Last weekend we baked up a storm and invited some friends over to eat it all:
On the menu—
1) Pumpkin macarons with cinnamon mascarpone filling
2) Sandwich cat cookies (espresso-chocolate roll cookies with orange-dyed Kahlua buttercream frosting), adapted from The Good Cookie
3) Peanut caramels
4) Hazelnut plum tart (from Smitten Kitchen)…apologies for the awful picture. I only had time to snap a picture while it was hot and on the stove, which did not offer great lighting.
5) Almond pound cake mini-cupcakes with chocolate sour cream frosting
We also tried making homemade twix. Major fail. The cookie was too crumbly, the caramel too soft, and the chocolate was a mess—both too high percentage chocolate and would not temper. Some evidence of said disaster:
Lastly, I leave you with a recipe: Almond pound cake mini-cupcakes with chocolate sour cream frosting. Recipe was compiled (barely amended) from the Viking Cooking School and The Artful Cupcake cookbook—
Ingredients for cupcakes:
Vegetable oil spray or mini cupcake paper cups
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
Ingredients for frosting:
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
pinch of salt
2/3 cup sour cream
Instructions for cupcakes:
- Preheat oven to 325 and spray mini cupcake tray or line with cups (preferred).
- Mix eggs, egg yolks, vanilla and almond extracts in a measuring cup with a pouring spout. Set aside.
- Sift flour and salt together and set aside.
- Using the paddle attachment of an electric mixer (or hand-held), beat butter at medium-high speed for about 30 seconds.
- Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, almost white, about 4 minutes.
- Add flour and egg mixtures, alternating between the two, starting with 1/4 of the flour mixture, then 1/3 of the egg mixture, and continuing in these proportions until complete. In between, mix at medium speed. Just mix—do not overmix.
- Fill prepared cups to about 3/4 capacity with batter.
- Bake about 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven. Cool in pan about 5-10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks.
Instructions for frosting:
- Using a double boiler, melt chocolate with salt.
- Add the sour cream all at once and whisk thoroughly.
- Remove bowl from heat. Allow to cool entirely before frosting cupcakes.
- To decorate, pour sprinkles in a shallow bowl and swirl frosted cupcake on all sides to cover the top of the cupcake.