Chocolate Spiced Rum Cupcakes Stuffed With Strawberries

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One of my all-time favorite challenges to participate in each  month is We Should Cocoa. This month we were left to our own devices – essentially go out and make something chocolate! But without the usual conditions (either to cook a certain type of chocolate food, to cook with a certain ingredient, etc.) This month I was allowed to do whatever I wanted! So I decided to make cupcakes.

Now, to be honest about this situation though, these cupcakes came about because I have a bottle of Kraken Spiced Rum. I bought this bottle of rum because I like the bottle and because I want to make a lamp out of it. But obviously I need to drink the rum out of it first, yes? To help me with that I made these delicious cupcakes. They are denser than I really would have preferred, because I somehow was out of baking soda and substituted with a combination of cream of tartar and baking powder. While I still got some rise from the cakes, the texture was definitely altered from this substitution. But still! I love them. I stuffed them with strawberries that had been cooked down in the rum. And while Matt initially whined that there wasn’t any frosting, these cupcakes do not need frosting.

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I haven’t been doing a whole lot of baking lately. But perhaps if I do more of these food challenges, I can get back in the groove? These cupcakes are also going to be submitted to Tea Time Treats – this month’s theme being Summer Baking.

TeaTimeTreats

Chocolate Spiced Rum Cupcakes Stuffed With Strawberries

Ingredients
1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup spiced rum, divided
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 oz strawberries, chopped into 1 inch pieces

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer bowl, beat together 1 cup of sugar and the butter. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beating in until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of the spiced rum. Beat together for 2 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking powder, and salt. Mix together until combined.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until well combined.
  4. Prepare a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until cooked. Let cool.
  6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the center filling. In a small saucepan combine the strawberries, 1/4 cup of the spiced rum, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until half reduced and slightly thickened.
  7. Using an apple corer (or something similar,) remove a portion of the center of each cooled cupcake. Fill with the strawberry filling.

* makes 12 cupcakes
* This recipe was also shared with Flour Me With Love.

Strawberry Ice Cream

Strawberry Ice CreamSince I moved to the land of no ice cream parlors, I’ve been making an ice cream a week. Starting from the White Chocolate Lemon, I’ve also made Salted Caramel as well as Grape Nut ice creams. It’s fun trying so many different types and techniques for making ice creams.

It couldn’t have come at a better time that the Random Recipes challenge this month involved ice cream. Dom has introduced me to a new challenge as well, one I’ll need to participate in, Bloggers Scream For Ice Cream. So not only was Random Recipes on point with ice cream, I now also have a dedicated ice cream round up I can participate in! SCORE!

I pulled out all my cookbooks that I knew had ice cream or other frozen desserts in them. Random.org chose Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream & Dessert Book for me. I couldn’t have asked for a better selection.

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This cookbook has never done me wrong with ice cream. There’s three ice cream bases at the beginning of the book. The rest of the recipes basically just alter the base, adding whatever ingredients to make a delicious ice cream (with recipes such as Vanilla Fudge Chunk, Banana Peanut Butter, and both Ben’s Chocolate and Jerry’s Chocolate.) The first of the bases is my favorite and the one I used in the ice cream I randomly selected. It does use raw eggs though, so it’s not something everyone would be into.

When I randomly opened the book I happened upon page 54, Strawberry. While not the most exciting of the ice cream flavors in this book, it did create a creamy, fruity, and delicious ice cream!

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Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients

BASE
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup milk

FLAVORING
1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/3 cup sugar
juice from 1/2 a lemon

Directions

1. Combine the strawberries, sugar for the filling, and lemon juice together in a mixing bowl. Cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour.

2. Whisk the eggs together in a mixing bowl for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Whisk in the sugar until blended. Pour in the cream and milk and whisk to blend.

3. Mash the strawberries into a puree and fold into the cream base.

4. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze per manufacturer’s instructions.

* makes about a quart of ice cream
* I’m also sharing this ice cream with Full Plate Thursday

Lemon-Strawberry Parfaits

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I try on holidays to get pictures of the entire meal. But on Easter this year I neglected that due to drinking too much and forgetting. What do I mean by drinking too much? I had half a glass of wine and a margarita. I have no tolerance. Before I had the little amount of alcohol that proved to be excessive for my body, I had made a very messy looking parfait. I figured out a strategy to get them to look nice once I was already done, so that was ineffective. But regardless, I remembered to take a picture of the parfaits because I made them in the morning.

Despite being sloppy, they tasted delicious. I’ve never made curd before and the microwave method definitely proved easy. I probably could have left a few of the lemons out, because the dish was super lemony, but it was yummy after a festive Easter dinner. I also cheated and didn’t make the pound cake from scratch, but sometimes it’s just necessary to cheat. With all the other preparations we had to do for dinner (for our lamb, for the couscous, the crab cakes, and the veggies) baking a pound cake would have made the whole process more hectic.

Lemon-Strawberry Parfaits
(source)

Ingredients
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1 cup fresh lemon juice
zest of 3 lemons
1/2 cup butter, melted
sliced pound cake
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar

Directions

1. In a microwave bowl whisk together the sugar and eggs. Then whisk in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter. Place in a microwave and heat for one minute on high heat. Remove and whisk. Return to microwave for another minute. Remove and whisk. Continue until the mixture sticks to the back of a spoon. This takes about 4 minutes. Press the mixture through a sieve into a bowl.

2. Using a biscuit cutter, cut the pound cake into 8 circles.

3. Beat the heavy cream with the 2 tbsp of sugar until you have whipped cream.

4. Start layering the ingredients in a cup. Start with the pound cake. On top of the pound cake layer the lemon curd. Then layer the strawberries. Then layer the whipped cream. Repeat.

* serves 4
* shared with Wednesday Whatsits, Cast Party Wednesday, & Catch A Glimpse Party

Strawberry Mint Chocolate Layered Mousse Cakes

Every month I try to participate in the baking challenge at BakeBakeBake at Livejournal. This month’s challenge theme was LAYERS. After racking my brain and surfing the web, I decided to make a layered mousse cake. After several days of contemplating flavors, I decided to make a chocolate cake topped with white chocolate mint mousse and strawberry mousse. They’re kind of messy looking, but being I’ve never worked with mousse in this capacity before and I was having a damned hard time getting the tubes made of wax paper to be straight and cylindrical, I am very proud of how these came out.

They tasted delicious.
It took me a total of three days to finish, but it was worth it.

Strawberry Mint Chocolate Layered Mousse Cakes

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/2 egg
2 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE MINT MOUSSE
9 oz white chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg white
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

FOR THE STRAWBERRY MOUSSE
3/4 cup heavy cream
6 tbsp strawberry puree
1 tsp gelatin
3 tbsp cool water

Directions

FOR THE CAKE

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Place 3 ramekins on a baking sheet and coat with cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Stir flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add egg, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract. Beat in a stand mixer until well combined.

3. Divide the batter equally between the 3 ramekins.

4. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the cake is cooked all the way through. Allow to cool before preparation.

 FOR THE WHITE CHOCOLATE MINT MOUSSE

1. In a double boiler melt the white chocolate chips. Stir gently occasionally. Once melted, set aside and allow to cool.

2. In the bowl of the stand mixer whip together the cream, egg white, and peppermint extract until you have created soft peaks.

3. Gently fold the cream into the melted white chocolate.

FOR THE STRAWBERRY MOUSSE

1. Bring the strawberry puree to a boil. Remove from heat and cool.

2. In a small bowl fill with the cool water. Top with the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to bloom.

3. Meanwhile, beat the heavy cream until soft peaks form.

4. Heat the gelatin over simmering water. Remove from heat and stir into the strawberry puree.

5. Fold the strawberry mixture into the cream.

TO PREPARE THE CAKES

1. Once your cakes have cooled and have been removed from the ramekins, wrap them in wax paper to create a tube. (I should have taken a picture of this step, but I didn’t. Here’s a picture from Sugar For The Brain to demonstrate.)

2. In a pastry bag or a ziplock bag with the corner cut off, divide the white chocolate peppermint mousse between the three cakes, squeezing the mousse into the wax paper tubes. Smooth and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.

3. In a pastry bag or ziplock bag with the corner cut off, divide the strawberry mousse between the three cakes, squeezing the mousse into the wax paper tubes. Smooth and place in the refrigerator for about an hour.

* serves 3
* Besides BakeBakeBake, I’m sharing this recipe with The Recipe Box