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Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pound Cake

26 Aug

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pound Cake

It’s really hard to accept that schools and colleges have reopened and Labor Day is exactly a week away. As always, summer months have just flown by. While summer produce and sometimes the weather lingers into late September, Labor Day marks the official end of summer. This weekend is the last official summer hoorah characterized by barbecues, picnics, beach time, road trips and several parties. In short it’s another long weekend to celebrate with some fantastic food. Sliced Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

To pay homage to my favorite season and all the wonderful memories of this summer I have developed this Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Pound Cake recipe. The lemon and blueberries in this cake reflect the bright flavors and colors of summer while the ricotta adds a tang and richness to a simple pound cake. When you bite into this light and moist cake, you taste the brilliance of each ingredient and relish how well they all come together. While this recipe is a wonderful addition to any Labor Day picnic or barbecue you can impress your loved ones with this at any brunch or tea party! Continue reading

Raspberry & Chocolate-Chip Buttermilk Cake

10 Jun

Raspberry & Chocolate Chip Buttermilk CakeI was in love with Betty Crocker and Ducan Hines and then I cheated on them and hardly ever looked back, when I baked my very first cake from scratch. That cake was Deb Perelman’s (author of Smitten Kitchen) Raspberry Buttermilk Cake. Her straightforward recipe and the resulting moist, light and slightly fluffy cake was the catalyst to my love for home baking. Raspberry Chocolate-Chip Buttermilk Cake

In the last 2 years (yes that was the first time I baked a cake from scratch), I have tested several variations of this cake using various fruits and berries and also just using chocolate chips. My favorite version – this Raspberry and Chocolate-Chip Buttermilk Cake does not deviate too far from the original recipe. I reduce the fat content by using low-fat buttermilk and add a little more verve to the classic recipe by adding semi-sweet chocolate chips. This is a swift, easy and light cake for the summer months when raspberries are at their prime and occasions to entertain and impress are plenty! Continue reading

Affogato Crowned Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

16 May

Affogato Crowned Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu

POST NUMBER 50!!! My ongoing expedition of Feeding Your Appetite’ has been an extremely fulfilling one so far. This blog has given me the opportunity to continue to challenge myself inside and outside my tiny kitchen! It’s been a rollercoaster ride that’s included interesting innovations of classic recipes, amplified flavors and several kitchen disasters (yes there’s plenty of messy behind the scenes stuff!).  And yet it is still the beginning of my humble march into in the vast culinary world.

To commemorate the last 49 posts, the 50th one just had to be a truly decadent dessert – featuring my all time favorite sweet union of IMG_2672orange and dark chocolate! I have slightly tweaked Ina’s Garten’s stellar Mini Chocolate Chunk Cake to create my Orange Chocolate Chip Cupcakes and instead of topping them with a Ganache I top it with an “Affogato”.  A classic “Affogato” (Italian for “drowned”) is a scoop of vanilla ice cream or gelato topped with a shot of hot espresso. This crowning glory creates a dessert with a palate stimulating array of tastes, textures and temperatures.  The marriage of orange and chocolate is strengthened with the cold vanilla bean ice cream and aromatic, hot espresso.  Don’t take my word for it, you can be the judge.  So please celebrate your  journey with Feeding Your Appetite by testing this one for yourself.  Continue reading

Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Creamsicle Frosting

18 Oct

The amalgamation of chocolate and orange is a match made in heaven. I recognized this for the first time when I tasted a dark chocolate and orange ice cream at a local scoop shop in Pittsburgh over a decade ago. I was so captivated by that combination that ever since then I have never forgone an opportunity to savor a sweet treat that combines chocolate and orange.

Last week I shared my friend Sneha’s Pineapple Mojito Smoothie recipe. She’s a fellow addict of the heavenly combination of chocolate and orange. For her birthday, I decided to surprise her with these Chocolate Cupcakes with an Orange Creamsicle Frosting.

My recipe is adapted from My Baking Addiction’s – Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting. Jamie, the author of the blog has adapted this cupcake recipe from Ina Garten’s recipe. These are the moistest cupcakes I have ever baked. The addition of the coffee brings out the intensity of the chocolate and enhances the moisture. So even if you decide to make another frosting, do use this chocolate cupcake recipe for it.

I made one minor modification to Jamie’s cupcake recipe by adding a little orange zest into the batter (which you can omit if you are pairing this cupcake with another frosting). I altered the original frosting recipe by increasing the butter, reducing the confectioner’s sugar and adding fresh orange juice. The result is a frosting that tastes exactly like an orange creamsicle. The chocolate cupcake with a slight hint of orange unites with the bold, creamy orange frosting to create a cupcake worthy of any celebration.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Creamsicle Frosting
Adapted from My Baking Addiction’s – Chocolate Cupcakes with Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 24 regular size cupcakes

Ingredients:

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder ( I used Nestle Toll House Cocoa)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon table salt
1 cup low-fat buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest (See note)
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Orange Creamsicle Frosting Ingredients:
16 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature (See note)
zest of one large orange
2 sticks of butter, at room temperature
4.5 cups of confectioner’s sugar, sifted (See note)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice
1 drop orange food coloring (See note)

Notes:

  • Adding orange zest to the batter gives a slight hint or orange in each cupcake, which pairs well with the bold orange flavor of the frosting. If you want the actual cupcake to have a more concentrated orange flavor, you can increase the orange zest to 2 tablespoons.
  • The cream cheese and butter must be at room temperature to cream well together. Make sure you set them on the counter top an hour before making this frosting.
  • I used a lot lesser sugar in the frosting than the original recipe, as I added a few tablespoons of fresh orange juice. Please taste the frosting when it has combined in the mixer and add more sugar per your taste. Just make sure you use the mixer to blend in all the sugar.
  • I added only a drop of food coloring to achieve the color in the picture above. If you want a brighter orange color add another drop.
  • Store cupcakes in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Remove to room temperature 30-45 minutes before serving.

Directions:

Cupcakes:
1) Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
2) Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low-speed until combined.
3) In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange zest and vanilla extract. With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add these wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
4) Now add the coffee (mixer should still be at a low-speed) and stir just to combine. Scrape the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula to make sure all the ingredients are well combined.
5) Use an ice-cream scoop to distribute the batter evenly between 24 muffin wells. Each well should only be 2/3 full to allow the cupcakes to rise.
6) Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Orange Creamsicle Frosting:
1) In a the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese, orange zest, shortening, and butter until well combined.
2) With the mixer of low, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar until thoroughly incorporated and smooth. Add vanilla and orange juice and mix to combine.
3) Use a piping bag or a mini spatula to frost the cupcakes with this frosting.

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