Nigella’s Coca Cola Cupcakes

Lately everywhere I go, everywhere I look I see Coca Cola Cake….. The latest one I saw on Sabina kookt! Growing up I only used to (and basically still do) drink Pepsi, so it was against my basic principle. Intrigued by the idea of putting cola into cake and convinced that I had to use Coca Cola (why else would the cake have been named Coca Cola Cake?), I finally caved in and bought a can of Coca Cola. Last week I got around to baking Nigella Lawson’s Coca Cola Cake, except I decided to turn the cake into cupcakes yet again. The recipe can be found in Nigella Lawson’s book ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’.

 Took the cupcakes to work where they were a huge hit. The cola adds to the moisture of the cake, but the flavor of the cola gets lost: you’re left with deliciously moist chocolate cupcakes. I will be making these again!

Coca-cola Cupcakes with Glaze
makes 12 to 16 cupcakes 


200 g plain flour
250 g sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
125 ml buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
125 g unsalted butter
2 tbs cocoa powder
175 ml Coca-cola
Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in in a measuring jug. In a heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and Coca-cola, heating it gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon, and then add the liquid ingredients from the jug, beating until it is well blended.

Pour into a muffin tin that has been greased or lined with papers and bake for 15 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

Glaze

225 g icing sugar
2 tbs butter
3 tbs Coca-cola
1 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Sieve the icing sugar and set aside. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla, and spoon in the sieved icing sugar, beating as you do, until you’ve got a good, spreadable, but still runny, icing.

Pour over the cupcakes while they are still warm, and leave to cool.

Vanilla Cupcakes with Baileys Buttercream

Today I found some leftover Champagne  Buttercream in my fridge, to use that up I baked some Vanilla Cupcakes. I looked for a recipe in ‘The Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days‘, a cookbook my brother gave me for birthday last year.  The method of making the batter was quite different: the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt are mixed in a bowl and the milk, eggs and vanilla essence are mixed in a jug after which they are added to the bowl. The recipe says it makes 12-16 cupcakes. I ended up with 12 regular size cupcakes and 24 mini-cupcakes.

Before I started baking I took the Champagne Buttercream out of the fridge to taste if it was still good, but because the buttercream was too hard I couldn’t try it. I figured I would start baking and by the time the cupcakes had cooled down the buttercream would have probably be soft enough to taste. My assumption was correct, unfortunately the buttercream tasted a bit off… I can’t quite explain what was wrong with it, but it definitely tasted different so I decided to throw it out and make some new buttercream. My eye fell on the almost empty bottle of Baileys and I knew I had to make Baileys Buttercream!

Vanilla Cupcakes
as found in The Humingbird Bakery Cake Days
makes 12-16 cupcakes

80 gram (3 oz) unsalted butter
280 gram (10 oz) caster sugar (I used granulated sugar)
240 gram (8 1/2 oz) plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt (I think I accidentally only added 1/4 tsp)
240 ml (8 1/2 floz) whole milk (I used semi-skimmed milk)
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit, Gas mark 5) and line a muffin tin with muffin cases.

Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, slowly beat together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until the ingredients are well mixed and resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Mix together the milk, vanilla essence and eggs by hand in a jug. With the whisk or mixer still on a low speed, pour three-quarters of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the rest of the milk mixture and beat again, now on a medium speed, until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cases, up to about two-thirds full. Pop in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes (my regular size cupcakes needed 18 minutes, the mini cupcakes needed 12 minutes) or until the sponges feel springy when you touch them. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

Baileys Buttercream

125 gram butter (softened)
250 gram powdererd sugar
4 tbsp Baileys

 Cream the butter, add the powdered sugar and mix until it’s well incorporated. Add Baileys and mix well.

Goodbye 2011 and Welcome 2012: Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream to ring in the New Year

2011 has been quite a year… I quit being a part-time student and found myself a wonderful  boyfriend. I visited Food Blogger Connect 2011 in London and got to meet a lot of great food bloggers in real life. At work my manager found a new job and I had to get used to a new one. Friends had babies and got married. Now the New Year has come. A time to reflect on what went well (love!) and what didn’t (blogging and health). As to New Year’s resolutions? I have a few…. They include eating healthier and exercising more regularly in the hope of losing some weight and blogging more regularly. So Friday I had my first workout at the gym in ages and tomorrow my diet starts. Why tomorrow and not today? Because a very wise woman told me one should never start dieting on January 1st.

As to blogging more regularly, I decided to rejoin Tuesdays with Dorie. The group had been closed to new members until they finished Baking: From My Home to Yours, which they did in December 2011. TWD is now taking on a new book, Baking with Julia, starting in February 2012. The group will be opened up for all to join in on the fun. And since I already owned the book I thought it would be a great idea to rejoin!!

Here are the five recipes on my blog that were most visited in 2011:

Toblerone Shortbread Cookies

I first baked these for my Christmas Cookie platters in 2010, and they were so popular that I repeated them this year.


Baileys Brownies

What can I say? Chocolate and Baileys, the perfect combination….


Arretje’s Cake

A traditional Dutch no-bake cake made for Di’s Handmade Loaves.


Bluefinger Cookies

An original Dutch cookie from Zwolle that, like my blogs name, referes to the nickname of the inhabitants of Zwolle.

Gazpacho Shots

Another recipe from 2010: I served these cute Gazpacho Shots at my 30th birthday party.

Now on to today’s recipe. As is the case every year, I was invited to Heino to celebrate New Year’s Eve with some carbid schieten. Carbid schieten translated into English would mean Carbide Shooting.  Carbide is a rocky material (CAC2) that is made of coke and slacked lime, by heating the two in an electric oven. If you put water with the carbide it produces an explosive gas! Now you take a milkcan (with a nicely fitting lid) and put the milkcan almost flat on the ground with the front a bit higher as the back , get the lid off, and put some carbide in milkcan. Add some water into the milkcan and quickly put the lid back on, a rubber ball works as well. Make sure nobody  is in front of the milkcan and carefully put the tip of the torch near the hole in the back of the milkcan. The shooting then follows.

This is my SIL shooting carbide last year, fortunately it was less cold this year!

At this Carbide shooting there’s always a lot of food and alcohol and I decided to bring a bit of both to the party in the form and shape of….. Champagne Cupcakes with Champagne Buttercream! I found the recipe at Starting to Simmer and adapted it as I found the champagne flavor to be understated and I wanted to make miniature cupcakes. I used a pink champagne, which is why my buttercream has a pale pink color.

Champagne Cupcakes
adapted from Starting to Simmer
makes 48 miniature cupcakes

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup champagne
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a bowl cream together butter and sugar with an electric mixer (or in bowl of stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment) until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla and mix.
 In a medium sized bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a separate bowl whisk together champagne and sour cream (mixture will fizz and bubble). Add flour 1/3 at a time, alternating with champagne and sour cream mixture.
Fill cupcake liners with level 1/4 cup of batter. Bake for 17-20 minutes until tops are just beginning to brown. Cool completely and brush the tops of the cupcakes with some champagne before frosting.
Champagne Buttercream Frosting
2 cup champagne plus one tablespoon
1 cup butter softened
2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
Place 2 cups of champagne in a small saucepan, and simmer over medium high heat until it has reduced to 4 tablespoons. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Cream softened butter. Add confectioners sugar in three batches, using a medium high speed. Add in reduced champagne and additional tablespoon champagne and mix well.



MSC: Triple Citrus Cupcakes – My Pick!!!

This month it was my turn to pick the recipe for Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes Club. Since it’s August I tried to pick a cupcake that represents summery flavours, so I chose Triple Citrus Cupcakes that are found on page 64 of Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes.

Because most of my coworkers were on vacation I decided to make 1/3 of the recipe, half of the batter I used to make miniature cupcakes and that made 24 miniature cupcakes that baked for 10 minutes.

The other half of the batter I used to make normal-sized cupcakes and ended up with 6 cupcakes, that were perfect after baking for 20 minutes.

Both the coworkers and my parents loved these. In my opinion the cupcakes definitely needed the glaze, they tasted quite plain without it. But with that glaze they tasted phenomenal! Check out MSC to find out what the other bakers thought of my pick!

Triple-Citrus Cupcakes
from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, page 64; makes 36
3,5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons coarse salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest (from 3 lemons)
3 tablespoons finely grated orange zest (from 2 oranges)
3 tablespoons finely grated lime zest (from about 3 limes)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
9 large eggs, room temperature
Citrus Glaze (made with lime juice and zest; page 315, recipe below)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl every few minutes. Add citrus zest. Reduce speed to medium, and add vanilla. Add eggs, three at a time, beating until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in four batches, beating until completely incorporated after each.
Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full; tap pans on countertop once to distribute batter. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored up to 2 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
To finish, dip tops of cupcakes in glaze, then turn over quickly and garnish with zest. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed; keep at room temperature until ready to serve.

Citrus Glaze
from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, page 315; makes about 1 cup

1,5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
1/4 teaspoon finely grated citrus zest
3 tablespoons fresh citrus juice, plus more if needed
Whisk together all ingredients until smooth. If necessary, add more sugar to thicken or more juice to thin the glaze. Use immediately.

TWD: No Chewy, Chunky Blondies – instead: Lots of Ways Banana (Cup) Cakes

Frustration sums up my experience with the Chewy, Chunky Blondies that Nicole of Cookies on Friday picked for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie….. I tried Nicole, I really did: I baked the blondies twice, unfortunately both times I ended up with undercooked blondies when they did test done!! Frustrated by wasting two batches of great ingredients (my add-ins were pecan, chocolate and coconut) and the tropical heat in my kitchen I finally gave up. Please check out what my fellow TWD-ers thought of the Chewy, Chunky Blondies here, the recipe is posted at Nicole’s blog!

Last week Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities picked the Lots of Ways Banana Cake. It’s called that way because you can basically put whatever you feel like into this cake and it will still turn out amazing.

I actually baked these on time but totally forgot to blog about them because I was too busy planning my upcoming trip to Paris with my mom. I only had 2 bananas, so I made half the recipes and turned the cake into cupcakes. I used coconut milk instead of sour cream and my add-ins were shredded coconut and mini-chocolate chips. The cupcakes went into the oven for 20 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit, half the recipe yielded 18 cupcakes. I simply dusted the tops of the cupcakes with confectioners sugar and added a little bit of cocoa for contrast.

Two cupcakes were devoured by my parents, two I ate myself, six I gave away to my parents neighbours and four of them found their way to Amsterdam where my dad and brother finished them of. Everyone really liked them and noticed how crumbly, yet moist these were. Both the banana and the coconut flavour were quite subtle. I will be baking these again, in fact: there are six ripe bananas waiting for me in the kitchen right now!!! Go here to check out what my fellow TWD-ers thought of the Banana Cake, the recipe can be found at Kimberly’s blog.
P.S. Check out my $70 CSN gift card giveaway: deadline is Thursday July 29th, midnight CET!

>Strawberry Cupcakes

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Here’s another round of cupcakes that I baked up for my Mom’s birthday on March 5th. This recipe is by Martha Stewart, she calls these Sprinkles’ Strawberry Cupcakes. The cupcakes are topped with Sprinkles’ Strawberry Frosting. The recipe for the cupcakes can be found here and the frosting here.

This recipe made 36 miniature cupcakes that needed 15 minutes in the oven. Again these were a big succes with my moms colleagues!

>No TWD – instead: Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes with Baileys Irish Buttercream

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No TWD for me this week, I was pooped from my cupcake bake-a-thon. This weeks recipe for TWD was picked by Mike of Ugly Food for an Ugly Dude, he chose Thumbprints for Us Big Guys. The recipe can be found on page 164 of Baking: From My Home to Yours or over at Mike’s blog. Check out what my fellow TWD-ers thought of the thumbprints here.

As I mentioned in my last post my mom asked me to bake her cupcakes for her to take to work for her birthday. Because my mom works at a call center she has lots of colleagues, which meant that I had to bake loads of cupcakes. I gave my mom several options for the miniature cupcakes and she picked three of them: Strawberry Cupcakes, Coconut Cupcakes with White Chocolate Icing and these Chocolate Guiness Cupcakes with Baileys Irish Buttercream that I found over at Le Petit Pierogi.

This recipe made 36 miniatures (that needed 12 minutes in the oven) and 18 regular-sized (requiring 17 minutes in the oven) for me.

Ingredients

adapted from Le Petit Pierogi

For the Chocolate Guinness Cupcakes
1 cup Guinness
2 sticks unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

For the Baileys Irish Buttercream
3 to 4 cups confectioners sugar (I used about 3 1/2 cup)
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tbsp Baileys Irish Cream (I used 4 tbsp)

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake bakingtray with liners. In a saucepan over medium heat melt butter and add Guinness, bring to a simmer. Whisk in cocoa powder until mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl beat eggs and sour cream until thoroughly combined. On low speed drizzle in Guinness-cocoa mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture, a little at a time, and mix briefly on low speed until the mixture comes together. Using a rubber spatula fold the batter until completely combined. Divide batter over cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, the mini’s needed 12 minutes and the regular-sized needed 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

To make the buttercream, whip the butter in a bowl until the butter is very light and fluffy. Slowly add the confectioners sugar, a few tablespoons at a time. When the frosting looks thick enough to spread, drizzle in the Baileys and whip it until combined. If this makes the frosting too thin, beat in another spoonful or two of powdered sugar.
Ice and decorate the cupcakes.