Monday, July 25, 2011

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Birthday Blues

Spiffy birthday present, huh?
I really didn't mean for the title of this post to be depressing, but it does rather fit.  So, a week ago I officially left childhood behind (age-wise anyway) and turned 20.  And apparently my tastes in food are starting to reflect that, because what I wanted more than anything was plain vanilla cupcakes with extraordinary blueberry cream cheese frosting. And what better way to break in my birthday present than to bake!

Multi-use blueberry sauce
I have to say that I think the best experimenting I have done in the kitchen happens right when things are about to go bad. That's how I learned how to make the most awesome strawberry sauce and from there carried over to the blueberry sauce that I used to make the icing that I proceeded to eat out of the mixing bowl.

I didn't stop there though. I wanted my cupcakes to be even more extraordinary. So I made blueberry-pear jam a couple days in advance (might I add that my intake of PB&Js as greatly increased lately ^_^) and we filled the cupcakes with jam as well. 

Might I add that a single box of pectin will make A LOT of jam.

So for the cakes themselves this recipe will do. And make sure you don't over mix the batter or they will turn out the consistency of cornbread (still tasty, but very dense).

Now for my favourite part! The icing recipe :D

Blueberry Sauce (Yields 2cups)
1pint fresh blueberries
6 tablespoons light agave nectar

In a small sauce pot on medium heat, combine ingredients. Stir occasionally until the nectar begins to bubble, then reduce heat. Simmer until most of the berries have popped, continuing to stir occasionally.  Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Puree in blender. (Alternative: skip the puree step and just use the chunky sauce)

 Cream Cheese Frosting (enough for 24 cupcakes)
8oz cream cheese (softened)
1stick unsalted butter (softened)
2-3 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter and cream cheese in stand mixer. Gradually add in sugar until it is the correct consistency then add in the vanilla and enough sugar to counteract the liquid.

*Then fold in 1/3 cup of the blueberry sauce and transfer to a ziploc bag for icing

If you completely mix in the 1/3 cup of sauce the icing makes an excellent topping for pancakes, so much so that you'll get designated breakfast maker for your week of vacation. Oh, sorry did I sound bitter that I shared this with my mom and now I have to get up early everyday for a week to cook for 6 people? Oops. Moral: horde all this for yourself!

Heh, my age may say that I'm not a child anymore but that sure as hell doesn't mean I won't act like one. Also, who in their right mind would leave icing in the bowl! Certainly not me!

With a bazillion birthdays in July we're certain to have a lot of new posts coming up.  There are at least 4 coming up for real people, and I haven't even decided if I'm doing a cake for Harry Potter's birthday this year (though I'm thinking I will).  So! More to come very soon.