Category Archives: Recipes

Cupcake Week, Day 6: Apple Crisp Cupcakes

Hello everyone! I actually only made six cupcakes for cupcake week, as I got incredibly busy with thesis on the last day. However, this and the mojito are my two most favorite cupcakes from the entire week! This cupcake plays off apple crisp and coffee cake, featuring real tangy granny smith apples and a sweet and crunchy streusel filling. In terms of texture, this is one that’s the best!

CUPCAKE: Apple crisp with real apples
FILLING: Streusel
TOPPING: Whipped cream
GARNISH: Apple, caramel, cinnamon (optional)

Want to try? If so, check out the recipe below the jump!! <3

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Cupcake Week, Day 5: Clementine and Olive Oil

Yeah, you heard that right. As soon as I saw recipes for olive oil cupcakes on vegan websites (not that I frequent them because I would die of starvation if I ever tried to be vegan) I knew I had to try them! For kicks, I looked up cupcakes with balsamic vinegar (it’s the perfect compliment!) and to my surprise and delight, I found balsamic whipped cream! SCORE. I had to try these.

CUPCAKE: Clementine and olive oil
TOPPING: Balsamic whipped cream
GARNISH: Clementine zest and basil leaves

Please ignore how hideous the basil is here – our local grocery store is not exactly know for the freshness of their produce. These cupcakes are a crazy combination, but surprisingly delicious! For those brave enough to attempt them at home, the recipe is below the cut!

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Cupcake Week, Day 4: Mango Cupcakes

My housemate recently discovered that the Asian market in Albany carried mangoes that were both cheaper and of a higher quality than the ones found at the local grocery store. So what would any sensible mango-loving individual who lives with other perfectly-sensible mango-loving individuals do? Buy a case. YES! There were still a few left when I was plotting recipes, so I called shotty on them, and this is my attempt to incorporate them into a pastry!

TOPPING: Mango frosting
GARNISH: Mango chunks, strawberry slices, nilla wafer w/ chocolate syrup

My original intention was to fill them with a mango puree, but they were so moist already that I was afraid the puree would make it soggy, so I skipped that step. And then I ate the rest of the mango <3 The frosting was my FAVORITE part. It was so light and fluffy and tasted like fresh mango! Recipe below the cut!

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Cupcake Week, Day 3: “This sounds like froyo!” cupcake

As I rattled down the list of potential cupcakes trying to choose the seven I wanted to make, my friend’s reaction to this one was “Ooo! That sounds like a froyo cupcake!” It was originally going to be a pound cake cupcake with strawberry Clementine compote and Clementine whipped cream, but the frozen yogurt comment got me thinking, and I attemped something else – a Calpico glaze!

CUPCAKE: Pound cake
FILLING: Strawberry Clementine compote
TOPPING: Calpico glaze
GARNISH: Clementine twist, strawberry, pound cake star

For those of you that don’t know what Calpico is, it’s actually the English name for the Japanese uncarbonated soft drink Calpis (カルピス) because English-speaking countries think it sounds like “cow piss,” which makes it slightly less attractive to drink! The taste is a little similar to plain yogurt because it has a nice tang, but with added sweetness. The name actually is a portmanteau of two works: cal from calcium and pis from sarpis (butter flavor in Sanskrit). It’s originally sold in concentrate form (which I used here) but also comes in a pre-watered down version and can be drank lie that! There’s a ton of different flavors too, but my absolute fave is the original <3 I use it on my shaved ice all the time, and I love mixing it with fruit juices (grapefruit, especially), and it totally works in soju cocktails as well!

Photo from Just Hungry

Pretty much, the best thing ever ^_^ Anyways, check below the cut for the recipe! It features something I hadn’t heard of before – the “cold pound cake” technique, but I thought it worked out well =)

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Cupcake Week, Day 2: Mojito Cupcakes

I made a list of about 15 cupcake recipes that I wanted to try for Cupcake Week, and spent quite a while narrowing them down. The selection process was extremely complex – read all the titles to my friend and keep the ones that he said “OOO” to! Hahaha, super hard, right? The one that I was most excited to try was this cupcake – after making a Kahlua cake for Rezzy’s 3-month birthday, I’ve been inspired to try more pastries with alcohol! For some odd reason, we have accumulated four bottles of rum in the liquor cabinet (two bottles of superior, one gold, and one 151)

GLAZE: Rum syrup
TOPPING: Lime rum cream cheese frosting
GARNISH: Lime, mint leaves

This one was DELICIOUS. It wasn’t too sweet, and the lime gave it a really nice tang, and having mint in the cupcake was a really refreshing treat! I even liked the frosting – and I don’t like frosting! That and they are super cute =D

This recipe is adapted from Cream Puffs in Venice. I have changed the cupcake recipe a bit though, adding mint to the cupcakes and changing a few of the processes to infuse the cupcakes with more minty-lime flavor! Check out the recipe below the cut!

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Cupcake Week, Day 1: PBizzle cup[cake]s

This is the first day of Cupcake Week! Today’s cupcake is inspired by the amazing Reese’s peanut butter cups and features a dense devil’s food cake, peanut butter filling, and chocolate ganache. Sounds decadent and oh-so-unhealthy, doesn’t it?

CUPCAKE: Devil’s food cake
FILLING: Peanut butter
TOPPING: Dark chocolate ganache
GARNISH: Crushed Resees

This cupcake is named after my good friend Ben for a few reasons. The first reason is because he will shove every pastry into his face before you can blink. The second is because I like to joke and call him a polar bear, or PB, which also is short for peanut butter! The last reason is because I always think of him when I eat peanut butter since he’s super ticklish so his siblings tortured him when he was a child by covering him with peanut butter and setting the dogs loose on him! XD

I love chocolate ganache. I use it as a topping on EVERYTHING because it is simple, gorgeous, and amazingly-delicious! I felt that chocolate ganache was the perfect topping for this cupcake because it would leave a finish that looked like a Reese’s peanut butter cup – nice and smooth and chocolaty on top!! (That was the reason I chose to make them in the foil baking cups as well!) Then I chopped up some Reese’s peanut butter cups (it was difficult making sure my housemates didn’t eat them when I wasn’t looking!) and put them on top.

Recipe after the cut!

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Homemade Grenadine

Hello everyone! As you may or may not know, I have always had an interest in mixology. I’m not really a big drinker, but I have a lot of respect for a well-made drink with high-quality and fresh ingredients, presented in a gorgeous way. I’ve never actually bought grenadine before, but one evening when I was tending bar at DTU’s Kampsax Bar during my semester abroad, I looked at the back of a bottle of grenadine – it’s made of a high-fructose corn syrup base and citric acid! Whaat?

Grenadine, traditionally, is a red syrup made with pomegranate juice and sugar. The name actually, comes from the French “grenade,” or “pomegranate.” Definitely not the same as citric acid!

Last winter, I needed some grenadine for a chocolate grenadine cupcake (they were okay, nothing too remarkable) and going to the adult beverage store was an extra trip, so I decided to try and make some on my own! To my delight, making homemade grenadine is ridiculously simple – and it tastes so much better! It almost doesn’t warrant a “recipe” post, but I feel that homemade grenadine is something that people don’t generally think of doing. I promise you though, once you try this and taste the difference, you won’t buy any of the store-mixed stuff again!

Making your own grenadine is pretty much just making a 2:1 syrup – just with POM Wonderful pomegranate juice instead of water!

– 1 bottle POM Wonderful, 16 fl oz
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– a dash of orange-flower water

Bring the sugar and juice to a boil in the saucepan, then simmer until it reduces to about half. Take it off the stove and add the orange-flower water and a tsp of fresh lemon juice, if desired. Let it cool and store in a tight-sealing jar in the fridge! I usually just put it back in the POM bottle, cross out the logo and write “HOMEMADE GRENADINE <3” on it =D

Another (and even EASIER) process of making your own grenadine is almost ridiculously easy: get a jar, pour in 1 cup POM and 1 cup granulated sugar, and shake the living hell out of it until it dissolves. Add a little more and shake again. Done. Fresh and delicious! (This version is a lighter and fruitier, which makes it really good for flavoring when you need a fruitier flavor instead of a sweetener!)

And there you go! Make something delicious out of it! My personal favorite grenadine-based drink is hands down, the Singapore Sling! Other recommendations are the classic Tequila Sunrise and for baking – grenadine frosting topped with fresh pomegranate seeds as a garnish =)

Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel, March 11, 2011

Much love, from a closet intoxicologist and pastry chef! =)

Kahlua Cake with strawberry filling <3

My friend threw a 3-month birthday party for his beta fish, Rezzy earlier this month. He wanted to get rid of most of his spare alcohol as the semester was ending soon, so he made a large number of fish-shaped Jell-O shots – I helped out the endeavor by making a cake!

This was my first attempt at baking with alcohol, but I think it turned out pretty good! It was not as moist as I would have liked and I think next time I would do it with chocolate, but then again – this is a yellow cake and my taste buds seem to be craving a devil’s food cake! Check it out =D

CAKE: Kahlua cake (2 layers)
FILLING: Strawberry vodka compote
FROSTING: Kahlua/coffee chocolate
TOPPING: Fish-shaped strawberry slices!

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