Thursday, July 28, 2011

Whipped Cream Frosting: Take 2

I love whipped cream way too much. I like it a lot better than buttercream frosting. After my first failed batch of whipped cream frosting, I decided to try again with a little more patience. I baked a batch of chocolate cupcakes to which the recipe is below. This is such an easy recipe and it tastes amazing! I ate 3 in one sitting....okay you caught me, it was 4.  I've made them a few times and each time think of trying a different recipe but just cant bring myself to.

The frosting came out much better too. I remembered to stop whipping as soon as the cream started forming stiff peaks. The peaks weren't as stiff as some pictures I had seen on the internets but I didn't want to overmix. After mixing, I put it into the fridge for half an hour to firm up a bit so that it wouldn't melt when I piped them. This frosting doesn't seem to be ideal for piping. It doesn't hold its shape very well. It would be much better for spreading even using just a round tip for blobs of icing. Next time I think I might try to add a stabilizing agent to help it become more stiff. It tasted great though, not too sweet and not too plain.

Recipe for Chocolate Cupcake

2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking power
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 3/4 cup AP flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Beat eggs, vanilla, milk, and vegetable oil
3. Sift and combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and beat until combined
5. Stir in boiling water until well combined and batter is thin
6. Pour batter into prelined baking tray
7. Bake 25 minutes and remove after testing with toothpick

Recipe for Whipped Cream Frosting

1 cup whipping cream
2 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Pour cream, sugar, and vanilla into a bowl. 
2. Start blending with mixer.
3. Stop blending when mixture becomes thick and forms stiff peaks. Take care not to over mix!
4. Chill in fridge for 30 min and then pipe onto cupcakes
You can adjust the sugar to your taste. I also added some food coloring to mine. 

Bon appetite!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Whipped Cream Frosting:Take 1

Frosting for cupcakes seems simple enough. However, there are many variations of different types of recipe and its kind of hurting my head trying to decide which to use for which cupcake. I thought I would try a basic buttercream first but upon perusing through a few recipes decided not to. Maybe its the cheap-o side of me that cries at the price of butter, or the side of me that doesn't really like a lot of frosting to begin or maybe just the fact that all the professionals on Youtube seem to be doing it with a stand mixer and I just have my measly hand mixer *pouts and runs into a corner to cry*

So anyway, my sister wanted me to make some cupcakes for her class pot luck and we decided to do a simple chocolate cupcake with a whipped cream Oreo frosting. I love whipped cream and who doesn't love Oreos? I figured I would just throw all the ingredients together and beat away until the cream was....well...whipped. Biggest. Mistake. Ever.....okay maybe not ever...but still pretty big.

I won't bother to post the recipe because it didn't work so well. I started to whip the cream after adding in icing sugar and it wasn't really taking a stiff whipped cream form. So then I started to add in more icing sugar. Some sort of divine being should have struck me with a thunderbolt right then because that was NOT a smart idea. Within seconds, the whipped cream turned into cheese. Lets have a moment of silence while we picture my very shocked face......

I don't think it was because I added more sugar but more so because I whipped it too long. As I was frantically searching on Google how to reverse the cheese concoction that I had made, I learned that a) the curdled cheese was here to stay and b) you must stop whipping as soon as you think its ready...don't give it a few more seconds thinking it will won' will disintegrate before your eyes.

By this point I had also added in the Oreo crumbs and pretty much ended up with a grey mushy lumpy mess that started to 'weep'. Weeping means that water starts to leak out when the whipped cream starts to separate.

Since I was making this for my sister, I had to get some sort of frosting on them. So I whipped up a new bowl of frosting. Somehow these things always happen to me at night because once again I was up quite late praying and coaxing the frosting to come out semi-decent which it did. It wasn't stiff and didnt hold for piping but it didnt taste that bad. It looked.....weird....but at 1 in the morning, it could have looked like mud for all I cared.

I will definitely be trying this frosting out again. Hopefully, it turns out better. In the mean time, I'm staying away from Oreos!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Banana Cashew Muffins

Everyone has a tried and true banana bread/muffin/loaf recipe for the days when its too ripe to peel and snarf down...although I don't think I would do that even if they were just right ripe. After my disastrous lemon cupcake failure, I decided to give the basic muffin a try.

As usual, I fired up Google and this time tried to find a recipe that sounded legit. I found a recipe here at My Baking Addiction which seemed pretty foolproof and added some roasted cashews to the batter and sprinkled some on top (I made some plain too). I skipped out on the crumb coating though because I didn't have brown sugar on hand and didn't think it was wise to improvise...refer to aforementioned baking failure.

So recipe in hand I was off to the trenches. As usual I stumbled my way through figuring out what worked and what didn't. The first thing I learned; it makes life MUCH easier if you cut up the bananas into smaller pieces before you attempt to beat them with your puny little hand mixer. Common sense is not my forte.....moving on. Lesson number two: cashews are big...chop them up a little before throwing them in the batter.

The batch came out pretty good. In fact, compared to the lemon cupcakes, the muffins were a huge success. The next time I make them though, I would probably wait till the bananas get more ripe. I had to use them when they were still edible because bananas are like gold in my house. So I had to hide them and invent all kinds of ways to prevent them from being eaten before I can make muffins out of them. I would probably also add a little less baking soda. My mom mentioned that they had a slight sour taste to them which is because of the baking soda. I personally couldn't taste anything but my mom has super senses (radioactive spider incident) so I'm just going to trust her on this one.

All in all, I think this recipe was amazing. The muffin was moist, almost like cake and it tasted good. It wasn't as dry as some store bought muffins are. So on that happy note, all I can say is....on to the next one ;)