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!

 

The Fall Post

Well its been forever since I’ve posted anything. Im not going to deny it. A lot has happened and Im not going to try and recap it all BUT fall is a time for baking. Some of the best recipes and flavours are fall related so I decided I would do a post to try and get back in the hang of all this. I present to you, Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread, because who doesn’t love feeling healthy while still eating scrumptious sugary bread :b

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I will say that I have been extremely busy and not just ignoring everyone who has decided that I have something to say and reads this blog. I am now a New York resident, my family bought a house in Mount Vernon, NY. Coincidentally it is about 20 minutes away from Purchase College where I am a part of the conservatory of dance. It hasn’t exactly been an easy transition for me and home will always be in Vermont but I am slowly adjusting. Luckily my roommates are also two of the most wonderful girls and have been amazing in making my first semester memorable.

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 Also Im going to do a tiny bit of self promo/dancers among us promo and say that I am in a calendar, like a legit one that is sold in barnes and noble and stuff. Here is the link if you would like to check it out https://www.dancersamongus.com/store. I am also putting some more ballet pictures up on my ballerinaing tab up above if you would like to check them out!

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So without further adieu here is a bangin’ whole wheat zucchini bread recipe!

Ingredients:

(Makes 2 loaves)

  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 3 eggs

  • 1 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 1/4 cups natural raw sugar

  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 2 cups grated zucchini

  1. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
  3. Beat eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool.

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My Life and Blueberry Lemon Scones

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Its been a while since I’ve written a post. Mostly since I haven’t had a kitchen to bake and partially because I have been so completely busy with life and future plans that I have had no time to just sit down and write. So lets play a little catch up. In the Kirov spring performance I was cast as a soloist in a piece called infra X which was a student choreography piece by a friend (shout out to Jimmy Folsom).

With my incredible partner Gan Shai

With my incredible partner Gan Shai

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I was also in a pas de trois from La Bayadere, Kingdom of the shades.

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They were all very successful good shows and I was so excited that my family and Corey (my boyfriend) could come to see not just one but two shows. So now I am a graduate of the Kirov Academy of Ballet… artistically any ways. I decided for convenience purposes that I would transfer my credits back to U32 and be able to walk with my fellow peers who I spent the first 5 years of my middle and high school experience with. So next friday I will be a high school graduate. Immediately following that I am heading to France! I know I know, it sucks, I’m going to miss all the grad parties because I will be living and dancing in the french riviera…. 😉
As for my plans for next year I have been accepted to the SUNY purchase dance conservatory as a ballet major. So come august I am off to college. Purchase has quite a unique program though and I am very excited to become a part of that community.

Ok ok, enough with my life, and now for the baking!!

Lemon Blueberry Scones

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This recipe is adapted from My Baking Addiction. These turned out so fluffy and light! There is a lemon glaze that can be added, I thought they were sweet enough as they were so didn’t add it.

Ingredients:

1/3 cup sugar
zest of one to two medium lemons
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 large egg
1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest; mix with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and mix until combined.

Grate butter into flour mixture on the large holes of a box grater; use your fingers to work in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal.

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In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt and egg until smooth.

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Using a fork, stir the yogurt and egg mixture into flour mixture until large dough clumps form. Add in blueberries. Use your hands to press the dough against the bowl into a ball. The dough will be sticky first, but as you press, the dough will come together.

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Place on a lightly floured surface and pat into a 7-inch circle about 3/4-inch thick. Use a sharp knife to cut into 8 triangles; place on prepared baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

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Caramel Corn Etc.

Hello world,

Well its been awhile since I’ve posted anything but that is not for lack of baking. Quite the contary. I have a few recipes to share with you. My life has just been extremely hectic. As a senior in highschool you will never hear the question “What are you doing next year?” more in your life. And let me tell you, that question is unbelievably hard to answer especially for someone like me. While most high schoolers apply to college and spend their spring stressing out about where they will get into, us dancers have a little bit of a different problem. From january to about march is when all the ballet companies with any openings audition and hire people. That means that I have been traveling to nyc almost every weekend for multiple auditions. At this point I still have no contract but my audition process is not over. Ive also applied to North Carolina School of the Arts and Suny Purchase and was accepted into both of their dance departments. So while I still cant answer the looming question of where I will be next year I have a few plans as back ups so that I wont end up stranded without anything to do.

Now for the baking.

Below are some pictures of the delicious things I’ve baked since early january. Along with each picture will be the link to the recipe since writing up each thing at this point would take more time than I have. So Happy St. Patricks day to all and here are some non related treats for your eyes to enjoy.

Cinnamon Roll Cookies

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Cookie Dough Cupcakes

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Caramel Corn

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Also a huge shout out to the person behind butter is better (the blog credited for the amazing caramel corn) Jessie Smart is a fabulous baker and everyone should check out her blog for lots of decadent delicious recipes. She also has a Facebook page that everyone should follow.

Blog: http://butterisbetter1.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/butterisbetter1?fref=ts

Gluten Free Apple Pie

This has been an eventful thanksgiving break. (THAT IS A HUGE UNDERSTATEMENT) To start things off I met my dad at the airport and I almost started crying because I was so excited to be back in my home state. Then we went over to baggage claim where he surprised me by having my boyfriend come along and meet me there too. That did make me cry. Then we went to the parking garage and they had lost the car. So, I was wandering around looking for my dads car ( a white Prius..don’t judge he is on the energy efficiency board) when my dad finally hit the button on his keys so the lights would flash. But the car that flashed wasn’t a white Prius IT WAS A WHITE VW BUG! Now a little backstory, that is the car I have wanted since I was born basically. It had a little red bow taped on the front and he had taken paper and covered the front license plate so it said SPDYBTL (speedy beetle) which was his nickname for me when I was a little kid. Needless to say I was completely and utterly speechless. I was crying and I couldn’t form a sentence to save my life. Corey (my boyfriend) caught the entire thing on video which my dad later sent to my mom. Anyways it was an unbelievably exciting way to start the week off.

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This year for thanksgiving I was nominated to make the pies. I have a sneaking suspicion it had something to do with me making this blog and exposing my love for baking to the world. But anyways I was perfectly fine with that until I remembered that they were all going to have to be made with rice flour or something of that sort. I hate baking gluten free. Im just going to come right out and say that. Unfortunately my father has Celiac Disease which makes him unable to digest gluten.

The recipe that I picked for the crust was as I expected, pretty terrible. Its not that it tasted bad, people actually liked it, but it was so hard to use. Laying those delicate criss crosses across the top to make that beautiful picturesque apple pie was basically a disaster. For any of you out there who are inexperienced with baking gluten free but need to for some reason, I would recommend buying a mix. The one by Bob Red Mill was the one I used for my pumpkin pie and it turned out fantastic…

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Even without the exciting beginning to my week it would have been fantastic. Just being home, seeing my boyfriend and other friends and family has been wonderful. I had so much to be thankful for this year!

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Recipe adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/no-sugar-apple-pie-2/

  • 2 (9 inch) pie crusts
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (12 fluid ounce) can unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed ( I just used Apple Cider)
  • 6 cups sliced green apples
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a small bowl whisk together cornstarch, cinnamon, and 1/3 cup of the apple juice concentrate. Set aside.

In a large saucepan simmer apples with remaining apple juice concentrate until apples are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in maple syrup and cornstarch mixture. Continue to simmer until thickened. Remove from heat.

Spoon apple mixture into pastry-lined pie plate. Cover with top crust. Seal and flute edges. Cut steam vents in top.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Thanksgiving Time

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We are nearing the week of thanksgiving. Which means that I will be going home soon which I could not be more happy about! Tonight we actually had a mock thanksgiving for the foreign students who don’t get to experience a traditional thanksgiving dinner at home. One thing I noticed was that the pumpkin pie that they served did not give pumpkin pie justice… Given it’s Kirov food which isn’t always the greatest but these pies were donated so there isn’t even that excuse.

My family for the most part doesn’t use white flour or sugar when we bake. Since I’m from Vermont we sweeten everything with maple syrup! Since its a liquid it cant always just be substituted in recipes which is why I call upon my handy dandy Rodales Basic Natural Foods Cookbook. 

I have used this cookbook in making my black berry pie  and I found that it was just scrumptious. The recipe for the crust can be found on that page under Basic Rolled Pie Crust.

The filling in my opinion needs to be spicy but not overwhelmingly so. So here it is folks, a healthy, tasty pumpkin pie that is actually done right in my opinion.

Filling:

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin
3 cups milk or light cream
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
1 tablespoon molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 450F

Add seasonings to pumpkin in one bowl. Place milk or cream and eggs in a another large bowl. Stir in pumpkin mixture, honey/maple syrup, molasses and vanilla. Pour filling into your already made crust.

Bake for 10 minutes and then reduce heat to 350F and bake for 30 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack and go make the scrumptious whipped cream described below.

Scrumptious Whipped Cream:

Unfortunately there isn’t a perfect way to make whipped cream because everyone has their own likes and dislikes, some like it really really sweet while others..well…don’t. So here are some guidelines but good luck and remember with these ingredients you cant really go wrong here…

Heavy Cream: Depending on how many people you are making it for either 1/4 or 1/2 quart will work
Vanilla: About 2 teaspoons but you can always add more depending on the amount of cream
Maple syrup: The amount you put in is completely up to you depending on your sweetness levels

Put heavy cream in the bowl of your mixer. Start the mixer on medium and slowly add the vanilla. As the cream begins to thicken add the maple syrup to taste. Once its satisfyingly sweet turn the mixer on high and wait until fairly stiff peaks form. A word of warning, make sure the whipped cream is relatively thick before you turn the mixer to high otherwise cream will spray everywhere.

Then for the fun part. Serve yourself a large piece of pie and add a dollop of your scrumptious whipped cream. Ahhh now thats what I call a thanksgiving desert.

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!