Green Tea Matcha Cupcakes with Whipped Mascarpone Frosting

 

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This post is really exciting for me! First off, it’s been a long time since I baked anything for my blog…life and work seem to always get in the way. Second, I got to test out my new macro lens!  I’ve been wanting to buy one for a long time but finally decided to bite the bullet after I got hired to shoot some food photography for 2 local restaurants!!!  While I love my 35 mm prime lens and it has been great so far for my food photography, macro lenses can reproduce even more detail which is perfect for drool-worthy food photographs!

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Lastly, you may notice the new videos/GIFs I’ve used in this post.  They are actually called “stop-motion vignettes” and are perfect for showing cooking and baking processes like frosting a cupcake!  I learned how to make them from the amazingly talented photographer and food blogger, Betty Liu.  Check out her blog to learn how to make your own stop-motion vignettes.  It took some trial and error, but I think I got the hang of it eventually.

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So now for the cupcakes…I first experimented with matcha green tea last year in  my post on matcha green tea, white chocolate macademia nut cookies.   Matcha green tea is a fine green powder that has been popping up everywhere from lattes to cookies and cakes.  Not only does it have a lovely flavor, but it makes for a gorgeous green color.  I had initially planned on making a different dessert this weekend but figured cupcakes would be the perfect dessert to show off my new stop motion vignettes!  I was also tasked with making a non-chocolate dessert for dinner with friends tonight so matcha seemed like the perfect flavor to try.  I paired the matcha cupcake with a simple, light frosting so as to not overpower the delicate matcha flavor in the cupcake.  The result was pretty tasty- hopefully my friends will agree!

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Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes with Whipped Mascarpone Frosting

(makes 12)

Matcha Green Tea Cupcakes (adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 cup cake flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tabelspoons matcha green tea
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature

Whipped Mascarpone Frosting

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt
1/4 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. In a small bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and matcha.

In an electric mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add egg and mix on medium until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture and then sour cream, mixing until just combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about halfway. Bake, rotating halfway through, until cupcakes spring back to touch and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Let cool in tin 5 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

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For the frosting, combine the butter, cream cheese, and mascarpone cheese in a stand mixer, fitted with a whip attachment.  Beat on medium to high speed until thoroughly combined, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the powdered sugar, vanilla extract and salt and mix until smooth.  Add the heavy cream and whip on high for a minute until light and fluffy.  You may want to refrigerate for 30 minutes before frosting to firm it up a bit.

Frost the cooled cupcakes and enjoy!

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S’mores Cupcakes

Super Bowl Sunday is obviously a huge holiday in my life…who can resist chips and guacamole (or as we called it “gronkamole”), buffalo wings and tenders, cornbread, chili, and cupcakes? Oh and apparently it also involves some sort of sports game involving men tackling each other in tights with deflated balls…and Katy Perry.

But I digress…Sunday night my friends and I gathered together for the 3rd year in a row to make an awesome Super Bowl feast and to watch a pretty exciting Patriots’ win!  In addition to the cornbread, I was in charge of the dessert (per usual).  I  had been wanting to test out an idea I had for s’mores cupcakes and this was the perfect opportunity.  Especially since I could top the cupcakes with toasted and…DEFLATED marshmallows and make fun of the “deflategate” controversy.

Most recipes I’ve seen use a chocolate cupcake as a base for s’mores cupcakes.  However, I decided to go with a brown sugar and cinnamon cupcake to simulate a cinnamon graham cracker.  I then filled them with a marshmallow filling (made from Fluff!!!) and topped it with my favorite chocolate ganache frosting recipe from Flour Bakery.  And of course, the final touch is a marshmallow on top that is toasted (broiled/torched) just before serving.

They were the perfect treat to enjoy while watching the Patriots win their 4th Super Bowl victory!

S’mores Cupcakes

Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cupcakes (Adapted from 52kitchenadeventures.com)
Yields 12 cupcakes

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Marshmallow Filling (from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
¾ cup Marshmallow Fluff
1 ½ tablespoon heavy cream

Chocolate Ganache Frosting (from Flour Bakery)

12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped (or can use semisweet chocolate chips- recommend Ghiradelli brand)
1 cup heavy cream 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

12 large marshmallows

For the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 325 °F. Line muffin tin with paper or foil liners. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a large bowl, cream butter and brown sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until fully incorporated. Mix in vanilla extract. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients in 3 batches, alternating with 1/2 of the buttermilk, stirring after each until everything is combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin tin. Bake for around 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

For the filling: Cream together all ingredients in a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment until homogenous.  Transfer to a pastry bag.

Cut out a small circle in the center of each cupcake.  You may reserve these to put back in place after filling the cupcakes.

Pipe marshmallow frosting into each hollowed out center.   Cover, if desired, with reserved cupcake cut-outs (you’ll probably want to trim them).

For the frosting:

In a small saucepan, scald the cream over medium-high heat. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sitfor about 1 minute, then slowly whisk together until completely melted and smooth. Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours until completely cool ( or refrigerate for about 30 min whisking every 10 minutes)

Fit a stand mixer with the paddle attachement (or can use a handheld mixer) and beat butter on medium-low speed for 10-15 seconds, until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, salt, and vanilla and continue to beat on medium-low speed for about 2 minutes until mixture if fluffy and smooth. On medium speed, add the cooled ganache and beat until completely combined, about 2 minutes. Stop to scrape bottom and sides of bowl. Turn up mixer speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute until frosting lightens in color and thickens.

Frost each cupcake, preferably piping from a pastry bag.

To toast the marshmallows, preheat your broiler.  Toast marshmallows until browned on top and melting- should take less than 1 minute, DO NOT leave unattended.

Alternatively, you can toast over a gas burner or with a creme brûlée torch.

Let marshmallows cool for about 5 minutes.  Then transfer to tops of cupcakes- warning: marshmallows will be sticky and a little difficult to transfer!

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

With the announcement today that Crumbs Bake Shop is closing all of its stores, I decided a commemorative cupcake blog post was in order.  While the cupcake craze may be on a decline, I will never tire of these mini, tasty treats.  As the saying goes “Good things come in small packages”.  Perhaps I am just partial to this given my own petite size… But really?  Cake, frosting, perhaps a surprise filling,  all in one small, portable serving…what’s not to love?

These chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes are especially delectable and were the perfect way to celebrate my last 24 hour shift in the emergency room this year.  I work with some incredible doctors, physician assistants and nurses in the emergency room and brought these in as a way to thank them for all of their hard work and for keeping me sane during my four months of every other day, 24 hour call.

A word of warning…with all the butter that goes into creating these cupcakes, one cupcake alone may be enough to actually send you to the emergency room! There are 3 components to the cupcakes and they all involve butter!  The process begins by making an egg-less cookie dough that is frozen ahead of time.  These frozen cookie dough balls are then placed into a brown-sugar based cupcake batter.  Once in the oven, the frozen cookie dough starts to bake but retains its soft, dough-like texture that is the highlight of the cupcake.  Finally, the cupcake  is topped with a brown sugar frosting and sprinkled with mini chocolate chips.  The final product is a pretty rich cupcake that has the flavor of chocolate chip cookies in every component.  While, as a doctor, I wouldn’t recommend eating one every day, they are the perfect special occasion treat!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes

(recipe from kevinandamanda.com, makes 24 cupcakes)

For the cookie dough:
2 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup mini chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:
3 sticks softened butter
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed
4 large eggs
2 2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:
3 sticks softened butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tablespoons milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:

To make the cookie dough, combine the butter and sugars in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 mins. Beat in milk and vanilla until incorporated and smooth. Beat in the flour and salt until just combined. Stir in the chocolate chips. Using a 1.5 tablespoon scoop, shape the dough into 24 balls. Freeze on a parchment lined baking sheet overnight.

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350° F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners (24 total).  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and brown sugar.  Beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.  Stir together to blend.  Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl on low speed, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, mixing each addition just until incorporated.  Blend in the vanilla.

Using a 3 tablespoon scoop, fill the prepared cupcake liners 2/3 full with the cupcake batter. Place a frozen cookie dough ball on the top center of each cupcake.

Bake at 350 for 16-18 mins.

To make the frosting, combine the butter and brown sugar in a mixing bowl and cream on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the powdered sugar until smooth.  Beat in the salt, milk, and vanilla extract until smooth and combined.

Frost the cupcakes and sprinkle with mini chocolate chips!