Saturday, January 22, 2011

2 Cupcakes... Great for Valentine's Day or Even a BABY SHOWER!

Yes.. I know more cupcakes.  Back in December it was D's birthday and he requested strawberry cupcakes, I didn't take any pictures so I had nothing to post about.  Then, came the opportunity to make cupcakes for my sister-in-law's baby shower.  She's having a girl, and the babies room is pink and brown.  Perfect opportunity to make strawberry cupcakes with chocolate frosting and since I know my sister-in-law likes chocolate cake (three layer cake was made for her!) I decided to also do chocolate cupcakes with strawberry frosting.

Since the month of December featured the same chocolate cake twice once in three layer form and once in cupcakes, I decided I needed to try another recipe.  I went back to my Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes book and found the Devil's food cake.  I then modified the recipe to either be cut in third or half (I'm going to post the full recipe directly out of the book instead of what I actually did).  Both cupcakes and one frosting came from this book.  The strawberry frosting came from Martha Stewart's website and is the recipe used by the bakery Sprinkles'.  This strawberry frosting was THE  BEST.  When I finished frosting cupcakes, I **may** have taken the baggy I was using and squirted in my mouth.. I'm just saying I may have done that.

First, lets start with the chocolate cupcakes.  Here are the ingredients.  The reason for the corn starch (its not called for in the recipe) is because this cake calls for cake flour and I don't feel the need to have another type of flour in the house.  Luckily google saved the day.. Here is how to make cake flour.  Place 2 tablespoons of corn starch in 1 cup measuring cup then spoon in all purpose flour.  This makes 1 cup cake flour.

Mix hot water with cocoa powder.

Mix flour,  brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Mix in butter and cocoa mixture (in additions).

Finally, pour into cupcake pan.

Somehow drop some batter on dog... OPPS.. Don't do that it is chocolate!

Remove from oven and cool.

Mile- High Devil's Food Cake (from Sky High)
Makes 3 8-inch cakes

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch Process)
1 1/4 cup Hot water
3 cups packed light brown sugar
2 2/3 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
3 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup cold water

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans.  Line the bottom with parchment or wax paper and butter paper.

2.  Place the cocoa powder in medium bowl.  Add the hot water and whisk until smooth.  Let cool.

3.  In large mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.  With the mixer on low blend to mix.  Add the butter and dissolved cocoa and beat briefly to blend.  Then raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

4.  In medium bowl, whisk eggs, vanilla, and cold water until blended.  Add this liquid to the batter in 3 additions, scraping down the sides well and mixing only to incorporate between additions.  Divide the batter between pans.

5.  Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out almost clean.  Let it cool in pan 15 minutes.  Invert onto wire racks and peel off paper liner.  Cool completely before frosting.

Now for the strawberry cupcakes..  mix the cake flour (or cake flour sub), sugar, baking powder, and salt.

Puree strawberries in blender.

Add  butter and strawberry puree.

After mixing its super thick.

Mix egg whites and milk, then add to batter in 2 or  3 additions.

Pour into cupcake pan and bake.

Remove from pan and allow to cool..

Strawberry Butter Cake (from Sky High)
Makes 3 8-inch cakes

4 1/2 cups cake flour
3 cups sugar
5 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/4 cups pureed frozen strawberries
8 egg whites
2/3 cup milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter three 8-inch square cake pans.  Line with parchment or waxed paper and butter paper.

2.  Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in large mixing bowl.  With electric mixer on low,  blend for 20 seconds.  Add the butter and strawberry puree and mix to blend the ingredients.  Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes; the batter will resemble strawberry ice cream.

3.  In another large bowl, whisk together the egg whites and milk to blend.  Add the whites to the batter in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the sides of bowl well after each addition and mixing only to incorporate after each addition.  Divide the batter among the 3 pans.

I'm only going to show one frosting, since I used food processor for both.  Ingredients in... and blend.  I never thought of using a food process for this task before!  I think I'll always use one now!

After the frosting was blended.

Place in pastry bag with tip... Or Zip-lock bag.  Then cut corner off.  I used my measuring cup to help hold the bag so I could fill it more easily.  (No the frosting didn't change colors, this was the strawberry.)

Frost away...  At first I didn't cut enough of the corner off.

Instant Fudge Frosting (from Sky High)
Makes 5 cups

6 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
6 Tablespoons half and half  (I actually just used milk, wasn't going to by half and half and waste it)
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse to incorporate.  Then process until frosting is smooth.

Sprinkles' Strawberry Frosting (From Martha Stewart Website)
Makes enough frosting for 12 cupcakes.. 

3 Tablespoon frozen strawberries, pureed
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temp
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place all ingredients in food processor and pulse to incorporate.  Then process until frosting is smooth.  I ended up just using food processor again, Martha's website has different mixing instructions.  I also ended up adding more strawberry puree to get more strawberry taste.

The final product on the cupcake tower at the baby shower.

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