Friday, October 11, 2013

Black Forest Cupcakes

In September, I had my first "Friday the 13th" incident.  As I was heading out of my house to go meet friends for dinner, the motor of my garage door opener fell from the ceiling and veered straight at the roof of my car.  Luckily, the wiring from the ceiling and the metal arm kept it from hitting, but the save was just by mere inches.  My friend's handyman husband came to inspect it for me, and said I was lucky because the damage to my car alone could have been close to $3500!! 

Mr. Handyman said the motor was screwed into the drywall, not into the stud, so it's no surprise it came tumbling down.  He fixed it back up for me, realigned the sensors, and inspected the whole thing for damage.  At the end said since this is the first "emergency" he's had to come save me from, he wasn't going to charge me.  Next time would be a different story!!

So, to say thank you, and as a hope & wish that there is no "next time", I made these cupcakes for Mr. Handyman.  They were well loved.  My team at work enjoyed the leftovers too!  Annie never steers me wrong.

Black Forest Cupcakes
Makes: 24



Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners, set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and hot water until smooth.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar over medium heat.  Heat, stirring occasionally to combine, until the butter is melted.  Remove the mixture from the heat and transfer to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.  Beat on medium-low speed, 4-5 minutes, until the mixture is cooled.  Mix in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed and beating well after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture and beat until incorporated.  With the mixer on low speed add in the dry ingredients in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, beating just until combined.

Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 of the way full.  Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow the cupcakes to cool in the pan 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 To make the filling, drain the thawed berries, reserving the juice in a liquid measuring cup.  Add enough water so that the total liquid equals 1 1/4 cups.  Add the liquid to a medium saucepan with the sugar and cornstarch.  Heat over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until the mixture begins to bubble and thicken.  Continue whisking so no lumps form.  Once thickened, remove from the heat and whisk in the lemon juice.  Fold in the drained cherries with a spatula.  Stir in the brandy , if using.  Cover and chill until ready to use.  (The filling will continue to thicken as it chills.)

Use your preferred method to fill the cooled cupcakes with a spoonful of cherry filling.

Whipped frosting:
To make the whipped cream frosting, add the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Start beating on medium-low speed, slowly increasing as the cream begins to thicken up to medium-high speed.  While the cream is being whipped, gradually add in the powdered sugar a spoonful at a time.  Whip the cream until stiff peaks form.  (Be careful not to overbeat!)  Fold in the vanilla extract.

Frost the cupcakes with a piping bag, or just plain old spatula.  Top with a maraschino cherry.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Source: Annie's Eats.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Blueberry-lemon Yogurt Bread

It's no secret that I <3 Miranda Lambert, so this is perfect!  I've been sick all week... not so perfect, but it gives me time to catch up on reading my food blogs.  This hasn't been happening much lately, as cake decorating has pretty well taken over my life.  That, and since Clean Eating isn't putting out magazines anymore in Canada the sugar is winning for my attention.

Anyhoo, in scanning the blogs today, I came across this: a recipe Miranda shared in Self magazine.  Score!  I made it today, cold be damned.  My yogurt was going bad.  (I haven't been eating it because dairy makes congestion worse, so my milk's going bad too... boo!)

While I haven't actually tried it yet -- everything tastes like styrofoam at this point -- I expect it will taste good.  All signs point to yum, based on the ingredients, and I trust Miranda won't steer me wrong.  The only change I did was to substitute frozen blueberries for the raspberries because I wasn't about to go out to the store in my congestion, pyjamas, and day-old bedhead.

Enjoy! I will, as soon as this cold lets up.

Blueberry-lemon Yogurt Bread
Makes: 8 slices in one loaf

vegetable oil cooking spray
cups all-purpose flour
cup sugar
tsp baking powder
tsp baking soda
tsp salt
cup nonfat Greek yogurt
large eggs, lightly beaten
Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
grated zest of 1 lemon
(or 1 tsp dried)
tsp vanilla extract
cups fresh or frozen blueberries

Heat oven to 350°. Coat a 1-lb loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Combine yogurt, eggs, butter, zest and vanilla in a second bowl. Fold yogurt mixture into dry mixture; stir to combine completely. Gently fold in berries. Scrape batter evenly into loaf pan.

Bake until top is golden and springs back when you gently touch it, 55 - 65 minutes.

Source: adapted from Self magazine via Eat Yourself Skinny.