Friday, February 27, 2009

Cupcakes, stalkers, and a sale... oh my!

Ok, I have to start today by saying... PLEASE please... listen closely to the following public service announcement!
I.... yes, I... have a ... STALKER! This is at times unsettling. Here is how it started.
I met Bob... Bob and his girlfriend, Shiela. Bob and Shiela turned out to be greedy, clingy, and even starting knocking on my front door at their own discretion. They now sleep outside by my house, chase me and try to break in to my pool area through the screen. Please.... if you see Bob or Sheila....DO NOT FEED them. Here are their photos... and whatever you do if you see them...run! Right now, as I type they are standing outside my kitchen window watching me write to you...help! :P
Here is Bob...


And his hussie lil girlfriend Sheila!


And obviously once I told them I was gonna tell the world about them they tried to make a quick get a way! The nerve!



Seriously, though, these are sand hill cranes, for those unfamiliar with them. They are so beautiful and stunning! They have the most unique warbling call. The girls and I love to feed and watch them. They are up to my waist in height. Just gorgeous!

Next... I have to tell you about the PHENOMENAL recipe I made last night for dessert! Holy toledo! I got it out of the current month's issue of Food TV magazine, the recipe can also be found on their website and I will post it here as well.

The photo I have for you is a pic taken of the photo from the magazine. They were simply gone far too fast for me to photograph their yummy goodness, but when (and I WILL make them again) I do them again I will take some photos.

Here is the photo, the link to food tv's post, and the recipe!

Check it out at Food TV here!

The Recipe Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

For the Filling:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

For the Ganache and Icing:
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 stick plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Place paper liners in two 12-cup muffin pans.

Prepare the cupcakes:
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Bring the sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl; add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla. Using a mixer, beat in the eggs, then mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 25 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling:
Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream; beat until smooth. Beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream in batches, alternating after each addition. Beat in the marshmallow creme; set aside.


Prepare the ganache:
Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate; let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.


Spoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). Dip the cupcake tops in the ganache. Chill for at least 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, the milk and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip; pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.
Photograph by Allan Penn


They did take awhile to make...but SO worth!!!!


And last but not least Meredith Cardall's Hunny Bee Mine kit is still on sale for 25% off!


8 comments:

  1. You are too funny. I actually saw you updated here and came here before I saw your comment on my page.

    I tried to warn you about birds. LOL! Our Red-y, Bella, & Spot are cuter! ;) Hehe!! We also have 2 newer ones coming by, when the seagulls don't scare them away.

    Yum those cupcakes look good. I made rice krispie treats, that's the extent of my cooking!

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  2. Hello to a fellow Central Floridian and yes, its beautiful today. Finally some decent weather.

    I know about those cranes very well. There is a holding pond in our community across the street and we seem them quite often.

    Oh man that recipe sounds great! Anything with chocolate is fine by me. Thanks For sharing and for coming by my blog.

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  3. Love the crane - how gorgeous! Didn't like the cupcakes so much - gained weight just looking at them!
    Loved the honey bee set - I was a professional beekeeper once!

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  4. OMG! Those birds are stunning! Love Meredith's new kit and glad I came across your blog. Whoot!

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  5. what a funny birds and great photos. They look very sweet :)

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  6. those birds are amazing and the cakes looks so yummy!

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  7. Gosh thos cupcakes look scrummy!!!!! And the birds are fab - you did give me a giggle with the stalking bit!!

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Thanks for taking the time to comment, it always makes my day!