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>Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream

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Ever Since I stopped using cake mixes, which was when I was maybe 12, I have been looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe. This one has satisfied what I was looking for. It’s moist, light and just the right amount of chocolate. I have a feeling I’m going to start using this for any recipe that has chocolate cake involved.
Devil’s Food Cake:
2 C A.P. flour (10 oz)
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 C cocoa powder
1/2 C warm water
4 oz butter, room temperature
1 C granulated sugar (7 oz)
1 C brown sugar
2 tsps. vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 C buttermilk, room temperature
1/2 C water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 8 inch round cake pans or line 2 dozen cupcake cups. Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside. In a small bowl whisk together the cocoa powder and warm water until all the cocoa is dissolved. Set aside. In a bowl of a mixer beat butter and sugars until light fluffy. Add the vanilla and eggs a beat until light and fluffy. Add the cocoa mixture until well combined. Combine milk and water then alternate between milk and flour starting and ending with flour. Spread the batter evenly in the pans or fill cups 3/4 of the way. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let Cool completely.
Vanilla Buttercream
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
Directions
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.


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>Chocolate French Macarons with Peanut Butter Filling

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Since the first time I tried a French Macaroon at Bouchon Bakery I have been hooked. My first attempt was horrific so I didn’t try again until I was in pastry class. With my instructor’s help I did it and now I can’t stop. There are just so many different kinds that you can make. The key is to make sure you whip the egg whites to stiff peaks and to let the piped out cookies sit at room temperature for 20 minutes before putting them in the oven. Those were my mistakes.
Chocolate French Macaroons
1-1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1-1/2 cups (4 ounces) sliced almonds, finely ground, or almond flour
All purpose flour for dipping
3 large egg whites
Pinch of salt
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons Dutch-process cocoa powder
Directions
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Sift confectioner’s sugar and cocoa powder into a bowl. Whisk in ground almonds; set aside. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or nonstick baking mats, and mark circles using a 1-1/2 inch cookie cutter dipped in flour.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy; add salt. Gradually add granulated sugar, a teaspoon at a time, until the whites reach medium-soft peaks. Transfer to a large bowl.
Sprinkle half of the sugar-almond mixture over the egg-white mixture. Using a large rubber spatula, fold until just incorporated. Add ¼ teaspoon vanilla and remaining sugar-along mixture, folding just until incorporated. Firmly tap the bottom of the bowl on a counter or work surface to eliminate any air pockets.
Transfer mixture to a large pastry bag fitted with a ½ inch plain tip. Pipe mixture into marked circles on prepared baking sheet.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until macaroons feel slightly firm to the touch and can be gently lifted off the parchment (the bottoms will be dry), 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer parchment and macaroons to a wire rack to cool completely. Using a small offset spatula, carefully remove macaroons from parchment. Make filling, below.

Peanut Butter Filling
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
¾ cup confectioner’s sugar
¾ cup smooth peanut butter
3 Tablespoons heavy cream

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Immediately, spread 2 teaspoons filling on the flat sides of half the macaroons; sandwich with the other halves, keeping flat sides down. Refrigerate until firm, about 20 minutes, before serving. Filled cookies can be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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>Gluten Free Yellow Cupcakes

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I was asked to to a cupcake tower and they consisted of Gluten Free Cupcakes, I was a little worried because usually things I make with the xanthan gum and other weird gluten free ingredients makes it taste bad but these tastes terrific. It’s defiantly a different texture a little more chewy but still good. The lady that ordered has a whole family with celiac disease and one daughter ate 11 of these cupcakes in one day so I would say their pretty good.

Gluten Free Yellow cake
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
4 eggs
1 1/4 cups white sugar
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons gluten-free vanilla extract
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Put cupcake paper liners in 2 dozen slots.2. Mix the white rice flour, tapioca flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and xanthan gum together and set aside.
3. Mix the eggs, sugar, and mayonnaise until fluffy. Add the flour mixture, milk and vanilla and mix well. Spread batter into the prepared pans.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 minutes. Cupcakes are done when they spring back when lightly touched or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let cool completely then frost with Buttercream frosting.
Vanilla Buttercream
3 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons whipping cream
Directions
In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk, mix together sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to beat on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding more cream if needed for spreading consistency.