Mar 09 2010
It is hard to believe that I have been blogging for five years now. I have also been living overseas for just as long. And, to be honest, if I hadn’t moved overseas, this blog may have never happened.
Originally I started For the Love of Food to share vegetarian recipes with friends who kept calling up to ask me for my recipes for their daughter or sister or loved one who just turned vegetarian. I got tired of emailing out (and in some cases – hand writing) tons of recipes. So, when my husband suggested a blog, I thought it would be a fantastic idea because my family could just go straight to the blog for the recipes instead of constantly having to ask and wait for me to reply…sometimes weeks later.
Later on, For the Love of Food developed into a place where my family, an ocean removed, could read-up on what I was cooking on a weekly or daily basis. And, now I use it to share with the world the many dishes that I make from scratch…mostly American food made with German ingredients. Which takes me back to my previous statement of this blog possibly never happening had I not moved overseas. Moving overseas and far away from home creates a void in the heart that can often only be filled with a slice of homemade goodness reminiscent of happy childhood days. The search to fill this void and bring home a few kilometers miles closer is what currently fuels my beloved blog. Everything from ketchup to ice cream to salsa can be found here and has been part of my many hours of searching Google (and your lovely blogs) and my many trials (and just as many errors) in cooking. Basically, since I couldn’t find the foods I loved at my local supermarket, I was “forced” to learn how to create them from scratch with the raw ingredients at my disposal. And, in 2007 I was able to take this a step further when I got a small garden plot in my local Inter-cultural garden by planting many produce that are unavailable to me here (tomatillos, jalapeños, really sweet corn).
In 2007 I was also able make great leaps and bounds in my food photography attempts with the purchase of my first digital SLR camera, and later on improve even further with the purchase of an even better lens.
I know the last year the blog has been flaky – which my very tiring pregnancy and birth of our second son and now the move…that I am going to have to repeat in another 7 weeks (I will tell you that long story when it finally has an end). Luckily, unlike originally thought, I now have fantastic internet access thanks to a kind neighbor.
On to happier thoughts…and those mini cupcakes on lollipop sticks that I promised earlier…
I don’t have any possibility to bake anything that doesn’t fit in a toaster oven until I am finally in my new home with my new kitchen, but I can share these really cute cupcakes that I made for my son’s 3rd birthday for him and his preschool friends. It was his request…I just made it happen. It was a lot of fun, easier than I thought it would be, and delicious beyond my wildest dreams. So delicious, my husband suggested that I should open an American bakery here in town staring lots of cupcakes. One day….
Until then, I will share the recipes with you (especially the frosting!!) so that you can recreate these at home. I already have big plans for these babies….think 4th of July party in our garden with other Americans we have met in my son’s kindergarten recently…it is such a small world!
For the cupcakes I used this recipes that was such a big hit last year and a Pillsbury recipe that my mom shared with me. And, for the frosting I used this DELICIOUS and EASY Wilton Buttercream Icing and a whole tube of red food coloring. For the frosting I suggest a good quality reusable piping bag with different tips.
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
6 Tablespoons Unsweetened Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
1/4 Cup Rice Milk (or regular milk)
1 Tablespoon + 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Fructose (or sugar)
1 Cup Flour
1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
Preheat oven to 177°C (350°F).
Butter mini muffin tins or mini cupcake tins. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt my hand until there are no clumps.
In a separate bowl, whisk the the cocoa powder so there are no clumps. Then, whisk in the boiling water until the consistency is smooth and creamy. Whisk in the rice milk, and vanilla extract to the water chocolate mixture and set aside.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and fructose until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes with the electric mixer. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
To the egg mixture add the flour mixture and cocoa mixture in batches alternately with flour and cocoa mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture, and beating well after each addition. I did this all by hand with a spatula and it was really easy. You can also do it with an electric mixer if you wish.
Fill the buttered mini cupcake pan with the batter 3/4ths full and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack completely. Refrigerate before frosting.
White Cupcakes (based on a Pillsbury recipe)
2 Cups Flour
1 1/2 Cups Fructose (or sugar)
3 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Rice Milk (or milk)
1/2 Cup Butter (original recipe called for shortening)
1 teaspoon Vanilla
5 Egg Whites
Heat oven to 177°C (350° F). Grease mini cupcake pan. In an electric mixer beat the flour, fructose, baking powder, salt, rice milk, and butter. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed. Add vanilla and egg whites and beat them an additional 2 minutes. Pour into the mini cupcake pans.
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan . Let them cool completely and refrigerate before frosting.
Wilton Buttercream Icing (Frosting) (original recipe here)
1/2 Cup Vegetable Shortening
1/2 Cup Butter
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
4 Cups Powdered Sugar (about 1 lb.)
2 Tablespoons Rice Milk (or milk)
Food Coloring of Choice (I used a whole tube of red)
With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and shortening – if you have a one-paddle mixer (such as a KitchenAid) use the whisk attachment. Add the vanilla and then the powdered sugar one cup at a time. After mixing for a while the frosting will appear dry and crumbly. Add the milk and beat/whisk until light and fluffy – give it a few minutes and you will see it transform. Then, by hand, mix in the food coloring.
First things first: find a container that will hold the mini cupcake lollipops. I used a box that we cut part of the side off to turn into a lid. We retrofitted the lid with 2 lollipop sticks to keep it from going bellow the sides of the box and touching the frosting. My husband measured and poked holes so that the lollipop sticks would all go through and the cupcakes would fit well without touching each other. We then lined the bottom with parchment paper to turn the box into a “food grade” box. (see image bellow)
Make sure your frosting is ready to go and in a piping bag fitted with a sort of star tip.
Then, I suggest doing a practice run with the frosting on a cupcake on a plate. Start on the outer edge and circle in to the center.
Then, place all cupcakes on the lollipop sticks and push them until they are almost to the top.
Place them in their little box holders and frost them.