Monday, June 18, 2012

Boston Cream Cupcakes

Boston Cream Cupcakes

OK! So last night I decided to finally make a recipe that I've been dying to try for the past few weeks! It's in one of my recipe books and it's just been there staring at me waiting for me to get my ingredients out and finally put it together. Basically I've been wanting to try these (1) because they look so delicious in my cookbook and (2) because I love the Boston Cream Pie yogurt that I eat.

First of all, here is what you're going to need for these delicious treats:

6 tablespoons shortening (I used butter flavored)
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour (I added like probably an extra 2 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons milk (recipe says 2% I used 1% because that's what I had)
about 1 cup vanilla pudding
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Now the original recipe only made 6 cupcakes, I doubled it here so it would make an even dozen. First thing I did was make the vanilla pudding. I just used Jell-O instant Vanilla pudding, it's so quick to make. I was just glad I had milk this week to make the pudding. Getting this done first allows you to just whip it up then put it in the fridge until you're ready for it.

After I finished the pudding I started on the cupcake batter. So go ahead and grab a medium sized mixing bowl and preheat that oven to 350 degrees!! Take the shortening and sugar and mix it until it's fluffy. I used my hand mixer, which works to blend it perfectly. Add the eggs after and beat that until the mixture is smooth. Follow that up with the vanilla, again beating the mixture until you feel the vanilla is thoroughly mixed in.

In a small bowl get the flour, baking powder, and salt together. Now what you're gonna do it put about half of it in with the shortening/sugar/egg/vanilla mixture. Beat that in really well, the batter will feel thick, but that's OK because now is the time to mix in 3 tablespoons of milk! Blend it together with that trusty hand mixer...or it can be done by hand with a whisk if a hand mixer is something that doesn't live in your kitchen. Getting a hand mixer was a life saver for me, for some reason I didn't think it was that bad using my arm strength to mix everything together? I know, clearly I wasn't thinking right.

Alrighty, so the first 3 tablespoons of milk are in the batter and mixed in well. So go ahead and mix in the rest of the flour/baking powder/salt combo. Again, mixing in well so you can add in the other 3 tablespoons of milk! Once that is all mixed in the batter is ready. Now I would recommend scooping the batter into a Ziploc bag and cutting a corner off so you can use that to distribute the batter into the paper-lined muffin cups. I did not do this last night when I was making like the whole hand mixer thing I wanted to make it harder on myself. Fill the muffin cups about half full, do your best to keep them even so that your cupcakes are the same size, I still have problems with this. Even this batch had a few cupcakes that were smaller than the rest. Oh well, nothing HAS to be perfect, right?

Now, I put my cupcakes in for about 18 minutes. The recipe said do 15-20. Baking times really depend on each individual oven so always, always, ALWAYS keep an eye on whatever is in the oven the first time you make it. Cookies, muffins, cupcakes, cakes no one likes burnt cookies...except my step-mom she likes it when cookies are really crunchy.

So here are my cupcakes at around 10 minutes, as you can see they're not done. But I thought they were rising up quite nicely so I took a picture! So what I like to do while a batch of cupcakes or cookies or brownies are in the oven is to get some of the dishes done. I hate leaving it all for the end because then I feel like I have a huge mess to clean up. This makes stuff easier.

So once I decided my cupcakes were done, and not over done/burnt. And obviously still moist, dry crumbly cupcakes are not too delicious. Now aren't these beautiful? The vanilla in them really makes them smell nice, if you don't believe me...well that's fine. I just really like the smell of vanilla. So I tried my best to wait a full 10 minutes before popping these bad boys out of the pan and onto a wire rack to cool. Really, the important thing is making sure once they're on the wire rack to you let cool COMPLETELY. I'm horrible at this, I never let things cool completely I'm too impatient. But since you need to fill these with pudding I would say waiting for them to completely cool is a very smart idea and surprisingly I actually did manage to hold my horses and allowed them to cool.

So for the task of filling the cupcakes with the pudding there is a few different ways you can go with it. First is to once again grab a Ziploc bag, cut a small hole in the corner of the bag...after you reinforce it with a couple layers of tape I might add, get a small frosting tip (I remember buying pretty cheap ones at the grocery store a couple years ago that work nicely) and voila! Instant pastry bag! Fill it up with the pudding.
Or you can be fancy like me and have a auto-frosting pen. It's pretty sweet I must admit. just fill it up and attach on the "filler" frosting tip and I have a very easy way to fill cupcakes, muffins or anything else I want.
This is my frosting deco-pen by Kuhn Rikon
purchased at Sur La Table

My Cupcake Corer, also from Sur La Table
Now as far as actually filling the cupcakes again you can go 2 or 3 ways. You can either shove the frosting tip into the top of the cupcake and add the pudding until it starts to come out the top through the hole. You can cut a cone out of the top take some of the inside out and fill the cupcake with the pudding that way. Oooooooor you can be like me and get a $4 cupcake corer and make your life so much easier. This one I got from one of my favorite cooking stores Sur La Table.

Here's how mine looked when I was finished with this part!

 These are the cupcakes with simply stuffing the pudding into them (left) and coring them with the cupcake corer (right).

**UPDATE!** Just thought I'd mention this, since I've had some comments from some people, there needs to be more cream/pudding. Well, why yes I do believe that is true! So when you're filling these up, put in as much cream as you want!! **END UPDATE!**

 OK Sorry this entry is getting long. But I swear, we're almost finished!! Now that all this is finished with. Time to get that lovely Chocolate Ganache topping going! Take chocolate chips and put them in a small bowl. Take the heavy cream and put it in a small sauce pan, bring the cream to a boil and then transfer it into the bowl with the semi-sweet chocolate chips! Stir it up with a whisk until it is smooth. It'll thicken a bit as it cools off. Stir it a bit to keep the smooth consistency and once it's cooled down a fair amount (I waited until it was just a little warmer that room temp); you don't have to cool the ganache completely. So here's what I did, the recipe I used said to spoon the ganache over the cupcakes, which is fine but it doesn't look quite as pretty. So take the cupcake and hold it upside down. Place it in the ganache just enough to cover the top of the cupcake twist it around a little bit and pull it out. The chocolate should look really nice and smooth on top like so...

See how nice and smooth those look! Now let that Chocolate ganache set, I put a piece of wax paper under the cooling rack just in case some chocolate dripped down off the cupcakes. What's it's set, if you want (and if you have left over ganache like I did) feel free to double dip the cupcakes. I just didn't want to waste the chocolate.

So the cupcakes are finished!! These need to be stored in the fridge so I put them in one of my Glad/Ziploc containers to keep them fresh and they're sitting in my fridge now...well some of them. OK half of them. My brother and a couple of his friends have eaten some...and me too.

 I had fun, hope you did too! Til Next Time!!

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