Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chickens = Eggs = Cupcakes

Okay, which comes first?

EGGS.

If you want the world's best cupcakes, start with the world's best eggs (I learned this years ago from cupcake magic: little cakes with attitude by Kate Shirazi).



The perfect dozen you see here were personally gathered from our henhouse by moi. They are daily gifts from Nilla (the green ones), Zeus and Poseidon (the deeper brown ones), and Diablo (the lightish ones). If you want to bake cupcakes (cakes of any kind, for that matter): start with eggs containing huge, orangey, gooey yolks. Not the typical grocery store kind...I'm talking Whole Foods or something organic and fresh and pretty.

CHICKENS.



With the right eggs…I’m serious about that…you are equipped to make virtually any cake/cupcake taste wonderful. They don't have to be from scratch; use a mix (I prefer the one that sounds like a Scottish guy).


Here’s a recipe for my legendary Chocolate Cherry Fudge Cupcakes:
  • 1 box Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 1 can cherry pie filling
  • 3  huge, perfect eggs
  • About a teaspoon of almond extract
Mix these ingredients by hand and carefully measure into two lined cupcake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (might be a bit of cherry goo…that’s okay).

Frosting:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • A tiny bit of vanilla extract
  • ½ to 2/3 of a 12 ounce package of semi-sweet chocolate chips (at least half – how rich do you want it?)
Bring everything but the chocolate chips to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for about a minute. Add the chocolate chips and stir well. Work fast – you want this kinda like a ganache! Pour it over slightly cooled cupcakes, trying not to make a mess (hint: use a big spoon).
If you want, you can pipe white frosting atop each one and decorate with a maraschino or other cherry. I like to flavor the white decorative frosting with cherry and almond extracts...just a bit.









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