baking beast

a suspicious creature has been lurking around the streets, leaving behind delights that dreams are made of. what's to become of this baking beast?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

IMBB 13: my little cupcake (or muffin)



"frost yourself!"



lovin their new coats



no longer cute and cuddly, my army of cupcakes are ready for action..



not to worry, they still have a softer side that loves accessories like sprinkles


yay! my first IMBB event! and of course, it is a sweet one. i was very excited about this theme.. i love cake, so what is better than lots of mini, individual sized cakes?? i wasn't sure what to make though until earlier this morning.. one theme is hard enough to decide with.. but this was cupcake OR muffin.. twice the thinking to do! but i finally settled on cupcake and made marcel desaulnier's cupcake recipe from death by chocolate. i've owned this book and his chocolate cake book for a while but i hadn't yet made anything from them.. only admired the photos and drooled. but i decided that this event would be special and i would make one of his deadly recipes!! i didn't use his icing though, instead i made a whipped ganache frosting from 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, 1/4 cup heavy cream, and 1 ounce butter microwaved until melted, stirred, cooled to room temperature, refrigerated for about 10 minutes, and whipped until fluffy and creamy!

if you make these, make sure to brush the tops several times (i did so when they were still hot from the oven) with some sort of liquid! mine came out pretty dry and hard. i used coffee liqeuer, but any liqeuer will do, or simple syrup. nothing worse than a hard crust disrupting the fluffy lightness of a cupcake! i didn't do it liberally enough but it still helped things overall and next time i know that this is a great step to take if the tops come out somewhat dry.
then i iced with the ganache frosting and put sprinkles on a few and fleur de sel (a newly acquired ingredient that i'm excited to have fun with!)

these were the most chocolatey cupcakes i've ever had!! even though the tops came out dry (which wasn't a problem after soaking anyway), the insides were nice and moist and verryy chocolatey. i loved how there were chocolate chips interspersed in the batter that created little melty gobs of chocolate throughout the cakes. and the whipped ganache was fantastic with the cupcakes. creamy, chocolatey, and piled high on top, just how i like my frsoting. for little cakes, they packed a LOT of chocolate punch. make sure you eat these with a nice cold glass of milk. these definitely deserved their place in the death by chocolate book. :) can't wait to try more from his books!

this was a great first IMBB, and i'm looking forward to more events in the future. thanks, maki!



Granny Twichell's Secret Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
Recipe courtesy of Marcel Desaulniers from "Death by Chocolate"
Makes 18 cupcakes

10 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
1 cup heavy cream
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces
5 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Heat 1 inch of water in the bottom half of a double boiler over medium heat. Place 10 ounces semisweet chocolate, 1 cup heavy cream and 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate in the top half of the double boiler. tightly cover with plastic wrap. Allow to heat for 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir until smooth. Set aside until needed.

Place the eggs, sugar and vanilla extract in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle. Beat on medium until lemon-colored and slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture and beat on medium for 15 to 20 seconds more. Add the cake flour, baking soda and chocolate chips, and beat on low for 10 seconds. Increase to medium and beat for an additional 10 seconds. Remove the bowl from the mixer. Use a rubber spatula and thoroughly combine the batter.

Evenly divide the mixture into 18 bake cups that have already been positioned into muffin tins, filling the cups to within 1/4 below the rim. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.


ICING:
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, broken into 1/2-ounce pieces

Heat 1/2 cup heavy cream in a 1 1/2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Place 6 ounces semisweet chocolate in a stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.
One at a time, dip the top of each of Granny's cupcakes into the chocolate icing. Sprinkle the grated white chocolate over the icing on each cupcake, and refrigerate for 30 minutes to set the icing.

Allow the cupcakes to come to room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

41 Comments:

Blogger chronicler said...

Emily, Oh wow these look delicious. I have that cookbook and didn;t even think of looking in it for a recipe. They look good enough to eat without the icing! Mmmmm. Great entry!

10:38 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Someone left a copy of Marcel Desaulnier's An Alphabet of Sweets in my apartment, and I've been eyeing it for some time. It's good to know that his recipes are good, although the ingredints in your cupcakes are deadly!

10:45 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Ah, those sound really good! Great entry!

8:44 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Ahhh - chocolate. Now we're talking! I've seen lots of beautiful cupcakes for this IMBB, but these are the first chocolate ones I've come upon. They look irresistable!

10:52 PM  
Blogger drstel said...

your cupcakes look picture perfect with a nice round top...they wouldn't have survived 5 minutes in this house.
i guess i have to open up Monsieur D's book more often. thanks for the tip on keeping the tops moist.

5:12 PM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Emily, these look deadly -- or maybe I should say death-defying. With heavy cream and 3 kinds of chocolate in the batter, plus ganache on top -- wow! We'll have to go for a REALLY light dinner the night I make these!

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adhd in infancy
adhd in infancy

Children with ADHD

There is a perplexing state of affairs in today's society, there lies a strong correlation between the affluence of a society and the amount of disease that is present. There is also another correlation that troubles many a people and that is with affluence comes disease at an Earlier age.

Working with children and the parents of these children I often get asked the question, 'Why are Children with ADHD on the increase?'

The answer as you shall find is one that is both interesting and challenging.

Children of today are really no more different from the children of yesterday in terms of genetic makeup. However, if you examine the issue more closely you will tend to find that many children today have been given labels. For example, 'Oh, those are children with ADHD' or 'Those are the children who can't sit still.' Or 'That is the kid that always gets into trouble.'

These labels are not only destructive but also become a self fulfilling prophecy as it is repeated adnauseum.

So as a 21st century parent or a parent with a child with ADHD or a parent with children with ADHD, what knowledge framework do you need to equip yourself with to ensure your children live out their true potential?

Here is a quick reference list for thinking about ADHD
� ADHD is a source of great frustration because it is misunderstood
� ADHD medications are a great short term time buying device and should be avoided long term
� The above point goes for any sort of drug consumption. Think about it for a minute. Unless you have a biochemical deficiency in your body like Type 1 diabetes where your body fails to produce enough insulin or any at all, why would you take an external drug? A body that is in balance is totally healthy. It is only when the body is out of balance that dis-ease symptoms start to creep up.
� ADHD is a biochemical imbalance of the mind and body.
� The Head of Psychiatry in Harvard states that drugs for ADHD simply mask the effects of ADHD. It does not cure ADHD. This is an important point because a cure implies never to have to take the medication. This means that once you start on medication you will have to be on it for the rest of your life i.e. you have medically acquired a dependency for a biochemical imbalance. That is like stuffing all your rubbish (problematic behaviors) into a closet (medication) where no one can see it. But if you continue to stuff more rubbish into that closet, one day you will not have enough space and need to do one of two things. You either empty the rubbish (the natural conclusion) or you get a bigger closet (i.e. change to stronger medication to control the symptoms). The choice is obvious but sometimes when you don't have the necessary tools to deal with ADHD you tend to think the bigger closet is the only option.
� ADHD children are super sensitive to the emotions around them. Often they pick up emotional cues from their parents without realizing. Many parents come home frustrated or annoyed from work, the child with ADHD picks this up and starts to 'cause trouble' by becoming restless. Parents frustration increase because they just want some peace and quiet. They get angry which in turn is picked up by the child who then intensifies their activity. Things get way out of hand and some sort of punishment is handed down to the child who has no idea what just happened. The cycle repeats itself every so often.
� Our brains are wired emotionally. Positive praise is interpreted as an analytical/thinking exercise. Negative criticism including scolding, name calling, physical punishment all go directly to the emotional brain of children with ADHD. This means in order to ensure you get your message across in the most optimal way, you need to learn how to communicate with your ADHD children the way they like to be communicated with.
� Every negative comment requires 16 positive comments to neutralize the emotion. Save yourself the frustration and agitation by practicing positive communication.

The list is by no means complete. In dealing with children with ADHD there are a certain set of behavioural principles to follow. I will detail these steps in the coming weeks. I'll also build on the list as you continue to learn about what appears to be a mystical disorder known as 'Children with ADHD'

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have made this recipe often and my cupcakes are moist. They are not overly sweet, though I would not describe them as bitter--just deeply chocolately. I reduce the vanilla extract by half, and add instant espresso powder dissolved into one tsp. of water. The frosting will seem dull and too soft when first applied, but after time in the refrigerator, it firms up and becomes glossy. I also find that as with many chocolate baked goods, the overall flavor improves after one day, so that's another advantage--these can be made in advance. Be careful not to overbake--I found they were done a few minutes earlier than the recipe stated, but every oven is different. Store cupcakes at room temp. unfrosted, or, in the refrigerator if frosted.

9:41 AM  

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