Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Raining Color with a Touch of Gold!!

Color, color, color and a sprinkle of gold was the theme for this Christening!! It suited the baby's name so well-  Chrisyida or Χρυσηιδα, meaning gold.  So perfect were the colors to go with that beautiful, sunny day!!  So much fun making these! 

Like getting a bouquet of fresh flowers!

It's a Bow Tie Event!

Remember a few posts ago where I was extremely inspired by the book Kinky Cupcakes?!  Well, it's one of the moments again!  I have been meaning to try it for a while now, and here you have it!  This time not so much about the recipes but about the decorations!

Cute, huh?!....Not to mention elegant!!

Stay tuned for the all Black and White Bow Tie theme!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Beautiful, Colorful Cupcake Liners!!

Love these Swedish cupcake liners!!  They are the best!  The color remains intact after baking and its shape looks elegant till the end!  It never gets greasy....leaving you with a clean, crisp looking cupcake. 

I like to call it a cupcake's  LITTLE BLACK DRESS!!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Filled or Baked in a Cupcake!

You may have noticed that I have been on a fill the cupcake frenzy lately!  Once I got my corer, I wanted to fill each cupcake with everything I could think of!
Then, I saw a Cadbury Creme Egg inside a cupcake by Zoeycakes in Cupcakes Take The Cake and that was it for me!  Not only was I filling cupcakes with what ever I could come up with, but I was now in the -what can I stick in it and bake it - overdrive!

To show you what I mean, here are my latest experiments!

Chocolate Cupcake filled with mini cream filled chocolate Easter egg and Vanila Bean Buttercream

Chocolate Covered Coconut mini baked in Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcake

Nutella Filled Chocolate Cupcake and later Frosted with Chocolate Ganache (BEFORE)


Peanut Butter Cupcake filled with Strawberry Jam and Peanut Butter Frosting

Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche and Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream

It doesn't end, here!  These are from my previous posts!

Lemon Poppy Seed Filled with Raspberry Jam and Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Brown Sugar Vanilla Cupcake Filled with Dulce de Leche and Cream Cheese Buttercream

How do I go back to my non-filled or non-baked-in cupcakes??!!  

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Gooey Chocolate Coconut Cupcake!

This cupcake should be called DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN!  What a combination....Coconut and Chocolate!! I found this great store bought Coconut spread with Coconut Flakes by Deluxe in a German  supermarket called Lidl, here, in Greece! (For all my Greek and foreign friends- a MUST get) Delicious!!

The whole thing was soooo gooey- it almost melted in your mouth!  Hints of Coconut Flakes would give you a subtle crunch and the Creamy, Velvety Chocolate  Ganache would just smooth it away!  Yummmmm!

Of course, this one is empty! Licked it clean!!!

Unforgettable!!!....Will do it again soon!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Summer Breeze!


Summer is almost here and all these great spring/summer flavors and colors are in the air!  So much fun! Want to take all the fruits and make a fruit punch out of my cupcakes!   Hey wait!...hmm?!  Another idea!!!  Is lemon a fruit or vegetable???  A vegetable, I think.  I forget...

Anyway, what better way to introduce the summer than by making lemonade?  With a lemon poppy seed cupcake filled with raspberry jam and topped with a light, velvety lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I say!!


For the cake
You can use any vanilla cake you like.  Just add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, two tablespoons of lemon zest and 1 tablespoon of poppy seeds.  I used, again, my favorite WHITE WINE cake (see previous post for recipe).

One jar of a good raspberry jam.  I used the French St. Dalfour Frambouises. It's very tangy.  I like it.


4 Egg whites
1 cup of sugar
250 grams of butter (softened)
1/4 tsp. of cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. lemon zest
3-4 tbsp. of lemon juice
yellow paste color

In a heat-proof metal mixer bowl put egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar.  Place over another pot of simmering water and whisk until sugar dissolves and it's not grainy anymore.  You can tell it's done when you pinch it and it's smooth between your fingers.  It takes about 3-5 minutes.  

Take bowl to mixer stand and beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until egg mixture is completely cooled and has a glossy white color (I keep touching the bowl to check temperature). Change to paddle attachment and beat on medium-high slowly adding the butter pieces.  You will see it  curdle at one point....don't stop or panic, keep going until you hear a flapping sound.  This flapping sound means that the buttercream has reached that velvety texture we all love.  You can stop here and add all the other ingredients but I like to let it go beating for another 5 minutes.  This makes it fluffier and whiter. Then I add the flavors, beat for another minute until incorporated and then add color paste.  Yummmm!


After cupcakes have cooled, make holes in the center of each one with a knife or with my favorite cupcake corer.  Fill with Raspberry jam and frost with Swiss Meringue ButterCream (You can use a piping bag or a spatula).  And you are done!!!



Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Strawberry Milles Feuilles (Napoleon) Cupcakes!

God, I've been dying to make these for so long!!  And Spring is the perfect time for it!
First, one thing I'd like to say is that Milles Feuilles (Napoleons) in Greece are THE BEST outside of France!  Believe me, growing up in NYC, this has been one of my favorite desserts, and I have had sooo many there....but it does NOT compare to the ones here.  This is hard for me to admit as a New Yorker, but it's the truth!  I think New York has very high standards when it comes to, well....just about anything!!!  But this one is a winner.

Back to my new invention!  I wasn't sure that this was going to work out.  But, hey, just about anything has been made into a cupcake, why not a Milles Feuilles cupcake!
I don't know what else to say, only that it turned out so much better than I ever imagined it would.  It was insanely delicious!!  Light, fresh and not too sweet!!

This one is definitely a must and I will share it as best as I can.  I tried to follow recipes here and there but I always end up doing my own thing and many times not measuring!!!  A splash here, a tad there.....

Ok, here it goes!

For the cake I used a yellow cake recipe that I've always loved!  It's a cake made with WINE, from one of my favorite cook books The Silver Palate by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins.  This book is great!  It takes me way back to the time in NYC when I used to frequently visit their shop and sample many of  their irresistible dishes!  What a cute, little place that was!!  Oh! The good old days!...

This cake is very versatile; it goes with just about anything....and so easy to make!

2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
and here goes my favorite part!
1 cup of dry WHITE WINE!
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 1/4 tsps. of baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F or 175 C.

Beat sugar and eggs for about 30 seconds on medium speed with and electric mixer.  Then pour all the other ingredients into the egg/sugar mixture and beat for another minute.  That's all!! Super easy.

Divide into prepared cupcake pans and fill a little less than 3/4 each one.  You want to have some room on top to hold some of the pudding cream later.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

For the pudding cream.....this is where I have a hard time explaining since I've always made my own pudding without measuring for my kids.  To make it easier, you can use ready made, or use this recipe I found and followed, but made some changes.  I added an extra teaspoon, more or less, of Madagascar Vanilla.  Please, please do not skip this step and use regular extract instead of either the vanilla bean or Madagascar!!!  Trust me, I did it and had to do it all over again! It makes all the difference!!

Then add  about 2 1/2 cups of heavy cream, whipped with 3 tablespoons of sugar (more or less), to the pudding cream (or pastry cream...whatever you want to call it), and beat both, very briefly, until nicely blended.  You will also need about an extra four cups of whipped cream for topping.

The Puff Pastry

You can make it the day before if you like. It's just Puff pastry already rolled out to thin strips and sprinkled with a little caster sugar.  Bake it in a cookie sheet for about 7 minutes or until golden in 200 C or 400 F.

*Cut some fresh strawberries for topping and have some confectioner's sugar at hand for sprinkling.

Construction of cupcake:

Make holes in cupcakes and fill with pudding cream. (BTW, if you don't have this yet, MUST get it!! Cupcake corer ....saves you so much time and it's so easy.  Love it!)
Cover cupcake with a layer of pudding cream....just enough so it won't spill out.  Place strawberries on it and top them with broken pieces of the puff pastry.
With piping bag, add whipped cream, again more broken pieces of puff pastry and sprinkle with plenty of confectioner's sugar.  A slice of strawberry on top to finish as you would do with a cherry on a Sundae.  And there you have it!

Hope I didn't make it too complicated!  Really, it's not all that hard.  If you prepare the pudding, puff pastry, and cupcakes ahead, then in the end it's just decorating it!

It's soooo worth it!

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Dulce De Leche Cupcakes

Dulce de Leche Cupcakes.....ahhh!  What can I say, I love Dulce de Leche and I like to eat it by spoonfuls- straight from the jar! And the thought of it in a cupcake?!  Well, I just had to try it!

I have seen so many recipes out there and I just couldn't make up my mind. I didn't know whether  to do it with chocolate or vanilla cake, filling, no filling or just plain with Dulce de Leche buttercream.

After intensive searching, Just Jenn's cupcake recipe seemed to be the most appealing to me.  She uses brown sugar in her vanilla cupcake and I thought this made sense for this particular flavor combination.

Now, filling or no filling? I went for the filling with Dulce de Leche.  The thought of biting into that gooey-yum was irresistible to me!  So I did.

For the frosting, don't even ask!  I had seen so many versions and all sounded too sweet for my taste.  In the end, I opted for the Cream Cheese recipe that I had seen in and adapted from Joy the Baker.   I figured Cream Cheese would tone down the sugars.

Looks really good, right?!  My own personal oppinion?  Waaay too sweet for my taste!!  Dulce de Leche in the cupcake, Dulce de Leche in the frosting and drizzled with Dulce de Leche.....even for me, a Dulce de Leche aficionado, well....it's just too much.  But, hey, that's me! 

What would I change??
This is what I would and will try next time:  Same cake (well maybe I'll use my own, it'll work just fine!), same filling, change the frosting to Swiss Vanilla Buttercream (it's not as sweet!) and finish with Dulce de Leche drizzle.  I think it would be more balanced this way.

Another version, where in South America is more common and now I can see why, is chocolate cake with Dulce de Leche filling!  That makes more sense to me, I think.

Guess I have to experiment some more!

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Rocky Road Cupcakes

These Rocky Road Cupcakes are a combination of my own mix and match and an adaptation/inspiration of The Cupcakery's own version.  
I made my favorite chocolate cake and stirred in the marshmallows and chocolate chips. The buttercream has a hint of caramel flavoring plus a teaspoon or two of cocoa powder.  Finally, I  sprinkled the choc.chips, walnuts and marshmallows on top and drizzled it with chocolate syrup.

Need I say more?...

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Cupcake Party Favors!

These are Vanilla,Vanilla pink cupcakes.  They were given as party favors for a birthday party.  Love how a simple box and a bow can dress a cupcake so nicely!  Simple goes a long way!