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Book Review – Hello Cupcake!

I love cupcakes, but not buying them. The obsession of fancy cupcakes the past 4-5 years has been ridiculous price-wise. I am not sure how anyone can justify spending $3 to 5 for a single cupcake. Even our local farmers market has a stand devoted to them. I do love making cupcakes and I especially love pretty cookbooks full of new ideas. Hello Cupcake! is a new book, just released. Unlike many of the cupcake books, it is a lush book with matte pages, rather than traditional glossy pages/photos. That is a bonus as the recipes are easier to read. The book feels like you are reading a personal scrapbook of writings/recipes/photos. It is charming. From Apple Pie Cupcakes to Whoopie Pies of many variations to Rhubarb Cheesecake Cupcakes, it has a vast assortment of ideas (49 + many frosting recipes). You will be inspired and want to start baking right away. For me this is a keeper, not a book I pass on to friends after reviewing.

One thing to mention is the book is not an “American” cookbook. Measurements are given in weights and the metric system. If anything this gives more accurate measures and is quite easy if you have a simple digital kitchen scale. She also gives American ounce measurements as well. My digital scale does grams so it wasn’t hard. Don’t be afraid of using a scale! And I loved learning new terms like a “Punnet” which in the US is a half-pint of berries usually.

The recipe I made is full of ground pistachios, leaving the cupcakes a pale speckled green. Smothered in a rich chocolate-cream cheese-coffee frosting. Heavenly for a birthday celebrated this week in our house. Not too sweet, the frosting’s sweetness is leveled out by the cake. The best way to eat was to cut in quarters, eating a sliver of cake enrobed in frosting.

And yeah….these were not “healthy” nor vegan. They were full octane treats. It was a birthday and I knew he wanted the “real” thing.

PS: I found the cupcake liners from Wilton in a well stocked kitchen department. The ColorCups are foil-lined and sturdy. They come in very pretty designs. Amazon also carries them – Wilton ColorCups Black Circle Dots Standard Baking Cups, 36 Count.

Nutty Pistachio Cupcakes (From page 72)

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 7 ounces granulated sugar (200 g)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 7 ounces shelled pistachios (200 g)
  • 5 ounces all-purpose flour (150 g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1¾ ounces butter (50 g)
  • 1¾ milk (50 ml)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 345°, line a 12 count muffin tin with liners.

Whisk the eggs, sugar and vanilla until white and really fluffy.

Grind the pistachios in a mini food chopper.

Mix the nuts, flour and baking powder and fold into the eggs.

Melt the butter and mix it with the milk and fold it into the rest of the ingredients.

Divide the batter between the cups. Bake for about 20 minutes. Test with a toothpick for being done. Let cool for a few minutes, transfer to a cooling rack.

Makes 12 cakes.

Note:

The recipe had left out vanilla in the ingredient list but called for it in the directions. I looked at many of the recipes and took a guess that it would have been about a teaspoon – like many of the other recipes did. Taste wise that was right on.

Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 3½ ounces Nutella® or Belmandel (best choice!) (100 g)
  • 14 ounces powdered sugar (400 g)
  • 4 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 Tbsp cold coffee

Directions:

Beat the ingredients together until smooth using a hand mixer.

Spread as desired on cooled cupcakes. To make a spiked look, frost as usual using a small offset spatula, then tap and spike with it.

Frosts 12 cupcakes heavily.

Note:

Nutella® is easy to find and is common in many countries. My husband lived in Germany when younger and has opened my eyes to other brands over the years. Last time he was there, about 2 or so years ago, he brought back some Belmandel. If you have a Big Lots store nearby, check the food section, they often have multiple brands, all imported of almond or hazel nut cocoa spreads. As well Trader Joe’s is carrying an almond chocolate spread – it is sweeter though to my taste buds.

 

~Sarah

FTC Disclaimer – We received an advance copy for potential review.

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Comments

  1. I LOVE to make & eat cupcakes! These look delish! I’ll have to check out Big Lots for the Belmandel!

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