The Bananas Duo

          

Hello everyone!

Today was an interesting day – the weather was insane! One minute it’s nighttime in your house because of how dark the clouds are and the next it’s as sunny as can be.

Completely unpredictable :\

Anywhoo… Did you know that the largest cupcake was 1,224 pounds? The cupcake was 4 feet tall and 10 feet wide. That’s HUGE.

Sine I had these awesome monkey cupcake liners, I decided that banana cupcakes would be the perfect thing to fill them with. These cupcakes have two different types of frosting: Cream cheese & peanut butter. Not to mention they have a chocolate mousse filling. Yumm :]

Banana Cupcake:

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 ripe bananas (make sure they are REALLY, REALLY ripe! Mine weren’t and the banana

flavor wasn’t that strong)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup butter

1 egg

1 egg yolk

– With rack in the center of the oven, pre-heat to 350 degrees.

– Mash bananas with fork ( Really mash those suckers. No large chunks remaining.)

– Mix the vanilla and sour cream into the bananas and set aside.

– In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, soda and salt.

– In an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until fluffy.

– Turn the mixer off!

– Now, add the egg and egg yolk.

– Mix on medium speed until well mixed.

** This next step is important!!

– Add the flour mixture and the banana mixture alternately.

*Flour. Banana. Flour. Banana. Flour.

– Fill the muffin cups 2/3 full and bake for about 20 minutes.

** Make sure they are completely cooked by inserting a toothpick in the middle!!!

– Transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack and let cool.

Chocolate Mousse Filling:

1/2 envelope of unflavored gelatin

1 tablespoon cold water

1/8 cup boiling water

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup powdered cocoa (I used Hershey’s)

1 cup cold whipping cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– In a small bowl sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water.

– Set aside around 2 minutes to soften.

– After 2 minutes, add the boiling water.

– Stir the gelatin until it is completely dissolved…set aside.

– In an electric mixer, mix together the sugar and cocoa.

– Then, add the whipping cream and vanilla.

– Beat on medium speed until stiff.

** Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl!

– Slowly mix in the gelatin until well combined.

– With an apple corer, hollow out the middle of the cupcakes.

Then, get a round tip (I used size 12) and insert it into the icing bag.

– Fill the icing bag with the chocolate mousse and fill the centers of the cupcakes until just full

** Do Not Overfill!

Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

– With an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese.

– With the mixer on low speed, sprinkle in the powdered sugar.

** Don’t dump the sugar! It will go all over the place (at least it has for me in the past)

– Then, mix in the vanilla.

– When everything is mixed together completely, grab an icing bag fitted with a swirl tip (I used the 1M tip from Wilton’s) and fill it with the icing.

– Starting from the outside of the cupcake, go around the edge and swirl inward until you reach the middle, pulling up quickly to create a point.

Peanut Butter Frosting:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

4-5 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

– With an electric mixer, cream together peanut butter and butter.

– With the mixer on low speed, sprinkle in the powdered sugar.

** Once again, don’t dump the sugar!

– Then, mix in the milk and vanilla.

**  If the frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk until it is just right for piping.

– When everything is mixed together completely, fit another icing bag with the same tip you used for the cream cheese frosting.

– Using the same technique for the cream cheese frosting, frost the remaining cupcakes with the peanut butter.

After all this work you can finally sit back and enjoy the cupcakes. They are really, really good. If I could, I would eat them all :]

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Yeaa Cupcakes!!

I love cupcakes…actually, I love almost any type of baking. 😀

Did you know that the first cupcake was made in 1796 by Amelia Simmons? Although it wasn’t called a cupcake, that word came around in the 19th century. Instead, it was ‘a cake to be baked in small cups.’ Today, cupcakes are widely known, and widely made. These delectable sweets resemble personal cakes. You can make regular cupcakes, which are generally the size of a teacup, or ‘fairy cakes’. Fairy cakes are smaller than the average cupcake and rarely have icing on top.

The cupcakes I’ve made this time are a chocolate cupcake recipe from the Miette recipe book. I received this book for my birthday (which was August 10 – I’m now 20. Woohoo!!) and decided I had to try it out as soon as I came back from vacation.

The icing is boiled icing. This is the first time I’ve tried it and, personally, I am not a fan. However, that does not mean it isn’t good! If you are not a fan of boiled icing, I recommend trying a regular vanilla or white icing instead. I’m sure anything that goes great with chocolate will go great with these.

**Note: You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe! You will also need an icing bag (I used a 12 inch one) with a round tip (I’m sure you could use a star tip as well). 12 or larger will work fine.

Ingredients for the cake:

1 1/2 cups king arthur all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups natural unsweetened cocoa (I prefer using Hersheys)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 oz 70% cocoa chocolate, chopped (I used 60% and it still tasted good :])

1 cup boiling water

1 cup butter milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature**

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 1/4 cups sugar

– Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

– Into a small bowl, stir together cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, flour and salt

– In another small bowl, pour the hot water and chocolate in.

– Stir until the chocolate is melted (I forgot to do this step…but it was melted by the time I mixed it with everything else.)

– Set the chocolate aside to cool for about 15 minutes.

– In a standard mixer, whisk the eggs and vanilla together until foamy.

– Reduce the mixer speed to low.

– Add the vegetable oil slowly…don’t dump it. Dumping = Bad

– Whisk on medium speed until well combined.

– Once again, reduce the speed of the mixture to low.

–  Slowly pour in the chocolate and water, buttermilk and vanilla. Remember no dumping…do it slowly.

– Then, add the sugar and whisk until the batter is smooth.

– Stop that mixer!

– Add the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. You can do this by hand or in the mixer on low. (The book suggests mixing it by hand.)

** The batter will have lumps!! Lumps are Okay. Do not..DO NOT continue mixing to try to get those lumps out, we’ll take care of them in a minute.

– Gather a mesh sieve and a large bowl.

– Pour the batter into the mesh sieve over the bowl until all thats left is those lumps.

– Throw those lumps away! Who needs em anyway?

– Take a standard muffin tin and line it with awesome paper liners, not those dinky white ones.

– Fill each liner 2/3 full and put them into the oven for about 20-25 minutes (I just got these awesome cupcake spoons that help you measure it out so each one is filled equally. Yea, my cupcakes tend to overflow :] )

** Don’t forget to insert a toothpick into the middle. If it comes out clean, the cupcakes are fully cooked. If not, put them back in for another minute or two.

For some reason, my cupcakes fell down in the center. It was a very sad thing to watch… :[

It is time for the icing! The book didn’t have very good instructions, it took me three times to actually get it right. I Googled it eventually to see what other’s were doing. Here we go!

Ingredients for icing:

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1/4 cup water

3 large egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

– In an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites and vanilla on medium/high speed until soft peaks form.

– Gather a small sauce pan, fit it with the candy thermometer, and fill it with the water, sugar and cream of tartar.

– Do Not Stir!!! It won’t burn or anything I promise.

– When the sugar mixture reaches 270 degrees fahrenheit, take it off of the stove.

– With the mixer on low speed, slowly trickle the sugar mixture down the sides of the bowl.

– It is extra important to do it SLOW and down the SIDES. Make sure it doesn’t hit the whisk.

– If there are no peaks present, add a tablespoon of confectioners sugar and mix it in. Keep doing this until icing has peaks.

– With a rubber spatula, drop the icing into the pastry bag fitted with the tip. Start squeezing the icing in the middle of the cupcake, rotating your hand in small circles to ensure the icing covers the entire top of the cupcake. Then, pull up quickly to make a tiny peak in the middle of the icing.

I topped my cupcakes with Boston Baked Beans (candy coated peanuts) to add a little color.

Congratulations, the cupcake is made! Now sit back and enjoy !

Scrumptious Chocolate Cupcakes

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Snickerdoodles!

          

I’ve been craving cookies lately, then again, who doesn’t? Cookies are awesome.

Thursday evening into Friday morning I saw the midnight premier of The Dark Knight Rises. I got home around 4 am and just passed out. Once I woke up I was feeling lazy and didn’t feel like going out anywhere so I decided to be somewhat productive and make cookies!

I went into the Joy of Cooking book and found an awesome snickerdoodle recipe. The book informed me that the name snickerdoodle may be from the German word schneckennudeln, which means crinkly noodles. Who knew?

To make these delicious cookies you’ll need:

For the cookies:

2 cups all-purpose flour</p)

2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 large eggs

For the coating:

1/4 cup sugar

4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

– Position a rack in the upper third of the oven

– Pre-head the oven to 350 degrees and grease cookie sheets

– Sift together flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt

– Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until fluffy and well blended

– Add the eggs and beat until well combined

– Stir in the flour mixture until well blended and smooth

– Pull of pieces of the dough and roll into 1 1/4-inch balls

– Roll the balls into the cinnamon sugar mixture

– Space coated balls about 2 3/4 inches apart on the cookie sheets

– Bake one sheet at a time for about 8 to 11 minutes, or until the cookies are golden brown around the edges

– Let the cookie sheets cool between batches or the copies may spread too much

Enjoy!

Maybe after making a few more batches of various cookies, my cookie cravings will go away. For now, I’ll just have to sit back and indulge myself.

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