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The Ultimate Cupcake

24 Mar


Yes, I know its been awhile, and I do apologize to my readers. Things have been very busy on my side with my new job, however; now that I am finally back to my daily routine, I am going to start blogging again.

I haven’t had a chance to bake for awhile now, and on Friday I finally had the time, so I grabbed my apron, and started baking. What I didn’t know at the time was that what I would be making would turn out to be the most pleasing to the mouth cupcakes I have ever made.

I have this thing for cupcakes. I seriously love them, and love how creative you can get with each cupcake. If I were to have a cupcake everyday for the rest of my life I would be the happiest person on earth. They are my guilty pleasure, and I know we all have those guilty pleasure, for some it’s TV, others it’s steamy novels and for me, well it’s cupcakes. Funny I know, but there’s something about them that makes me smile!!

For awhile now, I have been in search for the a really great cupcake recipe. I have tried so many of them. And most of them come out dry, soggy or just not moist enough. Last month my cousin sent me this recipe, as she too has been looking for that perfect one. I was very hesitant to make them, thinking that this just might be a waste of time, they will for sure turn out dry, or hard. Trust me, I have made so really horrible cupcakes in my time maybe it’s me or maybe it’s the recipe, but i had yet to find ones that turn out so good. So as you can see by  this point, I had lost all hope in finding that perfect recipe. As I watched the cupcakes in the oven start to form, I thought to myself that if these turn out I will be the happiest person on earth (as you can see, it doesn’t take much to make me happy). Well the recipe was right, these are the ultimate cupcakes.

When they came out of the oven they were so soft. As I jump for joy, my husband was already putting his hand on them wanting to try one. Since he is my test taster for everything, I waited to see what he had to say. And sure enough, he said these were by the best cupcakes he has ever tried. I am not sure where she got this from, but whoever came up with recipe is a god sent.

So on that note, I am going to share the love and hope you do as well. With spring in the air, and Easter just around the corner, it’s the perfect time to get out those cupcake tins out and get your creative juices flowing, cause once you make these you wont want to stop!

Here are the two kinds that I made for Eaters. For the icing I just used regular buttercream icing and added little pink peeps to them and mini cadbury eggs.

The Ultimate Cupcakes.

Yield: 16 cupcakes

***I took out the vanilla bean part and just used pure vanilla instead.

  • 1 cup (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 3/4 cups (175 grams) cake flour, not self-rising
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (75 grams) full-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup canola oil or vegetable oil (60 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) whole milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).
  2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean. (For those of you who are new to using vanilla beans, check out this video to learn how to get the seeds out of the bean.)
  3. Using the back of a spoon, move around the bowl and apply pressure to break up any clumps of seeds and to better infuse the vanilla flavor into the sugar. Set aside.
  4. In a medium-sized mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
  6. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed for three minutes.  Because there is so little butter, you’ll end up with a very fine crumb texture.
  7. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  8. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
  9. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined.  The batter will be liquid.  (Don’t worry, you didn’t do anything wrong.  It’s supposed to be that way.)
  10. Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full.
  11. Bake for 14 minutes and then test to see if they are done. They are done when a toothpick comes out without wet batter stuck to it.  The cupcakes should appear white with specks of vanilla bean. They should not turn a golden brown.  If they are not done, test again in two minutes.  If they are still not done, test again in another two minutes.
  12. When the cupcakes are done, remove them immediately from the tins and leave them on a cooling rack (or just on your counter if you don’t own a cooling rack) to cool.



Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread – Not Your Everyday Kind of Bread

4 Jan


I’m on day 2 of work after being off for 12 days.  I am unsure about you but boy is it ever hard to get motivated. I find myself thinking about ways to never work again. The only solution I can come up with is winning the lotto max or 6/49 and living the life of leisure, however, who knows if that will ever happen so back to work I go and try to find my motivation. Thankfully, my job doesn’t require me to stay late or be in the office very early, so really I should not be complaining.

Last night I had dinner with my friend, for old-time sake we went to one of our back in the day favorite lounge. Back then it was the perfect spot to sit back enjoy a nice martini or glass of wine, and watch all the cougar try to pick up the young lawyers walking through the doors. After being closed for renovations for quite some time they had just opened up, so we decided to check out our favorite spot and see if it still had that magic touch. The atmosphere was the same, same people still hanging out there 7 years later; except, the decor was much better than before and the service seems a bit better as well. The food, on the other hand, was mediocre now. There was nothing great about it! It didn’t leave me with much of an impression to go back on. Being the foodie that I am, I think giving out sausages with cheese dip on a fancy platter really doesn’t call  for a $19.00 price range. I can just wait till stampede and get that for $5.00. But they did have something on their platter that inspired me to go home and cook. Again another sign of the food not being so magnificent, is going home to eat after you just spent a lot of money on what they call “food”.  All in all the company was great, and it’s always great to catch up with friends no matter where you are.

The restaurant had focaccia bread as part of their platter. It was a bit dry but still tasty. I figured it can’t be that hard to make bread. When I got home, I looked up a few recipes to make bread. Now before I continue, I must say, I have tried in the past to make bread, and it never comes out right, always hard, dry or the dough didn’t rise properly. Thankfully I married someone who is a rock star when it comes to making bread. There are very few men I know out there that make bread, but I got lucky found one that can (this made my mother happy I think). So after looking up a few recipes, I found one on Pinterest (surprise, surprise)…but it wasn’t focaccia bread, it was Parmesan cheese, pull apart bread. I thought for sure this might be a little much for me as I am not the best at making bread. But to my surprise it came out fantastic. Just goes to show, never doubt yourself on what you can do. Just because it turns out bad a few times, doesn’t mean you destined to never do that again, just means you need to keep at it. I now think my hubby may have some competition in the kitchen when it comes to making bread.

You can pretty much find this recipe anywhere on the internet, or make your own version of this bread. I think next time I make it I might add black olives and oregano to it. This is the easiest and most enjoyable bread you will make. Not only that, but isn’t fresh bread always better, plus it just melts in our mouth. There is nothing like the smell and taste of fresh bread right out of the oven. Serve hot and enjoy!!

Garlic Parmesan Pull-Apart Bread (source, Gourmet Italian Foods) 

(Yields 1 loaf)

For the bread:

2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups barely warm water
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 1/2 cups all purpose (or bread) flour

For the mixture:

1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the yeast and water, I also add in a little sugar to the yeast mixture, just a sprinkle. Let sit for 5 – 6  minutes until yeast is foamy.

Mix in the olive oil, salt, and flour. If you have a stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 5-6 minutes, or until elastic. If you are doing this by hand, knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until dough is elastic, 7-10 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a clean kitchen towel. Allow to rise for 1 to 2 hours, or until dough is doubled in size.
Punch down the dough. Tear off small pieces of dough (roughly the size of the bowl of a medium spoon), coat in the butter mixture, and place in the bottom of a bundt pan ( I used a loaf pan instead). Repeat this process until you have one layer of dough balls. Sprinkle on 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese. Continue layering the dough balls and cheese until you have enough layers. Cover the pan with a clean towel and allow to sit until dough has doubled in size, 20-30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Cook bread for 25-30 min or until golden on the top.

It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas

30 Nov

If it’s one thing I love about Christmas, besides hanging out with the people you love, is the food. Growing up in an Italian/Spanish home, Christmas is always filled with lots of love and an abundance of food. You could probably feed an entire army in one Christmas sitting in my home. If it’s one person that knows how to make a Christmas dinner it’s my mother. She has to be one of the best cooks I know, I’m not saying that because she is my mother, I am saying it because it is the truth! Anything that she creates comes out to be this mouthwatering, straight to the hips, food. She loves to bake, her cookies and cakes are to die for and her pasta is one of a kind. Lord knows I have tried to make it taste just as good as hers, but it hasn’t happened yet. And I wont stop trying till I get it right!! I can only hope that one day I can be as good as her. She tells me it comes with practice, so that is exactly what I am doing, practicing. I love to bake, it may not always come out the way I had hoped it to, but like they say, practice makes perfect. One thing I know for sure is that I will continue to learn from the best, MY MOTHER!!

This Christmas, I am headed to my in-laws condo in Panorama and lucky for me, my mother in-law loves to cook and bake as well. I would have to say, for someone like me, who loves to cook and bake, I am pretty lucky to have these woman in my life. This year I decided to do my Christmas baking a little early and make their favorite cookies and cakes (and mine too). Thanks to Pinterest, I am able to pull up some creative cakes, cookies and other Christmas desserts and I can’t be more excited to try them all out. I hope my husband, coworkers, friends and family are ready, cause this little baker is getting her baking on.

Here is one of my favorite recipes found on Pinterest.

Candy Apple Pie

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup chopped pecans

Apple Filling:
5 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, sliced very thin)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream Cheese Topping:
8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans



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The cute fluffy plushie's blog / Le blog de Kiu, la peluche voyageuse !


Passionate about cooking and baking and love to share.

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