Sunday, May 25, 2008

Anniversary cupcakes

Joanne and Newt celebrated their one year anniversary this month, so I thought anniversary cupcakes were in order. I was inspired by this matcha and chocolate cake with crushed pistachios, so here is my cupcake version...

Matcha cupcakes with chocolate glaze
Matcha cupcakes with chocolate glaze

The matcha cuppies were filled with pistachio cream...a sort of green color scheme...

Inside the cupcake
Inside the cupcake

I followed Santos' matcha cupcake recipe, using a combination of all-purpose flour, pastry flour, and 2 t baking powder, since I did not have self-rising flour. After the cupcakes cooled, I made holes with an apple corer and filled them with pistachio cream. Then they were topped with a dollop of chocolate glaze and a sprinkling of chopped toasted pistachios. The glaze is basically my favorite chocolate ganache, made without chopping the chocolate first due to laziness. Here are the recipes...

...Pistachio cream...
1/3 c raw pistachios
1/3 c powdered sugar
1 - 2 T water
2/3 c heavy cream

Toast pistachios at 300 F until fragrant, about 5 minutes.
Grind pistachios in food processor, then add powdered sugar.
Add 1 T water until a paste forms, adding more if necessary.
Whip cream with electric mixer until peaks form, then fold in pistachio paste.

...Chocolate glaze...
8 oz semisweet chocolate (I use Ghiradelli)
1/2 c heavy cream
1 T vanilla sugar
1 T honey
2 T unsalted butter

Melt chocolate over double-boiler with sugar and honey.
Slowly pour cream into mixture, whisking until fully incorporated.
Add 1 T butter at a time, whisking until chocolate glaze is thick and spreadable.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Weekend baking

I made chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for Jeff and Drew's housewarming BBQ on Saturday. The cupcakes came out with crackly tops, not sure why...electric oven? Still tasty though. So why are chocolate cake and cream cheese frosting not paired together more often?

Choco cupcakes close up
Chocolate sprinkles

I also wanted to make coconut cream pie for Mother's Day, but the crust shrank when baked blind...even with baking weights! Maybe I should have frozen it first? There were even gaping holes in the shrinkage...all very disheartening. Vodka pie crust, how could you disappoint me? I abandoned the project...Mission Pie to the rescue! But the next day Dan suggested filling the sad little crust with strawberries. Enough time had passed where I was not so upset at the failure, and I agreed. I halved the usual recipe since the crust had shrank...and the sauce didn't thicken...maybe not enough corn starch? But despite the soupy sauce, the pie was still tasty. My mother approved.

Strawberry pie
Strawberry soup pie

Not the best weekend baking, but not too bad in the end. The heat wave is preventing any kind of baking right now...or cooking...or much of anything, really. So lethargic...