Sunday, April 27, 2008

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

I can’t possibly cry anymore than I have in the last 3 days. Yesterday, for the 2nd morning in a row, I woke up with my eyes swollen almost shut. I laid down with some tea bags on them to try and reduce the swelling. It did help a little. I was up early, 6am. The house was silent, just me and my cup of tea; even Moose wasn’t getting out of bed to keep me company. I noticed my Mom cleared the house of anything that reminds me of Fatty. The Rubbermaid container that his food was in is gone, and there is no trace of cat food or treats. Friday morning I had thrown his food bowls in the trash. I just couldn’t look at them. John took his favorite blanket with him. His bed is also gone. The spot where it always was seems empty now. I don’t need “things” to remind of him. I have my memories and my photographs. I know there will come a time when I look back and smile and laugh and tell stories about him, but right now, I’m still hurting.

I kept myself busy yesterday to try and help lift this cloud of sadness that is lingering over me. We worked in the yard again. I stained the little wheel barrow John built for me, I cleaned out the armoire in the kitchen and I cleaned the fridge and washed every square inch of it. I even scrubbed the rubber molding with Q-tips. I know, I know, a bit compulsive, but it was dirty! John put the Beatles on for me because he knows they make me happy and after awhile I found myself singing along and before you know it I was looking for a cupcake recipe to make, cause we all know cupcakes make everyone a little happier.

I had narrowed it down to dark chocolate or yellow cupcakes. I asked John to pick, he chose the yellow, so yellow it was. From Cooks Illustrated I bring you:

Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1 ½ cups AP flour
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temp
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg, room temp
2 large egg yolk, room temp
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin/cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla; beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix by hand until smooth and no flour pockets remain. Divide batter evenly among cups of prepared tin using 2-ounce ice cream scoop or heaping tablespoon. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 24 minutes. Use skewer or paring knife to lift cupcakes from tin and transfer to wire rack; cool cupcakes to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1 cup heavy cream
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate chopped (I used chips)

Bring cream to boil in small saucepan or in microwave. Place chocolate in medium bowl and pour boiling cream over. Cover with foil and let stand 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cool and slightly firm, 45 minutes to 1 hour.Transfer cooled chocolate mixture to bowl of standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment; whip mixture at medium speed until fluffy and mousse-like and forms medium-stiff peaks, about 2 minutes. Spread 2 to 3 generous tablespoons Chocolate Ganache Frosting on top of each cooled cupcake; serve.

These didn’t turn out as good as I expected. They were a little on the dry side but it might have been because I used the nut cups again. I think I left them in a bit too long. I had a half of one and they were edible, but not great. They really aren’t too pretty either.

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