24 July 2010

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Thought I would post a little something sweet for a nice weekend treat :)  I made these cupcakes for my friend Libby's birthday a few weeks ago.  If you like chocolate and cheesecake then you will LOVE these, because it's a mixture of both :)  And add some cream cheese frosting... even though they are already pretty sweet, I just think it gives them a little something extra!

The recipe makes 12 cupcakes and is from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook!  Some advice on these, even though there is cream cheese in the frosting don't refrigerate them... I think it takes away the moistness in the cake!

Chocolate Cake Base:
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 T sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup sunflower oil
1.5 tsp distilled white vinegar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup water

Cream Cheese filling:
4.5 oz cream cheese
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt
2.3 cup chocolate chips

For Chocolate Base:
1.  Mix together flour, sugar, cocoa, and baking soda in a large bowl and mix with a handheld mixer on slow speed until all dry ingredients are incorporated.

2. Put the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water in a glass and whisk to combine.  Slowly incorporate this into the dry ingredients, increasing the speed of the mixer as it thickens.  Continue beating until just incorporated and spoon batter into cupcake pan.

The mixture will be very thick!

For Cheescake Filling:
1.  Using a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt.  Beat on medium-slow speed until smooth and fluffy. 

2.  Stir in chocolate chips by hand until evenly dispersed (don't overmix!!!).  Scoop 1 T of filling on to pf the cupcake batter in the cases.

3.  Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for ~20 mins. 

4.  Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting!

Happy baking and have a great weekend!

16 July 2010

I LOVE the beach!

Wednesday my family and I drove down to Destin, Fl to relax and have a few days in the sun!  The good news?  There is absolutely no oil on the beach!  I am told there hasn't been any yet this far down the coast, and hopefully it won't reach here as the beaches are beautiful!

Last night we drove to Grayton Beach to eat at The Red Bar... and let me tell you it is The most delicious place down here!  I was planning on taking pictures to post up here, but we got seated fast, the food came out faster, and I was too hungry to stop and photograph lol... but if you're ever within a 30 mile radius, it's really worth the drive.

Tonight my aunt and uncle are driving over from Daphne to eat out... I will try to photograph tonights food, where a large plate of amazing swordfish is calling my name!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! I will be moving into my new aparment in Birmingham on Sunday/Monday and then starting med school in one week (ahhh)... but I'm so excited to finally get started!

12 July 2010

The Big Apple

I thought I would share some of my pictures from my trip to NYC to see my friend Mallory... it was more like a sorority reunion, aka we had soo much fun!
Of course we had to celebrate me getting into medical school! We were at a pub on the Upper West Side.

Serendipity was soo good! Advice, arrive before it opens if you don't want to wait four hours!  I have to try and make their frozen hot chocolates... they are HUGE!

Brooklyn Bridge!

Times Square!

View from central park!

We had so much fun while we were there, and it was great to see Mallory!!

I am leaving for the beach Wednesday.  Hopefully there won't be any oil :(((

11 July 2010

Oh my! Sweet apple pie!

So I'm sorry for the almost month long break in blogging.  Apperently when you get into medical school you can't just sit back and enjoy the few weeks of freedom, because there is a massive checklist of stuff you have to complete... in just two weeks! But I am finally done, and except for packing and moving back to Birmingham, my last 2 weeks of freedom should be nice and relaxing!!

For Father's day I made my Dad homemade apple pie, one of his all time favorite desserts!  This recipe is from the amazing Martha Stewart from her cookbook, The Baking Handbook.

I have to say, it was definiately a hit that I will be making again and again, so you should try it out... and please, serve it was some good, cold vanilla ice cream... it just adds to the flavor!

3 T all purpose flour
2 frozen pie crusts, thawed
1 large egg yolk
1 T heavy cream
3 lbs assorted apples (Granny Smith, Fuji, Macoun, Courtland, etc.)
2 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1 T unsalted, cold butter, cut into small pieces
extra sugar for sprinkling

1.  On a lightly floured piece of parchment paper, roll out one disk of dough to a 12-inch round.  Sweep off extra flour with a pastry brush.  Fit the dough into a 9in glass pie dish, and press it to the sides.  Allow 1/2 in to hang off the edge, all around.  Chill for 30 mins, until the dough is firm.

2.  In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and cream and set aside, this is the egg wash to be used later.

3.  Peel and chop the apples.

4. In a large bowl, toss together the apples, lemon juice, granulated sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Arrange these in the chilled pie shell.

5.  Dot all over with the cold, choppped butter.

4.  Brush rim of pie shell with egg wash.  Place the second piece of dough on top, and gently press over apples.  Trim dough to a 1in overhang.  Tuck dough under and crimp edge if desired.

5.  Brush entire surface of pie with egg wash and sprinkle genrously with sugar.  Cut three vents into top to allow steam to escape.  Freeze until firm, about 30 mins.

6.  Preheat oven to 400, with the rack in the lower third of the oven.  Place pie on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20 mins, or until the crust starts to turn golden brown.  Reduce oven temp to 350 and continue baking, rotating the pan halfway through, for 40-50 mins or until the crust is a deep golden brown and the juices have thickened and are bubbling.

7.  Transfer pie to wire rack and allow to cool completely.  It can be stored at room temp for up to 2 days covered loosely in plastic wrap, but it is best when eaten the same day as cooked.

Happy Baking!