The Gaming Series: Pokémon Doughnuts

Pokemon doughnutsI remember holding a Gameboy Color in my hands for the first time. My brother had bought it with months of saving up for it and I couldn’t believe the handheld color display. Along with the Gameboy he purchased Pokémon Red, which was just starting to get its hype. I loved that game and spent hours leveling up Pokémon and discovering glitches like the MissingNo.. This glitch let you duplicate rare candies infinitely which you then used to up your team to level 99. Honestly, leveling up your team so high is useless because you can beat the whole game with much less, but bragging rights seem to never go out of fashion. And while Pokémon Red has a special place in my heart, Pokemon Silver has to be the best one out there. (Don’t @ me, please.)
pokemon doughnutsI’ve made Star Wars doughnuts in the past, so I thought it’d be fun to do a Pokémon version. Only this time I decided to make them into Ditto versions. If you didn’t know, Ditto is a Pokémon that copies the abilities and appearances of other Pokémon except for their face.  I guess this was a way of keeping the same simple face while making fun appendages. But honestly, I think they’re very cute in their own right. Just look at all the plushies that are made of them!
pokemon doughnutsIf you follow me on Instagram, you can see the process of making some of these. Click below to be taken to the page:

Pikachu Doughnut Tutorial
Bulbasaur Doughnut Tutorial
Magnemite Doughnut Tutorial

Mini Doughnuts
makes about 3 dozen mini doughnuts

Ingredients:

2 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
¼ c. granulated sugar
3 tbsp. brown sugar
1 large egg
½ c. whole milk
¾ tsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. kosher salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 ⅓ c. all-purpose flour

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven 350˚F. Spray non-stick cooking spray on your mini doughnut pan.
    2. In a medium bowl, whip butter, vegetable oil, and both sugars with a hand-held mixer until smooth.
    3.            Mix in egg and milk until completely combined.
    4.            Stir in baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt and vanilla.
    5.            Stir in flour until smooth, do not over mix.
    6.            In a piping bag, fitted with a medium round tip, fill each doughnut cavity about ½ full.
    7.            Bake 5-7 minutes until the doughnuts spring back when you touch it. Do not wait until the doughnut is golden brown, you will over bake it.
    8.            Let cool in pan about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to completely cool.
    9.            Repeat steps 6-8 until all of the batter is used.

Star Wars Day 2014

Star Wars Day 2014 1This is the third year I’ve hosted a Star Wars Day party.  It involves good food with punny names, watching SW movies and SW themed board games.  The first SW party I threw was just a small surprise for a special someone but through the years it’s evolved into a bigger celebration.  I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of Star Wars, but I can say that I love throwing themed parties.  So in a way, I do love Star Wars Day.
Star Wars Day 2014 2Star Wars Day 2014 4This year‘s party theme was Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, so all of the food and activities were centered on Episode 1 characters and settings.  Here are the things we made for SW Day*:
chicken pod piechicken pod pie 2Star Wars Day 2014 7 Star Wars Day 2014 8obi wontons obi wontons 2padme parfaitpadme parfait 2quail gon jinn 1 quail gon jinn 2watto's wings 1 watto's wings 2The centerpiece of the table was my Darth Maul-ble Cake, a marble cake with chocolate frosting and a chocolate transfer of Darth Maul.   There was a small chorus of “wows” when I revealed it.  Chocolate transfers can take a bit of time, but it is straight forward and simple to do.  I used the same technique for this piece and it turned out fabulous.
steps darth maulI think Darth Maul is quite scary.  To be completely honest, I got a wee bit frightened trying to find the right photo for the transfer.  Filling in the chocolate parts was no walk in the park either, he was just as scary.  I know it sounds silly, but if your imagination runs as wild as mine does I’m sure you understand. Revenge of the Six-th indeed. 🙂
Star Wars Day 2014 19Darth Maul-ble Cake

You will need:

1 Chocolate Marble Cake – Recipe Below
1 Batch of Chocolate Frosting – Can be found here
Black Candy Melts
Red Candy Melts
Yellow Candy Melts
White Candy Melts
A mirrored image of this printout in a black circle

Instructions:

  1. Tape the printout onto a baking sheet or any desired flat surface.
  2. Tape a piece of parchment paper over the printout making sure it covers the entire image.
  3. Melt a small amount of black, red, yellow and white candy melts (do not meld the colors together).
  4. Remember, chocolate transfers are all about layering.  Each time you fill out the next step, you will be going over the previously filled portion.
  5. Using either a toothpick or a piping bag fitted with either a #1 or #2 round tip, fill in the pupil of the eye with the black candy melt. (As shown in the above photo.)
  6. Mix the yellow and white candy melt to get a light ivory hue for the horns. Fill in. (As shown in the above photo.)
  7. Once the pupil is set, fill in the iris with the yellow candy melt.  Let set. (As shown in the above photo.)
  8. The outer edge of the iris has a red outline.  Carefully, trace a red border around the yellow candy melt. Let set. (As shown in the above photo.)
  9. Fill in the sclera with the white candy melt.  (As shown in the above photo.)
  10. Fill in the white edge of the hood while the sclera sets. (As shown in the above photo.)
  11. Using the red candy melt, start filling in the mask like patterns on the face.  Try not to lose the detailed edges because that’s what makes the image pop. (As shown in the above photo.)
  12. Once the red candy melt is set, melt some black candy melts.  Make sure it is not piping hot because you will lose some detail if it is.
  13. Smooth over the entire circumference with the black candy melts.  Let completely set.
  14. Place on top of frosted cake and you’re done!

Chocolate Marble Cake

Ingredients:
1⅔ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. kosher salt
4 oz. unsalted butter, melted
1 c. sugar
1 egg, room temp
¼ c. Greek yogurt
¾ c. + 1 tbsp. milk, divided
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ c. unsweetened cocoa powder

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and prep a 9” cake pan by coating it with nonstick spray and lining the bottom with parchment paper.
  2. Mix melted butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt until combined.
  4. Add the egg, Greek yogurt, ¾ c. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla extract to the butter mixture and mix until homogenous.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and fold until smooth.
  6. Transfer ½ of the mixture to another bowl, mix in 1 tbsp. milk and cocoa powder until a thick chocolate batter forms.
  7. Put half of the vanilla batter into the prepared cake pan and spread out.
  8. Pour all of the chocolate batter on top of the vanilla mixture.
  9. Pour the rest of the vanilla batter over the chocolate batter.
  10. Using a toothpick or a butter knife, make swirls all over the cake. Be careful not to over swirl, or you will lose the marbling.
  11. Bake 18-25 minutes until golden brown or a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Cake recipe adapted from sally’s baking addiction.


* If you would like detailed info on any of the food I’ve prepared, don’t be afraid to leave a comment or shoot me an email!

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie Cake

cookie cake 5First thing I need to say is… this Sunday is Star Wars Day!!  You can be sure that I’ll have a post on all the goodies I’ll be making for this year next week.  Now back to the cookie cake, this cookie cake is everything I would want in a cookie: sweet, salty, crispy, chewy, marshmallow-y… I could go on about it.  The last time I served this was during this year’s Super Bowl and while people ate this, it was very quiet.  It was that good.
cookie cake 2To be honest, this recipe is like my baby.  This cookie recipe has been over 5 years in the making!  I almost didn’t want to write it down because well, it’s mine and I didn’t want to share.  But I figured someone must be having a day somewhere and this cookie would be sure to cheer them up.  So whip up a batch, and make yourself or someone smile because a smile is free therapy.
cookie cake 6Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Marshmallow Cookie Cake

Makes one 9” cookie cake

Ingredients:
6 oz. butter, divided
½ c. sugar
¾ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cornstarch
¾ c. chocolate chips
¾ c. mini marshmallows

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F and line a 9” cake pan with parchment paper along the bottom and the sides.
  2. In a small pot, brown 5 oz. of butter.
  3. While the butter is browning, mix sugar, brown sugar and kosher salt in a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Once the butter is brown, add the remaining 1 oz. of butter and stir to get the brown bits off the bottom of the pot.
  5. Add the hot browned butter to the sugar mixture and stir.  Let cool for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract until glossy and homogenous.
  7. Fold in flour, baking soda, and cornstarch until just combined.
  8. Fold in chocolate chips and marshmallows until just combined.
  9. Bake 15-20 minutes until center is set and slightly underdone.
  10. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Churro Cupcakes

churro cupcake 2Have you ever had a churro before?  It’s a giant stick of fried dough with tons of cinnamon sugar on it.  It’s different from zepoles and funnel cakes because it’s more dense and has a thicker outer crust.  I get my churro craving satisfied at Costco.  It’s just one dollar for about 1½ feet of sweet fried goodness.  Such a good bargain!  The trick is to get it before you start shopping so you have a little snack, and you don’t have to worry about a cinnamon sugar trail being left in the house.
churro cupcake 1Here is my ode to a churro.  It is a cinnamon buttermilk cake with fluffy marshmallow frosting topped with cinnamon sugar and a bite-sized churro.  It takes a bit of work to make but it’s a lot of fun and a great idea for Cinco De Mayo. 🙂
churro cupcake 3Churro Cupcakes

Makes about 28 cupcakes

Cinnamon Buttermilk Cake

Ingredients:
3 c. cake flour
2  c. sugar
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1¼  c. buttermilk, divided
8 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
4 eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. In a bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, sugar, ground cinnamon, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. On low speed, add 1 c. buttermilk and butter and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolk, ¼ c. buttermilk, and vanilla extract until homogenous.
  5. On low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
  6. Increase speed to medium, and mix until combined.
  7. Fill 2/3 of cupcake liners.
  8. Bake about 13-16 minutes until cake is done or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  9. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then move onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

Churros

For the cinnamon sugar
Ingredients:
½ c. sugar
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon

For the batter
Ingredients:
1½ tbsp. sugar
1 c. water
½ tsp. salt
2 tbsp. plus 2 quarts vegetable oil, divided
1 c. all-purpose flour

Instructions:

  1. In a medium shallow bowl, mix together ½ c. sugar and ground cinnamon.  Set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan combine sugar, water, sat and 2 tbsp. vegetable oil and bring to a boil.
  3. Take the pan off heat and stir in flour until a ball of dough forms.
  4. In a medium heavy bottomed pan, heat oil to 375˚F and line a sheet pan with paper towels for draining.
  5. Transfer dough to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip.
  6. Squeeze out 1-2 inches of dough and have it ready for frying.
  7. Once the oil is ready, use a slotted spoon or a spider to transfer the dough into the hot oil and fry until golden brown.
  8. Remove the fried dough onto the sheet pan with a slotted spoon or a spider and let drain for about a minute.
  9. Toss the warm churros into the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Reserve leftover cinnamon sugar mixture to dust on top of cupcakes.

Marshmallow Frosting

Ingredients:
6 egg whites (180 g.)
1½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. cream of tartar
1 pinch of salt
1½ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot fill about 1 in. of water and let it come to a simmer.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and salt until homogenous.
  3. Once the water comes to a simmer, place the bowl on top of the pot and whisk the egg white mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved and no longer grainy.
  4. Move the bowl to your standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high speed until glossy and stiff.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and mix completely.
  6. Fill a piping bag fitted with the biggest plain piping tip you have.

Assembly:

  1. Pipe a large dollop onto the cupcake by holding the piping bag perpendicular to the cupcake and squeeze using an even pressure until your desired size forms.
  2. In a fine mesh sieve, dust reserved cinnamon sugar topping onto the frosted cupcake.
  3. Garnish with a piece of churro.

Cake recipe adapted from sky high.
Churro recipe adapted from just a taste.
Marshmallow frosting recipe adapted from Marth Stewart.

Easter Bunny Surprise Cake

Easter bunny cake 1Here comes Peter Cottontail, Hoppin’ down the bunny trail… was the song that was running through my head when I thought of this cake.  Can you imagine the look of surprise people will give you when you cut into this?  Unfortunately for me, my family saw every step of the assembly and expected it when I cut into this cake.  Learn from my mistake, and keep it secret when you give it a try.
Easter bunny cake 2The great thing about this technique is that it is adaptable to many holidays and special occasions.  Off the top of my head, you could do tulips for Mother’s Day, a bat for Halloween, and even alternating red, white, and blue stars for Independence Day.  I think I may be giving away future blog posts so I’ll just stop here.
Easter bunny cake 3My only caveat to you is: 1) measure to make sure your cutouts will fit into the loaf pan (both horizontally and vertically) and 2) to keep your cutout design simple because you will lose the finer details when the cake bakes.  Other than that, I hope you have fun trying this cake!  Don’t worry, at this point I’m so tired of bunnies and Easter eggs, you will probably not see any more posts of them until next spring. 😀

Easter bunny cake 4

Easter Bunny Surprise Cake

You will need:
1 Batch of Pink Sheet Cake
1 Batch of Yellow Cake
1 Batch of Green Frosting
1 Batch of Chocolate Frosting
Bunny Cookie Cutter
Mini Chocolate Eggs
Grass Frosting Tip (Optional)

Pink Sheet Cake

Ingredients:
1 ½ c. all purpose flour
1 c. sugar
½ tbsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. salt
¾ buttermilk, divided
4 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs,  room temperature
1 egg yolk
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
Pink gel food coloring

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In a bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. On low speed, add ½ c. buttermilk and butter and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolk, ¼ c. buttermilk, and vanilla extract until homogenous.
  5. On low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
  6. Increase speed to medium, and mix until combined.
  7. On low speed, add pink food coloring until desired color is reached.
  8. Spread batter onto the sheet pan until fully covered.
  9. Bake 10-12 minutes until cake is set.
  10. Let cool.
  11. Cut out bunny shapes. (as shown above)
  12. Chill in freezer.

Yellow Cake

Ingredients:
1 c. cake flour
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 ⅓  c. sugar
¾ tbsp. baking powder
⅛ tsp. salt
1 c. buttermilk, divided
6 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
3 eggs, room temperature
1 egg yolk
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a bowl of a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Mix until combined.
  3. On low speed, add ¾ c. buttermilk and butter and mix until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, egg yolk, ¼ c. buttermilk, and vanilla extract until homogenous.
  5. On low speed, slowly add the egg mixture to the flour mixture.
  6. Increase speed to medium, and mix until combined.
  7. Spread batter until ¼-½ in. up the loaf pan.
  8. Stack the chilled cake cutouts side by side, horizontally, without any spaces in between.
  9. Place the stacked cake cutouts into the center of the cake pan, carefully making sure no gaps form in between.
  10. Spread rest of the batter into cake pan.
  11. Bake 30-45 minutes until cake is done or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  12. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, and then flip onto a cooling rack until completely cool.

Chocolate Frosting

Ingredients:
⅔ c. all-purpose flour
⅓ c. cocoa powder
1 c. milk
⅛ tsp. salt
8 oz. butter
⅔ c. sugar
8 oz. chocolate, melted and cooled
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a saucier pan, put milk, salt, cocoa powder and flour and whisk until combined on medium heat.
  2. Continuously whisk mixture until thickened to a pudding like consistency.
  3. Once thickened, strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl with a spatula to remove lumps.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the flour mixture and put into the refrigerator until fully cool.
  5. In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the sugar and butter on high speed until fluffy and pale about, 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the chilled flour mixture and continue to whip on high speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is no longer gritty, about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and melted chocolate and mix until combined.
  8. Smooth chocolate frosting over the loaf cake, and place in the freezer

Green Frosting:

Ingredients:
½ c. whole milk
¼ c. flour
⅛ tsp. salt
2 oz. unsalted butter, room temperature
½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. vanilla extract
green gel food coloring

Instructions:

  1. In a saucier pan, put milk, salt and flour and whisk until combined on medium heat.
  2. Continuously whisk mixture until thickened to a pudding like consistency.
  3. Once thickened, strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl with a spatula to remove lumps.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the flour mixture and put into the fridge until fully cool.
  5. In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the sugar and butter on high speed until fluffy and pale about, 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the chilled flour mixture and continue to whip on high speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is no longer gritty, about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.
  8. Add green frosting until desire colored is reached.
  9. Add a thin layer of green frosting to top of cake.
  10. Chill cake in freezer for 3-5 minutes.
  11. Optional: Put the green frosting into a piping bag fitted with the grass frosting tip and pipe grass all over top of chilled cake.
  12.  Garnish top of cake with mini chocolate eggs.

Strawberry Macarons

strawberry macaron 3I cannot think of another cookie that is as beautiful and finicky as the macaron.  The saying goes “beauty is pain”, and this beauty is indeed a pain.  A pain in the butt to make.  Why?  It uses several kitchen tools (which translates to a lot of dishes), needs to dry for over 30 minutes, and after all the meticulous measuring, sifting and baking, you can still fail.

Strawberry Macarons 2Why bother making them then?  Because, when done right a macaron is indeed a beautiful and perfect thing.   The smooth shell that breaks into a moist, airy center might as well be heaven in a cookie.

strawberry macaron 1I must warn you; this is not a cookie that you bake on a whim.  You must premeditate your actions and read through the recipe a few times before taking the dive.  You must weigh out your ingredients,  sift your flour mix, age your egg whites, and I don’t recommend making this on a humid day.  Do I sound bossy?  I just don’t want you to waste your expensive almond flour because those bags aren’t a dime a dozen.  I love you, my readers and best of your luck on your quest!

strawberry macaron 4

Strawberry Macarons

Basic French Macarons
Adapted from Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller, Sebastien Rouxel

Ingredients:
212 g. almond meal
212 g. powdered sugar
172 g. egg whites, divided to 82 g. and 90 g (aged, if possible)
236 g. sugar
158 g. water
pink gel food color
optional: sesame seeds

Instructions:

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In the bowl of your food processor, add the almond meal and powdered sugar and pulse until thoroughly combined.
  3. Sift the mixture over a large mixing bowl, throwing out the lumps as they appear.  Add 82 g. of the egg whites and stir until you get a thick mixture.
  4. In a small pot attached with a candy thermometer, combine the sugar and water over medium heat and boil until the syrup reaches 200˚F.
  5. Once the syrup reaches 200˚F, start whipping the remaining 90 g. in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment on medium speed until soft peaks are reached.
  6. Once the syrup reaches 248 degrees, remove the pot off the burner and slowly pour the syrup down the side of the mixing bowl with the egg whites on medium speed.
  7. Once the egg whites are fully incorporated, increase the speed to medium high until egg whites form glossy, stiff peaks.  Add two drops of the pink gel food color and mix until batter turns a light shade of pink.
  8. Mix a ⅓ of the egg white mix to the almond mixture and stir together until the batter is slightly lighter and less pasty.  From then on, fold in ⅓ of the egg white mixture at a time until the mixture “flows like magma”.  The mixture should be smooth and run thick ribbons off the spatula.
  9. With a pastry bag fitted with a ½ in. plain tip, you can pipe one of two ways:
    1. Pipe 1¼ – 1½ in. rounds (as shown in above photo)
    2. Pipe 1 ¼ – 1 ½ in. triangles that resemble the shape of a strawberry (as shown in above photo)
  10. The piped batter may have peaks but should smooth away in a minute or two.  Let the batter stand until the tops of the macaron batter have dried*, about 30 mins to 1 hour.
  11. Optional: If using sesame seeds, sprinkle it on top about 5 minutes after the batter is piped. (as shown in above photo)
  12. Preheat the oven to 275-325˚F.  If your oven tends to run hot, go for 275˚ if not then 325˚.
  13. Bake 10-13 minutes, until the feet are formed and the tops are smooth.  The batter is done when you slightly wiggle it and it starts to come off of the parchment paper / silicone mat.
  14. Let cool and fill.

For the strawberry macarons, make the strawberry frosting and strawberry puree in my Neapolitan cupcakes post.

Assembly:

  1. On a cooled macaron shell, pipe a circle around the edge with the frosting, leaving the center empty.
  2. Once all of the halves have  a frosting border, chill in the freezer for about 5 minutes until set.
  3. Take out the macarons and fill the center with the strawberry puree. (as shown in above photo)
  4. Optional: you can pipe green frosting on the other half of the macaron shell to imitate leaves.
  5. Top it with another macaron shell.

Macarons taste best after aging.  To age macarons, put assembled macarons in an airtight container and place in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.  They should be perfect for consumption at this point.


*When you lightly touch the macaron shell, it should feel dry and not stick to your finger.

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Neapolitan Cupcakes 1I believe that most of the world is split between two factions: chocolate and vanilla.  You love one more than the other. 
Neapolitan Cupcakes 2But then there is a small cluster of us who like them all: chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.  We stand in front of grocery freezers and ice cream parlors for minutes on end trying to choose.  “They all sound good!”  “I can go for all of them!”  We secretly like having to share with someone who is in the chocolate or vanilla faction just to avoid making a final decision.

Neapolitan Cupcakes 4This cupcake is for us.  You get the fruity tart strawberry with the sweet lightness of vanilla and dark richness of chocolate.  All rolled into one.  No more time wasted on your preference.  Think of the time you’ll save!

Neapolitan Cupcakes

Chocolate Cupcakes
Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients:
1 ¾ c. all-purpose flour
2 c. sugar
¼ c. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
½ c. Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1. tsp. kosher salt
½ c. vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. strong, hot coffee

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 2 muffin pans with cupcake liners (24 cups in total).
  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, both cocoa powders, baking soda, baking powder and salt until fully combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla extract until combined.
  4. With the mixer speed on low, add the egg mixture to the flour mixture until combined.
  5. Turn off the mixer.  With a spatula, scrape the sides of the bowl to fully incorporate the two mixtures.
  6. Turn the mixer on low and slowly add the hot coffee to the batter.  Once added, raise the speed to medium until completely homogenous.
  7. Fill cupcake liners with 2/3 full with batter and bake about 15-20 minutes. Checking at 13 minutes for doneness with a toothpick test.*
  8. Let stand for 5-10 minutes when done, then put onto a cooling rack to fully cool.

Strawberry Puree

Ingredients:
3 cups of strawberries, smashed
1 tsp. lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, cook strawberries and lemon juice on medium heat until mixture thickens and reduces 1/3-1/2 of the original volume, about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Once thickened, put in a bowl to cool and refrigerate.

Basic Vanilla Frosting

Ingredients:
2 c. whole milk
½ c. flour
¼ tsp. salt
1 1b. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

  1. In a saucier pan, put milk, salt and flour and whisk until combined on medium heat.
  2. Continuously whisk mixture until thickened to a pudding like consistency.
  3. Once thickened, strain through a mesh strainer into a bowl with a spatula to remove lumps.
  4. Place a piece of plastic wrap on top of the flour mixture and put into the fridge until fully cool.
  5. In a mixer bowl fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the sugar and butter on high speed until fluffy and pale about, 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add the chilled flour mixture and continue to whip on high speed until the sugar is completely dissolved and the mixture is no longer gritty, about 5-10 minutes.
  7. Add the vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Strawberry Frosting

Ingredients:
1 batch of strawberry puree
⅔ batch of vanilla frosting

Instructions:

  1. Mix vanilla frosting with ½ of strawberry puree until the mixture turns strawberry pink and fluffy.
  2. Give mix a taste and if not flavored enough, add puree ¼ at a time until desired flavor is reached.

* The toothpick test: insert a toothpick into a cupcake and if the toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs clinging to it, it is done.