My Crazy Cocina Caliente!!

Just a crazy little latina, stirring up trouble in the cocina!

Sunflowers for Sophia August 26, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cupcakes — Vanessita! @ 11:24 am
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I’ve been looking forward to our trip to Tampa for MONTHS now!!! Hubs and I got tickets to see his favorite band: Incubus.  The concert was going to take place in Tampa-which was also the place where our friends Sophia & Jeff moved to last year.  We hadn’t seen them since our wedding last October so I was excited to be heading to their neck of the woods.  We decided to meet up for an early dinner before the concert.  Unfortunately Jeff had to work but I had a BLAST chatting it up with Sophia and catching up- it had seriously felt like FOREVER since we had last had such a fun and long conversation.

I knew I wanted to bake her something and when she told me her favorite cake flavor was chocolate I immediately knew which recipe I was wanted to make.  After thinking about it for a little bit I decided I also wanted to decorate the cupcakes like sunflowers, as I had seen in other blogs recently.

SunflowerBlog

I used the Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake & Frosting recipe.  I’ve heard so many wonderful things about these recipe from the girls on the cooking blog I frequent.  I actually halved the original recipes since I didn’t need 30 cupcakes, but I’ve posted the original recipes below:

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake
Source: Hersheys.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING(recipe follows)

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.  I baked this in a regular cupcake pan and got about 15 cupcakes.

2. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.

3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with “PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING.

“PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE FROSTING

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
2/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla. About 2 cups frosting.

I then used a store bought vanilla frosting which I tinted yellow and added some meringue powder to, to get a thick/stiff consistency.  Using the round #20 tip I piped on the chocolate frosting in small “dots” in the center of each cupcake.
Then I used a star tip (I believe it was #21??) to pipe the flower petals on.  The entire process was SUPER easy and didn’t even take much time.

Afterwards I used a toothpick to draw the spots on red M&Ms to resemble little ladybugs.  I really think they came out super cute.

Special thanks to JoJoEspana from the WC board for her helpful tips on making these cupcakes.

 

Cupcakes & Lemon! July 30, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cupcakes — Vanessita! @ 11:13 pm
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Sorry Sorry Sorry!!! I know it’s been about a week since I’ve updated my blog but we’ve been very very busy!!!  Busy both with our families and busy in the kitchen, which means lots of blog updates soon to come!!

Last Thursday I tried 2 new cupcake recipes from my “125 best Cupcake recipes” book (given to me by my WC exchange nestie!!!).  I had recently stocked up on lemon so I decided to make Lemon Yogurt cupcakes and Pink Lemonade cupcakes.
I will warn you ahead of time: The Lemon Yogurt cupcakes are now near the top of my all-time favorite cake flavors- I just can’t express how YUMMY these cupcakes are.  I received SOOOOO many compliments from my co-workers.  In the exact words of my co-worker Andrew: “mmmmmmmmm”, haha – which my manager replied with “I totally agree!” 🙂  (and that means a lot because my manager is SOOOOO not a sweets person).

Cupcake1.1

Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes
From: 125 Best Cupcake Recipes, Julie Hasson (p. 55)

Makes 12 cupcakes
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1 1/4 Cup AP Flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted & cooled) (1 stick)
1 egg
1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used non-fat)
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon oil or lemon extract (I used extract)

1. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter and egg until smooth.  Add yogurt, lemon zest and juice, and lemon oil, beating until smooth.  Add flour mixture, beating just until smooth.  (I did this in my stand mixer)
3. Scoop batter into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.  Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.  Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

I topped these cupcakes with my own lemon-cream cheese frosting:

1/4 cup of butter (1/2 a stick)
1/2 block of cream cheese
Powdered Sugar
Lemon Juice

In a stand mixer mix the butter & cream cheese until smooth (at room temp).
Start adding powdered sugar until you get the consistency you want (I went for a stiffer consistency).
Add in about 1 tsp. of lemon juice, mix well.
If it becomes too liquidy, add some more powdered sugar.

Now, I had been looking forward to making these pink lemonade cupcakes for a LONG time.  Sadly they weren’t everything I was expecting them to be.  My co-workers did like them but told me they were a little too tart and perhaps too dense. 😦 boo.

Pink Lemonade Cupcakes
From: 125 Best Cupcake Recipes, Julie Hasson (p. 107)

Makes 10 cupcakes
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
Pinch Salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup veggie oil
2 egg whites
1/3 cup thawed frozen pink lemonade concentrate
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 to 3 drops of red food coloring (I used pink Wilton icing gel)

1. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, egg whites and lemonade concentrate.  Alternately whisk in flour mixture and buttermilk, making three additions of the flour and two of buttermilk, beating just until smooth.  Add just enough food coloring to turn the batter a light pink shade.
3. Scoop batter into prepared pan.  Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until tops of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched.  Let cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.  Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

I topped these with a Pink Lemonade Buttercream I found on IheartCuppyCakes.

Lemon Buttercream
From: I Heart Cuppycakes

3 cups + 3 Tbsp confectioner’s sugar
1 stick unsalted butter at room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp lemon juice
Red food color (I used Wilton pink gel)

Add the butter, confectioner’s sugar, salt and lemon juice to the stand mixer and mix on low using the paddle attachment until combined.

Add pink food coloring and mix until frosting is uniformly pink.

While the pink lemonade cupcakes weren’t my favorite- I’m glad I decided to try a few new recipes.  I would have never thought of baking with yogurt and I was very nervous when I first read the recipe- but man o man is it delicious! Super moist and flavorful- the icing was just the perfect addition as well.  I WILL be making those again! 🙂

 

Burger Cuppys! July 7, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cupcakes — Vanessita! @ 11:44 am
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I really need to get better at updating this blog- I made these cupcakes for Fathers Day and brought them in for my co-workers (since I work with men mainly).

Everyone who saw these fell in love with them and I got so many compliments.
I’m going to be honest and tell you that I used cake mix from a box, and brownie mix from a box- but in my defense I was in a hurry! 🙂

So here they are- my little burger cuppys!

Burgers

I got this idea from Bakerella (once again!!! She’s fabulous!)-

For the “burger buns”:
1 box of White cake mix, bake as per instructions on box.

I made sure not to fill the cupcake liners too high, I probably just went over the 1/2 way mark.

For the “patties”:
2 boxes of Brownie mix.  I forgot which brand I used but it was delicious!  Bake as per instructions on box.

For the “condiments”:
3 seperate bowls of vanilla frosting, each bowl tinted a different flavor.
Red: Ketchup
Yellow: Mustard
Green: Lettuce

After you’ve mixed in the different colors- put each color into its own ziplock bag.

To Assemble:

I cut each COOLED cupcake in half, then using a round cookie cutter cut out 24 circles of brownies.
I added the brownie pattie to the bottom half of the burger.
Next: snip a small opening in ONE corner of each ziplock bag.  Snip a larger opening for the green frosting.

Swirl on the red, yellow, and green frostings to resemble the condiments and lettuce.

Top with the other half of the cupcake.
With your finger, gently wet the top of the cupcake and drop sesame seeds on top.

VIOLA!

Cupcake Burgers!

 

Previous Cupcakes June 19, 2009

Filed under: Baking,Cupcakes — Vanessita! @ 3:55 pm

I just thought I’d post a few pictures of some cupcakes I’ve previously made.
Sorry for the bad quality photos- I really need to start having my camera around when I’m cooking instead of my phone. (MENTAL NOTE!)

Vanilla Almond with Cream Cheese Frosting

Vanilla Almond with Cream Cheese Frosting


I had to take a bite :)

I had to take a bite 🙂


Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting

Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting


Tres Leches Cupcakes

Tres Leches Cupcakes


Samoan Easter Cupcakes

Samoan Easter Cupcakes


Ready to be gobbled up!

Ready to be gobbled up!


Naked Earth Day Cupcakes

Naked Earth Day Cupcakes


Finished Earth Day Cupcakes

Finished Earth Day Cupcakes

***Tres Leches Recipe from IheartCuppycakes