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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

#6: Chocolate Wasabi

For my birthday last year, co-workers got me cupcakes from a local cupcakery, Itsi Bitsi. Among those cupcakes was Chocolate Wasabi, which I was completely excited about, cos - what a combination! Should be awesome! Wooooo!

They were good, but mostly chocolate. I didn't really get a wasabi kick with them, which is what I was expecting. When I made mine, I wanted there to be a definite "whoa, burning" with them.

These are based on the recipe for Black Pearl Chocolate Cake (a Vosges creation, and anything by Vosges can be trusted.)

Makes 36 cupcakes

2 cups boiling water
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tbsp. wasabi powder*
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Whisk 2 cups boiling water, cocoa powder, and wasabi powder* in medium heatproof bowl. Whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in large bowl.
Beat sugar and butter in a third bowl until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in vanilla extract.
Add flour mixture in 4 additions alternately with cocoa mixture in 3 additions, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Pour into cupcake tins, bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

*Baking completely kills the wasabi flavour, leaving nothing but chocolate. I'd leave it out next time.

Wasabi Syrup

1 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
Quite a lot! of Wasabi

Boil water, add sugar, add wasabi, reduce. I kept adding wasabi til I was satisfied that there was BURNING, which ended up being, I _think_ 1/8 of a cup. Maybe more or less. I got a 1/4 c. jar from Penzeys, and it's all gone, split between the syrup and the whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

1 c. whipping cream
1/4 c or less sugar
Quite a lot! of wasabi

Whip together cream, sugar, wasabi until light and fluffy. See above note re: wasabi quantities.

Chocolate Ganache

1 c. whipping cream
1 bar of scharffen berger chocolate
3/4 c. sugar

Boil cream, add chocolate, add sugar, stir & refrigerate until thickish.


Once cakes have cooled, brush lightly with wasabi syrup. Allow this to cool/set (I let it go overnight, and iced them in the morning, but you can do what you like, really)

Top cooled cupcakes with a thin layer of ganache, and a generous dollop of whipped cream.

On the way to work, these had an unfortunate accident getting out of the cab, so they got a bit .. smushed. Tehy still taste like awesome, but aren't the prettiest.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

#5 -or- Bonus : Kiwi Muffins

I'm not entirely sure I can call these #5. For one, there's no icing, which for me makes the cupcake a cupcake. It's really a muffin. For two, I only made 6. Now, I didn't specify in my brainbox how many cupcakes per batch would make for counting as one, so I think I can count it, and then I'm ahead. On the other hand, I made these for breakfast, which kindof might be cheating, cos cupcakes are a dessert food, not a breakfast food. I'm going to make a poll.

Makes 6

1 cup flour
1 cup kiwi (crushed)
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

In a bowl, mix flour, salt, baking powder.
In a more different bowl, mix sugar, oil, kiwi, and vanilla.

Add kiwi stuff to flour stuff. Mix together. Fill tins with batter, bake 25 or so minutes at 350F.

Monday, January 21, 2008

#4: Mezzo, Soy, Half-Sweet, Caramel Macciato

Cupcake after my favourite drink! This is again for the Cupcake Hero challenge, this month's theme, Coffee.

I love coffee. I love it a lot. I used to drink it constantly. When I heard this month's theme I knew immediately what I wanted to make.

I've not deviated from the Mezzo Soy Half-Sweet Caramel Macciato at Starbucks for 7 years. Every time I go there, it's what I have. So translating it into a cupcake just made sense.

These are vegan, since I am finding I prefer the texture of non-dairy cupcakes to those made with. You could non veganize it quite simply I'm sure.

Cake Bit
1 c. soy milk
1 cider vinegar
1 1/3 C cake flour
3/4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. oil
3/4 c. granulated sugar
4 T. very strong coffee (I used instant coffee granules and added droplets of water until it was a paste
1/4 c. coffee grains

Boil soy milk until bubbly, add coffee grains. Steep for a while (until dark), add vinegar and allow milk to curdle.

Mix coffee mixture, oil, strong coffee bit until combined. Add flour, bs, bp, salt, sugar and flour. Mix until combined.

Fill cupcake wrappers 3/4 full, and bake for 20 minutes at 350F

1/4 c. icing sugar
1/4 c. instant coffee granules
Drizzly caramel

Powder coffee over cupcakes, then icing sugar. Drizzle caramel overtop.

The drizzles actually rolled right off the icing sugar, and rested around the edge, so this needs some rethinking. It's *supposed* to zigzag across the top and then circle round the sides, but that was a no go.

No matter, they tasted quite nice, and I don't think anyone will pitch a fit over the lack of zigzags (but I do wish I could figure it out!)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

#3: Lemon/Ginger & Mint/Chocolate

I've been unwell this week so I cheated a little bit on the cupcake thing. My icing comes from a jar. Wait! Don't
stone me! I added my own junk to it as well, so it's not just gross too sweet icing.

This unwellness also made it a real chore to make 36 cupcakes, so I made 12. And I had some left in my freezer from Christmas, so I brought those to the office as well. I did make the cake on the lemon ones though! Not a total loss!

For the lemony cake bit, I re-used the Nigella Clementine recipe, but I wanted it to be lighter and more cakey, less dense, so I dropped 3 eggs, upped the fruit, dropped the almond and added some flour. Which makes them not-gluten-free, but I'm not gluten free and no one I bake for is, either.

Lemon & Ginger Cakes
makes 12 cupcakes

4 meyer lemons, boiled for 2 hours (skins on, whole)
3 eggs
200g ground almonds
2/3 cup cake flour (a bit more if it looks wet)
1/4 c. oil
2/3 c. sugar
splash lemon juice
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 c. finely chopped crystallized ginger

Whizz up lemons in food processor. These didn't break down for me as much as the clementines did, so I also pressed them through a sieve into the bowl of my mixer.

Add almongs, ginger, flour, eggs, oil, sugar, lemon juice and baking soda. Mix in mixer until mixed.

I let it stand for about an hour while I made supper, which made the batter rise quite a lot.

Pour into baking cups (3/4 full) and bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

1/2 jar of No-Name vanilla icing
2-3 tbsp lemon juice.
More finely chopped ginger

Combine. Spread over cupcakes.
Sprinkle with ginger chunkies.

All in all the cake was lighter and fluffier on the lemon ones, I'm very pleased with the result. The batter tasted really bitter and I was concerned, but they baked up perfectly.

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes : Cake recipe here
Remove cupcakes from freezer.

1/2 jar of No-Name vanilla icing
a few drops of peppermint extract
3 drops of green colour

Mix together, spread over cupcakes. Stupid cupcakes made bits into the icing. Hate you, chocolate cupcakes and non-chocolate icing. I should have iced these while they were still frozen, but I did not. Oh well.

I've had the cake before, obviously, and they were very nice. Moist and light, minty and chocolatey. The fake icing I actually prefer to the chocolate - it's far sweeter, less grown-up, more fun.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

#2: Pina Colada Cupcakes

Second cupcake of the year went down as well as the first. This leads me to believe all previous cupcakes were crap. Or, my cupcaking skills are getting better.

I've never had a pina colada, so I can't tell you how similar these are to the real thing. They were tasty though, coconutty and pineapply, and very very moist. No complaints.

I also have a flickr account now, where all photos of cupcakes will live. Including photos not previously seen on this here blog! It's like a cupcake EXCLUSIVE. Or something. See it here


1/4 cup malibu flavoured rum
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup oil
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-3 tbsp pineapple juice
1 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

In one bowl, mix together all dry ingredients.
In another, mix together all wet ingredients.
Add wet ingredients to dry.

Fill cupcake tins 3/4 full, bake 18-20 minutes at 350F


1/4 shortening
3 tbsp pineapple juice
2 tbsp rum
2+ cups icing sugar
1/4 cup crushed pineapple
1/4 cup dessicated coconut
pinch brown sugar

Whip together shortening, sugar, juice, and rum. Fold in crushed pineapple. Ice cupcakes.

Roll iced cupcakes in dessicated coconut, sprinkle brown sugar on top.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

#1: Clementine Cream Cupcakes

First cupcakes of the year were a huge hit! I'm actually a bit worried, cos these were *so* good, I'm not sure I can live up to them.

Here are some of the comments:
"These are your best cupcakes yet. GJ."
"Not only are these the best cupcakes you've made, they may be the best cakes I've ever had"
"OMG. Wow."

I almost feel bad about the feedback, because they were SO EASY.

Based on Nigella's Clementine Cake, they're dead simple, and hugely flavourful. A perfect start to the new year.

Makes 24 normal sized cupcakes and 12 mini cakes

5 clementines, boiled for 2 hours (whole)
300g almonds
6 eggs
250g sugar
1t baking powder
1t vanilla

Pulse the cooked clementines in a food processor until there are no chunks.
Pulse the almonds in a food processor until they're mealy (or, buy them ground)

In a bowl, mix together the clementines, almonds, and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla, and finally the baking powder.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes.

1 cup whipping cream
4-5T. sugar
zest of one clementine

Whip cream until it begins to thicken, add sugar and zest, whip again until it forms peaks.

I put a clementine segment on top of each cake because it looked pretty, but there was one complaint that it made them difficult to eat. I just took it off and ate that bit first. YMMV.

On top of the clementines and cream, sprinkle a tad of icing sugar.