Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Birthday Huckleberry Lemon Cupakes

So I'm all moved into my new place...sort of. At least the baking stuff is unpacked and on a shiny new rack in Ikea bins in the garage! A new place also means a new oven and I can bake white and lemon cupcakes again without burning the bottoms. The BF mentioned that one of his favorite people at work was having a birthday this week I offered to make cupcakes. Since she is a Montana girl we (read I) decided to make lemon cupcakes with huckleberry cream cheese frosting.

I love the tart flavor of huckleberries and they are so sweet at the same time. How does that work? Being more of an indoorsy type of girl I've never picked them myself but the BF and his family go every year. It sounds sticky. I'm happy to partake in the results of said picking though which is usually jam. Why does jam taste so good? Oh right the sugar.

Well these cupcakes didn't disappoint, they were very lemony and had a strong huckleberry flavor. Mostly because I had to use a whole jar of jam to make them taste good. I also am having a hard time adjusting my frosting recipe to the new bigger mixer at my new house. I thought it would be wonderful to have a better mixer with more bowl space but it turns out it isn't. And of course I sold my old mixer already...trusty friend, I miss you!

Here's how it is done!
Makes 24 Cupcakes

For the cake:
1 Lemon cake mix (plus what eve ingredients your cake mix calls for)
3.4oz Box of lemon pudding
1 Small Meyer lemon (zest & juice)

For the frosting:
1/4 c Butter, softened
8oz Cream cheese, softened
32oz Powdered Sugar
12oz Huckleberry jam

Combine the cake mix ingredients as directly on the box. By the way, am I the only one who stirs it on low for 30 seconds then medium for 2 minutes like the box says? Anyone? That's what I thought. Once the cake mix is combined add the zest of one tiny Meyer lemon and the juice from this tiny lemon. Add the lemon pudding mix. Mix until combined. Fill 24 cupcakes liners 2/3 of the way up with the batter. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until done. I tend to under cook my cupcakes, I think that makes them fluffier, but I'm probably making that up.
While those are baking make some frosting! With the paddle attachment on your stand mixer combine the cream cheese and butter until well blended. Add in half the powdered sugar one cup at a time until combined with the butter/cheese mixture. Then add half the jar of jam. Once combined give it a taste. I actually like the more subtle flavor here but I was told to add more huckleberry. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and jam.
Once the cupcakes have cooled, decorate in your favorite way! I use my super secret method of piping bag and giant star tip. Guess the secret is out...

Enjoy and Happy Birthday Maggie!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Grape and Goat Cheese Bruschetta

So I had to look up bruschetta on the internet to make sure that tomatoes weren't a requirement. I know it's weird but I don't like tomatoes. There are exceptions such as salsa, marinara sauce, and ketchup. As far as I'm concerned those things don't have real tomatoes in them. I love the idea of bruschetta, I mean bread with yummy stuff on top = WIN! On Monday I found this recipe on Pinterest but it needed a bit of tweaking for me since it sounded entirely too healthy. Let me tell you, the tweaks worked and I had a serious moment last night with this dinner/snack/appetizer. I honestly felt the earth move and the sky open up and the angels sing about goat cheese and roasted grapes! 

I was so anxious to eat this I only took four pictures, luckily at least two turned out...or unluckily since now I don't have a convenient excuse to make this for dinner again. Did I mention that the grapes for this were amazing? Super weird to roast grapes but they were fragrant and juicy and just plain awesome! Don't worry I picked out the thyme before I shoved these in my face because sticks don't taste very nice. Make this today, it's healthy since it has fruit!

Ingredients for 1 serving (4 slices): Recipe adapted from here.
1 bulb garlic roasted
1-2 tbs goat cheese
1 c grapes
4 Slices artisan bread
5 sprigs of thyme
2 tbs butter
Pinch of salt
Pinch of pepper
4-5 tbs of olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the tip of the bulb of garlic. Place the garlic on the center of a square of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Wrap the garlic up with two pieces of foil, don't be like me and only use one and have oil leaking out all over the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
At this point I pulled the goat cheese out of the fridge and put it on the oven to soften.
While that is going on, cut a handful of grapes in half and removed seeds if needed. Break off a couple sprigs of thyme and dump it all into a casserole dish. Drizzle with about a tablespoon or two of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Thinly slice the artisan bread, I used a asiago cheese pugliese. In a large skillet melt 2 tablespoons of butter over a med-high heat. When the butter is completely melted place slices of bread in the pan turning until both sides are golden brown.
When the garlic has about 10 minutes left put the dish of grapes and thyme in the oven for 7-9 minutes. When the bread is browned, grapes and garlic roasted it is time to assemble. Spread a thin layer of goat cheese then a layer of roasted garlic and top with the grape mixture. I don't know if you are supposed to eat the thyme sticks but I didn't, they look gross.

I'm having this for dinner again, it might be my new favorite!