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cupcake heaven

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Are there any chocoholics in the house?! The crowd roared: YEAH!!!! That was my intro to my demo at the Chocolate Show this past weekend. There are so many reasons people love chocolate: the smell, taste, texture, melt in your mouth affect; one audience member shouted: "it makes you happy". OMG, so true!!

At that moment, I knew it was time to skip to the beat of the mixer on stage and get those chocolate peanut butter cupcakes to the crowd as swiftly as possible. Thus, I began my journey of crowd pleasing with conversation, question and answer, a bit of modeling from an audience member and just pure fun. Honestly, I have a blast with the crowd. I just love people. The energy was great, the people were beautiful and the cupcakes were...well, I'll just say the crowd seemed pleased to my eyes. I wanted to continue the chocolate affair by sharing my recipe with you, perhaps you'll be inspired to make it for Turkey Day or another special occasion. Be sure to let me know how it goes!! Happy Chocolidays!!!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1¼ teaspoon coarse salt
¾ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

2¼ cups granulated sugar

1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter

4 large eggs, room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup hot water

1 cup nonfat sour cream, room temperature

Semi-sweet chocolate, melted


1. Preheat oven 350°F. Line muffin pans with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl whisk together cocoa powder and hot water, until smooth.

2. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat; add sugar stirring, until combined. Remove from heat, pour into mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until cooled about 7 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl periodically. Add vanilla extract and cocoa mixture, beat until combined. Reduce speed; add flour mixture alternating with sour cream, ending with flour until just combined.

3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups filling three-quarters full. Bake approximately 20-25 minutes, rotating pans halfway through and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer pans to rack or counter to cool before removing cupcakes.

4. To finish, spread peanut butter frosting and drizzle with melted chocolate.

Peanut Butter Frosting

6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup confectioners’ sugar½ teaspoon salt

1 cup creamy peanut butter½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup heavy cream1.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese, sugar and salt until fluffy. Add peanut butter and vanilla, beat to combine.2.

In a separate bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk heavy cream until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold cream into peanut-butter mixture.

posted by Nicole Friday for the Cupcake Craze

Monday, November 7, 2011

Halloween came early at Whole Foods Bowery Culinary Center on Sunday, October 30th. A few kids came dressed for the occasion. There was a bumble bee, Mortisha Adams (with the skull) and a pirate. The other kids were anxious to wear their costumes on Halloween, the next day. Me too, for that matter. I was going as a 1960's chick. My kids: a boxer and a skeleton. I love Halloween, not sure if my favorite part is playing dress up, because that never grows old or collecting the candy. Hmmm... This year, the kids had pre-Halloween celebration at Whole Foods with all the candy toppings and cupcakes, there was definitely a sugar rush going on. The kids were so excited to help make the frosting and decorate the cupcakes. Some ate while decorating; a few abandoned the decorating idea all together and went for the candy first, then the cupcake. It's always so much fun to have kids cupcake classes, their little minds are completely one track: READY. SET. EAT CUPCAKES!!!!! Gotta love that...

posted by Nicole Friday for the Cupcake Craze
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