Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Magnolia Cupcakes

"Is the batter supposed to be thick?"

"Uhm... I think so but it should be very fluffy too."

"Yeah, it's fluffy."

My sister-in-law had some extra time on her hands yesterday to make Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes. A visit to New York is never complete without a stop on 11th and Bleeker where Magnolia Bakery resides. As you walk through the door, the lingering smell of butter dances through the air.

I'm amazed that the people at Magnolia shared their recipe for these beloved cupcakes but I'm very grateful as well. This is the real deal and to my knowledge, didn't leave anything out. We made them on our recent visit with Mike's parents for my father-in-law's birthday and everyone was impresses, including us.

I secretly think that Magnolia shared its recipe because they know that in these days of instant gratification, why make a batch when you can get it for under $2?

Magnolia Bakery Traditional Vanilla Birthday Cake and Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cups (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
8 cups confectioners' sugar we used 7 cups
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract

At Magnolia we decided to make our cake not quite a traditional yellow cake or a traditional sponge cake, given the use of whole eggs in our recipe. We're sure you'll agree this recipe is moist, delicious and makes a beautiful layer cake or cupcakes for birthdays or any celebration. Frost with pink buttercream icing and lots of colored sprinkles as we do, and feel as though you're at your seventh birthday party all over again!

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and lightly flour three 9- x 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.

2. To make the cake: In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition. Divide batter among the cake pans. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.

3. If you're making cupcakes, line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers. Spoon the batter into the cups about three-quarters full. Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 to 22 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on a rack before icing. When cake has cooled, ice between the layers, then ice top and sides of cake.

4. To make the icing: Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and the vanilla extract. Beat until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, until icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency (you may very well not need all of the sugar). If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. Use and store icing at room temperature, as icing will set if chilled. Can store in an airtight container for up to three days.

Posted by Maria @ 5:30 PM :: (0) comments

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Orecchiette with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Rabe

The Food Channel is one of my favorite network and has been a default channel on our television. At first, watching Giada De Laurentiis scared me because her head seems to be way bigger than her body. But soon, she won me over by her easy style, effortless recipes and how she seems to enjoy biting into whatever delicious creation she just made.

I wanted to try the Orecchiette with Turkey Sausage and Broccoli Rabe as soon as I watched Giada make it because it seemed like a fast recipe with simple ingredients and besides, I've never cooked broccoli rabe before. It turned out to be delicious and we had enough leftovers for lunch and dinner the next day.

2 bunches broccoli rabe, stems trimmed
1 pound orecchiette pasta I didn't have any on hand so I used farfalla instead
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound turkey Italian-style sausage, casings removed there was only chicken sausage at the store
3 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup grated Parmesan

Cook the broccoli rabe in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp tender, about 1 minute. Transfer the broccoli rabe to a large bowl of ice water to cool, saving the cooking water. Bring the reserved cooking water back to a boil.
Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, breaking it up into pieces with a spoon, until browned and juices form, about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, when the reserved cooking water is boiling, add the orecchiette and cook until al dente, tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 minutes.
Strain the broccoli rabe and add it to the pan with the sausage mixture and toss to coat with the juices. Add the pasta to the skillet. Stir in the Parmesan and serve immediately.

Posted by Maria @ 6:13 PM :: (0) comments