Be that as it may, the next entry in my "Cook The Book" series is an ode to Martha Stewart's Cupcakes book. I've tried about 15 of the recipes in this book, and I've been really happy with most of them.
Here are a few of my favorite cupcakes, and a story about one that wasn't my favorite but how I adapted it to make it work:
Chocolate Salted-Caramel Cupcakes (Martha doesn't have the recipe online, but you can find a version of it here) - These were supposed to be mini-cupcakes, but I just went ahead and made them full size. I made these for the adult contingent at my niece's 1st birthday party, and they were a hit. The classic chocolate cupcake is filled with salty, sticky caramel and topped with the most chocolatey chocolate frosting I've ever made. These also gave me a chance to break out the Maldon sea salt to sprinkle on top.
While most of Martha's recipes turn out flawlessly, I have noticed that I have to make adjustments to a few of her recipes - especially because Martha seems to like a denser cupcake than I favor. A lot of her cupcakes seem to have more of a heavy muffin consistency, but since I've been raised on light and fluffy cake-mix-consistency, I'm not a fan! Case in point:
Triple-Citrus Cupcakes - I wanted to make these for my best friend's baby shower. And because I'm a Type-A personality, I decided to give these a trial run before the big event. Well, just as I suspected - dense dense dense! But the flavor was outstanding. So you know what I did? Shhhh - I just took some boxed white cake mix, and added Martha's citrus flavors to it. Done. And nobody ever knew. Until now.
Triple Citrus Cupcakes
Makes 30 cupcakes
3 large egg whites
1 box Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Classic White Cake Mix
1-1/3 cups water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons lemon zest, plus extra for garnish
3 tablespoons lime zest, plus extra for garnish
3 tablespoons orange zest, plus extra for garnish
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon, lime and/or orange juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon, lime and/or orange zest
1. Make Cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350°. Line muffin pans with liners. In large bowl, blend egg whites, cake mix, water, oil and citrus zest with electric mixer at low speed 30 seconds or until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Divide into muffin liners.
2. Bake 14 to 19 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack and cool completely before frosting.
3. Make Citrus Glaze: In large bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth.
4. Immediately dip tops of cupcakes in glaze, then turn over and garnish with zest. Cupcakes are best eaten the day they are glazed.