Tuesday, June 29, 2010

TWD - Rum Drenched Vanilla Cakes

Mmmmmm ..... rum .... This week's Tuesday's with Dorie assignment, Rum Drenched Vanilla Cakes, comes from Wendy of Pink Stripes. You can get the recipe at Pink Stripes or you can find it on pages 226 and 227 of Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours". This cake is super easy to make and comes together in a single bowl! I halved the recipe, also easy to do if you are mathmatically challenged as I am, and got six mini bundt cakes. The batter was smooth as silk and honestly, I would have been perfectly content to sit down with the bowl and eat it with a spoon!

I mentioned previously, that it's strawberry season in these parts so I have an overabundance of berries (22 pounds at one point)! Although the cakes were delicious on their own, I topped mine with strawberries and freshly whipped, lightly sweetened whipped cream. So good!

Please visit the rest of the TWD bakers and see how they did this week.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blueberry Mojito Cupcake - Cupcake Hero

The ingredient for June's Cupcake Hero is blueberries and after much debate and research, I came up with a Blueberry Mojito Cupcake with Ginger-Lime Mascarpone Frosting. I knew I wanted to pair my blueberries with citrus but couldn't decide which one. I also wanted to incorporate ginger into the mix. I considered brushing the finished cupcakes with a ginger simple syrup and not knowing exactly what I was doing - I googled. What does google give me in the number 4 position ... a recipe by Tyler Florence for Blueberry Ginger Mojitos! Blueberries? Check. Citrus? Check. Ginger? Check. Perfect!

I started with the mojito cupcake recipe from Alpineberry which you can find on her blog. This cupcake is moist and delicious and the flavors of the mint and lime marry beautifully. Then I puree'd a pint of fresh blueberry and a few tablespoons of sugar. I found the mixture to be a bit thin, so I added a squeeze of lime and simmered it on the stovetop until I had a lovely blueberry jam. After portioning out the batter into the cupcake pan, I swirled about one tablespoon of jam into the batter and baked them. The Ginger-Lime Mascarpone Frosting was light and fluffy and the perfect topper for the cupcakes.

Dorothy of Kitchen Koala has generously agreed to host this months Cupcake Hero so please visit her blog to see what the other bakers have cooked up this month and to cast your vote for your favorite blueberry cupcake!

Mojito Cupcakes (from Alpineberry)
makes 18 regular cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup mint leaves, loosely packed
3/4 cup whole milk, hot
1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp.
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
grated zest of 2 limes
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp rum (optional)

Preheat to 350F.

Add mint leaves to hot milk. Let steep for 10-15 minutes. Pour milk through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl. Press liquid from mint leaves. Discard leaves and allow milk to cool slightly.

Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter on medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Add sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally.

Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in lime zest, vanilla and rum (if using).

On very low speed, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with milk and ending with flour, mixing until just incorporated.

Fill 18 standard muffin cups half full. Bake until cupcakes spring back when touched, 18-22 minutes. Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.

Ginger-Lime Mascarpone Frosting

8-ounce mascarpone cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
2 to 3 tsp. grated fresh ginger (more or less depending on taste)
zest of 3 limes
juice from 2 limes
pinch of salt
1 cup whipping cream

Combine mascarpone cheese, sugar, ginger, lime zest, lime juice and salt and blend until smooth and creamy. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold whipping cream into mascarpone cheese mixture. Pipe onto cupcakes.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TWD - Raisin Swirl Bread

This week, Susan of Food.Baby picked Raisin Swirl Bread for our baking pleasure. Yeast is not my friend so I'll admit to being pretty intimidated by this week's recipe. All was well in the beginning, I got a nice proof and a good rise. I let my dough rest overnight in the refrigerator and unfortunately, once my dough didn't rise well once it arrived in the bread pan. The bread tasted good but was much denser than I expected. Dorie suggests toasting it for maximum flavor and, as usual, she was spot on.

A cajoled my son, who doesn't eat anything I bake, into trying a piece of toasted raisin bread slathered with butter. His assessment ... he didn't spit it out which is high praise in our household! I'm looking forward to turning this bread into french toast this weekend!

Please visit the rest of the TWD bakers to see how they did with their bread this week.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TWD - Tender Shortcakes

Cathy of The Tortefeasor chose Tender Shortcakes for this weeks Tuesdays with Dorie baking assignment. You can find the recipe on page 423 of Dorie Greenspans "Baking: From My Home to Yours" or on Cathy's blog. This recipe was super easy, wonderfully delicious, and a perfect dessert for spring/summer. The biscuits were huge! I baked 1/2 the recipe and had 6 enourmous biscuits. The dough contains sugar and is sweet enough but I gave my biscuits an additional sprinkle of turbinado sugar just before baking, which gave the tops on fantastic crunch.

Here in Michigan, strawberries are just coming in to season so I was able to use some fresh from the farm berries to top my dessert.

For the topping, I tossed sliced strawberries with some sugar and finely chopped fresh ginger and let it sit for about 10 minutes. The ginger added an unexpected (for me) kick to the berries and was it ever good! I topped the shortcakes with some sweetened whipped cream and I was ready to go. I intended to take just one bite to see how it tasted but I just couldn't stop! The shortcakes are excellent! Dorie says these shortcakes can also be made with poached mango and since Florida mangoes will come into season in about a month, I expect to make these again in July.

Thanks for stopping by and please visit some of the other TWD bloggers to see what they made with this week's recipe selection.