Posts Tagged 'instagram'

Pipe Dream #208: To DIY – Banana Bourbon Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache

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I made the mistake of Instagramming these babies a few months ago. I was so proud of them, I couldn’t resist. (I have #problems and #vices. See Pipe Dream #207.) What followed was a deluge of requests for them, which I dismissed because I am just one girl and I get tired of peeling bananas sometimes. I mean, go make your own cupcakes. This is why I have a blog. DIY, or something, and then pay people to make your sandwiches.

This is a bit of an unfair attitude, I am realizing, mostly because I wasn’t going to post these on my blog until three months later, meaning that no once could technically make these yet. So I guess the only reasonable thing to do is either never Instagram again or make these for everyone. Back to the drawing board. :] But guys, you know how I actually love making people treats. It was an off day.

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And these are such a double treat. The banana cakes are less dense than a typical banana bread and studded with butterscotch and chocolate chips. The frosting is the dreamiest bourbon swiss meringue buttercream and holds little puddles of milk chocolate bourbon ganache that threaten to burst their bounds. It’s like a little pre-dessert drink.

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All in all, these were some of the most interesting cupcakes I’ve made in a while, and I thoroughly enjoyed the unusual flavor combination. Never mind the white balance/brightness in these photos. Just close your eyes and have that little pre-dinner drink.

Off-dazing, DIY-ing,


P.S. I think I will still Instagram things sometimes.

Banana Bourbon Cupcakes with Milk Chocolate Ganache

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

For the cupcakes (makes about 9):
2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
sprinkle of nutmeg
1/2 large egg, at room temperature (beat the egg, give it your best shot)
1/2 + 1/8 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large ripe banana, mashed (about a 1/2 cup)
1/8 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1/4 (1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons) cup butter, melted
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or a mix of both

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with 9 cupcake liners.

Combine flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or just a regular bowl), whisk the egg and  brown sugar until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract. Add the sour cream and melted butter and mix.

Stir in dry ingredients, then add the mashed bananas and milk, mixing until just combined. Stir in the chocolate/butterscotch chips.

Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter in liners until they are 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let the cakes cool completely on a rack before frosting.

For the bourbon italian buttercream:

Adapted from The Faux Martha

2 egg whites, at room temperature
heaping 1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cold water
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) butter

Separate the egg whites into the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Measure a heaping 1/3 cup sugar and the water into a  heavy-bottomed saucepan. Gently stir to combine. Measure the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar into a separate bowl. Cut the butter into tablespoon sized pieces and set aside.

Place the candy thermometer in the saucepan and heat the mixture over medium-high heat. Do not stir after the sugar is dissolved, and wash down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals forming. I had issues with crystals forming and had to start over once.

Whip the egg whites on high speed to soft peaks. Add the additional two tablespoons of sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.

Raise the heat under the sugar syrup to bring the syrup to 245° degrees F. When it has reached 245°, slowly pour the syrup into the meringue, with the mixer running.  Hold the pan just above the height of the mixer and pour confidently, trying to hit the meringue and not the side of the bowl.

After a minute or two, reduce the speed of the mixture to medium for 6-8 minutes and beat until the meringue is totally cool. Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time, increasing the mixer speed to high for 2 to 4 minutes or until the butter is fully incorporated. Don’t worry if the mixture looks soupy; keep beating until everything comes together and the frosting reaches a mayo-like consistency.

For the bourbon milk chocolate ganache:
2 ounces milk chocolate chips
1 tablespoons heavy cream + 1 tablespoon whole milk
1 tablespoon bourbon

Heat the cream and cream in a microwave-safe bowl for twenty seconds–dont’ let it boil, but it should be really hot. Dump in the chocolate chips and let the mixture stand for a minute before whisking the chocolate and milk until smooth. Whisk in the bourbon, and let the ganache stand for at least 20 minutes. It will thicken as it cools.

To assemble the cupakes:

Using an extra large piping tip, pipe a big dollop of buttercream onto each cupcake. Use a small spoon to create a divet in each dollop. Fill, dip or drizzle the ganache to your heart’s content.

Pipe Dream #182: To Not Wait Ages – Raspberry Espresso Fudge Cake

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I’ve spent a good deal of time pre-thinking and post-thinking about this cake. I made the cake layers months ago and stuck them in the freezer. I couldn’t decide what kind of frosting to use on them, and I couldn’t decide if it was wise to use a Baking Saturday to get them all dressed up and then have nowhere to go but my stomach.

Eventually, I just decided to bite the bullet and eat lots of cake. I was worried that the layers would get frostbite if I left them any longer. Heaven knows, we wouldn’t want that.

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For the frosting, I combined two different types of frosting. About 1/3 was a chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. This type of frosting is super silky, but almost too buttery, so I paired it with an instant fudge fake buttercream for the chocolate factor. Which was glorious. I had some raspberry jam on hand also. Can’t hurt. Also, espresso can’t hurt. I chucked some of that in the frosting as well. Both the raspberry and the espresso could have been stronger. Next time.

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Super silk.  fudge cake 4

And the chocolate-covered coffee bean?  Also been waiting ages to use them. They’ve just been chilling up in my cupboard, lonelily waiting for some love. Don’t worry, beans. Today is your day! fudge cake 8

Like I said before, I was so obsessed with how pretty this cake turned out. And how well it sliced! Pipe dream fulfilled. The cake itself was average compared to my usual favorite vanilla cake, so I won’t endorse it too highly. Let’s just say it was a perfectly adequate vehicle for  the luscious frosting.

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Raspberry Espresso Fudge Cake

For the yellow cake, you can find the recipe at smittenkitchen.

For the first frosting (the swiss meringue one):

2 egg whites

1/2 cup granulated sugar

12 tablespoons butter, softened

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 tablespoon strong coffee or espresso

1/3 cup milk chocolate chips melted and cooled slightly

Whisk egg whites and sugar together in a big metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk occasionally until you can’t feel the sugar granules when you rub the mixture between your fingers.

Transfer mixture into the mixer and whip until it turns white and about doubles in size. Don’t get any water in the bowl, now.

Add the vanilla and espresso.

Finally, add the butter a stick at a time and whip it ’til it looks like frosting and not a curdled mess. Set aside.

For the second frosting (the instant fudge one):

8 tablespoons butter, softened

3 cups powdered sugar

2/3 cup cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 tablespoons milk, half and half or heavy cream

Whip the butter on high speed for about 3 minutes in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir together the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in a bowl. Add 1/3 of the sugar mixture to the butter, mixing on slow speed until combined. Add one tablespoon milk. Continue adding the sugar and the milk on low speed until everything is combined, then whip on high speed for about 4 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Set aside about 1/3 of the second frosting for piping. Add half of the first frosting to the stand mixer bowl, stirring the two frostings together on low speed until just combined. Add the second half of the frosting and mix until just combined.

To assemble the cake, top the first layer with about 1 cup of the frosting. Pop maybe 1/3 cup raspberry preserves in the micro for about 10 seconds, then spread on top of the frosting. Add the second cake layer, and frost the cake with the rest of the frosting. Decorate with the reserved fudge frosting as desired, topping with chocolate covered espresso beans.

Favorite Shots: Obsessed

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“I am obsessed with this cake.”

A phrase I said several times after instagramming this cake once but nearly instagramming it three times. I restrained myself.

This shot is the closest I have come to an instagrammed look in CS4. Cool.

I seriously love how this cake looked.

Ok. Get over yourself, Lauren. Ok. And get over this cake. No. Ok.


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