Thursday, August 30, 2012

De la Rosa Cupcakes

My dentist is going to hate me for this. She just told me a couple weeks ago that I'm not allowed to eat dried fruit anymore because it's messing up my teeth. But she didn't say I'm not allowed to eat cupcakes!

There's a market right by my house that sells four De la Rosa candies for a dollar. I used twelve for this recipe. If you've never had them, they're crumbly, dry, and taste like peanut butter. I don't remember exactly how or why this idea came to me, but I do remember it came to me on the walk home from that market, probably while eating one of these candies.

They're mostly powdered sugar. Buttercream frosting is mostly powdered sugar and butter. Makes sense, no?

This creamy frosting will have small bits of peanut in it, just like the candy does. You'll notice the chocolate cupcake recipe calls for chili oil. It didn't turn out quite as spicy as I wanted, so maybe next time I'll try with some dried, powdered hot pepper, like cayenne.

For the cupcakes:

-1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup cocoa powder
-1 cup boiling water
-2 tsp. baking powder
-1 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
-1/4 cup Asian chili oil
-1 cup white sugar
-2 eggs
-2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting:

-1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
-12 De La Rosa candies, crushed up to a powder (comes out to about 2 cups)
-1 cup powdered confectioner's sugar

Make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Mix boiling water with cocoa powder, set aside to cool. If you're like me and bad at planning ahead, put it in the freezer to cool it at supersonic speed! Just take it out and stir every 10 minutes or so.

 Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Use an electric mixer to beat the butter smooth and fluffy. Beat in the chili oil, then beat in the eggs one at a time. Finally, add the vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

Add the flour mixture, and beat until just incorporated (don't over-beat). Stir in the cooled cocoa water. The freezer should bring it to room temp in about a half hour.

Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners, and fill each liner about 3/4 full. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Make the frosting:

Just like with the cupcakes, beat the butter until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the De La Rosa candy powder. If you found the candy to be lumpy, run it through a coffee grinder or food processor before adding it to the butter. Beat until incorporated, then add the powdered sugar. Beat until smooth.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, frost them and sprinkle with a bit of cocoa powder, if you want them to be real pretty.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Samosa Quesadillas

Samosa quesadillas...too weird for you? Well then, you're missing out. More for the rest of us! If the name doesn't give you enough info, well, it's a samosa, but cooked in a tortilla!

Recipe makes 5.

You will need:

-5 flour tortillas
-4 red potatoes, cut into small cubes, peels on
-1 cup frozen peas
-2 cloves garlic, chopped
-1 Tbsp. lime juice
-1 tsp. garam masala
-1/2 tsp. coriander
-1/2 tsp. cumin
-1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
-pinch salt
-olive oil for cooking

Cook potatoes until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain water.

Cook garlic in a little oil until just fragrant. Don't burn or brown it, burnt garlic sucks!

While still hot, mash just enough to break up the cubes, but don't mash finely. Mix in the frozen peas until well incorporated, then mix in the spices, garlic, and the oil the garlic was cooked in.

Put about 1/3 cup of the filling into half of each tortilla, then fold in half (like a quesadilla). Cook in the oil until golden, turning once, about 2 minutes per side.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Lemon & Raspberry Mini-Tarts

I am a dirty rotten cheater for posting this. Lemon curd from a jar? Pssshaw, clearly I am a terrible mad scientist. Go ahead and tell me how bad I am for posting this. What's that you say? Sorry, I can't understand you, because you just stuffed five of these delicious little tarts I made into your mouth. Why don't I get you a coffee to wash those down with, and then we can sit down and I'll tell you how to make them.

Preheat oven to 425.

You will need a mini muffin tin, as well as:

-1 ready-made pie crust (box usually contains 2 crusts for the top & bottom of the pie)
-1 jar lemon curd
-24 delicious raspberries.

Using a cookie cutter slightly bigger than the muffin holes in your mini muffin tin, cut out 24 circles.  Press pie crust circles into muffin tin, and bake for 10 minutes or until done (golden).

When cool, spoon in lemon curd, and top each mini-tart with a raspberry.

See what I mean? Too easy to post. But aren't they pretty?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Yellow Corn Tortillas

For most of my life, I have greatly preferred flour tortillas to corn, but right now couldn't be any different. I love everything about corn tortillas, from their unmistakeable smell to their slightly 'cornier' texture. These are easy, fast, and require very little prep and clean-up. If this hasn't convinced you that corn tortillas are the best ever, then I'm all out of ideas.

-2 cups Masa flour (yellow if you can find it, it's exciting)
-1 1/4 cups warm water
-pinch salt

easy enough, right? Combine the three ingredients and form the dough (should be soft and not crumbly) into a ball.

Here's where we might part ways: I don't have a tortilla press! If you have one, great! If you don't, try doing what I usually do and using a plastic bag cut in half.

Heat a pan or griddle (no oil) to medium-low. Tear off golf ball-sized pieces of dough, place them between the two pieces of plastic, and use a heavy pot or pan to squash them flat. It's up to you how thick you want to make them; I like mine on the thicker, more 'rustic' side.

Cook tortillas until they start to bubble underneath and dry out a little. Flip them and cook for another thirty seconds or so.