Frou Frou Cupcakes

Frou Frou5 The Curvy Carrot

My little sister is getting married in a few months.  I’ll spare you the (eventual and inevitable) blubbering and tears of joy for now (still have a few months left, and if I start now, I won’t ever stop).  But what I will tell you is that I’m thinking a lot about parties: bridal showers and bachelorette parties in particular.

A long time ago, when I was making cupcakes with a much higher frequency than I am now, I came across this cupcake book in the sale bin at the Barnes and Nobles on the IUPUI campus.  Now, granted, my friend Ryan and I were supposed to be either going to somewhere or coming back from somewhere (it was right in the middle of a super busy work day), but we decided to stop in at the (then brand new) campus center and check it all out.  We spent probably way more time than was reasonably allowed (oh well, we both graduated residency in the end so it didn’t really matter).

When I saw this book, I flipped right to the page with the Frou Frou cupcakes and immediately thought of my little sister.  For whatever reason, I was reminded of her.  Cute, pink, fluffy, and extremely aesthetically pleasing.  I guess.  (Right, Sam?)  Anyways, I was intrigued by what this “Frou Frou” meant….basically a fancy-pants, elaborate combination of raspberries and coconut.  AKA a delicious concoction with an even cuter name.

Eventually, for whatever reason, the cupcakes went un-baked, and time went on.  A few weeks ago, while I was thinking about Sammy’s upcoming bridal shower, I remembered these cupcakes.   I decided to make a small batch as a sort of dress rehearsal for her upcoming wedding festivities.  Well, they passed the test.

You can’t go wrong here.  And, if you want, you can switch up the flavor combination as well.  There is no coconut flavoring in the cupcake base, so you could throw in whatever kind of frozen fruit you want.  Or some sort of chocolate/chopped nut kind of combination (I’m thinking along the lines of an Almond Joy cupcake.)  This recipe is a keeper.  And I think I’ll be back to making a lot more cupcakes.

 

Frou Frou6 The Curvy Carrot

Frou Frou Cupcakes

Servings: 12 cupcakes

 

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup self-rising flour

1/2 cup unsweetened flaked coconut

1/3 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

5 ounces frozen raspberries

 

For the frosting:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

2 teaspoons coconut extract

3 cups powdered sugar

 

For garnish:

1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, toasted

Fresh raspberries

 

Frou Frou7 The Curvy Carrot

Instructions

1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cupcake pan with the liners of your choice.

2. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

3. Reduce the mixer speed to low and carefully add both of the flours, coconut, Greek yogurt, and frozen raspberries.

4. Divide the batter evenly among your prepared baking cup and bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean,. about 30 minutes or so.  (Check them frequently-mine were done about 10 minutes before the stated baking time of 40 minutes.)  Cool the cupcakes before frosting.

5. For the frosting:  In another bowl (or in your cleaned standing mixer bowl), beat together the butter, cream cheese, and coconut extract until smooth, about 2 minutes.

6.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and carefully add in the powdered sugar, mixing until thoroughly combined and smooth.

7.  Once the cupcakes have cooled, pipe frosting as desired.   Gently press or roll the cupcakes in the toasted coconut.  Top with fresh raspberries. Enjoy.

 

Source:  Barely adapted from Cupcakes by Pamela Clark.

 

April 17, 2014 - 1:09 pm

Kelly Mitchem - Mmmm, I love cupcakes!

April 17, 2014 - 11:47 pm

Lily (A Rhubarb Rhapsody) - Congratulations on your sister’s soon-to-be marriage! These cupcakes do look super pretty and the flavour combination is a real winner. :)

April 18, 2014 - 7:31 am

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - I loved your comparision of your sister to these beautiful cupcakes. It got me thinking that we could probably find a cupcake to remind us of everyone special in our lives. Isn’t that lovely?!
Happy Easter!

April 19, 2014 - 2:12 pm

Joanne - Congrats to your sister!! I’m sure you’re going to have a ton of fun planning everything and auditioning recipes. That’s the best part of throwing any party, in my opinion. And these are just gorgeous. Totally worthy of a bridal shower!

April 21, 2014 - 4:40 pm

miss messy - These are so so cute :) Just lovely

April 24, 2014 - 5:00 am

Almond Joy Chia Smoothies » The Curvy Carrot - [...] since I had some extra coconut flakes on hand from making these cupcakes recently, I figured I would try to come up with another breakfast smoothie recipe.  Inspired by one of my [...]

“BLT” Ranch Deviled Eggs

BLT Eggs5 The Curvy Carrot

I’m a deviled egg kind of girl.  Really. But I’ve known plenty of people who are not.  I understand why they might be a turn-off to some people-if you don’t like eggs, well, then there you go.  But you can make really bad deviled eggs, too. Bland, slimy…just icky.  But good deviled eggs are wonderful.  I like to keep some in my fridge just to have as a snack-when I want something savory and a little bit salty.  Something to divert me from the straight line from the couch to the potato chips in the pantry.  A little bit filling, and an endless combination of flavors.

And I used to be a deviled egg purist, too.  I liked them “plain jane”: mustard, mayo, paprika and some seasonings.  But, I’ve been branching out a bit.  A lot of the restaurants in Milwaukee will include deviled eggs on their starter menus.  I like to think of it as “picnic fare gone classy.”

This version is vegetarian (obviously, if you want, you can substitute in the real thing for the bacon).  I used a combination of ranch dressing (make your own sometime if you have the time….way better than store-bought, as I’ve learned) and nonfat Greek yogurt as the base.  If you like the consistency of the yolks to be a bit firmer, decrease the amount of ranch dressing and adjust according to your own taste.  And, as always, you can play around with the flavor profile quite a bit here.  If you are going to use vegetarian bacon, I highly recommend getting some smoked paprika-it definitely adds that smoky, bacon-y taste.

And if you’re in the mood for a little bit something different for deviled eggs, check these out:

 

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Not-So-Devilish Deviled Eggs

 

 

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The Original “Plain Jane”

 

 

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Deviled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese

 

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoy.

 BLT Eggs4 The Curvy Carrot

 

“BLT” Ranch Deviled Eggs

Servings: 12 deviled eggs

 

Ingredients

6 eggs, hard-boiled and peeled **(I place the eggs in cold water, bring to a boil, boil for 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and cover for 10 minutes.  Then submerge the eggs in an ice-water bath for about 5 minutes or so.)

1/4 cup Ranch dressing

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt (or to taste)

For garnish:  bacon alternative (I used LightLife.), chopped spinach, chopped tomato

 BLT Eggs2 The Curvy Carrot

 

 

Instructions

1. Carefully slice each hard-boiled egg vertically, and gently scoop out the yolk.  Place the yolks in a medium bowl.

2. Gently mash the yolks with a fork.

3. Add in the ranch dressing and Greek yogurt, adjusting to your own desired consistency.

4. Stir in the smoked paprika and garlic salt.

5.  Using an electric hand mixer, beat the mixture on medium-high speed until smooth (and if you are piping-free of small pieces that would get stuck in your pastry tip.)

6. Gently spoon (or pipe) the yolk mixture into the halved eggs.  Garnish with bacon, tomato, and spinach.  Season to taste with salt.

 

Source:  A Curvy Carrot original.

April 15, 2014 - 8:32 am

Kelly Mitchem - I love deviled eggs, these look amazing!

April 15, 2014 - 12:19 pm

Maria - These look so good! Love the idea of adding ranch in the yolk mixture! AND I just made a big batch of homemade ranch with greek yogurt…so good. Never buying bottled again!

April 15, 2014 - 7:50 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - You know people who don’t like deviled eggs? That’s unbelievable. The deviled egg plate is always first to empty at parties and pot lucks. That must mean that those of us who LOVE them, really dig in big. I really like the mayonnaise substitute that you used. I don’t always have mayo on hand, because I don’t use a lot of it. So this would be an awesome Plan B instead of running to the store with a coat over my bathrobe.

April 15, 2014 - 11:12 pm

Joanne - Somehow deviled eggs were never on my mom’s radar, so I didn’t have them until I was an adult. I think you’re right – when they’re good, they’re GOOD…but when they’re bad they are pretty gross. I love the sound of your filling! Super flavorful and meaty without the meat.

Chocolate Baklava

Baklava1 The Curvy Carrot

 

So baklava has always been one of those mysterious yet super intimidating desserts that I have always wanted to try.  I’ll start reading the instructions and think, “yes, I’ve got this”, but then all the layering of phyllo (or filo) dough just turns me off. Too much work.  I’d rather just throw together some chocolate cupcakes and call it a day.

One super cold and dreary Milwaukee weekend, however (thankfully those seem to be a thing of the past), I decided to forge, full steam ahead, and make a giant pan of baklava as a kind-of-dreaded but highly-desired project.  (a not so cheap project, either-as pistachios in bulk aren’t the cheapest nut to purchase.) As a side note, the original recipe called for hazelnuts, but, my grocer was actually out of hazelnuts in bulk-so I improvised with using different amounts of the other nuts (play around with this on your own, if you like) I figured since I had spent more than usual on ingredients, I was committed.  And so I began.

And you know what?  It wasn’t so bad.  Yes, you have to be vigilant and make sure that the phyllo dough doesn’t dry out during the layering process.  Yes, sometimes the dough tears and breaks up a bit if it does get a little dry (don’t worry-I still ate those parts).  But it’s really not so hard to make once you get the hang of it.

The end product?  Worth every little dried piece and tear.  Chocolate hazelnut spread (aka Nutella) with honey and pistachios equals pure perfection in my book.  It may not be the prettiest dessert on the planet, but it serves its purpose oh so well.

 

Baklava2 The Curvy Carrot

 

Chocolate Baklava

Servings: about 24 pieces (depending on how you cut them)

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup honey

1/2 cup water

One 3-inch cinnamon stick

1 cup chocolate hazelnut spread (aka Nutella)

3/4 cup roasted unsalted pistachios, coarsely chopped

1/2 cup blanched toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

1/2  cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

24 (14 x 9-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

Special equipment: a candy thermometer

 

Instructions

1. In a medium saucepan over low heat, stir together the honey, water, and the cinnamon stick.  Stir until the honey dissolves.

2. Increase the heat to medium and cook, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reads 230 degrees (mine took about 8-10 minutes or so.)  Remove the saucepan from the heat and keep the mixture warm.  (Discard the cinnamon stick.)

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

4. In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate hazelnut spread over medium heat until melted.  Keep warm.

5.  In a separate bowl, mix together the pistachios, almonds, walnuts, ground cinnamon, and salt.

6. Spray a 13×9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

7. Working with 1 phyllo sheet at a time (cover remaining dough with a damp tea cloth or light towel to prevent drying), place 1 phyllo sheet lengthwise in bottom of prepared pan, allowing the ends of the sheet to extend over the edges of the dish; lightly brush with the melted butter.

8. Repeat with 5 phyllo sheets and melted butter.

9. Spread about 1/3 cup of the melted chocolate hazelnut spread over the layered phyllo.

10. Sprinkle evenly with about 1/2 cup of the nut mixture.

11. Repeat steps 8-10 twice with phyllo, butter, chocolate hazelnut spread, and nut mixture.

12. Top the last layer of nut mixture with remaining 6 sheets phyllo, each lightly brushed with butter.

13. Press the baklava gently into the pan.

14. Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into your desired serving portions.

15. Bake until the phyllo is golden, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven.

16. Drizzle the warm honey mixture over the baklava; let cool.

 

Source:  Barely adapted from Cooking Light, as part of my monthly contribution to the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.

April 10, 2014 - 6:27 pm

Ashe - Looooove love love the idea of CHOClava! (Oppourtunity was given and I HAD to take it lol)

April 10, 2014 - 7:31 pm

srlacy - Oh….hell….yesssss. Best comment ever. :)

April 10, 2014 - 11:50 pm

Joanne - I actually think that it IS one of the prettiest desserts on the planet!! I love baklava (and may or may not be marrying a Greek boy because of it). This chocolate version sounds divine.

April 12, 2014 - 3:15 pm

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - Making baklava is definitely on my food bucket list as well. It seems so obvious now that you have suggested it, but I wouldn’t have thought of adding chocolate. Love it!
Beautiful pin-worthy photos, too!

April 14, 2014 - 8:40 am

charlotte - When I saw “chocolate baklava” on foodgawker, I thought, “Of course! Brilliant combination” – and as of this morning, more people had “favorited” it than “looked” at it. Ha ha!

April 14, 2014 - 1:43 pm

CakePants - Yummm…this looks SO scrumptious! After making spanakopita, I realized that I don’t have enough patience with phyllo dough to make baklava…but this recipe is making me reconsider, because I *need* this in my life. Immediately.