Beet Cupcakes with Dulce de Leche Butter Cream Frosting

beet

These will definitely have a Take 2. First off, the recipe called for one beet. WTF is that? Since when do beets all grow the same size? So it’s safe to say I got a beet that was too big so the cupcake tastes more like beet bread and it didn’t rise like a cupcake should.

As for the butter cream, I think I still screwed up with it, but it didn’t taste too bad. I got a tip from a co-worker to make the dulce de leche at home putting an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk, submerged in water, into a pressure cooker for 45 minutes. Although, I was afraid of it exploding, it didn’t and almost like magic I had a can of what looked and tasted like thick caramel. Next time, though, I will put it in for 30 minutes instead of 45 since the longer it is in there the thicker it becomes.

dulce

Problem with the butter cream was that the sugar-water reduction didn’t incorporate properly with the egg whites for some reason and I ended up having a cooled solid clump of sugar stuck to the bottom of the mixer bowl. I decided to forge ahead anyway and mix in the dulce de leche and it actually ended up tasting pretty good. Since my dulce de leche was a bit thicker you can see small dark dots since it couldn’t incorporate completely.

You can find the recipe here. I will definitely be making these again very soon and using what I learned this time, I think I can make them much better. Stay tuned….


Fruit Loop Cupcakes

I stumbled upon a recipe for Fruit Loop cupcakes and definitely had to try them out. Of course being absent minded as usual, I forgot to put the orange and lemon zest into the batter, so they were probably not as great as they could have been but they definitely were delicious. I substituted the all-purpose flour for cake flour which I think made for a softer cake.

Since they passed the test, next will definitely have the zest!


Cherry Pie Cupcakes

I made these a few weeks ago, but was too lazy to get the picture off of my camera. I saw a picture online of a cupcake that looked like a cherry pie, it even had the pastry latice made out of icing. Although, when I tried to recreate the latice it didn’t go so well. I think I still need to work on my shaky hand. So I skipped the latice and went for an open top cherry pie. Basic yellow cake recipe and cherry pie filling. They were delicious!


Peanut Butter Devil’s Food Cupcakes

These were the first cupcakes I made from scratch about a year ago. They are devil’s food with peanut butter frosting. This time I added a sesame oil twist to the frosting. It was actually a good twist except that I could have put some more sesame in, I guess I was afraid of overpowering the taste.


Vegetarians – An ABCD Point of View

For those of you who don’t know, ABCD is an acronym for American Born Confused Desi. Which apparently I am. I am a meat-loving Hindu. Yes we exist.

I recently read a book called ‘Skinny Bitch’. I have to say that by reading this book I feel like I was unknowing led down a dark ally and beaten with a gluten-free soy burger. The book is marketed as a guide for a better way to lose weight and feel better and it was a New York Times Best Seller, so I figured it had to be decent. By chapter 2 I was clearly aware that this book was just a front for brainwashing you to be a vegan. I mean, subtlety went out the window. I understand the authors were using a “no-nonsense” approach by being “straight up” with the reader about their weight problem, so I expected a bit of hard language as proven by the title. But wow. The authors go as far as making you want to cry in the corner and never leave your house.

Basically, what I got from the book was everything you eat is awful for your body and the planet and you are a horrible, heartless person if you eat meat, dairy or any by product of animals. They go on to say that humans are not meant to eat meat, that since the caveman, we have evolved to be vegetarians. If we were meant to eat meat our nails and teeth would be as strong as a tiger’s such that we could hunt, kill and eat the prey with our bare hands.

I received this definition, which pretty much sums up my feelings on the topic:

Vegetarian:
A bad hunter. Someone who survives by consuming not food, but the stuff that food eats.
The vegetarian was forced to subsist on slower prey, such as the broccoli and carrot.

And here’s my answer to the authors: Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes – Eggs, Butter and Pig Flesh…mmmm.


Brined Turkey

Everyone was talking about the Trader Joe’s brined turkey and how much better it is than a regular one, so I had to try it for myself. I had a good comparison since I had made a complete Thanksgiving meal just two weeks prior for my friends using the same frozen turkey I make every year. I normally give the turkey a nice salty bath and a deep tissue massage in the kitchen sink before I rinse and stuff it. But with the brined turkey, that part was already done. The Trader Joe’s turkey probably had an advantage from the start since it was already hormone-free and all natural. But I assume it sitting in the salty brine for longer than a few minutes helped.

When I took it out of the oven it looked like something you’d see in an advertisement or on TV or from the previous post :), perfectly golden and juicy. Only now do I regret not taking a picture of it. Slicing it up was super simple too as the meat just slid off the bone. I think I got some complements from the family before the tryptophan kicked in.


Greek Yogurt Cupcakes

A friend sent me a recipe for Greek Yogurt cupcakes and said that he would be very excited to try them if I were to bake them. I was a bit weirded out at first but figured I’d give it a go. Greek yogurt differs from American yogurt in that it is thicker in consistancy, the flavor is a bit stronger and it lacks some of the additives such as high sugar content and geletin.

I personally don’t eat plain, unflavored yogurt and have never considered to put it in my baked goods. Nonetheless, I went out and purchased 2 containers of Fage Greek yogurt to make these cupcakes. The consistancy of the batter was a little less smooth than traditional cake batter and the smell of the yogurt was strong. The aroma of the yogurt only strengthened when I put the batter into the oven. While these cupcakes were baking, I was getting the feeling that I was not going to be fan of Greek yogurt, and once I tasted it, the feeling was confirmed. But still, I made the yogurt frosting that went along with the recipe and topped each one. The frosting had a consistancy more of cinnamon bun icing and looked nothing like the image in the recipe. But after a few minutes when the frosting had settled, it became more solid, just like icing.

I had to assume it was the strong smell of the yogurt that was what turned me off of the taste, it’s not that they were bad. Maybe I just don’t like yogurt in my cupcakes. I gave the cupcakes to my friend who gave me the recipe and he loved them. His wife loved them. Our waitress at the restaurant we had dinner at that night, loved them, and the hostess loved them too. So I am just going to assume my tastes differ from most people around me and write these cupcakes off as tasting great! You tell me.


Matcha cha cha mint!

I’ve been trying out different cupcake recipes, and I like to make the ones that go beyond just vanilla and chocolate. A friend sent me the link to this recipe for White Chocolate Matcha Mint Coconut cupcakes (say that 5 times fast!) I generally don’t like mint outside of an after dinner candy, but I figured I’d give them shot. First off, I didn’t think it would be so hard to find coconut milk… apparently in Boston it is. I ended up at a tiny mini mart in Chinatown that not only had it, but had 3 different brands. At that point (and since it was written in Chinese) the brand didn’t matter.

In the end, I had to double up the calling for the peppermint oil and the matcha powder since the butter seemed to overpower the taste. This was the first time I had made a buttercream frosting, and it came out fantastic. It added a smooth texture to the coconut cupcake. I added coconut shavings on top to bring out the flavor of the cake. All the extra effort was definitely worth it since these are probably the best cupcakes I have ever made (or ate!) But don’t go on my word alone, everyone that tried them has agreed.

So if you fancy yourself a baker or like to try out different recipes, give this one a shot and let me know what you think.