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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

My roommate is the absolute bomb, and she's been wanting me to make these for a while. Last week, I finally had the time and worked up the courage to make them.

This is the first time I've successfully made gluten-free cupcakes from scratch, and I have to say that they were quite awesome. My family was shocked to find out that they didn't contain gluten, and I honestly had no idea how they would turn out since the recipe didn't call for xanthan gum. They were a smidge crumbly, and they also got a little dry when I put them in the fridge due to the cream cheese frosting, so I will probably just frost them as I serve them next time. Also, I really hate using food coloring, so my red velvet stuff is never vividly red. The reaction between the vinegar and the cocoa still gives them a red tint, though.

Both recipes adapted from this page

Gluten-Free Red Velvet Cupcakes

2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour blend of choice (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups milk
1 teaspoon white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Stir together dry ingredients (flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt) and set aside. 
Mix together wet ingredients (milk, vinegar, vanilla) and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs individually until blended. Alternately add dry and wet ingredients until thoroughly blended and smooth.
Line muffin tin with cupcake papers and fill each with 1/6 cup batter. Bake for about 18-22 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before icing.

Cream Cheese Icing

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar (but I honestly feel like I used more)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Blend in sugar until you reach the desired consistency. Add salt and vanilla. Add milk or cream if needed.

Spicy Chocolate Fudge

I made this for the Auburn game to show my fiery distaste for the team. It definitely delivered. I'll probably cut back the cayenne to 1/4 teaspoon next time, but this was pretty good with 1/2 teaspoon.

Spicy Chocolate Fudge with Pecans

Adapted from this recipe

14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 1/4 
teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 pound dark chocolate
1/2-ish cup pecans (or however many you want) (optional)

Butter the bottom of a baking dish.

Condensed milk really weirds me out for some reason. 


In a stove-safe bowl, blend together the salt, cayenne pepper, cinnamon and vanilla with condensed milk. 
Set the bowl over a pot of boiling water. 

 Add the butter and chocolate. Stir occasionally until everything is melted and blended.

While the chocolate mixture is melting, place pecans along the bottom of the pan so they'll be evenly distributed.


When the chocolate mixture is completely blended, pour into the pan and spread until even. Refrigerate two or three hours or until firm.

When set, cut into squares. Can be stored in an airtight container for up to one month.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

I had an absolute blast making these.

There were a couple of issues, mostly filling-and-sleep-deprivation related, but that's a different story. I'll know next time to actually use a squeeze bottle or pastry bag instead of a freezer bag with the end cut out. And I'll know to not try to finish them at 2 a.m.

Adapted from this brilliant recipe

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
8 oz. plain yogurt
1/2 cup cream soda

1 11-oz. package butterscotch chips
1 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cup butterscotch ganache
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon butter extract
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
16 oz. powdered sugar
Splash of milk or cream (as needed)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and set aside. Cream the sugars and butter together.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Follow with the extracts and yogurt, mixing thoroughly. Alternate adding cream soda and dry ingredients.

It's so difficult to remember salmonella when this is in front of you.

Spoon by 1/6 cupfuls into a lined cupcake pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, melt together the butterscotch chips and heavy cream in a double boiler or glass or metal bowl over boiling water. I would think doing this in the microwave might work, too, but I'm not sure. In any case, let it cool before you use it.

In another bowl, beat the butter, extracts, salt and 1/3 cup of the ganache together.

Oh, gosh, so many butter lumps!

Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and the cream/milk if needed.

Use a squirt bottle, a pastry bag or a knife and a freezer bag to fill the cupcakes with ganache...

...Spread frosting over them...

And top with more ganache.

I've never felt so magical... and less competent at decorating.

To make things even greater, these were served at a tailgate that took place on a quad that's used for Quidditch matches. 

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Butterbeer Obsession (A Picture Free Post)

I think I have a problem.

I can't stop eating and drinking butterbeer-flavored things.

It started when I discovered this recipe, and now I can't stop eating the syrup that it produces. I'm going to make butterbeer cupcakes for the UGA/Auburn game in a couple of weeks, so that will definitely be an adventure.

For now, I'll share my quick and lazy version of butterbeer syrup. My favorite way to consume it is in coffee with milk. Nothing is better than waking up and feeling like a Hogwarts student when you take your first sip of coffee.

1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut by the tablespoon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon rum extract
1/2 teaspoon butter extract

Combine sugars and water. Microwave for about forty seconds until the sugar has melted. Add butter and microwave for another minute and a half.

Remove sugar mixture and add remaining ingredients. Whisk until well-combined and allow to cool.