Saturday, May 30, 2009

Turkish Delight Cupcakes

First of all, can anyone tell my why my cupcakes ALWAYS fall in the center? I can't figure it out! Someone suggested that my oven temp might not be right, so I went out and bought an oven thermometer. I am positive that my oven is set to the right temperature now. I am always very gentle when removing the pan from the oven so as not to jiggle them and cause them to fall. They are not undercooked or overfilled. I cannot figure out for the life of me why I have not once been able to get a cupcake to have a nice, smooth, rounded top. Am I destined to always win the ugly cupcake contest, or does anyone have any advice for me as to how to fix my problem? Any advice would be GREATLY appreciated!!!

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Anyway, back to topic! This cupcake idea came from some Turkish candies my Father-In-Law's girlfriend brought back from Turkey for us. They aren't ACTUALLY Turkish Delight...apparently those are more like nougat, but the name "Bolgi" (or is it "Bolci"?) just doesn't sound as fun. So, I am going to call them Turkish Delight anyway. These candies are made of hazelnuts and pistachios (my two favorites!) in a caramel crunch filling, coated in chocolate. Since I am SO fond of my hazelnut cupcake recipe, I figured it would be fairly easy to modify it to create a cupcake with the flavors of the Turkish candy.

I searched high and low for a pistachio liqueur to use along with the Frangelico, but apparently it doesn't exist. It sounds like at one time, in Italy, it did exist, but it is no longer made. So, I decided to just go with a chopped pistachio topping. I actually liked how it turned out, since the little bit of crunch made it even more like the candy!
I used my original recipe for the Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) cupcakes, and drizzled caramel topping over them while they were still hot out of the oven. I poked holes in the cupcakes, but the topping didn't melt into the cupcakes as much as I had expected it to. Maybe if I hadn't cheated with store-bought topping *gasp!* and actually made my own caramel syrup, it would have soaked in a bit more.

I topped them with chocolate frosting, and sprinkled the chopped pistachios on top. Yum! Mike couldn't wait to try them. He thought they were awesome! I liked them - the cupcake wasn't too sweet, which is how I like them. The chocolate was a bit sweet though, and since I'm not a big chocolate fan, I could have done without that part. But, they were still yummy!!! Not quite the same flavor as the candy, but still a great flavor combination!!!

(I halved this recipe since the two of us can't even get through a dozen cupcakes, much less two dozen!)

Turkish Delight Cupcakes
created by Alanna!
Yield: 24 cupcakes

Cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine (I used butter)
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup Frangelico
1/4 chopped pistachios for topping
caramel topping (I used store-bought, but a home-made version would probably be better)

Frosting:
2 3/4 cups powdered sugar
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I used more since I don't like my chocolate too sweet - and it STILL turned out super sweet)
6 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cupcakes:
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately, add 1/3 of the flour mixture and all of the buttermilk, then 1/3 of the flour mixture and all of the Frangelico, beating well after each addition. Add remaining flour; mix until smooth.

Line muffin cups with baking papers. Fill each 2/3 full. Bake at 375 degrees for 14-16 minutes or until cupcakes test done. Poke holes in cupcakes and drizzle caramel topping over the top. Cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove and cool completely.


Frosting:
In a medium bowl, sift together the powdered sugar and cocoa; set aside. In a large bowl, cream butter until smooth, then gradually beat in sugar mixture alternately with the evaporated milk. Blend in vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. If necessary, adjust consistency with more milk or sugar.

Lightly frost cupcakes and sprinkle with chopped pistachios.

Friday, May 8, 2009

TGIF! It's Foodie Friday!

Happy Friday, everyone! I just wanted to welcome all those of you who may be stopping by due to The Leftover Queen's kind recommendation of me for Foodie Friday! I am SO honored! I love being part of the Foodie Blogroll. There is such a great community of bloggers out there, and I have learned a lot and collected SOOOO many recipes from you all. I can always find everything I need to know from my fellow bloggers!

Sorry I've been a bit behind on my blogging lately...life has still been a bit insane after some crazy situations with trying to buy a house, but things are slowing down again, so I will once again be able to blog. I have a very exciting idea for cupcakes that I can't wait to get started on. Plus, I'm getting a new roommate that is excited to learn how to cook, so my adventures in the kitchen should be exciting this summer!

Anyway, welcome everyone, and have a great Friday and enjoy the rest of your weekend!!! Thanks for stopping by!