Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chocolated Covered Banana Cupcakes

Ever since my daughter's baby shower, I've been obsessed with making the perfect cupcake. I've become a food reality show junkie as well, watching DC Cupcakes, Cake Boss, and Fabulous Cakes. I love watching how they make wonderful and artistic creations and my youngest child covers her eyes when they try to get their creations into the delivery vehicle.

The family has loved that I've taken on this adventure, but unfortunately, it's been hard to keep them from eating the cupcakes before I even frost them and even harder to keep them around to take a photograph!

We were invited to a cookout at my husband's co worker's house this weekend, so I decided to use them as guinea pigs to try out my latest creation. I'm getting pretty good at making banana cupcakes, so I threw together a batch. I wanted to try out a new frosting and the reality shows that I've been watching have been using chocolate ganache frosting, so I really wanted to try it. This is the first time I've ever tasted this topping and I totally fell in love-I AM a chocolate fan.

Introducing, chocolate covered banana cupcakes...yum.

I had a lot of frosting left, so I whipped up a batch of strawberry cupcakes-who wouldn't love chocolate covered strawberry cupcakes?

Everyone loved them and the adults actually ate them all before the kids had a chance-wow, I've created cupcake monsters.

Make it:

Chocolate Covered Banana Cupcakes

Banana Cupcakes Recipe:

2.5 cups granulated white sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 medium sized bananas)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 regular-sized muffin cups with paper liners In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, bananas, milk, oil, and vanilla extract. Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until smooth. Pour the batter into the muffin cups until about 3/4 full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Chocolate Ganache Frosting:

8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter

Ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium sized stainless steel bowl. Set aside. Heat the cream and butter in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Foodie Blogger Interview

Today's foodie blogger is:

Heather Jones

"The Foodie Princess"!

When and why did you start your foodie blog?
I started the blog back in 2007 as a cheap website for the private chef business I was starting. But shortly thereafter I found out I was pregnant with my second child and decided to put the business idea on hold. The Foodie Princess just became another food blog after that. I continued blogging pretty regularly until 2008 than I stopped because I picked up a gig as a regular contributor on the website Project Foodie, which also led to me contributing to the website Cooking Up a Story. I've been featured on Canning Across America and have appeared on Martha Stewart Radio. I re-launched the Foodie Princess blog earlier this month because quite frankly I missed the freedom that having your own blog allows. I still write regularly over at Project Foodie, in addition I'm teaching cooking classes to at-risk youth and doing some recipe development/testing for a few cookbook authors.

Did you teach yourself to cook?
No, I was raised by my mother who was single and my maternal grandparents. My grandmother discouraged me from spending time in the kitchen, she wanted me to go to college and become some hot shot corporate type, so whenever I wanted to help out in the kitchen she'd tell me to go upstairs and read a book. Occasionally I would get to spend time in the kitchen with my grandfather who was a Food Service Director/Caterer/Restaurant Owner. I decided to go to Culinary School after I had been working at Williams-Sonoma as a manager, it was there that I realized just how passionate I was about food. I graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education (Peter Kumps New York Cooking School) in New York City back in 2000.

What's your favorite dish/dessert to make?
I don't really have a favorite because I'm constantly trying something new either of my own creation or testing something for someone else. But I do find myself making homemade pizza on a fairly regular basis and everyone that's ever tasted it tells me I have a real talent for it. I have an aunt who often talks about opening up her own bake/gift shop and she says I have to make pizza to sell in her shop. As for dessert, I love making ice cream. My ice cream maker is probably my most used kitchen appliance.

Who are your favorite foodie bloggers?
Wow there are so many, but the ones I regularly keep up with are Molly Wizenberg (Orangette), Tara Austen Weaver (Tea & Cookies), Heidi Swanson (101 Cookbooks), Susan Russo (Food Blogga), and Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan and her gang from The Kitchn. Those girls are also true writers in addition to being Food bloggers.

What foodie blogger (if any) do you secretly wish you were?
This questions seems a little "Single White Female" don't want anyone to think I'm stalking them. It would have to be Molly Wizenberg, first of all she's beautiful. She has an adorable husband, is an incredible writer and is the owner of new restaurant that's doing exceptionally well. She just seems like she's very genuine and a lot of fun. Maybe I'll get to hang out with her one day.

Any advice for newbie foodie bloggers?
Just getting back into the blogging game myself I feel like there is still so much for me to learn. Number one I would have to say you can only do this if you truly love it because not everyone lands a book deal, or a tv show or has a 100k hits a day. When you're truly enjoying it that passion you have for food just leaps off the screen. Two, network like crazy, the blogsphere is a fun place and I've been blessed to meet some incredible people. Although sometimes it may seem like everyone is out for self, you would be surprised how many successful bloggers there are who will "pay it forward" to help you get to where you want to be.

Lastly, take your time to really develop your voice, and find your niche. Its not all going to happen at once, and with all of the food blogs out there you can start to feel like you have to keep up but that's not going to get you anywhere, work at your own pace and do what works for you. Good photos and recipes that really work aren't a bad thing to have

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Featured Foodie

I'm starting a new series called, Featured Foodie. this week's Foodie Blog is Catherine from Weelicious.

Her blog is filled with great recipes and photos to match! Take it away, Catherine!

When and why did you start your foodie blog?
When I had my son, I had no idea when and what to feed him. I have always been a big foodie and attending culinary school, but when it comes to feeding a baby I didn't know where to start. I began testing all kinds of baby food purees with foods from our local farmers market and educating myself about how to get kids to love a variety of healthy foods from day one!

Did you teach yourself to cook?
I attended the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC, but I've been cooking since I was a child.

What's your favorite dish/dessert to make?
Right now it's Peach Crumble. I'm obsessed with the sweet peaches at our farmers market!
Who are your favorite foodie bloggers?
Gluten Free Girl, Simply Recipes, Laura's Best Recipes, Steamy Kitchen and David Lebovitz

What foodie blogger (if any) do you secretly wish you were?
I'm happy just being me :)
Any advice for newbie foodie bloggers?
Get yourself educated and involved in social media (facebook, twitter, flickr) asap!!
Would you like to be featured? Leave a comment and let me know!

Blog topics:

desserts, cakes, cookies, meats, mixers, knives, lobster, cooking, cooking books, recipes, food contests, cupcakes, dips, breakfast.