Chocolate Cupcakes with a Blueberry Compote Filling and Nutella Buttercream Frosting

Why yes I do understand that is a very long title…but did you read it?! How was I supposed to entice you to read this post if I didn’t include every component of the cupcakes in the title?

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I made these as a birthday present to my roomie Anderson. Her having a birthday was the perfect excuse to stop being lazy and get back in the kitchen. I have been on break since before christmas and except for some ginger molasses cookies I have made nothing! Shame on me, I know… But here I am, finally, making something worth posting and actually posting it! Break has been amazing though. I had a brief stay up in Vermont where I got to see all of my wonderful friends and say hello to my true home. Then I went to Santa Cruz, my other home. I got to catch up with people I haven’t seen since I was maybe 11 and spending new years eve with them. Then I returned to Mount Vernon which has been fine because we got a new family member!!!!!

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His name is ollie and I love him so much. He is a 7 year old rescue and the biggest puddle of love I could have dreamed of.  So I guess what I’m trying to say is forgive me for not posting more?

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Ok lets get to the goods….

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Ingredients
Cupcake:

  • 6 ounces milk chocolate, chopped
  • ¾ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 1¼ cups hot coffee
  • 1½ cups flour
  • 1¾ cups sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Pure Vanilla Extract

Blueberry Compote:

  • 1 1/2 pints fresh blueberries
  • 3 Tablespoons apple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar (add more to taste)

Nutella Buttercream frosting:

  • 1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter (room temp.)
  • 13 oz of Nutella
  • ¾-1 cup powdered sugar (to taste)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 Muffin tins with cupcake liners.
  2. Combine the milk chocolate and cocoa powder in a large bowl.
  3. Pour the hot coffee over the chocolate and cocas powder. Stir to combine and melt the chocolate, until smooth.
  4. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Whisk to combine.
  5. Whisk the eggs, vegetable oil, vinegar, and vanilla into the chocolate mixture.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the chocolate mixture and stir to combine, being sure to not over mix.
  7. In a sauce pan add the 1 1/2 pints blueberries, apple juice and sugar and cook over medium heat. Stir until the blueberries are shrivelled and the sauce has thickened a bit.
  8. Spoon the chocolate batter into cupcake tins, filling ¾ full for each cupcake liner.
  9. Drop about a teaspoon of the compote into the middle of each cupcake.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 – 35 min.
  11. Let cool for 15 min and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Frosting:

  1. Place the butter and Nutella in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
  2. Beat on medium-high for 3 minutes.
  3. Add the powdered sugar ¼ cup at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla once all the powdered sugar has been incorporated.
  5. Beat on medium for another 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  6. Reduce speed to low for 1 minute. This helps to smooth the icing and release any air bubbles.
  7. Pipe onto the cupcakes and then add the remaining blueberries for decoration
  8. ENJOY!

 

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Cinnamon Cupcakes

AWESOME BLOG ALERT!

While casually paroozing pinterests food and drink section i just happened to come across this wonderful blog that I immediately bookmarked for future use.

http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/

Other Pinterest news. Well not news per se but for all of you who enjoy laughing at other people (ok lets face it everyone enjoys doing that) this story is for you. Those of you who aren’t already aware I am currently at Kirov academy of ballet. Its a russian school and so all the teachers are basically really intimidating and scary. Anyways yesterday after class I had an hour before my rehearsal started so naturally my friend and I went on her ipad to Pinterest and started looking at wonderful pictures of food. I was basically drooling everywhere just looking at the food. Then much to our surprise our teacher bursts through the door of the studio and finds us just sitting there drooling. So what do we do? Drop the ipad and just stare at her trying to look as innocent as possible. Now something you should all know, my teacher is maybe 5’3″, extremely petite, blond, and she has the biggest eyes. She might not sound that intimidating but believe me those eyes give a look with such intensity that you just want to curl up in a little ball.. Ok back to my story. So we were sitting there just staring at her. She didn’t know what we were doing so at this point we already look strange, but then she asked “what girls?” in her little russian accent. Of course we didn’t say anything because we were utterly shocked so she walked away and said something probably along the lines of “what strange girls.” in russian under her breath. It was awesome. That is the one word I would use to describe it……….. No wait its not. I think awkward would be better….

In other news we are having bake sales occasionally to raise money for senior trips so here is a picture of some cuppity cakes that we made. They were delicious and I encourage you all to make them because they are perfect for fall!

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This recipe is courtesy of http://www.annies-eats.com/

although I added more cinnamon because there is never enough!

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

¾ tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/8 tsp. salt

½ cup whole milk

4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

¾ cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. grated orange zest (completely optional)

½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:

½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

2-3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line a 12-cup cupcake pan with paper liners.  Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl.  Stir milk and butter in a small saucepan over low heat just until butter melts; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar until thick enough for the batter to fall in a heavy ribbon when the beater is lifted, about 5 minutes.  Beat in orange peel and vanilla.  Add the flour mixture; beat just until blended.  Beat in the milk-butter mixture just until blended.  Divide batter evenly between cupcake liners.  Bake until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 16-18 minutes.  Allow to cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

To make the frosting, cream the butter and the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer until very smooth.  Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.  Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and mix until incorporated.  Slowly add the powdered sugar, and keep adding until you reach the desired consistency and sweetness.  Frost cooled cupcakes.

Because I am cooking in a ghetto kitchen (not really) I piped these all using a ziplock bag with the tip cut off. It can be done! last but not least sprinkle some frosting on to make them look all nice and pretty. Enjoy!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Brown Butter Vanilla Frosting and Sugared Brown Butter Popcorn

Being a ballerina, every summer I participate in a summer intensive. This year I am spending 6 weeks training with Ellison Ballet. I am living in a dorm room with 2 other girl and the only appliances available to me are a mini-fridge that we all share, a microwave and a small “stove” down the hall.I put stove in quotations because the biggest burner on its highest setting looks like a normal burner turned to low, its pathetic. As you can imagine baking is a difficult task when you have no kitchen. I have been yearning to just make cupcakes, looking at foodgawker every night, drooling over the amazing creations. (If you haven’t heard of foodgawker you should fix that.)

I would like to take a moment and express my love for my mother. As a parent it is your job to be supportive of your children no matter the direction they choose to go. Therefore when my brother decided that our home ballet studio was too small and he wasn’t getting good training, my mother whole heartedly made the commitment to come live in NYC with him and support his dreams. At the beginning of the summer she went apartment hunting and found a newly remodeled beautiful apt on the upper west side. Although she returned to vermont she trusted me with the keys so that if I wanted I could go bake in the beautiful new kitchen. And so thats exactly what I did.

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Because I was baking in an all new kitchen I had to buy every ingredient.I decided to make a day of it since I also needed things like muffin tins and measuring cups. I did a quick internet search of places in the city where I could buy those things and the New York Cake looked to be my best bet. I dragged my boyfriend down there since I am not allowed to go anywhere by myself due to the dorm requirements. It was beautiful. It had everything from all of the hugely elaborate things needed for concocting professional grade cakes to simple little things for your basic cookie. After making my next stop to whole foods I was finally ready to go back to the apartment and begin the process!

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I was incredibly happy with the way these came out. I love the combination of salty and sweet. Any one who does should most definitely try these out.

Original recipe courtesy of http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/

Ingredients

Cupcakes
    • 1 cups all purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup milk
    • 1/4 cup canola oil
    • 1/2 cup strong brewed coffee, hot
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or large mixing bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine. In a small bowl add the milk, egg, canola oil and vanilla extract. Stir lightly and then add to the flour mixture. Beat until the ingredients are well combined and then add the warm coffee. Beat well, until the mixture is very smooth. Line a muffin tin with liners and using a 1/4 cup measure, add batter to each cup. Bake for 15-18 minutes. Let cool completely before frosting.
Brown Butter Vanilla Frosting
    • 1/2 cup (stick) butter, softened
    • 1/3 cup heavy cream
    • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
    • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
    • 1/2 of a vanilla bean, beans scraped out ( I didn’t have this and it tasted just fine…)
    • 2 teaspoon vanilla
  1. While the cupcakes bake make the frosting. Add 4 tablespoons butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes, then immediately remove from the heat and add the cream and brown sugar. Return to the heat and bring to a boil, boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and add to the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in the vanilla bean seeds and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Once cooled beat in the remaining softened butter. Add the vanilla and powdered sugar to the bowl and beat together until well combined.
  2. This stuff is dangerously good. Beware you dont eat it all before yuo
Popcorn
    • 3 cups air popped popcorn
    • 4 tablespoons butter
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1/3 cup brown sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted
  1. To make the popcorn. Preheat oven to 250°
  2. Pour popped popcorn onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  3. Add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes. Immediately remove from the heat and pour over the popped popcorn. Stir until evenly distributed. Sprinkle salt and brown sugar over the popcorn. Bake for 10 minutes. Baking helps the brown sugar and butter stick to the popcorn a litte better. Allow to cool before topping the cupcakes.
  4. To assemble the cupcakes: Frost the cupcakes using a knife and a good amount of frosting. (if it is a bit drippy dont worry about it, just as long as the popcorn stays in place it’s fine) Add a handful popcorn to each cupcake and use your hands to mold it together into a mound, making sure to push the popcorn into the frosting. Some will fall off, just do your best to keep most of the popcorn on the cupcakes. Drizzle the melted chocolate overtop the popcorn and place the cupcakes in the freezer for 5 minutes or let sit on the counter for 30 minutes so the chocolate can harden.

Flourless chocolate cupcakes with cherry compote and vanilla butter cream frosting

In my english class this year there was a tradition that every week someone would bring in cookies. For the last day of classes I decided to go all out and give the class something a little better than the boring chocolate chip cookies that they were used to getting.  Introducing a new desert that will blow your mind, flourless chocolate cupcakes with cherry compote and vanilla butter cream frosting. I originally was on food gawker looking for something special to bring to the class when I came across this recipe. It was on Blueberry Kitchen if you would like to take a look. I realized while making it though that I didn’t have alot of the necissary ingredients so I had to improvise a bit.

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Making these without all the right ingredients was a bit frusterating especially trying to make the frosting. The initial recipe has these cupcakes with a mascarpone frosting. I didn’t have mascarpone and so thats why I decided to go with Buttercream frosting, something every baker should have experience making.

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I got so much good feedback that I decided to share them with you all. So here it is, the best cupcakes of all time.

Flourless chocolate cake

4 oz dark chocolate, broken into cubes
3 oz/ 3/4 stick unsalted butter
2 tbsp strong black coffee
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup ground almonds
pinch salt
1/2 tsp baking powder

– Preheat the oven to 350F  and line a cupcake or muffin tin with cupcake cases.
– Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl, over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Stir in the coffee and leave to cool. Once cooled stir in the sugar and vanilla.
– In a separate bowl beat the egg for about 3 minutes until really fluffy. Gently fold in the chocolate mixture, followed the ground almonds, salt and baking powder.- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling each one about 1/2 full. (these rise a lot so really be cautious when filling them). Bake for about 23 minutes until crisp on the outside, but still slightly gooey in the middle (insert a clean skewer into the middle to check.) Cool on a wire rack. Dont be alarmed if the middles fall. Thats where the cherries go.

Cherry compote

1 cup cherries, pitted
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
– Put the cherries, sugar and juice in a heavy based saucepan and simmer for about 15 minutes – stirring and gently pushing the cherries down with the back of a wooden spoon fairly regularly – until the cherries have turned mushy and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
– Leave to cool, then fill the middle of each cupcake with a generous teaspoon of compote.Buttercream frosting

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons milk or cream ( I used rice milk)

-In a mixing bowl with electric mixer, combine the butter with confectioners’ sugar. Beat on low speed until sugar is moistened, then beat on medium to high speed for about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon of milk or cream and beat until smooth. Beat in more milk or cream, as needed for spreading consistency.

Hope you all enjoy them as much as my english class did!