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Valentine's Cupcakes

Who says it has to be red, pink, or heart-shaped?

Three flavors:

Orange Creamsicle w/ Mascarpone Buttercream (left)

Chocolate Mocha w/ Kahlua Chocolate Buttercream (center)

Pistachio Chai w/ Caramel Cardamom Buttercream (right)

I did up the buttercreams the other day, and finished baking it off this morning.  The BF will not know what hit him tonight!

Recipes (w/ modifications):

pistachio chai cupcake (subst. cocoa with toasted, ground, pistachio nuts, add one teaspoon cardamom, and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract use caramel cardmom frosting from here.  Top w/ peeled, blanched, toasted, and ground pistachios and drizzled caramel form the frosting recipe.)

Orange Creamsicle Cupcake (important whip up flour and liquid ingredients first, then whip up egg whites last before adding to get maximum height.  Subst. 2 T cointreau or grand marnier for 2 T half and half, and subst. 1 1/2 t orange extract for 1 1/2t half and half, increase orange zest by 1 t, use this for buttercream:  16 oz mascarpone, 4 oz white chocolate, melted, 2 sticks butter, 1 1/2 cups conf. sugar, 1 vanilla bean, scraped, 1 T vanilla.  decorated w/ orange decorating sugar and orange nonpareils)) 

Chocolate Mocha Cupcake ( Doubled recipe, instead of all coffee, used half buttercream.  Also, added 2T espresso powder to the coffee while hot, and added to the buttermilk. So, 1/2 c buttermilk combined w/ 1/2 c coffee w/ dissolved 2T espresso powder, for 2X recipe use.  Order of mixing ingredients similar to how I make red velvet: First, mix sifted flour, salt, and cocoa w/ whisk, then in sep. bowl, mix oil and sugar first w/ hand held mixer, then add eggs one at a time, mixing on medium until blended, then add vanilla, then alternate flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, until blended, then in separate small bowl, mix baking soda and vinegar, and stir together then add to batter w/ hand held mixer on medium for 10 seconds, then add to cupcake liners and bake.Topped w/ chocolate covered almond or espresso bean.)




August 2009

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