October 11, 2010

A Love-Hate Relationship

That is what I have with cupcakes. They taste delicious (love). Over half of the time I make them they sink in the middle (HATE!). I would really like the relation to progress into something more. Maybe a love-like relationship. Heck, love-love would be fabulous but possibly too much to hope for. I think it could be good for both of us. I am all about mutually beneficial relationships. I could make them look lovely. They could make my tongue happy...so very happy.

Why, or why must they be so damn sensitive? I follow the directions. I coddle the batter. I don't overfill the cups. . .at least I don't think I do. I bake them the recommended amount of time. I let them cool. I gently remove them to the cooling rack. What more do they expect? I hope to one day figure it out in my pursuit of working my way into that love-like relationship that I so desire. I will keep you updated with any developments.

In August JBonG and JAB had birthdays. For JBonG I made Margarita Cupcakes. This was the first birthday she had been around for and I practically had to twist her arm to make her realize it was a pleasure for me to make them. She seemed to think it was some sort of imposition. It wasn't. I have so many recipes, I am thrilled when I can make new ones . . . especially the dessert ones. I like when I can make them and give them away because that means they are not in my house for me to eat.

Anyway, I made the cupcakes as directed below with alcohol and some that were virgin (I just substituted margarita mix for the tequila). I warned people as they took them so they could take whichever type they preferred. They were delicious. Everyone enjoyed them.

For JAB I made Red Velvet Cupcakes. I have made them before and liked the recipe but I have a difficult time leaving well enough alone so I had to try a new recipe. It has been so long since I had the previous ones I can't really compare the two. These were great. The dressing was delicious. KLB and JAB enjoyed them too.

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Margarita Cupcakes with Lime Buttercream Icing
adapted from My Kitchen Cafe, What’s for Dinner?, & Recipe Girl
Print Recipe

2 cups granulated sugar
2 3/4 cups plus 1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp cornstarch
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
16 tablespoons butter (2 sticks), cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup margarita Mix , room temperature
1/4 tequila, room temperature
3 egg whites @ room temperature
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
zest of 3 small limes or 2 medium limes

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers (recipe yields 24 cupcakes). In a glass or small bowl, mix together the margarita mix and tequila. Make sure both are at room temperature to ensure smooth mixing with the rest of the ingredients. In medium bowl (preferably with a pouring spout) whisk together the margarita mixture, 3 egg whites (also at room temperature for the same reason) and vegetable oil. In separate bowl mix sugar, flour, cornstarch, milk powder, baking powder, and salt. Add butter and vanilla and mix with pastry blender or fork until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Slowly incorporate the wet ingredients either with a hand mixer or standing mixer. Beat mixture about 2-3 minutes. The batter will have a thick, tacky consistency. Distribute the mixture evenly among the 24 cupcakes. Use a muffin scoop to do so as pouring this thick batter might be a challenge. Bake the cupcakes for 8 minutes, then rotate the pans to ensure even baking. Bake at 350 an additional 8-10 minutes. Bake times can vary. They're done when you can pull out a clean toothpick from the center of a cupcake. To avoid over-baking, watch them carefully. Remove from oven. Let sit in the tins for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack. Once completely cooled (1-2 hrs), ice with Lime Buttercream Frosting.

Lime Buttercream Icing:
2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), at room temperature
5 to 6 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp grated lime zest
green food coloring, if desired
small lime slices for garnish, if desired

Place butter in a large bowl and beat with electric mixer until butter is fluffy. Add 5 cups of powdered sugar, salt, lime juice, and lime zest. Mix until thick and creamy. Add more powdered sugar until the frosting is of a good spreading (or piping) consistency. Mix in a tiny amount of green food coloring or gel paste if you’d like the frosting to have a green tint. Ice cupcakes in whatever manner you prefer… spreading or piping the frosting. Use small lime slices as garnish.

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Red Velvet Cupcakes II
from Bakerella Here and Here
Print Recipe

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 Tbsp cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup oil
1 cup buttermilk
1 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
2 oz. red food coloring

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour two 8 inch cake pans. Lightly stir eggs in a medium bowl with a wire whisk. Add remaining liquid ingredients and stir together with whisk until blended. Set aside. Place all the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir together really good with another wire whisk. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix on medium-high for about a minute or until completely combined. Pour into cake pans and then drop the pans on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. After about ten minutes, remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. I also cover in plastic wrap while the cakes cool.
Then make the Cream Cheese Frosting.

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Cream Cheese Frosting
from Bakerella
Print Recipe

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups confectioners’ sugar

Sift sugar and set aside. Beat cream cheese and butter on high until creamy. Add vanilla. Then, add the sugar in batches. Scrape down the sides in between each addition. And frost away.

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1 comment:

  1. Those margarita cupcakes were GREAT! You are a great friend to JBonG!