Sunday, September 25, 2011

Bright Colored Rose Cupcakes for a Teen Birthday

Tomorrow, September 26, is my daughter's 14th birthday! It's so very hard to believe my oldest baby is going to be 14. I was a mere 19 when I had her, so we've kinda grown up together. Now, here we are, 14 years later :)

Yesterday she had her "friend" party here at the Chaos House. 5 teenage girls, in one house, for a sleepover. And I, by no means, have a small house. Those girls made it seem small, though :)

What do you do for a teenager who really has no specifications? Her only requirement was "banana cupcake". She didn't care about colors, although her favorite color is green.

This is what I came up with in the end. Our "party theme colors" where black, lime green, purple, and pink. She made her own invites and those were teal.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Spiderman Cupcakes

This past week I did a birthday cupcake order for Spiderman Cupcakes. The cupcakes are chocolate and the buttercream is vanilla.
After playing with it for a bit, I decided on this as my spider web pattern.
Hope you like them! I enjoyed making them for a sweet little boy to take to school.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pink and Purple Cupcakes

I had an order go out this morning for "pink and purple decorated chocolate cupcakes". Easy enough!

The little birthday girl is a former gymnastics student of mine, so I wanted to really do it up special for her.

The chocolate cupcakes are just a basic chocolate devil's food recipe. This order was for a classroom birthday celebration, so keeping them the same size was very important :)

Since the only instructions I received on decorations were "pink and purple", I decided to go with vanilla buttercream (with a touch of cream cheese for... creaminess :) so I could color the frosting.
Also, my favorite part, was adding a cupcake flag to each cupcake. It's so cute and really adds something special.

Completed, assembled cupcakes look smashing! (I think :)

Birthday girl enjoyed sharing them with her class. An order for her little brother's class is right around the corner! Switching from pink and purple mode, to "boy" mode :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Whipped Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcake

I'll start by saying, I'm *not* eating all the cupcakes I'm making :) I promise. I actually didn't even taste this one. I had leftover whipped cream from one project, and wanted to make up a new chocolate cupcake recipe. The kids each tasted one, and I sent the rest to work with Husband.

These Chocolate Cupcakes are made with instant pudding. I know it's not a new concept, but I wanted to play around with it.

The chocolate cupcake recipe:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature butter
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 standard size 4 1/2 cup serving chocolate pudding mix
1 cup buttermilk

Prep) Line muffin tin with paper liners, and spray them with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. There is a yield of about 18 cupcakes.

1) Cream together butter and sugar. Once mixture is light and fluffy, add the eggs one at a time, and the vanilla.
2) In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients: flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and pudding mix. Whisk them together with, yes... a whisk :)
3) If you do not have buttermilk on hand, nor feel like buying any because it can be a little pricey, there is an easy way to make it. Use a ratio of one cup of milk to 1 teaspoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes until the milk "curdles". Walla! Homemade "buttermilk" :)
4) When mixing the actual cupcake batter, it's important not to over mix. Begin by alternating adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk to your butter/sugar mixture. Add a little flour, add a little buttermilk, etc. You want to end with the flour mixture, and you might want to hand mix, or set mixer on your lowest "stir" setting.
5) I assume you've already prepared your pan :) Scoop the batter in to the papers, filling them about 2/3 full.

18-20 minutes, until a toothpick entered in to the center of a few of the cupcakes comes out clean. Cool on wire rack until completely cool before moving to next step.

In Culinary Arts school, I've obviously learned a lot about baking. There are so many baking staples that we usually buy pre-made that are actually quite easy to make at home. Whipped cream is one of them.

Whipped Cream Recipe:
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup confectioners sugar (more or less to taste)
1 tsp vanilla

Prep) You can pre-chill your bowl and whisk if you would like to. I have learned that in baking class and it worked well. However, I've also forgotten to pre-chill my bowl and had no issues.

1) Whisk heavy whipping cream on a medium-low level until you start to see some "fluff", for lack of a better word :)
2) Add confectioners (powdered) sugar a little at a time, and start to crank up the speed. You should also add the vanilla at this time. Do taste tests to see if you would like your whipped cream sweeter. The amount of sugar depends on how sweet you personally like it. I add a lot :)
3) Whipped cream is finished when it's whippy and creamy. You'll know. It *will* look like the stuff in the container in the frozen food aisle, but taste oh so much better!
**Note** You can over whip this. If you over whip, it'll start to look like cottage cheese, so make sure you watch it.

Assembly of Whipped Cream Filled Chocolate Cupcake

Now you have your chocolate cupcake, and you have your whipped cream. It's time to make the magic so you can wow your friends and family. So far, it wasn't hard, right?
This will work best if you have a decorators tip. Preferably a medium to large size. I used a large closed star.

1) Stuff a bunch of whipped cream in to your decorators bag or large ziplock bag. (Making sure the tip is in first :)
2) Stick the tip down in to the top of the cooled cupcake. I jammed the tip all the way in, but feeling for the "half way" point would work best. Squeeze. Squeeze a lot, squeeze a little, play around with it. It's your preference as to how much cream you want in the middle. There will be a point where the whipped cream will start squirting back out the top. Stop when you get to that point :)
3) After you have finished filling all your cupcakes, it's time to frost them.

A very basic, classic buttercream recipe is simply just 1 pound of butter per 2 pound bag of confectioners sugar, with a bit of vanilla thrown in (obviously that can be divided). Mix until light and fluffy, adding milk or water if you need to. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

I didn't get too many pictures of the cuppie cakes because they were either eaten, or taken to Husband's work. However, sometimes the look on their face is all that's really important to me. I think this one was a winner.

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