Mostly Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes with Marshmallo Fluff Frosting and Raspberries!

[If you are looking for the photo of Layla wanting to eat this cupcake, check out her blog at My Dogbaby]

Somewhere recently I read about a recipe for no flour cake and it brought back memories...when I was about 11 and living in Spokane, Washingtion, my best friend was named Bertie Hammond...her mom used to make this cake that had no flour in it. I always thought it was the most delicious dessert and it didn't even need any was moist and so chocolateeee...we used to beg her to make it and when she gave in, it was such a huge treat!

Imagine my surprise when a couple of days ago I came across what I think is a similiar recipe that uses just 1 tablespoon of flour. I gave it a try this weekend! The cupcakes turned out so intensely chocolate that I felt I needed they needed some other flavors to tone them down a bit. I immediately thought vanilla...then I knew I wanted to do a nice Fluff frosting! But, then I knew I needed to add some sort of fruity flavor. I do love raspberries and had bought some Pacific Raspberry Jam this weekend from World Market in Rockville...have you been to one of place...something really funny happened there. When we were ready to check out, there was a lady looking for "something" at the counter...two or three folks were trying to help her...when they told her that whatever it was wasn't on sale, she started belting out this song...I mean like nightclub style...she had quite a voice, too...she really was some song like "I've been looking for you everywhere" or something like that and then she pretty much danced herself right out of the we left she was still blasting it out all the way to her car...I was surprised that she was actually driving, because, trust me...she wasn't all there...but, back to cupcake world...initially I put a layer of that on top of the cupcake and then the frosting and then topped the whole thing off with a fresh raspberry!

With a few of them, I used the jam layer and then put the raspberry on top of that in the middle and then piped the fluff frosting all over the top, making peaks...I even did some with just fluff was all pretty fun and they tasted awesome! We had them for dessert tonight and then finished up by eating some of the fluff that was left can eat that stuff with everything! Have a great get out there and make some cupcakes!

Here's the recipe for the cupcakes:

Mostly Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
(from The Pink Shoe Cookbook)

- 2 sticks minus 1 Tbsp butter
- 7 oz dark chocolate
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- a rounded tablespoon of flour

Note: like all dark chocolate cakes, these are best made a day ahead (or at least in the morning if you serve it for dinner).

Pre-heat your oven to 350°F. Spray cupcake pans with non stick cooking spray or use liners (you can remove them later)

Melt together the butter with the chocolate (in a double-boiler or in the microwave slowly and for just a few seconds at a time, blending with a spoon between each pass). Transfer into a medium mixing-bowl. Add in the sugar, stir with a wooden spoon and let cool a little. Add in the eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition. Finally, add in the flour and mix well.

Pour the batter into the molds, and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven off, but leave the cake inside for another 10 minutes. Remove put the pan to a cooling rack to cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap, refrigerate, and take out about an hour before serving.

Add whatever frosting/topping that strikes your fancy!

Christmas in July Cupcakes!

This Christmas in July cupcake idea started with my search for a theme for the dinner menu for our dinner club because it's my turn to host the thing on Wednesday night. I was doing some surfing on the net and somehow came across the fact that Australia celebrates Christmas in July...that's all I need to know! Here's what wikipedia says about Christmas in July: In some parts of Australia, where Christmas falls in the summer and July is the one of the coldest months, Christmas in July parties are held to mimic the traditional northern Christmas. Some traditional Christmas activities are difficult to have in the December summertime (such as a heavy meal with roasted meats and heavy sweets like plum pudding), so these may be held in July instead. In Australia this celebration is also called "Half-Christmas."

That really got me excited...Searching my cupcake books, I found the star idea in Joanne Farrow's cupcakes book. I made her recipe for vanilla cupcakes, and she calls for these cupcakes to have a buttercream filling squirted inside and the the confectioner's sugar frosting on top. The little star is made from fondant. I have a few more photos on my flickr account here....Hope you enjoy the winter weather....Now, go do it! Ho Ho Ho...

Look Out! These Are Called B52 Cupcakes!!

I got a new about it on the's called Cooking With Booze by Ryan Jennings, David Steele, Geoffrey Ross...and it has this recipe for B52 cupcakes in it...I was entranced by this idea! The cupcakes contain Kahlúa. The whipped cream frosting contains Bailey's. The orange zest contains Grand Marnier! Whoa Baby! All the recipes in the book use some sort of alcohol...and they have different drink recipes to go with the meals. There are even a few entire menus for special occasions. I'm in charge of our dinner club (we call it "We like to eat") this month and this is where I'm getting my recipes for the group...Everyone will have to take a cab home!

This was going to be a challenge, I knew. Three different recipes. And, one of the things it calls for is making candied orange zest (with Grand Marnier)...which I'd never done before. All I have to say is: Yummmm...The cupcakes have espresso in them and mayonnaise (REAL mayo) so they are very moist...but light. I did have a problem with the whipped cream frosting...I made it three times...the first two times it separated when I added the Bailey's. Very frustrating....But I will definitely make this cupcake again. It was both challenging and fun! The funny thing is this...the best part was learning how to make the candied orange zest!

Here's the recipe:

B-52 Cupcakes

With full bottles of Kahlúa, Bailey’s and Grand Marnier on hand, the Cooking with Booze guys say the baking is as fun as the eating.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup mayonnaise (full-fat is best)
1/2 cup brewed espresso or strong coffee, cooled
1/4 cup Kahlúa
1 1/2 cups heavy cream (38% if available)
1/4 cup Bailey’s Irish Cream
1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. unflavoured gelatin
Candied orange zest
1 medium orange
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. Grand Marnier

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin tins with paper baking cups.

2. Mix flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda and baking powder in large bowl and form a well in the centre. Add mayonnaise, 1/2 cup water, espresso and 2 tsp. Kahlúa and mix with wooden spoon until smooth. Fill baking cups two-thirds full with batter and bake until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean (about 15 minutes for mini-muffins and 25 minutes for regular muffins).

3. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes, remove from pan and allow to cool completely on rack. Brush remaining Kahlúa over cupcakes.

4. Meanwhile, combine heavy cream, Bailey’s and sugar in medium bowl and beat with mixer until stiff peaks form. Sprinkle gelatin over 2 Tbsp. of water in small saucepan and place over low heat and let cool slightly. Drizzle gelatin into cream mixture and beat on low speed until combined.

5. Fit pastry bag with round tip and fill with whipped cream. Pipe swirls of cream onto each cupcake and garnish with candied orange zest or pieces of grated fruit zest.

6. To make the zest, peel orange very thinly with vegetable peeler, making sure to get only zest and no bitter pith. Slice into thin strips. Place zest in small saucepan and cover with cold water. Place over medium-high heat and boil until zest is slightly translucent, about 15 minutes.

7. Add sugar, Grand Marnier and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until zest becomes completely translucent, about 1 hour. Remove zest from syrup, separate strands and place on wax paper to cool. Makes 48 mini or 12 regular cupcakes.

— Recipes from Cooking with Booze (Whitecap Books)

Tales of the Cupcake Mafia Needs a Wave From You!

You may already know Cupcake over at Tales of the Cupcake Mafia...also known as "don'tmesswithcupcake", but if you don't, you should! She is a great awesome storyteller, makes you laugh (crack up, actually) and cry, while she shares pieces of her NYC life...Germans...her office...her cupcakes...her brother...her Dad...her friends...or details of her first experience napping under her desk at work. Too much!

Here are some examples of her posts:
Why Does the Canal Street Subway Station Smell Like the Devil's Armpit?

I hate you Blogger. What have you done with my side bar? Why is it all the way down at the bottom of the page and why are you eating my titles?

Stand Back, She's Gonna Blow

Portrait of the Cupcake as a Young Woman

Sadly for us, Cupcake is taking a break for a while...but never fear...she says her blog will still there for for those of you who have never visited it to've got to find that one about under the desk napping.

Pop over to Cupcake's and say Hey Cupcake! You won't be disappointed! Now go!

Hmmmm....A Vanilla Cupcake Housewarming Gift?

Okay...I'm not actually advocating that you buy this candle...but if you are into cupcakes and vanilla and candles...this might just be what you're looking for. My sister, Robin (she's my favorite sister...okay, she's my only sister), clued me into this...It's a "new item, new fragrance" jar candle from Yankee Candle.

It comes in three sizes and the smallest one (3.7 ounces) is already on backorder. These puppies must be flying off the shelf. They run from $21.99 for the largest to $9.99 for the smallest. The blurb on the Yankee Candle web site says: "Try them in Vanilla Cupcake ... the rich, creamy aroma of vanilla cupcakes with hints of lemon and lots of buttery icing." Sounds good enough to eat, don't ya think?

Other Vanilla Cupcake Yankee Candle items include Vanilla Cupcake Scented Tea Lights, Vanilla Cupcakes Wrapped Votive, and Vanilla Cupcake Tarts Wax Potpourri (I cannot believe that I just typed that). So, what are you waiting for?. Get out there and shop!

Happy First Birthday, Panda! Cookies and Cream Cupcakes with White Chocolate Frosting

Blame this one on my Mom...she's the one who gave me the idea for these "Panda Birthday" cupcakes. The Panda's first birthday is a big deal in this area...there was a huge birthday party at the National Zoo today for Tai Shan (means peaceful mountain).
When he was first born he was called "Butterstick" because he looked like a .... stick of butter. At today's party, they served cupcakes and the Panda got a huge popsicle made from juice. Very cute!Here's what he looked like when we saw him during the Thanksgiving break last year.
But, in the end, I couldn't help myself...I had to make a couple of these cupcakes look pretty!
Here's a shot of the whole group together. The recipe is from Cupcakes Galore by Gail Wagman. I'll try to post it later tonight. The frosting is made is white chocolate...yummmm! I think you'll like that part best!

I Just Found Dark Brown Cupcake Liners/Cups!!

I was checking out the Confectionery House web site tonight (it's where I originally found my brown liners a while ago) and there they were...right on their home page...the dark brown cupcake a whole lot of different colors, including red, green, fuschsia, orange, blue, dark green, purple and yellow! You better hurry!

P.S. You can buy the t-shirts...more coming...HERE!

Are You A Cupcake Lover or Are You A Cupcake Wh---??

Hello Cupcake Lovers! I know that I haven't mentioned this, but I always have my eye out for cupcakey t-shirts....I've bought a few from that are really cute and very creative...And, while I don't draw, I do like to mess around with here are two that I designed today.

The first one is called "Wanna Bite?" ...The main graphic is CUPCAKE LOVER...You can see the actual artwork here.
Okay. I know this is bad, but I couldn't help myself...My boss was telling me the other day that their dog loves ice cubes so much they they call her an ice whore.

Based on that, I could see the need for such a cupcake t-shirt... tongue-in-cheek so to speak...this one is called "I'll Do Anything for a Cupcake," and the graphic is Cupcake Whore...You can see my design here.
If you want one you can buy a t-shirts...more designs coming...HERE!

This weekend I'm going to try to create some first birthday cupcakes for Tai Shan, the National Zoo's giant panda cub who turns 1-year-old on July stay tuned!

Red, White, and Blue: 4th of July Cupcakes!

Ready for a new twist on the traditional 4th of July Cupcake? These babies include a backyard scene and some unusual designs!

I wanted to work with some edible rice paper that I found on the Sugarcraft web site a while ago. I had ordered a multi-colored pack and stuck them away somewhere in my office and I practically tore it apart looking for them...and, luckily for me, the pack included blue and red!

I bought the little folks at a hobby store in Rockville. Normally, they are used for train sets! I love them because they are so tiny. First I just had them around the pool and then I decided to let them have an interaction with the other cupcakes. Hence, the blue stripe connecting to the 4th of July cupcake...Trust me, I was definitely getting carried away with this idea!

The cupcakes I whipped up from a yellow cake mix. The frosting Magnolia's Buttercream. It's very easy to work with...and easy to make! Here is the Magnolia Buttercream Frosting recipe: 1 cup unsalted butter, very soft, 8 cups confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla. To make the frosting, place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (you may very well not need all of the sugar). The recipe should frost 24 cupcakes.

I got into trouble yesterday because most of my family thinks I'm torturing Layla everytime I do a cupcake shoot with her. I must admit that there is usually drool on the floor afterwards...and it's not mine! I always give her a treat afterward. But, she has become part of the cupcake world now...a cupcake queen in her own right...and I can't deny her admirers! What do you think?

N E Waz...hope you all have a great 4th of July...Happy Birthday, America!