Heavenly Yet Beautiful Cupcakes

Starting my own cupcake company was a thrill and I learn so much. But I yearned for the calm of taking my time to create perfect little decorations and unique flavor combinations. After selling my business, I decided to focus on teaching my craft. I hope this site will inspire you to create and indulge in one of the best and most satisfying desserts...the cupcake.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Eliminate....everything you love

As all of you know, I am a new Mom. And when my little man joined the world I decided to go with what I have been hearing: Breast is best. Now, I'm sure that some women give birth and instantly can breast feed. Not for me. I had to wait and wait for my tatas to get cranking. After that ordeal was over and everything was "flowing" nicely, my little on started to show signs of food allergies. I had never thought that babies could react to their own mother's milk. But as I learned, they certainly can. So my pediatrician started asking me to eliminate food groups from my diet in order to stop the react my little one was experiencing. The first to go was dairy. So no butter, milk, yogurt, cheese (that one was tough) and cream. That didn't do it. So then he took out wheat and anything with gluten. So there went bread, pasta, muffins, crackers, cereals and my beloved cupcakes. You would think that that would of done it. Nope. Next came eggs. This was by far the hardest thing to give up as I use eggs as a protein for breakfast. Then he stripped out peanuts, soy and any nut that grows on a tree. And yet, with all those foods out of my diet, my little man still had issues. So they finally took out corn (corn syrup too...which by the way, is in everything!!!) and shellfish. And yes, my baby still showed allergy symptoms. So they decided to test him. I kind of wished they would of done that at the beginning instead of stripping me of pretty much everything I enjoyed.
The only benefit to all these eliminations is that I'm only 15 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight. Yoohoo! But man oh man do I miss my cupcakes.
I decided not to be a victim about the whole thing. I became so determined to figure out how to make things I loved to eat without all the products I couldn't have. Atleast until we get the test results back.
My first item was my favorite breakfast dish: PANCAKES.
It took me a couple of tries. But I now make absolutely delicious dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free and gluten-free pancakes. I thought I would share my recipe because I know that there are many women going through elimination diets because their infant has allergies and that there are kids out there that have severe food sensitivities.
Next will be a dairy-free, egg-free, wheat-free, gluten-free cupcake recipe.

1 cup Wheat Free/Gluten-Free Pancake mix (available at Whole Foods)
1 tablespoon Canola Oil
1 teaspoon Ener-G (egg substitute found at health food stores)
1 cup Rice Dream Milk Substitute ( I use the Vanilla one)
3/4 cup cooked Quinoa (gives the pancakes a tender texture and adds protein for a balanced breakfast)

Mix everything except Quinoa in a bowl. The batter should resemble cake batter, thick but not too thick. Add more Rice Dream Milk Substitute if your batter looks too thick or add more pancake mix if it looks too loose.
Add the Quinoa and incorporate.

Pour about 1/3 cup onto a griddle or a hot non-stick pan (I sometimes use a canola spray to ensure nothing sticks). Flip over once the pancake is covered in small bubbles and the edges are dry.
Serve with maple syrup. Image above shows the pancakes with some butter on top. However if you are not eating dairy, obviously do not add the butter.


Monday, March 1, 2010

Bottoms Up

Wow, it's been forever since I posted. I feel so guilty for not attending to my blog. But I had absolutely no idea how consuming having a baby would be. I found myself chin deep in poopy diapers, washing onesies everyday and spending a ton of time trying to get burps out. But finally last week I made my first batch of cupcakes after giving birth. I made them for my pediatrician's office as they have been so wonderful (I call them a lot). It was a great way to warm up my skills in the kitchen. This week I decided to try to make a cupcake for my brother. He has just been promoted at work and he is a huge fan of my cupcakes. He also loves and I mean loves beer. I had heard of buttercream infused with beer but cake too? I didn't want to make a chocolate beer cake as that is fairly common, so I went the other route. The only thing was I had to make a lowfat cupcake. I hate to use the word lowfat and cupcake in the same sentence, it's just wrong. But this was a requirement for my brother's beer cupcake as he has been really watching his weight. So, below is the recipe I tried. It came out better than I thought. The cake was nice and light. The two tablespoons of butter was just enough to make it moist. I usually use a ton of butter so 2 tablespoons was as lowfat as I was going to get. I wasn't about to make cupcakes that tasted lowfat! The buttercream could of used more beer. I used Guiness as it is dark and rich. But any beer would do (except Coors Light or Bud Light...choose a real beer!).

1 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoons baking powder
pinch teaspoon salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup Guiness Dark Ale Beer

2 eggs
2 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup Guiness Dark Ale Beer

Turn on the oven to 375 degrees if using a regular oven, 350 degrees if you are using a convection oven

Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl

In a medium to large bowl whip eggs until light in color (using a handheld mixer). Add sugar 1/4 of a cup at a time to eggs and keep on whipping at high speed. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture.
In a small sauce pan combine beer with butter, warm the combo up until bubbles form on the outer rim. Pour beer mix into batter and combine.
Pour batter into cupcake baking cups and into the oven they go for about 15+ minutes. Check the cupcakes with a toothpick and when the toothpick comes out clean, they are ready! Let them cool completely. But eat one cause there is nothing more divine than a warm cupcake...even without buttercream


In a Bain Marie (double boiler), stir eggs and sugar until the mixture reaches 160 degrees. Pour mixture into a mixer fitted with the whipping piece (not the paddle). Whip until cool, add butter bit by bit until you get a fabulous looking buttercream. If you make this recipe in temperature warmer than 68 degrees, it may take a while to get a smooth buttercream. Email me if this becomes a problem, I have tricks to make the buttercream come together faster.
Add beer and whip for about 2 minutes or until the beer has been completely incorporated.

Frost the cupcakes and voila!

To store cupcakes, you can freeze them in an airtight container. You can also refrigerate them in an airtight container. NEVER refrigerate cupcakes uncovered. They will dry out and taste horrible.