Learning to bake fearlessly <3

Posts tagged ‘nutella’

Pumpkin cupcakes with nutella cinnamon frosting


Aaaaah, autumn. It’s probably my favorite time of year. Falling leaves, dropping temperatures, the idea of snow teasing, Halloween, Christmas shopping, and all the lovely flavors–apple, pumpkin, maple, spice. These were just what I needed to get back into the baking groove–as it turns out, all I really need is one batch of excellent cupcakes to get excited about baking again! And these were definitely it. I’m planning on making these for my family as dessert on Thanksgiving.

I also learned how fun it is to work with foil-lined cupcake papers! They stay so lovely and vibrant. I might never use anything else!

Pumpkin spice cupcakes
Adapted from Crumbly Cookie

Makes about 20 cupcakes

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pans
1 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
⅓ cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
½ cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups canned solid-pack pumpkin (one 10-oz can)

Preheat your oven to 350 F, and line your cupcake pans. Beat the sugars and butter together with your mixer on medium til light and fluffy, it might take a bit. In another bowl, whisk your dry ingredients together. Add your vanilla to your milk, and set aside.

When the butter-sugar mixture is ready, add your eggs one at a time, beating until incorporated between each. Then add your flour and milk mixtures bit by bit, alternating and mixing until just combined. Finally, add in your pumpkin, and mix til smooth.

Fill your cupcake liners half to 3/4 of the way (these will rise a good bit, so you can get away with half if you don’t want tall cupcakes). Bake for 20-25 minutes (20 was just about perfect for me), until a toothpick comes out clean or with only a few crumbs clinging to it.

Nutella cinnamon swiss meringue buttercream
6 large egg whites
1½ cups granulated sugar
4 sticks unsalted butter, not cold, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup nutella
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Makes enough frosting for 2 dozen cupcakes

I always cube and set out my butter on a plate first thing, and let it warm up while I work on the rest. Wipe out your mixer bowl and mixer attachments VERY well, making sure there’s no trace of grease. The first thing you’re going to do is make a meringue, and any grease could cause it to fail. Heat a large pot with an inch or so of water on the stove until it’s just simmering—we don’t want to cook our egg whites. Add the egg whites and sugar to your mixer bowl and whisk constantly until the sugar is melted and the egg whites are warm.

Stick your bowl on your mixer with whisk attachment and whip the egg/sugar mixture on medium-low (say 3 on a Kitchenaid) for a couple minutes, then switch to medium-high (say 7 or so on a Kitchenaid) until they’re white and fluffy, and the bowl is neutral to the touch. For me, it takes around 7-8 minutes. Voila! You made meringue. But it’s going to get even better still.

When the bowl feels room-temperature, switch to the paddle attachment on low speed and add your cubed butter one or two cubes at a time. This is the tricky part, and where it looks like everything’s gone wrong. At this stage, it is totally okay if your buttercream looks grainy, more like scrambled eggs. Trust me! Just keep whipping it, scraping the paddle clean if need be.

Add vanilla, nutella, cinnamon, and salt, and whip it a bit longer, until they’re evenly incorporated. Pipe onto cupcakes, but make sure you have a little left over to eat with a spoon! ;D

Strawberry and nutella mini cheesecakes


You know that adage, never go shopping when you’re hungry? Yeah, listen to that. Last week, I rolled out of bed and went grocery shopping without breakfast, and…well, I came home with some interesting items. One of those was a box of store-brand Nilla Wafers. Which I do love when I’m in the mood for them, but I just wasn’t feeling it this week. So, they became something even more delicious! I sat down and thought about it, and realized they would make an amazing cheesecake crust. And everyone loves cheesecake, right? (Lie to me if you must.)

Know what else everyone loves? Nutella. And strawberries, which are in season right now and looking luscious. So this recipe was begging to be made. The only trouble I’m having is not eating them all before my family gets home!

Strawberry and nutella mini cheesecakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients:
For the crust:
3/4 cup nilla wafer crumbs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tbsp sugar

For the filling:
1 pound (16 oz, or two packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, at room temperature

For the topping:
Four or five large strawberries
1 tbsp sugar
About a cup of nutella

Makes approximately 17 mini-cheesecakes

Preheat the oven to 325 F and line your cupcake pan with cute liners. Take your nilla wafer crumbs (I used a food processor to pulverize them), and mix them with your sugar and melted butter until the mixture is moist and crumbly. Then take about a tablespoonful and press it into the bottom of each liner, pressing it down hard. I used a small cup to help. Bake these for about five minutes, until solid.

While these are cooling, make your cheesecake filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese on medium-high until fluffy. Add the sugar and mix well. Then add the vanilla and the tiniest pinch of salt and mix until incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing in between. The filling should now be about pudding consistency and easily spoonable.

Let that hang out in the mixing bowl while you make the topping. It’s simple–chop the strawberries, add them to a food processor with the sugar, and puree. The resultant mixture will be thin, but that’s all right. Spoon the strawberry puree and nutella on top of the cheesecake batter in any configuration you like (half and half, or both on all, or some of each!), and swirl with a knife or toothpick to get a pretty wave. Bake for 22 minutes, until firm, then refrigerate for four hours before serving.

Cup(cakes) of Scorn


I’m not generally a horror-movie girl, but about three years ago, I fell in love with a movie called REPO! The Genetic Opera. It’s a rock opera set in a dystopian future where organ repossessions are legal and surgery, a fashion statement, and it follows the ascent of a young girl into adulthood over the course of a single tumultuous day. It’s an amazing movie, and if you have a stomach for a little gore, I would definitely suggest checking it out, but through it, I found a much greater treasure–some of the best friends I’ve ever, ever had. That’s what’s kept me into it.

And a few months ago, we added a new bunch of friends to our chat group–you see, the guys who made Repo have nearly finished work on a new creation, The Devil’s Carnival!

It’ll be airing as a road tour next month, and I’m super excited. So this recipe is my nod to one of the characters: the Painted Doll, played by the lovely Emilie Autumn!

“Cup of scorn” is a phrase that’s been tossed around the fandom, so I asked myself, what would scorn taste like? Sweet and enticing, but dark and deep, with a bit of spice and a wicked bite. And this is what I came up with: sweet, dark molasses and bittersweet chocolate, seductively smooth and silky nutella, cinnamon’s sweet spice, the burn and bite of good bourbon, and a bit of hellfire in the form of cayenne pepper. I garnished with a half-heart slice of apple, a nod to the Doll’s character. And the verdict? Sooooo good. Dad kept sneaking to the mixing bowl for a bit of frosting. I’d say that’s a winner!

Dark chocolate molasses cake
Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 of a 4.3 oz box chocolate pudding mix
1 egg
1/2 cup black coffee
1/2 cup milk, room temperature
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon molasses
Small amount of bourbon (to brush)

Makes roughly a dozen cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 350 F, and line your cupcake pan. Whisk together the dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer. Add the wet ingredients and mix on lowest setting with the paddle attachment until just combined, then at medium speed (around 6 on a Kitchenaid mixer) for two minutes. The batter will be thin, that’s fine. Fill your baking cups about ¾ full and bake 15-19 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean. Allow to cool, then brush with bourbon.

Nutella cinnamon swiss meringue buttercream
Ingredients
9 large egg whites
2 and 1/4 cups granulated sugar
6 sticks (2 pounds) unsalted butter, not cold, cut into cubes
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup nutella
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Cayenne pepper (for sprinkling)

Makes enough frosting for 2 dozen cupcakes

I always cube and set out my butter on a plate first thing, and let it warm up while I work on the rest. Wipe out your mixer bowl and mixer attachments VERY well, making sure there’s no trace of grease. The first thing you’re going to do is make a meringue, and any grease could cause it to fail. Heat a large pot with an inch or so of water on the stove until it’s just simmering—we don’t want to cook our egg whites. Add the egg whites and sugar to your mixer bowl and whisk constantly until the sugar is melted and the egg whites are warm.

Stick your bowl on your mixer with whisk attachment and whip the egg/sugar mixture on medium-low (say 3 on a Kitchenaid) for a couple minutes, then switch to medium-high (say 7 or so on a Kitchenaid) until they’re white and fluffy, and the bowl is neutral to the touch. For me, it takes around 7-8 minutes. Voila! You made meringue. But it’s going to get even better still.
When the bowl feels room-temperature, switch to the paddle attachment on low speed and add your cubed butter one or two cubes at a time. This is the tricky part, and where it looks like everything’s gone wrong. At this stage, it is totally okay if your buttercream looks grainy, more like scrambled eggs. Trust me! Just keep whipping it, scraping the paddle clean if need be. Eventually, it will turn into creamy, smooth loveliness. Taste a little of it now—isn’t it just knee-weakeningly good? But it’s going to get even better!

Add vanilla, nutella, cinnamon, and salt, and whip it a bit longer, until they’re evenly incorporated. And don’t be afraid to play with different flavors or proportions. Pipe onto cupcakes, but make sure you have a little left over to eat with a spoon! ;D Sprinkle with cayenne, to taste.