Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Iron Cupcake: Earth--Romance

For this month's Iron Cupcake: Earth the challenge is to create a cupcake with the theme of Romance. I immediately thought of one of the world's best-loved love stories: Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

Initially, I planned on researching what types of cakes would be eaten in Regency England, and then use them as inspiration for a cupcake. After a little internet browsing, I really wasn't inspired, so I turned to my Google bookshelf for some antique cookbooks. What I found was a recipe for Queen Cakes which I noticed were to be baked in tins. Other cakes called for only one tin, so this made me wonder if these could be considered cupcakes.

From The Experienced English Housewife, by Elizabeth Raffald, 1786, p. 271.

Curious, I focused my research to Queen Cakes. The recipes I found vary little as it is basically a pound cake. The few variations have to do with flavoring and the types of bakeware used. Below are a few examples I found interesting:

The House-Keeper's Pocket-Book, bake in patty-pans, glaze after baking.
The Experienced English Housewife, recipe above
The Practice of Cookery, Pastry and Confectionary, bake in small, ribbed petty-pans
A New System of Domestic Cookery, bake in little tins, tea-cups, or saucer
Modern Cookery for Private Families, heart-shaped tins are the usual by now

After spending several hours pouring through these and other antique books, my husband reminded me that
Alton Brown covered the history of cupcakes in his Good Eats episode "Honey I Shrunk The Cake" which if I had thought of sooner, would have saved me a lot of time. Although Brown says the modern cupcake is an American invention, cupcake roots go back to the 18th Century Queen Cakes. {Go here to read the transcript, Scenes 2, 3 & 6}

So, I think it's safe to assume that if Mr. Darcy were going to eat a cupcake, this is what it would look like:

Cupcakes for Mr. Darcy
(Makes 24 cupcakes)


4 sticks unsalted butter
16 ounces all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
8 eggs (appx. 16 ounces)
8 ounces
currants (if you cannot find them, you may use raisins)
pinch of salt
1/2 tablespoon rosewater
1 tsp. mace
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Place liners in muffin pan or grease with butter and flour ramekins or teacups.
With your stand mixer on medium speed, cream together the butter and sugar for 5 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and add the eggs one at a time, waiting for each to be fully incorporated. Add the salt and flavoring or spices and continue beating until fully incorporated. With mixer on lowest speed, add the flour in three installments, making sure each portion is fully incorporated before adding the next. When the batter is smooth, fold in the currants.

Scoop the batter into the cups, filling quite high. Bake for 20 minutes (longer if using ramekin or cup) or until golden on top. Let cupcakes cool. Top with sifted powdered sugar or make a thin glaze by mixing a half cup of sifted powdered sugar with enough hot water to make a slightly cloudy mixture. Dip the cupcake in the liquid and let the excess drain off, then set aside to dry.

Click here for the Printable Recipe at Tasty Kitchen.

Since they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, perhaps you'd like to invited someone special to tea...

"Do have another cupcake, Mr. Darcy."

Or perhaps you prefer Colonel Brandon?


*Special thanks to Janet Clarkson, The Old Foodie, for helping me out in the cookbook department.

Iron Cupcake: Earth Voting and Prizes

Voting will begin no later than Sunday, February 28th at 8 p.m. at NO ONE PUTS CUPCAKE IN A CORNER, and will be open through Thursday, March 4th at 12 noon. Winner will be posted the night of March 4th, before 11:59 p.m.

Our Generous IronCupcake:Earth Prize Providers:

•The Demy™ by Key Ingredient
•Hello, Cupcake by Karen Tack & Alan Richardson
•Bella Cupcake Couture
•Cupcake Stackers by Gourmac
•The Cake Mix Doctor Returns! by Anne Byrne
•Beautiful Baking Liners by Vestli House
•Sweet Cuppin' Cakes Bakery & Cupcakey Supply

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Apple Dipple Cake


Nana makes this cake often as it is one of her favorite recipes. She made it this Christmas and took it to the family Christmas party. The recipe was given to her in the early 1960's by her good friend Dot Powell. I haven't made this yet, but it is so good I have to go ahead and share it with you.

Apple Dipple Cake

3 eggs
1 1/2 cup Wesson oil
2 cup sugar
3 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
2 large apples (chopped)
1 cup Angel-Flake coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Beat eggs, oil and sugar together. Blend in flour, soda, vanilla and salt. This makes a stiff batter, so beat well. Fold in chopped apples, coconut and chopped pecans. Bake in bundt pan or 2 loaf pans in 350 degree oven for one hour.

1 stick margarine
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup milk

Cook all together for 3 minutes after mixture comes to a boil. Pour over cake while cake and topping is still hot. Leave cake in pan in refrigerator overnight so topping can soak into cake.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


If you know me, then you probably know why I haven't had a new post in a while. Yep, that's right...morning sickness. Not really been up to doing much in the kitchen, but I'm slowly getting there. Here is a post I've been saving for a cold day, and since it's snowing outside my window right now, I'd say it's a good time to post it.

When I was young, I had some cookbooks designed for children. I poured over these books looking at the pictures of all the things I could make. I'd love to say that I cooked up all kinds of tasty things from these books, but I honestly can't remember making anything but a sandwich where you spread peanut butter on the inside of a hot dog bun and then add a peeled banana to finish it off. At that age I was intrigued with cooking and while there were some foods that I enjoyed cooking, it wasn't until I was in college that I really found my love for all things culinary.

I give some credit to my roommate Martha for inspiring me to be more knowledgeable in the kitchen. She could take what seemed like random items from the fridge and throw them together to make an amazing meal. More credit goes to my friends Trevor and Pauline. Having spent several weeks in their home one summer, I watched this amazing team serve delicious food from their kitchen. Soon, I eagerly began to watch the Food Network and search for inspiration on the many websites devoted to food. I found this recipe when I was in college, and it has been a favorite ever since.

Creamy Lemon Chicken with Vegetables
serves 4

4 boneless chicken breasts (Sometimes I cut into large cubes)
1/4 tsp pepper
salt to taste

1 tbsp butter
1 can (10 3/4 oz.) cream of chicken soup
grated peel and juice of 1 large lemon
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) mixed peas and diced carrots, drained
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or half that dried)

Season both sides of your chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat and melt butter. Add your chicken to the skillet and cook until nice and brown and cooked thoroughly, (about 3 minutes each side.) Add soup, lemon peel and juice, and stir well to incorporate with the drippings from the chicken. Turn heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and let simmer for about 5 minutes, stir every couple of minutes to keep sauce from sticking. Add the vegetables and parsley, cover and simmer a couple of minutes until entire dish is completely heated. Serve with wild and long grained rice.

Click here for the Printable Recipe at Tasty Kitchen!