The Fabulous Baker Girl

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Chocolate Cupcakes and a Birthday Celebration August 2, 2009

Filed under: Cakes,Chocolate,Dessert,Marth Stewart — amynb2008 @ 11:11 pm
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Ella's birthday party 017Ella’s birthday was a while ago but  just now got around to having a party for her and her friends.  She settled on an art theme.  Seven other girls invaded our “art studio” to make about five different art projects.

Of course, my very first question before deciding on what these projects were going to be was “what kind of cake do you want?”  Right away she settled on cupcakes.  I figured she’d go for a simple vanilla cake as she does not share my love of chocolate.  She surprised me though and asked for chocolate cupcakes.

And what my daughter wants….my daughter gets.

At least when it comes to chocolate cupcakes.

She also requested purple frosting with mini art palettes.  Easy enough to do.  I simply made the palette shape out of royal icing and then added the “paint” by painting on watered down food coloring.  I was going to add paint brushes but I didn’t have enough powdered sugar in my second batch of royal icing so it was too runny and they didn’t dry in time.  Oh well.  We perched the palettes  atop the chocolate cupcakes with purple frosting.  Very cute.

If you are anything like me and love chocolate, cake, or chocolate cake you’ll appreciate these cupcakes.  They are made in one bowl and are super easy to make.  The recipe says it makes two dozen but I get 2 1/2 dozen nice-sized cupcakes from it.  When I can get away with it, this is my go-to recipe any time I need a cake because they always turn out perfectly.  These are the cupcakes I gave Melanie for her first birthday (although not Ella — I wasn’t a baker yet and used *gasp* a box mix…please note my head is hung with shame).  They’re the easiest to make and always turns out moist and delicious.  Just my kind of recipe!  Thank you Martha Stewart!

One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cup dutch-processed cocoa powdered (I’ve used regular with good results)

2 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large whole eggs

1 large egg yolk

1 1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (do not forget the 2 tablespoons, they do make a difference)

1 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/4 cup warm water.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line two 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners.

Into the bowl of an electric mixer, sift together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  (I usually just run the mixer on the lowest speed for a few seconds.)  Attach bowl to mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Add the eggs, yolk, milk, oil, vanilla, and warm water.  Beat on low speed until smooth and combined, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down sides of bowl as needed.

Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full.  Bake, rotating pans halfway through, for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into one cake comes out clean.  Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool slightly.  Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Eat as is or add frosting (see my post Congratulations Salli for a good recipe).


Simple and Delicious…Blueberry Muffins July 28, 2009

Filed under: Marth Stewart,Muffins,Quick Breads — amynb2008 @ 3:32 pm
Martha's Blueberry Muffins

Martha's Blueberry Muffins

A few years ago, Martha Stewart came out with her Baking Handbook.  I, of course, bought it as soon as I could and was determined to bake my way through the entire book.  I even kept a journal to document what I had made.

That didn’t last too long.  I managed to make about 42 of the recipes but my dreams of writing my own memoir and getting on the Martha Stewart show was dashed as I found myself with too little time and too many recipes.

Still, all was not lost.  I did manage to find some gems in the recipes I did make.  One of my favorites is the white chocolate-butterscotch cookies.  Totally delicious!

However, the one recipe I keep coming back to, time and time again, is the blueberry muffins.  There are nothing fancy about these.  Simple preparation using simple ingredients.  They are just really, really good muffins.

A friend of mine mentioned to her daughter that she had never made homemade blueberry muffins before.  Her daughter told her that I should show her how.  So I did.  This was the recipe I showed her.  I think everyone was pleased with the results.

These muffins were made with fresh blueberries.  I usually use frozen.  Be warned they do turn the batter purple.  That doesn’t matter to me.  Purple or white or green…these are still my favorite muffins!  I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Blueberry Muffins

from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blueberries

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Butter and flour a standard 12-cup muffin tin (I just spray it with Pam for Baking); set aside.  In a medium bowl, whisk together dry ingredients.  Working over a bowl, toss the blueberries in a fine sieve with about 1 1/2 teaspoons of the flour mixture to lightly coat (this keeps the blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffin).  Set flour and blueberries aside

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until combined.  Mix in the vanilla.

With the mixer on low speed, add the reserved flour mixture beating until just combined.  Add milk beating until just combined.  Do not over mix.  Using a rubber scraper, fold in the blueberries.  Divide batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups.

Bake, rotating halfway through, until the muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in one muffin comes out clean, about 30 minutes.  Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool 10 minutes.  Turn the muffins on their sides in their cups and let cool.  Serve warm or at room temperature.