SWEET EMERGENCY

You need to bring something sweet and tasty for an event that will take place in less than 24 hours.

You are cake challenged.

What could you possibly do?   Get into panic mode?   Call 911?   Worse yet, grab something from the grocery store?  No need.    Emergency cupcakes to the rescue!

EMERGENCY BLENDER CUPCAKES
(from Abigail Dodge, The Weekend Baker)

1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder, not Dutch-processed, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For frosting:
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
1 cup condensed milk
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Optional: sprinkles for decoration

Heat the oven to 375F.  Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.

Combine flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda and salt in a blender.  Cover with the lid and process until combined.  Add hot water, oil, egg, and vanilla.  Process until smooth, making sure to stop a few times and run a spatula around the edges to ensure it is fully homogenized. Pour into the prepared muffin cups, filling 3/4 of the way.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean – about 17 to 20  minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool.

Prepare the frosting by melting chocolate and butter in the microwave. Add condensed milk, corn syrup, vanilla and salt.
Whisk until well blended. Set aside at room temperature, whisking frequently. The frosting will thicken as it cools. When completely cool, cover with plastic wrap until ready to frost the cupcakes.  It can be prepared in advance.

Decorate with sprinkles if you so desire…

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This recipe is all over the internet, getting praises from both experienced and naive bakers.  Experienced bakers love the fact that they can have something simple but delicious ready at the drop of a hat.  Naive bakers… well, we need this recipe.  It is a dream come true for those with cake insecurities.   One important note:  the frosting recipe makes A TON.  Unless you plan to have cake emergencies on a daily basis for a month, consider halving it.  😉

ONE YEAR AGO:  The bread we love

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BITE-SIZED CHOCOLATE PLEASURE

Giada’s show can hit or miss with me, but the moment I saw her making these small chocolate meringue cupcakes I knew that my husband and I, and our entire lab group were going to profit from it in our  early morning meeting.

MINI CHOCOLATE-MERINGUE CUPCAKES
(from Giada de Laurentiis)

2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup vegetable oil|
2/3 cup sugar, divided
2 Tbs cocoa powder (I used natural)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1/4 cup cake flour
3 egg whites

for the topping:
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
1/2 Tbs vegetable oil

Heat the oven to 350F.
Line a 24-count mini-muffin pan with paper liners (1.25 inch diameter).

Beat the egg yolks, vegetable oil, 1/3 cup of the sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt, at high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Mix in the melted chocolate chips and stir until smooth (mixture will be very thick).

In a separate bowl,   beat the egg whites at high speed until they hold soft peaks, about 3 minutes. With the machine running, gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup sugar and continue to beat until the mixture holds stiff peaks, about 2 minutes.  Stir a small amount of the beaten egg whites into  the chocolate, to lighten it up. .Using a spatula, fold the remaining egg white mixture.  In batches, sift the flour over the batter and fold it in using a spatula. Fill each paper liner to the top with batter and bake for 12 minutes until puffed. Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

For the topping: In a small bowl, combine the melted chocolate chips and oil. Stir until smooth.

Using a fork, drizzle the chocolate mixture over the cupcakes. Allow the topping to harden for at least 1 1/2 hours at room temperature before serving.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: This  recipe really was a “piece of cake” in two ways:  it was simple, and it produced cupcakes that look dense, but were light and moist in your mouth.   The chocolate drizzle, which according to Giada should harden in a couple of hours, refused to cooperate.  Even the next morning it was still sticky to the touch, making the cupcakes quite messy to eat.    A brief stay in the fridge (about 15 minutes or so) helped a little bit, and also made it easier to remove the paper.

I’d make these again at the drop of a hat,  but using  a different recipe for the drizzle, to achieve the crunchy texture on top.    Their size was perfect: people who are not wild about sweets will be happy with one; chocoholics may return for more. And more…. and more… 😉

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