Green Tomato and Fig Cakes- Taking Chances In The Kitchen

I saw these a few weeks ago and they have not left my head, my curiosity was peaked, I had to know.  The flavor combination in a dessert  was too strange to let go, but after thinking about it I realized green tomatoes don’t have a ton of flavor and would likely pick up the flavor you pair with it.  I was right.

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Not a lot of tomato flavor, but still super tasty, they had a comparable flavor to carrot cake, but less sweet, without as much sugar.  The petite cakes are moist even a few days later.  Overall I give them an A (skipping the plus as I really wanted to taste the tomato more) but certainly good enough to eat for breakfast, which is of course the international sign of good desserts.

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Modified from Cooking Light 2013

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces green tomato, cored and quartered 
  • 7.6 ounces cake flour, sifted (2 cups) 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 
  • 2  large eggs
  • 4 ounces dried figs
  • 6 ounces orange juice 
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts 
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar 
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  •  Dash of salt 
  •  Sliced figs garnishes

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Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Place tomato in a blender; blend until smooth.

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Place sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until blended. Stir in tomato puree and orange rind. Add flour mixture to egg mixture; beat at low speed just until combined.

In a small sauce pan add the orange juice and dried figs.  Bring to a simmer and cover for 5 minutes.  Remove from the stove and take out the figs of the juice.  Allow to cool to room temperature before chopping into small ¼ inch pieces.  Stir in chopped figs and walnuts into the batter.

Place 18 muffin cup liners in muffin cups; coat liners with cooking spray. Spoon the batter into cups. Bake at 350° for 17 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool in pans 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely on wire racks.

Place cream cheese in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and dash of salt; beat until smooth. Spread frosting over the top of each cake. Garnish with sliced figs, if desired.

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I cut the cream cheese icing in half, as I wanted to lighten them up more.  Feel free to double the icing ingredients if your looking for a heavy iced cupcake.

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When you see something that you can’t let go, you just have to go for it!  It might not be exactly as you hoped, but we all know not everything turns out the way you hope.

Green Tomato with dessert? I am a fan!

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WESitval and the Coca-Cola Float Cupcakes

Last week was my husband Sir Wes’ birthday or Birfday as he calls it.  It also happened to be my niece and nephews spring break, who were more than happy to come all the way from South Carolina to celebrate WEStival with us.   What kid wouldn’t want to go to a birthday party at Walt Disney World.  Forget the bowling alley/Putt Putt/Chucky Cheese parties, WEStival was where it was at. 

WEStival

 

Sir Wes had only made two requests for his birthday, first was to spend time with the family and the other was that he wanted Coca-Cola Cake for his birthday dessert; a child hood favorite of his.  Both of these requests were easy and fun to fulfill. 

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 We spent the few days hopping between the parks and the pools, kids and adults having a blast.  A little of this-

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 And a little of that-

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 Coca-Cola Float Cupcakes- recipe adapted from Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess

Coca-Cola Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola

 Coca-Cola Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp. cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp. Coca-Cola
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla

 Marshmallow Buttercream:

  • 7 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • ¾ cup confectioner sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup mini marshmallows

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For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla. In a heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa, marshmallows and Coca-Cola, heating it gently. Pour the warm butter mixture into the dry ingredients, stirring well, and then add the liquid ingredients mixing until the batter is well blended.

Pour into a muffin tin that has been greased or lined with papers filling each well ¾ quarters and bake for 20-25 minutes until a tester comes out clean.

For the glaze:

Sift the confectioner sugar into a bowl and set aside. In a heavy-based saucepan, combine the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla, and spoon in the sieved icing sugar, whisking well, until you’ve got a smooth, spreadable, but still runny, icing.

Either dip the cupcake tops into the pot of glaze, or carefully pour a tablespoon of glaze over the cupcakes while they are still warm, and leave to cool

For the marshmallow buttercream:

Mix together the softened butter, confectioner sugar, vanilla and milk until the buttercream frosting is a smooth consistency.

Gently melt the marshmallows in a glass bowl in the microwave for 45 seconds on 50% power until they have slightly melted and started to rise up.   Add the melted marshmallows to the buttercream frosting, and whip until completely combined; the frosting should be thick and light.  Spoon the frosting into a piping bag with your favorite style tip and pipe over the cooled, glazed cupcakes.  Garnish with cherries, sprinkles, nuts or your favorite float topping.

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The Coca-Cola Cupcakes came out extrmely moist, and very suitable for travel.  Even a few days later the treats are still delectable.

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Needless to say, we had a great spring break, and a fabulous WEStival!  Hopefully Sir Sully and Lady Corree are not going to be disappointed in the next birthday party they attend.

Maple Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes

We had a breakfast a few months ago at work and served these decadent bakery treats!  I was so impressed I brought the idea home to Sir Wes, with the help of a recipe from The Novice Chef.    I have to confess, I am not a bacon eater, which is just a personal preference but my taste testers all agree- they soooo good!  They are kind of ridiculous, the kind of breakfast that stays with you all day.

Just a "little" sinful!

Here is the how the Novice Chef told me to make them-

Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Recipe Notes: There are two important ingredients for this cupcake. First being the bacon, of course. Don’t cheat yourself by using turkey bacon…or worse…pre-cooked bacon! Use good, quality bacon. Trust me, it is worth it. And also spend the money and buy the pure maple syrup. I promise you that Aunt Jemima just ain’t gonna cut it in this recipe!

Ingredients:

For cake:
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
3/4 cup bacon, cooked and chopped

For Maple frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter; room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 pound confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup pure maple syrup; plus more for drizzling
1 teaspoon salt

As Sir Wes says- "Bacon Makes Everything Better"

Directions:

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each. Remove from stand mixer and gently fold in bacon.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Frost as desired.

For the frosting:
Cream the butter in the bowl of an electric or stand mixer. Add the vanilla extract, salt and pure maple syrup and combine well.

Begin adding in the sugar and mixing thoroughly after each addition. After all of the sugar has been added and mixed thoroughly, give it a taste and decide if you want to add in more maple syrup. For thicker frosting you can gradually add in a little more sugar.

Garnish with chopped bacon and a drizzle of pure maple syrup if you wish.

Maple Bacon Chocolate Cupcakes