Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Adios a la Playa


time to go back to raleigh. don't get me wrong, i love love love raleigh (in fact, it's america's BEST city!). but i gotta tell ya - i really love the beach too. and being on my family med rotation (hello, free weekends!) while at the beach - in september - well, it's been pretttttttty nice.

it's also been really fun working at coastal family med. since this practice runs the residency program for new hanover regional medical center, i got to work with tons of docs, from seasoned attendings to upper level residents. got to see a lot of doctoring styles, see a wide range of patients, and even  get my hand on a few minor surgeries (yep - i circumcised a baby. make that two babies. marinate on THAT.)

so it was my last week at CFM, and as is my style, i decided to bake up a little something. nothing fancy, but surely tasty. i tried to make it as easily-gourmet as i could. the only equipment i brought from home were my baking pans and a filling pastry tip. ganked some slivered almonds from my mom, too. the rest, well:
  1. no oil or eggs + being really cheap = soda pop cake using a 79c two-liter bottle of diet orange soda.
  2. desire for a matching filling + i'm not thaaat cheap = orange marmalade filling.
  3. no stand mixer = no fluffy frosting = went with an almond glaze.
so, here it is. try it with any variety of pop (how midwestern of me, "pop") and a matching jam and you are good to go!

orange-almond cupcakes with orange marmalade filling & almond glaze (makes 60 mini cupcakes)

1 box french vanilla cake mix                                                
12 oz orange soda (yep - i used diet)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup orange marmalade 
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp almond extract
2-4 tsp almond milk

  1. whisk together the cake mix and orange soda. 
  2. fill mini cupcake liners 2/3 full.
  3. decorate: take sliced almonds and insert them, pointy end down, into the batter in a flower formation. keep them close together and at a 45 degree angle - they'll flatten in the oven if you don't push them in half way or at a sturdy enough angle! if you start getting lazy, or run out of whole slices, decorate others with crushed almonds pressed slightly into the tops of the batter.
  4. bake at 325F for 16-ish minutes. allow to cool completely.fill 'em up: fit a pastry bag with a filling tip (i used wilton 230*). fill with 1/2 cup orange marmalade. insert tip half way into cooled cupcake and squeeze, pulling up as you feel the cake expanding. allow some to drizzle over the top if you feel like it :) refill the piping bag as needed.
  5. create the glaze: mix the sugar, almond extract, and milk (tsp at a time) until the desired consistency is reached. 
  6. drizzle over your cupcakes and enjoy! 

* the thing about orange marmalade is that it still has the orange rind in it. that's all good and well and actually makes for a delish filling, but it gets caught in the wilton 230 tip like WHOA. if you're using a different jam or preserves without rinds, it won't be a problem. otherwise, think about a different tip! 

i will say this about soda-pop cupcakes: combined with box cake mix, they tend to get reaaaal fluffy. and that can mean reaaaal airy and crumbly. they almost melt between your fingers, so letting them cool completely before filling is really important. even then, they might be a pain to eat in anything less than 1 bite. these cupcakes, however, have a gourmet look and feel and taste that would fool anyone into knowing they only took me an hour and a half, from start to clean-kitchen finish :)

ps: these pics were with the point and shoot. that'll be the nice thing about going home -- more play time with daddy's camera!

thanks again to the CFM family! i had a freakin' blast :)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Blogging tips