemon the glaze but it's up to you how lemony you want it!  I also ended up only using of the glaze, so you can probably cut this recipe in half unless you want your cake doused in lemon.

3. Spoon a thin layer of glaze over the cake.
4. Add the almonds on top the of the cake, they should use the lemond glaze as a glue to adhere to.
5.  Add more glaze on top to trap the almonds in place.    

I  used the whisk to splash it on there.  Again, add as little or as much glaze as you want.  Let is sit for a few minutes, the glaze hardens up fast.  

At this point i was like wow, this didn't come out half bad!  

The strawberries look delicious, the cake is an even color... there are crunch almonds on top and lemon glaze drizzling off the sides...

I mean, in the close up you might not even be sure what it is but you want some right?

Yes friends. I was pleased.  And then.. then I cut a slice, and was greeted by wonderful strawberry chunks.

Chunks in ever single slice.  On the top, on the bottom.. everywhere.

It's probably one of the prettiest things that I have made to date!

You just cant stop looking at the strawberries, huh?  Neither could I.  Well no, that's a lie.  Sorry about that.  Sometimes i lie about how long it takes me to shove this stuff in my mouth.

Needless to say I was destroying a slice of this within minutes.

How was it you may ask?  Awesome.  Tangy but sweet.  Soft but crunchy...  Amazing!  I most definitely will add this to my arsenal.  (For the upcoming war of destroying all other girls and finding myself a hot boy with abs.)



Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Piemaker

One of my most favorite shows ever was Pushing Daisies on ABC.  Circa 2007.  Yeah that old.  It was wonderful.  The main character was a charming pie maker who could bring back things from the dead with the touch of his finger. I was so sad that they cancelled it.  Both because it was an adorable story line but also because I liked looking at the pies in the quaint little shop he owned.

Maybe that's why I was (not) so secretly excited when my friends Katie and Mike got a mini pie maker for Christmas.  

While I am not normally huge on eating pies, too many cupcakes to consume obviously, I am huge on cute little baked goods.  So it's no surprise I requested a pie making date, right?


We used a recipe out of the book "Mini Pies:,  by Abigail Johnson Dodge.   It has oodles of sweet pies and savory pies.  The one we chose was a sweet pie called a "almond frangipane pie".

It's really just an almond pie with raspberries on top, haha. (We substituted with blackberries though.)  The name is fancier than the pie.  But it's so pretty, it kind of deserves a fancy name.  But since i dont even know how to PRONOUNCE frangipane, we just called them fancy pants pies.   Katie and Mike wanted to do them anyways and if you know me you know how much i LOVE almonds so i only happily agreed.  Especially since i got left over almonds...

I am tempted to buy one of these babies myself actually.  It was so ridiculously easy I don't even know if i classify this as real baking?  Anyways, after you pick your pie and make sure you have all the ingredients you make the filling which is super easy. The hardest part was toasting the almonds.  And that's not hard at all.  It's delicious.  I mean easy.

 Then you can either make your own crust or use pre made pie crusts. We bought pre-made.  Since it makes four, one rolled out pie dough makes four little pies.  You just cut them up with the included cutter.

Then you put the filling inside the little pie crusts and close the lid.

10 minutes later... you have pie.

Warm fancy pants pie.

Imagine the possibilities!  Apple Pies.  Blueberry pies.  Chocolate cream cheese pies.  Pies pies pies.   See why i may buy my own?  And why maybe you want your own?