Thursday, December 30, 2010

Champagne & Strawberries

This time of year us chef's wives are lonely. People like to eat out at Christmas time and so my hubby gets the pleasure of feeding you all. He loves his job and I am so thankful for that, so I try to keep busy and look forward to January when most of you all will take a little break from eating out, and he will be home with the family more!!

In light of New Year's Eve tomorrow I created a fun recipe for Champagne & Strawberry cupcakes. I got the idea from an episode of Oprah, featuring the DC Cupcakes' girls. I liked their idea, but tweaked it a little :)

1 box Moist White Cake
1 stick butter (softened)
1 1/3 cups Champagne
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

For Frosting:
2 sticks butter at room temp
4 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup finely chopped strawberries
2 tablespoons milk---or champagne ;)

Mix butter until soft and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. Next add vanilla and champagne. Finally, add in cake mix. Stir just enough to moisten (Don't over mix)!!

Fill lined cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way. Will make 21-24 cupcakes.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Take out of oven and let cool completely before frosting.

Cream butter in mixer, add vanilla. Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time scrapping sides as you go. Once its all incorporated add strawberries and mix some more! Frosting will probably appear dry, if so add milk VERY slowly to achieve desired thickness.

Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Getting Started

I have been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while. So I am going to give it a try :) I think it will be a little bit about life married to a chef, a little bit about being a mom and I will throw in some of my favorite recipes too!
So, lets start off this 1st blog entry off right, with one of my favortie things to make! I am currently obsessed with making cake pops!! They are a fun treat and so easy to make!!
Cake Pops
1 baked cake (whatever flavor you like!)
3/4 can frosting
Chocolate for dipping (or the melts from Wilton that come in a bunch of colors)
Lolipop sticks
Once your cake is cool crumble cake into little crumbs. Then add your frosting. Use your hands to completely mix the two. (This is the messy part!!) You will end with a sticky dough. Roll this into aprox 1 inch balls. Lay them out on parchment lined cookie sheet and put in freezer for about 10 minutes so they are cold, but not frozen.
While they are in the freezer its time to melt your chocolate! This can be done in a double boiler or in the microwave. I prefer to use the Wilton chocolate melts in the microwave.
When the balls come out of the freezer dip one end of lolipop stick into melted chocolate and then stick about 1/2 way into chocolate ball. Now dip the ball in the chocolate and turn it to get it nice and covered. Hold over bowl and let excess chocolate drip off (i also tap my hand while turning the stick to make it smooth and get rid of excess).
Now, you can dip into sprinkles or just put them down on parchment to dry. You can decorate with bows, put in celephane bags, or do whatever to make them uniquely yours!