Monday, March 24, 2014

Neapolitan cupcake tarts

Okay, so serious things first: I am officially moving to Boston in five months. This means I now have an issue with my blog name. Unfortunately, "Ally in Boston" or "Ally at MIT" just doesn't have the same rhyming ring to it as "Ally in Cali" does. After about two seconds of pondering, I then realized that no one is going to read my blog and go "But she doesn't live in California! I'M NEVER READING THIS BLOG AGAIN." So now I no longer have an issue with my blog's name. 

I actually baked two other things between the last post and this one. The first were white chocolate green tea mochi cupcakes based on my favorite recipe that I whipped up for my roommates' St. Patrick's Day party before jetting off to Dallas for the week. I wasn't there, but I heard they were a hit. The second was a pan of toffee caramel brownies that disappeared during our post-St.-Patrick's-Day-party party before I could even get a single picture. I'm going to assume people liked them too. 

Maybe I'll make those again at some point and actually write down the recipe, but for now, here are my creations of the week: Neapolitan cupcake tarts!

I've made Neapolitan-themed (the chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry combo) desserts before, and I basically followed the same pattern as the previous cupcakes: chocolate base, strawberry filling, and vanilla frosting. Except it was a slightly different chocolate cupcake, strawberry filling, and vanilla frosting, so totally different recipe (also these aren't Christmas trees). 

For the cupcake base, I used my favorite chocolate recipe that I've used in my red wine cupcakes and my owl-themed cupcakes.  The strawberry filling was a rum-cinnamon-lemon-spiced strawberry compote (rum-soaked fruits are quickly becoming my next obsession, it seems). And the vanilla on top was just a basic buttercream recipe and nothing too novel. 

I wanted some of the pretty red color to peek out, so I just piped a ring of frosting around the filling and piled more strawberries on top - like cute little yummy targets!

Stay tuned till next week, where I mourn the loss of HIMYM, eagerly await the start of Game of Thrones, and then wonder why all my other shows have collectively decided to start sucking (seriously, Revenge, what was that last night?) Oh, and bake something too, I guess. 

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes - makes four dozen mini cupcakes 
  • 3/4 cup/95 g all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup/64 g cocoa powdered (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup of butter (unsalted)
  • 2 oz of semi-sweet baking chocolate
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup/100g of white sugar
  • 1/4 cup/50 g of dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of buttermilk
  1. Preheat oven to 350C.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt) together. 
  3. Melt butter with chocolate in the microwave (use 30 second intervals) until melted and mix until smooth. Let cool. 
  4. Mix eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add cooled chocolate butter mixture. Fold in flour mixture, and then the buttermilk. Mix until just combined (don't overbeat!)
  5. Line a mini-muffin tin with mini-cupcake liners. Fill each with ~2 tsp of batter.
  6. Bake in oven for 12 minutes (mini-cupcakes) or until an inserted fork in the middle comes out clean. 
  7. Let cool and then core out the middles of the cupcakes. Fill middle with strawberry filling (see recipe below) and the frost with vanilla buttercream (recipe below). 
Strawberry filling - makes enough to fill the cupcakes above
  • 16 oz of strawberries - washed, cored, diced
  • 1/4 cup of dark spiced rum
  • 2 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of lemon juice
  • A dash of cinnamon
  1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat. 
  2. Let mixture simmer until strawberries are soft. 
  3. Taste and adjust ingredients as needed. 
Vanilla buttercream - makes enough to ice the cupcakes above
  • 1/4 cup of butter, unsalted
  • 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp of heavy cream
  • 2 tsp of vanilla extract
  1. Cream butter in stand mixer on high speed until fluffy.
  2. Beat in sugar.
  3. Add cream and vanilla. Keep beating until light and fluffy and desired consistency is reached. 

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