Saturday, March 19, 2011

SU and Birthdays and a Dinner Party oh my!

Happy Dinner Party/Birthday Amanda/Go SU! We certainly had lots to celebrate Friday night. For my birthday I couldn't decide which cupcakes to make: Irish or S'mores? Obviously I went with the Irish ones and had to wait for an opportunity to make the S'more ones...enter Amanda's birthday! They were a bit messy to eat but they certainly tasted like a S'more.
Ingredient/Technical Difficulties: Marshmallow Fluff is harder to find around here then I thought. The local stores had all sorts of peanut butter, jam and jellies but no fluff! Just as I was mentally preparing to make it from scratch Mr. Lawyer found some Ricemallow Fluff from Whole Foods. It tasted fine, a bit sweeter maybe but it did not hold it's shape which posed a problem with making the garnish. It oozed all over the place and didn't harden up. I charred up some mini marshmallows which worked wonderfully and looked more visually pleasing (you can see both toppings in the photo). I would recommend using fluff for the filling but going the normal marshmallow route for the topping. Either way prepare for a mess, I was very angry at marshmallows while making these (who on earth would ever make something so sticky and messy!! Grrr...). However I thought that the toasted marshmallow on top added some of the best flavor, nothing like nice toasty caramelized sugar to zing up a cupcake. Also, Cupcake Corer.  Best five dollars I ever spent.

S'more Cupcakes
(Bon App├ętit Magazine)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 1 packet)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup plus one 7-ounce jar marshmallow creme (Or 7oz of marshmallows)
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
12 1-inch pieces broken graham crackers (for garnish)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners. Whisk graham crumbs, flour, baking powder, and pinch of salt in medium bowl. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating to blend between additions. Beat in vanilla. Add graham-cracker mixture in 3 additions alternately with milk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with graham-cracker mixture. Divide batter among muffin cups.
2. Bake cupcakes until tester inserted into center come out clean, about 22 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to rack; cool completely.
3. Place chocolate in medium bowl. Bring cream just to boil in small saucepan; pour over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute; stir until smooth. Cool ganache until lukewarm.
4. Core cupcakes with a  cupcake corer, apple corer, spoon, etc. Spoon 3/4 cup marshmallow creme into resealable plastic bag, pushing into 1 bottom corner. Cut 1/2 inch off corner. Pipe into holes in cupcakes. Spread 2 teaspoons ganache over each cupcake.
5. Preheat broiler. Coat rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Spoon dollops of marshmallow creme on sheet (or marshmallows!). Broil until slightly charred, 1 to 2 minutes. Spoon dollop of charred creme over each cupcake; garnish with piece of graham cracker.
Poorly behaving Ricemallow Fluff and well behaved but messy mini marshmallows.
Final Product? Amazing.

There's a bunch more so I will use a super obnoxious page break. Read on for the rest of our goodies!

Woody was our Kitchen Guest and he made some manly super meaty chili which was one of those dishes where you think "Oh my gosh this is totally disgusting and going to kill me but it's so amazing!" He started with your normal chili base (tomatoes, beans and hamburger) and added pepperoni, bacon, jalapenos and topped it off with liquid nacho cheese. Totally gross right? Tasted amazing. Of course he did not appreciate me harassing him for a picture.
So after invading my kitchen and making a mess what happens? The boys decide to take a break and play games on his ipad and leave me to do all the dishes!
Amanda brought over a selection of extremely yummy cheeses including Trugole, Double Cream Gouda and Swiss (from Switzerland!!) which she artfully arranged on my sweet cheese slate.
Ryan, Ana and Zach joined us so I whipped up some cheese straws and voila! The final spread...
Plus SU won so all in all it was a successful night!

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