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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Awesome Cupcakes!

Yesterday,  I got really hungry for some gingerbread ,and I had this great idea to make them into cupcakes. And then I got the idea from my mom to fill them with lemon curd. But we ran into a few problems. Firstly, we didn't have ground ginger.That was easily solved. After a google search, we found a recipe for gingerbread with fresh ginger, which we have in abundance. 
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour or 1 1/2 cups sifted unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 large egg

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsulfured molasses

  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

  • 2 tablespoons strong brewed coffee

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup buttermilk

  • 1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour cupcake pans (or line pans with cupcake liners)Set aside.
    Sift together the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt.
    In a large bowl, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the brown sugar. With a handheld electric mixer or a wooden spoon, cream the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Add the egg, molasses, fresh ginger, coffee, and vanilla extract and beat well to combine. Add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk in three additions, beating well after each addition.
    Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake/muffin pans. Bake for 15-18 mins. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
    Let cool.
    Recipe adapted from:

    Hollow out a small hole area in the center of the cupcake. Fill with lemon curd.
    Here's the recipe I used.
    • 5 egg yolks
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 4 lemons, zested and juiced
    • 1 stick butter, cut into pats and chilled


    Add enough water to a medium saucepan to come about 1-inch up the side. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks and sugar in a medium size metal bowl and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Measure citrus juice and if needed, add enough cold water to reach 1/3 cup. Add juice and zest to egg mixture and whisk smooth. Once water reaches a simmer, reduce heat to low and place bowl on top of saucepan. (Bowl should be large enough to fit on top of saucepan without touching the water.) Whisk until thickened, approximately 8 minutes, or until mixture is light yellow and coats the back of a spoon. Remove promptly from heat and stir in butter a piece at a time, allowing each addition to melt before adding the next. Remove to a clean container and cover by laying a layer of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

    Recipe from

    I then iced them with a vanilla buttercream. Then I topped them with a a few thin sliced pieces of crystallized ginger.
    Next time....
    I would make a better lemon curd. The recipe I used hear for some reason was extremely runny, although the taste was good. I would also use a different kind of icing, the buttercream was a bit overpoweringly sweet. But other than that, they were muy delicioso.
    I was pretty proud of myself because this was basically the first recipe that I really adapted to make my own. And they turned out great. The gingerbread was spicy and sweet, and the tartness of the lemon curd balanced that out very well.


    Peppermint Cheesecake

    I made this cheesecake a while ago for a dinner that my parents had with friends of their's. Fortunately, I got to eat some too. This recipes was slightly adapted from a recipe found in Popular Plates magazine (Holiday Baking Issue)
    Peppermint Swirl Cheesecake
    • 2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 3/4 cup sour cream
    • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 1 tsp peppermint extract
    • 6 drops red food coloring
    • One 9-inch oreo cookie crumb crust
      • about 15 cookies crushed (I used holiday oreos with red filling for a festive look) and mixed with 3 Tbs. melted butter/margarine 
    1. Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl beat the cream cheeseand sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the sour cream and vanilla; mix well
    2. Place 1/2 cup of cream cheese mixture in a small bowl and stir in peppermint extract and food coloring; mix well. Pour the remaining cream cheese mixture into the crust.
    3. Drop the peppermint mixture by spoonfuls into the mixture in the crust and swirl witha knife to create a marbled effect.
    4. Bake the cheesecake for 30 to 35 min, or until edges are set (center will still be slightly wobbley)
    5. Allow cake to cool for 1 hour, the cover it and let chill until serving.