Wednesday, March 30, 2011

March Birthday # 2

Happy Birthday EB!  This time I needed a dessert that would travel easily, handle well and not require a fork.  EB's favorite type of cake is German Chocolate Cake and last year I made her this Inside-Out German Chocolate Cake, which was pretty awesome( This year I thought I would turn this cake into a whoopie pie.  I made Devil's Food Whoopie Pies and took the normal creamy, nutty, coconuty frosting and used it to fill these decedant pies. 

German Chocolate Whoopie Pies:
*Makes 10-12 large whoopie pies.

Just the pies.

Coconut-Pecan Filling:
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
14 oz canned sweetend condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

2.  Spread coconut on a baking pan and the pecans on another baking pan.

3.  Place coconut on lower third oven rack and pecans on top third oven rack.

4.  Toast until coconut is golden brown, stirring occasionally for 12 to 18 minutes.  Remove pans from oven and let cool.

6.  Increase oven temperauture to 425 degrees F.

7.  Pour sweetened condenced milk into a 9 inch pie pan.  Cover tightly with aluminium foil.

8.  Place pan in a water bath. I used a 9x13 inch cake pan and filled the pan 3/4 full with water.

9.  Bake milk for 45 minutes in the middle of the oven. 

10.  Refill baking pan if necessary and bake for another 45 minutes until milk is thick and browned.  (While milk is baking for the last 45 minutes prepare whoopie batter.)

11.  Remove pie pan from water bath.  In a medium sauce pan, pour in the milk and mix in the coconut, pecans and vanilla.  Keep warm on stove while baking whoopie pies.  Stir occationally.

Devil's Food Whoopie Pies:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  Cream together butter and sugar.  Then mix in egg and vanilla extract. Set aside.

3.  Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.

4.  Add the flour and milk to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and milk, mixing between the addition of each.  Begin and end with flour mixture.

5.  Using a tablespoon or small ice cream scoop, scoop dough on to parchment paper covered cookie sheet 1 1/2 inches apart.  You can make the whoopie pies as large or as small as you like. 

6.  Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. You should be able to touch the top of a whoopie pie without creating an indention.  Tester should come out clean.

7.  Let cool on a baking rack and fill with warmed coconut-pecan filling. 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March Birthdays

With March comes more office birthdays (3 this month), the hope of spring strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, pastel colors and last but not least sandals on those first warm days of spring.  The birthday dessert requested this time around was something combining chocolate and raspberries.  My go to for this mixture is always devils food cake with raspberry sauce and a lite buttery cream cheese frosting. (Thank you Ganache  for introducing me to this combination and for all of the wonderful cake. ) 

Devil's Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Sauce and Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
*Makes 22-24 cupcakes

Raspberry sauce reducing on stove.

Butter, sugar and vanilla creamed together.

Devil's Food Cupcakes:
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
9 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup strong coffee, room temperature
1/2 cup skim milk

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two cupcake tins with a total 20 cupcake liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until well combined.  Add in vanillas and eggs, mix well until combined.

3.  In another large mixing bowl mix together cocoa powder, flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

4. Combine milk and coffee in a measuring cup.

4.  Add the flour and milk mixtures to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and sugar, mixing between the addition of each.  Begin and end with flour.

5.  Using a tablespoon or small cookie scoop, scoop two tablespoons or scoops into each cupcake.

6.  Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  While cupcakes are baking prepare raspberry sauce.

7.  Remove from oven and before cupcakes cool, using a spoon, press cupcake down in center to create a small indentation.

Raspberry Sauce:
2 pints raspberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Cook raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a sauce pan over medium heat for approximately 10 minutes until raspberries are broken down.  Remove heat and strain through a metal sieve to remove seeds.

2.  Let cool until for 10 minutes.  Prepare frosting.

3. Slowly, pour a spoonful down into indentation of cupcakes.

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:
8 oz 1/3 fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar

1.  Using a mixer, cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth and well combined.

2.  Mix in vanilla.

3.  On a lower speed, mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time.  If frosting begins to appear dry, taste.  It is okay to not use full amount of powdered sugar.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Little Bit of Spring in the Winter

So a co-worker of mine just got married (Congratulations PC!) and we wanted to throw him a little party, cupcakes and champagne, to celebrate.  I wanted the cupcakes to be really special, so like normal I thought of his favorite dessert...strawberry-rhubarb pie (his mom makes him one every year for his birthday) and then wondered if I could turn it in to a cupcake.  With a lot of help from The Dutch Baker's Daughter  and a few tweaks of my own these cupcakes turned out sweet, cakey and delicious.

 Strawberry-Rhubarb Cupcakes with Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Cheese Frosting:
*Makes 18-20 cupcakes

Strawberry-Rhubarb Filling for cupcakes and frosting:
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line cupcake tin with 18 cupcake liners and spray with non-stick cooking spray.

2.  In a medium sauce pan over medium heat, cook rhubarb, strawberries, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and 1 tablespoon butter stirring frequently until mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and let come to room temperature.  (Can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator).

3.  In a large bowl, cream together 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup butter.  Add in the egg and vanilla until well mixed.

4.  In another large bowl, mix together all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

4.  In a small bowl mix together milk and strawberry-rhubarb filling, reserving 2 tablespoons of filling for frosting.

5. Add the flour and milk mixture to the sugar-butter mixture, alternating between flour and milk, mixing between the addition of each.  Begin and end with flour.

6.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until tester comes out clean.  Cool completely.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz 1/2 reduced fat cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons strawberry-rhubarb filling
1 teaspoon milk
2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1. With an electric mixer, cream together butter and cream cheese. Mix in vanilla, strawberry-rhubarb filling and milk until well mixed.  

2.  Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time until frosting comes together and is desired consistency.  Spread or pipe on cooled cupcakes.  Enjoy!

* Makes 18-20 cupcakes