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Tag Archives: Cupcake

Valentine’s means Sparkling for DDTC

This week we went out for dinner on Wine Wednesday, so our DDTC bottle had to be moved. And with Valentine’s Day this coming weekend, I thought why not drink some sparkling wine?  It was also pointed out by wordpress that my last post was my 100th! Another reason for champagne, thanks for the suggestion @munchinkinkaty!

Also with it being Valentine’s Day, I took the opportunity to bake for our work colleagues.  Pay Chen inspired me to make the cupcake below.  She demoed it on CityLine Monday and wrote it up on her blog  but I saw it on her instagram Sunday and immediately knew that was what I wanted to make.  For me, Valentine’s is equated with those hard cinnamon hearts, so I wanted to incorporate them somewhere.

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Lemon cupcakes with a raspberry middle and cream cheese icing, and cinnamon heart marshmallows with Paul Zinck Crément d’Alsace.

Tasting notes: The Crément has a wonderful sparkle and effervescent bubbles.  The palate is rewarded by the flavour of peaches and apples.  The grapes in this tasty glass of bubbles are Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Cupcake recipe adapted from http://bakeitinacake.com/recipes/heartinacupcake with the addition of the zest of one lemon and 1 tbsp of lemon juice, for the heart about 8 raspberries were incorportated.

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Cake Decorating Class: Week 3

This week we were asked to bring 6 cupcakes.  Umm, not enough to share with my office 🙂  I brought 12 normal and 12 mini.  I also used a Gluten-Free Betty Crocker mix for the first time so that all of my colleagues can partake in this adventure.

This class started wrong right from the start.  I was not paying attention and drove past the turn, making us late.  This meant we had to sit separated from the class at the back.  Then, the practice sheet we needed, I seemed to be missing, so I shared with Jill.  I could not seem to get my flowers to come out right (there are no pictures) or my shells. My leaves were not bad, but I had learned them at Le Dolci.  Also my icing seemed to not be the right consistency either.  A very frustrating night overall for me.

Again, we did not get around to actually decorating until 20 minutes left in the class.  The teacher seems to be overwhelmed by the number of students in the class and we skip over items in the lesson book. Like how to make the toppings for the cupcakes. Maybe next week, we are told…

Here are my finished cupcakes.  We used the filling tip, so mine have Nutella in them.  We were practicing the swirl as a base for decorations, but did not really get to the learning what to put on top.  I did leaves (we practiced these during class) and then used the rest of the blue icing to do randomness.

As an aside, I found the gluten-free mix to work well, not very different in consistency and they baked up nicely.  The taste is a little grainy, but good!

Wilton Cake Decorating Class: Week 1&2

My friend Jill (@Jillojello) and I decided to take a cake decorating class together.  I am a huge cupcake fan but not a good decorator, so this would be good for me to try. **I have taken 2 great cupcake classes at Le Dolci and loved them, but wanted something more in-depth. There will be a blog post will be done about Le Dolci in the future 🙂

We signed up for a 9 week, 18 hour course through the Toronto District School Board‘s Continuing Education department.  The cost was reasonable, $122, and the night and class hours perfect for us (Tuesdays from 7-9pm).  There are additional cost, which I am going to total and include in my last post at the end of the course.

Week 1: We didn’t do anything hands on in the first class.  Our teacher, a 15 year veteran of teaching Wilton classes, demonstrated making buttercream (without any butter?!), icing a cake, and showing us the various tips and equipment we would be using.  We all went home with the student ‘manual’ ($10 additional) and signed up to buy the starter kit, meringue powder, gel, and turntables from the teacher, if we wanted.  Both of us decided on just the kit, opting to price check and buy the rest ourselves.

Week 2: This week we had to bring everything with us to ice and decorate our first cake.  Being a little lazy, I baked a box mix into 2 8″ round pans.  Good thing, as the woman to my left had her cake crumble apart and she appreciated my second cake.  We also had to bring 2 batches of buttercream, colouring, gel, pencils, paper towel and the Kit (i.e. icing tips, bags, coupler).  The teacher checked our buttercream consistency and we started by icing the cake, practicing a level, smooth finish.  Then we practiced specific piping: flowers  and squiggles (tip #18 ) and round circles (tip #12).

This part of the class went long.  The teacher is very thorough and checked everyone’s progress twice, offering suggestions or demonstrating the correct technique.  We only had about 20 minutes at the end to actually put a design on our cakes and fill it in. I do find the instructions in the book to not be specific enough as they only have a few directions.

The finished product, not bad but not great in my opinion.  I am hoping that next week (CUPCAKES!!) will show improvement.

Frosting for the Cause: Pinch Hitting

Luck O’ the Irish Cupcakes

I am happy to help Paula out and  “pinch-hit”.  I didn’t know when, so I waited to put up the post.  I also want to acknowledge my mom and her fight with skin cancer.  She has had lots of moles taken unfortunately off her face, but never complains.

These cupcakes are again in honour of my Grandma as I associate St. Patrick’s Day with her because of her birthday, and thanks to my mom for helping me to make a first batch over March Break!

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I looove cupcakes.  I am always trying out new shops, watching TLC for DC Cupcakes, just to get my fix in.  So I was excited to make these in time for St Patrick’s Day.  I will send a batch with the ganache over to Sunnybrook Hospital’s Oncology Floor (now that my post is up, coming this week!).

 

The finished product

Recipe from Bonita (@Boneats) from Boneats.ca -Chocolate Guinness and Irish Cream Cupcakes (Adapted from Smitten Kitchen)

Makes about 20-24

Cake:

1 cup Guinness, foam removed

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup sour cream

 

For the ganache filling:

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate (I used 70% cacao)

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, diced

2 teaspoons Bailey’s Irish cream

 

For the Bailey’s buttercream:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

4 tablespoons Bailey’s Irish cream

 

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large, separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs in one at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract.With your mixer on low, slowly add in the Guinness. Don’t panic when it curdles. It will all come together again when you add in the flour and sour cream.

Now slowly add in a third of the dry ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Mix in half of the sour cream. Repeat again by alternating between the dry ingredients and the sour cream, finishing with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined; do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the lined cupcake tins, about 2/3 to 3/4 full. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or when a toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Remove the cupcakes and allow to cool in their tins on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from their tins and cool completely on the racks.

To the make the ganache filling: Finely chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream on medium-low until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. (If this has not sufficiently melted the chocolate, you can return it to a double-boiler to gently melt what remains. Add the butter and Irish cream and stir until combined.

Let the ganache cool until thick but still soft enough to spoon into the cupcakes, about the consistency of pudding. Meanwhile, use a small teaspoon to scoop out the centres of the cooled cupcakes—aim for about 1/2 to 2/3 of the way in depth. Reserve the scooped out cake (so you can munch on it yourself!). Spoon the ganache into each cupcake and set aside until ready to frost.

To make the buttercream: Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand mixer until light and fluffy, for about 5 minutes. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. Slowly drizzle in the Irish cream and mix until the buttercream starts to come together and look thick. If it looks too thick, add a bit of milk or cream.

Ice and decorate the cupcakes (if you want to pipe the buttercream, I’d suggest doubling the recipe of the buttercream). Enjoy!

 

 

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