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Archive for the ‘Food and Drink’ Category

Finally recovered from the crazy that was CupcakeCampTO! If you missed it – details and recaps here, here and here!  For more, including videos and links to tons of photos, check out the official site cupcakecamp.ca.

awesomesauce-cupcakecamp-organizers

Michelle, Andre and Monica (above) did an absolutely amazing job in getting this up and running – the first CupcakeCamp in Canada!

I made a few different cupcakes for the event, including meatball cupcakes (not an official entry, maybe next year!).  I think they might have helped a few folks prevent a serious case of carb coma or diabetic shock from all the sweet stuff that was flying about that day.

I think they went over quite well, but not as well as my Vanilla Cheesecake Crunch, a wee bit of tastiness that wasn’t super fancy in the decoration department but managed to nab first place for best dessert-inspired cupcake – thanks so much to the FoodTV folks for taste testing over 40 different cupcakes!

For those interested in trying them out – here’s the recipe. I tweaked it a bit, so tried to note those edits where I made them. Mostly I just wing it as I go… which is somewhat funny since I tweaked this recipe the morning of CupcakeCamp and never actually had a chance to taste the final version of these until after the judging happened! I’m glad they turned out delish. 🙂

Enough chatter – on to the recipe!

Vanilla Cheesecake Crunch (original recipe by Elinor Klivans, from the book cupcakes!)

Batter

2 1/2 cups AP flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt get sifted together, then set aside.

Mix 3 large eggs with 2 cups of sugar until thickened and light cream colour. I used a handheld mixer and it took about 2 minutes. Probably quicker with a stand mixer.

eggies

Mix in 1 cup canola or corn oil along with 2 tsp vanilla. I tend to add a bit more vanilla. Yum.  Mix those in and then add 1 cup sour cream. Beat that all together on a low/med speed until no streaks and then incorporate the dry ingredients until just mixed.  Batter is thick and a lovely pale yellow.

batter

You are ready for step 2, the filling!

Filling

Grab your trusty mixer and get cracking – beat the cream cheese (1 pkg) with 1/4 cup sugar until smooth.  Beat in 1 large egg and 1/2 tsp vanilla. I added more vanilla.  The original recipe called for the addition of 1 tbsp of lemon juice plus 1 tsp zest but I tried that the first time and it was too lemony for my taste. I was interested in vanilla – not lemon – cheesecake! Additionally – I made 2x this amount because I wanted more cheesecake per cupcake!

beaters1

Topping

Easy peasy. Melt yourself 2 tbsp of unsalted butter (okay, I might have used 3…mmm….butter) and then pour it over a mixture of 1/2 cup flour, 1/3 cup light brown sugar and 1/8 tsp salt that you stirred together in advance. Stir quickly to mix or you’ll end up with a big ol’ lump in the middle.  Break up larger pieces with your fork to ensure a fairly even size for your crumble.

Fire up the oven – apparently you are supposed to cook these babies at 325 for 25 minutes but I think I had them in at 350 for less… and they baked much faster with the convection oven on too – probably about 15 min.

Make the Cupcakes!

Toss liners in the muffin pans, this recipe says it makes 24 regular, 12 extra large or 72 mini.

Fill 1/2 the liner up with batter, fill to just below the top of the liner with filling, or whatever ratio you like. The original recipe called for 3 generous tbsp of batter to 1 1/2 tbsp of filling.  Sprinkle crumb topping over each.  I started pressing it down just ever so slightly so it wouldn’t fall off after baking.

Take a peek (don’t open the oven if you don’t have to though!) often, to make sure they aren’t getting brown. You can test with a toothpick but I think that they are past-done when the toothpick comes out clean.  They need to be a little bit crumby and moist still to ensure the cheesecake is nice and soft.

cheesecake-cupcakes

The only thing left to do at this point is enjoy!! 🙂  If you try these out, do let me know what you think.  I *highly* recommend Elinor’s book cupcakes! as I tried a bunch of recipes from it and they were all superdelishfantastico!

(More CupcakeCampTO pics to follow)

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My colleague Ryan mentioned worldwidefred.com to me and *gasp* I’d never heard of it!

Imagine my pleasure in spying such gems as the Calf & Half creamer jug and the FingerFood ring.  *chuckle*

This stuff is ridiculous in a way that makes me want to run out and do some shopping.

But lest you think Fred is all about food stuffs, they also have fun items like the snazzy “crime scene” scarf (I know a teenager that would kill for this, coincidentally), the cheeky “how to” tie and the defiant “I am not your doormat” uhm… doormat.

There is happiness in my heart this lovely Tuesday afternoon, thanks Fred & Friends!

Read Full Post »

My colleague Ryan mentioned worldwidefred.com to me and *gasp* I’d never heard of it!

Imagine my pleasure in spying such gems as the Calf & Half creamer jug and the FingerFood ring.  *chuckle*

This stuff is ridiculous in a way that makes me want to run out and do some shopping.

But lest you think Fred is all about food stuffs, they also have fun items like the snazzy “crime scene” scarf (I know a teenager that would kill for this, coincidentally), the cheeky “how to” tie and the defiant “I am not your doormat” uhm… doormat.

There is happiness in my heart this lovely Tuesday afternoon, thanks Fred & Friends!

Read Full Post »