Ferrero Rocher Failcakes

I showed you the pretty ones, but I thought you might also like to see my Ferrero Rocher Failcakes! I have my share of kitchen disasters. While I was happy with my second batch of Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes, the first batch didn’t quite turn out . . . to say the least!

The chocolate cupcake recipe I was using didn’t say anything about adding baking soda and powder (they were in the ingredients list, but not in the directions, which I always go by) and so . . . I didn’t! Oops. Lesson learned: always cross reference the ingredients list.

The failcakes still tasted okay, but were quite dense and not so pretty! I drizzled some extra ganache over them just in case we decided to eat them anyway. As of right now, though, they’re sitting in the fridge untouched.



Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes

Ferrero Rocher are my absolute favorite candy.  They’re lovely, crunchy, chocolatey balls of hazelnut cream surrounding a whole hazelnut.  Mike isn’t a candy person at all, but he loves them as well.  There’s something about the chocolate, cream, and hazelnut combination that just melds in your mouth.


Best candy in the world!

Never content to just enjoy pleasant things as they are, I wanted to innovate with these babies. I decided (big surprise!) to try to create a Ferrero Rocher Cupcake.  I searched out a delicious chocolate cupcake recipe with the intention of poking a whole, frozen candy in the middle of it prior to baking.  The frosting, in an attempt to mimic the chocolate and hazelnut covered shell of the candy itself, was ganache with chopped hazelnuts.  And of course, I drove all the way to Michael’s to pick up some gold sprinkles to echo the candy’s bright gold wrapper.


Oh yeah! Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes!

The cupcakes are scrumptious — moist and rich chocolate cake surrounding the familiar Rocher goodness.  There were a few flaws.  The candy stuck to the bottom of the cupcake paper a bit, so a little of its chocolate coating gets left behind when you peel the paper off. I think freezing them for a full 30-45 minutes before baking (I froze mine for 15) would help.  (Edited to add:  after refrigerating overnight, the candy no longer sticks, and the flavors have melded even more — yummy!)

Also, the crispy shell of the Rocher candies absorbed moisture from the batter during baking and lost some of its crunch.  But all in all, despite some texture changes, I feel like this recipe was a success! I was pleased that the taste of the candy was maintained and worked well with the cupcake flavor.

This trial run also makes me think of other great cupcake ideas.  For instance, deconstructing the Rocher: it’d be nice to make a chocolate cupcake filled with hazelnut cream (mmm, nutella!) and chopped hazelnuts, and frosted with this same delicious ganache.  In fact, after posting, I went back and googled to see if anyone had thought of Rocher cupcakes.  Turns out they had;  I found some fun recipes!  In particular, I’d love to try these!  Mmm. There are also some great nutella swirl cupcake recipes I’ve seen floating around. Lots of possibilities! In the meantime, I hope you’ll enjoy these Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes.

Ferrero Rocher Cupcakes


Recipe By:

Michelle (cupcakes)
Alton Brown (ganache, tweaked)
Ferrero Chocolates (they provide the chocolates, y’all!)

Yields: 24 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
2 cups (500 mL) all-purpose flour
2 cups (500mL) sugar
1/2 cup (125mL) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons (10mL) baking soda
1 tsp (5mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 cups (500 mL) of butter milk
2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla
24 Ferrero Rocher candies

Ganache Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
8 ounces (1 cup) heavy cream
1/2 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped
gold sprinkles or edible gold leaf (optional)

Directions:

Cupcakes: Freeze 24 Ferrero Rocher candies for 30-45 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 degrees Celsius).

To make cupcakes, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together oil, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, mixing well. Increase speed and beat for 2 minutes, until well combined. Spoon into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling halfway. Do not overfill, no matter how tempting! Plop one frozen candy into the middle of each cup of batter.


Oven time!

Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until tops are firm and toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes, then transfer to rack and cool completely.

Ganache Frosting: Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan until just simmering (careful not to let it boil over). Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate in a heat-resistant bowl. Let sit for 2 minutes. Mix well until smooth. Add in finely chopped hazelnuts and mix. If ganache is too runny, let it cool for awhile until it’s at the appropriate consistency. Then, dip the tops of room temperature cupcakes into the ganache, letting excess drain for a few seconds before righting the cupcakes. Sprinkle gold sprinkles or lay a piece of edible gold leaf in the center of the cupcake for a decoration. Let cool completely.


The dipping and sprinkles station.


Lots of delicious candy-inspired cupcakes.


Bon Appétit!

Peach Lemon Cupcakes

A friend tells me that Coconut & Lime’s Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Strawberry Centers are incredible.  I can’t wait to try them!   In fact, I decided to experiment with the recipe this weekend when I had leftover peaches from my Peach Cobbler Cupcakes.  I wanted a lighter, summery peach cupcake.  I used Coconut & Lime’s recipe with some baking powder and soda added, and peaches in the place of strawberries.  While my mom felt peaches and lemon were an odd combination, I think they turned out rather nice.  The texture is divine, and the flavor is mostly lemon with a peach tang (and there’s that nice, juicy splush when you bite into a chunk!) I think next time I’ll add more peach to help it stand up to the lemon.

Peach Lemon Cupcakes


Recipe By:

Coconut & Lime (cupcakes, tweaked)
Paula Deen (frosting, tweaked)

Yields: 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
7 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 large peach, chopped

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-2 drops yellow food coloring (if desired)
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350. Line 12 wells in a cupcake pan. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beat to combine. Mix in the buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon juice. The mixture may look a little curdled but that’s okay.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Slowly add dry ingredients to wet. Beat the batter an additional 2 minutes, until light and fluffy. Pour an even amount into each cupcake well, filling about 3/4 of the way. Drop 3-5 chunks of peach into each well, depending on their size and your personal taste. Bake 15-20 minutes. Cool in pan briefly, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Ice with lemon cream cheese frosting.

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, lemon juice, and food coloring together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip (I used star tip 1M.)


Ready for the oven! Just made a half batch of these, and one without peach for Mike’s sister!


Light, springy, fresh!

Meatloaf “Cupfakes”

Mike typically likes his food to LOOK like what it TASTES like. While I understand his natural desire to know what he’s eating, I also have a great love of trickery. I love food that’s made to look like other food.

I saw this cute cupfake post on a blog the other day. Instantly, I was reminded of all of the fun meatcakes I’d seen before (here’s a great gallery!) I’d always wanted an excuse to make some, and the perfect excuse came Saturday. Mike had a hard day of GRE testing (he obtained a PERFECT score on his math section, by the way; Congratulations, Mike!) and I told him I’d make a surprise dinner. What’s more surprising than a platter of cupfakes? I baked these cuties up with two other kinds of real cupcakes: Peach Cobbler Cupcakes and Peach Lemon Cupcakes.


The whole meal together!

When he came in, I told him that his surprise was that we were skipping dinner and only eating dessert! I could tell he was a little disappointed, so I pointed to my cupfakes and asked what flavor he thought they were. He guessed chocolate, red, and green (okay, he’s not good at guessing) before finally giving up. I loved the look on his face when I made the big reveal — MEATLOAF cupcakes! He loved it!

The piping on these could have been a LOT better. I rushed a bit, and I made the mashed potatoes a bit too viscous. I also should’ve cut a larger corner off of my ziplock! Oh well, there’s always next time.

This meal is so fun, and so easy to make! If you make these, make sure to post about how your surprise goes over!

Currency Meatloaf “Cupfakes”


Recipe By: Oprah, according to my Mom’s recipe.
Yields: 2 loaves (or 12 meatcakes and 1 loaf, or 24 meatcakes)

Meatloaf Ingredients:
3 lbs. 97% lean ground beef
1 1/2 slices bread, torn
1 cup milk
2 eggs beaten
2/3 cup onion, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon dried mustard
1 heaping tbs sage
1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
6 cloves garlic
1/2 cup green pepper, diced
3 stalks celery
pepper
1 can tomato paste, for top

Decorations:
instant mashed potatoes for “frosting”
grape tomatoes for “cherries”
salt
food coloring

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix meatloaf ingredients and put a heaping scoop in each of 12 greased cupcake wells. Do not pack. Spoon the rest of the mixture lightly into a greased loaf pan (preferably with racks, to allow fat to drain out). Spoon tomato paste on top of each cupcake well and the loaf. Bake meatcakes for 25 minutes and drain on paper towels. Bake loaf for 1 hour.

Once meatcakes are drained, place them carefully into cupcake papers. Frost with instant mashed potatoes in a ziplock bag (I added some garlic to mine for flavor, and you can add more milk to get the right consistency. I think I added too much!) Mix a tablespoon or so of salt with a drop of whatever food coloring you like, and sprinkle lightly on top. Top with a squirt of ketchup or a grape tomato for a cherry (my mother reminded me, and I still forgot!)


Nestled in their cute cupcake foil liners!


Finished (albeit with not-so-cute piping on my part)


Mike’s Cupfake Meal (with some delicious stuffed squash — let me know if you want the recipe!)

Peach Cobbler Cupcakes

Mike loves peach cobbler, and I’ve been trying to think of a peachy cupcake, but the two ideas didn’t meet until recently. A cobbler and a cupcake? One a sultry, spicy, fruity dessert and the other a cute, frosted mini-cake? The meeting of the desserts — living quite independently until now, thank you very much! — reminds me of one of my favorite poems, Thomas Hardy’s “The Convergence of the Twain.”

Alien they seemed to be:
No mortal eye could see
The intimate welding of their later history.

Or sign that they were bent
By paths coincident
On being anon twin halves of one August event…

Or in this case, a June event!  And a much happier one than that of the Titanic meeting an iceberg (read the rest of Hardy’s poem for that more morbid meeting).

It struck me while driving one day that a peach cobbler cupcake would be fun to construct — the spices of a cobbler, chunks of fresh peach, the crunch of some streusel, and a little cream cheese frosting to mimic a rich scoop of ice cream.  I “cobbled” this recipe together after looking through recipes for brown sugar cupcakes, cobblers, and fruit-filled cupcakes. The result is delicious. If you love carrot cake, you’ll love these little peach spice cakes. One of my lovely Charlotte taste testers (my boyfriend’s mom) said that this is her favorite cupcake yet!

You may be looking at the photos and wondering why the cupcakes are a little flat up top. Initially, I only used baking soda to react with the acidity of the buttermilk, and no baking powder. Baking soda reacts immediately and therefore must be baked immediately to have an effect on the rise of the cupcake.  With all the streusel and peach additions to these cakes, though, it’s hard to get them in the oven fast. I tweaked the recipe a bit, so the version below should produce cupcakes that are a little lighter and prettier.

Peach Cobbler Cupcakes


Recipe By:  Me, “cobbled” together from this and this. Frosting by Paula Deen, with tweaking.
Yields: 12 cupcakes

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 stick butter
3/8 cup light brown sugar
3/8 cup white sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Splash of peach syrup from canned peaches (if you used canned)
1 1/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
Fresh or canned peaches, chopped

Streusel Ingredients:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup butter (4 tablespoons)

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Splash of peach syrup from canned peaches (if you used canned)
2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

Directions:

Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 wells in a cupcake pan. In a small bowl, make streusel. Add all the ingredients and cut the mixture into crumbles with two knives until it’s about the consistency of coarse cornmeal. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time and mix. Mix in the buttermilk, vanilla, and a little peach syrup.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add a little of the flour mixture at a time to the wet ingredients, mixing well after each addition. Beat the batter well until air is incorporated, about 2 more minutes.

Pour just enough batter into each of 12 cupcake wells to cover the bottom. Spoon a thin layer of streusel over this batter, and drop a 3-5 pieces of chopped peach on top (depending on the size of the pieces and your personal taste). Spoon another layer of batter over each well until each is about 3/4 full.   If you love a lot of peach in your “cobbler,” you can add a few more hunks on top.  Spoon a sprinkle of streusel over the top of the batter in each well. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan for a couple of minutes, and then on a cooling rack. Once cupcakes are completely cool, frost them.


Almost ready for the oven!


Mmm, these make the kitchen smell amazing.

Cream Cheese Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter vanilla, and splash of peach syrup (this might also be nice with a spoonful of peach jam or preserves) together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy. Frost the cupcakes with a butter knife or pipe it on with a big star tip (I used star tip 1M.) I only put a puff of frosting in the middle so as not to overwhelm the peach cobbler flavor, or overdo the sweetness!


All frosted!

NOTE: I tried two methods for inserting the peach into the cupcake. The first and most successful is described above — chunks of peaches in a middle layer of the cupcake. The second, pushing a larger chunk of peach into the middle of the cupcake, was good but not great. I liked the fact that having many chunks of peaches ensured you’d get more peach per bite.

If you don’t use canned peaches, feel free to leave out the peach syrup in the cupcake batter and frosting and add more peach chunks.

Don’t overfill your cupcake wells, by the way! I always overfill mine and the cupcake “outgrows” its well as it bakes. This leads to the edges of the cupcake top being overdone.

Enjoy!

1 109 110 111 112