Pumpkin Praline Cupcakes


 

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How was your thanksgiving?? I must say that mine was great!! I really enjoyed my time  off, and I will tell you that it will be hard tomorrow to get back to work. But good things always come to an end, that is how we get to appreciate them.

For Thanksgiving, I only got to prepare appetizers and desserts, and I had much fun Wednesday spending my day in the kitchen listening to Christmas tune and cooking.

I made :

  • Mini Pecan PiesIMG_3551
  • Vanilla CheesecakesIMG_3557
  • Raspberry. Lemon Mousse CakesIMG_3542
  • Chocolate Feuille D’automneIMG_3549
  • Lemon TartsIMG_3514
  • and Pumpkin Praline Cupcakes IMG_3555

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Most of the desserts can be served at all times of the year besides maybe the Pumpkin Cupcakes and that is why I decided that I would share the recipe of them today. It is a easy, quick recipe that is very very flavorful.

The batter of the cupcakes is similar to the Pumpkin Roll that I make, and the frosting is also similar to the Praline Cupcakes that i also make. I love both flavors together, they marry well. However, you could stay with a Vanilla flavored Frosting for a more subdue frosting.  If you did not like the spices in the cupcakes batter, you could also do without. Just an idea.

I must say that the cupcakes taste better the day that they are made. They are soft, very moist. They still will taste good the days that follow, but they will have a much more dense texture. 

Ingredients for about 35+ Mini- Cupcakes:

  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of Clover powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pie Crust Hearts:

  • Half a rolled pie crust
  • Milk, for brushing
  • Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Filling:

  • 8 oz of cream cheese,
  • 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature,
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract,
  • 1/4 cup of sugar.
  • 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar,
  • 2 tbsp. of heavy cream.
  1. Turn your oven  to 350 degrees F. Place the mini cupcakes mold onto a medium perforated sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the sugar, the spices, baking powder and salt together.IMG_3490
  3. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla.
  4. Gently fold the flour mixture into the wet pumpkin mixture until just incorporated.IMG_3491
  5. Fill the wells up to about 3/4.IMG_3492
  6. Bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed. Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  7. While the muffins are cooling, cut out as many hearts as you need to decorate the top of each cupcakes.IMG_3501
  8. When placing them onto the medium silpat that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet, stretch them a bit so that they will appear longer.
  9. Brush each with milk, and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar.IMG_3502
  10. Bake until deep golden brown, 10 minutes at the most.
  11. Once cooked, set them aside to cool.
  12. For the topping, first prepare the caramel.  In a small saucepan, place the cream and the brown sugar, and cook until it is bubbling and the sugar dissolves.
  13. Empty the caramel into the small round flexiform and place it in the fridge for the caramel to cool.
  14. In a bowl of an electric mixer, place the cream cheese, the butter, the vanilla, the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the sugar a little at a time and mix until it is well combined. Set aside.IMG_3517
  15. When the caramel is cold, empty it into the cream cheese frosting. With a spatula, fold the caramel into the frosting slowly but do not combine!IMG_3518
  16. With a small teaspoon, top each cupcake with the frosting.IMG_3519
  17. Then gently push a pie crust Heart into the frosting of each cupcake, and serve. Et voila!IMG_3525

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Pumpkin Praline Cupcakes

  • Servings: 24-30
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

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Ingredients for about 35+ Mini- Cupcakes:

  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of Clover powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon fine salt
  • One 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Pie Crust Hearts:

  • Half a rolled pie crust
  • Milk, for brushing
  • Granulated sugar, for sprinkling

Filling/Topping:

  • 8 oz of cream cheese,
  • 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature,
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla extract,
  • 1/4 cup of sugar.
  • 1/2 cup of firmly packed brown sugar,
  • 2 tbsp. of heavy cream.
  1. Turn your oven to 350 degrees F. Place the mini cupcakes mold onto a medium perforated sheet and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, the sugar, the spices, baking powder and salt together.
  3. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla. Gently fold the flour mixture into the wet pumpkin mixture until just incorporated. Fill the wells up to about 3/4.
  4. Bake the cupcakes for about 15 minutes or until the tops spring back when pressed. Let the muffins cool in the pan for a few minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.
  5. While the muffins are cooling, cut out as many hearts as you need to decorate the top of each cupcakes. When placing them onto the medium silpat that you would have placed onto a medium perforated sheet, stretch them a bit so that they will appear longer. Brush each with milk, and sprinkle generously with granulated sugar. Bake until deep golden brown, 10. Once cooked, set them aside to cool.
  6. For the topping, first prepare the caramel. In a small saucepan, place the cream and the brown sugar, and cook until it is bubbling and the sugar dissolves. Empty the caramel into the small round flexiform and place it in the fridge for the caramel to cool. In a bowl of an electric mixer, place the cream cheese, the butter, the vanilla, the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the sugar a little at a time and mix until it is well combined. Set aside.When the caramel is cold, empty it into the cream cheese frosting. With a spatula, fold the caramel into the frosting slowly but do not combine!
  7. With a small teaspoon, top each cupcake with the frosting. Then gently push a pie crust Heart into the frosting of each cupcake, and serve. Et voila!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

 

 

Le Praline Ou Pralin


photo 2What is Pralin? It is like a peanut butter but made with sugar and hazelnut. Pralin is normally used to make the filling of many chocolate truffles and the layers of some European cakes. Pralin is really easy to use. You basically add it to other ingredients to make either layers of cakes or chocolate truffles. You add to chocolate to make the filling of chocolate truffles and you mix it with various other ingredients such as hazelnut oil, feuillantine and chocolate to make a delicious crusty cake layer.

In France, pralin can be bought in all the grocery stores. But if you are leaving in the US, it is basically impossible to find it unless you buy it from Professional websites and it can be very expensive.

Well, the busy person that I am did not think to look at the ingredients for Lisa’s birthday cake so i was in  a bit of jam when I realized that I needed some pralin for the recipe.

After googling how to make it, this is what i found. It is perfect and can be made in large batch and kept frozen for later usages.

photo 1

Ingredients:

  • 200 gr. of hazelnuts, or almonds or a mixture of both
  • 200 gr. of sugar
  1. Place the almond and halzelnuts on a deep flexipan and roast them 15 minutes in a warm oven of 400.photo 2
  2. Let them cool completly.
  3. Place them into a plastic bag and rub plastic bags in between your hands to make the skin fall off the hazelbuts.photo 3
  4. Empty the bag of all the nuts carefully so as to keep the “skin” still in the bag. Set aside.
  5. In a small saucepan, cook 200 gr. of sugar over medium temperature until the sugar on the edges of the pan start to turn a golden brown. Then with a wooden spoon or a heat resistant spoon, start turning until the mixture is an amber color.photo 4
  6. Add the roastd nuts to it and pour the mixture onto the deep flexipat or the silpat to cool.photo 5
  7. When it is completly cool, place it into a chopper and chop until the mixture is looking like a peanut butter texture. Stop. Use it for your recipe.photo 3Keep the rest in a ziploc container in the freezer. It will keep for a long time.

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!

Praline, Pecan and Vanilla Cupcakes


As a board member of the The Little Theatre of Spartanburg, I tried to help whenever I can. Since the SLT hosted a reception to thank the sponsors of the Little Theatre, I offered to help. It was an hour reception before the Show Honky Tonk.  After listening to all the different fares that would be offered that evening, I decided to bring in cupcakes. Easy…But I wanted the cupcakes to reflect the theme of the party so I looked up the word Honky Tonk. The word Honky Tonk is defined in Wikipedia as ” rough establishments, mostly in the Deep South and Southwest, that served alcoholic beverages to a working class clientele. Honky tonks sometimes also offered dancing to piano players or small bands, and were sometimes also centers of prostitution.”

So I started thinking of Southern desserts and thought of divinities, pecan pies and thought of making a Praline, Pecan and Vanilla Cupcakes.

Ingredients for 12 cupcakes or 24 small cupcakes or 30 mini cupcakes: 1 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour, 1 1/4 tsp of baking powder, 3/4 cup of sugar, 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature, 2 large eggs, 1 tbsp of vanilla extract.

Turn the oven to 350. In a bowl, mix together the flour and the baking powder and set aside. In another bowl, beat the butter and the sugar  until the butter is becoming very fluffy. Add one egg at a time in the butter mixture and mix well. Add the vanilla extract also and beat well. Add the flour into 3 additions beating on low-speed. Beat just enough until no traces of flour remain. Do not overbeat!!!

Place the dough in a plastic bag, cut one end and fill the cupcakes. Cook in the oven for 15-18 minutes for the big cupcakes, 13 for the small and 10 minutes for mini cupcakes.

For the frosting you need to make a vanilla cream cheese frosting, and a caramel.

Cream cheese frosting: 8 oz of cream cheese, 6 tbsp of butter at room temperature, 1 tbsp  of vanilla extract, 3/4 cup of sugar.

In a bowl of an electric mixer, place the cream cheese, the butter, the vanilla and beat until light and fluffy. Add the sugar a little at a time and mix until it is well combined. Set aside.

Pralines and caramel: 1 1/2 cup of pecans, 1 cup of firmly packed brown sugar, 4 tbsp of heavy cream.

Turn the oven to 375, place the pecans on a silpat and cook for 10 minutes until they are toasted and are becoming a dark golden brown. Keep 1/2 cup for decoration, and break the other cup of pecans in small pieces.

In a small saucepan, place the cream and the brown sugar, and cook until it is bubbling and the sugar dissolves. Add 1 cup of pecans pieces into the caramel and stir to coat them with the caramel.

Empty the  caramel into the small round flexiform and place it in the fridge for the caramel to cool. When the caramel is cold, empty it into the cream cheese frosting. With a spatula, fold the caramel into the frosting slowly but do not combine! You should see streaks of white and brown. Using a spoon, scoop the frosting onto the cupcakes and place 1 pecan half on each cupcake.  Fini!!!

Bon Appetit and Happy Cooking!!!