Oh, herro!

So I’ve baked a lot over the past year. An excessive amount, one might argue…if one wasn’t at the receiving end of said baking. So I gather no one’s arguing. =)

I decided I want to keep track of my baking adventures so I can remember the highlights (and hopefully fewer lowlights)! I figure this can also give me a hold on sanity as I launch in the clerkship portion of med school. Here’s hoping, anyways. /fingers crossed.

To kick off this blog, here is one of my absolute favorite cupcake recipes, with a twist that I made for a friend’s housewarming party. I thought I’d made pretty often, so I wanted to change it up and basically added cocoa powder and chopped up some dark and milk chocolate bars and threw them in the batter. However, begin dumb, I forgot that cocoa powder is a dry ingredient and when added in copious amounts…makes the batter thicker and possibly drier! So while this is the theoretical recipe that I’ve posted, in reality, I quadrupled the recipe and forgot to cut down the flour in replacement of cocoa powder and therefore added an extra 1/4-ish cup of oil and some mayonnaise to make up for it. They still turned out nice and moist, thankfully. I got some pretty good reviews for them (mostly a lot of “armmm” *scarf scarf* *chew chew* *content smile*), but they aren’t my favorite.

Chocolate Chai Latte Cupcakes

(recipe modified from theppk, frosting from cupcakeblog.com)

1 cup soy milk (I only had regular milk so I used that)
4 black teabags or 2 tablespoons loose black tea
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup plain or vanilla soy yogurt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
pinch of ground white or black pepper

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
(Makes enough to lightly frost 48 cupcakes.)
1 package cream cheese (I only had one package. perhaps it would be better with more cream cheese and less butter in the future)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar, sifted (to taste – I usually don’t add that much)
3 tablespoons cinnamon (to taste)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 and line tin with cupcake liners. In a small saucepan heat soymilk till almost boiling, add tea bags, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 10 minutes. When ready to use stir teabags and thoroughly squeeze to insure as much tea is dissolved in milk as possible. Chop your preference of chocolate into small chunks (I used one bar of dark chocolate, recently acquired in my European chocolate-binge vacation and a small piece of milk chocolate).

In a large bowl wisk together oil, yogurt, sugar, vanilla and tea mixture until all yogurt lumps disappear. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, cloves, and pepper into wet ingredients. Mix until large lumps disappear; some small lumps are okay. Stir in chocolate. Fill tins full and bake about 20 minutes until a sharp knife inserted comes out clean.

Beat butter and cream cheese until creamy, scrape bowl. Add 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Beat until combined. Add more powdered sugar as needed to get piping consistency. Enjoy!
cupcake decorated

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