Pink grapefruit cupcakes filled with grapefruit curd

4 Apr

Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes with grapefruit curd

Happy Spring! It’s Spring … right? Well, to celebrate the slow start of Spring in the Mid-Atlantic, I decided to craft a pink grapefruit cupcake recipe for today. I really enjoy grapefruit juice, and have wanted to make a grapefruit cupcake for ages. I even purchased a natural grapefruit extract to help me punch up the flavor.

Citrus curds are also one of my favorite things to make … and eat. I hunted around a bit to find a good grapefruit curd recipe, because I didn’t think switching in grapefruit juice for lemon juice would be wise (I wasn’t sure how sour it would be). I found the following recipe on Serious Eats—I halved it, and skipped the vanilla, and am pretty pleased with the outcome.

Grapefruit curd

I thought about making a honey buttercream, but I know in the past the flavors have been very bold (which is nice). Because this was my first time working with grapefruit, I didn’t want to overshadow it with honey, hence the triple grapefruit combo of cake, filling and frosting.

Grapefruit cupcakes filled with grapefruit curd

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

Grapefruit Cupcake Ingredients
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tbsp grapefruit zest
4 eggs
1 cup milk
4 tsp grapefruit extract

Grapefruit Curd Ingredients
1/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp grapefruit zest
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

Grapefruit Buttercream Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 tbsp grapefruit extract
1 tbsp milk (as needed for texture)

Directions

Make the grapefruit curd first so it has time to set.

In a large metal mixing bowl, massage the zest into the sugar with a large spoon (or your hands!) until fragrant.

Whisk in the eggs and egg yolks.

Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water to make a bain marie and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the bowl.

Stir the curd for approximately 30 seconds until the sugar dissolves. Add the grapefruit and lemon juices.

Stir the curd continually for 12-15 minutes until it reaches roughly 170-180 degrees Fahrenheit on the thermometer.

Take the curd off the heat, and position a fine mesh sieve over a bowl.

Pour the curd through the sieve, using a flexible spatula to press it through, holding back the zest and any cooked egg. Discard.

Add the butter and stir until melted.

Let the curd cool and refrigerate until ready to serve. [Please note: this curd must be refrigerated ... it is not shelf stable].

For the cupcakes, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and position the racks toward the center. Line pans with cupcake papers.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and gently mix to combine. Set aside.

Add the grapefruit zest to the sugar and stir until fragrant. Add the butter.

Cream the butter with the sugar, beating until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, mixing to combine.

Alternate the dry ingredients and milk, and mix until combined.

Add the grapefruit extract.

Divide the batter between 24 wrappers in the cupcake tins and bake for 20-24 minutes.

Cool completely before coring and filling with grapefruit curd.

For the frosting, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add a 1/2 cup of confectioners sugar and mix to combine.

Add the grapefruit extract, and gradually add the remaining confectioners sugar. Whip until light and fluffy. Add the milk if the texture needs to be evened out.

Fit a bag with an extra large star tip and pipe the frosting on top of the cored and filled cupcakes.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com/2014/04/pink-grapefruit-cupcakes-filled-with-grapefruit-curd/

Orange and cacao nib shortbread

2 Apr

Orange and cacao nib shortbread

Another shortbread recipe to delight your senses! Two weeks ago I shared my beloved kalamata olive and black pepper shortbread recipe, and here is another variation on the cookie.

I was gifted organic cacao nibs by a foodie friend, and the shortbread was the perfect place to use them. I gave them a few light pulses in the food processor to make sure they weren’t too chunky (want to keep these cookies delicate), and then because I love citrus and chocolate so much, I added orange zest to the mix.

Now, cacao nibs are not the same as chocolate … they’re definitely not as sweet, but I think they really work in this shortbread. They keep things sophisticated, and I’m always a fan of a classy cookie.

Orange and cacao nib shortbread

Yield: Approximately 60 shortbread bites

Ingredients

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsp sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup chopped cacao nibs
Zest of 1 orange

Directions

Prepare the dough ahead of time, because it will need to chill for at least 1 hour before you shape the shortbread, though I suggest 12-24 hours if you're especially busy.

Sift flour, baking soda, and salt into a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.

Add egg yolk and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure an even mixture.

Slow add in the dry ingredients at a medium-low speed.

Fold in the cacao nibs and orange zest.

The shortbread dough should be fairly easy to handle, but if it's a little sticky you can dust your hands with flour before handling.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it gently to bring it together.

Divide into two portions and roll them both into logs, about 1.5-inches in diameter. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After chilling your dough logs thoroughly, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking silicone.

Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap, and use a sharp knife to slice the bites into rounds, about 1/4-inch thick.

Place the shortbread bites onto the baking sheets, with at least an inch in-between each one.

Chill the full baking sheets in the freezer for 5 minutes (this will help keep them from spreading too much).

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. (If baking two trays at once, make sure you switch the top and bottom trays around half way through the baking time)

Leave the shortbread on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to cool and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com/2014/04/orange-and-cacao-nib-shortbread/

Keeping it simple with salted caramel corn

28 Mar

Salted Caramel Corn

 

I’ve been on a caramel corn making kick, and figured it would be good to share this salted caramel corn recipe with you, since my habanero caramel corn recipe might be a bit intimidating (or the heat might just plain turn you off).

Since starting out, I’ve made a couple small changes to my process. First, no more canola oil. I prefer olive oil for popping popcorn, and it’s what I have readily available. Second, you don’t need to let caramel corn cool for much longer than 5-10 minutes—it cools quickly!

Are there other caramel corn flavors you’d like to see me experiment with? Let me know!

Keeping it simple with salted caramel corn

Yield: Approximately 20 oz of caramel corn

Ingredients

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp molasses
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp vanilla

Directions

Heat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large dutch oven, combine the olive oil and popcorn kernels over medium high heat. Put the lid on, and pop, shaking the pot from time to time. When the popping stops, remove the popcorn from the heat.

Sort through the popcorn, removing the unpopped kernels. Return the popcorn to the dutch oven, and set aside.

To make the caramel, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Once melted, add the brown sugar and continue stirring until the sugar dissolves.

Add the molasses, then turn the heat up and boil the caramel for 2-3 minutes until a deep amber.

Stir in the salt, then add the baking soda, stirring until dissolved (the mixture will bubble up and lighten in color).

Add the vanilla, but be careful. The caramel will sputter when a liquid is added. Stir to combine.

Pour the caramel over the popcorn in the dutch oven and stir to coat.

Pour the caramel corn onto the parchment paper, spread out, and place in the oven.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes, stirring the popcorn every 15 minutes.

Once done baking, cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes before enjoying. Store in an air tight container to keep the popcorn fresh.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com/2014/03/keeping-it-simple-with-salted-caramel-corn/

Kalamata olive savory shortbread bites

21 Mar

Kalamata olive savory shortbread bites

I love kalamata olives. I can eat them straight from the jar, daintily spitting out their pits as I reach for the next one. This amuses Ray.

I came across this recipe for savory shortbread a couple of months ago, and decided that I would divide the base dough (without olives or pepper) into 3 portions, adding a new mix-in to each. Essentially, why have 60 shortbread bites of ONE flavor when you can have THREE?

Well, of that experiment, I found 2 winners, one being the kalamata olive and black pepper. These are the perfect bites to put out as appetizers … they stand on their own, or can be accompanied by jam or cheese. And I love how they melt into your mouth with their buttery and salty goodness. Yummmmm.

Definitely give yourself time to make these. My best results come from letting the dough chill at least 12-24 hours. This works well when you don’t have a lot of time: you can make the dough and shape the logs one night, and then bake them the next.

Another quick note: because the recipe calls for a single egg, it’s pretty hard to scale down. My advice if you don’t need 60 shortbread cookies of ANY flavor:

• Make the base dough and flavor it with all your add ins, or divide the base dough and flavor with different add-ins per portion;
• Decide what you’ll be baking now, wrap well, label, and chill in the fridge.
• Take the remaining dough portion(s), wrap twice (nice and tight…don’t want air getting in), label and tuck into the freezer for later.
When you’re ready to break out your shortbread reserves from the freezer, simply take the portion out, unwrap, slice, and bake … you’ll just need to add 1-2 minutes onto the baking time.
Now you have NO excuse for never having shortbread around the house!

Kalamata olive and black pepper savory shortbread bites

Yield: Approximately 60 shortbread bites

Ingredients

Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
4 tbsp sugar
1 large egg yolk
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
1/3 cup well-drained, pitted and finely minced kalamata olives

Directions

Prepare the dough ahead of time, because it will need to chill for at least 1 hour before you shape the shortbread bites.

Sift flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl. Stir in the pepper and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 3 mins.

Add egg yolk and beat to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure an even mixture.

Slow add in the dry ingredients at a medium-low speed.

Fold in the minced olives.

The shortbread dough should be fairly easy to handle, but if it's a little sticky you can dust your hands with flour before handling.

Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and pat it gently to bring it together.

Divide into two portions and roll them both into logs, about 1.5-inches in diameter. Wrap well in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

After chilling your dough logs thoroughly, heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking silicone.

Remove dough from the fridge, unwrap, and use a sharp knife to slice the bites into rounds, about 1/4-inch thick.

Place the shortbread bites onto the baking sheets, with at least an inch in-between each one.

Chill the full baking sheets in the freezer for 5 minutes (this will help keep them from spreading too much).

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. (If baking two trays at once, make sure you switch the top and bottom trays around half way through the baking time)

Leave the shortbread bites on the baking sheet for 5 minutes to cool and then carefully transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://www.cupcakefridayproject.com/2014/03/kalamata-olive-savory-shortbread-bites/

Tradestone Confections to be featured at 2014 Food for Thought

18 Mar

Tradestone Confections

Get your tastebuds ready … Chip Roman (Blackfish, Mica) and Fred Ortega of Tradestone Confections will be bringing some of their signature confections to ACHIEVEability’s 2014 Food for Thought on March 22.

The two chefs are responsible for handcrafting artisan chocolates, delicious confections and gourmet goodies, including signature bon bons and palets, classic truffles, caramels, barks, pate de fruits, macarons and more.

For Food for Thought this year, there will be an array of chocolates available for sampling, including chocolate truffles, earl grey tea bon bons, and chocolate covered caramels. Have you gotten your ticket yet??! You don’t want to miss out on such treats, as well as all the other amazing foods to sample that night.

Tradestone Confections is based out of Conshohocken, Pa., and can be found at Roman and Ortega’s storefront—Tradestone Cafe,  117 Fayette St., Conshohocken—as well as at Night Kitchen Bakery in Chestnut Hill, High Point Cafe in Mt. Airy, and Green Aisle Grocery in South Philadelphia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 pie recipes for Pi Day!

14 Mar

Pie recipes from Cupcake Friday Project

Happy Pi Day! And to celebrate, I have 6 recipes to share with you, as well as a couple books you should pick up if you’re an avid pie baker.

From my personal recipe collection:
Caramel apple pecan praline pie
Cherry cheese pie
Peach praline pie

Pie recipes from Pinterest

Clockwise from the upper left: Apple cider cream pie, apple pie with Biscoff crust, and salted chocolate pecan pie

From my Pinterest board:
Apple cider cream pie
Apple pie with Biscoff crust
Salted chocolate pecan pie

And here are two amazing pie books :

Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book

We own The Four & Twenty Blackbirds Pie Book and it’s stunning. I’ve taken some inspiration for flavors from the book, but should really sit down with it and bake off some of their recipes.

First Prize Pies

I’ve been a fan of Allison Kave ever since I discovered Butter & Scotch, and First Prize Pies is definitely on my Amazon wishlist!