Tuesday, June 23, 2009

June Iron Cupcake Earth Challenge: Summer Berries

Hi all=) Yes, another contest i've decided to partake in this month. This will be my second time doing an Iron Cupcake Earth Challenge. My first Iron Cupcake Challenge Ingredient was Basil. I didn't win that challenge and i'm just hoping for the best with this one- but, regardless if I win or not, I enjoyed making these cupcakes! I hope some of you have also entered in this challenge too- its a great way to experiment with ingredients you wouldn't otherwise think of trying (although berries are much more common to use than some of the other ingredients they've chosen for the other challenges). The other benefit of joining this is the networking!

Okay, i'm done rambling. Here is my first entry:

Chocolate Berry Surprise Cupcakes

I called it Chocolate Berry Surprise because I dipped fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries) in dark chocolate and placed them in the middle of each cupcake. The cupcake either had one type of berry or a variety- so it was a surprise to the person who ate it. The cross section photo was taken while the cupcake was still warm so the whipped cream was melting onto the center. It is- and was VERY delicious. This won't be the last time I make it i'll tell you that=) Recipes for both these cupcakes will follow towards the end of the post if your interested.

and my second entry is this:

Blueberries & Cream Cupcakes

Blueberries & Cream cupcakes
Cross section of Blueberries and Cream Cupcake
Oh boy! These too were a treat to make! The cupcake batter had a whole cup of whipping cream in it! I think that is what made it very fluffy and so moist- oh and I can't forget about the fresh blueberries and its juice! (Tell you more about it in the recipe part of this). I topped the cupcake with a Greek Honey Yogurt and drizzled it with Raspberry Honey that I just bought days ago at my local Farmer's Market. I finished it off with a sprinkling of dried blueberries. These are soooo good! It's okay if you have more that one. Don't think about all the cream, butter, or sugar in it- think about all the antioxidants that the blueberries have=)

Okay, so those are my 2 entries. This is the part where I say what the prizes are (and I would really love to have- I will share part of it too- with one of my 8 subscribers. hahahaha. Gotta love those odds. I have given up on the big number of subscribers, i'm just lucky to have any readers. Thank you! I appreciate all of you!). Okay, i'm back on track...the prizes are:

June ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
A sweet cupcake ID bracelet by INSANEJELLYFISH,
A groovy linocut piece from BLOCKHEAD PRESS
A sweet surprise from Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Cupcakery,
An awesome piece from CAKESPY,
Last and certainly not least, the corporate prize providers for Iron Cupcake: Earth: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM .
Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers .

Voting starts June 28- July 6.

Now for the recipes:

Chocolate Berry Surprise Cupcakes

Before I made the cupcake batter, I got the berries ready.
You will need:
A variety of fresh berries and chocolate chips:

Melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat it up in 20 second increments, stirring it often to disperse the heat & have it melt equally.
It looks ready, now drop the berries in and get ready to fish! Actually, I recommend doing 3-4 at a time because it gets really clumpy when you put too many in at once. You'll see later.

Pretty messy, but so worth it. Place the berries on parchment paper and them place them in the refrigerator to cool and harden. You see that huge clump on the bottom left? I put too many in at once. The chocolate cooled too fast and it started to get too thick. I didn't want to place it in the microwave to warm it again because the berries were already in the chocolate and they were too fragile. So while that is cooling, you have time to make the cupcakes.

For the Chocolate cupcake,
I used Martha Stewarts version of her Classic Chocolate Cupcake. I changed one thing since I didn't have the regular unsweetened cocoa powder. Instead, I used Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa Powder.

Makes 18

3/4 cup Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa powder
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
Into a medium bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each, then beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with sour cream and beginning and ending with flour.
Pour batter into cups. I used a tablespoon scooper. I placed a tablespoon of batter in each cup, placed one or two chocolate covered berries, then placed another tablespoon full of batter on top of it. It should be about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes.** Obviously you can't stick a toothpick in the center to check for doneness because of the chocolate covered berry in the center. I just checked if the dome top of the cupcake was done by checking its firmness. It was about 20 minutes in my oven**
Cool in pan 5 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Use any topping you desire, but I used whipped cream out of the can and topped it with chocolate chips.

Blueberries and Cream Cupcake recipe

I found this recipe browsing online and stumbled upon the blog Cupcakes and Crinoline. She found the recipe through Gail Wagman's Cupcakes Galore book. I am so glad I found it because this recipe is a winner as well. I am going to try to substitute the blueberries for strawberries next weekend. We'll see how well that turns out.



2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup/1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 cup milk or light cream

3/4 cup blueberries {if you are using frozen blueberries, defrost beforehand}, plus 1/2 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

1 tablespoon water

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

In large electric mixer bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Alternately, add dry ingredients and milk or cream.

Using a fork, crush 3/4 blueberries with 1 tablespoon water until they are soft. ***I was wondering why this was done, and I figure that if you don't crush them, it will burst during the baking process. Don't skip this step or you might have one big hot mess***

Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool. **Keep an eye on it, make sure to check it after 20 minutes don't expect the tops to be browned, just check for doneness. Mine baked until 24 minutes and it was perfect**.


For the topping, this is what I used:

Greek Honey Yogurt
Local Raspberry Honey (use any kind of honey you want)
Dried Blueberries

Basically, I just spooned some yogurt on top, drizzled the honey, then topped it with the dried blueberries. Easy Peasy=)

Make some today, they are both really yummy cupcakes. I wouldn't enter if they weren't. Feel free to message me if you have any questions or need any clarification.
Strawberry on Foodista


Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said...

Looks like you overcame the failure of the previous post spectacularly well!! Both these cupcakes look delicious, though I'm partial to the chocolate ones!


My dear goodness,
these pictures are so great!
You did a fabulous job!

Greetings from Bucharest!

The Delightful Gourmet said...

You have done a great job with your cupcakes. The chocolate strawberrry looks really delicous. I deserve to win this contest!

Heidi said...

These look wonderful!

Yummy in my tummy said...

Avanika- Thank you! Yes, having failures is a must, it makes success even more sweeter=) I have to say, I loved the chocolate one even more as well!

Mononoke Kitchen- Thank you so much! Greeting from Olympia, Washington=)

Delightful Gourmet- Thank you! Yes, the chocolate berry cupcake IS delicious. Chocolate and berries are so yum together=)

Heidi- Thank you, I hope you make these to enjoy=)

Alisa@Foodista said...

Kudos on these cupcakes, they sure look delicious. Looks like a winner to me!I'd love to guide our readers to your site if you won't mind.Just add this foodista widget to this post and it's all set to go, Thanks!

Yummy in my tummy said...

Thank you Alisa! I welcome any and all readers=) The widget is in place.

FoodTravelDiva said...

Now that's what I call a good cupcake. Moist, chocolatey and filled with strawberry goodness....a piece of heaven! Thanks for sharing. your photos are awesome by the way!

Yummy in my tummy said...

FoodTravelDiva- Thank you so much! The cupcake was heavenly=)

Shannon said...

Um, WOW!!! The cupcakes look amazing! I am saving the recipe right now to try. Thanks for posting these recipes for us to try. I love experimenting. PS - I voted for you!

: : Shannon

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