Thursday, April 30, 2009

Stuffed Artichokes

I've been traveling all week so here's a recipe I made a while back and haven't posted yet. I remember my first year after moving to Boston, one of my friends, May-Lynn and I decided to explore the North End, Boston's version of Little Italy. I can't remember the name of the restaurant we decided to eat dinner at, but I do remember ordering stuffed artichokes but not knowing how to eat it once it came to our table. My only previous experience with artichokes had been with either artichoke hearts or artichoke dip. No help here. Finally we asked the waiter, and he directed us to pluck off the leaves and put the wide ends in out mouth and scrape off the meat with our upper teeth. We proceeded to do as such, but he forgot to mention that we should stop once we got to the choke (the prickly part in the center), and I just remember not really enjoying the experience.

When I received two artichokes in my Boston Organics delivery a couple of weeks ago, the only thing I could think of to make was stuffed artichokes, so I looked up a good recipe from and found this one. I also looked up how to eat an artichoke, and this time my experience was much more pleasant.

Stuffed Artichokes
makes 2

2 whole artichokes
1 cup bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon grated Romano cheese
1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper to taste

Raw Artichoke

Snip the pointed tips of artichoke leaves, and cut off the stems. Wash and drain. Holding artichoke firmly by base, firmly rap the top of it on a hard surface; this will open it so it can be stuffed.

Clipped Artichoke

In a medium bowl combine bread crumbs, garlic, Romano cheese, oregano, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper; mix well.

Stuffed Artichoke

Press about 1/2 cup of stuffing into each artichoke. Tightly pack stuffed artichokes together in a large heavy saucepan or Dutch oven. Add enough water to reach half way up artichokes and add 2 teaspoons oil.

Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour, or until leaves pull out easily.

Unfortunately, a cooked stuffed artichoke is not that pretty to look at, so no picture of that, but in the tradition of Orangette, here's a picture of what it looked like when I was done eating it.

The remains of my stuffed artichoke

And boy did I enjoy eating it. I think knowing how to eat a stuffed artichoke really helped; I ended up eating both for dinner the night I made it, and I can't wait for the next time I get some artichokes from Boston Organics.

Next:  Carrot Cake Ice Cream
Previously:  Mango Lime Sorbet

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Mango Lime Sorbet


When I got back from SF, I found a package in my room and couldn't remember what I had ordered. Then I realized it was the box of mangoes I won from Our Best Bites. I had no idea how long they'd been sitting in my warm, stuffy room, so unfortunately a couple of them were in the mushy stage by the time I opened up the box. But the rest were perfectly soft-ripe. Since I was leaving on another weekly long trip, I decided I better try to use most of them up and looked online for a recipe for mango sorbet. I came across Elise's recipe for lime mango sorbet and decided to try that, only I used coconut rum instead of tequila, and I prefer to call it mango lime sorbet because it rolls off the tongue easier.

Lime Mango Sorbet

Mango Lime Sorbet (based on Elise's recipe here)
makes almost 1 quart

1 cup sugar
1 cup water
Zest from one lime
3 ripe mangoes (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup lime juice
A pinch of salt
3 tablespoons coconut rum

Heat the sugar, water, and lime zest in a medium saucepan until the sugar has completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Cut mango

Cut the flesh from the mangoes.

Cut mango

Put the mango pieces, sugar water, lime juice, and salt into a blender. Blend until completely smooth. Pour into a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until completely chilled.

When ready to put the chilled lime mango purée into your ice cream maker, mix in the rum. Process the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the ice cream maker directions. Transfer mixture to a plastic storage container and freeze in your freezer until firm, at least 6 hours.

Mango Lime Sorbet

The rum is added to keep the sorbet from getting too icy, but I think it may have done it's job a little too well because even after freezing overnight, the sorbet was a little too soft for my preference. Next time I'll probably reduce the amount of rum to 2 tablespoons. Next time, I'd probably also strain the lime zest out of the simple syrup before blending with the mango flesh. I didn't like how some of the zest accumulated one the ice cream maker blades, ending up with a bolus of lime zest which was rather bitter to the taste. Otherwise, I really liked how this sorbet wasn't too sweet and was just perfect for a really hot day, like I hear Boston is today.

Next:  Stuffed Artichokes
Previously:  Apple Pie Apple

Friday, April 24, 2009

Apple Pie Apple

Homemade apple pie apple

Sorry I haven't posted in a while; the main reason is that I've been traveling, namely to San Francisco, the land of the Ferry Building Farmers Market, Zuni Cafe, and garlic fries at AT&T Park. Got a lot of inspiration from the trip, and I'm sure I'll be posting about that in the near future, but right now I want to talk about the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory's apple pie apple.

First of all, yes, it is one of those strange foods that have the name repeated in the modifier, e.g. chicken fried chicken. It's just one of the many awesome things attributed to this confectionary delight. Take an apple, dip it in caramel, then white chocolate, and then roll it in a mixture of brown sugar and cinnamon and voila! An apple pie apple. I used to grab one of these every time I had to travel through the Charlotte airport and was a bit sad when I stopped going down that way, but then I found out that they opened a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in O'Hare airport, which I travel through a lot more!

Forces aligned once more as I realized I happened to have all the ingredients to make one myself. I had one beautiful Braeburn apple left from my Boston Organics delivery, caramels leftover from making the Samoa cupcakes, and white candy melts leftover from making the cupcake bites. The results were identical to the real thing in taste, although not quite as pretty to look at.

Apple Pie Apple
makes 1

1 Braeburn apple, washed and dried (can also use Fuji, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, or Granny Smiths)
10 pieces of caramel
2 oz. white candy melts
1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 dashes cinnamon

Braeburn apple

Remove the apple stem if necessary and insert a popsicle stick down the core. Put in the apple in the freezer for at least 5 minutes but no more than 15 minutes to chill.

Unwrap the caramels and put them in a small microwave-safe bowl along with 1 teaspoon of water. Melt the caramel in the microwave at 50% power for one minute. Remove from microwave and stir. If the caramel is not completely melted, microwave again at 50% power for another 20 seconds.

Coating the apple

Dip the apple into the melted caramel, using a spoon if necessary to get the caramel up the sides. Once the apple is covered, place on a greased plate and return to the freezer to chill.

Caramel apple

In another small microwave-safe bowl, melt the white candy melts in the microwave using the defrost option. Remove from microwave and stir. If not completely melted, return to microwave and defrost for another 30 seconds.

On a small plate, mix the brown sugar and cinnamon, making sure to crumble any lumps.

Once the caramel on the apple is not sticky anymore (but before it is frozen!), remove from the freezer. If necessary, try to push any caramel that has pooled to the bottom back onto the apple. Dip in the white candy melts, using a spoon if necessary to get the candy up the sides.

Homemade apple pie apple

Before the white candy sets, roll in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Place the apple in the refrigerator for a few minutes to allow the white candy to harden.

Apple pie apple, sliced

To serve, make 2 parallel slices almost all the way down both sides of the core, leaving the bottom 1/4" intact. Rotate 90 degrees and make 2 more similar parallel slices to give you 8 slices you can break off and the core in the middle.

Slice of an apple pie apple

If you don't have a popsicle stick, you can probably get away without using one, but it's a lot easier to manipulate the apple in the caramel, melted white candy, and cinnamon sugar mixture if you have one.

For an actual apple pie recipe, check out my Salted Butter Caramel Apple Pie with Vodka Pie Crust!

Next:  Mango Lime Sorbet
Previously:  Moffles!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I first heard about moffles through The Kitchn (btw, in case you haven't seen, my bunny buns were featured as a Delicious Link on The Kitchn a few days back!) and decided if there was any way I could get my hands on a waffle iron and mochi blocks, I would definitely try it out. Well, luckily, my friends Jen and Tammy had a waffle iron and mochi blocks, which Tammy got from a Korean grocery store. I invited them over with their respective supplies and said I'd provide the toppings.

The condiments for moffles

At first I was thinking more traditional waffle toppings like maple syrup, whipped cream, bananas, Nutella, etc., but then Jen suggested we stick to more traditional mochi accompaniments, such as sweetened red beans, peanuts ground with sugar, and black sesame powder, which I thought was a brilliant idea. Even better, when I was at Super 88 looking for black sesame seeds, I found instant sesame powder mix, which according to the ingredients, already had sugar in it. As for the peanut powder, I just used a food processor to grind a half cup of raw peanuts with 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Just make sure you don't grind too long or else you'll end up with peanut butter. You basically want it to look like this:

Peanut powder

I added sweetened condensed milk to the toppings because I like how it goes with sweetened red beans, and I thought the powders might need something kind of wet and sticky to bind to. Finally, I made some frozen yogurt on the spot using a cup of vanilla yogurt, 1/3 cup of sour cream, and 1 bottle of Chinese yogurt drink. I was aiming for something like Pinkberry frozen yogurt, but I failed to add sugar, and the texture wasn't quite there. Still edible, though. =)

The mochi blocks

So according to the article, you just throw some mochi blocks on to the waffle iron and let it do its thing. I set the waffle iron on high, sprayed it with some cooking oil, put two blocks in the center, and closed the top. The blocks start off dry and dense; basically nothing you'd ever try to eat as is. But as the heat started cooking the mochi, the blocks began to expand and fill out the entire waffle iron. After a couple minutes, we were able to press down on the iron to close it, and we took the moffles off the iron once they were coming out the sides.


Then we cut each moffle into quarters and started experimenting with the toppings. I found that the moffle itself didn't have too much flavor, which is not a bad thing as it was really the texture that stands out. The outside is crispy, almost crackly, while the inside is soft and almost gooey. In a word, awesome.

I really, really liked the sesame powder topping as it reminded me of the sesame filled tang yuan, and the red bean and sweetened condensed milk topped moffles were pretty good too. I wasn't as big of a fan of the peanut powder, but then, I'm not a big fan of peanuts in general.

Moffle with red beans and sweetened condensed milk

I would totally make moffles again, if ever such a confluence of a waffle maker and mochi blocks being in my kitchen happened again. And if you have a waffle maker, I can totally find some mochi blocks to bring by. ;)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bacon and Egg Bunny Buns

Pre-steamed bunny bun

When I first saw these on Tastespotting, I just knew I had to make them, and what better venue for some bunny buns than an Easter brunch? The recipe seemed a little different from the one I use for hua juan, but I decided to follow it exactly. The only change I made was that I used scallions instead of chives in the bacon egg mixture and used ice cream sprinkles instead of eyes for the chives.

Bunny buns waiting to be steamed

Bacon and Egg Bunny Buns (based on this recipe from
makes 12 buns
For the dough:
400 g all-purpose white flour
1 packet (7g) instant dry yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
220 ml warm water
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
extra flour for rolling out
For the filling:
2 slices bacon
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoo sugar
1 teaspoon rice wine
1 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped

In a large bowl mix the dry ingredients for the dough together. Add the warm water a little at a time, mixing all the time, until it forms a shaggy ball. Add the oil and knead in the bowl until the dough cleans the sides. Place on a board (lightly floured if necessary) and knead until smooth. Form into a ball, place back in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave until risen to about 2 1/2 times its original size, about 1 hour.

In the meantime, make the filling. In a dry non-stick frying pan, fry the the bacon bits until crispy but not too black. Drain well on a paper towel and crumble once cooled.

Mix together the egg, soy sauce, sugar and rice wine. In the same non-stick frying pan (i.e. in the bacon grease), mix the egg around to make scrambled eggs that are firm but not hard (take off the heat while still soft and they’ll continue to cook to the ideal firmness). Add the scallions and bacon at the end and mix well. Let cool to room temperature.

Punch down the risen dough, roll into a snake and cut into 12 equal pieces. Make each piece into a small, smooth ball. Cover with a dampened kitchen towel and let rest for about 15 minutes.

Cut parchment paper into twelve 4" or so sized squares.

Make ready the steaming equipment.

Flatten a dough ball to about 5" in diameter, making the edges thinner than the middle part.

Place about 1 teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the dough circle. Don’t try to overfill or you will have trouble closing up the dough.

Gather up the dough around the filling, pinching to seal well. The dough should be moist enough to form a good seal, but if not brush the edges with the tiny bit of water and pinch closed again.

Flip the bun over, and form into a longish oval shape, rounding out any bumps if needed. Look at the bun and decide which end looks best as the ‘face’ of the bunny.

Lay a pair of clean, sharp scissors almost flat against the top of the bun lengthwise. The points should aim for about 1/3 from the ‘face’ end of the bun. Snip two ‘ears’, taking care not to cut through the dough so the filling is exposed.

To make the eyes, poke small holes with a chopstick end and poke in an ice cream sprinkle in each hole. Don’t go too deep! (If you are in a hurry, just poke the holes and skip the chives.)

Place each bun on a piece of parchment paper, and place in a steamer well apart (they will puff up to about twice the size, and any touching parts will not be smooth). Steam for about 20 minutes. Eat while piping hot.

Steamed bunny bun

I found that the dough came out a bit more dry than what I am used to, and as Annie put it, "there is a flavor to the dough". I agreed and thought it tasted like sandwich bread. This isn't exactly a bad thing, it's just not what is expected from a steamed bun. If I were to make these again, I'd definitely try it with the dough I use for hua juan. Also, I'm not so sure I like the soy sauce added to the scrambled eggs; I think the bacon makes it salty enough, and I'd prefer the color of normal scrambled eggs rather than kind of brownish eggs that were in these. Lastly, I'd definitely not use the ice cream sprinkles for the eyes next time. As you can see, the color started running when they were steamed, and they kind of look like goth bunnies or Bunnicula.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Matzo Crack

I've been saving this post for a while now, but since it's Passover and matzo is everywhere now, I figured it was time. The reason it's called matzo crack may be because you have to crack it into pieces at the end, but I think it's really because it's so utterly addictive that crack is the only word worthy of such a treat. You can make something similar with Saltines instead of matzo, but there's something about the texture of matzo that goes really well with this confection.

Matzo crack

Matzo Crack (from
Makes about 30 pieces
4 to 5 pieces of matzo or enough Saltines to cover the bottom of a baking sheet
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate, or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375 °F and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and/or parchment paper.

A tray of Saltines
Okay, yes, those are Saltines, not matzo, but I love the orderliness of this picture.

Place the matzo in one layer on the baking sheet, breaking it when necessary to fill the pan completely. Set aside.

Making toffee
Cooking the toffee

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly. Once the mixture reaches a boil, continue to cook for an additional three minutes, still stirring, until thickened and just starting to pull away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat and pour over the matzo, spreading an even layer with a heat-proof spatula.

Toffee on matzo
Toffee on matzo

Put the pan in the oven, then immediately turn the heat down to 350 °F. Bake for 15 minutes, watching to make sure it doesn't burn. If it looks like it is starting to burn, turn heat down to 325 °F.

Melting the chocolate
Melting the chocolate

After 15 minutes, the toffee should have bubbled up and turned a rich golden brown. Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle the chocolate over the pan. Let sit for five minutes, then spread the now-melted chocolate evenly with a spatula.

Let cool completely, then break into smaller pieces and store in an airtight container.

You can also add some toasted, chopped nuts on top (before the chocolate sets), but I think my topping of choice the next time I make this will be some sea salt, a la David Lebovitz's version.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Boston Organics, Week 8

From my last delivery, I used the avocado and some cherry tomatoes to make guacamole, the green pepper and the rest of the cherry tomatoes in chilaquiles, served the broccoli and celery as crudites, braised the collard greens in coconut milk, and either used the fruit in a fruit salad or ate them as is. Unfortunately, I had to toss the turnips because they were all shrunken by the time I thought to use them.

Boston Organics, Week 8

This week I decided to downgrade to the Small Box (still 1/2 fruit and 1/2 veggies and $5 cheaper) since I would be out of town for a 5 days next two weeks. I ended up getting 2 Empire Apples, 3 Fair-Trade Bananas, 2 Fair-Trade Bartlett Pears, 2 Kiwis, 1 Red Grapefruit, 2 Tangelos, 2 Valencia Oranges, 1 bag of Baby Carrots, 1 Green Bell Pepper, 1 bunch Scallions, 1 lb. Yukon Potatoes, 1 Zucchini/Yellow Squash, and 1 bunch Collard Greens. I plan on making more fruit salad for tonight's Maundy Thursday potluck and maybe trying David Lebovitz's recipe for carrot cake ice cream with the carrots. I've already put the scallions in water and will probably use some to make egg and bacon bunny buns for Easter brunch.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rainy Day Coconut Lime Cakelets

So Opening Day today got rained out. =( I had already taken the day off so when I woke up this morning (before I found out about the rainout), I decided to make the key lime coconut cake recipe from Gourmet but in cupcake form. Only I didn't have any key limes, so I just used regular limes. But I accidentally used all 1/4 cup of lime juice in the batter instead of only half the amount. And I didn't have self-rising flour, so I substituted a mixture of all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt, only I completely misread the recipe and used 3/4 cups instead of 1 3/4 cups. Um, so what I ended up with wasn't really a cupcake, and for lack of a better term I renamed them cakelets. =)

Coconut Lime Pudding Cakelet

Coconut Lime Cakelets (adapted from Gourmet)
makes 24 cakelets

1 cup sweetened flaked coconut
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
tablespoon grated Key lime zest
large eggs
cups self-rising flour
cup milk
cup fresh Key lime juice, divided
cup confectioners sugar
tablespoon coconut rum (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.

Toast coconut in a small baking pan in oven, stirring once or twice, until golden, 8 to 12 minutes. Cool. Leave oven on.

Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and zest with an electric mixer until fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Stir together flour and 1/2 cup coconut (reserve remainder for topping). Stir together milk and 1/4 cup lime juice. At low speed, mix flour and milk mixtures into egg mixture alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour.

Spoon batter into cupcake liners, filling them a little more than halfway. Bake until golden, 20 to 22 minutes.

Whisk together confectioners sugar, remaining 2 tablespoons lime juice, and rum (if using) and spoon over cakelets. Sprinkle with remaining coconut.

Coconut Lime Cakelet

I baked the first batch of cakelets for 20 minutes and noticed that the middle of the cakelets fell in and they were pulling away from the liner as they cooled. Also, they were still quite soft when I removed them from the tin. So I baked the next batch for 22 minutes, and while they came out a little more firm, they were a lot harder to remove from the liners. So I just used a spoon to eat those.

Coconut Lime Cakelet

Even though they didn't turn out how I expected them to, much like my plans for today, at least they were still quite yummy (unlike my plans for today). They totally remind me of eating a lemon bar but in cakelet form.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Samoa Cupcakes and the Cupcake Exchange

The set

After seeing Sena's maple cupcakes at Leslie's going away party but not tasting any, I devised a clever plan to be able to try some of her cupcakes: a cupcake exchange! I sent out an e-mail to several other baker friends, and we ended up with 6 different batches of cupcakes. Good thing I invited some friends to help eat, too, because there's only so many cupcakes a girl can eat, even if they're as delicious as the ones that were brought.

Sena brought a sundae cupcake that was originally going to be Neapolitan with chocolate and strawberry layers, but then her fiancee suggested adding whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top!

Sundae cupcakes

Will brought a root beer banana cupcake with strawberry frosting. He substituted root beer for the water, and it came out super light and fluffy.

Rootbeer banana cupcakes with strawberry frosting

Judy brought coffee and walnut cupcakes with a brown sugar streusel on top.

Coffee walnut cupcakes

Daphne brought lemon curd cupcakes, which she carved out by hand.

Lemon curd cupcakes

Lastly, Ruth brought meyer lemon meringue cupcakes. Look at the awesome piping!

Meyer lemon meringue cupcakes

I decided to make Samoa cupcakes, inspired by my favorite Girl Scout cookies. I found this recipe by chockylit, which looks amazing, but I was a little too lazy to make the cupcakes and caramel sauce from scratch so I improvised by using yellow butter cake mix and bought caramels. The original recipe called for cutting into the cupcakes once they were baked and cooled and filling each one with caramel sauce. I thought I'd try something a little different; I filled each cupcake liner a little more than halfway with the batter, and then topped each one with a caramel. My hope was that the batter would rise up around the caramel to enclose it and that the caramel itself was melt a bit in the oven while baking.

Samoa cupcake

Samoa Cupcakes
makes 24 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 box yellow butter cake mix
1 cup water
3 eggs
1/3 cup butter, softened
24 caramels

For the chocolate ganache:
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

For the toasted coconut topping:
4 cups shredded, sweet coconut
2 eggs
10 ounces evaporated milk
11/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Prepare the cupcake batter according to the box mix directions. Fill each cupcake liner a little more than halfway with the batter and top with a caramel. Bake according to the directions on the box. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.

Ready for baking

To make chocolate ganache, stir cream and chocolate chips on a double boiler (or use a metal bowl on top of a saucepan of boiling water) until melted. Add vanilla and stir to mix. Let cool to room temperature.

Toasted coconut

To make the toasted coconut topping, start by spreading the coconut onto a sheet pan. Toast in a 350°F oven, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the coconut is an even brown color, about 10 minutes. Crack the eggs into a small saucepan and beat lightly to break up. Add milk, sugar, and butter. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, bubbly, and golden, about 15 minutes. Press mixture through a metal sieve and into a bowl to remove any lumps. Add 3 cups of the coconut, reserving the remainder for assembly, stir to combine. Let the mixture cool.

Making the coconut topping

To assemble, smooth on a light coating of chocolate ganache. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes to harden the ganache.

Chocolate ganache layer

Once hardened, spoon on the coconut topping and spread evenly. Top with some more plain toasted coconut.

Coconut topping

Drizzle the top with lines of ganache. You may have to warm the ganache over a water bath to get it to drizzling consistency.

Samoa cupcakes

Unfortunately, the caramel sunk to the bottom of the cupcakes and hardened instead of sitting in the middle and softening. I had to warn everyone to bite carefully into the cupcake, especially if they had any fillings or crowns.

The inside

Otherwise, I was pretty satisfied with the way it turned out. One of the guests commented that it smelled just like a Samoa cookie (this was before we started eating), and I thought the coconut topping tasted exactly like the coconut topping on a Samoa. The original recipe was for 12 cupcakes, so I thought I would need to double the recipe for the chocolate ganache and coconut topping, but it turned out making even the single batch for 12 was more than enough for all 24 cupcakes. I'll probably have to make coconut lime cupcakes and Samoa bars soon to use up the leftovers. Good thing Maundy Thursday and Ruth's baby shower are coming up!

Cupcake wrappers

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Cupcake Bites

A rainbow of cupcake bites

I've been enchanted by the cake pops that Bakerella has been making, especially these Hello Kitty ones, but they just seemed a little too daunting to try so when I saw The Pioneer Woman's post about how Bakerella makes cupcake bites, I knew I didn't have an excuse anymore. Because while they are just as cute, they're also quite simple to make. All you need is cake mix, frosting, some sprinkles, a peanut butter candy mold, and melting chocolate in different colors (I got the latter two at Michaels). I opted to pick up a squeeze bottle as well, but you could just as easily do without.

Cake crumbs

So here's how you go about making them. First bake a cake. I chose to use a Devil's Food cake mix, but just about anything will work. Once it's done, cool it completely and then use your hands to rip it all into crumbs.

Add frosting

Add frosting to the crumbs. Bakerella uses a whole tub, but I don't like mine as sweet so I added about 4/5. Next time I think I can get away with adding even less. Basically you just want it to gooey enough that you can roll the cake/frosting mixture into balls without it coming apart.

Mix well

After you've mixed the cake crumbs and frosting thoroughly, let it sit in the fridge to chill. You can skip this step, but I find that rolling chilled cake crumbs is less messy. You definitely want to chill the balls once they are rolled, though. Make sure that the balls are just a little smaller in diameter than the widest part (the top) of the molds.

Roll into balls

While the balls are chilling, you can start melting the chocolate. I followed the instructions on the squeeze bottle and filled the bottle halfway and then putting it into some very hot water to melt the chocolate. If you don't have a squeeze bottle, you can just melt the chocolates according to the directions on the bag in the microwave and use a spoon to dispense it.

Fill the mold halfway

Make sure you have your balls ready for the next step because it's a little time sensitive. You want to fill the mold a little less than halfway with chocolate, and while it is still liquid, insert a cake ball and push it down so that the chocolate comes up and fills the rest of the mold. Once you have finished making a tray, pop it into the freezer to chill for a few minutes.

Press a ball in

When the chocolate is set, carefully remove them from the tray, and you should have a bunch of unfrosted mini-cupcake looking things. The next step is also time sensitive, so make sure you have everything ready before you proceed.


You'll want to melt some more chocolate (use a different color than what you used for the bottom) in a small bowl. Holding the cupcake bite by the bottom, dip it into the melted chocolate until it almost reaches the top of the hardened chocolate. I give it a good whirl in there to make sure that all the sides are evenly covered. Then place it right-side-up on a plate or tray. While the top chocolate is still liquidy, top it with some sprinkles. I didn't get any good shots of this part because, after all, I only have two hands, but you can take a look at the pictures on The Pioneer Woman's post for a better idea.

Pink cupcake bites

If you wait too long, the top chocolate will get too hard and the sprinkles won't stick. This happened with some of my yellow cupcake bites, so I had to re-dip the tops to get the sprinkles to stick. Bakerella uses mini-M&M's for the very top, but since I didn't have any, I used these little red cinnamon candies, which in my opinion, are even cuter because they're smaller.

A bite out of a cupcake bite

I made a batch for ArtSpeak at Highrock last week as practice for the batch I'm making for the dessert tasting fundraiser I'm participating in this Saturday. It's called A Little Peace, and it's being held at the Vietnamese American Community Center (42 Charles Street, Dorchester, MA/MBTA Redline @ Fields Corner) from 7 - 10 pm. Tickets are $27 at the door, and you can find out more here. I'm actually participating in the Ocean Spray Bake-Off Challenge, which means I needed to incorporate Craisins into what I made. After thinking about how to do that a bit, I came up with "Rum Craisin Cupcake Bites". Basically the idea is the same as above, but I added some rum to the cake/frosting mixture and rolled each ball around a couple of Craisins before dipping. I believe voting is done by popular vote among the people who attend, so if you're free on Saturday night, please come to the fundraiser!

And if you're free tonight and happen to have an extra $95 lying around, please come to Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, being held at the Hynes Convention Center from 6:30 pm - 9 pm. Basically there will be 74 fine restaurants and 40 wineries from around the area donating their food and drink for an all-you-can-eat-and-drink event plus a live band and silent auction. Because everything is donated and everyone working it is a volunteer, 100% of ticket sales from Taste of the Nation are granted to the most effective anti-hunger organizations working to end childhood hunger in America. If you come before 7:30 pm, James and I will be two of the first people you see because we're the champagne pourers! So even if you don't want to eat some of the best food in Boston and drink to your heart's content, you should come just to see us try to set up a champagne glass pyramid for fun. =)