Everybody has them though nobody wants to admit: Secrets! While secrets are widely outlawed to be a bad thing, I would like to stress the bright side of them which is the mystery. Be it secret friends, guilty pleasures, loves or recipes, some things are just too good to share. Like your favourite cafe that you don’t want to be too crowded or that cool friend whose attention you don’t want to share. And there are those secret recipes that you have brought to perfection over time, that earned you so many ahs and ohs, the one thing you are really proud of and you want to keep a mystery until you pass it on to your descendants on your deathbed, sealed with a blood pact that they keep it til their own dying day. Well that’s how I feel about my recipe for vanilla buttercream. I have tasted myself through a lot of recipes, measures and directions, tried, combined, tweaked and adjusted them to come to this one in my own eyes perfect recipe.
The first buttercream I ever made was an American Buttercream, which is mainly a mix of butter and confectioner’s sugar. I don’t like this kind of buttercream because it is way too sweet for me, it gnashes between my teeth and the texture is powdery. I played around with custard-mix buttercreams as you can find them in almost every baking book you get here, but I didn’t like the yellow colour, the artificial taste, it was simply not worth all the hassle with handling the warm custard. When I made my first Frankfurt Crown Cake for my Grandpa (his absolute favourite), my Mum recommended to get a little help from the Doctor (Dr. Oetker -housewives helper since forever) and try out their buttercream mix. It’s easy to handle and tastewise much better than any custard-packet-mix-buttercream… I have been using this for a while since it was convenient but over time ambition arouse, I didn’t want to be the foodblogger that relies on a packet mix. After I tried out a few recipes I stumbled over „The battle of buttercreams“ on the Tough Cookie Blog, which gave a great overview on different kinds of buttercreams including recipes and directions. Reading through the series gave me the right impulse to give my already balanced recipe the final twist. There is a „battle of buttercream 2.0“ series definately worth a read on The Tough Cookie, but I won’t keep you much longer and finally share the result of all this with you. Continue reading »
After the manflu stroke back and got me out of order for more than a week, I am back on deck and can share some more basic cupcake magic with you. Everyone has a few go-to recipes, some basic stuff that can be used for all sorts of magics with only a few alterations. It’s all about flavours and presentation, mix and match your favourite cupcakes, spice them up with some fruit or flavour and top off with a frosting of your choice. If you’re feeling fancy, you can go all wild with decorations and if you’re not, just spread the frosting with a knife. Whatever you do, you are the boss and you can do anything you like! Continue reading »
In my 2015 Forecast I promised to give you more of dark chocolate, so now you get served. I really love the dark chocolate callets from Callebaut I bought in a wholesale market. Luckily I don’t get there too often, otherwise I’d probably have investend a large amount of money in that very dark, rich and handsome… chocolate! I fell for quality dark chocolate a few years back and believe me or not, it really makes a difference in taste even in a plain chocolate cake, not to mention ganache filling for macarons… So mark my words, an investment in good quality chocolate is always a reasonable investment.
Melt the chocolate and let it cool until lukewarm. In a mixing bowl cream the butter until paler in colour before sifting in the sugar and adding the vanilla extract. Beat for several minutes until well combined and smooth. Last add the melted chocolate and keep beating until the icing is creamy, thick and has a spreadable consistency.
Now I tell you a little secret: If you want to step it up a notch chocolate wise, you can core the cupcakes (with a cupcake corer, with the back of a decorating tip or simply with a teaspoon) and fill in some Nutella before you ice the cupcakes. Top off with chocolate sprinkles and intoduce as „death by chocolate“.
We’re on the verge of St. Patrick’s Day and as my heart beats for the Irish, I couldn’t possibly let this day arrive without providing you with a goodie. #GoGreen4PatricksDay!
While on my last trip to Dublin in December a new cool bar opened where I live: The Maltbar offers a large variety of Single Malts as well as Craft Beers, alongside with some fancy cocktails including those (and other) ingredients. The one cocktail that caught my attention was the Caibeerinha and I had to try it, because it sounds like a really weird combination. It’s actually a nice combination of a rather hoppy IPA with a fresh and tangy finish. After sitting in the bar and brainstorming on new recipes for the blog, this idea of a craft beer flavoured cupcake got stuck in my head. So if you’re tired of making the same old Guinness Chocolate Cake over and over again, why not try these little bad ass craft beer cocktail cupcakes for a change? I used Braukunstkeller’s Amarsi IPA, as it is used at Maltbar and with it’s strong hoppy flavour & the bitter citrus aroma it perfectly goes together with lime and brown sugar. If you can’t get hands on this one, go for an IPA that also uses Amarillo and Simcoe hop for the strong flavours. I remember the 8 Degrees Brewing’s Howling Gale Ale to be quite similar but less bitter, so if you want to mild the hoppy bitterness I would give this one a shot.
And as summer kisses craftbeer in this recipe, this cute little bowl 58products, inventors of the famous TASSEN, provided kisses the cake. And the luck of the Irish seemed to be with me as they announced -drummroll please- that I am among the winners of their #kissthecake competition. I am flattered and super happy. I had so much fun playing around with the kissing bowl, the cupcakes and the light. And I must admit this bowl is just cuteness overflow and I am happy that it’ll get some company real soon!
This weather is seriously killing me, I was not done with summer yet. However you cannot change the seasons or the weather, but you can change your state of mind. With all the power of my mind I try to hold on to the summer feelings with these wonderful Chocolate Strawberry Surprise Cupcakes. I did them a while back with fresh strawberries from the farmer’s market but haven’t managed to put down the recipe yet because I’ve lost the post it where I noted the ingredients. The cupcake is my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, that you can use as a base for almost any topping. I added a little strawberry surprise inside the center of the cupcakes before adding the frosting. All eaters were totally delighted, but you better try yourself! Continue reading »
Every time I am home alone, I make huge plans. After getting up very early I find myself writing an enormous to do list. On my list are always a lot of tasks that I procrastinate as long as possible. I even start with tasks that I detest in order to avoid something that is even worse. Then I need to trick myself and add a bonus task to my list, something I love doing, that I only allow myself to do after I completed the other skipped tasks. Sounds ridiculous but it kinda works for me. My bonus task was baking cupcakes. I have a very poor time management, once I had finished the cupcakes I had to rush to a Whisky tasting and ended up icing cupcakes at 1pm. But it was totally worth it. It was another recipe from the Primrose Bakery Cupcake book. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Continue reading »
I must confess I couldn’t resist when I found the Primrose Bakery Cupcake Book at TK Maxx in Dublin. I had it on my amazon wishlist forever, but never ordered. I was talking myself out of buying another bake book to go into my shelf, but was made to buy it anyway. Back in the hotel I pulled it out directly, started sneaking through the pages and instantly felt the urge to lick the pages. As you might have noticed the TBL was flooded with recipes from this book ‚cause they all look so appealing. After the fantastic Orange Cake from the Cake Cafe I was kind of set to oranges when asked to bake something to bring to work. A simple cake wasn’t enough, it needed to be more fancy pants, so I decided to make Chocolate Orange Cupcakes with a Chocolate Orange Buttercream. Sounds like a Chocolate-Orange-Overkill, he? I did this a while back, just before we were moving so there is no pretty picture. But they taste A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Seriously, go buy the book!
I came home from Handball one night and was asked if I knew that cupcake show on TV. „It’s about two broke girls that bake Cupcakes to become rich and famous. It is hilarious!“. I sat down and was on fire instantly. Okay, the show is a typical sitcom with below the belt humor, but that’s what I love about it. And in the season 1 finale they finally meet Martha Stewart in a bathroom and she tries this Beer Batter Maple Bacon Cupcake (watch scene). I can totally feel with these two girls, striving to dream and never give up on it. I don’t have the balls to start my own business now, I envy all those people who put everything at stake to follow their dream. But I am not yet ready to quit live as I know it and become rich and famous *lol*.
I do like to play around a little instead, testing my limits and the combination of savoury & sweet is very appealing to me. The idea of something salty together with sweets is inconceivable for many people. While salted caramel is already almost mainstream, the idea of adding bacon to a sweet treat send shivers of disgust through many people. I kind of understand why but you’ll never know if you don’t try as my Granny used to say. And as we had fantastic pancakes with maple syrup and crispy bacon at Avoca in Dublin, the urge to try the Beer Batter Maple Bacon Cupcakes rose within me. And then last week my fellow colleague told me about his holidays in LA, where he went a shooting day of „2 broke girls“. We both saw this as a sign, it is time to do this. Therefore my first blog post for this year is about what makes half of the people ahhhh and the others ewww. Continue reading »
I live in the state of Hesse and the Frankfurt Crown Cake is besides Applewine (some sort of Cider) one of the things that the region is famous for. There are many different recipes for the cake but something they all have in common is the shape and the cover with butter cream, golden brittle and cherries to make it look like a crown. I like the version of the cake that comes with a base of sponge cake, cherry jam and a light butter cream. As I promised to bring a cake to work the other day I was looking for the appropriate tin to make the cake at home. But I couldn’t find it and decided that I could also go for cupcakes. Continue reading »
I found this wonderful recipe on one of my favourite blogs last year just before St Patricks Day: The Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes! And I made them for my friends housewarming party that was around Paddys day and everyone loved them. I wasn’t completely confident with the recipe because the cupcakes were too sweet, too chocolatey and could have tasted more like Guinness in my opinion. So I decided to give them another try this year and give them a schabakery twist if you know what I mean 🙂
I have adjusted the borwneyed bakers recipe a little to my gusto. And it is a mix of metric US measures so keep your scale and your cup measurements at hand. Continue reading »