Irish Carbomb Cupcakes

Delicious boozy cupcakes, super moist. Essentially a very slight variation from this recipe from Smitten Kitchen. I ended up buying a melon baller spoon just for making these. I highly recommend it, makes the process much easier.

I didn’t use the whiskey pictured in the end, the chocolate I use is very present and it was getting lost. I ended up using some of this one instead.

Makes 24 cupcakes.

Ingredients for the cupcakes:
1 cup Guinness
1 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1/2 tea spoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ingredients for the ganache center:
8 oz 70% dark chocolate
2/3 cup cream
2 table spoon salted butter, room temperature
3 table spoon whiskey (I didn’t use the one picture)

Ingredients for the icing:
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4 table spoon Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/2 cup icing sugar

ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
In a medium sauce pot, combine the unsalted butter and the Guiness. using low heat melt the butter into the beer (you don’t want this to boil).
butter-beer1

2. Meanwhile, combine together the flour, sugar, baking soda and sat.
dry

3. Once the butter is melted give it a good whisk to emulsify the liquid.
butter-beer2

4. Add the cocoa powder.
cocoa1

5. Whisk until smooth. Then set aside to cool slightly.
cocoa2

6. In the bowl of a mixer combine the sour cream and eggs.
wet1

7. Beat until smooth.
wet2

8. While the mixer is running on low, slowly drizzle in the butter, beer and cocoa mix. Don’t go too fast, you want to temper the eggs, not curdle them.
wet3

9. Add the dry ingredients in two batches. Stir until just combined.
add-dry

10. Line muffin trays with liners and fill with the batter (aiming for 3/4 full). The batter will be very loose and liquidy.
fill

11. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
bake

12. Remove from the trays and allow to cool fully.
cool

13. Using the magical melon baller spoon, scoop out a cavity in the middle of each cupcake (keep the scraps, they are delicious).
carve

14. In a small sauce pot warm the cream until just below a boil.
cream

15. Weight the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and pour the cream over it.
ganache1

16. Working fast while the cream is warm, stir until the chocolate is nice and smooth. Add the room temperature butter and the whiskey. Stir until smooth and shiny.
ganache2

17. Transfer the ganache to a piping bag (in my case the classical ziploc bag held up in a mason jar).
bag

18. Pipe the still warm (but not hot!) ganache into the cavities you carved out earlier. Allow to cool fully; the ganache will set at room temperature.
ganache3

19. Once the ganache is set, combine the icing ingredients in the bowl of a mixer.
icing

20. And beat until smooth.
icing---donc

21. If you have talent pipe over the cupcakes. I tend to just use an offset spatula and smear the icing over them.
cupcakes

22. These keep well in the fridge for a couple of days but are best eaten room temperature. So take them out a least an hour before serving to let them warm up. Enjoy!
cupcake

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Crinkle Cookies

Moist and dense but maybe skirting a little close to the overly sweet side. Excellent to satisfy a chocolate craving however.

Ingredients:
125g 70% dark chocolate
4 table spoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tea spoon baking powder
1/4 tea spoon salt
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup icing sugar
ingredients

***

1. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
dry

2. In a double boiler, melt the 70% chocolate and butter. Stir to combine.
melt1

3. Meanwhile, combine the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of a mixer.
eggs

4. Beat the eggs until light and thick.
eggs2

5. Your chocolate should be melted now. Take off the heat to cool for a minute.
melt2

6. Once the chocolate is no longer scalding, pour it into the eggs with the mixer running on low.
eggs3

7. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
add-dry

8. Stir in the mini chocolate chips.
Then stick the whole bowl in the fridge for 2 hours.
chips

9. Once your dough has chilled, pre-heat the oven to 325F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Spoon out dough and roll between your palms (aim for roughly golf ball sized). Put the powdered sugar in a shallow bowl and Roll in powdered sugar and roll the dough in it. Roll between your palms again to remove the excess.
roll

10. Bake for 13-14 minutes. They will be very soft and look a bit underdone, this is normal.

Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before moving to a cooling rack. This should be just about enough time to prepare the next batch.
bake

11. Keep in an airtight box (they dry fast). Yields about 30 cookies.
boxed

Pumpkin and cranberries muffin

I am not a huge fan of pumpkin pie. But I can eat a whole tray of these muffin without blinking… you have been warned.

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon baking powder
1 tea spoon salt
1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon ground cloves
1/2 tea spoon ground ginger
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
zest of one orange
1 tea spoon vanilla
1 cup orange juice
2 cups cranberries
ingredients

***
1. Pre-heat the oven to 325F
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.
dry

2. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Cream the butter until light and fluffy, scrapping down the sides a few times.
butter

3 . Add the eggs one at the time, mixing well between each.
eggs

4. Add the puree, orange zest and vanilla extract.
add-puree

5. Add the orange juice and stir well to combine.
add-juice

6. Stir in the flours in 3 times.
flour

7.  Remove from the mixer. Fold in the cranberries with a spatula.
cranberries

8. Spoon into a muffin tin lined with paper liners (or a good non-stick muffin tin).
fill-cups

9.  Bake for 30 minutes. Allow to cool in the tins for 5 minutes or so then transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool to room temperature.
baked

Apple Spiced Cake with goat cheese icing and caramel drizzle

My brother asked for a home-made birthday cake for this birthday. This is what I made… It’s a pretty long process, do not try to make it after work as I did… Mine came out a bit “clumsy” for that reason.

Ingredients for the cake :
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
2 tea spoons baking powder
1/2 tea spoon baking soda
1/2 tea spoon salt
1/2 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/4 tea spoon ground allspice
1/4 tea spoon ground dry ginger
pinch nutmeg
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cup applesauce
ingredients1

Ingredients for the icing :
6 oz goat cheese
8 oz mascarpone
2 table spoons butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tea spoon cinnamon
ingredients2

Ingredients for the caramel sauce/drizzle
1 cup sugar
6 table spoons butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup 35% cream
2 tablespoons bourbon
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
pinch allspice
ingredients3

***

1. Butter and flour your cake rounds. Cut out parchment paper to line the bottom.
I used 1x 9″ and 2x 8″ cake molds because that’s what I have. If you have all the same size it’ll look better. If you have 4x 8″ that’s probably be best to have slightly thinner cake layers.
cake-molds

2. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg.
dry

3. In a measuring cup combine the whole milk and vanilla extract.
wet

4. In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugar.
butter1

5. Cream together for a few minutes until fluffy.
butter2

6. Add the eggs one at the time, beating well between each addition.
eggs

7. Add the dry and wet ingredients in increment, starting and ending with the dry. No in between step pictures but the order is :
Dry -> Wet -> Dry -> Wet -> Dry
combine

8. Fold in the applesauce.
applesauce

9. Divide the batter into your cake rounds.
divide

10. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
cool1

11. Remove from the pan (use a plate, they should drop right out when you flip them).
Remove the parchment paper and allow to cool fully on a rack.
cool2

12. While the cakes are cooling, make the icing.
Wash the bowl and paddle of the mixer and put all the ingredients in the bowl.
icing1

13. Beat until smooth, scrapping down the sides a few times.
Stick in the fridge for 1 hour to firm up some.
icing2

14. Time for caramel!
In a large sauce pan, combine the sugar with 1/4 cup of water. Turn the heat on medium.
caramel1

15. From this point on do not step away from the stove.
The sugar will first melt and get bubbly. You want to stir a few times to ensure all the sugar is melted.
caramel2

16. Then it will start to look hard and dry. You want to keep breaking this at this point to prevent lumps in the sauce.
caramel3

17. When it gets a color you like, turn the heat to low. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Add the cream and stir until smooth.
Remove from heat and add the bourbon and spices. Stir until smooth.

**Note my caramel is a shade darker then most people would aim for because I kinda like a tiny bit of the bitterness of it. YMMV stop at your preferred color of caramel.
caramel4

18. The residual heat in the sauce pan is enough to push the caramel into scorched territory (especially if you take it as far as I did). So transfer the caramel to a heat neutral vessel (here a quart mason jar) and allow to cool.
caramel5

19. Time to assemble.
Stack up your cakes with icing in between, ending with a thinner layer on top.
If you want to make it prettier cut the domed top of the cakes so they stack up more neatly.
assemble1

20. Drizzle as much caramel as you want over the whole thing.
cake

21. In a perfect world, put the assembled cake in the fridge for an hour to firm up. But my brother got home so we didn’t wait.
assemble2

22. Drizzle more caramel on the slices, if you want.
Makes for a rich but not too dense or heavy cake with plenty of sweetness. the tartness of the goat cheese is very nice in the icing and the caramel rounds it up.
slice

Tomato tart

It is unseasonably warm this past week-end, so fall food seems out of place. And yet it’s harvest season. So have a compromise : tomato tart. Light and refreshing even when eaten warm.

Ingredients:
1 stick salted butter
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 cup cold water
4 ripe tomatoes
1/2 red onion
1 teaspoon herbes de provences
1/2 teaspoon vegetable spices (your choice)
pinch of sugar
salt and pepper.
olive oil

ingredients

***

1. Cut the butter into small chunks and put it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
butter

2. In a food processor, combine the flour and paprika. Pulse to mix.
pulse1

3. Add the frozen butter. You want to work fairly quickly for this part and keep the dough/butter as cold as possible.
pulse2

4. Pulse a few times, just until the flours and butter reach a mealy texture. it’s fine if small pea sized chunks of butter remain.
pulse3

5. Add the water in 2 steps, pulsing a few times with each addition. You don’t want to overwork it. As soon as it keeps it’s shape when pinched, you are done. It will look kind of pebbly.
pulse4

6. Transfer to a large ziploc bag, pressing down until it forms a ball. Put in the fridge to chill for an hour or so.
ball

7. Once the dough has chilled, turn the oven on to 425F.
Roll out the dough to between 1/4″ to 1/8″ thick.
roll

8. Transfer to a tart dish. Press down at the bottom and in the ceases, make sure it’s well distributed. Any cracks or missing part can be fixed at this point.
roll2

9. Roll over the edge of the dish to trim away the excess dough.
trim

10. Using a fork, prick holes all over the bottom of the dough.
Cut a bit of parchment paper larger then the dish. Put it on the dough and fill with pie weights (or dried beans you don’t intend on cooking).
weights

11. Blind bake with the weights for 10 minutes. Then -carefully- remove the parchment paper and the weights.
blind1

12. Return to the oven for a further 10 minutes until golden all over. It will shrink a bit. If you want to minimize that allow more time with the weights.
blind2

13. Allow the crust to cool fully. Turn the oven down to 350F
Once cooled slice the first two tomatoes and layers on the crust.
filling1

14. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1/2 of the onion (so 1/4 red onion) thinly sliced. Slice the two remaining tomatoes and layer on top.
filling2

15. Add the remaining red onion, herbes the provence, spices and sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the whole thing.
*Optional : you can also add a thin stream of good olive oil over everything at this point.
filling3

16. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
baked

17. Remove from the tart dish, slice and enjoy!
serve

Peaches and Blackberries crumbe

Satisfying with a bit of a crunch from the almonds. I would probably remake this with less sugar. Will update the recipe if I do.

Ingredients :

For the filling:
6 peaches
2 pints of blackberries
1/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sugar
zest of 1 lime
Juice from 1/2 lime

For the crumble:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oats
1/2 almond meal
5 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 slivered almonds
pinch of nutmeg and ground cardamom
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
Rinse the blackberries. Slice the peaches and combine in a bowl.
slices

2. Combine the sugar, flour and cornstarch in a mixing bowl.
dry-filling

3. Add the zest, lemon juice and vanilla to the fruits.
zest

4. Add the dry ingredients and gently mix to coat the fruits.
combine

5. Turn the fruits into a baking dish (about 11×7).
turn

6. Start on the crumble. Combine the flour, almond meal, brown sugar, oats and salt. Add the spices, to taste.
crumble1

7. Add the butter. Mix until the dry ingredients are well combined and the whole thing turns to a pebbly texture.
crumble2

8. Fold in the almonds.
crumble3

9. Add the crumble on top of the fruits.
Bake 35-40 minutes.
add-crumble

10. Take out of the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.
baked

11. I never mastered the art of serving a crumble prettily. Tastes good anyways.
serve

Date Squares

Simple, old fashioned date squares.

Ingredients
2 1/2 cups dates, pitted (lightly packed)
1 cup water
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 3/4 cups oats
1 cup flour
3/4 cup + 2 table spoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup butter
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a 8-inch square baking dish with a strip of parchment paper, letting it hang over both sides. Butter the other two sides.
line-mold

2. In a pan, combine the dates, water, lemon juice and 2 tbs brown sugar. Bring to a boil.
date1

3. Add the baking soda. it will react to the acidity of the lemon juice and foam up. Keep stirring the whole thing.
date2

4.Keep cooking the mix over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly. The dates will fall apart and turn into paste.
Set aside to cool.
date3

5. In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and baking powder.
crumble1

6. Cut the butter into chunks and add to the bowl. The butter needs to be soft but not melted.
crumble2

7. With a pasty cutter (or your fingers if you don’t have one, like I did) combine the butter to the dry ingredients until no big chunks of butter remain nor any loose flour.
crumble3

8. Press half of the toppings mixture at the bottom of the mold. Try not to leave any gaps.
assemble1

9. Spread the date mixture over that base. try to even it out as best you can. You don’t want it to be too hot so it doesn’t melt the butter.
assemble2

10. Gently press the remaining crumble mix on top. Don’t press to hard, you don’t want the date mix to overflow. But try to get it compacted some so it gets crunchy.
asemble3

11. Bake on the center rack for 40-50 minutes until the crumble is a nice uniform golden color.
baked

12. Allow to cool. This will likely take a few hours, up to overnight. If you can, let the whole thing cool on a mesh rack (like for cookies) so the bottom cools at the same rate and doesn’t get mushy.
Once cool, turn over on a cutting board and remove the parchment paper.
unmold

13. Cut into squares according to your preference. I like smaller ones, so I got 25 out of this recipe.
squares

14. And enjoy!
eat