We went from electric blankets to an air conditioners in one day. That's how dramatic the temperature change has been here in New England. No complaints though. It's sunny, warm and beautiful outside and I love it.
We actually have a few days off this week and when we're not outside enjoying the sun, I've had a bit of time to tinker around in the kitchen.
Increasingly, I'm enjoying the process of developing and creating my own recipes. The process used to intimidate me but as I get more into it, I'm finding it's a good deal of fun to create my own signature desserts.
The process of making your own desserts is not too difficult once you realize that all recipes have a formula. For example, with most cakes and cookies you cream the butter, add the sugar, mix in the eggs, etc. Most recipes have a standard procedure and once you learn it, you can vary the ingredients. The possibilities endless.
Of course, there's a lot more trial and error when you're inventing your own recipes but it's worth it. Just look at these sensational Pistachio and White Chocolate Cupcakes. They're like no cupcake I've ever had. Light, fluffy, creamy. The taste is phenomenal. I'm too embarrassed to tell you how many of these we ate yesterday. They are that good.
This cupcake was inspired by my surroundings. Everything is so lush and green here, I wanted to make a cupcake that reflected the beauty of spring. Honestly, the scenery here is so awe inspiring here - it makes me want to take up painting. For now, I'll make cupcakes.
Several of you have written and asked we're I've been. I suppose that's a nice way of saying I've been a bit slow at putting up blog posts this month. Rest assured, there's a good reason and I'm hoping to share it with you soon. So stay tuned for the announcement.
In the meantime, pack up a few of these White Chocolate and Pistachio Cupcakes and head outside. The season is short and we have to savor every moment we can.
Pistachio and White Chocolate Cupcakes
135 g unsalted butter
12 g vegetable shortening
285 g granulated sugar
33 g coconut palm sugar
7 g vanilla
238 g cake flour
25 g pistachio flour (shelled pistachios finely ground in the food processor)
11 g baking powder
1 g salt
235 g whole milk
2 tbs. pistachios, shelled and coarsely ground
Preheat oven to 350 degrees (177 c).
Cream together butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy. Thoroughly beat in 3 eggs.
Sift together dry ingredients. Set aside. In a separate bowl, stir together milk and vanilla. Alternately stir in 1/3 of the milk and dry ingredients beginning with the milk. To finish, beat for 35 seconds.
Insert liners into muffin pan. Fill liner until 1/2-2/3 full.
Bake 20-24 minutes until inserted toothpick comes out clean. To prevent shrinkage, cool in the muffin pan before removing.
Note: These cupcakes are very delicate. Bake once tray at a time. To prevent collapse, do not open the oven door to check the cupcakes until at least 15 minutes have passed. Do not fill the muffin cups more than 2/3 full.
115 g good quality white chocolate
70 g heavy cream
5 g corn syrup
145 g unsalted butter, softened
275 g powdered sugar
8 g pistachio extract
1 drop green food coloring
Chop chocolate and place in heat proof bowl. In small pan, mix cream, corn syrup and bring to boil. Pour over chocolate. Stir rapidly until smooth. If any clumps of chocolate remains you can heat the mixture in the microwave, stirring after 10 second intervals.
In bowl of stand mixer, beat the softened butter at medium speed until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar and beat the mixture at low speed just until combined. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in the extract and food coloring. Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes. Pipe the frosting on the cupcakes and top with ground pistachios. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator.