Thursday, October 09, 2008

Random Fun & Recipes...

I love me some random-ness. Its pretty much how my brain works all the time. But there are days when you truly need a map to keep up with my jumping tangents. I've been so scatter-brained lately that I don't think even Dora would be willing to come along...singing map or no singing map. "I'm the map, I'm the map, I'm the maaaaaap!"

Ahem, sorry.
Don't say I didn't warn you though.
:sheepish:

So, with some structure to keep me focused (ooh, look at the shiny stuff!)..

1. Van's party was great! Lots of food, lots of family, lots of fun! The cupcakes went over awesome! (as requested...recipes below). She ran around the whole party saying "Oh Yeah! Oh Yeah! I'm three! Oh Yeah!" and had us all Cracking.Up! Don't know where she got that little nugget of smartness, but yes, she is 3. :)

2. Sent off my column for March/April to Memory Makers. Had some mega-fun with this one too! I'm not supposed to say what the topic is yet, but let's just say that I've been playing with some cah-ute stuffs! :)

3. Working on other Top Secret Stuffs. Just cross your fingers for me and call it good. I'll share asap...from every rooftop...at the top of lungs...with jumps and dancing too if it all works out right. ;)

4. KI Memories gallery goodies are up for October! Check out this fun one I did of Ms. Van. She is really enjoying being home with me all day right now. We goof off and play, snuggle and watch tv, run errands and eat Happy Meals. Life is good. :)



6. Recipes: As requested, the recipes for the gain-a-pound-per-bite cupcakes I made for the party. :) Note: This is best done as a two-day process with the mousse on day 1 and then finishing on day 2 with the cake and frosting. It gives the mousse time to set properly.

Mousse:
* Using microwave or double boiler, melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips, 1/4 cup water, and 2 tablespoons butter. Set aside.
* In a small saucepan, whisk 2 tbl. sugar, 3 egg yolks, and 1/4 cup water. Cook over low heat, stirring frequently until it reaches 160 degrees.
* Remove mixture from heat and slowly whisk in semi-cooled chocolate mixture. Continue stirring until cool (to speed this up, you can place the pan in a bowl of ice.
* Whip 1 1/4 cups of heavy whipping cream (takes forever but is sooooo worth it). Fold whipped cream into cooled chocolate mixture, continuing to mix. Cover well and refrigerate overnight.

Cake: (day 2)
* Mix dry ingredients--2 cups sugar, 1 3/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup cocoa, 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1 tsp. salt, 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda.
* Add 2 eggs, 1 cup cold milk, 1/2 cup veggie oil, 2 tsp. vanilla extract. Mix well.
* Add 1 cup of boiling water. Mix well. (batter will be thin).
* Put in cupcake pans and bake at 350 degrees till toothpick comes out clean (usually 25-35 minutes in my oven).
* When done, remove from oven and place immediately into fridge/freezer for a few minutes to cool quickly. (timesaver! :) LOL)
* When cool, use a serrated knife to cut upside-down cone shapes from the tops of the cupcakes. Basically, the point of the cone shape should be just-shy of the bottom of the cupcake (so that your filling doesn't come out the bottom). Cut the bottom of the cone off, and fit the "lid" part back onto the cupcake. You want to cut out the cone, cut off the tip, and keep it matched to the right cupcake so that they look smoother later. (lesson learned the hard way)

Frosting:
* Melt 1 stick of butter in microwave. Add 1/2 cup cocoa (sometimes I go heavy here if I really want it to be rich!) and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Stir until mixed well.
* Add 3-4 cups of powdered sugar and 1/4 cup of milk. Mix until desired consistency is reached.
* I fiddle around with the frosting a lot b/c the weather, the temperature of the butter, etc all affect it greatly. Basically, just add powdered sugar little bit at a time till you get a smooth, creamy mixture. If it gets too thick, you can add a smidgen more milk to correct. Sorry for the lack of preciseness with the frosting! LOL :) If you want to test it, let the bowl sit for 20 minutes or so. If its a good mix, the top most layer will form a very slight "crust". You can mix it up well again to spread on the cupcakes, secure in the knowledge that its perfect. You can also taste, taste, taste to check and double-check! ;)

Assembly:
* Fluff mousse to refresh. Take "lid" off one cupcake at a time and fill with mousse. Replace lid. Again, work one cupcake at a time or the lids won't fit properly.
* Frost cupcakes **generously**. These are rich, dense cupcakes so don't skimp on the frosting!! Optional: While the frosting is fresh (& slightly sticky), turn the cupcake upside into a bowl of chocolate sprinkles so that they stick, rolling and turning cupcake to cover all the frosting.
* I highly recommend serving these with ice cream or milk. They are seriously chocolate heaven! :)

ENJOY!!! :) :)
Dude, I think that's the most focus I've had in a week! But those cupcakes are worth it! You'll see... ;)

1 comment:

amy licht said...

thanks for posting, staci! that chocolate mousse filling sounds dee-lightful!:) oh and i love the musical note made from a sheer!