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Archive for January 21st, 2011

Along with the red velvet mini cupcakes I also made Fudge Brownie Bites for a talent show taking  place this evening at my son’s school.  While this sounds complex, it really isn’t.  It just has to be done in stages.

First step is making the fudge. A simple recipe on how to make it is as follows:

STEP 1: Mint Chocolate Fudge

1 1/2 packages semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

3 cups of sugar

2/3 cups evaporated milk

1 jar marshmallow cream  (you can also make your own marshmallow cream, but I’ll post that recipe later)

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp peppermint extract

1 1/2 stick butter

In large skillet melt your butter, sugar and milk and bring to boil over medium heat.  Stir constantly to be sure the mixture doesn’t burn.  At boiling point, reduce heat and cook for an additional five minutes still stirring constantly.  Remove from heat and add marshmallow creme and chocolate chips.  Whisk mixture until the chocolate and marshmallow mix melts in fully.  Add the vanilla and extract and mix again.  Transfer entire mixture to Pam sprayed or butter lined pans and let set at room temperature for four hours or until set.  At this point you can cut into square or using a melon ball or spoon form into balls.

To make these brownies you need to use the melon ball or spoon method and form into small balls roughly the size of small marbles.  Prepare the amount you need of fudge balls and set aside as you start next step.

STEP 2: Fudge Brownie Recipe

(This recipe is actually from Taste of Home and one of the best fudge brownie recipes I’ve made.)

1 1/3 cup all purpose flour

2 cups sugar

3/4 cup Hershey’s cocoa

1 tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2/3 cups vegetable oil

4 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional.)

In bowl combine first six ingredients, then in another bowl combine oil, eggs and vanilla.  Add wet to dry ingredients and mix, be careful to not over mix.

Step 3:   Make the actual Brownies

Take the balls of fudge and place them in the center of your cupcake paper holders.  Then using a table spoon, measuring cup or squeeze bottle fill the remaining holder 2/3 full of brownie batter.

Bake the cupcakes in oven at 350 degrees.  Mini cupcakes = 13-15 minutes.  Regular cupcakes = 23-25 minutes.

Step 4:  Dark Chocolate Ganache Frosting

12 oz dark chocolate chopped into bits.

1 cup heavy cream

Put your chocolate pieces in bowl and heat your cream on medium high until it comes to a boil.  Remove cream from heat and immediately add to the chocolate bits whisking until all chocolate is melted and glossy.  Allow ganache to cool before pouring over cupcakes as a glaze.  The longer it sets the thicker it will set.   To frost cupcakes I use a teaspoon to drizzle ganache in center then use the back of spoon to “smear” to coat.

Step 5: Finished touches

Once your ganache has set, you can choose to decorate with piped frosting, sprinkle with confectioner sugar or cocoa powder, or pretty much decorate in any fashion you desire.  I chose a simple sprinkle of cocoa powder.

That’s it, simple stages to produce a delicious result.

 

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My son has a birthday coming up this weekend and for his “theme” he requested dragons.  I came upon these extremely cute figurines and could not resist a mythological theme, after all dragons fall under that theme right? I also liked the idea of each child being able to take one of the figurines home with them.

A recipe for Red Velvet Cake I had written down from Food Network some time past aided in my decisions. My son is not the huge fan of chocolate I am, and I could not bring myself to just do a plain white or yellow cake again this year.

For the “take it to school and share” I chose to do mini cupcakes , while for the actual party I chose to do  full size cupcakes to hold the figurines and candles.  I hope the kids like it, though I’m pretty sure if it tastes good and has sugar in it, they won’t care.

Red Velvet Cupcakes or Cake (Yield 24 full size cupcakes, 48 mini cupcakes)

2 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cocoa powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups oil  (I chose extra virgin olive oil, vegetable is also fine)

1 cup buttermilk , room temperature

3 lg eggs, room temperature

3 tbsp red food coloring

1 tsp white vinegar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit ( 176 Cel.).  Prepare your cupcake cups.

In large bowl, add flour, sugar, baking soda, salt and cocoa powder.  In second bowl combine oil, buttermilk, egg, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla. Whisk liquids together well.

Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients in mixer (or by hand with whisk).  You want to just combine and make into a smooth batter without over beating.

Divide the batter between your cupcake holders.

Bake mini cupcakes 13-15 minutes, regular cupcakes 20-25 minutes.  Test with toothpick.

Remove cupcakes immediately from pan to wire rack and let cool before frosting.

 

Buttercream Frosting.

2 sticks butter, softened (Do NOT use margarine)

3/4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

1 tbsp vanilla extract

3-4 tbsp half and half

Beat butter with mixer at medium speed for few minutes before reducing speed to low and adding powdered sugar.  Beat at low until sugar is well mixed into the butter.  Increase speed back to medium and add your vanilla and 2 tbsp of half and half.  Beat 3-4 minutes.

For thicker frosting, add more powdered sugar,  for thinner more half and half until you get consistency you desire.

 

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