The cupcake is Americas darling. Its celebrated in upscale bakeries, on Sex in the City, on the cover of Gourmet, and in thousands of classrooms where every day, it seems, a parent has sent in a batch for the kids to share. The very word conjures up whimsy, coziness, pleasure, nostalgia. Not to mention the fact that their diminutive size means you can eat a lot of them. Once upon a time, a family had only two recipes for cupcakes chocolate and vanilla. Not anymore. Now Anne Byrn brings them to the next level. And who better? Recognized as the master of cake-mix baking, Anne is the author of The Cake Mix Doctor and Chocolate from the Cake Mix Doctor, which have a total of over 1.8 million copies in print. In Cupcakes she offers 135 tempting recipes for children and grown-ups, for special days and everyday, lunch bags, holiday festivities, and an unexpected dinner party dessert. Youll never believe these artful little cakes started with a mix. Coconut Snowballs, Jelly Doughnut Cupcakes, Kiss Me Cakes, Warm Chocolate Cupcakes with Molten Centers, Red Velvet Cupcakes with White Chocolate Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting. There are surprising additions (tuck a chocolate kiss orpiece of cookie dough into the batter). Creative toppings and easy from-scratch frostings (whipped cream spiked with Kahlua; miniature M a creamy malted frosting with crushed malted milk balls).Terrific decorating ideas, from glittering golden dragees or elegant chocolate curls to yellow peeps for an Easter cupcake orfor Groundhogs Daya groundhogs face made out of chocolate frosting and jimmies. Includes a 16-page full-color opening essay.
From chocolate ganache to toppings with panache, this latest addition to the Cake Mix Doctor canon offers creative ideas and 135 recipes for tiny, delicious cakes. The detailed table of contents and alluring cupcake likenesses in the opening assemblage of photos will have readers salivating. The Cupcakes with Class chapter offers tasty elegance, from Cappuccino Chip to Harvey Wallbanger (which contains vodka and liqueur). Kids' cupcakes range from Cotton Candy to Caterpillar, and priorities delightfully in place, Byrn provides party-planning suggestions for favors and activities that complement the cupcakes. Helpful hints abound via "The Cupcake Doctor Says" tidbits, which appear throughout the book, and mini-essays that ponder questions such as "What's a Muffin? What's a Cupcake?" The Muffins: Breakfast Cupcakes chapter suggests ways to move beyond the classic blueberry (though Byrn offers a new take on that standby, too); Cupcake Cousins and Cupcake Creations will give do-it-yourselfers the confidence to try making fancy desserts in muffin tins. Fans of the regular QVC guest will already know that homemade frostings are a must, "the strand of pearls setting off the classic little black dress." Recipes for creams, glazes, frostings and sauces will help cupcake chefs "experiment and enjoy." (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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April 04, 2005
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Excerpt from Cupcakes! by Anne Byrn
It was chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten of New York City who put little chocolate cakes with warm, melting centers on the map. The method he uses is to bake a rich chocolate batter with very little flour at a high heat until the sides of the cake set but the centers are still runny. This method works in a restaurant kitchen, but there is a more practical method for the home cook. This one uses a chocolate cupcake batter with a center of chocolate ganache-that luxurious mixture of semisweet chocolate and hot cream, stirred until smooth, and allowed to cool. The ganache sinks into the batter as the cupcake bakes, creating a creamy molten center. Serve these tout de suite, as the French would say, and have ready to go the dessert plates, forks, sauce, and sugar for sifting. Cupcakes Basic Chocolate Ganache (see below), chilled at least 1 hour (see "the Cupcake Doctor says" below) Cinnamon Cregrave;me Anglaise (see below) Vegetable oil spray for misting the pans All-purpose flour for dusting the pans 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain devil's food cake mix 1 cup water 1/2 cup vegetable oil 3 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, for dusting 1. Prepare the Basic Chocolate Ganache, cover it with plastic wrap, and place it in the refrigerator to chill. Prepare the Cinnamon Cregrave;me Anglaise, cover it with plastic wrap placed right on the surface, and place it in the refrigerator to chill. 2. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly mist 24 cupcake cups with vegetable oil spray and dust them with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set the pans aside. 3. Place the cake mix, water, oil, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and blend 1 1/2 to 2 minutes more, scraping down the sides again if needed. The batter should look well combined and thickened. Spoon or scoop 1/3 cup batter into each prepared cup, filling it three quarters of the way full. (You will get between 22 and 24 cupcakes.) Drop a heaping teaspoonful of ganache onto the top of the batter in each cup. Place the pans in the oven. 4. Bake the cupcakes until the cake bakes up around the ganache, the tops are domed, and the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed with your finger, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks for 1 minute. Run a dinner knife around the edges of the cupcake cups, lift the cupcakes up from the bottoms of the cups using the end of the knife, and pick them out of the cups carefully with your fingertips. Place them on dessert plates, sift confectioners' sugar over the top, spoon the cregrave;me anglaise in a pool around each cupcake, and serve warm. Store these cupcakes, in a cake saver or under a glass dome, at room temperature for up to 1 day. To reheat so the centers are molten once again, place the cupcakes on a microwave-safe plate and cover with paper towels. Heat on high power for 10 seconds, carefully remove, and serve. Basic Chocolate Ganache 3/4 cup heavy (whipping) cream 8 ounces (1 1/3 cups) semisweet chocolate chips 1 tablespoon liqueur of your choice or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (optional) 1. Place the cream in a small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring it to a boil, stirring. Meanwhile, place the chocolate chips in a large stainless steel mixing bowl. Remove the cream from the heat and pour it over the chocolate. Stir with a wooden spoon until the chocolate has melted. Stir in the liqueur, if desired. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour or chill for 20 to 30 minutes so it thickens to a spreadable consistency. The Cupcake Doctor Says You will m