Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cupcakes of Magical Goodness

For Clay's birthday a few weeks ago Andrea made the awesome Oreo cake and I made the kiddie cupcakes. I wanted to make something similar to the old Hostess Cupcakes (but yummier). Plus, I had never filled a cupcake and wanted to try that, too. It was a success.
For the cake I used one of my Grandma's recipes. I filled the cupcakes with a mixture of marshmallow cream and whipped cream, and I frosted them with a chocolate ganache.
I made these last week with a cake mix and they weren't as awesome, but still good.

Preheat oven to 350.
In a saucepan combine and heat to a low boil:
2 sticks butter
4T cocoa
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Add to:
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda

Then add:
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

For the cake you bake it 25 mins at 350. I think I baked the cupcakes about 18 minutes.

Ganache (estimates):
3/4 cup cream*
8 oz chocolate (I used semisweet, but you could use milk or dark)
1 teaspoon corn syrup
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon butter

Put your chocolate, corn syrup, and butter in a bowl. Heat the cream until almost boiling and pour on chocolate. After a few minutes, stir to combine. It will be smooth and beautiful. Let it sit around for a while to thicken up. You could make this while the cupcakes are cooking and it should be good by the time you needed to frost them.
*I have used half and half, and even whole milk before... you know cream will taste better, though.

Use about 1/2 cup of whipping cream to make 1 cup whipped cream. I didn't sweeten it at all. Add to about 1/2 a container of marshmallow cream and mix. You want about half whipped cream and half marshmallow cream. Put this mixture in a ziplock bag and cut the corner of the bag off to make a mock pastry bag.

When the cupcakes are cooled, cut little cones out of the top, much like carving a jack-o-lantern. Cut off the point of the cone, so you are left with a little cake lid. This will leave space for you to fill the cupcakes with cream. You can also dig a little more cupcake out if you want more cream. I did. Fill the cupcakes with the cream mixture and put the tops back on. Stick in the fridge for a while and it will help to cement the lid to the cream.

Ice the cupcakes with a knife. I tried dipping them and it didn't work.
If you want to make the white swirls on the top, mix 1/2 - 1 T milk with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Get a good consistency - not too thin, and swirl away. You could use a decorators tip or just cut a tiny corner off a bag. The tip will look better, though.

If you have any left after a day you should store them in the fridge. If you're feeling a little naughty, put a cupcake in the microwave for exactly 8 seconds. The creamy center will melt a little and so will the ganache. When you bite in to the chocolaty goodness it will blow you away. You'll feel like you need to go confess you sins, but you don't. It's just a cupcake.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Preschool Musical

I love how Sesame Street caters to parents, too. They have great spoofs on Law and Order and 30 Rock, but I love how they make fun of Highschool Musical here!

Here's a better quality version, but it's shorter.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Fetish Friday

I know the economy is bad and money is tight right now. But, if you have a special event coming up these would really make a statement. Just zoom in and check out all the beautiful detail!
Manolo Blahnik's Putziba. $1,195 at Barney's.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cute Cook

How cute is this apron?
It beats my manly Central Market Grilling apron by a mile. There are a couple problems, though: It might be hard to cook in red heels, and something this cute requires cute shoes or at least a nice pedicure. Second, it's so cute, I might be afraid to cook in it.
$42 at Cupcake Swirl.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Finally I got junk mail worth reading! Do you ever wrap yourself up in a blanket only to discover that you've lost your hands? Well, here's the answer you've been looking for! Never again will you be forced to watch crappy commercials because your remote is trapped under the blanket. Now you've got Snuggie! It's the blanket with sleeves!
Or you could just get a sweatshirt...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Fetish Friday

The holiday season is upon us, which means you will probably have to attend at least one snazzy party. Perhaps Donora by Jessica Simpson will look cute with that hot little number you are wearing. They are currently on sale for $54 at Dillards.
Have a great time at the party!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

going back to brown

I'm going in tomorrow to get my hair colored. The plan is to get brown lowlights, so I can still keep some of the blonde. Then next time I will go all brown. The lady that made me blonde said I should go this route because it will hurt my heart to go from blonde to brown all the sudden. At first I thought she was crazy, but I have grown to love the blonde - just not the roots.

BUT, is this going to look stupid? Should I just go all brown?

Comments? Concerns?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gear Grove

Ben entered a contest with the Downtown Austin Alliance for bike rack designs on Congress Ave. Ben won and he will build his Gear Grove in front of the art museum. If you know where a guy can get hold of a bazillion bike gears let us know.
You can read about it here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Fetish Friday

Hi. I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Kicky. She's from Calvin Klein and she's made of beautiful dark brown leather, but she also comes in black suede.
It's hard for me to find a tall boot that I like, and I really like this one. The gathers on the front make for some nice detail and I also like the shape of the toe. The heel is a little thin, which will make it harder to walk in, but not too hard.
You could wear these Calvins with your other Calvins and cause quite a stir.
Kicky can be yours for $180.