There’s a pretty nice post on Cupcake Ideas over at The Prepared Pantry. Basically you can start with a basic mix of cake of your choice and the possibilities are endless. And you don’t have to be a decorating wizard either, you just need a solid concept to work from. I’ve decided these little Black Forest Cupcakes are the ones I’d like to eat right now.
I’ve been buying various goods from the Prepared Pantry for a few years now. Their Blueberry chips are the best and in pancakes and in scones, are just one very tiny stop short of using whole fresh blueberries. No doubt, blueberry muffins made with the chips would rate very high.
Now that the weather has cooled down in my area of the USA I’m about to put together my holiday buy list. This way no melting on the chips or no exploding of glass jars due to subzero weather. If you plan for your holiday baking needs, now is the time.
My all time favorite product from PP is the Ramstadt-Breda Medium Dark Cocoa. It’s awesome stuff and stands up well in batters, frostings, icings, and it even makes a great glass of chocolate milk. I even use it when I do my Pumpernickel Rye. It’s just good stuff. I have no affiliation with the company – it’s just a place I like for getting some hard to find items like Buttermilk Powder. I consider them a Trusted Vendor.
Libby’s Chocolate Milk
1 Tbsp or so Cocoa Powder
1 tsp or so powdered sugar (rounded)
1 oz very hot water
Milk 8 to 10 ounces
Here’s the deal – you can’t just toss the cocoa powder into cold milk – you will have nothing but lumps and clumps. Because REAL cocoa powder has real fats, and unlike that ghastly powdered chocolate drink mix you buy in the store, you need to dissolve those real fats.
So I put some hot water into the glass. This is generally an ounce or so of water from the tap that is as hot as I can get it. I don’t recommend water from a boiling kettle into regular glass as there is a good chance it might shatter.
Next I add my cocoa and get it into a dark loose well dissolved paste. I then add the powdered sugar and if needed add just a little more hot water, just enough to get it more fluid. You don’t want the cocoa mixture to be thick. Then slowly add your milk and mix while adding. If you have something like a tightly covered glass that you can use as a shaker, that would be even better.
That’s it. So much better than the stuff you buy in the cartons at the store, at least in my opinion. Try it out and just adjust your quantities to suit your own taste. If you want the milk ice cold, just stash in the fridge for a bit. I find that something more temperate brings out the chocolate flavor here. I like using the powdered sugar because you’re not left with granules all over the bottom of the glass.
I’m just an occasional chocolate milk drinker and usually detest the store stuff, so when I’m in the mood, this gives me just the fix I need.
So what about the microwave for starting of the “paste”? I find the plain hot water method works better.
What about Hot Chocolate? Oh yeah! This works. When I make mine, I generally about a third of a ceramic mug with kettle boiled water, add my cocoa and sugar, mix vigorously, then add the rest of my liquid – usually milk. Then into the microwave to get it hot. If I happen to have some heavy cream in the house I’ll float some on top, not even whipped, and just give it a very gentle stir.Creamy goodness for the first taste.
So there you go – a couple of good beverages to go with your great cupcakes.
As noted in some very old posts, I generally hate making cakes and cupcakes of any kind, but I recently bought a bunch of fluted wrappers, so I”ll be trying out some stuff. Maybe some of these bark topping thingies from PP will go on my shopping list.