Saturday, October 29, 2011

Happy Halloween!

How could I not forget this awesome holiday? When I was little I had the pleasure of trick or treating, three times a year! Maybe that can explain why I have such a sweet tooth and a bunch of cavities.

Yesterday, I visited my favorite area in Pasadena, Lake Avenue. It was absolutely gorgeous! With the red, yellow, and orange leaves falling onto the ground. People drinking their Pumpkin Spice Lattes and whatnot. And the beautiful fall decorations in the stores. Lovely.

Here are my creations!

I used a Dark Chocolate Cupcake and Vanilla/Chocolate Buttercream recipe.
Here are the ingredients below:

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes: Makes about 12 cupcakes

1 stick of unsalted butter
2 ounces of bittersweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup of cocoa powder
1/4 cup of Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa
3/4 cup of regular all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 Large Eggs at room temperature
3/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 cup of sour cream at room temperature

This recipe is different from most cupcake recipes because it doesn't involve the regular creaming of butter and sugar. First, preheat the oven @ 350 F. In the microwave melt the chocolate chips and stick of butter. Once it has been fully incorporated mix both cocoa's into the butter mixture. Set aside.

Combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder & soda. Set aside.

Whisk the eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt until fully combined. Once the chocolate mixture is cooled, at it to the egg mixture.

Next, add about one-third of your flour mixture into the chocolate/egg mixture. Then add your sour cream. Continue adding the rest of your flour mixture until fully incorporated. The mixture should be thick (almost like a brownie batter).

Scoop batter into cupcake tins. Put in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Make sure to rotate your tins halfway through the baking process. Insert the toothpick and you know the rest!

I adapted this recipe from, "The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2011".

For the frosting, I just used a basic vanilla buttercream and added unsweetened chocolate to get the chocolate buttercream.

For the decorations:
Mummy: For the eyes, I used bittersweet chocolate chips and tiny red/yellow sprinkles. Frosted the cupcake using a 45 Tip from Wilton.
Cute Creature: Oreo's for the giant eyes and Reese's Pieces. You may need some extra buttercream to make sure the candy adheres to the eyes.

And there you go! Have a great halloween everyone! Now onto my festivities! :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

There is nothing like Fall...

Fall is lingering in the air. With the nice warm sunny days and cold crisp nights. Which I absolutely love, love, love!

This past weekend I had a craving to make something that was absolute perfect fall deliciousness. Well nothing says it better than than a recipe from the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten!

A recipe found on the link here.

The pumpkin cake itself smelled amazing coming out of the oven. It rises beautifully and makes about 10-11 small cupcakes. These would also be great mini-cupcakes for a great breakfast treat. What's interesting about this cupcake is that it doesn't involve the creaming of the sugar and butter (a typical cupcake base for most recipes). For the Maple Frosting, I just used some maple extract (the generic, cheaper kind of course) but I'm betting that you can use a teaspoon of maple syrup and it'll taste just as delicious! I also increased the cream cheese dose to the typical 8oz package, and the butter to 4 tablespoons which was just as creamy. As for the c.sugar its all up to your taste buds! Cheers.

I also made some chocolate chip cookies with reeses pieces! Now all you need is a glass of milk right? :)


Weeks ago, I saw a really cute mickey mouse cupcake picture on and decided to replicate it (without actually having to create the mouse entirely made of fondant/gum paste). Great idea for a gift don't you think? So the perfect shape for the ears is a giant pastry tip-- not the plastic kind since it makes it harder to cut out perfect circles. I also decided to use red paper liners, but ended up making my own using red construction paper from a template I found online (click here for template)  Thanks to,!

Have a great last week of October everyone! Halloween is next week! Get excited :)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Cupcake Bouquets!

Hi ho folks! I decided to get into that fabulous fall mode. October has been a super busy month! It really is the best time of the year. With Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas in the days ahead, the ideas to make even more fabulous delicious treats are endless and that makes me super excited!

My first project was a fantabulous cupcake bouquet. Please, tell me how come I've never done this before? This is really such an awesome idea because it can be an awesome gift, centerpiece, or surprise for a dear family member or friend! For those who are just starting this project for the first time, I advise that you research, cut coupons, and research!

From what I have experienced:

  •  You need a great buttercream and cake recipe that will not only give you a moist and delicious cake but one that is firm enough to hold on the styrofoam. 
  • I know that this tip has been mentioned before, but don't frost the cupcakes until you have placed them on top of the styrofoam! It is amazingly easier! 
  • Colorful Tissue Paper, Ribbons, and other plastic leaves can help you hide the holes or gaps in your bouquet. 
  • If you purchase a styrofoam ball make sure you use a coupon because they are extremely pricey! Also, you will need a fairly large knife/saw to cut the styrofoam ball in half. (Young kids performing this project should ask an adult to cut it for them because it can be dangerous if you aren't careful :)
  • A great edible glue is royal icing! It dries hard to a matte finish. (All you need is meringue powder, a little bit of water, and powdered sugar)
Hope this helps! Here is my first bouquet, I made it for my dear friend Stephanie (who absolutely loved it!)

Stay tuned folks for more pictures! And always thanks for reading! Have a super wonderful week!