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Sun 10 Jul 2011
Posted by Dana under Sweet
A diet cupcake seems like a bit of an oxymoron, right?
Still, if a cupcake has a quarter of the carbohydrates, a quarter of the fat, that a regular cupcake would, you can’t not call it a diet cupcake. They even have fruit in them (thanks to the addition of cranberry orange relish), and so could be related, very loosely if at all, with muffins.
Cupcakes that are a quarter of the size, so long as you don’t go eating a stack of them, totally could work with a diet plan. You’re getting all of the calories in a diminished amount, but don’t need to deprive yourself from their goodness. Deprivation is definitely one of those things that I have trouble believing in.
I baked almost 200 of these for a birthday party, and there were none left the next morning, so they apparently need not be viewed as a diet cupcake. But if you’re teetering on decisions, just remember that this indulgence is a small one, take that bite.
Cranberry Orange Fairy Cakes
(adapted from Nigella Lawson’s Fairy Cakes)
125 g butter
125 g sugar
2 medium eggs
125 g flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
splash of cream
cranberry orange relish
cream cheese icing
- Preheat the oven to 400° F.
- Mix together the butter, sugar, eggs, flour, baking soda and vanilla extract.
- Splash in cream a little bit at a time, until the batter gets kind of droopy, so that it slouches when you stop stirring it.
- Spoon into a mini cupcake pan, or a regular cupcake pan.
- Spoon a little bit of cranberry orange relish onto the batter in each cupcake well.
- Bake for 8 minutes or until the cupcakes test clean and begin to brown (18-20 minutes for regular sized).
- Allow to cool completely, and then ice with cream cheese icing.
- Enjoy responsibly
Now that I have a kitchen scale, I am really loving recipes with weights given. Tare functions make measuring so very very quick. Also, this cupcake recipe, for which you could omit the cranberry orange relish, or add a different fruit or flavor comment, is a really simple but wonderful basic white cupcake recipe. The cranberry and orange really do make these cupcakes something special though, adding hits of floral, citrus, and cranberry bite to a lovely base flavor of vanilla cake.
Now to try and stop myself from eating a dozen of them next time they get baked up.
The birthday boy quite enjoyed his two-bite cupcakes. Mister ponders why it is that making things littler makes them taste more special, and really stands by the idea of using cranberry orange relish in baking.
Tue 4 Jan 2011
Posted by Dana under Sweet
I missed Christmas, I missed New Year’s too, but we’re finally living in our house! Hurray! What a four month haul! As of 2300 Christmas Eve, the Mister and I are living in our very own home. It was our little Christmas miracle. I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas, Hanukkah, winter solstice or other holiday of choice and had time to spend with your nearest and dearest.
My silence as of late is due to the move (of course), and to our current lack of Internet. I write, currently, perched on the corner of a seat in the only room we can ‘borrow’ our neighbor’s unsecured wireless connection. Thank goodness for neighbors. Soon The Funky Kitchen will return to it’s regular schedule.
I felt bad that I didn’t get this post up at Christmas as I had planned to, as I truly believe that this Christmas gift was an inspired idea. It’s too late for any of you readers to use this idea, but Valentines day soon approaches and this idea should work well for any of you who have a chocolate lover in your life.
For Christmas, a number of our closest family and friends received a trio of chocolate truffles. They are the ultimate home made gift. The recipe for all three types will be posted up here, but remember that a single recipe will make ~30 truffles. The three types of truffles we made (the Mister helped) were: orange, honey thyme and chipotle. I think I’ve converted to the use of honey in truffles, because it makes them so unctuously smooth and I ran into some minor crystallization issues with the sugar. The chipotle truffles were epically good, chocolate and chili are such a great combination. Chipotle was my chili of choice because it brings a great smokiness along with the heat; if you aren’t keen on spicy, diminish the amount of chili you use because these truffles are quite warm on the tongue.
If you go with the truffles as a home made gift idea, use this basic recipe as a jumping pad: steeping different teas in the cream gives great results, and there are limitless additional flavors you can introduce to your truffles. Let me know how yours turn out!
Christmas Chocolate Truffle Trio
(basic recipe from Inspired magazine. )
1/2 Cup whipping cream
1 Tbsp sugar or 1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp salt
zest of one orange, or 1 1/2 tsp thyme, or 1 tsp chipotle powder
10 oz chocolate
1 Cup cocoa, for rolling
- Combine cream, sugar/honey, and salt in a bain marie, stirring until dissolved.
- Add orange zest/thyme/ chipotle powder and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Stir in chocolate until melted and the mixture is smooth.
- Transfer mixture into a clean resealable container and refrigerate until firm (~2 hours).
- Using a melon baller or your hands, roll out the hardened truffles into small balls. Roll the balls in cocoa powder so that they will not stick together.
All you need to make these truffles into a pretty little gift is some tins, tissue paper, and labels so that the intended present receiver can differentiate between the types of truffle. Happy gift giving!
Tue 19 Oct 2010
Posted by Dana under Savory, Sweet
There is a veneer of polish that comes with writing a food blog, as well as reading them. Meals get served on pretty plates. Only the recipes that make the cut get posted up. Photos are taken carefully, and can be edited if found lacking. And everything, everything comes out perfectly.
Except when things don’t turn out, because I’m in a rush and didn’t give the puff pastry time to get cold again before popping it into the oven. Attempt to channel my inner June Cleaver as I may, I make mistakes. Sometimes baked brie will comes out like it should: perfectly puffed, golden, filled with gooey brie goodness and a layer of cranberry orange relish too boot, topped with cute little turkey cut out for Thanksgiving. And sometimes baked brie turns into a brie volcano, doesn’t make for a pretty presentation on a pretty plate, but ends up in a casserole dish to prevent further eruption.
Needless to say, it wasn’t perfect, but my dear flies on the wall, it was tasty. Next time I will be patient. Next time, the pastry will be given time to chill again.
Baked Brie with Cranberry and Orange
2 sheets of puff pastry (Remember your promise? All butter or home made. No mystery fats!)
1-450 gram wheel of brie
1/3 Cup cranberry orange relish
- Roll out a sheet of puff pastry (I tried a new brand that came in blocks) to about 1/4 inch thickness. It doesn’t need to be a perfect circle or square.
- Take out your wheel of brie and score it with a sharp knife along all surfaces. This is so that the baked brie is easier to scoop/spread, there won’t be any big pieces of rind.
- Place the brie in the middle of the rolled out puff pastry. Fold up the edges over the brie; try to keep the folds evenly spaced.
- Spoon the relish evenly over the brie. Try not to get it on the pastry, because it will interfere with the seal and you don’t want to have a brie explosion like I did.
- Roll out the second sheet of pastry, and cut a circle out that is similar in size to the brie wheel.
- Take some egg wash and brush the edges of the circle, so that it will seal to the other piece of puff pastry, and put it on top, pressing the edges.
- Place everything in the fridge, so that the butter in the puff pastry firms up again.
- Brush the surface of the baked brie with egg wash as well, as it will give it a nice color and sheen once baked.
- Pop it into a 375° oven until the pastry is golden brown (~20-25 minutes). Serve with crackers and baguette.
And there you have it, the baked brie that could have been. Not everything will come out perfect every time, but hopefully it comes out delectable. The next one will be more carefully sealed, and the pastry will be given time to firm back up in the fridge. You have to learn from your mistakes, right?