Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chocolate Cupcakes

My friend had a Birthday recently and naturally, there had to some sort of treat involved. I was originally planning on making a chocolate cake, but given that there wasn't going to be that many people at the party, I decided on making cupcakes instead. I've used one recipe for chocolate cake for a while, and while it is delicious, I wanted to try something new. I used the chocolate cake recipe from My Baking Addiction and modified it slightly to make this batch of cupcakes. This recipe baked into cupcakes perfectly and was moist and tasty! Next, I went to the refridgerator to grab some butter to make chocolate butter cream and met an unpleasant surprise; there was no butter. What!? Thankfully we did have cream, which I used to make chocolate ganache. I never loved ganache for frosting cupcakes as it just doesn't hold up nearly as well as buttercream when being piped. The solution to this, I discovered, was to whip the ganache which gives it a bit more body, and it piped perfectly!

The trusty old Kitchen-aid mixer did a great job whipping up the chocolate ganache for the cupcakes!

I received a cake stand for my birthday which fit my small batch of cupcakes just perfectly!

Sprinkles were involved of course!

I made this tag to tie around the base of the cake stand!

Chocolate Cake:
(makes a 1 layer 8" cake or around 12 cupcakes)

1 cup sugar
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup strong black coffee 
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoons vanilla extract

Heat the oven to 350F. Grease a 8" cake pan or line a muffin tin with wrappers. Mix together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer until combined. Add eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for about two minutes; the batter will be thin. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans. Bake 30 to 35 minutes for round pans, 12-15 minutes for cupcakes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Frost with chocolate ganache or a frosting of choice.


- To tell the truth, I don't really have a recipe for chocolate ganache, I usually just guesstimate with a ratio of 1 part cream to 4 parts chocolate.

- It's no problem if you don't have buttermilk: simply add a tablespoon of lemon juice, vinegar, or yogurt to the milk and let it sit for a couple of minutes


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Restaurant Review: The Buttered Tin

Our family received a gift card to a place we had never heard of, The Buttered Tin, around two months ago. We checked out the website, but it was a good 45 minutes away and decided to save it for a time when we were in the area. The website is absolutely wonderful, but simply did not do this lovely cafe/ bakery justice! The moment we walked in, we were glad we had made the trip. The atmosphere was one part cute, with one part cozy, and we actually did't mind the 25 minute wait as we could spend it narrowing down our lunch options and drooling over the pastry case! We went during the lunch rush, so there was a line up, but around 12:30, it cleared out a bit. The Buttered Tin is located in St. Paul, Minnesota, and if you're ever in the area, I'd highly recommend it for breakfast, lunch or a quick pastry. And you guys, the breakfast menu made my jaw drop. From Banana's Foster French Toast to the Loaded Hash Browns, there was something for anyone and everyone!

I ordered the TBT Hash which was root vegetables with potatoes, an egg on top and some toast. It was delicious, and the majority of their meats are sourced locally. Not to mention that the bread was made in house!

My Mom ordered the BLT sandwich complete with a tiny side salad. She really enjoyed it as well, and we will definitely be back soon!

We ordered this caramel roll for dessert and were rewarded by our decision. The caramel roll was everything you could wish for in a caramel roll: gooey, chewy, sticky, soft, and sweet! 

We bought a cupcake for my sister who missed the occasion called a Peanut Butter Blossom, and judging by her facial expressions, it was heavenly! All of their varied cupcake flavours looked adorable in the glass case.