RaeDi at Hummingbird Hollow

Thoughts on Food, Words from the Heart, 'The Little Winged Ones'….

Tag: Buttercream

Dk Chocolate Covered Espresso Bean Mini Cupcakes w/ Buttercream Frosting

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July, our Nations Birthday. We sure did and it was sunny all day and warm, not hot but I did not need a heavy sweater which was a nice change. I sure hope that the summer stays with us. We only had a few days of summer last year and we would like to make up for it this year.

I made these mini cup cakes last 4th of July and they were such a hit I decided to do them again this year (they were hinted for.) Last minute changes meant the ribs went in the freezer and the Cole Slaw, Waldorf Salad, and Roasted Corn on the Cob would be done another day.

Making the mini cupcakes were much easier for me. Too, I love it that so many like these little minis. I  can make the cupcakes one day and then next day I frost.

They were a hit, not one was left. That makes me feel so good. I hope at some point some you try these, for having coffee in them (I am not a coffee drinker at all) they are really good, and so moist.

When cupcakes were requested from me last 4th of July I took some time to find just the right recipe, I wanted something that was unusual, but something everyone would like. I found this recipe in Martha Stewart’s cookbook, ‘Cupcakes.’ a wonderful cookbook (it was a gift) and too everyone knows that Martha’s recipe are always good. Here is the recipe for all those coffee lovers and even for those that don’t like coffee, I had a small sampling when I was finished with the frosting and it was very good for something with coffee.

I made another change this year I used Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans chop up about ¼ cup of coffee toffee candy in the cupcakes, they were delicious. I chopped them and then stirred it into the batter. The Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans little nuggets were a special treat inside each mini cupcake. I too mix them into the frosting and sprinkled some on top of the frosting. Everyone loved them…

ONE~ BOWL CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Ingredients, Makes 18 to 24 (50+ mini cupcakes)

  •        3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  •        1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •        1 1/2 cups sugar
  •        1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  •        3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  •        3/4 teaspoon salt
  •        2 large eggs
  •       3/4 cup warm water
  •       3/4 cup buttermilk
  •        3 tablespoons safflower oil
  •        1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •        ¼ chopped coffee toffee candy (me addition) ¼ cup chopped Dark Chocolate Espresso Beans

Directions

  •        Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners; set aside. Sift together cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed. Mix in the ¼ cup of chopped Dark Covered Espresso Beans into cupcake batter.
  •       Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

     

The recipe I used for the cupcakes was from Martha Stewart’s Cupcake book. This recipe makes about 5 dozen mini cupcakes (For the mini One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes, I made half of this recipe of Swiss Meringue Buttercream and it was more than enough frosting.) 

                

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

  •        5 large egg whites
  •        1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  •        Pinch of salt
  •        1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
  •        1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  •       1∕8 cup chopped Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans, save 2 Tablespoons to the side

Directions

  •        Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water.
  •        Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips).
  •        Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, whisk until stiff (but not dry) peaks form.
  •        Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl), about 10 minutes.
  •        With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  •         Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla.
  •         Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low-speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth.
  •       Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day, or transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.

These are wonderful little mini cupcakes.  The Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans sure made the difference and that little hint of fresh ground nutmeg, really was a nice complement to the mix.   Like I said I love baking especially when there are no leftovers.  I know everyone enjoyed them very much; it was so worth the time and effort it took to make them….

Petit Fours for Easter

Petit Fours

Spring is in the air and this is the time of year when all things that have been dormant come back to life in full color.  What beautiful colors we see in the flowers, the blossomed trees and shrubbery.  Where ever you look there is such splendor.

Easter is the most sacred holiday of Christians; in fact it is what I consider the holiest day in our faith.  Easter is truly a day of new beginnings.  It is a day to celebrate life, but not just life, but everlasting life.  With my commitment in my faith, it gives me hope, through Jesus; we get to live, live for eternity. It was at this time that Jesus died on the cross; the blood He shed has cleaned me of my sins, the same for all Christians and those that accept Him into their lives as Lord and Savior.  He was buried and rose again three days later, thereby giving everlasting life for all of us who believe in Him.

I went out and picked some of my flowers growing in my gardens to put in several rooms in my home.  It brings such joy to me to see and smell them.  I try to keep cut flowers in my home throughout the season.  They not only add color, but it brings cheers to the room that they grace.   I had a few flowers left over that I used for the pictures of the Petit Fours.

I have wanted to make Petit Fours for some time now and finally decided to just do it.  I have made them before; but I want to make them without pre-made sugar flowers.  Why did I put it off, I am not talented with the pastry bag.  I have artistic abilities but cannot use a pastry bag.  I am a perfectionist and it is hard for me to make something when the flowers that grace them are not as pretty as the real thing, what a sore site when I am trying to put borders on something.   I have looked into it and there will be classes in decorating with the pastry bag this fall and I will be the first one on the list, it is about time that I took the time to learn how to hold and use a pastry bag.

For these petit fours I used a ‘Sara Lee’ all butter pound cake (the only time I use a pre-made cake.)  For those that do not know where to get them they are in the frozen section at the market.  I let it thaw just a little while on the counter before I slice it into 1 inch wide slices that I then cut my 1” squares and circles.  I do not bother to cut the top and sides off.  When I made the slices I laid them flat and used my inch cutters to cut them out around the top, sides and bottom.  It was a lot less work, one of the reasons I did not make my own pound cake.

Once I have all my petit cakes cut, I make sure there are no crumbs left on them and I then put them into the freezer on a jelly roll pan, it is easier to work with them frozen and when you pour the glaze on it seems to set up quicker.

Petit Four Icing/Glaze:

Ingredients:

  • 9 cups of confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ cup of water
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (use the clear if you can find it, if not I used the regular this time it does keep it from being a white glaze…
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract
  • Food coloring, (optional)  I used Ateco Spectrum Food Gel Paste

To Prepare Icing:

Combine all icing ingredients in the top of a double boiler.  Heat all the ingredients over boiling water until the glaze is noticeable lukewarm, whisking constantly.  Once it is heated I take the pan off the water and set aside and quickly get the cake out of the freezer and place the cakes directly on my cooling rack with a jelly roll pan underneath to catch the dripping of the excess glaze from the little cakes as I glaze them.

I use a small ladle filled with glaze and I hover over each petit fours and as I start to pour glaze onto the cake and I use a circular motion while hovering over the little cake until it is covered.   Once I have them all glazed once I do it again.  Then I take the glaze that has settled into the jelly roll pan (make sure there are no cake crumbs in the glaze) and if it is still warm (if not I put it over the hot water for a just a bit and it heats up real fast, whisk it while it heats) I do the same thing for the third time.  It gives them a nice luster look.

I let them dry for several hours before adding the flowers and trims, but this time I put them in a box with lid to finish them tomorrow.  Do not refrigerate, it will make the glaze sticky and I have been told grainy too.

I had left over buttercream frosting in the freezer that I thawed out and then beat it good, I divided it into four different bowls and then I tinted it with pink, purple, blue, and yellow and put each color into its own pastry bag.   I have made the petit fours before several times and always used the already made sugar flowers however this time I did not buy any pre-made flowers to force myself into using the pastry bag.  I did simple little flower on each of the petit fours.

They have nice color, but I cannot wait for the decorating classes so I can be confident in what I am doing.  There has to be an easier way for someone too who has medical problems that cause the hands to shake and jerk, hopefully.

These were a lot better than they looked.  It was a wonderful Easter, filled with food that was exceptional delicious with lots of leftovers.  Happy Easter to all….

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