dessert reception : cupcake galore

8.25.2010



As my previous post mentioned, I had the privilege to be a part of my brother-in-law's wedding last weekend. After rehearsal dinner, the couple had a dessert reception to welcome all their out-of-town guests. Here is a round up of the cupcakes.


Per the bride's request, the spread included red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. (You can find the recipe here.)


Peanut butter and jelly cupcakes are always a favorite. (You can find the recipe here.) I think its because it reminds us all of our childhood. So comforting. I made little flags from some pieces of cardstock, toothpicks, and ribbon. I then hand stamped the monogram and cupcake flavors on either side. 

Surprisingly, this was my favorite one. I'm actually not a big fan of chocolate cake, but it wouldn't be a cupcake spread without one. I've been holding on to this recipe from Gourmet for a while now and super excited that I finally had the opportunity to make it. This cake is moist and light but not sweet at all, so that it pairs perfectly with the chocolate ganache. I topped it off with some whipped cream and a pirouette.

chocolate cupcakes
recipe from Gourmet 1999
 
cake ingredients
  • 3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
ganache ingredients

  • 1 pound fine-quality semisweet chocolate
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • pirouettes
  • whipped cream
directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line cupcake pan.
  2. Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.
  3. Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored (about 3 minutes with a standing mixer or 5 minutes with a hand-held mixer). Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well. Divide batter into liners and bake until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 15-18 minutes.
  4. Cool cupcakes on racks. The cupcakes may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
  5. To make the ganache, finely chop chocolate. In a 1 1/2- to 2-quart saucepan bring cream, sugar, and corn syrup to a boil over moderately low heat, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Remove pan from heat and add chocolate, whisking until chocolate is melted. Cut butter into pieces and add to frosting, whisking until smooth.
  6. Transfer frosting to a bowl and cool, stirring occasionally, until spreadable (depending on chocolate used, it may be necessary to chill frosting to spreadable consistency).
  7. Spread frosting over cupcakes, top with some whipped cream and a pirouette.
I realized I've yet to post a vanilla cupcake with vanilla frosting on this blog. But be assured I've made many dozens in the past. I used a recipe from Billy's Bakery from NYC, which is my favorite cupcake place. Hands down! 

vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream
adapted from billy's bakery






  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising











  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour











  • 2 cups sugar











  • 1 tablespoon baking powder











  • 3/4 teaspoon salt











  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes











  • 4 large eggs











  • 1 cup whole milk











  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract







  • cake ingredients
    • 3 cups cake flour
    •  2 cups sugar
    • 1 tablespoon baking powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    buttercream ingredients
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    •  6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
    directions
    1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
    2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
    3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
    4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled.
    5. To make the buttercream, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.
    6. Use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Serve at room temperature.





  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising











  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour











  • 2 cups sugar











  • 1 tablespoon baking powder











  • 3/4 teaspoon salt











  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes











  • 4 large eggs











  • 1 cup whole milk











  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract












  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising











  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour











  • 2 cups sugar











  • 1 tablespoon baking powder











  • 3/4 teaspoon salt











  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes











  • 4 large eggs











  • 1 cup whole milk











  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract







  • The centerpiece : Brown Bear
    Even brown bear had a cupcake! Congratulations Henry and Phoebe!

    groom's cake : brown bear

    8.24.2010

    the ingredients
    Congratulations to my brother-in-law and now my sister-in-law!!!  They got married this past weekend in Atlanta, Georgia! Yay! Such a cute couple and beautiful wedding!

    So, from the very beginning, my brother-in-law knew he wanted a groom's cake. After inquiring with their caterer and a little other research, they realized it was going to be a bit of an extra to get one and serve it. In the end, a groom's cake is unnecessary yet it does add a special touch to every wedding. So, not wanting to see the groom disappointed nor have the couple trim their budget, I offered to make them a groom's cake.

    To make a long story short, the bride and groom has a teddy bear called Brown Bear, that is dear to their hearts. So I thought it would be most appropriate to make a cake that resembles him. First off, I found a really useful cake pan from Wilton that helped me achieve the shape. I'm not talented like the Cake Boss or those at Charmed City Cakes. Anyways, I quickly learned that with a pan, the job isn't that must easier! You must follow the instructions very preciously, as I had learned after my trial run. So most of you know, I am not one to use cake mixes from the store, so with my first try at this cake, I was brave enough to make the batter from scratch. Bad idea! Although the flavors and texture was great, the whole bear collapsed. FAIL!

    the naked bear
    Extremely disappointed, I attempted it again by following the directions exactly as printed using a box of pound cake mix and a box of vanilla cake mix (as shown in the image above). I even made the icing from the recipe that came with the pan. I wasn't too excited about that but hey, there is always a next time for exploration. The icing worked beautifully for "dressing" him in fur. Voila! Meet Brown Bear!

     Brown Bear Groom's Cake
    vanilla decorated with peanut butter frosting and chocolate icing

    birthday chocolates & flowers

    8.23.2010

    Regardless of celebrating the big 30 at the office, it was a fantastic day! Having received gifts from friends from afar, I had a lovely lunch with the girls at work and then a quaint dinner with my wonderful husband. I couldn't have asked for more. Thanks Bons for the cute, carnation cupcake! My desk smells like a flowering garden.

    Thanks Nat for the chocolate covered Cheerios! After hearing about my little Valentine's Day story about chocolate covered Cheerios from Jacques Torres,  Nat was inspired to make her own. These were absolutely amazing and tasted just like the real thing.

    Thank you my dear cousin, Vicky for the Marie Belle truffles. I am loving all the exotic flavors like saffron and cardamon. Mmmm.

    cheesecake cupcake cones

    8.11.2010


    These were inspired by our office receptionist. After making cheesecake lollipops last week, she gave me the idea of stuffing cake cones with cheesecake. What a brilliant idea! And that is exactly what I did, well with a little cake too.

    cheesecake cupcake cones

    ingredients
    • ice cream cake cones
    • vanilla cake
    • cheesecake
    • sprinkles
    directions
    1. mash up the cheesecake including the graham cracker crust
    2. cut the vanilla cake into small cubes the size of the cake cone base
    3. place cake inside cone and top it with cheesecake mixture
    4. decorate with sprinkles

    {tried & true} fiber plus


    For those who know me, know that I can eat cereal for all day long: breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I'll have at least four or more boxes stowed away in the pantry at any given time. Well, thanks for Foodbuzz and Kellogg's I got to try out two new Kellogg's fiber plus cereals recently. I'm a fan of the Berry Yogurt Crunch (picture below), it has a nice balance of sweetness and the texture of the flakes was a solid crunch. The Cinnamon Oat Crunch (picture above) was not as favorable but it did have a great cinnamon flavor  with a slight hint of sugar. I guess its the shape of it, which reminds me of Cheerios. And these little O's didn't have the same density as the popular precedent, it quickly gets soft and mushy in milk. Nonetheless, I finished the whole two boxes in no time.


    I was provided these two items for free through the Foodbuzz Tastemakers program.  My opinions are my own and are honest.

    water bottle labels

    8.09.2010


     

     

    My husband and I have been helping out with my brother-in-law's wedding lately. This is our latest project: custom water bottle labels. Since the majority of their guests are coming from out of town, the bride's mother wanted to welcome everyone with a little gift bag for all the guests staying at the designated wedding hotel. Most of the contents in this bag is a mystery to me but I do know there will be bottles of water.  The bride had asked me to design and make some custom labels for the water bottles. I was really happy with how these came out. They were not only easy to make but going to add a special touch to the welcome bags.


    To do these yourself. You will need an image editing software (I used adobe photoshop), a color printer, 8.5x11 paper, water bottles, scissors, and glue stick. First measure out the size of the existing label of your water bottles, then use these dimensions to put together a layout on photoshop.Once you have the labels designed, printed, and cropped. Remove existing labels and adhere new ones with a little dab of glue.  

    Check back in for the welcome bag booklets!

    cold sesame noodles

    8.02.2010

    It's nice that we're starting to make some new friends here in this new chapter of our lives. Last week, we were invited to a potluck dinner with a few other couples. This is one of the easiest things to throw together for a group gathering.

    cold sesame noodles

    ingredients:
    • 4 teaspoons peanut or canola oil, divided
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and mince
    • 1 pound Chinese noodles
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 1 leek, julienne
    • 1 carrot, julienned
    sauce ingredients:
    • 4 tablespoons natural peanut butter, crunchy
    • 4 tablespoons rice vinegar
    • 4 tablespoons sesame oil
    • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoon honey
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • salt and pepper to taste

    directions:
    1. Heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook the garlic and ginger for about 2 minutes, then remove and set aside.
    2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil, increase the heat slightly, and add the onions and leeks. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add the carrots, cook for a few minutes, turn off the stove and set aside.
    3. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil and cook noodles according to the package directions to al dente.
    4. In a large bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the sauce, plus the garlic and ginger. When the noodles are finished cooking, drain and rinse under cold water until cool. Add to the bowl with the sauce and toss to coat. Add the onion, leeks, and carrots. 
    5. Store in refrigerator for two hours or overnight before serving.
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
    Blogging tips