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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Will you be my Valentine's?

Peanut Butter Cream Filled Devil's Food Cupcakes

Valentine's Day is coming up. Some people are excited about this day, while some are indifferent and think it's just like any other day. For me, yes, I am excited and look forward to it!! It's a day we have an excuse to make it special for your special one. My good friend, Sopon, has even planned a whole weekend to complete the Valentine's day experience for his girlfriend! I've heard multiple opinions about V-Day and there is no right or wrong answer. A special gift or a surprise has its own magic. Believe me. You will see a smile on his/her face.

A special gift doesn't have to be expensive. It just has to show your sincerity, effort, and honesty from your heart. Don't forget your family and best friends as they are as special to you as your significant other. They can all be your Valentine's!

This year I'm going to bake all kinds of my husband's favorite bakery items and gift wrap it to surprise him. I have actually already baked chocolate cookies and pie for him in this week leading up to V-day! He loves peanut butter and I love chocolate cake, so I chose to make peanut butter cream filling with devil's food cupcakes. I go with cupcakes because they are so cute individually and I can bring them to my special friends! It's worth it to make them!

Stay tuned for my pie with love! It's the best pie crust recipe I've found so far.

Peanut Butter Cream Filled Devil's Food Cupcakes
Recipe Courtesy of Bobby Flay (It's the recipe I've made over and over again!)
Yield: 20 cupcakes

1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup strong, hot coffee 

Peanut Butter cream Filling: 

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioner's sugar

Ganache Frosting:
4 oz semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup roasted peanuts chopped

  • Set rack in the middle of oven and preheat to 325 degrees F. Line a 12 slot muffin pan with large paper or foil cupcake liners
  • Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together 3 times. 3 times because the devil cake has to be soft and a little flaky, so we want to make sure the flour mix is sifted well.
  • In a bowl, beat the butter and sugar together at high speed for about 15 seconds until combined
  • Add eggs 1 at a time beating until each is incorporated. Continue beating till light and fluffy.
  • With the mixer at low speed, beat in 1/3 the flour mixture. Beat in the buttermilk and vanilla, then another third of the flour.
  • Beat in the coffee and then the remaining flour. Fill the muffin cup to 1/2 full
  • Bake for 15 mins. Test it by poking a toothpick in the middle and if it comes off clean, set on a rack to cool
  • Beat the butter and peanut butter at medium speed in a mixing bowl untill blended
  • Reduce speed to low and gradually beat in the confectioners sugar
  • Increase speed to high and beat for 3-5 mins until smooth and fluffy
  • Fill a pastry bag fitted with a medium, plain tip with filling. Insert tip into each cooled cupcake and squeeze approximately 3 tablespoons of filling into each cupcake
Ganache Frosting: This direction is different that what Bobby Flay said but it works well for me every time
  • Place chocolate in a medium bowl
  • Boil cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate. Whisk untill smooth
  • Add 1 teaspoon cornstarch. Whisk.
  • Let sit for 10 mins until thick but still pourable
  • Dunk the top half of cupcakes into the frosting to coat, then place on a rack and sprinkle with chopped peanuts
  • Transfer to the fridge for 20 mins to set
Good to know:
  • Butter and eggs have to be at room temperature to get the best result. I tested it by experience.
  • Crack 1 egg into a small bowl before pouring into a batch. There are 2 reasons: first, you can catch bad eggs before pouring into the mixture; second, it's a chance, you can pick up egg shell if it falls into the mixture.
  • Why do we put in coffee? Because coffee brings out the chocolate flavor. There's a difference taste when you add and do not add coffee. You can prove it to yourself too.

Starring by these sweet guys. I actually forgot to include baking powder in a crew photo.

Sifted flour mixture.  3 times! this is because the flour mixture won't be lumpy

After beating butter and sugar, add in egg one at a time

Beat at high speed untill light and fluffy

I've found a cute cupcake tin at the That kitchen shop at the mall. It's perfect for this cupcake!

When the mixture is done, use an ice cream scoop to scoop it to get the same portion every time

Fill only 1/2 cup. Bake it for 15mins.

I know it's tempting to lick it out!

Oh peanut butter I love you! This is before adding confectioner's sugar

Ready to roll and goes into a pastry bag

I'm ready to squeeze!

Use a toothpick to check it. If it comes out clean after you poke it, then the cupcakes are done!

Let them hang out on a rack to cool down

Squeeze squeeze squeeze

Ganache frosting: Pour boiled milk over chopped semi-sweet chocolate

The recipe doesn't say but I added 1 teaspoon cornstarch to have a shiny look! You can use vegetable oil to substitute

And dump in a cupcake face down

How shiny and pretty they are! You can stop right at this step if you don't want to decorate. They are ready to go.

Or you can garnish with raspberry and chopped nuts like I do

Or top with just the nuts

I'm bringing some to surprise my family, friends, and co-workers

along with my double chocolate cookies

A special box for hubby with all the goodies he loves

Sealed with love

A big blue turquoise box can be returned with a small blue turquoise box..

I told ya. It's worth it! :-)


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