Chai Buttercream Cupcakes and Miniature Quiches

Happy Easter, everyone! I’m offering up not one, but two recipes today in honor of Spring, Passover, (well, the end of Passover, so now you can eat these) and Easter.Cute flower arrangements at Stop and Shop…

They are both portable, individual portions, and will definitely put you in the mood for beautiful weather. Up here, it’s absolutely gorgeous, and I’ve been celebrating the weather with dinner parties and walks in town.

These little cupcakes are delicious finishes to any meal, and the frosting is to die for. It’s amazing what a little chai concentrate, like Oregon Chai, can do to a recipe. The flavor is really adjusted and I think it’s an interesting taste. We used this in substitute of milk when we were out, and the cupcakes are still just as fluffy.Ingredients (makes six cupcakes)
Cake
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup of chai concentrate, or a 50/50 mix of milk and concentrate for a less intense flavor
1/2 tablespoon of vanilla
2 large eggs

Frosting
1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar
1 stick of butter, room temperature.
2 tablespoons of chai tea concentrate
Sprinkles to garnish

1. Preheat your oven to 350. In a medium sized mixing bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients so that they are thoroughly combined. In a larger bowl, combine the liquids and gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ones. Don’t over-mix!
2. Fill a muffin tin with cupcake wrappers, and fill the tin to about 3/4 of the way up- these get really fluffy and puffy! And pop them in the oven for 9-11 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and have risen to above the level of the wrappers.
3. While that’s all going on, make the buttercream frosting. Have your butter out and softened, and with a strong hand or an electric mixer, mix it in with the chai concentrate and half and half and the confectioner’s sugar until combined and fluffy.
4. Once the cupcakes are done, let them cool to room temperature before frosting, and then decorate as you please.

And now, onto the quiches. These are disgustingly simple. And the presentation is absolutely adorable. I have Erik to thank for a late-night quiche craving.Ingredients (makes six)
1 package of puff pastry, with six individual pieces
3 eggs
1 cup of cheese- cheddar, Havarti, whatever you like. Even stinky cheese.
5 slices of bacon
1/2 cup of half and half (If you say that three times fast, I will give you a quiche)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat your oven to 425 and start thawing the puff pastry. It has to be completely malleable for these to cook correctly. Cut the bacon into tiny squares and toss it into a pan to fry up until very crispy.
2. Mix together the eggs, 3/4 cup of the cheese, the half and half, salt and pepper. Save 1/4 cup of the cheese for later. Beat it up until it’s bubbly and pretty. When the bacon is done- LET IT COOL, for god’s sake, don’t plop it in and risk cooking the eggs before you bake the quiches. And once it’s coldish, put it on in and mix some more.
3. Take those muffin tins and pop the puff pastry in, like baby crusts, and it will fit in perfectly and form a little cup. Make sure it’s rolled out thin or they will have raw bottoms. Heh. And then, once all the cups are formed, you can start filling them. You can put cheese on the bottom for a gooey bottom quiche, and then fill with the eggs. Make sure that there’s an even distribution of the toppings, as they tend to sink down to the bottom while the mixture sits. Garnish with cheese.
4. Here’s the part that’s a little tricky, but really, just requires some careful watching. Bake the quiches for 10 minutes at 425, and then, reduce the temperature to 350 and bake for another five minutes. Take them out once they’re golden brown and scrumptious looking. Let cool for about ten minutes, or five seconds if you’re hungry, and eat!

Guys, enjoy the holiday and the weather and cook up a storm!

The Foodette

The Fancy Lady Gourmet Cupcakes and Cookies

I got another package in the mail, from The Fancy Lady Gourmet, and as soon as I opened it, I couldn’t believe how adorable it was.

The packaging itself is exquisite. The packing was baby blue tissue paper, and each confection was packed in a colorful Chinese food carton. I felt like I was opening an individual gift with each one. There was a label on each telling me what I was opening.

The first thing I tried was a coconut brownie cupcake with graham cracker crust. Now, I’m not really a fan of coconut, but this blew me away. The brownie was like a delicious, dense hybrid of cupcake and brownie, it was definitely an amazing homemade treat. The frosting was a bit hard, which I can expect, being in the mail, so I popped my piece into the microwave and let it nuke for a few. Probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I then realized that the frosting wasn’t frosting at all, but white chocolate with toasted coconut on top. Delicious. It basically turned into a ganache.

This brownie cupcake was fantastic. I think I’m a convert.

9/10- FANTASTIC

The next treat was a s’mores brownie. Opening this was just like a real s’more! Very gooey good! The marshmallows were nice and toasty brown, but the cake was very dry and had a really strange mouthfeel to it. It left a film in my mouth and a strange aftertaste that I can’t put my finger on. I’m not sure if it was the graham cracker crust or the brownie itself, but something was a little off. I did like how the marshmallows were roasted on top, though, instead of being put in the mix.

5/10- OKAY

This last one was really the star of the show. It’s an adorable little red velvet cupcake with a lovely fondant flower on top. The cake is a deep, dark, rich burgundy color, almost, and you can smell the cocoa scent of a good red velvet from three feet away.

I almost don’t want to cut into this cupcake, it’s so cute. It’s got a perfect daub of white chocolate on top. I’m torn between eating it or putting it by my bedside table and making it my firstborn child. But alas, I must share with Patricia, as my family ate her last share of baked goods, so…I must cut.

The cake is a little bit dry, but maintains a deep, rich, buttery red velvet flavor that goes perfectly with milk. The frosting is delicious, again, a really buttery white chocolate dollop on top, and the fondant was a pleasant surprise for me. The cupcake was smaller than the brownie, but this was perfect. Any more would have been too much. The density is just perfect with this one.

8/10- TASTY

I strongly recommend these desserts for anyone to try. The Fancy Lady Gourmet is out of Moonachie, NJ, and can be found on her website on Etsy.com

The Fancy Lady Gourmet

Moonachie, NJ