Thursday, May 31, 2012

Fairy Cupcake Preview

On Friday I'm making Tinkerbell Cupcakes for a little girl's birthday party. I'm so excited to get to do something so unabashedly girlie and cute and fun! I did a practice run on the cupcakes over the weekend. Here's a little preview of the ingredients that (I hope) will make the best Tinkerbell Cupcakes ever.

Crafting 3D Tinkerbell Wands

Hand Piped White Chocolate Fairy Wings Filled with Sparkling Gelatine

Delicious Vanilla Cake

Fairy Cupcakes should look like delicious flowers, right?

Finished Fairy Wants on Lollipop Sticks for Extra Magic

Monday, May 7, 2012

Chocolate Ganache

Not the most glamorous picture, but it will have to do. For my darling, chocolate-addict friend (who is also a huge fan of this! and this!) I made this little birthday dessert I like to call "Chocolate Never Dies."

Fudge cupcakes with dark chocolate chips (60% cacao) topped with dark chocolate ganache. Did you swoon? If not, re-read that last sentence.

Glad you're back.

Ganache can be used as a filling, a glaze, or a "frosting" and is just sinfully good in any of its forms. To get the ganache thick enough to pipe out of a piping bag onto cupcakes, I read about six recipes and came up with this. (Most recipes are pretty much the same, so if you already know how to make ganache, prepare to not be surprised by my recipe.)


Here's What You Need:

1 T Butter
1 Scant Cup of Heavy Cream
1 Cup of Chocolate Chips, or roughly chopped chocolate. I used the Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips and it turned out amazingly dark and delicious.

Here's What You Do:

1. Chop your chocolate, or open your bag of chocolate chips. Measure it out into a medium bowl.
2. In a small saucepan bring the heavy cream and butter to a boil.
3. Pour the heavy cream over the chocolate.
4. Slowly mix the chocolate and the cream until they become one dark chocolately liquid.
5. Once all the cream is incorporated, you can put the ganache in the fridge if you want it to thicken a little faster (takes about 45 mins if your fridge is quite cold), or you can leave it on the counter. I like to give it a stir every 10-15 mins to make sure it's cooling evenly.
6. Enjoy.

*Note, for runnier ganache, add a little more heavy cream. This would be fantastic poured over the top of a bundt cake or as the coating or center of home made truffles.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

How have I gotten this far without posting a recipe for buttercream frosting? I mean, if the dessert will hold still long enough I slather it with the stuff. The truth? I never really measure when I make frosting. I just taste until it tastes right. Or until Lito (my husband/guinea pig) tells me that it tastes right. I have some rough measurements for you, but the trick to making the best frosting ever is to taste & adjust until it's just right. (Someone please make a Goldilocks joke.)

Okay. Dreamy Buttercream Frosting

Here's What You Need:

1 stick of room temp butter. MUST. BE. SOFTENED. ENTIRELY.
3-ish cups of powdered sugar.
1 Tablespoon vanilla (I use Trader Joe's Bourbon Vanilla when I can't get my hands on real mexican vanilla)
4-ish Tablespoons of milk, half-n-half, heavy cream, whatever's in the fridge. The higher fat content, the yummier, right? Right.

Here's What You Do:

1. Cream the butter in a medium bowl (medium-high speed).
2. Add the vanilla. YUM.
3. Add the powdered sugar and milk in alternating batches. Start with about a cup of powdered sugar, mix it in, then maybe a tablespoon of milk, mix it in. See where you are. If your mixer is going to sieze if you put in any more powdered sugar because the stuff is too dry, add more milk before going on to the next round of milk/pwd sugar.
4. Taste it. Adjust powdered sugar and milk until you have the desired consistency. For piping (above) I like the frosting to be able to "stand up" when I dip a spoon in and create a little peak. Make sense? Message me if you want more muddled instructions.

You can add flavors/extracts to switch up this basic recipe too -- I've had success adding almond, maple, and lemon. Anyone else tried something awesome?