Saturday, September 15, 2012

Today's Project

I have been craving a cannoli cupcake like nobody's business!!! But...none of the cupcake shops near me have them...WAH!!! However, I am a baker at heart...and cannoli cupcakes are a little bit of a specialty of mine...but since they're so complicated, I rarely make them! Not to mention, I'm riding solo this weekend so I have no one to eat them with...

Never fear...I have made them my Saturday project...and they're gonna be goooood :)
Ok...mine won't be this pretty...but they'll be yummy ;)
Cannoli Cupcakes
(i'm not gonna lie...this is a difficult recipe. but i'm game if you are!)

First you have to make the cupcakes.
I'm going with a basic yellow's simple and is a great canvas for the delicious, complex flavors of the cannoli fixings.

Yellow Cupcakes
1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
cupcake liners

Preheat the oven to 350°F
In a mixer, cream the butter until it's light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue to cream. 
Gradually add the vanilla and eggs and mix well.
Sift the dry ingredients together.
Mix the dry ingredients with the butter and egg mixture, alternating with the milk.
Pour the batter into cupcake paper lined muffin tins (filling them 3/4 of the way full.)
Bake until puffed and firm in the center, about 20-25 minutes.
Let cool.

I am also obsessed with chocolate...and no cannoli is complete without being dipped in some form of chocolate. I use a simple ganache...yummmmm

Chocolate Ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2 oz pieces

Heat the heavy cream and butter in a saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.
Put the chocolate into a stainless steel bowl.
Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
Stir until smooth.
(easy right?!)

Now it's time to make the filling...I've used a different recipe each time I've made these...but this is the one I like the best...because it's yummy :)

Cannoli Filling
1 (15 oz) container of ricotta
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Stir together ricotta and sugar with a spoon. 
Fold in orange zest and chocolate.
This is literally the easiest part of the recipe...

Ok. Before we do the frosting, we're going to assemble our cakes.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool (we don't want to melt the filling or the ganache) cut a cone out of the top of the cupcake.
Dip "coned" cupcake into the ganache.
Place one heaping tablespoon of filling into the cake.
Snip the base of the cone (leaving the flat part of the cake alone) and place the flat part back onto the cake (you're essentially replacing the top of the cake.)
It should look like this when you're done (minus the frosting...)

Now. It's officially frosting time.

Today, I'm just going to do a basic vanilla butter cream topped with pistachios. It's easy, yummy, and easy. And at this point, easy is key. Because I am tired of baking right now...

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
3 cups confectioner's sugar
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-2 tablespoons whipping cream
1 cup pistachios, chopped, for garnish

In a mixing bowl, mix sugar and butter. Mix on low speed until well blended, and then increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes.
Add vanilla and cream and continue to mix on medium speed for 1 minute more, adding cream as necessary to aid in spreadibility.

You can frost cupcakes in one of two ways: you can be fancy and use a piping bag and make everything pretty and exciting...OR you can use a spoon and a spatula and just rely on taste...I'm going with method two...because like I said, I'm tired of baking.

So. Scoop your frosting out, plop it on, smooth it out. Sprinkle with the pistachios and enjoy.

These cupcakes are a pain in the butt to make. But they make up for it by being absolutely delicious.
So go make some.

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