Saturday, April 4, 2009

Hostess with the Mostess Cupcakes

This morning I was the proud co-host of a baby shower for a good friend.
Luckily for me, the other co-host took care of all the details, and
all I had to do was provide the location, and the cake!

A few months ago, my dear friend (for whom the shower was given), was
having some cravings that just wouldn't go away. One such
craving was for hostess cupcakes. Unfortunately for her,
hostess cupcakes contain beef tallow (something her family tries not to consume).

That's where I entered the picture.
In an efforts to expand my baking repertoire, I thought
I might try to make some HC's from scratch (sans beef). Although initially,
I thought I was beening pretty creative, a google search will
show I'm not the first one to think of this.
Despite this, I still enjoyed the challenge.

It seemed only fitting to re-create this special treat for the party this morning.
Only this time I made mini-hostess cakes!

The basis for this recipe can be found here. I changed things around a bit, and even tried using whole wheat pastry flour (which went undiscovered, probably due to their exceptionally sugary filling).
Makes 48 mini cakes.

Hostess with the Mostess Mini Cakes

Bowl 1: Combine the dry ingredients
2 & 1/4 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 & 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 C cocoa powder

Bowl 2: Cream sugar and butter together
1 C sugar
1 stick of butter, softened

Bowl 3: Combine the liquid ingredients
1 C liquid (I used a combination of water, milk, and yogurt)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs

Combine the three bowls. Mix well.
Butter and flour mini muffin pan for easy cake removal.
Fill mini muffin cups about 50-75% full.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes.

Beat together until fluffy
12 TBS unsalted butter, softened (I feel gross just typing this)
3 C confectioners' sugar
1 & 1/2 C Marshmallow Fluff (beef free, I swear)
3 TBS + 1 tsp heavy cream

Place in pastry bag for easy cake filling.
Reserve 1/2 cup and mix in remaining heavy cream to make the doodle on top.

Last time I tried to pipe into the cupcakes and didn't succeed very well, so
this time I just sliced them in half and filled between the two halves.
Much easier!

1/4 C heavy cream
4 oz bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 TBS unsalted butter, softened

Heat cream until steaming then pour over butter and chopped chocolate.
After a few minutes, everything will have melted and you can stir to
combine. Let this sit another 5 minutes to firm a bit so it doesn't
immediately run off the cakes, then spoon on and swirl to frost each.

Lastly, decorate with the necessary white doodle, so everybody knows
you're not just making any old regular chocolate cupcakes!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Has it really been over a month?

Sorry, but I promise to be better (or a least to make an effort).

Here's what I've been up to...

Cleaning out the cupboards
a.k.a when to admit you have a problem

Repurposing tupperware/Souffle in IKEA
Molly Wizenberg's 'everyday souffle' from Bon appetite
I've always wanted to try making souffle, but I didn't want to buy a special dish. After cleaning out the various tupperware drawers, I found an IKEA ceramic tupperware with high sides and no matching lid. Although it's square, it seemed to work just fine.

Fig cake
(a healthier, smaller, and non-alcoholic version of Dorie Greenspans 'fig cake for fall' recipe)

Lemon meringue cheesecake
What do to when you've got too much cream cheese in the fridge, but you really want to eat meringue...

My first successful pancakes!!!!
Sadly, I've never been able to make pancakes. It's always the simplest things that trip me up the most. These came from Super Natural Cooking (Which I highly recommend for anyone trying to learn how to use all those funky ingredients the organic tyrants keep bullying us with: millet, quinoa, bulgar). As usual, I tailored the recipe to my own on-hand ingredients and laziness, and made them cute and tiny.

(check out my wrist's double chin, gross)

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 c brown sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 egg

Heat cast iron skillet to medium heat.
Combine dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
In a separate bowl, whisk buttermilk and egg.
Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.
Grease skillet with small amount of butter and make small pancakes.

Serve with honey. Enough for three people.