Friday, May 11, 2007

More Cupcakes

I am in a cupcake groove. After the very good Apple Crisp Cupcakes from Julie Hasson's book 125 Best Cupcake Recipes, I took a dive in and came back with a batch of Pistachio Cupcakes and a batch of Pretty in Pink Cupcakes (flavored with pureed strawberries). Both batches of cupcakes baked up perfectly.

The Pistachio Cupcakes were my immediate favorite of the two. The pistachio flavor is subtle but nice, and probably would be enhanced with a garnish of some chopped pistachios on top of the plain buttercream frosting.

The strawberry cupcakes were a bit more problematic. Because strawberries aren't in season here (Connecticut) yet, what we're getting is stuff imported from California and Florida. To make these berries stable for long-term travel, they've pretty much been hybridized for size and color to the detriment of Actual Strawberry Flavor. At first taste, the Pretty in Pink Cupcakes were OK, but frustrating. I wanted strawberry flavor. That got me to thinking about ways I could tweak the recipe to boost the strawberry flavor. I've got about four ideas going, and I'm going to be testing them out over the next few days. Stay tuned. (At this point, the necessity of mowing the backyard is taking precedence over virtually any other activity I can think of, so I don't think I'll be recipe-testing tonight.)

I am sure that I'll be making more recipes from this cupcake book. I'm not sure why I've let it languish on the bookshelf for so long.


julie hasson said...

Hi Chris!

I was perusing around the web, and came across your blog. I'm so glad you're enjoying the cupcake recipes. For the strawberry cupcakes, maybe try a little strawberry extract or strawberry syrup (something like Torani or Monin). I look forward to seeing what you come up with/

Happy Baking!


Spingoddess said...

Hi Chris! I'm moving beyond the running boards, it feels weird!

I wanted to ask you where you went to cooking school. My brother went to Johnson and Wales in RI.

I also wanted to ask what cake recipes you recommend from Paula Deen's Just Desserts, I just bought it and want to try something out.

You can email me if you want at instead of replying here, I'll see it faster. Thanks!


EricG said...

I read this entry a few days ago but have come back because I really want one of those pistachio cupcakes!! Yum!

Chris H. said...


I'm thrilled that you visited my blog, and I hope that your web site is getting some visits from people linking through The Leavening Agent.

Thanks for the suggestions on flavoring up the strawberry cupcakes, which, I need to stress, are very good. Using extract and/or syrup was one thing I'd considered. I also am going to try making them with frozen whole strawberries (not in syrup), hoping that maybe those berries might have better flavor. One other idea I had was to plump up some dried strawberries and puree them with some fresh berries as part of the total strawberry volume component of your recipe. I'll be sure to post the results of my experimentation. I hope you'll check back in for updates.

Chris H. said...


Thanks for visiting!

I went to Connecticut Culinary Institute 12 or 13 years ago and got a professional chef's certificate. A couple of years after I graduated, they started a program focusing exclusively on baking and pastry; I missed the boat by a couple of years!

I have made only a couple of things from The Lady & Sons Just Desserts. I can recommend the Chocolate Cream Cheese Pound Cake on p. 27 and the Peanut Butter Bars on p. 93, although I made my own chocolate-peanut butter frosting and didn't start with a canned frosting product. Since Karen and Claire went to Savannah for spring break and dined at The Lady & Sons, they've been hinting about wanting Gooey Cake, so I will probably end up giving that a try one of these days.

Obscure Reference said...

How cool was that?!? The author dropping by your blog! I glossed over this post earlier. Pistachio cupcakes sound yummy. Do you get the red ones? :^p