Banana Chocolate Cupcakes

I decided to test a few banana cupcake recipies and found a perfect one.  This recipie is moist and has a noticible banana flavor.

Recipie:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup of brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2  very ripe mashed banana
2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk

Instructions:  

Pre-heat the over to 350 degrees.

Prepare the cupcake pans with cupcake liners.

Step 1: Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

Step 2: Using a stand mixer with a paddle attatchment, mix the brown sugar, granulated sugar and butter (3-5 minutes) until it is light and fluffy.

Step 3: Add the eggs one at a time.  Scrape down the bowl after each egg addition.

Step 4: Mashed bananas and add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on medium speed for about 1 minute.  The mixture may look curdled at this point, but it’s okay.

Step 5: Add a 1/3 of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk.  Repeat the process and finish off with the last 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Be careful not to over mix the batter.

Step 6: Place the cake batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 16-18 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Top off the cupcakes with a chocolate buttercream of choice.  I used the Swiss Marangue butter cream and added 1/3 cup of cocoa powder.

The garnish is a chocolate ganache and a banana chip.

ENJOY!!!

Vanilla Cake

This Vanilla cake recipe has turned out to be one of the best I have tried.   I made some minor changes, but found that you can mix just about anything into it, to creat unique flavors and it will still rise perfectly. This recipe has quickly turned into my GO TO vanilla cake.

This recipe yields 3-8″ round cake layers.

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½teaspoon baking soda
  • ½teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, room temp (Mayonase consistency)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract or 1 Vanilla bean cut in half and scrapped
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Method

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch cake pans with quick release baking spray.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and light in color.  Reduce the speed to slow and add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each one is incorporated before adding the next egg.  Scrape down the bowl in between each egg addition.  Beat on low to medium speed until the eggs are all fully incorporated.

Reduce the speed to slow and the vanilla extract or the vanilla bean seeds.

Keeping the seeped on low, add half the flour mixture. Alternate with 1 cup of buttermilk and mix until almost combined. Stop the mixer scrape down the bowl and then repeat the process.  Make sure not to over mix the cake batter. At this point, I take the bowl off the stand mixer and finish mixing by hand with a rubber spatula.

Divide the batter into the 3 prepared cake pans.  Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with little to no cake crums.  Place the cakes pans on the cooling racks for 5-8 minutes.  Remove the cakes from the cake pans and place on the cooling racks.  Allow the cakes to cool completely.

 

Red, White and Blue 

This simple and beautiful 4th of July cake was so much fun to make.  My husband serves in the US Air Force, so it was only fitting he take the cake into work.



What you will need:

3-8″ round vanilla cakes (one red, one blue and one white)

2 batches of Swiss Marangue Buttercream (SMB)

One batch of ganache or candy melts

Chocolate or candy melt starts (Optional)

Blue and red colored sprinkles (Optional)

Instructions: 

I used a simple vanilla cake  recipe and made a double batch.  I split the batter into 3 bowls and tainted 2 of them, 1 red and one blue.  I baked the cake according to the recipe directions.  After allowing the cake to cool, I prepared a double batch of Swiss Marangue Buttercream (SMB).  I took 2 cups of buttercream and separated the 2 cups into 2 small bowls.  I tainted one cup blue and the other red.

Using a candy melt molds make some red, white and blue stars and set aside.

Assembly:

Stack, fill and frost the cake with the white buttercream.  Using a small spatula take small amounts of blue/red colored buttercream and place randomly around the cake.  Using a bench scraper remove the excess buttercream off the cake.  Once you have the desired look place the cake in the fridge and chill for 30 minutes.

Placed the candy stars on top of the cake along with the red and blue colored sprinkles.

ENJOY!!!

Baking for Sal Del Mar

A few weeks ago, I was given an amazing opportunity by Sal Del Mar to create some delicious deserts for a phot shoot.  The cake is a dark chocolate stout cake with a rich salted caramel buttercream, topped off with chocolate ganache. The cupcakes are Coca-Cola cupcakes with peanut butter frosting.  As you can see both deserts are topped with salt.  The salt used was a product of Sal Del Mar, which I must say was amazing to bake with.

Sal Del Mar is raw, unprocessed salt from Mexico. This salt is collected and packaged into small embroidered bags, which are charming.   Check out their story by clicking here. 

The star of these photos are not my cakes but the salt itself.  As mentioned before the salt is unprocessed so, I used a sifter to obtain the fine salt for the baking and used the corse left over salt for the topping.

The photos are curtsey of Amy Haskell, who I would like to thank for allowing me to stay and observe the photo shoot.  Not only was she an awesome photographer, she was also very kind to give me pointers for my very own future photos. If you are in the Tucson area and ever need a good product Photographer definitely look her up at Photography by Amy Haskell.

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Inspiration for this cake was obtained from Sea Sal Sweets cook book. A few minor changes were done to the recipe and are listed bellow.

The Coca-Cola cupcakes were done using the same recipe, but rather than using the chocolate stout, I used Mexican Coca-Cola.  The Coca-Cola cupcakes are topped with Peanut butter Ameircan Buttercream.  Garnished with salted peanuts, chocolate sprinkles and of course Sal Del Mar.

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For the Peanut butter amercan buttercream you will need the following:

1/2 Butter

1/4 Cristo shorting

1/2 Peanut butter (extra creamy preferred)

4-5 Cups of powder sugar

2-3 Tablespoon of milk 

A pinch of Sal Del Mar salt

Place the butter, shorting and Peanut butter in the electric mixer.  On medium speed (4) allow all of the ingredients to incorporate.  Once the items are smooth and incorporated add one (1) cup at a time of powder sugar.  Alternating with the milk continue to add all the powder sugar.  You may not need all the powder sugar depending on personal preference for the consistency of the buttercream. Finally add the pinch of salt. Increase the speed to medium-high (6) and allow all of the components to mix (3-5 minutes).  Once smooth top of your cupcakes and enjoy!!!

 

The End of 2015-The Start of 2016

Last year around this time, I was packing my bags and getting ready to travel to Canada and attend the Bonnie Gordon School of Confectionary Arts.  This year I am thankful for the experience and the new friends I made while I was there.  I have some goals for 2016, some of which include sharing what I learned with all of you here in this blog. For now I will share a few photos of my experience in Canada and I hope to see you all soon.