March 7, 2011

first post: confessions and cupcakes


I'm Esther, I'm 25 years old and obsessed with food.
(Hi, Esther)

Sometimes when I'm gushing about a new restaurant or recipe to a friend or family member, I worry that they're secretly judging me or thinking, "How sad, she really cares about food this much." So I try to hold back, sometimes. But only on the outside. I don't tell them that I find myself planning menus in my head as I go to sleep at night. 

...Okay, well I guess they know now. 
No more secrets.

So here's my food blog. It will be about food. And possibly traveling (but really still food then too).
And now, cupcakes!

Disclaimer: My photography skills/camera are severely impaired. Hope to change this.

This is a banana coconut cupcake with nutella-cream cheese frosting.

Sadly this cupcake is no more. It had to be done.

The sacrificial cupcake.

 These are really tasty. You will have eaten one before you even realized it. (case in point: I did not plan to eat that whole sacrificial cupcake. I just planned to do one bite, for the picture.)

Also, you can qualify them as breakfast cupcakes, because of the banana! (Who am I kidding, I qualify all cupcakes as breakfast cupcakes.)

Banana Coconut Cupcakes with Nutella Cream Cheese Frosting
(cupcake recipe adapted from here, where everything looks really super good)

1 1/2 C. A/P flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 C. mashed bananas
1 T. fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 stick unsalted butter (6 T.), softened to room temperature
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs. white sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
3/4 C. buttermilk
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 275.
Prepare a muffin pan with muffin cups.
Optional: In a food processor, grind up coconut into smaller flakes so as not to encounter stringy coconut shreds in cupcake.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Mash bananas and combine with lemon juice in a small bowl.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, coconut extract, and vanilla.  Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk while mixing, until combined.
Add bananas and mix until well blended. Add shredded coconut.
Bake at 275 for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
After removing from the oven, place cupcakes in freezer for 1/2 hour.

1/2 C. unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup nutella
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 C. powdered sugar

Cream together butter, cream cheese, nutella, and vanilla. Add powdered sugar. Add more sugar if desired texture is not achieved.

Frost cooled cupcakes.
Sprinkle with toasted coconut.*

*To toast coconut, spread about a cup of it out on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and toast it at 300, stirring often, until golden brown and crispy, approximately 6-8 minutes, depending on your desired level of crispness.

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