Applelicious Cupcakes

Applelicious Cupcakes

Channeling June Cleaver

Channeling June Cleaver

Monday, February 29, 2016

Springtime Roasted Asparagus with Hard Boiled Eggs

 Nothing heralds spring like fresh asparagus one of my favorite vegetables. I especially love roasting asparagus then drizzling with rich balsamic vinegar finally topping with chopped hard boiled eggs. Delicious!
2 pounds fresh asparagus
Good olive oil
Kosher salt, plus extra for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons thick balsamic vinegar
2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
1 teaspoon ground mustard
fresh ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Break off the tough ends of the asparagus and, if they're thick, peel them. Place the asparagus on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then toss to coat the asparagus completely. Spread the asparagus in a single layer and sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and garlic. Roast the asparagus for 25 minutes, until tender but still crisp.
Drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Combine eggs with mustard place on top of asparagus. Top with fresh ground pepper.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

Heart Shaped Valentine Day Cake

I have many go to cake recipes depending on the size and type of cake I want to make. This recipe, one of my favorites, is a tender, moist cake perfect for birthdays and special occasions, yet simple enough to use for everyday cupcakes. In this recipe I used, my favorite,  King Arthur Unbleached Cake Flour Blend, which results in a high rising cake with a moist, tender crumb.

    2 3/4 cups King Arthur Cake Flour Blend
    1 2/3 cups sugar; superfine sugar is best
    1 Tablespoon baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
    4 large eggs whites plus 1 whole large egg*
    1 cup full-fat vanilla yogurt or 1 cup whole milk*
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon almond extract
    2 cups fresh raspberries for decoration


    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 9" x 2" heart shaped pans. Trace the bottom of the pan, then cut inside your marking. Next, butter the pan. Place the cut parchment inside the cake pan. Butter the parchment, then flour the pan. Tap off extra flour.
    In a stand mixer or a sturdy hand mixer, mix all of the dry ingredients on slow speed to blend. Add the soft butter and mix until evenly crumbly, like fine damp sand. It may form a paste, depending on the temperature of the butter, how much it's mixed, and granulation of the sugar used.
    Add the egg whites one at a time, then the whole egg, beating well after each addition to begin building the structure of the cake. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
    In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt (or milk) with the vanilla and almond extracts. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
    Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes . A toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean when done. Remove from the oven, cool on wire rack for ten minutes , then remove from the pan.

Raspberry Filling

This delightful filling is simple to make and can be made in advance. In fact I always make ti the day ahead to chill in the refrigerator before using. Yield: 1 3/4 cups


    4 cups raspberries
    3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons water
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 tablespoons cornstarch
    2 teaspoons raspberry liquor


    In a saucepan, combine the raspberries, 3/4 cup of water and the sugar. Bring to boil. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the raspberries have broken down. Remove the mixture from the heat and strain in a fine-mesh sieve. Return the strained mixture to the heat. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Whisk the slurry into the raspberry mixture. Bring the mixture back to a boil and simmer for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat, raspberry liquor and cool completely.

White Chocolate Frosting

    1 cup butter, softened (no subs)
    2 cups confectioners' sugar
    6 ounces white chocolate or 6 ounces white baking bar, melted and cooled
    3 -5 tablespoons whipping cream or 3 -5 tablespoons half-and-half


    In a large bowl, beat the butter and confectioners sugar at low speed until fluffy.
    Add in melted and cooled white chocolate and whipping cream (start with 3 tablespoons and add in more to achieve desired consistency).
    Beat on high speed for 3-4 minutes, scraping the bowl with a spatula.

To assemble the cake:

Spread small dab of frosting in center of cake plate to anchor cake, and set down one cake layer. Spread 1/2 cup frosting over first layer. Carefully spread raspberry filling on top, then cover with second cake layer. Spread frosting over top and sides of assembled cake. Decorate with raspberries sprinkled with powder sugar.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Clams in White Wine Sauce

Clams in Wine Sauce

Love easy, tasty meals that are quick then you'll love my Clams in White Sauce. I make these clams as a light dinner served with salad and bread or a hardier meal tossed with pasta, side salad and bread. Either way these clams are so good.

2 tablespoon olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, I like Pensey's Tuscan Sunset
pinch crushed red pepper flakes
8 oz. bottled clam juice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 lbs. Count Neck Clams

1. Wash clams to remove any dirt or sand. 

2. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; saute for 1 minute, or until tender. Stir in Italian seasons and red pepper flakes. Pour in clam juice and  white wine. Bring to boil then simmer for five minutes. Add clams, cover, and steam till clams start to open. 

3. Add butter and clams, cover, and cook till the clams open about ten minutes. Discard any that do not open. Transfer clams to plate. Serve with fresh bread and a crisp white wine.