Friday, April 11, 2014

Yes. I said it.. Avocado Cupcakes

So, I have a little bit of an obsession. My obsession with AVOCADO. Typically, I'm making guacamole with it. You might be thinking that avocado in cupcakes might be a little strange but they are actually pretty tasty! It does not interfere with the cupcake flavors, it actually adds a subtle flavor. It’s barely noticeable, yet it’s a special touch. I like to watch Cupcake Wars when there is nothing else good on television. I heard a girl talk about making avocado cupcakes and I thought that it would be an interesting idea. The technique for these cupcakes is what makes the texture so soft and smooth. Ingredients: 1 1/2 cups of cake flour 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt 3/4 cup of sugar 2 eggs 1 ripe avocado 3/4 cup vegetable oil 2/3 cup of milk + 1 tbs Frosting: 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup powder sugar 1/2 cup of butter, room temperature Pinch of salt 1 tsp madagascar vanilla Instructions 1.Preheat the oven to 350 and line the muffin pan with cupcake lines. 2.Prepare all the ingredients and have them ready before starting the batter. 3.Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside. 4.Mash the avocado very well or even put it through food processor, set aside. 5.Beat the sugar and eggs together, on high speed, until light and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. 6.Lower the mixer to medium, with mixer running, drizzle in the oil and beat until well combined. 7.Add the avocado mash. 8.Alternating, beat in dry ingredients and milk on low speed. Starting and ending with dry ingredients. 9.Divide the batter between the cupcake cups. 10.Bake for 18-20 minutes.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Strawberry Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting

Although Summer isn't here yet and it's not time to pick fresh strawberries, I'm still a huge fan of trying different ways to eat a strawberry cupcake. They always seem to hit the spot for me when I'm not craving chocolate. Refreshing, clean, and the perfect amount of subtle sweetness. Almost as good as a Key Lime cupcake.. almost. Ingredients: 5-6 medium strawberries 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 1 cup buttermilk 1 tsp vanilla 1 3/4 cups flour 1 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp baking soda 1/4 tsp salt Frosting: 8 oz Mascarpone cheese 1 cup of heavy whipping cream 1 tsp vanilla extract 1/2 cup of sugar Strawberries for topping, diced Instructions 1.Preheat the oven to 350 and line the muffin pan cups with cupcake liners. 2.In a large mixing bowl, mash the strawberries with a fork. 3.Add sugar, vegetable oil, egg, buttermilk and vanilla. Whisk well until all incorporated. 4.Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk until all smooth and combined. 5.Divide the batter among the muffin cups, filling them 3/4 of the way. 6.Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely before frosting. 7.Frosting: in a bowl of an electric mixer, add the mascarpone cheese, heavy whipping cream and vanilla extract. Start on low to mix the ingredients and gradually increase the speed over a few seconds to medium-high. Do no walk away, this will be ready fast! Slowly pour in the sugar. Beat on medium-high until soft peaks form and gradually lower the speed, over a couple of seconds. 8.Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost them and top off with diced strawberries.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Banana Toffee Cupcakes

I have landed on a new favorite cupcake! All thanks to a Cupcake Wars episode & the Food Network.. These are DIVINE. So, if you're looking to serve something for Easter other than the typical coconut cupcake or carrot cake... here is a good one to Wow your guests with! 2 ounces unsalted butter 2 1/2 ounces light brown sugar 2 ounces granulated sugar 1 3/4 ounces whole egg 6 1/4 ounces ripe banana puree 7 ounces of cake flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 3 1/2 ounces chocolate toffee candy bar bits 2 ounces buttermilk Dulce de Leche Toffee Filling: 7 ounces prepared dulce de leche (available at Latin-American grocery stores) 3 1/2 ounces chocolate toffee candy bar bits Caramel Cream Cheese Icing: 7 1/2 ounces butter, softened 24 ounces cream cheese 12 ounces powdered sugar 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 9 ounces prepared dulce de leche (available at Latin-American grocery stores) For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard size muffin pan with 12 cupcake liners. Combine the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on medium-high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the bowl and add the egg and banana puree. Cream for an additional 3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl, and then add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix for 30 seconds on low speed. Add the toffee bits and buttermilk. Stir on low speed until combined.Bake about 23 min. For the filling: Stir the dulce de leche and toffee bits together until fully combined. Place in a pastry bag with a round tip large enough to allow the toffee bits to pass through without becoming lodged. After making the cream cheese frosting: Stir in the dulce de leche in by hand to create a marbled appearance. To assemble: Remove the center core of the cupcakes and fill with Dulce ee Leche Toffee Filling. Pipe the Caramel Cream Cheese Icing generously on top of each cupcake.

Friday, March 28, 2014

2013 & 2014 Cupcake Trends

The decadent cupcake has had a revival in recent years, pushing traditional sponges out of the limelight. There has been a phenomenal increase in the number of specialist shops and businesses offering custom designed cupcakes with exotic flavors and sophisticated decorations. More unique and original ideas are being created and the interest around baking has surged from TV programs and competitions. Multitudes of cupcakes are now replacing more traditional celebration cakes as well as redefining high tea. These are the key cupcake trends to watch out for the 2013 & 2014 year. Recenetly, in an Entrepreneur article, Andrew Freeman, CEO of a San Francisco-based hospitality consulting firm, predicted that cupcakes, donuts and croissants were on their way out for 2014 and ice cream sandwiches, biscuits and unusual food combinations like the ramen burger and dessert pizza are on the rise. In my opinion, I truly believe that even if the trend of cupcakes slows down--- it will never "go out." Creme Brulee, It has finally made it's way into bakeries around the country! I almost feel like I started this trend back in 2011 with the help of a friend who actually inspired me to try this incredible idea, in turn it became one of the most popular cupcakes ordered off of my menu-- It's nice to see that it has made it's way to the top in other places, around the globe. I think this will always be the PERFECT cupcake for a wedding. Not to mention, many different ways as to how you can go about make this amazing piece of art. Rose & Pearl, These dainty little treasures would tie in beautifully if the bride chose a pink rose bouquet and wore pearls as her ‘something borrowed’. The elements of roses and pearls are both traditional wedding features as well as being so classically elegant, so they make the ideal wedding cupcakes. Silver foil cake cases only add to the cakes’ class and style and will look so pretty on the cake stand as they reflect the light. This will be a huge trend in 2014. Naked Cakes, These little cupcakes are going back to basics with minimal or no decoration. The flavors are left to speak for themselves and are often more unusual and exotic. Sometimes two flavors of colors of sponge are marbled together to create a beautiful swirled effect and a fusion of flavors. Occasionally a little bit of butter cream may be added for extra flavor, but no sprinkles or gold leaf here! Hidden Surprise, This is a trend that translates to larger cakes as well; but the idea is to keep things simple on the outside and make the most of the hidden inside. Patterns, different colors and hidden chocolate, fruit or jams are all amongst the surprises embedded behind the simple icing and cases. The outside of the cakes are always minimal, usually in one color with few decorations and neatly piped icing. The inside becomes a gala of flavors, textures and colors. With this trend, as long as it is on the inside; anything goes! Romantic Decorations, These are most suitable at a wedding or celebration, or if you’re just feeling particularly decadent. The decorations have a romantic edge, with edible lace and icing gently folded to make ruffles. These cupcakes are both beautiful and delicate. Pale colors and subtle flavors really give this trend a vintage feel and they are extra appealing because they are easy to achieve at home! Pastel Colors, More and more people are opting for color instead of the traditional white decorations for their celebration cakes. Pastel colors in icing have become particularly popular because of their their softer tones and pretty, summery shades. Subtly colored sponges or fruity decorations are a good idea for the less obvious nod to this trend. Intricate Additions, Alternatively, there has been a lot of focus on sugar craft and the possibility of making virtually anything to adorn your cake. Whether it is an elaborate storybook scene, tiny lifelike sculptures of a bride and groom or perfectly piped butter cream, cake making is becoming more and more of an art form. Even the cupcake boxes are beautifully designed! Vintage, Paying homage to era’s past, wedding cakes will be showing muted colours, ruffles and lace. Lace on wedding cakes will dominate 2013 & 2014 styles as embellishments, edging and overall icing design. Mimicking bridal dresses including corsets, ruffles and lace details, will be also be very popular and will be seen accented with jewels and bling! Mint, Mint green made a start in 2012, and it’s popularity will continue to grow in 2013 & 2014. Cupcakes and cakes coloured mint, with matching elaborations will be popular on cake tables this year. Pairing the colour mint with the flavour, chocolate cakes filled with mint buttercream will create the perfect match. Lace wedding cakes acquire more and more popularity nowadays. This could be explained by the romantic and soft appeal and charm they add to the wedding reception. Lace, Lace Wedding cakes aquire more and more popularity nowadays. This could be explained by the romantic and soft appeal and charm they add to the wedding reception. The lace wedding cakes are able to suit the wedding receptions in distinct styles: if you want to stick to the traditional reception, simply opt for the white lace with the vintage feel. In case you plan a modern-type celebration, go fo the fabric-inspired cakes. Rustic, Rustic looks are going to be a big trend in 2014, and simple cupcakes in shades of brown, beige and white can look chic while adding to the theme. Art Deco, Since the release of the Great Gatsby, many brides have been dreaming of 20's inspired wedding receptions, and art deco cupcakes are perfect for adding to that vibe!