Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fauxstess Cupcakes

It has been over two months since I've made cupcakes.  A lot has been going on around here, me moving and having the baby, and then my dad getting sick (he's better now).  I needed a fun occasion to make cupcakes to get me back in baking mode and luckily it was my dad's birthday.  My dad is famous amongst our family and friends for his chocolate cakes.  I knew he'd appreciate trying something with a moist chocolate cake, so I decided to make Fauxstess Cupcakes for his birthday this year.  I made them once right before I left Japan for my kids' going away party, and from the recipe I used, I wasn't impressed- the filling tasted like butter and was much thicker than a store bought Hostess cupcake.  I knew I had a great filling recipe that was more similar to the store bought cakes, so I decided to give the cupcakes a second chance, and I'm glad I did.

For the cupcakes, I used a recipe from the Pastry Queen cookbook, for her Tuxedo Cake, which I made before, for the filling, I used a recipe from Skip to My Lou, and for the icing, I used a recipe from Annie's Eats.

1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
1 cup water
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk (I made my own 1/2 cup milk w/ 1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

7 oz. marshmallow cream
1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup softened butter
1 TBSP water
1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
(I omitted the butter addition that is posted on Annie's Eats)

For the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350'.  In a small pan, heat together the butter, oil, and water until the butter is melted.  Set aside for a moment.  In the mixer bowl, add flour, sugar, and cocoa powder, mix until combined.  While mixer is running, slowly add butter mixture to the flour mixture.  Scrape down sides of the bowl.  Add in eggs one at a time.  Next, add in the buttermilk, mix until combined, scrape down sides.  Stop mixing, add in baking soda, salt, and vanilla, then turn mixer back on until everything is smooth, scrape down the sides, and give one final short mix.

Pour batter into prepared cupcake tins, I filled halfway, I didn't want the tops to puff up too high since the Hostess cupcakes are flat on top.  Bake in preheated oven, I baked the minis for 15 minutes, and the large ones for 20 minutes.  I checked that they were done by inserting a toothpick into the center until it came out clean.  This batch made 12 large cupcakes and 36 mini cupcakes.

For the filling, place all ingredients in medium bowl, mix together until smooth with electric hand mixer or whisk attachment of stand mixer.  Put into decorator, and place tip into the center of cupcakes, squeeze filling in until you see the top of the cupcake puff up a bit.  A small amount of filling will poke out through the hole int the top of the cupcake as you pull up the decorator tip:
For the icing, heat the cream up to a simmer, remove from heat, add in chocolate, let sit one minute, mix until smooth.  Hold cupcake in your hand and invert, dip the top in the chocolate, turn right side up, put on plate for icing to harden.

Place the remaining filling in a ziploc bag, cut a TINY hole in the corner.  Squeeze onto the top of cupcake in swirl pattern or pattern of your choice.
(You can see why I emphasized tiny hole, the dad was from the first ziploc I used with a "small" hole).

And the inside, YUM:

Happy Birthday Dad!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Welcoming and caring for baby

I've been away for a while because of my new bundle of joy, Maeve.  She was born on St. Patrick's Day and between taking care of her and her four siblings, and trying to build our new house, I barely have time to eat, let alone cook or craft :(

Introducing, Maeve:

Having the four older kids has really made a HUGE difference in taking care of the baby, the kids all LOVE her so much and are always willing to lend a hand.  Sometimes, they even fight over helping me with her, so I came up with an idea to make a "helping with Maeve" chart.  It has worked out wonderfully and eliminated most fights over whose turn it is to hold her, etc.  I used symbols to represent each kid, so even the ones that can't read can figure out their job: