I was looking through my Flickr photo album and realized that I have a few cupcakes and muffins that I made in the past few months but never posted the pictures. So here’s a quick compilation.
Black bottom cupcakes
My first taste of a black bottom cupcake was over 20 years ago from the Just Desserts bakery in the Marina district. It’s a cocoa based chocolate cupcake with a chocolate chip cheesecake like center. You can’t tell from the photograph, but I baked these in miniature muffin tins so they’re only about 1-inch in diameter. They were a huge hit at my 2-year-old niece’s birthday party. (I didn't include the recipe for black bottom cupcakes here. The recipes on the internet are all pretty similar to mine.)
"Boston cream pie" cupcake*
This is my most recent cupcake experiment, the "Boston cream pie" cupcake. Boston cream pie is not really a pie but a cake - 2 layers of cake filled with a vanilla custard or pudding and then topped with a chocolate glaze. I took the idea of those components and turned them into a cupcake. I used a traditional all-American yellow butter layer cake recipe and made cupcakes instead of layer cakes. I filled the cupcakes with a vanilla bean pastry cream and then topped them with a chocolate frosting. My last experimental cupcake was my mojito cupcake back in May.
Trio of muffins
From left to right, cherry almond oatmeal muffin (I used the batter from my cherry almond oatmeal cake), chocolate chip muffin, and blueberry muffin.
More blueberry muffins. I accidentally over mixed the batter slightly, which explains the peaked muffin tops. Despite my over mixing, the muffin was still moist and tender.
* Recipe for "Boston Cream Pie" cupcakes...
(makes 18 cupcakes)
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
3/4 cup whole milk
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Butter and flour 18 (4-oz capacity) wells of your muffin pans. Or you can use paper cupcake liners.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside dry ingredient.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy about 2-3 minutes.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.
On low speed, mix in one-third flour mixture then one-half milk. Repeat, ending with final one-third flour mixture.
Divide batter among the 18 wells. They should be no more than 3/4 full.
Bake at 350F until light golden brown and cake tester is clean, about 20-23 minutes. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before filling or frosting.
(there will be cream leftover after filling 18 cupcakes)
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
Bring the milk and1/4 cup sugar to a simmer in a non-reactive saucepan over medium heat.
Sift together remaining 1/4 cup sugar, the cornstarch and salt. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl. Add the sifted dry ingredients and whisk until fluffy.
Remove the simmering milk from the heat and ladle out about half a cup of the hot milk. Whisk it slowly into the egg/flour mixture. Once the milk is incorporated, pour the mixture back into the hot milk in the saucepan, whisking constantly.
Place saucepan over low heat and begin to whisk the pastry cream. In about 1 minute, it should boil and thicken. Continue whisking for about 3 minutes or until it has the consistency of pudding. To test cream for doneness, coat the back of a spoon. The cream will stay in place when you draw a line with your finger down the middle of the cream.
Strain the pastry cream through a fine-meshed strainer into a bowl. Add the butter and vanilla and stir until it is butter melted and incorporated. Can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.
How to assemble the "Boston Cream Pie" cupcakes:
Using a pastry bag, insert tip into the top of your vanilla cupcake and pipe about 1 teaspoon of cooled pastry cream into the center. Alternatively, you can cut out a hole from the top of the cupcake and spoon in the pastry cream. Make sure to replace the top. Frost your filled cupcakes with your favorite chocolate frosting, ganache, or glaze. Store cupcakes in refrigerator.
And here’s a picture of my sweet little muffin of a cat, Diane. This photo was taken last Thanksgiving when she was still a "fat cat". She’s been quite ill lately and, subsequently, she's lost a lot of weight. We’re hoping she’ll get better soon.
EDITED on 9/29 to add recipe for "Boston Cream Pie" Cupcake.