Tuesday, 07 de July de 2015

Peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes

19 Comments

I’m a mother again. Mr. Boyfriend and I visited a pet shop weeks ago and I found myself hovering over the guinea pigs. I decided that it was about time that I should have my own, since I never did because my mom hated these creatures. But now I live alone.
And this is Whey.

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Yeah, Whey, as in whey protein. Because his father works out a lot. But the next pets will keep the tradition of great singers.
Whey was the last of his mother’s offspring near my house. The guy who owned them doesn’t live work with that, but he had this last piggy. He got my heart because he has the same fur Freddie does, and a stylish hair.
We brought him home on Saturday, already to his C&C cage all set for him. Next you can read a description of his first 24h at home.

2:20pm
We got to the apartment with Whey inside a cardbox with hay. He was hiding underneath the hay all the way while Mr. Boyfriend nephew tried to shake the box. Just left him inside the cage, near his pipe toy.

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3:12pm
Whey is still on the exact same spot I left him, paralyzed. I wonder to Mr. Boyfriend if maybe I did something wrong. He said he’s probably pissed off with the light pink fleece, since he’s a male, but that was the only color the store had. My child will not be a tea party member.

5:14pm
Whey ran to the other side of the cage where I’ve put the hay. He’s eating like crazy. When I get near the cage, he paralyzes. He must be thinking “goddammit, woman, let me be”.

6:30pm
I come back to the apartment after clothes washing time at my mother’s house. The hay is surrounded by poo and the pellets dish also has poo in it, which makes me think Whey already feels at home.

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7:13pm
Time to check on Whey while washing the dishes. WHERE IS HE?? I thought he was inside the pipe. No, I found him behind the home theater speaker. He figured out how to pass through the cage. So there I am, Saturday night, running back to my workplace to pick up the rest of the coroplast I’ve used to make the cage. While that’s happening, Whey is left alone inside the cardbox I brought him home. When I’m back, I quickly set up bigger walls of coroplast. Whey poos some more inside the box. Gosh, these piggies do poop a lot.

8:50pm
Back inside the C&C cage, Whey now can’t see much behind the coroplast and maybe because of that he’s much less anxious. He just began making those noises they make. I’m melting away. <3 5:50am I wake up pretty early for my Sunday work time and Whey is just fine. I clean a bit of his poo, say goodbye and leave (because they say we should talk to the piggy so he gets used to your voice). 3pm I’m back home. His wooded house is turned upside down. Whey is so fuck the police.

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Peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes
Yields: 10 cupcakes

Cakes
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter, room temperature
2/3 cup milk
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 cup flour

Filling
Homemade peanut butter

Frosting
1/2 classic buttercream recipe

Decoration
50g sugar
whole peanuts, no shells

1 – Turn your oven to 180˚C. In a bowl, beat the eggs with the melted butter. Don’t mix them both if the butter is still warm!
2 – Add the milk, vanilla and sugar, and mix it all together.
3 – Sift the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda and baking powder on top. Mix everything with a fouet or spatula, until you have no more lumps of flour. But be careful not to overmix the batter!
4 – Divide the batter into the paper cups and bake for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5 – When they are room temperature, fill each one with the peanut butter. Close them and decorate with the buttercream. I used a big round tip, like Wilton 1A but a bit bigger. Keep the tip on a 90˚ degree angle to the cupcake, keep a steady pressure and form a ball. Then make another ball on top using the same technique, but making it smaller in size. There’s nothing easier than that, but here’s a video if you have trouble understanding what I’m doing.
6 – Now for the caramelized peanut. Place the sugar in a small pan, with a handle, and bring it to the stovetop on medium. No water, no nothing, just the sugar. Stir a bit and you’ll see, in time, that the sugar will melt and start to get a beautiful caramel color.
7 – When it gets to the caramel color, remove from the heat. Pierce each peanut with a toothpick (see tips below on how to pierce them without breaking). Dip each peanut in the melted sugar until it covers the nut, then lift it, let some of the excess drip. Place the peanuts in the tip of a balcony or chair, keeping them steady with the help of something heavier on top, like shown in the photo. Then just carefully remove the toothpick once the sugar has set and decorate your cupcakes!

There will be a lot of melted sugar left, so just make more and more caramelized peanuts and enjoy by its own.

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Tips:
– A tip for trying not to divide the peanuts in two sides with piercing is that they are easier to handle for this process if they are toasted before, because then they get a bit softer. Try to pierce the side of one of the halves if you can identify that. Don’t go all the way, you just need to pierce a very tiny bit of the peanut to keep it in place.
– For easier cleaning of that pot filled with hard sugar, cover with water and bring it to a boil until the sugar melts again.

What do you think about my new son? Do you know guinea pigs? What do you think about them?

Monday, 05 de January de 2015

Cocoa energy bites and new layout!

18 Comments

Hello, I’m a brand new layout and I’m here to entertain you guys! So welcome to Cupcakeando’s new layout! :) We have a new logo, new layout, new information disposition and new dynamics!

Everything was kindly developed by Luciana Bastos (logo, mouthwatering letterings and illustrations), by Mai Saraiva (the layout itself) and by Mari Assmann (the codes and the magic). I’m totally in love and I hope you guys like it too. I thought it was necessary after (almost) 3 years of blogging, not to mention it really needed a unique logo.

The layout has changed a bit, it may take a while to get used to it, but it’s all here. The dynamics have changed – now, when you click on Recipes or on About up there, it will send you down there. To get up again, there’s a button “top” in cute orange just near you, so nobody needs to keep rolling up and down forever.

Tell me what you think about the layout on the comments box! :)

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Since we’ve already started 2015 with this news, there’s also energy for the year. And that’s why the recipe today is energy bites! It’s a mixture of dates and other things, usually consumed before a time in the gym or to fill that empty stomach with something healthy.

I’ve decided to lose weight and spend most of this year less sorry for my eating choices, so I started eating these balls. This recipe, with the cocoa powder, you can even picture as a healthy truffle. The dates make it sweet and the peanut butter helps with the energy you need to burn in the gym. It looks very healthy to be tasty but I promise you it is, and you will want another right after the first you eat.

Cocoa Energy Bites
Yields: about 25 20g balls
Recipe by The Domestic Geek.

3/4 cup (150g) dates with no seeds
1/2 cup peanuts
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder, or powdered chocolate

1 – Process the dates for a few seconds, until they start to break down.
2 – Add the peanuts, the peanut butter and the cocoa. Process again to incorporate everything together.
3 – The mixture should come together and you will be able to make small balls that can hold their shape. If they don’t, add another date and process again and keep doing that until the mixture comes together. Then I made each of them with 20g and placed them in small paper cups. Kept in the fridge, they can last about two weeks and still be great.

I bought dates with seeds and I had to remove them. If you need to do the same, just press the dates in your fingers until they crack open, and remove the big seed inside. Then you need to weight or measure them without the seeds, but don’t worry about it too much because one or two dates more won’t affect the taste or deliciousness of this treat.

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I’ve made these energy bites with almonds instead of peanuts. You can get creative with this, as long as you keep the dates and the peanut butter, which are what holds them together. And the cocoa, because it gives the distinct chocolate flavor to them. If you only have powdered chocolate on hand, that’s fine, but remember that it has more calories than cocoa powder.

May our 2015 be as delicious as the new logo, chocolatey and mouthwatering letters! :)

Did you like the new layout?

Juliana Morgado

I’m a journalist with more passions than time can allow me to have. I have found in the kitchen my paradise, my resting place after a long and exhausting day. It’s my addiction, really. Not only cupcakes but anything that I find interesting, challenging or fun to do. Despite the blog’s name, it’s not all about cupcakes. I love cooking risotto, of all kinds, and I simply love any recipe with cheese.

Cupcakeando’s History

I’m not sure when or why I started to cook. My memories are of my mother putting me in the kitchen and teaching Brazilian white rice and her awesome pomodoro sauce for spaghetti, with fresh tomatoes just the way only she can do. All I know in the kitchen I’ve learned by one way: practice. My recipes are created from my head and implemented with the tests I run, or even meticulously measured from trusted sources.
I have a true passion for cupcakes, because I believe they represent everything that’s good in the kitchen: butter, sugar, cuteness, dedication and creativity. Everything in the right amount for one person.
I enjoy experimenting with these little ones, and finding out new ways do decorate them. When I have nothing better to do, I start researching and studying recipes, theories and decorations for cupcakes. Yeah, study, that’s right.
The blog is also a place for my second passion: photography. I’m that person who keeps looking for angles and shots while walking on the park. I also study the art of photography through websites and books.

The Name

Cupcakeando means, roughly, cupcakeing in Portuguese. The noun “cupcake” is in a verb tense that most well-schooled Brazilians hate because it means an action that will never stop. That’s precisely my intention. I don’t have any wish to stop my cupcake factory anytime soon, or even stop cooking in general. If I don’t have anymore orders, it will be for friends. If my friends get sick of it, it will be for my family. When my family says “ENOUGH”, it will be for myself (and maybe for my Siberian husky and my Pembroke corgi). Because that’s what I love to do and what makes me truly happy.

Copyright

All photos and texts on this website are produced by Cupcakeando, unless specified otherwise. They represent a lot of work and effort. In case you want to use any photo or text from this website, please make sure to link back to me or even get in touch with me before anything. I’ll be glad to help, but it’s important to give the proper recognition. :)

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Contact

What if your question has already been answered on the FAQ? Read it just to make sure!

Send your questions or doubts through here.
I answer to each and every e-mail sent to me. Make sure you’ll get my e-mail by adding contato@cupcakeando.com.br to your safe contacts, or my answer might just flip into your spam box.