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Walrus Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

Devil's Food Cake With Vanilla Icing

Image by SimplyAvoir via Flickr

I recently was gifted the recipe book– ‘What’s New Cupcake?’ by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Let me just say this is probably my new favorite cookbook! Every cupcake is like a cartoon! Bears, race cars, golf course- you name it, it’s a cupcake! The first one to catch my eye was the Walrus!

I think walruses are cute in generally- so lazy and blubbery and CUTE!! And these cupcakes looked just like that! I attempted to re-create them. They weren’t difficult to make, but I will say that you need to allocate a couple of hours for the whole process. The recipe called for boxed Devil’s food cake and canned frosting. But, the foodie in me decided to make everything from scratch!

Chocolate Cupcake:

I used my Snowy Chocolate Cupcake Recipe- just doubled all the ingredients (except increase 1/4 cup Buttermilk to 1 cup.)

Dark Chocolate Frosting:

I used my Dark Chocolate Frosting Recipe– can be doubled if you desire more frosting, but these measurements sufficed.

  • 2-3 cups of frosting

Topping:

  • thin chocolate wafers- i used 100 chocolate wafers (that’s the only thing they had at the grocery store!)
  • 12 glazed doughnut holes (I used Entemann’s Pop-Em’s)
  • white nonpareils
  • 4-6 marshmallows
  • chocolate covered black sunflower seeds (or mini brown m&m’s)
  • chocolate sprinkles (jimmies)

Process:

1. Using an off-set spatula mound about 2-3 tbsp of the frosting on each cooled cupcake. Spread evenly. Place the doughnut hole towards the edge of one side of the cupcake. Place the cupcakes in the freezer for about 20 minutes to set.

2. While the cupcakes are freezing cut the marshmallows in half diagonally, then cut again diagnally, to produce 4 corners. Cut each corner in half to produce spikey tusk. Shape as necessary in order to resemble tusks.

3. Cut each wafer in half- 2 halves for fins, and one for a tail. Take the remaining wafers and crush in a ziplock bag using a rolling pin, or pulse in a food processor until finely ground. Pour into a shallow bowl.

4. Using the off-set spatula use about a 1/3 of the remaining frosting to completely coat the donut hole and any gaps that remain. You want the cupcake to be nicely coated in frosting, with no gaps or bare donut showing.

Carefully dip the cupcake into the cookie crumbs, gently pressing the crumbs into the frosting to stick. You want it to completely coat the cupcakes and start to resemble the shape of a walrus.

5. Place the remaining frosting in a ziplock bag and cut the corner about 1/8 an inch. Pipe two small circles on the head portion for the snout. Carefully place the tusks, topping with a bit more frosting to stick. Dip your finger in water and then in the white nonpareils and place on the frosting snouts.

Place a black sunflower seed sideways in the middle of the frosting snout- this is the nose. Take one chocolate sprinkle, dip into a little bit of the frosting and place above the snout as the eyes. Place some frosting on the edge of the chocolate wafers and place as the flippers- 1 on each side and one horizontally on the back.

6. Refrigerate so the frosting sets. Before serving, remove form the fridge serve at room temperature.

Makes 12 Walruses

Like Chocolate Desserts? Check these Out!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Dark Chocolate-Rasberry Frosting

Mini Spiced Apple Tartlets w. Chocolate

Rose Infused Red Velvet Cake Pops

Peppermint Bark


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Stuffed Mexican Pizza Towers with Avocado-Jalapeno Crema

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and even if you’re not Irish, doesn’t mean you can’t partake in the festivities! Growing up in New York City, I’ve witnessed all kinds of St. patrick’s Day celebrations, and if you’re hosting a party of your own then this will be the perfect addition to your spread of delicious food! They’re my Mexican Pizza Towers with an Avocado-Jalepeno Crema.

So, it’s not really Irish, or from a region close to Ireland at all, but it IS green and awesome! Now, I’m not much of a historian, but according to some Irish legends, Saint Patrick used a green shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity to pre-Christian Irish people (yes, grade school does come in handy once in a while!). That being said, even though my appetizer pizzas are Mexican, they fit right into the St. Patrick’s day theme! A great size, these pizzas are perfect for big parties where most of the guest are just grabbing bits of food here and they’re a good size to hold and eat! Loaded with smokey refried beans, spicy vegetables and a crema thats smooth, creamy and spicy all at the same time! Your guests will keep asking for more! Meat eaters won’t miss the meat, and vegetarians AND vegans will be happy! Plus, they’re super healthy and nutritious!

Tower Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large flour tortillas
  • 1 large white onion- finely diced
  • 1-2 (depending on size) red/green bell peppers- finely diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic– crushed and minced

  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds (be generous)
  • salt- to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 2 roma tomatos- seeded and finely diced
  • 1 bunch cilantro– washed and finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • PAM Olive Oil Flavor
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese (I use Sargento Brand or vegan substitute)
  • Avocado-Jalepeno Crema (RECIPE BELOW)
  • Smokey Refried Beans (RECIPE BELOW)
  • curled lemon peels- garnishing (optional)

Tools: 2-3″ round cookie cutter, non-stick pan, toaster oven

1. In a medium-sized skillet spray with a little PAM and pour olive oil and set over medium-high flame. Add cumin seeds and toast for 30 seconds or so then add onions and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes, then add the bell peppers. Add all the seasonings, including salt and pepper. Saute for about 5-6 minutes because the vegetables should be soft and flavored well. Taste for salt and seasonings.

2. While the vegetables are cooking, use the cookie cutter to cut out round tortilla disks. 3-4 large tortillas should make about 30-32 disks.

Place on a baking sheet in a toaster oven, and toast for about 5 minutes, just until they’re slightly golden color and crispy.

3. To assemble, place a layer of crispy tortilla disks on a serving dish and pile about 1-2 tbsp of bean mixture. Spread evenly, but not too much near the edge of the disk. Top with about 1 tbsp vegetable mixture and cheese (more or less depending on how much you like!).

Place another disk on top and press down slightly- you don’t want the mixture to be oozing out! Drizzle on avocado-jalapeno crema and garnish with chopped tomatoes, cilantro and lemon peel. To add a festive and more green touch, I sliced fresh jalapenos and layered them on the serving dish- just in case anyone wants an extra spicy kick!

Makes about 16 pizza towers

Smokey Refried Beans:

  • 1 can refried beans (I used Old El Paso– make sure they’re vegetarian!)
  • 1 medium onion- finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic– crushed and minced
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp (or to taste) cayenne pepper
  • coarse black pepper- to taste
  • salt- to taste
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • PAM Olive Oil Flavor

Tools: non-stick pan

1. In a large non-stick skillet spray with PAM and set over medium flame. Add cumin seeds and toast for about 30 seconds. Add onions and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add cayenne pepper, black pepper and seasonings. Saute for another 3 minutes until soft and translucent. Add salt and combine, and then add the refried beans and reduce heat to medium-low. Make sure to combine everything well and taste for seasonings. If it seems too thick, add a little warm water. Cook for about 4-5 minutes until heated through and flavored well. Once finished, set aside.

Avocado-Jalepeno Crema:

  • 2 ripe avocados- pitted and diced
  • 2 jalapenos- finely diced (I keep the seeds, skin and all!)
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • salt- to taste
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds
  • 1/4 cup (a little bit less) reduced-fat sour cream (I used Breakstones brand or vegan substitute)
  • half a handful cilantro- finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (more or less) water

Tools: Blender

1. In a blender add avocados, jalapenos, cumin, salt, pepper, cilantro and sour cream. Blend on high until thick and smooth- it will be a little chunky. Blend on low and slowly drizzle in water until creamy and a bit thinner- not too thin, you want it to be the consistency of cream. Set aside.

Like Mexican? Check out these Zesty & Healthy Dishes:

Spicy Enchiladas with Smokey Corn & Roasted Pepper Sauce

10 Minute Pita Mexi-Pizza

Gourmet “Taco-Bell” Mexican Pizza

Garlic-Chili Guacamole

 

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Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Cake Pops

Don’t need much of an introduction for these yummy pops, besides mentioning that they’re CRAZY easy to make and I used a slightly ghetto cake-pop method. What! I wanted cake pops fast and I was tired! Jeez, a chef can take some shortcuts!

Anyways, I used Betty Crocker chocolate Chip Cookie mix and instead of using regular butter, I used Land-O-Lakes 50% less fat butter spread. The result was fluffy cake-like chocolate-chip goodness. Why you may ask did I use buttery spread? Well, since I’m just a little obsessed with being healthy, I decided to cut the fat and calories a bit by using the 50% less fat spread! It was amazing!

Chocolate-Chip Cookie Dough Cake Pops:

  • 1 package Betty Crocker Chocolate-Chip Cookie Mix
  • 1/2 cup 50% less fat butter spread/margarine- at room temperature (I used Land-o-Lakes)
  • 1 egg- at room temperature
  • PAM Baking Flavor
  • 1 cup homemade vanilla frosting
  • 2-3 cups melted dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli 70% Cacao)

Vanilla Frosting:

  • 2-3 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp milk (I used Skim Plus)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2-1 tbsp unsalted butter– at room temperature (Yes, I used real butter for this)

1. Preheat the oven 350 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with PAM. In a large bowl add cookie mix, egg and butter. Mix all together until incorporated well and forms into cookie-dough texture. Drop about 2 tbsp rounds onto the cookie sheet. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, until soft, and medium-brown on the bottom. Remove and cool.

2. To make the frosting, in a large bowl add the butter and beat with a hand mixer until creamy. With the mixer on low add in the sifted confectioner’s sugar, increasing the speed as you add more sugar. After you’ve added all the sugar, beat in about 2-3 tbsp milk and vanilla extract. Frosting should be thick and cream (as if you were to frost a cupcake). Pour more/less milk to achieve that consistency.

3. In a large bowl crumble about 3/4 of the batch of cookies. Add the frosting and mix until you’ve reached a crumbly, dough-like consistency. Roll into balls and place on the baking sheet to freeze for about 30 minutes. Before freezing, place a lollipop stick into the balls, so the stick hardens with the cake and stays put. Remove and dip one-by-one into the melted, cooled chocolate. stand up-right in a glass or stick into a styrofoam slab to dry. Eat! I liked mine with a glass of cold fat-free milk :)

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in Baking, Chef Priyanka, Chocolate

 

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Crunchy Eggless French Toast Recipe

French toast served at Mac's Restaurant in Roc...

Image via Wikipedia

You’re probably thinking how is this Eggless French Toast possible?! Well it is! I woke up this past Sunday morning with a sudden craving for french toast. I’m usually more of a home fries, cheesy-omlette type of person, but I can use a little bit of sweet-stickyness from time to time! So I decided why not make french toast, but healthier, crunchier and eggless?

Hence the birth of Crunchy Eggless French Toast. I combine creamy fat-free half&half with fresh nutmeg and cinnamon and crunchy rolled oats.

Wait, I completely forgot to mention- my brand new Le Cresuet grill pan. Amazing!!! It made my french toast crispy, golden and cooked to perfection! I think I’m obsessed with my new pan :) .

Crunchy Eggless French Toast:

Tools: Griddle Pan

1. In a shallow bowl/plate add milk and half&half and whisk in nutmeg and cinnamon. In another plate combine brown sugar and oats, and mix well making sure to break up the sugar.

2. Heat the grill pan on high to medium heat and spray with PAM Butter Flavor. Dip the bread into the milk mixture for 1 second- do it really quickly making sure not to completely soak the bread. You just want it to be moistened for the crunchy oats to stick, and the cinnamon and nutmeg to seep in. Then coat with the oats-sugar mixture, pressing in making sure its thouroughly covered.

3. Place on the hot griddle pan and cook about 3-4 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy.

Try to flip only 1-2 times max. Remove and cut in fourths. Top with maple syrup and a generous amount of powdered sugar. Serve with whipcream and fresh berries. Dig in. MMM.

Serves about 4

Like Breakfast? Try These Scrumptious Dishes!

Spicy Indian French Toast

Zesty Stuffed Bagel Breakfast

Taco Breakfast Omelette

 

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