Friday, July 31, 2009
Meringue buttercreams - a mixture of water and sugar are heated to form a syrup which is poured over egg whites and beaten to form a meringue The most common types are Swiss Meringue and Italian Meringue. French buttercream uses egg yolks instead of egg whites.
Decorator's buttercream - the sweetest and most firm of the buttercreams. Also called Rose Paste, it can be used as an icing and to create roses and other decorations.
There are numerous buttercream recipes and every baker has to experiment to find a recipe that works for your specific environment. What I use at Lake Tahoe would not be a good fit for my family in Mississippi. Google buttercream recipes and find the one that is right for you!
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Seven-minute icing is like spreadable divinity candy with a marshmallow consistency. I remember it being used most often for coconut cakes, devil's food cupcakes, and as an alternative to cream cheese icing for red velvet cakes. This icing is only stable for about 24 hours or so and would not be a good choice if you need an icing to last for several days; it will start to separate and the egg whites will deflate. For best results, use it the same day it is made. Your cake or cupcakes must also be completely cooled. If not, the egg whites will deflate and the icing will "melt" on the warm cake.
Humidity alert - southern cooks will already know this. This icing is not a good choice to make on humid days. The increased humidity prevents the egg whites from getting firm and you may end up with a bowl of white soup.
2 cups white sugar
3 egg whites
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
3 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl on top of a double boiler, combine the sugar, egg whites, corn syrup, water and vanilla. Place over boiling water and beat with an electric mixer on high speed for 7 minutes, or until frosting is completely cool and forms peaks when beaters are raised. Remove from heat. Use immediately to frost cooled cupcakes.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
To make a glaze: use one part cream to three parts chocolate
To make a filling: use one part cream to one part chocolate
To make truffles: use one part cream to two parts chocolate
The taste and quality of a ganache is dependent on the quality of the chocolate you use. Chocolate quality varies widely. A chocolate with a high content of cocoa butter will produce a ganache that is more firm that one with a lower cocoa butter content. A chocolate with a velvety smooth texture will produce a smooth ganache.
8 ounces chocolate – chopped
¾ cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Tablespoon flavoring or liqueur
Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream and butter over medium heat. Bring to just a boil and pour over chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk and add flavorings if desired.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
The postings for this week will explore the most commonly used frostings/icings: how they are made and for what types of cakes they are best suited. I will include recipes!
Sunday, July 26, 2009
This week's recipe is a follow-up to the high altitude post from two days ago. It is a basic recipe for 5000 feet with adjustments for up to 10,000 feet.
High Altitude Yellow Cake
(above 10,000 ft. decrease baking powder to 1 1/8 tsp.)
3 c. sifted cake flour
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
4 eggs - refrigerator temperature
1 c. shortening - room temperature
1 1/4 c. plus 2 Tbsp. milk - refrigerator temperature
2 tsp. vanilla
Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add shortening, milk, vanilla & eggs. Beat for 30 seconds on low speed - scraping bowl
frequently. Beat 7 1/2 minutes on high speed.
Fill cupcake liners 1/2 full.
Bake 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.
Makes 36 cupcakes.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Since there is no standard definition, can we really tell a gourmet cupcake from a regular cupcake just by looking at it?
Sunday, July 19, 2009
I didn't grow up in a family that embraced change. It was the South, after all. Our cupcakes were chocolate, yellow, and maybe strawberry or red velvet (on special occasions).
Exotic cupcake flavors do entice the tastebuds, but sometimes plain old white cupcakes satisfy best. I have tried numerous white cake recipes and most of them are dry and not very tasty. However, the featured recipe this week does not disappoint.
Buttermilk White CupCakes
4 egg whites
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup shortening
2 tsp vanilla
Let egg whites stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cupcake tins with liners.
In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add buttermilk, shortening, and vanilla; beat on low until combined. Beat on medium 2 minutes more, scraping bowl. Add egg whites; beat 2 more minutes.
Spread in pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly touched and wooden pick inserted near centers comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I had heard rumors about a type of frosting for red velvet cake made from boiled milk and flour (a butter roux) so I decided to make a batch last weekend...and I could not throw it out fast enough. What are these people thinking?? The butter roux was not sweet and left a "furry" feeling on my teeth - but mostly it was just not sweet. Why eat icing if you aren't going to raise your blood sugar to dangerous levels?
The red velvet cupcake with cream cheese icing is a southern tradition...please respect it.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat
Hello Cupcake! Irresistably Playful Creations Anyone Can Make
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Today marks the end of the first week of this blog! To celebrate, a new feature is being added: the Recipe of the Week. Each week I will post a cupcake recipe and give some history behind it.
I was raised in Mississippi and southern recipes are passed down unchanged for generations. Maybe we are stubborn or lazy and don't want to change what has always been. Sometimes we get brave and tweak the recipes, but the truth is that most recipes are great just the way they are. Life in the South centers around food and the memory of dessert after Sunday dinner (that's lunch to anyone not raised in the South) is still embedded in my taste buds. My grandmother would bake a cake on Saturday afternoon and we had to walk past the display on the sideboard until after church on Sunday, when everyone gathered for the biggest meal of the week. Sneaking a taste of icing would have brought down the wrath of the gods! Pure torture!
This week's recipe comes from a 3 x 5 index card found inside one of my mother's old recipe books. It was passed down from my grandmother and though she is no longer with us, nothing would make her happier than to know I have shared it.
Apple Spice Cupcakes with Seven-Minute Icing
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. allspice
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter - room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar (firmly packed)
4 eggs - room temperature
1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce (you can add some grated apple if you dare!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your cupcake pan with liners. Combine flour, baking soda, salt & spices.
With an electric mixer, cream butter & both sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, until each is incorporated. Add applesauce and then flour mixture, beating until just combined. Fill cupcake liners about three-quarters full. Bake approximately 20 minutes, but check frequently after 15 minutes. Cool on wire racks.
2 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/2 tsp. light corn syrup
1 tsp. vanilla
In a large bowl over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water, combine the egg whites, sugar, 5 tablespoons water, cream of tartar, and corn syrup. Whip with a hand-held electric mixer for seven minutes or until the frosting is a spreadable consistency. Stir in the vanilla.
Frost cooled cupcakes and serve the same day.