Friday, 24 June 2011

Cupcake Wars!

I have recently discovered the Food Network Channel, I don't know how far behind I am with this as I only have the basic channels. If I had Sky I would never leave the house, maybe this is a good thing as while I was away I became hooked. They offer one of kind shows that seem pointless yet very addictive I warn you...

Like Cupcake Wars... It is incredible. Each week on Cupcake Wars, four of the country’s top cupcake bakers face off in three elimination challenges until only one decorator remains.

Also check out some amazing recipes if you fancy a go.....


2 1/2 cups cake flour
8 tablespoons vanilla instant pudding mix
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
5 whole eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1/4 cup half-and-half
3/4 cup butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 ounces sour cream
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 cup maraschino cherries
4 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice
2 cups mini white chocolate chips
1 3/4 pounds Casey's Buttercream, recipe follows
140 large pearls, for garnish
28 maraschino cherries, for garnish
Edible glitter, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Prepare a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake liners.

Combine the cake flour, pudding mix, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in 1 medium bowl. Crack the eggs into a second bowl and add the vanilla extract. Measure the milk and half-and-half into a third bowl. In a 5-quart mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter until fluffy. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides using a spatula. Turn the mixer on first speed, add the sugar, and mix until fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time. Scrape down the bowl. Add sour cream and mayonnaise and incorporate completely. Scrape down the bowl. Add the dry ingredients, alternating with wet. You will start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix the batter until smooth and no lumps are present.

De-stem the maraschino cherries and squeeze out the excess liquid. Using a food processor, mince the cherries using the pulse button. Do not over process. Add the minced cherries, cherry juice, and white chocolate chips to the batter. Incorporate the ingredients completely using a spatula. Fill the cupcake liners using a 2-ounce scoop. Bake until golden brown and light and fluffy, 17 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool completely before decorating.

To assemble: Place a round tip # 809 into a large piping bag. Fill the piping bag with Casey's Buttercream and generously pipe onto each cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with 1 maraschino cherry and 5 large pearls. Finish by sprinkling edible glitter over the tops of the cupcakes.

This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.
Casey's Buttercream:

4 pounds butter, softened
8 ounces high ratio shortening (recommended: Sweetex)
8 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons cherry liqueur
2 tablespoons lemon extract
1 tablespoons vodka

In a 5-quart mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and shortening together. On first speed, add the sifted powdered sugar to the bowl in 3 parts. Let each part incorporate into the butter mixture before adding the next. After adding all the sugar, put the mixer on the fourth (highest) speed and mix for 8 to 10 minutes. The buttercream will begin to gain volume and look white and fluffy. Once you bring the buttercream to full volume, add the extracts and vodka and incorporate completely.

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