Nightmare Before Christmas Cupcakes

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Wha’s this? What’s this? I was asked to bake some halloween cupcakes for Pat’s co-working space 6th annual spookiversary this weekend, so I made 3 dozen cupcakes: vanilla, chocolate and green tea.  I topped these cupcakes with chocolate ganache and meringue frosting (these are definitely my go to frosting recipes) and decorated them with homemade fondant.  This is what they look like!

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Is Nightmare Before Christmas too early for Halloween? Either way, Pat was playing the soundtrack and my halloween decorations turned into Nightmare before Christmas and I think they came out really cute! I’m not going to lie, the fondant took me about 3 to 4 hours to complete, but I was pretty pleased with the results. This was definitely a 2 day task, but I was super happy that everyone enjoyed them.  Some people even told me I should cater for birthday parties or something :p I don’t know if I’m good enough for that, but I would love to give it a try.

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Anyway, let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Cupcakes
 Fondant
Meringue frosting 

Directions:

  1. Make your cupcakes
  2. While the cupcakes are cooling, make your fondant. Timing wise, it’s probably best to make the fondant a day beforehand (fondant lasts indefinitely if you wrap it well and store it in an airtight container, trust me, it’s literally just sugar and more sugar). Divide your fondant and make the various colors.  Obviously if you have a lot of food coloring, you can just buy the shades, but in case you only have primary colors (I only had red, pink, blue, yellow, green and black) and need to mix some colors together, here’s what I did:
    1. Sally’s hair, Dr.Fink’s brain and lips: drop two or three drops of red food coloring into the white fondant and mix to get a bright red. Add the smallest amount of black food coloring (too much and it could turn out bad) and mix to get a rusty red color. I actually like to just take red fondant and mix it with  a small amount colored black fondant.
    2. Hero’s nose and collar, pumpkins: Mix together equal parts red and yellow food coloring to get the orange color.
    3. Sally’s face: Sally’s face is a pale blue, so what I did was run my finger along the top of the food coloring to get the smallest amount of blue food color possible and mixed it with some white fondant.
    4. Oogie Boogie: Mix together some green food coloring with a dot of black food coloring to create a sickly swamp-y green.
    5. Purple: mix together equal parts blue and red. For a warmer toned purple, add more red, for a cooler tone, add blue. (Maybe I’ll make a fondant coloring post sometime)
    6. Grey fondant: Black fondant with white fondant. Alter amounts to control the shade of grey.
  3. And them make the faces! I used little dabs of water to make the fondant moist so that they would stick to each other. Also some chopsticks to help with the tiny details (i.e. stitches, eyelashes, etc.). Also wash your hands or wipe them after using dark colors like black and red or else the color will transfer from your fingers to the beautiful other pale colors, have a laptop handy so you can look up photos for reference and use PLENTY of powdered sugar if the fondant gets too sticky. Dust the surface with lots of powdered sugar. The worst thing that can happen is you finish your beautiful fondant decoration and it’s sticking to the surface that you’re working on.  You can always use a damp paper towel or q-tip to gently dab away the powdered sugar.DSC_0715
    1. Sally (she is probably the hardest): Roll out the pale blue fondant and using a round cookie cutter, cut out the shape of her face. Cut small crescent moons for her eye lids. Take a small amount of the pale blue fondant to make her nose.  For her eyes, roll two small amounts white fondant to create little sphere and then squish it between your fingers to flatten into circles. Place the eyes on her face and top with the little pale blue fondant crescents. To make her stitches, I mixed some light grey fondant with the pale blue fondant. Roll out two thin thin ropes and place one across the circle for her mouth and one vertically across her left eyelid. Add the stitches using the same color. Next take some black fondant and make two small spheres (smaller than her white fondant eyes) and place in center of her eyes for pupils. Next roll out thin, short strings for her eyelashes. Take red fondant to make her lips and use the rust-red fondant to make her hair. I found that making an oval shape of fondant and rolling it out works perfectly. DSC_0713
    2. Jack: Roll out the white fondant and using the same round cookie cutter for Sally’s face, cut out Jack’s face. Take the black fondant to make his eyes and stitches. DSC_0716
    3. Dr. Fink: Cut out smaller cirlces of white fondant (about a size smaller than Jack or Sally). Cut off the top of the circle (about 1 cm, and gently pull the bottom of the circle to make his lips. I gently pinched the center and kind of pulled it out. Make his brains and lips using the rust colored fondant. Roll the rust colored fondant in a small string and gently cover the bottom portion of the circle (the area that is his lips). Then roll out longer thin strings of red and roll them around each other to make the folds of the brain. I made a spiral and then some waves and then more spirals. Make his glasses and his eyebrows with the black fondant. DSC_0712
    4. Zero: Take a small sphere of white fondant and flatten it to make a circle. Pinch one end and pull it out a bit to make his muzzle. Make his ears by making thin short strings of white fondant and flattening them, making them more pointed at the top. Make his nose and collar with the orange fondant, his eyes with the black fondant and the rest of his body with the white fondant.DSC_0717
    5. Oogie boogie: Take the swamp-y green fondant and shape it into a circle, take the top and kind of like what you did with Zero’s face, shape the top into a point of sorts. Roll out the face so it flattens a bit and arrange the top tip to look more like Oogie’s head. Using the black fondant make his eyes, nose and mouth. Using a chopstick or some other thin utensil, pul around the edges of Oogie’s mouth to make his mouth look more sack like. Fill his mouth with “worms” by rolling thin short strings of colored fondant and placing it in his mouth. DSC_0714
    6. Graveyard/pumpkin patch: cut out a round circle of white fondant for the moon, roll out a bit of black fondant so that you get a lopsided log of sorts, it should be thicker on the bottom and thinner on the top. Flatten it a big and roll the thin side into a spiral. make mini pumpkins using orange and green fondant. DSC_0709
    7. Vampire doll: cut out small circles with your white fondant. Shape thin red fondant strings for the mouth. Place one horizontally across the middle and a shorter piece along the bottom edge of the fondant circle. Using black fondant, make the eyes, teeth, widows peak and ears.
  4. Let the fondant rest for a bit and harden on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. I found that rolling out fondant too thin results in breakage while transferring the fondant from wax paper to cupcakes.DSC_0702
  5. Frost your cupcakes with colored meringue frosting or ganache and top with your fondant decorations.

And you’re done! Let me know if you make these yourself! I would love to see them!

Hugs and puppies!
Mimi

Matcha Melt-in-your-mouth Meringues

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Meringues are pretty delicious snacks. I’ve always loved them because they seemed to me what the perfect mouthful.  Like cotton candy, they just dissolve into a caramelized sweetness as they come in contact with your tongue.  But what I like is that the meringue has a more lasting mouth feel.  I’ve made meringues multiple times, plain, with chocolate chips or even with matcha (green tea).

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I’ve been playing around with green tea a lot and I found that mixing the bitter earthy powder into these meringue makes these a sweet mouthful with a subtle hint of bitterness that perfectly balances the two flavors.  I don’t know if meringues are normally a little chewy in the middle, but these meringues were. Perhaps it was because I didn’t keep them in the oven for long enough, or maybe it was a little humid outside.  Either way I actually preferred them with this slightly chewy interior. Perhaps I have just been over baking meringues? Anyway these were perfect.  The outside crumbled and dissolved into a sugar-y cloud in my mouth, but the interior was slightly chewy, like caramel that lingered and allowed me to really savor the flavors of matcha and sugar.  Definitely delicious!

 

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-2 egg whites*
-1/4 tsp cream of tartar
-pinch of salt
-1/2 cup sugar
-1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-3/4 tsp matcha powder
Garnish
-1/4 tsp powdered sugar 
-1/4 tsp matcha powder
 
*Use the leftover yolks for recipes like chocolate cream pie , I know I will ;)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 225 ºF and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the egg whites with a electric mixture until frothy.
  3. Add the cream of tartar and salt and beat until soft peaks form.  Lift the beaters straight out of the bowl, the tops of the egg whites should droop over.
  4. With the mixer on high, beat in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time.
  5. After you add in the sugar, add in the matcha and beat until the whites form stiff peaks.
  6. Add the vanilla and beat until just blended.
  7. Spoon or pipe the meringue onto the baking sheets about 1 inch apart.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour.  Then turn off the oven and let the meringues sit in the oven for an additional 30 minutes.  For chewier centers, pull them out of the oven after 15 minutes.
  9. Let the meringues cool and peel them from the parchment paper.
  10. Mix together the matcha powder and powdered sugar and sift over the meringues.

Store in an air tight container with layers of parchment paper or eat right away.  I feel like you can make multiple different types of meringues with various flavorings.  I’ve tried them with chocolate chips, which break up the air-y texture, but I think next time I’ll try chocolate shavings so that they melt and meld into the egg whites. Or perhaps I’ll flavor them with some jam? The possibilities are endless!

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Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

P.S. My friend has let me know about the at-home cronut recipe that Dominque Ansel has released.  I have accepted the challenge of sorts, so please stay tuned for this, though I can’t promise that it’ll be soon!

 

 

Mini Breakfast Quiches

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I haven’t been updating the blog post in a long time, for this I deeply apologize. I have been baking! I swear! I just have a bunch of drafts sitting in my dash and I haven’t had the time to edit and upload photos to them. I apologize. I think it’s because I’ve been baking, but the food doesn’t look as good appearance wise.  For example, my chocolate crinkle cookies. I made really delicious chocolate crinkle cookies, but they were more like balls than flat discs that cookies should be like. Oh well. I promise to take photos regardless.

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Failed Pie #1 Don’t worry though, I have a good use for it :)

This morning, I made breakfast quiches, mini ones.  I had been experimenting with apple pie. I made two, but I don’t think they’re exactly perfect and blog ready yet.  My first pie came out too dry and my second one was good, but still lacked a little something something.  Also since I was running low on AP flour, I had been experimenting with wheat flour, so the crusts were a bit of experiment as well.  whoops, I’m getting a little off topic. Hehe I guess I just wanted to update you all on my recent baking exploits. I’ve also been kind of focused on building my food blog instagram :)

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Anyway, let’s get back to these quiches.  I made them pretty simple, with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and bacon. Of course if you’re vegan, you can omit the bacon and if you’re gluten free you can omit the crust all together. Either way, they were delicious. I made 12 and by the end of breakfast Pat and I had already eaten 7. Whoops?

 

Well let’s get started!

 

Ingredients:

Whole wheet crust
-two cups whole wheat flour
-6 tbsp unsalted butter
-1/4 cup crisco
-6 tbsp ice cold water
-Salt and Pepper
Filling
-3 slices bacon
-1/2 onion
-1 cup grated cheddar cheese
-2 eggs
-1/4 cup greek yogurt
-1/2 cup heavy cream
 

Directions:

  1. Make the whole wheat crust: In a large bowl, mix together the whole wheat flour and the salt. Cut the butter and crisco into the whole wheat flour. Once the butter and crisco are cut to the size of peas and the mixture is coarse, slowly add in the ice cold water 3 tablespoons at a time and mix until the dough just comes together.  Don’t over knead the dough, since this will cause gluten to form, however unlike AP flour, whole wheat has less gluten so it shouldn’t be too bad. Divide the dough into two portions and wrap in plastic wrap.  Place in fridge and let chill for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 ºF.  Place the bacon slices on a foil lined baking tray and bake until crispy (about 15 to 20 minutes).  Once the bacon is crispy, remove from the oven and slice into bite sized pieces. If you are going to snack, make sure to bake more bacon ;) DSC_0686
  3. Grate the cheese and dice the onion.
  4. Melt some butter into a frying pan over low heat and add the diced onion. Sprinkle the onion with a pinch of salt. Cook the onions over a low flame until they turn nice and caramelized (about 10 minutes).
  5. While the onions are caramelizing, make the filling. Mix the eggs, greek yogurt and heavy cream in a pourable contained (such as a 2 cup liquid measuring cup). Whisk in the salt and pepper, about a three fingered pinch of each.DSC_0697
  6. Once the dough has rested, spray non-stick spray (such as Pam) over a 12 cup muffin tin.  Divide the chilled dough into 12 equally sized balls.  Flatten the dough until it’s about 1/2 inch in thickness and line the muffin cups with the dough. Press the dough gently into the muffin cups.
  7. Layer some grated cheese over the crust, add the caramelized onions, cheese and bacon. DSC_0696
  8. Slowly pour in the filling to reach about a centimeter or two below the top of the crust. DSC_0698
  9. Sprinkle the top with more cheddar cheese and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.DSC_0704
  10. Let cool or eat straight from the muffin pan.

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These were so good, I’ll definitely be playing around with mini quiches again.  Maybe with spinach and goat cheese fillings or ham and gruyere cheese. The thing I love about quiches is that the filling options are endless!

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Apple Cider Doughnuts


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I’ve made doughnuts before in many different varieties. With crisco, bacon fat, regular butter or a mix of butter and crisco. I’ve made different glazes and different shapes. I’ve even made doughnuts with almond milk!  But seeing as I’ve never made apple cider doughnuts and it’s getting nice and cool in NYC, I decided why not? I based the recipe off Food 52, which has some really great recipes, by the way. These apple cider doughnuts are perfect for a fall snack. Especially if you haven’t had time to check out some apple orchards to go apple picking.

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I don’t know why, but I find making doughnuts pretty nice.  It’s just a little time consuming, but totally worth it. A lot of the time is some down time, you have to the let dough rest a bit, but once you get frying, you’ll be done in no time. I don’t think there’s anything better than a doughnut fresh out of the oil.

Also fun fact that I learned through this recipe, you can substitute all purpose flour for cake flour.  For every cup of all purpose flour, subtract 2 tablespoons of AP flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of corn starch.  This mixture of corn starch and all purpose flour will be the equivalent of one cup of cake flour. Gotta love these substitutions right?

These will definitely brighten up the workplace and they make a perfect snack for any time of the day.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1 cup of apple cider
-2 1/2 cups of AP flour
-6 tbsp. corn starch
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp pumpkin spice
-1/3 cup granulated sugar
-2 tbsp unsalted butter
-1 egg
-1 egg yolk
-1/3 cup buttermilk (or 1/3 cup regular milk with 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar)
-Canola oil for frying
-Raw sugar and cinnamon for topping
 

Directions:

  1. Pour the apple cider in a sauce pan and reduce until there’s only about 1/3 cup of apple cider left.  Remove from the heat and let it cool.
  2. Mix together the flour, cornstarch, salt, pumpkin spice and baking powder. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, mix together the butter and sugar until it reaches a grainy, wet sand like consistency.  Add in the egg and egg yolk and mix to combine. It should turn thick and pale yellow.
  4. Mix the reduced apple cider and buttermilk together.
  5. Add in the flour mixture and the buttermilk mixture alternating in three different batches Mix to combine. The dough will be a tad sticky, like cookie dough. Once the dough has come together, cover in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for two hours or overnight.
  6. On a heavily floured surface, roll the chilled dough out in a layer about 1/2 inch thick. Using a doughnut cutter or a circle cookie cutter and a smaller circle cookie cutter/piping tip to cut out doughnuts. Be sure to flour the dough after cutting them out. They tend to get sticky if they are kept at room temperature for too long. If this happens, pop them in the freezer for ten minutes or so. DSC_0665
  7. Meanwhile in a dutch oven, heat about 2 to 3 inches of oil until it reaches 360ºF. Add in the doughnuts, be careful not to crowd the pan, and cook for at least a minute on each side.  Once one side browns, flip and cook for another 1 more minute. DSC_0666
  8. While the doughnuts fry, mix together about 1/2 cup of raw sugar with 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon.
  9. As soon as the doughnuts fry up golden brown, remove from the oil and let drain for a few seconds. Then place in the bowl of cinnamon sugar and thoroughly cover the doughnuts. DSC_0675
  10. Once all the doughnuts are fried, fry the doughnut holes. DSC_0674

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    These doughnut holes are perfect bite sized doughnuts. So so delicious!

Let the doughnuts cool on a wire rack and pack them up to share with friends, co-workers, or just eat them on your own. They taste good either way.DSC_0670

Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Marshmallow Fondant

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Making your own fondant is ridiculously easy. You can make it in 10 minutes and it tastes a lot better than the store bought sugar-flavored plastic they call fondant. True it’s a little sticky to work with, but as long as you have plenty of powered sugar and a cold room it’ll be fine. This batch makes quite a lot of fondant, about 1 and a half pounds of fondant. I colored my fondant using regular food coloring and I still have plenty in my fridge. I guess this means more themed cupcakes and sweet treats are in order.  Anyway, this fondant is really easy to work with and the recipe is easily doubled or halved. However I found out the hard way that it tends to get sticky and moist in warmer temperatures, so if you plan on decorating cupcakes, it’s probably best to shape the fondant before hand and then decorate the cupcakes the day of.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

-1 bag marshmallows
-2 lb powdered sugar (You won’t use all of it, but it’s good to have extra handy)
-food coloring

Directions:

  1. In a large microwave safe bowl, melt your marshmallows on high for one minute (or until the marshmallows are puffy and expanded). I do not have a microwave and it was pretty easy to replicate this using a double boiler (aka the bowl of marshmallows over a pot with a/2 an inch of simmering water).
  2. Stir the marshmallows occasionally with a rubber spatula until it is a smooth and sticky paste.
  3. Add in about 2 cups the powdered sugar and mix with the spatula until it becomes incorporated.  After you mix in the intital batch of powdered, dust your hands with extra powdered sugar and knead the marshmallow-sugar mixture. Continue adding in powdered sugar by the cup until it’s nice and smooth . Keep it mind that the longer you knead it, the heat from your hands will melt the sugar and make it sticky. Also too much sugar will make the fondant stiff and difficult to work with. Yes I know, it’s really finicky, but it’ll be worth it.
  4. Once you’ve got your initial batch of fondant, add in several drops of your desired food coloring and knead the dough until the desired shade is achieved. Usually, a water based food coloring will make the fondant sticky again, so be sure to have extra powdered sugar nearby.
  5. Tightly wrap in plastic wrap and store in a cool room or the fridge. If you do store it in the fridge, you will have to warm it up a bit with your hands until it’s workable.

One you’ve got the fondant ready, it’s time to decorate! If you want to roll out your fondant and cut out shapes, I suggest you use wax paper dusted with lots of powdered sugar. This will keep the fondant from sticking to the wax paper and it’ll also make clean up a less of a hassle. I found that as long as you work quickly and use powdered sugar, it’s like working with clay.

Now you can make whatever you want with your fondant whether it’s flowers, mickey ears or cute little animals. I personally can’t wait to start making more themed cupcakes!


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Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Disney cupcakes!

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Hi everyone!

My name is Mimi and in case you didn’t know, I am casually in love with Disney.

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I love all things disney and I’ve watched almost of their movies. More than once. Including the sequels. I may have a problem. But I don’t mind. People can say whatever they want about Disney, but I will still remain absolutely obsessed with Disney because it was my childhood and their movies never fail to make me feel happy and wonderful. But actually. If you can guess all the disney movies that I represented in the cupcakes, you will win a virtual high five and we should all watch disney movies together.

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Anyway, this weekend was a baking milestone of sorts for me. I decided to make my own fondant and let’s just say that I felt like my cupcake/cake decorating game just went up a whole new level.  I’m not usually a huge fan of the tooth-achingly sweet sugar-y treats, I know that’s weird considering that I love baking cupcakes and stuff, but I hadn’t really been interested in fondant. However, after I found out that my friend, Julia, was going to be interning at Disney for three months and flying to California for said internship, I knew I had to make some amazing cupcakes for her surprise going away party.  The party was today and she was thoroughly surprised :) These are also probably my best baking achievement of all time. Here’s to more fun themed cupcakes!

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To make disney cupcakes, I knew that I couldn’t just do ordinary cupcakes with oreo cookies for mickey ears. I mean that’s not a bad idea, but I wanted to make something really DISNEY and something that would blow her mind. So I took a deep breath, bought some marshmallows and 2 pounds of powdered sugar and thus began my journey to make fondant. It wasn’t bad at all and it was super easy!
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For the cupcakes, I made regular vanilla cupcakes and used whipped ganache frosting as well as meringue frosting. It was quite fun to make and because fondant is so tooth achingly sweet, I tried to keep the cupcake from being equally sweet.

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So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:
-1 stick unsalted butter, softened
-1/4 cup granulated sugar
-1 egg
-1 tsp vanilla paste
-1/2 cup milk
-1 cup AP Flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp baking powder
Decoration
-Chocolate ganache frosting
-Meringue Frosting 
-Fondant

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.
  3. Using an electric mixer or a whisk, beat the sugar and butter together until it’s nice and fluffy.
  4. Add in the egg and the vanilla paste and mix until combined.
  5. Alternately add in the milk and flour in two different batches, mixing until the flour and the milk are just incorporated. Do not over mix or you will end up with tunneling (hard cupcakes with large air bubbles, aka not so very delicious cupcakes).
  6. Spoon the batter into the paper liners about 2/3 full.
  7. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Cool the cupcakes on a wire rack.
  9. Shape the fondant into your favorite disney shapes. I used a variety of fondant colors to make various disney images such as mickey’s ears, minnie and daisy’s bows, goofy’s and donald’s hats, stitch ears, mickey’s shoes, Pluto’s color and a whole lot of other characters. Let the fondant firm up on a wax paper lined baking sheet. If your room is too warm, place them in the fridge. Trust me it’s easier to handle if they aren’t sticky. Use plenty of powdered sugar. You can always wipe it excess with a damp paper towel once the fondant has set. 
  10. Make the frosting for your cupcakes and frost them.
  11. Once you frost the cupcakes, especially with the ganache, allow the frosting to set a little bit before placing the fondant decorations on top. DSC_0654

And that’s it! I had so much fun making these and everyone at Julia’s farewell party loved them. I can’t wait to make more themed cupcakes in the future!

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Let me know if you want to see any other nerd themed cupcakes in the comments!

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Hugs and puppies!

Mimi

Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Meringue

Hi!

It’s been a while! I apologize, my family friend was in town for a bit and since he was like my little brother, well he technically is, I had to take him and his mom around NYC. In addition, my mom flew into NYC on the 20th and I was hanging out with her. I got to spend some fun quality time with her. Since my mom was in town, I was staying with her in the hotel, which means I was sans oven and baking ingredients for a few days. But don’t worry, I’m back! And I brought you lemon cupcakes.

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I had two lemons in the fridge and since I wanted to do something new, I decided to make lemon cupcakes with meringue frosting. Did I mention I bought myself an electric hand mixer? Well I did! Although I don’t recommend it for mixing batters. When I made these cupcakes, I creamed the butter, whipped egg whites, made meringue and even beat the batter with the mixer. Everything came out great, except the batter. I over mixed it. If you over mix, you’ll end with pretty hard cupcakes and big air bubbles called tunneling. This is caused by the gluten forming and thus you end up with dense cupcakes. Isn’t food science awesome?  Anyway, one day I’m sure I’ll get the hand of it, but for now I think I’ll stick with hand mixing batters.

Anyway, I made the lemon cupcakes using a recipe I got from Food 52 and tweaking it to my taste.

So let’s get started!

Ingredients:

Cupcake batter
-1/2 cup sugar, divided
-1 stick butter, softened
-3 eggs, divided into yolks and whites
-1 lemon
-1 1/2 cup flour
-1/2 cup milk 
Frosting
-2 egg whites
-1/2 cup sugar
-1 pint raspberries
-1/2 tsp cream of tartar

Directions:

  1. Zest the lemon and let it sit with 1/4 cup of granulated sugar for about 15 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a standard 12-cup cupcake tin with paper liners.
  3. Mix the butter and and the lemon juice together. Add in the lemon zest sugar and mix until light and fluffy.
  4. Whisk in the egg yolks until incorporated. Alternate mixing in the flour and the milk until smooth. Be sure to not over mix.
  5. In another clean, non reactive bowl (I find that a stainless steel bowl works best), whip the egg whites until foamy. Add the rest of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gently fold in the egg whites into the batter in 3 batches. (minifoodlesson: since the egg whites have plenty of air, this cupcake recipe doesn’t call for baking powder to make the cupcakes rise)
  7. Fill the cups about 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Let them sit in the cupcake tin for 10 minutes to cool and then transfer them to a wire rack to let them cool completely.
  8.  While the cupcakes cool, put together you meringue frosting. In another clean, non reactive bowl, add the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar. Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmer water and whip for about 3 to 5 minutes or until the egg whites are in soft peaks.
  9. Remove the bowl from the heat and continue whisking until the meringue becomes glossy and stiff. Add in the raspberries and beat until incorporated. It might also be pretty to only partially mix them, so that the meringue is a swirl of pink and white.
  10. Transfer the frosting into a piping bag, select your piping tip and frost the cupcakes.  If you don’t have a piping bag, use a large ziplock bag and snip off a small corner. Eat right away or keep them in a covered container until ready to serve.

Share them with friends, co-workers or eat them all by yourself. Garnish them with lemon twists or raspberries to make them look fancier and to give people a hint as to what the flavors are.  I liked how the lemon and the raspberry complimented each other in this cupcake. It was almost like eating raspberry lemonade! While my mom was in town, she visited the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) and got me a gorgeous piping kit, so you’ll be sure to see some more posts focused on baked goodies that require frosting ;)

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Hugs and puppies!

Mimi