“The King” Cupcake

Here’s another Disney favorite.  This is The King Cupcake from Disney World’s Pop Century Resort.  The original is a chocolate cupcake filled with banana custard topped with whipped peanut butter icing, sprinkled with candied bacon and drizzled with chocolate.  When I first heard about it, I didn’t think I would like it.  Wrong!  The only thing I would have changed would be to add more banana custard.  My version is a Devil’s Food chocolate cupcake filled with banana pudding, topped with peanut butter buttercream, sprinkled with candied turkey bacon and drizzled with chocolate.

I have never made Devil’s Food cake.  Ever.  I’ve read recipes for it but would instead opt for just chocolate.  Since I wanted this cupcake to be close to the Disney version as possible, I went here for a Devil’s Food cake recipe and I do not regret it one bit.

Taken from www.foodnetwork.com

Cake Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the pans

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

3/4 cup nonalkalized cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed–I used Nestle’s)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 cups water

1/4 cup milk

Banana Pudding Ingredients:

1 package of Jell-O banana cream pudding

1 cup of milk

2 medium bananas

Buttercream:

1 cup peanut butter

1 stick of butter (room temperature)

4 cups powdered (confectioner’s) sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extra

Candied Bacon:

4 slices bacon (I used turkey bacon)

1/2 cup brown sugar

Chocolate drizzle: 

2 squares Candquik or 2 squares of milk chocolate

Directions:

Start by mashing your bananas until they are liquefied then add your pudding and milk.  Whisk until all ingredients are well combined.  Because you are not using the full two cups of milk and the additional of the bananas, your pudding won’t set like normal which you want in this case.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Line your cupcake tins or butter and flour them.  I only made 12 cupcakes and used the rest of the batter to make a Creme De Menthe Devil’s Food Cake.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Increase the speed to medium-high and slowly add the sugar. Continue beating until light and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the cocoa powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for 1 minute more. (Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if needed.) With the mixer running at medium-low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 1 minute between each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Combine the water and milk in a saucepan and bring just to a boil. Remove from the heat.

With the mixer at low speed, add the flour mixture, about a 1/4 cup at a time. Carefully pour the hot liquid into the batter. Remove the bowl from the mixer and, using a large rubber spatula, finish combining the batter until smooth.

Bake for 20 minutes or until done in the middle.  Set aside.

While your oven is still at 350, line a baking dish with foil then soak your bacon in water while you spread the brown sugar on a plate.  Take each slice of bacon and press it into the brown sugar, on both sides and place it in the baking dish.  Bake for 20 minutes and set aside to cool.

Go and sit for awhile because that was tough and assembly is going to take a little more out of you because you decided to do this after work on a Friday with a 3 and a half year old watching Strawberry Shortcake on Netflix with a cough and runny nose who keeps asking for honey, water, Popsicles, and orange juice but no dinner because her throat is “burny” and it might hurt.  Some people are just gluttons for punishment.

Now that everything has cooled, start your buttercream.  Place the stick of butter into your mixing bowl, along with your vanilla extract and mix until the butter is whipped.  Scrape the sides and add one cup of the powdered sugar then mix to combine.  Add your peanut butter and whip to combine then add your powdered sugar, one cup at a time, mixing for at least 30 seconds in between cups.  You want it to be thick enough to hold it’s shape when your frost the cupcakes but not too thick that you can’t work with it.

Assembly:

Start by taking your first cupcake and cut a hole in the middle using a tool or knife.  Reserve the cake.  Using a piping bag or a Ziploc that you’ve cut the corner from, pipe the banana cream into the hole you created until filled.  Take your reserved cake and press it back into the hole.  Repeat for the rest of your cupcakes and set aside.

Fill another piping bag or Ziploc like you did with the banana cream and pipe the icing onto your cupcakes or use a spatula, butterknife, whatever you have to put the icing on the cupcakes.  Repeat and set them aside.

Break your bacon into pieces and arrange them on top of your cupcakes.

Melt your chocolate–in a microwave safe bowl–using 30 second increments until melted.  Careful not to burn it.  Drizzle your cupcakes with the chocolate using whichever method you choose.  Spoon, squeeze bottle, knife…again, whatever you have.  It’s yours and you can do with it what you want!  😉

When you have assembled your treats, enjoy!!

The King Cupcake Blog

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Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels

Chocolate Covered Salted Caramels Blog

This is a Disney inspired recipe. The very first time I had one of the chocolate salted caramels from Epcot’s Karamell-Küche at Disney World, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. That Guy had a peanut butter caramel cookie and Suga Booga had a chocolate and caramel covered Rice Krispie that was bigger than her mouth! We sat on the benches across from the shop and I savored every single creamy, salted, sweet, buttery, melt-in-your-mouthy bite of it while eyeing the ducks, giving them the stank eye. I didn’t even both to ask if either That Guy or Suga Booga want to try it because I think I would have acted like a wild animal who just had her gazelle shank threatened! They are that good! Every single visit that we’ve made to Disney since January has included a stop at Epcot for at least two. Okay, sometimes three under the guise of sharing with co-workers. I think I did that once. Yeah, it was once. I remember because I was heartbroken that I had to give them up.

My recipe calls for Candiquik. It was my first time using the stuff and I have fallen in love with it. I was the old school double boiler “melt my chocolate and add what I want to enhance it” lady but this stuff makes it sooo much easier. I made this in less than an hour from start to finish. I used a mini muffin tin and had a full 24 each with about 6 caramels left over.

Salted Caramel Recipe came directly from Inspired Taste: They have a great, quick and easy recipe (with a video!) that didn’t require that I break out my condensed milk, etc. I did cheat and put mine in the fridge for about a half hour but that’s me. You can wait three and a half hours but I’m impatient and have a toddler who needed a bath before bed, reading for school, and ironing for work the next day.

Once you have made your caramels and let them set for the full 3.5 hours (or cheat like I did), cut them into appropriate sizes for your muffin tin the return them to the fridge and line your muffin tin (whatever size your choose) with cupcake wrappers. Next melt your tray of Candiquik in the microwave or in a pot but don’t let it burn! There’s nothing worse than the smell of burnt chocolate or popcorn for that matter.

You’ll coat the bottom and sides of your liners with the chocolate–I worked in rows, going across–once you have a full row lined, take your first piece of caramel and rub it in your hand until your form a ball. Add that ball to the cupcake liner then cover with chocolate. Repeat until your have filled your tin or used all your ingredients. Sprinkle with a sea salt and put them in the fridge for about a half hour then enjoy!

And don’t forget to give your little one a treat. While I was trying to take pictures, she patiently waited until I was done before she attacked the plate. She was kind enough to offer her dad and Grandma one before asking if I wanted the other half of hers. Isn’t she sweet? Yeah, we thought so too until she was left alone long enough for That Guy to run upstairs to the laundry room. She got her Dora the Explorer stool and helped herself to one in less than two minutes. I guess the trade off is that she also helps herself to handfuls of grapes, yogurts, and water more often than she does sweets.

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Nutella Swirl

This recipe came to me from my 3 bananas that were turning brown and left over pumpkin.  We buy ours in a bunch from Sam’s Club and it seems that no matter how many the three of us consume in a day, there’s always a few left over to turn brown!  I can’t think of one time that we finished the bunch without some left over, begging me to do something with them and then stuff like this happens.  Pumpkin Banana Bread with a Nutella swirl.  It’s rich, thick, decadent and good warm with some coffee or cold with a glass of milk.

I made this one without my stand mixer (gasp) because I realized that I depend on it too much and I was feeling lazy and didn’t feel like lugging it from the cabinet, up on the counter and stuff.  Please feel free to use your stand mixer, just reverse the order of the directions.  Combine your wet first in the mixer bowl then sift your dry before adding to the mixer bowl.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of flour

2 and 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

4 tablespoons wheat germ

2/3 cups sugar

3 ripe bananas

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 whisked eggs

2 tablespoons Nutella (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 and grease a 9 x 5 loaf pan then set aside.

Sift your dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir to combine before you put your bananas in another mixing bowl and mash.  I used a potato mashed and mashed them until they were nearly liquefied because I didn’t want chunks of bananas in my batter.  Once your bananas are smashed to your desired consistency, add your pumpkin and whisk until well combined.  Once that is done, add eggs and whisk before adding your vanilla.

You will dumb the dry into the wet, a little at a time and stir until your batter is combined before adding your Nutella and swirling into the batter.  Pour into your greased loaf pan.  Bake for 60 minutes or until the center is done then enjoy!

If you didn’t notice, there was no oil used in this recipe.  I knew that the pumpkin and banana would keep the bread moist and combine well without added oil.  I don’t think oil or fat of any kind would add anything to this recipe.

Banana Pumpkin Bread Blog

Pumpkin Donut Cookies

Title sounds weird, right? That’s because it is. I took a donut recipe but baked them in a cookie pan instead then drizzled them with sugar. The ones I took to work were dipped in butter then rolled in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar. They were a hit both ways. I had people from other departments I’d never seen before or even talked to wandering into the office for a treat.

This recipe is adapted from Sweetened With Honey

Ingredients:

1 3/4 cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk

Mix the pumpkin, milk, oil, eggs, and brown sugar in your stand mixer (or handheld) until the mixture is well combined and most of the sugar is dissolved. In a separate bowl, sift all of your dry ingredients together then turn your mixer to the “stir” setting and slowly add your dry ingredients until mixed together then pour either into a donut pan or like me, a cookie pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until the donuts are cooked through.

Coating:
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Mix the sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl and keep separate from your butter. While your donuts are still warm, dip your donuts in the melted butter then dip the donut into the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Serve warm and enjoy!

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Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream

Hiiiii!!!  “How you doin’?!” (Wendy Williams voice) I’m back!!!  It feels like it’s been forever since I posted but I am here!  I’ve just been sick.  Nothing sucks worse than a summer cold and add in a sinus infection with clogged ears, I was down for the count.  Feverish, barely able to speak, and my head was soooo congested that I felt like I would tip over.  It took me nearly 10 minutes to text my boss that I couldn’t come in!  But I’m baaack!  And this time it’s with fall in mind.  I know, August isn’t over yet.  I know this but this post will get you ready for fall, right?  This will make you want a warm cup of coffee (or tea) with a blanket curled up on the sofa with your A/C set on 77 (this is still Florida after all and it’s still in the 90s!).  This recipe calls for no oil but I’m not going to say it’s healthy, nope.  Not going to lie.  But it’s yummy and that has to count for something, right?

Cupcake Ingredients:

2 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 and 1/3 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup of canned or pureed pumpkin (not pie filling, straight up PUMPKIN!)

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (by in the spice aisle or make your own)

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350 and line your 12 count cupcake pan with liners (or those brave people, oil then flour).

Add your sugar, pumpkin, vanilla, and pumpkin spice to your mixer bowl and beat until your sugar is dissolved.  After that sift in your flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mixing until all ingredients are well combined.  At this point the batter will be thick and you’ll want to add liquid but don’t.  Add your eggs, one at a time until your batter becomes smoother and eventually take on a more liquid texture.  You are ready to fill your cupcake pan now.  For this step, I use a large ice cream scoop, the kind with the little bar in the middle and you have to squeeze the handle.  Know what I mean?  Good because I don’t know how else to describe it.  LOL

Fill your liners until they are a little less than 3/4ths the way filled.  You don’t want to fill to the top, otherwise they will not rise properly and spread then you’ll be left with muffin top.  Bake for 25 minutes and cool for another 10 minutes in the pan.  After that let them fully cool and get ready for the icing!

Buttercream Ingredients:

1 stick butter (softened)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup heavy whipping cream

5 cups powdered sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Add your butter and vanilla to your mixer bowl and beat until creamy.  It will have a shiny tan color to it when it’s ready then add 1/2 of your whipping cream, whip for a 30 seconds than add one cup of your powdered sugar along with your pumpkin pie spice.  Once the sugar has combined with your butter, continue to add the powdered sugar until it comes to a firm whip.  You may need to add more sugar and more of your heavy cream, depending on how high your cupcakes actually rose.  When I make buttercream, I gauge how much I need by the look of my cupcakes and how big or fancy I want them to look.  5 cups and 1 full cup of heavy whipping cream did the trick for me with a little left over.

Oh and here’s a tip:  Try not to pipe the buttercream on while holding your iPhone to your ear with your shoulder, talking to your mama.  Otherwise you’ll find it difficult to find acceptable cupcakes to post on your blog.  I love my mama and will answer her call no matter where I am and what I’m doing because, well, she’s my mama and I love her.  Here’s the best three of twelve so you can imagine what the other look like but guess what?  That Guy and Suga Booga didn’t care.  They just wanted me to hurry up and take the pictures so they could eat them!

pumpkin cupcakes

Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies

This cookie is thick and fluffy yet dense and chewy, loaded full of chocolate and all you need is one!  I will warn you, this cookie takes longer to bake than your normal chocolate chip cookie but it’ll be worth it.  The reason for this is because you use a regular ice cream scoop versus a teaspoon or a small cookie scoop to create a substantial cookie.  If you follow this recipe verbatim, make sure you freeze the dough overnight.  It will prevent the cookie from spreading.  Just a little tip, if you don’t know…if the recipe calls for softened butter, make sure your other ingredients are as well.  For instance, this calls for softened butter so you want to make sure that the eggs are room temperature as well and if you store your sugars in the refrigerator, make sure that you let them come up to room temp as well.  Otherwise your dough will get clumpy!

Ingredients:

1 stick of butter softened

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 eggs room temperature

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

As much chocolate chips as you like!

As I mentioned above, you should freeze your dough overnight or at least refrigerate for a few hours.  This dough is very soft and sticky when it’s ready so your cookies will spread if you attempt to bake them right out of your mixing bowl.

In your mixer bowl, cream the butter and both sugars until it is fluffy.  Add your eggs and vanilla then beat until well combined and whipped, almost like buttercream icing.  Next add in your cornstarch, baking soda, and salt, giving each time to mix well before adding the other.  Once they are combined, add in your flour in 1/2 cup increments to ensure that it is well mixed then stir in your chocolate chips.

I scooped this onto a parchment lined cookie sheet then covered with plastic wrap and put the entire cookie sheet into the deep freezer for a full 24 hours.

For frozen dough:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and once it reaches that temperature, put your frozen cookie dough onto a parchment or silpat lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the cookie is starting to brown.  Turn your oven off and let the cookies continue to bake in the oven for 10 minutes.  Once your timer goes off, immediately remove from the cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack for another 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

soft baked chocolate chip cookie

Do It Yourself Dole Whip

A little background:  Our family loves Disney.  Our very first visit was for Suga Booga’s third birthday and we’ve been hooked every since.  It’s almost as if the second you see that “Welcome to Walt Disney World” sign, the outside world ceases to exist, especially when you stay on property.  You unload the car and never see it again until it’s time to pack it back up for the trip home.  Since the first of the year, we’ve visited 3 times and plan at least two more before Suga’s birthday.  She opted to spend b-day #4 at Disney again instead of a Minnie Mouse themed birthday party and her very own iPad.  She loves it that much.  I love it for the getaway feeling.  Even though it’s in state for us, when you’re there, the themes transport you to a place much further away than a 3 hour drive.  Our first stay was at Port Orleans Riverside and it felt like we were down in New Orleans with the decor, foliage, river, the working mill, and seeing the transportation boats.  I think that will always be my favorite place to stay.  It was calm, quite, and serene plus the fiber optic fireworks in the headboards of the royal rooms really excited all three of us.

One of my favorite food items at Disney is Dole Whip.  It’s sweet and creamy and sooo refreshing, especially when it’s June, 90 degrees, humid, and the line to meet Tinkerbell and her sister Periwinkle is out the door.  I usually split it with Suga Booga.  That guy likes it but he doesn’t love it like the two of us do.  He’s more partial to Citrus Swirl at Sunshine Tree Terrace and would wait in the hot, burning sun without sunblock and hat for the turkey legs from the cart in Frontierland.

I’ll stop rambling and give you the recipe now but…I will ramble on more about Disney in the “Disney Food” posts.  You’ve been warned.  🙂

Tools Needed:

Ice cream maker

Whisk

Mixing bowl

Food processor

2 + hours for chilling

Ingredients:

1 cup milk (I used 2%)

3/4 cup sugar

2 cups heavy cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

pinch of salt

1 can of pineapple chunks

Directions:

Start by draining your pineapple and reserve the juice in a separate bowl.  Once you have drained it, puree your pineapple in the food processor until is it pretty much mush.  Pineapple is very fibrous so you will want to make sure that it’s completely processed to mush or mighty close to it.

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Once it is, add your dash of salt with the vanilla and heavy cream, mix until combined then add your pineapple juice and pureed pineapple.  Normally I break out the KitchenAid for everything but when I make ice cream, I like to do it by hand with a whisk to ensure that the sugar is completely dissolved and to make sure the mixture gets foamy.  This helps make your ice cream even creamier.

Chill your ice cream mixture in the fridge for at least two hours or overnight.  Give it one last mixing to make sure any pineapple that didn’t get full pureed doesn’t settle then start your ice cream maker and turn it on.  Don’t be like me and think that you have at least twenty minutes to mop the tile downstairs and start a load of laundry upstairs.  You’ll have ice cream over the top of the freezer bowl.

Your ice cream will come out like soft serve.  This is because it does not contain all the other junk that store bought ice cream has.  You can most certainly eat it like this but for a harder texture, freeze for at least two more hours and you should have a more scoopable (yes, I know that this is not a real word but it works, aight?) texture.  If you leave it longer and it’s hard, just pop it in the microwave in 30 second increments.

While mine was in the fridge, the acid from the pineapple helped develop the foam even more!  When I removed the lid from the bowl, it was like it sang to me.  I’m talking First Sunday, Baptist Church, pastor’s anniversary sanging from the choir.  Whew!  I didn’t even want to touch it but I had to mix it again.

Dole Whip Blog