Posts tagged ‘cupcake’
It’s only two weeks until Thanksgiving and my head is fluttering with new recipe ideas. After a week of holiday themed Cooking Channel and browsing through about twenty holiday inspired magazines, I couldn’t wait any longer to get started.
I decided to venture out and try making cake pops infused with holiday flavors like nutmeg, cinnamon, chai and pumpkin. I did take the time to create my cake batter from scratch since I wasn’t in a hurry (for once), but any store bought cake mix will also work for these delicious treats.
While I gathered all my ingredients and planned my assortment, the kids and my husband investigated my choices to see what was in store. After 20 minutes of inspecting and sniffing every bag and box they nodded their approval and left me to myself, knowing they would be rewarded with an assortment of sweets when they returned. As I stood looking at my collection of nearly every possible baking ingredient I wondered why I don’t bake more often. I decided to give my new Aroma Rice Cooker. It comes complete with a cake mode. Yes, cake in your rice cooker with a push of a button… genius! Maybe this will help me bake more…
HOLIDAY SPICE CAKE POPS
Makes approx. 24 cake pops
For the cake:
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
3 cups self rising flour
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
non-stick cooking spray to coat inner pot of rice maker
For the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese, softened
8 oz unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
For the coating:
1 bag of white chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup assorted nuts, finely chopped
1 tblsp grated orange zest
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Optional: raw sugar granules
To make the cake: Cream butter with an electric mixer until fluffy, about 3 min. Add sugar and continue to mix until thoroughly combined. Mix in eggs one at a time. Mix in 1 cup flour then approx. 1/3 cup pumpkin puree, repeat until all flour and pumpkin have been added. Add vanilla and spices and mix until incorporated.
Pour half the mixture in the greased inner pot of your Aroma Rice Cooker. Close the lid and press the Cake function. (Note: If you rice cooker does not have a Cake function press the White Rice or Cook function.) Once the cycle ends test your cake for doneness by inserting a toothpick into the cake, it should come out clean. When cool enough to handle, remove the cake from the pan. Repeat Cake function with remaining batter.
To make the frosting: Mix cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer. Slowly add in powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Set aside.
When the cake has cooled, crumble it into a bowl, creating fine crumbs. Add frosting a spoonful at a time until the mixture resembles coarse sand and sticks together when squeezed. Form into ping pong sized balls, place on a cookie sheet and freeze for one hour. Remove from freezer and insert your cake sticks almost all the way through the balls and set aside.
To make the coating: Mix together nuts, orange zest and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside. Put 2 cups of water in your rice cooker and press the Steam function. Place a heat proof bowl over your rice cooker and add the chocolate chips and vegetable oil. Stir occasionally until fully melted.
Dip the cake pops into the melted chocolate, coating the entire ball. Sprinkle with the nut-spice mixture or raw sugar. Place your steam tray upside down on a counter and insert the cake pops into the steam holes to set up.
TIP: This batter also makes delicious cupcakes.
To make cupcakes:
Fill silicon cupcake molds 3/4 full and place in the steam tray over the inner pot filled with water to level 2 . Press Steam function for 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes and let them cool. Frost with the cream cheese frosting and top with nut mixture or raw cane sugar. Makes approx. 20 regular cupcakes.
Don’t take me wrong, I love my kids… but I also love my job where I can be by myself in peace and quiet doing something that I really enjoy. I am a firm believer that I am a better mom after I have accomplished something for myself and had a few hours to collect my thoughts without being interrupted by continuous little voices in different pitches yelling “mama.” I remember when I worked 50+ hours a week and couldn’t wait to go home and spend time with my children, now I spend 80+ hours at home with my children and can’t wait to go to work for a few hours here and there. My test kitchen is my sanctuary and think tank. I love my time there testing equipment and cooking up new recipes while my children spend time with daddy for a few hours.
So last week was Take Your Kids to Work Day and it has taken me close to a week to calm down and find my inner cooking goddess to be able to write this blog. Children are loud, and I should know that, but still seeing my kids and many others in a space that I consider “quiet time” was quite an experience followed by a throbbing headache for the rest of the night. The kids had an amazing time and were able to skip school to attend this event at Aroma headquarters in San Diego. They learned firsthand what running a business is all about and how many people are involved in making this company a success, finished by some cupcake baking and decorating.
After taking a tour of the Aroma building and a pizza lunch, the kids spent time in the Test Kitchen baking cupcakes in the ARC-1010SB rice cooker and finished off frosting and decorating them themselves. I did get a lesson myself in cupcake decorating from these connoisseurs and learned that you can never have too much frosting or sprinkles on your cupcake. To burn off some of the extra energy they also got to play some foosball in the break room and basketball in the backyard.
Thank you Aroma and staff for making this possible and letting the kids loose in your workspace… can’t wait for next year !
What can you say about the largest home and housewares show?
WOW seems appropriate in every sense. WOW for Chicago, WOW for the vastness of
the event and a final WOW for the Aroma booth set up, staff and housewares offerings. I had the opportunity to attend with the rest of the Aroma crew and need to say it was amazing on many levels. It was great spending time with my fellow workers and bond over the experience, as well as getting to know people outside of their office lives, but for me cooking comes first and I LOVED the response on our steamed chocolate cupcakes made in the rice cooker. Yes I know it sounds a little whacky, but trust me this is another great use for your rice cooker to add to your repertoire and sit back and be showered by compliments on how you are the best cupcake baker ever.
I know… sometimes I come up with crazy ideas. Actually I come up with crazy ideas all the time, but sometimes they actually pay off and work, as is the case of the rice cooker cupcakes. The thing that surprised most people, after the initial skepticism, about the cupcakes was the moistness, lightness and texture which made them the star of the show. My assistant and I couldn’t bake them fast enough to feed the demand… nice problem to have.
So if we were able to amaze strangers at the show, there is no holding you back as you amaze your circle.
The things you will need to WOW your friends and family are…
Aroma Rice Cooker with steam tray
Silicon cupcake molds
1 box cake mix, batter prepared according to package directions
Your favorite frosting
Add 2 cups of water to the cooking pot of the rice cooker and press steam.
When steam starts to escape the vent and water is boiling, place the steam tray carefully in the rice cooker.
Allow to steam for the same time the package directions suggest for baking. Remove your cupcakes and cool before frosting. WOW!