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Posts Tagged ‘Experiment’

007I had the amazing opportunity to go back to Denmark this summer for the third time.  In Denmark, the predominant flavor for sweets and alcohol, much to my dismay, is licorice.  Salted licorice candy and liquors like Små Grå dominate the market.  I had to get used to the question, “Does it taste like licorice?” when offered anything new.  Thankfully,  Denmark does rely on other flavor profiles, and much to my surprise, I have fallen in love with other candies and liquors.  Has anyone heard of Fiske Fjæs?  One shot of that menthol-tasting alcohol and your sinuses will be cleared!

I always go back to an original favorite, though.  Eight years ago, almost to the day, I arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, for a semester abroad.  One of my first trips with my classmates was out on a fishing boat.  We started the journey with a shot of ice cold Akvavit, or Snaps.  Danish Akvavit does not rely on licorice, thank goodness, but on caraway and dill.  It sounds like it would not be pleasant, but there is something earthy and satisfying about it!  For these cupcakes, I used Danish Aalborg Akvavit.

I decided to pay homage to licorice through the use of fennel seeds in this cupcake.  Pair it with the herbaceousness of the Akvavit in a cream cheese frosting, and you have a Danish-inspired cupcake!

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007It is summer time!  My school year is almost complete – just two more finals to give to students – and then I will be FREE for a few months.  I have wonderful trips planned to Alaska and Europe, so there will be few cupcake posts this summer (not like there have been many recently).

Anyway, to celebrate the end of the school year, some colleagues and I are throwing a BBQ.  I asked them what flavor cupcake they wanted, and piña colada was the answer.  A good summer cupcake, me thinks.

In fact, these were some of my best in a LONG time.  The cupcake was fluffy and moist (thanks to the crushed pineapple), and I whipped the frosting into a nice consistency.  One of my coworkers, with whom these were shared, described the frosting as being light and yet rich.  Score!

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Rafting 012

Saddened by the cupcake not looking that pretty…but they tasted wonderful!

I’ve been dreaming about that Swiss meringue buttercream since I made the Andes Mint Cupcakes!  The texture was so silky and light, like a cloud.  I knew I had to do another cupcake with it, so I did.

In my CSA produce delivery box I received both strawberries and lemons this week.  So, that became the theme for today.  I usually use all of my CSA delivery to inspire my dinners, and I rarely use it in baking.  But this just made sense.  I mean, spring is starting, today was Easter Sunday, and a strawberry and lemon cupcake will be absolutely perfect.

Also, my parents recently purchased a stand mixer.  Having never even played with one before, and as I was making cupcakes at their house today, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try out a Swiss meringue buttercream the “easy” way. (more…)

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170It has finally happened – the San Francisco 49ers have prevailed and will be playing in the Super Bowl this Sunday!  My father has claimed that his children have always brought the 49ers luck.  A month after my brother was born, our boys won their first national championship.  Just 15 days after I was born, they won their second.  They have been undefeated since then in their five Super Bowl games.  I am just hoping with all hope that this Sunday they can make it six!

To celebrate, I have developed a deep, rich, and tangy cupcake to show my love for my team.  I am borrowing my all-time favorite chocolate cupcake recipe (developed for a Super Bowl party three years ago), filling it with tangy and boozey cherries, with a topping of red and gold pride in the form of a rich cream cheese frosting.  Start the cherry filling a few days ahead so the cherries can reach full re-hydration and flavor.

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These cupcakes were suggested by Gibbs!  I love Thai tea, though it is one of those things that I don’t indulge in very often due to the high-fat cream or creamy condensed milk used.  However, baking and sweet are another story!  Both of those things that I avoid in my beverages sound like they would make amazing additions to a cupcake!  For the Thai tea, try to find whole-leaf tea, not the instant kind.  I searched and searched for whole-leaf, and only found tea bags (better than instant).  Brew it until it’s nice and dark, and you can even add in a piece or two of star anise to the tea as it’s steeping to give it a richer, deeper flavor.

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These cupcakes were made for a friend’s wedding shower.  I do have to admit that I’m still having problems with the density of my cupcakes when I put alcohol in them.  These were delicious and fresh, but were a little dense and muffin-like.  The lime really shone through, and you can taste the rum in the frosting.  If you prefer a stronger rum flavor, add more rum in the frosting, but be sure to counteract it with powdered sugar so your proportions don’t get off!
These are pretty and perfect for summer! (more…)

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Mimosa Cupcake

I made a cupcake similar to these for a friend’s birthday during the break from the blog.  But here they are now, ready for Easter!  I don’t know about anyone else,  but our family celebrates any holiday with some wine, beer, or any other drink.  So, mimosa cupcakes are great for our Easter dessert.

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