I’ve always thought of this vintage throwback as a weird amalgamation – crabmeat, cheese, water chestnuts and ginger all wrapped in a wonton and fried. Crazytalk! But altogether, it’s a delight – one that I first tried at the now closed tiki restaurant, Honolulu, that was right off the highway in Alexandria, Virginia.
Now, I find it hard to track down a good version from Chinese takeout places, and instead, make my own. If you love crab rangoon, but hate how many places use artificial crab meat, or worse, only cream cheese, then this is the recipe for you. Tender crab is perked up by sesame oil, ground ginger and the crunch of water chestnuts, with just enough cream cheese to bind it all together. Continue reading Crab Rangoon with Sweet Chili Sauce
Sesame Street has been brought to you today by Guinness Stout. Oh my goodness! Actually, this guest post is brought to you by Jennifer White, self-proclaimed foodie, and soon-to-be culinary school star. When she’s not inventing majesty, such as this incredibly decadent cupcake recipe, she can be found scouring restaurants, food + wine festivals and hopping around the globe eating well. She get’s a big virtual hug for this one – it rocked my socks to the point that we didn’t actually eat dinner the night we made these. Just cupcakes and Patron XO on ice. Now if that ain’t a party, I don’t know what is.
I thought I would contribute a recipe that is a sort of ritual between myself and some friends in Miami, but also extremely you-can’t-get-enough-of-it tasty. When I lived in South Beach, there was a group of us dedicated to drinking Guinness. The fridge was always packed and the corner store always sold out. Finally, one day I had an epiphany and thought of what else can we do with Guinness to spice things up, and started making these Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes. The recipe is not for the lighthearted, but you can be sure that when all those unhealthy things come together, it’s going to be nothing but goodness. So here is my sacred Guinness Chocolate Cupcake Recipe. You should definitely try it out. Although my original group of friends all live in different parts of the world these days, we always manage to make these cupcakes when we get together.
They even look like mini Guinness’ and pair wonderfully with (you guessed it) a nice cold glass of Guinness.
Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus more for dusting finished cupcakes
2 cups sugar
2 cups of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of fine salt
1 bottle Guinness
1 stick butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 to 1 cup heavy cream
1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt.
In another medium mixing bowl, combine the stout, melted butter, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at time. Mix in sour cream until thoroughly combined and smooth. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet mixture.
Lightly grease 24 muffin tins. Divide the batter equally between muffin tins, filling each 3/4 full. Bake for about 12 minutes on the top rack of the oven and then rotate the pan(s) to the bottom rack. Bake another 12 to 13 minutes until risen, nicely domed, and set in the middle but still soft and tender. Cool before turning out.
While the cupcakes are cooling, you can make your icing. In a medium bowl with a hand mixer (or using a stand mixer), beat the cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the heavy cream. On low speed, slowly mix in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to use. Icing can be made several hours ahead and kept covered and chilled.
Top each cupcake with a heap of frosting and dust with cocoa.
Note (from AG)
Jenn uses muffin tins, but for easy cleanup, you may want to pick up some of the standing foil muffin cups from the baking aisle and the grocery. You don’t have to worry about the cupcakes sticking and there aren’t any dishes to clean when you’re done. Cheers!
Some Like it Red Hot
For those that know her, it goes without saying that my sister, Lexi, is an inspired baker. Not only does she wield myriad tricks of the trade with prowess and might (think “Gastronomical She-Ra, Princess of Baking”), her time as a vegetarian and vegan have given her a unique perspective on the science and nutrition of baking. She knows her stuff.
Alas, I didn’t get that gene – I absolutely adore cooking, but baking – not ma’ thang. I’m pretty sure that I’ve set a cake on fire before. And yet, this recipe is the one that has proven to be my solitary ace in the hole. I have a crush on this one. A big time crush. Continue reading Red Velvet Cake