Chocolate Cupcakes with a Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

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Yesterday was my mom’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mom!). We went out to a fun gastropub for dinner and then came back to our place after for dessert and presents.  These yummy cupcakes are made with coffee, which really enhances the chocolate flavor.  Again, I’m not the biggest chocolate fan, but I love the coffee addition.  The chocolate cream cheese frosting is rich and decadent and puts these cupcakes over the edge.  I love these blue polka dot cupcake liners I found at Home Goods.  They make for such a cute presentation (but to be honest they aren’t very practical for eating).  It was a great night celebrating my mama with my favorite people, good food, and a yummy dessert.

Chocolate Cupcakes (Cake recipe from: Sweetapolita)
Yield: about 24 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup strong black coffee (can be hot)
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. In bowl of electric mixer, sift all dry ingredients. Add all remaining ingredients to bowl with the dry ingredients and with paddle attachment on mixer, mix for 2 minutes on medium speed (you may need the plastic splashguard that comes with mixer) and pour into prepared cupcake pan until 2/3 full (or just less). Batter will be liquidy.
Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs. Try not to overbake. Cool on wire racks in pans for 5 minutes then gently turn cupcakes onto racks until completely cool.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 8oz package of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cooled melted chocolate
tbsp spoon milk if too thick

Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer/stand mixer until smooth.

Scoop all the frosting into a piping bag or into a large ziplock bag and snip a small edge of the corner and pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.

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Gâteau au chocolat Reine de Saba | Chocolate Almond Cake

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Andrew’s mom, Veronique, made us this gateau au chocolate while she was staying with us. It was so delicious! I’m not the biggest chocolate fan so the fact that I remade this cake right after she left is a very good sign. It’s very light unlike most flourless chocolate cakes. It has almond flour and whipped egg whites that create a very light and moist cake. This cake is named for the Queen of Sheba and this cake is definitely fit for a queen.

Gâteau au chocolat Reine de Saba
Ingredients:
200 grams semi-sweet chocolate (about 7 ounces)
200 grams unsalted butter (about 7 ounces)
120 grams sugar (about 4 1/2 ounces)
200 grams almond powder/meal/flour (about 7 ounces)
5 eggs

Directions:
Melt chocolate and butter. Add sugar and mix well. Add almond powder and mix well. Add 1 full egg plus 4 egg yolks and mix well. Beat 4 egg whites until firm. Carefully fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Butter a round baking pan. Bake cake for 25 minutes in a 350°F oven. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with whipped cream (and berries if you like). Enjoy!


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Links to Make the Weekend Come Back Sooner

I had a really nice weekend, both productive and fun. Friday date night at Umami with my one and only. Saturday morning resume and Finnish Pancake party with Andrew and my sister. Sunday brunch on the patio. What did you do this weekend?

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1.  Easy breakfasts, yet impressive for your guests.

2.  Genius uses for everyday items.

3.  Your personality based on what your lipstick bullet looks like after a lot of use. (My tubes always end up concave.)

4.  17 fun party themes for any occasion.

5.  Peanut butter chocolate palmiers.. I know my husband would kill for these.

6.  Steps to stop procrastinating. (I could really use these since I’m suppose to be studying for my midterm right now…)

Caramel Apples

Whenever I go to Disneyland I have my own little tradition.  I always get a caramel apple.  They are my favorite and make the perfect sweet treat when I’m at the happiest place on earth.  When Andrew and I were dating we had season passes and would go all the time, but haven’t been in a long time.  I’m hoping to make it to Disneyland soon while it’s decorated for Christmas. 🙂 Until then, I made caramel apples at home to curb my craving.

I followed Giada de Laurentiis’ recipe for caramel apples, but left out the chocolate and candy.  I’m a caramel apple purist, but you can decorate your heart out and add sprinkles for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

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Tres Leche Cake

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My apologies it’s been a little while since I’ve post. Life has been ridiculous with school and interning. I’m a big procrastinator and it always catches up with me. That’s only part of the reason for my lack of posts. The other reason is my lovely dog Doodle. He thought it’d be a good idea to chew up my camera cord. I finally just got a new cord. Yippee!

So back to to the important stuff, the food. Especially, the cake! I made this beautiful Tres Leche Cake for a night with friends. Andrew and I have a weekly life group with 2 couples who got married around the same time as us. We rotate houses and each bring a yummy dish. My friend made enchiladas so I thought it would be only fitting to being a Tres Leche Cake. This is Ree Drummand’s favorite dessert. I followed her recipe but made a couple alterations. The recipe calls for 1 pint + 1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream, but I just used 1 pint. I cut back on the amount of whipped cream on top. Also I switched blackberries instead of maraschino cherries.  I baked the cake, let it cool, and then poured the velvety tres leche over the cake and put it in the fridge, all before I started my internship yesterday morning.  Once I got home I made the whipped cream and topped the cake with the whipped cream and fresh blackberries.  I kept it refrigerated until the last minute, it’s much better cold.  The cake was a perfect way to end a night with good friends, good food and good conversation.

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