Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Cupcakes!

It was Hélène's birthday this past Saturday, so I decided to introduce France to the wonderful world of Irish carbomb cupcakes. Now, granted I didn't put whiskey or Irish cream in them, they were still Irish carbomb cupcakes in spirit. Or without spirits? You get the idea...

The cake part turned out possibly the best they've ever been despite that fact that for flour, butter and sugar I have to do a fair amount of math to figure out how much to weigh out in grams and the rest of the ingredients, I just guess on...

Yum! Chocolate ganache filling...

The frosting was fairly horrible because they don't really use frosting in Europe as much as we do, so my choices for powdered sugar weren't very good, but oh, well.

In the end I added a little Christmas decoration for fun.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bonjour de France!

As some of you know I've been pretty underwhelmed by the food we've been eating so far in France. I know that a lot of the boringness of the food is because there are two young, picky eaters in the house, but I don't want to let my newly discovered baking and cooking skills to get rusty!

Last weekend Hélène was telling me how she had bought those prunes, but never ate them and they were going bad, so she was probably going to have to bake something with them. She didn't sound very excited so I offered to make something with them.

I found this perfectly simple recipe: Plum Tart.

And we even had everything to make it!

[Maizena=cornstarch, in the bowl are the yellow plums, the box with the spout is the poudre sucre (sugar), then there is the flour, lemons, and my make-shift zester.]

The crust was essentially a shortbread cookie, which is one of my favorite cookies!

She didn't have a zester, so I had to use a normal cheese grater to zest the lemon. That's why there is a specific picture just for the zest...I was quite proud that I managed to make zest. :)

I thought it turned out pretty darn cute.

Then I had some time during the day (as I always do), so I decided to make Pane Siciliano, my and Josh's favorite bread from Peter Reinhart's The Bread Baker's Apprentice. One of the reasons it's our favorite is because it makes an AMAZING pizza crust!

(Note: If anyone wants the recipe, I have it conveniently scanned onto my computer, so I could email it to you!)

We made pizza with it last Friday and though neither of the boys really like pizza Hélène and I were perfectly happy eating it all ourselves! Sadly I forgot to take a picture though...

Also, one day last week for lunch I made myself some hash browns...

And even though I didn't take a picture of our pizzas, I did make a calzone with the pizza dough on Monday. It was delicious!

So, even though our dinners aren't very exciting, I still try to make some fun food. And I am thinking that maybe tomorrow the boys and I will make a cake...We'll see how that goes...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday morning cravings and Margarita cupcakes!!

One cupcake I've been dying to try to make was margarita cupcakes. Now, after looking around I discovered that there was only one recipe that people thought worthy of a margarita was one in the book Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World.

So, even though I was a little worried about how a vegan cupcake would taste and what the texture would be like, I decided to try it out. And, well, they were AMAZING. The tequila flavor kind of disappeared the next day, but the fresh cupcake I tasted that first day was exactly what I wanted a margarita cupcake to taste like!

And, since these cupcakes were eaten long ago...I needed something to make this morning. Good thing I had a serious chocolate chip cookie craving to aid in the decision. There's only one way to fix that:
I was a bit sad when I didn't have enough chocolate chips, but that was easily fixed when I found some white chocolate chips in the cupboard. And when they were done, I thought they looked pretty cool!
I used one of my favorite cookie recipes. From Smitten Kitchen of course! Another genius one that is in a completely different genre of chocolate chip cookies is perfect if you're looking for more of a gourmet cookie.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The perfect Summer cupcake.

I was browsing the Internet for creative cupcake recipes when I came upon this photo. I thought it was a genius idea and that I just had to try it. So, earlier in the week, I made some vanilla mini cupcakes

and some brownies. I cut little circles out of the brownies and froze them along with the cupcakes.
Then I cut the cupcakes in half to form the "buns", colored some fondant and rolled it into "cheese."
When I was at the grocery store, I saw these awesome strawberries and decided that the "ketchup" should be strawberry frosting.
Then I started the assembly...
The result? Extreme cuteness!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Lately I've become obsessed with finding a way to make a cupcake that tastes like a s'more. It all started because I saw two recipes for s'more cupcakes and neither one sounded all that original or delicious.

So, I've become determined to make my own.

The first attempt was using a crumb cupcake recipe I got from the book Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans. I used graham cracker crumbs instead of most of the flour and used a plain old yellow cake recipe in between the crumb layers along with sticking a few oven toasted marshmallows and some chocolate ganache inside.

I really thought this idea would work, but the end result was very sad-looking. And, though the were very delicious, I'm afraid to say that they tasted nothing whatsoever like a s'more.

I think it's funny that in all of this my favorite part was discovering that it is possible to toast marshmallows in the oven! That is just amazing! I thought they wouldn't taste as good as when you're outside by the bonfire toasting them the "old fashioned way," but I will let you in on a secret: They taste exactly the same, either way! I know, it's completely shocking.

I just turned the broiler on, sprayed oil a cookie sheet, put a piece of parchment paper down then oiled that as well, spread out the marshmallows and stuck them in the oven for a few minutes, but be sure to keep an eye on them!

After all the trials, I ended up with a graham cracker cupcake, a filling of semi-sweet chocolate and toasted marshmallows, and a marshmallow/meringue topping.

I think that there is still some changes needed to make these spectacular, but they are definitely on the right track! And pretty darn cute.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Car Bomb Cupcakes

Hello Everybody!

Welcome to the Cupcakes by Christine blog! Today is a very important day, St. Patrick's Day. This is an important day because the first time I learned I had any sort of baking skills whatsoever was when I made the Chocolate Whiskey and Beer cupcakes which are car bombs in cupcake form (a completely genius idea) from Smitten Kitchen (my favorite food blog).

They were the best cupcakes I'd ever eaten and I was hooked! I brought them to a party and when people started fighting over the last few, I started to wonder...