Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mini ICE CREAM CupCakes

Birthday Party Flavored ICE CREAM CUPCAKES
in adorable little edible packages  

Mini Ice Cream Cupcakes Recipe

The best part of the Birthday Party for me was always the cake and ice cream.  Traditional white cake, simple buttercream frosting, a very generous sprinkling of rainbow non-pareils, and a decadent scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side.  I loved the contrast of the cold cream with the airy cake, and did my best to have equal amounts of each in every forkful.  The cake, moistened by cold sweet milk as the ice cream succumbed to the warmth of my mouth.  

Towards the end of the plate, the sprinkles inevitably found their way over into ice cream territory. I still remember watching them as they slowly began to dissolve in the melting pool.  I would swirl them around and watch the color trails of blue, yellow, pink and red that they left, eventually giving up their color completely, turning into a tiny white pearl that only your tongue would find.    

Mini Ice Cream Cake Recipe

These mini Ice Cream Cupcake are only a mouthful or two, but they definitely satisfy my craving for the nostalgic flavors, even if it's not really my birthday.  The kids LOVED this project!  Thank heavens the box of mini edible baking cups came 72 per box so there were plenty to go around! 

I was very luck to stumble upon these adorable edible baking cups by Hermes, imported from South Africa.  They were the perfect container for our project, they went from oven to freezer to party cake platter with delicious ease! 


The following ingredients are for the wonderfully sweet and buttery vanilla cupcakes that fill the base of our mini cone.  

1 1/2 Cups Flour
3/4 Cup Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
1/2 Cup Oil
1/2 Cup Milk
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 Gal Vanilla Ice Cream
Non-Periels Rainbow Sprinkles
1 Box Hermes Edible Baking Cups

Kids Ice Cream CupCake Recipe


Preheat oven to 350°. 

Sift together all your dry ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat well until smooth and creamy.  

Place the edible baking cups directly into a mini silicon baking tray.  Fill each cup 1/2 full with cupcake batter.  Bake for 7-9 minutes, turning halfway.

Cool cupcakes completely on a wire rack then place in the freezer for 30 minutes. 

Using a small scoop or spoon, "frost" the top of your cupcake cones with vanilla ice cream and decorate with rainbow sprinkles.  Work quickly and return to freezer to in a covered tupperware or container.  Can be made up to 48 hours ahead.  
Recipe for Mini Ice Cream Cupcakes

Thanks for stoping by and visit our shop The Chef's Emporium for professional chef clothing. 

Your little kitchen helper can look the part in our professional chef jackets for kids.  Embroider their "official title" on to jacket for a personal touch - they make a lovely gift!

Strawberry Ice Cream Cupcake

Monday, March 11, 2013

Exotic Coffee Cake with Queen Pineapple, Banana, Coconut and White Chocolate

The Natal Queen Pineapple
(fine art print from AllPosters.com)

Or, Zululand Pineapple.  I had one of these beauties perched on the sill of my kitchen window.  Its sweet aroma was beckoning me, biding me to come cook even while I stood at the sink washing the remains of pots and plates from the last family meal.  It was a lazy Saturday afternoon, the kids were hankering for an activity, so with a curtsey, I aquiesce and submit to her majesty, the Queen Pineapple.

While this variety of pineapple is not readily available in every market, it is found seasonally amongst the import fruits.  They are grown in the KwaZulu-Natal region of South Africa, accordingly, you should see them labeled as such in the produce section.  Its adorable "mini" look makes it easily recognizable amongst other varieties of pineapple, whilst its compact size can be taken as a promise for the condensed juices that she will emit in sweet abundance.   

I have encountered many recipes for pineapple breads and cakes (upside-down or otherwise), and they typically call for canned fruit.  Because of the tender flesh and rich juice content of this queen variety, I thought I might like to try baking with it as a fresh ingredient.  And All Hail the Queen, my loyalty was rewarded handsomely.

Exotic Pineapple, Banana, Coconut and White Chocolate Coffee Cake

While the traditional coffee cake is laden with the flavors of autumn and winter (ie: cinnamon, nutmeg, apple harvest, pumpkin or java) this coffee cake will have you tasting the lush lands and warm sunshine of the foreign homeland where her majesty, the queen pineapple was reared.  It truly is a sweet bite into the emerging warmer seasons.

What I loved most about this cake - it was dense and moist, like the revered chewy-center brownie.  It was engulfed in a crisp, golden caramel crust, the toasted coconut yielded a warm tropical aroma, the banana took a respectful supporting role rather than overshadowing the queen, and in an astounding act of reverence and martyrdom the white chocolate chunks all but dissipated to melt their velvety smooth decadence equally throughout the batter.  My taste-buds were humbled. 

Exotic Pineapple and  Banana Coffee Cake
Adapted recipe and photos by The Child's Plate
Original recipe by For the Love of Cooking.net
List of Ingredients 
  •  1/2 cup of butter (plus more for coating pan)
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup minced fresh queen pineapple 
  • 1/4 cup fine desiccated coconut (plus more for topping)
  • 200g white chocolate bar (plus more if cooking with children)
  • 2 cups of flour (plus more for dusting)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbs sugar in the raw

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
Let your 1/2 cup butter come to room temperature.  In the meantime, prepare a 9 inch spring form pan by generously rubbing the bottom and edges with additional butter.  Dust the pan with a mixture of 2 tbs "Sugar in the Raw" and 2 tbs Flour.  Coat the edges well and see that the excess is evenly distributed on the bottom of the pan.  (This is the secret for an AMAZING crisp and caramelized crust around the cake.)
Cream the softened butter and sugar together in a bowl with a beater. Beat in the eggs, one at a time . Add vanilla extract. 
Here is where the little helpers get involved.  My kids did a fine job of pealing and mashing smooth the two very ripe Bananas.  I also gave them the task of chopping our White Chocolate bar in into small chunks.  (note: be prepared! Have an additional bar of white chocolate on hand because you can be assured that naughty children will be thieving chunks as they chop;)
Stir the mixture of mashed banana, minced pineapple, coconut, and white chocolate chips into the creamed butter.
Mix the flour together with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and gently combine.  Pour you batter into the prepared spring form pan. Dust the top of the batter with a little more coconut, and . . .
Bake in the oven for 60-70 minutes or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes; the remove the cake to a wire rack. 

Slice and serve at your next sunday brunch to share all the warmth and promise of a the upcoming season.  
It makes a perfect Easter Coffee  Cake.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

St. Valentine's Day Recipe for Kids

A love story about a love song 

I won't age myself by telling you the year of when this romance began.  But I must have been quite young, probably not old enough yet to even read myself a story.

I've heard it said that it's less severe to fall when you are young, reason being that you are closer to the ground.  Which begs the question, "why if my tender heart fell all those years ago, does it continue its head-over-heals tumble still to this day?".  What possibly could have set the pitter-patter in such a perpetual state of inclination?  It must have been a love potion.  Love potion no. 9 to be precise.

by the clovers

 I took my troubles down to Madame Rue
 You know that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth
 She's got a pad down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
 Sellin' little bottles of Love Potion Number Nine

 I told her that I was a flop with chics
 I've been this way since 1956
 She looked at my palm and she made a magic sign
 She said "What you need is Love Potion Number Nine"

 She bent down and turned around and gave me a wink
 She said "I'm gonna make it up right here in the sink"
 It smelled like turpentine, it looked like Indian ink
 I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink

 I didn't know if it was day or night
 I started kissin' everything in sight
 But when I kissed a cop down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
 He broke my little bottle of Love Potion Number Nine

Written in the narrative format, the song consists of 3 stanzas plus a refrain, all written with 4 lines of verse (quatrain) and a clear rhyming scheme.  But the true magic of this piece is that all six required components of a story have been woven into this very short and concise work. 
  • The Setting - Madame Rue's Pad
  • The Characters -  Narrator, Madame Rue and Unsuspecting Cop 
  • The Event - A quest to halt the "flop of a run" with the Chics
  • The Development - A sink-full of potion is brewed
  • The Climax - Amour is prevalent  - in overdose
  • The Ending - Narrator's ill placed affections for the Cop prove him to be a flop once and for all
Sung in Doo-Wop style by The Clovers, and later by the Searchers among other notables, the words were annunciated well enough to be clearly deciphered. With my childish intellect, and only a handful of years experience with the english language, this story still made complete sense from begging to end.  With a five year old's limited exposure to love and the interworking of a boy's chic chase, I solidly grasped the humor in the inappropriateness of cop kissing.

Smitten completely, I was, by Love Potion No. 9.   And after having a taste of this style of lyric and tune, I am left unsatisfied by songs that can not paint the whole picture for me, tell me a complete story, or try to hide lacking lyrics or lousy rhyme behind a fog screen of heavy base.  

I decided to slip my kids (6 & 7 years old) a dose of the old No. 9 and see if its potency was as intoxicating as I remember it to be.  

Recipe for 

Love Potion No. 9 


Grenadine (1cup), Rose's Lime Cordial (2 tbs.), Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice (1cup), Pineapple Juice (1cup) and Soda Water to temper the sweetness and add a little fizz.  

I wanted to this experience to be more hands-on for the kids than just pouring measured ingredients from bottles and juice jugs.  So we juiced the oranges ourselves - the old fashion way.  It was too thick with pulp for my children's taste, so we triple strained it.  I did find the resulting product to be very sweet (possibly because it lacked the promising fumes of Vodka that tease your nostrils when the glass is a breath away from your lips).  But served over ice, my children obviously couldn't get enough of it.  When diluted a touch with soda water, it was a very refreshing concoction.  
The kitchen was ringing with the sound of doo-wop as The Clovers spun their magical tale  - over and over again - till even my 6 year old son was singing along.  All in all, it was a very successful Valentine's Day recipe and hopefully, for my children, it has forged a lasting love affair with the musical genius of days gone by.

Happy St. Valentine's Day, - and here's to hoping you find yourself under someone's unshakable spell.