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Monday, October 29, 2007

Hallowe'en Plans

We're having a little do at the office to celebrate my favourite holiday on Wednesday, and I have to decide on treats.

I'm kindof set on these cos really, that's the best thing I've ever seen. I'd also like to Frankenstein or Witch up the sweet pea cupcakes -- because everyone should taste them and go "Sorry, there's peas in this? But it's so good!"

Raspberries are on offer at my grocer, so I'll be doing raspberry filling instead of cherry (also cos I don't like cherries) for the bleeders. I'd like to do a third/chocolatey variety as well. I have some glow-in-the-dark ants, so maybe those on some chocolcate cupcakes? Unknown. We shall see.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Someone has already asked for my recipe for the cupcakes. HAHAHA.

I served them at the office, as I usually do, and they went over very well. Soukia said they were my best cupcakes yet! Go me!

I've also been pointed toward these. I need that!! Hallowe'en is my favourite holiday, so I need it a lot!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Success: Pumpkin bread pudding cupcakes with apple chai glaze

Cupcakes are a sucess!

The theme is re-invention, so I decided to take my two favourite desserts and cupcake them up. What is my favourite dessert? Pumpkin Pie, and Apple Crisp. Okok, those are two things. But I bet they would go really well together. Wouldn't they? They would.

My first attempt at pumpkin cupcakes was a failure, unfortunately, and I decided to go with something different: bread pudding. Pumpkin bread pudding.

I left spices out of the cupcake bit entirely, because I wanted the chai in the apple glaze to really shine. I'm glad I did, but I was a bit underwhelmed by the pumpkinnyness of the pudding. I would probably up the amount of pumpkin* -- or add a bit of filling to it -- next time.

*I ended up with a quarter cup or so of pumpkin purée left over, I plan to try to make a pumpkin glaze as well. I'm told, though, that I like my food a bit richer/more flavourful than most people. YMMV.

Apple Chai Glaze

6 - 8 medium apples
1 cup sugar
1 cup chai tea

Chop up your apples, and skins on put them in a bowl. I chopped them into quarters and then the quarters into about 1" pieces.

Add your cup of sugar, and pop them in the fridge for one hour to mascerate. When you take them out, there will be a load of liquid mixed in with the apples, and they'll be a bit browned.

I did this in my slow cooker. Turn it to medium and let your apples cook for about an hour. Then add one cup of brewed chai tea, and cook for another hour or so. If you're doing this on the stovetop, cook it to a temperature of 220F, then turn down the heat and let it simmer for about 20 minutes, until the apples are soft enough to blender.

Go to town with your blender, hand blender thingie, or food processor. You want as few chunks as possible.

Boil some canning jars, and fill them with appley goodness. This makes about 3 1-cup jars.

Pumpkin Bread Pudding


3 eggs
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup cream
1 loaf bread
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup margerine (or butter)

In a bowl, mix the margerine, sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and cream, then add the bread, cut into 1" cubes, until completely combined. I like it a bit dry, so I ended up adding another 4 slices of bread I had in the pantry in addition to the loaf.

Bake for 25 minutes at 350C. As it turns out, my oven temperature gauge is about 50 degrees off. So I got an oven thermometer! You can see it hanging from the bottom of the rack, there. $4 for perfect cupcakes, a steal.

When a toothpick comes out clean, they're done. Let them cool for about 10 minutes.

Top the cooled cupcakes with a tablespoon or so of the apple chai glaze & enjoy.

Attempt #2

My second try at cupcakes for the round-up is in the oven. Here's hopin'!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Attempt the First: Fail

I was certain I had the best idea ever for my Cupcake Round-Up entry: Pumpkin cupcakes. Who doesn't love pumpkin cupcakes?

(Canadian) Thanksgiving had just passed, leaving me with a hankering for some pumpkin pie. I'm always out to try new cupcakes, so I decided to modify the Sweet Pea Cupcake recipe from Vanilla Garlic to suit a pumpkin pie taste. Brilliant, yea? No.

I started out with my ingredients:

500g all purpose flour

3 Tb egg replacer
3 Tb water
1 can pure pumpkin
1.5 C sugar
1 t vanilla
1 Tb lemon juice
1 t baking powder
1 t each nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon

It mixed up all nice. Look at the colour! Nice! I was pleased. Everything shaping up quite well, I thought.

I filled the tins, and popped them in the oven at 350, for +/-20 minutes.

In the meantime, I would make the crust-like topping - the best part of pumpkin pie is the crust, yeah? Yeah.
Doesn't that look good? 1 part butter, 1 part brown sugar, 1 part flour. Mix until crumbly and delicious. I tasted it, it was awesome. I love you, topping stuff!!

I crumbled the delicious topping over the cupcakes, took them out of the oven, waited til they cooled, and got ready for a delicious pumpkin pie cupcake.

Don't they look good? Good colour! Bright and pumpkinny. Yum!

Once they were cooled, I settled in to try one, peeled away the wrapper... Or, at least, tried. It was stuck solid. The bottom? Burnt. The middle? Goop. The top was the best part! How misleading!

The whole lot (24 cupcakes!) wound up in the bin.

I do have another idea for the round up, so look for a success post (hopefully!!) later this week!

Monday, October 8, 2007

First Post

I was inspired to enter the Cupcake Roundup that Garrett and Cheryl are hosting this year. To that end, a blog.

They're unintentionally vegan, and in the oven now.