Love and Confections: October 2011

October 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cupcakes


I decided to make these delicious Chocolate Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cupcakes. I love angel food cake. It's so light and airy and pillowy. The crunchy sugar crusted top gives way to a tender cake center. It is perfect by itself - eating a piece of cake straight from your hand is one of the ways we enjoyed it as children - or add fresh whipped cream and berries - Heavenly! Must be why it is called Angel Food Cake.

This recipe adds some chocolate flavor the the already great angel food cake. Some people don't like making angel food cake because it only uses egg whites, and you have a ton of yolks leftover. Don't worry. You'll get a recipe for those leftover yolks later. I like to use fresh egg whites for my angel food cake. The store-bought egg white only cartons are do-able in a pinch, but fresh egg whites are preferable.

This Chocolate Angel Food Cupcake recipe was easy to make and even easier to make them disappear. I hope you enjoy them. I doubled the recipe, but you can easily scale it down to the original measurements.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Angel Food Cake
adapted from The Galley Gourmet

Angel Food Cake Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons Cake Flour
- 1/2 cup Dutch-Processed Cocoa Powder
- 1 teaspoon Espresso Powder
- 1 & 1/2 cups granulated Sugar, divided
- 12 large Egg Whites, at room temperature
- pinch of Salt
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- Confectioners Sugar for dusting
- Mini Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips for garnish

Angel Food Cake Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F, spray the tops of 2 cupcake tins and trays with 16 liners (evenly spaced out because you will have empty spots).
2. Separate Egg Whites and Yolks. Be careful to not get any yolk in the whites, or the whites will not whip properly. The best way is to crack the egg over a separate small bowl and then transfer the white to your mixing bowl and the yolk to another bowl. It creates more dirty dishes, but prevents any yolks from getting into your whites.
3. Sift the Cake Flour, Cocoa Powder, Espresso Powder and 1/2 cup plus 4 tablespoons Sugar into a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In the bowl of your stand mixer, with the whip attachment, whip the Egg Whites, Salt, Cream of Tartar and Vanilla on high, until soft peaks form. While the mixer is still on high, gradually add in the remaining Sugar, a little at a time, and whip until stiff, glossy peaks form (2-3 minutes).
5. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg whites in three additions, making sure not to deflate the egg whites too much.
6. Fill each cupcake liner high with batter - two ice cream scoops full.
7. Dust each cupcake with Confectioners Sugar and sprinkle the tops with a few mini Chocolate Chips.
8. Bake for 20-30 minutes - depending on your oven - until the tops are puffed and dry.
9. Keep the cupcakes in the tin for an hour to cool and ensure they keep their shape. After one hour, gently remove the cupcakes and enjoy! They can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days - although I don't think they will last that long, they are too delicious!

Until next time,

October 11, 2011

Split Seconds for a Tea Party

1 comment:

Everyone has childhood memories about special treats or snacks that make us long to be children again. I remember my grandparents picking my sister, KB, and me up from school and our ice cream afternoon snack. My grandmother, nicknamed Booboop, would buy those little, individual ice cream cups and we would put chocolate syrup and sprinkles on top - most likely where my love of sprinkles started.

Sometimes we had a special treat and she would make tea and cookies. My grandmother loved teapots and cups and saucers. She collected many different styles and displayed them in the dining room and kitchen. The three of us loved our tea parties. Booboop let KB and I each choose our teacup for the party. She made it even more special with little touches like putting milk in a special creamer, using pretty scalloped sugar spoons, and buying and arranging sugar cubes on a plate. KB and I were fascinated by sugar cubes - I still am fascinated by them - so perfect and square.

We also had cookies with our tea. Sometimes she would give us cookies from a special tin she ordered, but the best kind were homemade cookies. My grandmother loved to cook and bake. Her love for food, and making people happy with food, was one of the greatest traditions she has given us.

After my grandmother passed away, I was lucky enough to inherit a few teapots. Those afternoon tea parties were a great treat, and the memories of chatting about our day at school are bittersweet. Days like today, when the smell of cookies fill my apartment, make me wish I was 14 again - to have one more tea party with her, and tell her about my day.

Split Seconds
adapted from Ann Pillsbury (yes, that Pillsbury)
- I doubled the recipe, but you could easily halve it if necessary

Split Seconds Ingredients:
- 1 cup All Purpose Flour
- 6 tablespoons Sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- 6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened
- 1 Egg
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Blueberry Jam, or any other flavor you prefer

Split Seconds Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Sift Flour, Sugar and Salt into a mixing bowl
3. Add Butter, Egg and Vanilla. Stir/combine with a spoon - even though the dough will be hard. You can also combine it with your stand mixer, but do not overmix.
4. Sprinkle flour on a work surface and place the dough on the flour. Divide the dough into 8 equal parts (if you are using the doubled recipe stated above).
5. Shape each part into a roll about 6-8 inches long and place on an ungreased cookie sheet or silicone covered baking sheet. Be sure to place rolls at least 3 inches apart and away from the edges of the baking sheet
6. With your fingers, make a small dent, about 1/4 inch deep, down the center of each dough roll. Fell dents with your Jam or jelly.
7. Bake for 12-18 minutes, depending on your oven. Remove from the oven and cut rolls in small pieces while they are still warm.
8. Move pieces to a cooling rack to completely cool before eating.

Until next time,