Tuesday, May 12, 2009

My Most Incredible Birthday Party!

Today I reach a significant "age".  It is a number I certainly do not feel.  Last Saturday night my husband threw me an unbelievable birthday bash.  It included 95 or so truly great friends and family. My friends "The Laughing Boys"; Kevin, Alex and Rob played like the Ramones, Clash,  Kinks, Dead Kennedy's all rolled in to one punk rock'n,  foot stomp'n , marvelous band ('till the cops showed up...).  My brothers in law, from Blue Ribbon BBQ in Newton and Arlington MA,  www.blueribbonbbq.com   shipped in 5 boxes of outrageously delicious BBQ.  And I, in lieu  of a birthday cake,  made over 150 cupcakes, in 4 different flavors. Chocolate with Ganache icing, Lemon Ginger Coconut with a powdered Sugar Sprinkle, Banana with a Fleur de Sel Caramel Ganache, Butter Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting.  I most regrettably, have no photos, with the flurry of getting the party together, I FORGOT!  If my friends took any I will certainly add later.

The Chocolate Cupcakes are simply an old Hershey recipe. I have styled this a few times for various Cookbooks over the years.  Tried and True. Check out their website, www.hersheys.com.

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa 
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

 Heat oven to 350°F. You'll need about 2 dozen cupcake cups.

 Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of electric mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into  cups about 1/2 full to 2/3 full. Bake fore about 20-25 minutes checking for doneness.


1 cup heavy cream

1 lb good quality semi or bittersweet chocolate

Heat cream in a medium saucepan to just before the boiling point.

Add the chopped chocolate and stir briefly.  Let sit for 5 minutes. then stir completely.

Let cool to room temp.  Ice the cupcake tops.

The Lemon Ginger Coconut Cupcakes area an adaptation of the Lemon Ginger Pound Cake in Cake Love, by Warren Brown.  A fabulous Cake Cookbook if you have not seen it yet.

Lemon Ginger Coconut Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350.

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour sifted

1 1/2 tablespoons starch- potato or corn

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 salt

1 cup coconut  milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

the juice of 2 lemons

1 teaspoon each gin, rum, triple sec

2 teaspoons vanilla

12 oz. unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup powdered sugar

3 oz. crystallized ginger, chopped fine

3 tablespoons lemon zest

1/2 flakes coconut

4 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

In a bowl, whisk together  flour,  starch, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl whisk the liquids together to combine.

Cream together butter and sugars in a mixing bowl on the lowest speed. using the paddle attachment.

Add the ginger lemon zest and coconut. Mix to blend.

Add eggs one at a time.  Fully incorporate and scrape down sides of bowl between each.

Add the flour mixture and the liquids alternately in 5 additions beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

No need to wait until each is fully incorporated before adding the next.  

Scrape down side and bottom.  Mix again for 20 seconds.

Using a 2 ounce ice cream scoop fill approximately 32 cup cake liners.

Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Checking at 15.

Well.  It's by birthday and I have already spent too much of it bogging, so I will include the remaining recipes tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

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