Posts filed under 'Fruit'
Good Golly Miss Holly Cupcake – fudgy brownie cupcake frosted with shiny chocolate glaze and decorated with chocolate candy gift box and silver and gold dragees. Price available upon request.
inspired by Tiffany; necklace not included!
I was making some chocolate truffle gift box candies when I noticed the similarity of the candy box to the famed Tiffany jewelry box. I thought it would make a great cupcake topper. I call this cupcake “Good Golly Miss Holly” after the character Holly Golightly from the book and film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. I haven’t read the book nor seen the movie but I know that the opening scene of the film shows Holly (as played by Audrey Hepburn) alighting from a cab in front of Tiffany and Co. jewelry store in Manhattan’s 5th Ave. Holly eats a pastry and drinks coffee while looking through the window display. Is this the title’s explanation?
My cake base is actually a brownie in cupcake form, crusty on the sides and soft and very fudgy in the middle. More chocolate, less flour. I am very partial to ganache and chocolate on chocolate is always a winning combination so I frosted the cupcake with ganache. I also sprinkled some silver and gold dragees to represent the “jewels.”
This cupcake is perfect for bridal showers, debuts, or for girls who adore jewelry. For men out there who want to impress, a box of these cupcakes and a box of Tiffany jewelry will surely endear you to your lady love.
As for the Loving Heart Tiffany necklace in the above photo, it is one of my cherished possessions and therefore does not come with the cupcake!
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bring on the (cupcake) war!
Who knew that the term “cupcake wars” will be taken so seriously by two Utah cupcakeries? The cupcake in dispute is a Breakfast at Tiffany’s-inspired cupcake. One baker accused another of trade dress infringement (translation: copycatting). You can read the details here. Reminds me of the lawsuit filed years ago by San Miguel Corp. against Asia Brewery regarding the “suspicious” similarities between one established beer and a market newcomer.
So much for the idea that cupcakes bring happiness!
July 5th, 2010
Runner’s Treat Cupcake – soft and springy chocolate banana cupcake frosted with peanut butter ganache and topped with a colorful running shoe chocolate candy. Price available upon request.
Just as I was cranking my training up a notch to improve my 5-K PR, my knee pain recurred. For a beginner runner like me, getting injured in the early stages of training is frustrating. But then again, for runners of all types—elite marathoners or just weekend warriors—being sidelined is akin to torture.
What do I do now in the interim? Knee strengthening exercises are in order. And of course, I now have the perfect chance to complete my runner’s cupcake that I planned on making. As I mentioned before, I wanted something with cocoa, milk and bananas which are all power foods for runners. The recipe called for vegetable oil but I really dislike its taste in baked goods (except for chiffon cakes where oil is an essential ingredient) so this time around, I used melted unsalted butter. It didn’t affect the texture of the baked cupcake and it definitely tasted better, although my niece K._ said that regardless of the fat used, the cupcake taste “sooo good.”
I bought the running shoes chocolate mold online and when I got them in the mail, I was really, really excited. Now I can create a near replica of my own running shoes in chocolate form and I get to eat them! How cool is that?
The cupcake has a certain lightness and springiness to it, which what I was also aiming for. You know you are running in proper form when your feet are quick and light and springy, like popping off the ground.
The chocolate peanut butter ganache (I used reduced-fat Skippy peanut butter) wasn’t too overwhelming after all. I am also thinking of replacing the all-purpose flour with the whole wheat version to add fiber and make the cupcake healthier.
Overall, I am very pleased with this cupcake. It has the right texture, superb flavor, and a cute and very appropriate topper. Truly a great reward to have after an exhausting but exhilarating run. A word of caution: running or exercising does not necessarily give you the license to overindulge because you believe you can burn off the extra calories during your workouts. You still have to eat healthy but it’s ok to have a “sinful” reward—like this cupcake!— once in a while.
By the way, I improved my 5-K results with a time of 33:21 in the Asian Hospital-sponsored Runew 2010 last May 2. I was gearing up for a sub-30 minutes for my next race but as injury struck, I have to take time off. I miss running already but if I want to run for the long term, I need to allow my body to fully recover. I know it will take a while but it’s all about keeping perspective. In the meantime, there are more cupcake flavors to try, more decorations to think of and more baking projects to fulfill. This temporary layoff has its upside after all.
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So what are the power foods in this cupcake and how important are they to a runner’s body?
•Unsweetened cocoa powder – rich in flavonoids which are antioxidants that reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. They also protect skin against sun damage and lower blood levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation. Cocoa powder has no added sugar and has less saturated fact than dark chocolate.
•Skim milk – according to a 2009 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, drinking fat-free milk at breakfast significantly reduces the number of calories eaten at lunch and also leads to feeling more satisfied.
•Banana – supplies carbs as well as potassium, which runners lose through sweating; potassium also help regulate muscle contraction and prevent cramping. Bananas are also good as pre-run food because they’re unlikely to cause gastrointestinal issues.
•Peanut butter - great for runners who are trying to lose weight. The protein and fiber in peanut butter helps you feel full. It is also a source of protein, needed to build and repair muscles damaged during training.
*sources – Runner’s World, About.com
June 9th, 2010
don’t hate me because i love fruitcake!
Odd as it may seem, I am among the minority who love fruitcake. I can empathize with the fruitcake loathers because I have tasted some bad ones myself. But the recipe that my mother got from a former neighbor Mrs. L._ (who have since passed away, God bless her soul) has become a family favorite. Mrs. L._’s fruitcake is neither dry nor brick-like, it’s not overly stuffed with candied peels and nuts and the melding of spices and spirit is nicely balanced. It is heady and moist and utterly delectable. If one uses the best ingredients, there is no reason for a fruitcake to taste like cardboard.
While I was clearing our ref a few days ago for some space to store cupcakes I made for a wedding project, I chanced upon this fruitcake that I had baked a year ago. It was part of a batch I made for my friend M._ who asked me to bake one for her fruitcake-loving husband. To my delight, it was still moist! And it tasted just as it did when it was freshly baked, only better—divine!
Happy new year everyone!
January 3rd, 2010
Atis Delight Cupcake -soft cupcake with the distinctive sweet taste of ripe atis (sugar apple) and bits of fresh atis pulp. Frosted with plump dots of slightly sweetened whipped cream. Price available upon request.
the (sweet) fruit of my labor
I finally did it! An atis cupcake that has real atis flavor. I am very proud of this creation because a lot of my friends were intrigued when I told them about this project. Atis in a cupcake? Bacon in a cupcake sounds stranger to me! This cupcake perfectly captures the distinctive sweet taste of atis and it smells like one, too. My good friend D._ said biting into a chunk of atis pulp (deseeded, of course) was a delicious surprise. The cupcake also has a nice pinkish tinge.
I was inspired to create this cupcake after reading about a popular avocado cake being sold somewhere in Manila that has garnered rave reviews. I thought it was a great idea but one made with atis might be even better. Besides, I have easy access to the fruit as we have a prolific atis tree in our backyard. And they are nothing like the puny, blackened, sorry little things available in the market or grocery stores.
Although we eat atis fresh from our tree, we cannot have the fruits on demand. There is the usual waiting game and sometimes we play this game with the birds and bats that also feast on the fruits even if they aren’t ripe yet. I thought of freezing the pulp so whenever I need some (for the cupcakes) I can just reach for my stash in the freezer. So I put some deseeded, pre-measured pulp in a ziplock bag, pressed the air out and stored it in the freezer. After a week, I used the thawed pulp in the cupcakes. It worked wonderfully well and was as good as fresh.
I would rank this as one of my favorite cupcakes because of its unique, incomparable flavor and light texture. And hey, atis is one of my favorite fruits as well!
September 30th, 2009
Citrusy Sunflower Cupcakes – soft cupcakes flavored with freshly squeezed orange and lemon juices and crunchy poppy seeds. Iced with semisweet chocolate glaze and decorated with marshmallow petals dipped in yellow sugar. With a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips in the center. Price available upon request.
more flavors to come!
It slipped my mind that this blog just turned a year old this August. Wow. And I thought I would have ran out of cupcake ideas within a year’s time. The truth is, I have a growing list of cupcake flavors that I want to try. One of my recent successful experiments was the atis (sugar apple) cupcake. I am still improving on it though and I still haven’t thought of an appropriate frosting so stay tuned. My niece M._, the middle of our family’s tres Marias, also requested a ginger cupcake so this flavor is in the queue as well.
I have been working on citrus flavors lately. I was happy with my orange cupcake and calamansi cupcake. Next up, the tried and tested orange and lemon combo.
Most of the recipes for citrus cakes call for poppy seeds so I decided I want those in these cupcakes as well. I just didn’t know where to get them. The bakery supply store I go to has stopped stocking it. What to do, what to do? Since my search was becoming futile by the day, I put this project in the back burner and started on other flavors in my list. After several months or so, I chanced upon a blog that mentioned that poppy seeds are available at Santis Deli—wonderful!
I used my orange cupcake recipe (an iteration of a sour cream cupcake that I have been using to create other flavors as well), replacing half of the orange juice and zest with lemon juice and zest. While the baked cupcakes were flavorful and moist, they didn’t rise as much. I never had this problem with the orange cupcake so I was bewildered. What worked after several tests was an adjustment in the amount of baking soda—I doubled it. For the chocolate glaze on top, I used semisweet chocolate which perfectly complemented the citrus flavor of the cupcake.
I could not find any yellow marshmallows to make the sunflower petals so I just dipped the white ones in yellow sugar crystals. A better alternative I should say as the sugar added a nice sparkle and shine to the “flower.” If you don’t have any colored sugar on hand but have food coloring, you can make your own. Put enough sugar in a small, clear plastic bag such as a ziplock bag and add small drops of food color (liquid or gel are fine). Seal the bag and massage the sugar until the color evens out. I thought of using chocolate sprinkles in the center to resemble the sunflower seeds but the mini chocolate chips look better and taste better.
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the poppy seed drug test
Hold that poppy seed bagel if you are applying for a job or a driver’s license and have a scheduled drug test coming up. That inocuous treat can show up in the test as—gasp!—morphine.
Poppy seeds used in culinary dishes come from Papaver somniferum, aka the opium poppy. Yes, it is the same plant from which opium is extracted. Although opium is produced by “milking” the seed pods rather than the seeds, all parts of the plant can still contain opium alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. Therefore, if you still insist on eating that poppy seed bagel prior to your urinalysis, it can result to a false positive. In the US people have been fired, job applicants rejected and lawsuits filed because of poppy seed influenced-drug test results. To weed out the false positives, the test threshold for morphine and codeine have been raised from 300 nanograms (ng)/milliliter (mL) to 2,000 ng/mL. I just don’t know if these problems have been encountered here in the Philippines. Probably not as poppy seeds-studded food are not exactly staples here.
Wait, since the seeds have traces of opium alkaloids, can that poppy seed-covered bagel make you high? No. The seeds have very low level of opiates and because they are contained in food, there is no danger of you suddenly bursting into a giggling frenzy even if you eat a whole poppy seed cake.
Sources: The Straight Dope, Wikipedia, Snopes.com
September 6th, 2009