Friday, January 6, 2012

A New Chapter for a New Year

As 2011 ended, I look back with gratitude for all the blessings I received. It was a year of loss and of sadness for all the flood victims in the southern Philippines. It was a sad time when we lost a valuable colleague and friend who left the company. It's been a little more quiet at work than it used to be. On the other hand, it was also a year of gain and happiness when I found love again after a long, long wait and it was the year when I finally had the courage to start my own blog to share my passion for food and baking and show my creative side.

The start of the new year fills me with hope for what's to come, a year I hope that is better than the last. This year I hope to think and attract only good and positive things, to be happy, healthy and wealthy, to travel to Netherlands, to learn a new language (Dutch), to study photography and lastly, to bake and update my blog more often.

I would like to start off the year with these wonderful Apple Spiced Cupcakes, baked and served with love. =)  

recipe adapted from  Mama's Grubb Grub

Apple Spice Cupcakes
1 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 large apples, peeled and chopped very finely

1/3 cup of dulce de leche  ( made by boiling 1 can of condensed milk for 3 hours )

Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
recipe adapted from justJENNrecipes
1 -8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
250 ml cold heavy cream, chilled overnight
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until well combined.

Using a hand whisk, beat the eggs, brown sugar and granulated sugar in a bowl until smooth. Add the canola oil and vanilla. Mix well. Add in half of the flour and mix gently until partly combined. Add in the rest of the flour and beat gently until just combined. Gently fold in the chopped apples. 

Divide the batter among the cupcake liners, filling them until 3/4 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, cut the centers out of the cupcakes with a knife, going halfway down. Be careful not to go all the way through the bottom. Fill the holes with dulce de leche. Replace the cut out portions back on top of the cupcakes.

To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract together in a bowl until light and fluffy. In another bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in 1/3 of the cream into the cream cheese mixture. Gently fold  the cream cheese mixture to the rest of the whipped cream until completely combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. Transfer the chilled frosting to a piping bag with a round tip and frost the cupcakes. Finish by drizzling the frosting with dulce de leche.