Sunday, 17 August 2014

Smore Cupcakes

These are my new favourite cupcakes!!!

I love taking two different desserts, mashing them together to create one bundle of awesome. In this case, the classic campfire treat of Smores is the theme, but it takes shape in form of a cupcake.

Also, any opportunity to use a blow torch in the kitchen is one that should be jumped upon. The potential of lighting cupcake papers on fire is real... and thrilling.


Graham flour and honey flavour the cake part of these cupcakes, reminding us of graham crackers. A semi-sweet chocolate ganache is spooned over, and a marshmallow frosting is whipped together in no time at all to sit all cute and pretty on the very top.

As if that were not enough to achieve the ultimate crowd pleaser, the marshmallow frosting is TOASTED! We are bringing the campfire to our kitchen, people. It feels so great!

 Serve these cuties at a party outdoors on a summer evening, preferably with patio lights and good music. They are serious friend makers. Trust me, I speak from experience.

Smore Cupcakes
Recipe from Martha Stewart (Gotta love her, or at least her cupcakes)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/3 cups graham flour (found it at Community Natural Foods, Bob’s Red Mill brand)
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups (10 ounces) butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/4 cup honey
6 eggs
2 tsp vanilla

Whisk together both flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in honey, then eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients on low speed.
Divide batter into muffin tins... I used mini muffin tins.
Bake at 350 (325 for our oven). I baked the minis for 15 minutes. The original recipe for regular sized cupcakes calls for 25 minutes.

Made about 4.5 dozen mini cupcakes. (recipe makes regular sized cupcakes and claims to yield 2 dozen)

Chocolate Ganache Glaze:

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped (I did 5 oz semisweet, 1 oz bittersweet... because I love me some bittersweet)
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp corn syrup

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and syrup until steamy and hot, but not boiling!
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 or so minutes. Stir slowly with a spatula to gradually combine the two until you have a silky smooth ganache!

Marshmallow Frosting

1 tbsp powdered gelatin
1/3 cup cold water (for gelatin)
1/4 cup water (for pot)
1 cup sugar

In the bowl of a standing mixer, sprinkle the gelatin over the 1/3 cup cold water. Let stand to soften. (about 5 minutes)
Heat the remaining 1/4 cup water with the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar. Once the sugar has dissolved, stop stirring. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pot. Let the sugar bubble and boil until the temperature reaches 238 degrees F - “soft-ball” stage. Remove from the heat, and add to gelatin mixture. Whisk by hand for about one minute to cool slightly. Then use the standing mixer with the whisk attachment and whisk on medium high speed for 8-10 minutes until  soft, glossy white peaks form. Use immediately, as the frosting begins to harden and set quickly.

Cupcake assembly:
 For mini cupcakes, spread about 1 tsp ganache glaze over the tops. Pipe marshmallow frosting with a plain round tip. Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the frosting... just like a marshmallow!!!

HOLY MOLY! These cupcakes are WINNNNERRRSSSS!!


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Hazelnut Gelato


I have only been dreaming of owning my own ice cream machine for years... and now I am finally the proud owner of one! I got this model, and I have used it once. And so far I LOVE IT!


I can't wait to make 198359283745987 different flavours and make homemade ice cream sandwiches... I have quite the line up of bookmarked pages of things to try including this, this and THIS!

My first flavour with this new baby is Hazelnut Gelato, absolutely inspired by my recent trip to Italy. My favourite gelato flavours in Italy were usually hazelnut or coffee. You best believe I will be trying coffee ice cream out soon soon soooooon!


Ice cream takes patience, love and whole milk :)
I am willing to spare all of these.

Hazelnut Gelato
Recipe from Rocco DiSpirito

Note: This recipe only makes a very small amount... but I thought that was okay for my first batch! Plus I know I will be wanting to try out other flavours like IMMEDIATELY.

This recipe tasted good, although I must admit that it seemed to take a lot of effort and produce not very much. But I am far too excited not to share my first creation!! MANY MORE TO COME :)

4 ounces hazelnuts, toasted and skinned (a little bit of skin left on is okay. for my standards at least!)
1 1/4 cups whole milk
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp granulated sugar

In a food processor, whiz up the hazelnuts to fine crumbs and then keep on processing until they turn into a paste. You just made hazelnut butter! What what!
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the milk until hot and small bubbles form around the outside, but not boiling. Remove from the heat and stir in the hazelnut paste until thouroghly combined. Set mixture aside and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, strain through a fine mesh strainer. Wash out the strainer, discarding any solids. Strain the mixture again, but this time line the strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth to make the mixture even smoother.

In another bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until foamy. Whisking constantly, slowly pour in the hazelnut-milk, a little at a time, until completely combined. Place the custard mixture over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly over medium heat for about 4 minutes, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let the mixture cool completely, and cool it in the fridge for at least a few hours until it is really cold. (this will speed up the churning process)

Follow the instructions on your ice cream machine... and voila! Homemade Hazelnut Gelato! YOU'RE A WIZARD!