“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

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

Creme De Menthe Brownies

I’ve been wanting to make brownies for a while but I wanted to make sure that I had fresh, homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it.  Then I went to World Market on my lunch break and this happened.  Creme De Menthe Brownies.  The Andies Creme De Menthe chips were on clearance!  How could I pass that up??  I let Suga Booga try a little square and she said “Mommy!  It tastes like peppermint in my cake!”  She doesn’t know the difference between cakes and brownies but I am definitely taking these to work on Monday…if they survive the weekend.  I can’t have them here.  Remember that post about “Finding Balance“???  Yeah, these throw my food balance waaay off and are products of evil designed to throw me off my game but then…what would that make me?  Don’t answer that.  Here’s your recipe.

Ingredients:

1 cup flour

2 cups sugar

2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate

1 ounce espresso

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups (1 bag) Andes Creme De Menthe chips

13 x 9 baking dish

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350.  (no convection)

Start by putting your chocolate and 1 stick of butter in a small saucepan.  Melt on medium until both are semisolid then remove from the heat.  Stir until both are completely melted and combined.  Set aside and put the 2nd stick of butter in your mixer bowl with the sugar and vanilla.  Whip until all three are well incorporated and have a light tan color.  Add your eggs by one, making sure each one is incorporated before you add the next.  After that you will add each of the remaining ingredients, leaving your Andes chips for last.

Now I prefer to use parchment paper in all of my baking for two reasons:  Easy clean up and there’s no need to add additional oil/butter/flour to your recipes.  I can remember when my mom would make cakes, there would be flour all of the edges and I thought it detracted from the deliciousness of the cake and the beauty of it.  My mom makes the most awesome caramel cakes.  I would lurve, lurve, lurve to post it here but I’m not stupid.  That’s her thing…not mine.

Okay, sorry.  Got distracted.  Pour your batter into your parchment lined or oiled dish.  Making sure to evenly spread your batter because it will be thick.  Bake for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the very middle comes out clean.  Then allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes before you transfer them to a line wire rack, if you didn’t use parchment paper.

Enjoy!!

Oh, how do you like this picture?  I’m trying to improve my food photography/styling and was face down, bottom up on the family room floor in front of the ceiling to floor sliding glass doors trying to get a good shot while the sun was blocked by black rain clouds.  🙂

Creme De Menthe Brownies

Peanut Butter Cake with Chocolate Buttercream

Remember when I told you that peanut butter was a food group in my house? This cake is all peanut butter with a little bit of chocolate in the icing. Pretty much it’s a basic yellow cake with added peanut butter and chocolate buttercream. This is the cake that Suga Booga pretty much forced me to make and I’m about 99.999% sure That Guy had something to do with her requesting that I make a peanut butter and chocolate cake.  This recipe is adapted from the KitchenAid stand mixer recipe book.

Ingredients:

2 and 1/4 cups flour

1 and 1/3 cups sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1 cup low-fat milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 and 1/2 cup of peanut butter

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350.  Sift together your dry ingredients and set aside.  In a bowl combine your oil, milk, egg, peanut butter, and vanilla then mix until foamy.  Slowly add your sifted dry ingredients and mix until your batter is completely smooth.  I like to let my batter sit for a few minutes…it seems to make for a fluffier cake.  After you have let it sit, pour it into your baking pan of choice.  For this cake, I used a 9 inch springform pan.  Bake for 30-35 minutes.  I have a convection oven so mine took just over 45 minutes.

Buttercream:

1 stick butter, softened–not melted

3/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

5 cups powdered sugar

4 ounces dark or milk chocolate (your choice)

Instructions:

Cream your butter in your bowl then add your liquids, salt, and 2 cups of powdered sugar.  Beat until mixed then slowly add your powdered sugar until your icing forms.  Let it sit then melt your chocolate.  To do this, I used a homemade double boiler:  A bowl of a pot of water.  I let the water come to just a boil then turn off the heat, remove it from the burner and stir the chocolate until it’s melted.  Once it’s melted, add it to your bowl of icing and mix until well combined.

When your cake is completely cooled, put your icing on it and enjoy!!

PB Choco Cake Collage

Peanut Butter Double Chocolate Cookies

I wasn’t planning on baking today.  My plan was to get Suga Booga from daycare, stop at the pharmacy, and come home to relax because I was exhausted but…this happened. Peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips and topped with chocolate sauce so I figured that I should blog about it because that’s what good bloggers do, right?  Right?!

Peanut butter is an absolute food group in our house and it’s all That Guy’s fault.  When I was pregnant with Suga Booga, I told him that some doctors recommend/believe pregnant women should avoid foods that are potential allergens, like peanut butter.  He gave me the craziest, most wild-eyed look I’d ever seen then said, “If this baby is allergic to peanut butter then she must be the mailman’s kid.”  I looked at him and laughed.  The person that delivered our mail at the time was a woman in her mid-forties and her back up was a man in his 60’s.  Needless to say, she’s his and peanut butter continues to be enjoyed in our home.

Here’s a disclaimer for this and future recipes:  I am not your mother nor am I Chef Ramsay (even though I lurve him).  I don’t have strict rules about ingredients and measurements.  I go by how I feel and what I know but I will try to give more accurate measurements for you all.  That said, please ad lib and make this your own…just link a sista.  Deal?  Good.

For Cookies:

1 cup peanut butter (our family fave Jif)

1 stick of butter (softened, not melted)

1 1/2 cups of flour

1 egg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

few dashes of salt (like 1/8 a teaspoon or so)

About a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees

Mix your peanut butter with your softened butter until well blended and creamy.  Add the granulated and brown sugars to the bowl followed by the egg and vanilla extract.  Mix until all the ingredients are blended then add your dry ingredients slowly until the dough starts to crumble then add your chocolate chips.  Once everything is mixed, you will roll the dough into balls and place them a couple of inches apart on a cookie sheet.  (I line mine with parchment–no sticking, even baking, and easy clean up!)

Once they are all rolled out, take the back of a spoon and create a little dip in the cookies for two reason–to flatten the bottom of your cookie and to create a cavern to hold the chocolate sauce.

Bake for 15 minutes then remove from the oven, recreate the cavern with the back of the spoon then let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for an additional 15 minutes, while you make the chocolate sauce.

For sauce:

1/3 cup cocoa powder

Powdered Sugar (to taste)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Water for thinning

Add your powdered sugar to start, probably about 1/4 cup to begin followed by the vanilla then the cocoa powder with a little water to thin.  Turn your burner between the 4 and 6 (because there are no odd numbers on the stove) and stir with a whisk until it is your desired consistency.  Pour over your cooled cookies, focusing on the cute little cavern you created then let the chocolate set…if you can wait…then enjoy with a glass of milk or vanilla ice cream or alone because sometimes cookies need me time…

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