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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Pink Champagne and Raspberries

When I think of Pink Champagne all I can think about is the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's. I've never seen the movie and I have no idea what the movie is about, but I know Pink Champagne plays a role in the film.  I've never had pink champagne, but I do know that I like the white kind so I figured that I'd probably like pink one just as well. When I started thinking of new ideas for cupcake flavors I decided to try a Pink Champagne Cupcake. I googled the idea I came across alot of different recipes. Some from scratch, some from a box mix and decided to stick with my usual and go with the scratch recipe that I found.

I came across a website that first struck me with the images of a beautifully designed Pink Champagne Cupcake. Then I started reading. This website was started in 2011 with hopes of raising awareness and funds for cancer research. I encourage each of you to go this website and read more about it. It is amazing all of the stories and recipes that are posted there.

I went ahead and did an inventory of the recipe and found that I had all of the products in my pantry to make these cupcakes, but of course decided to change it just a little. Here's the recipe that I used. It was adapted from Intoxicated Cupcakes by Kate Legere. The recipe said that it makes about 20 cupcakes. However, I ended up with 30 standard size cupcakes.

Pink Champagne Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream Frosting

For the Cupcakes
6 large egg whites (save 3 yolks)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar, divided
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
2 2/3  cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup Pink Champagne
4 drops red food coloring (optional, but it does make it pink)

For the filling
1 - 1.4 oz package instant vanilla pudding mix (try the white chocolate for a whiter center)
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Pink Champagne

For the buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup fresh red raspberries
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
1-2 tbsp Pink Champagne
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat oven at 350, line cupcake pan, set aside
2. In a clean bowl, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks, then slowly beat in 1/4 cup sugar.  Beat until glossy stiff peaks, but not dry.  Set aside.

3.  In a mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the egg yolks, vanilla bean paste and red food coloring and beat well. 

4. Sift the dry ingredients together.  Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture, alternating with the Pink Champagne, mixing well after each addition.

5. Fold in 1/3 of the egg whites to lighten the batter.  Fold in the remaining egg whites carefully not to deflate the egg whites.

6. Use an ice cream scoop to fill the prepared cups.  You want them about 3/4 full.  Bake for 16-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  They should not be brown on the top.  Springy.  Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely before filling.

7. Combine the filling ingredients together and whisk for about a minute until smooth.  Refrigerate until set, about 5 minutes.  Place in a piping bag or a zip-top bag.

8. Remove a core of each cupcake. I just used a sharp knife to carve out a cone shape from the top of the cupcake. Keep the cored piece.  Fill each hole with some cream filling, and replace the cored piece, gently pressing down.

9. For the buttercream, in a bowl of an electric mixer cream the butter, and vanilla.  Mix on low speed, until well combined. Increase speed to medium and beat for 1 minute.
10. Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar slowly on low speed.  Beat for 1 minute, scrape the sides, and slowly increase the speed to medium. Add in the raspberries and continue mixing until they are mixed well into the frosting.

12.  Spread or pipe on cupcakes. 

Here is what they look like on the inside. A nice fluffy cupcake, filled with a creamy vanilla champagne center and topped with fresh raspberry frosting, what could be better than that!

 I wish I could capture in pictures just how good these cupcakes are. When they came out of the oven it was like a time machine for me, it took me back to a time when my mom worked at a local bakery. The smell of the cupcakes was exactly what the bakery used to smell like. I'm wondering if Mr. Daniel used champagne for anything??

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Change of Pace

So I've been thinking for a few weeks about changing the format of this blog a little bit. I've done alot of reading and research lately and I have this feeling that I could be adding so much more to these posts than I am. Well today's the day. I hope you like what I'm going to be doing with the Cups by Kim blog and I hope that you will continue to come back and check in!

I got a new recipe book for Christmas, Taste of Home Baking. As I sat and looked through the amazing recipes the other day, I decided that I was going to try to make all of the recipes in the book. Then I started thinking, maybe I should do some savory recipes too, instead of just cupcakes and sweets (not to mention it's getting a little rough on the waistline here in the Campbell household. Although now as I read back through this, I'm thinking this first recipe isn't to great for the waistline either.) So instead of sticking to one cook book, after being inspired by Julie & Julia, I'm going to make and post as many recipes that I can in the coming year. Anything that sounds good to me, my family, and you, my readers. I'm going to be taking inspiration from some of my most favorite websites and blogs, as well as some of my own personal family favorites. I'm starting today. I know that it's not 2012 yet, but it's close enough, and I had the time today!

I was looking on Pinterest today and came across a tantelizing picture of fried pickles. Now, for those of you who have never tasted these amazing creations, I have to say, TRY THIS AT HOME!! I have tried a few different restaurant's fried pickles and I have to say Hooter's deep fried pickle chips are my favorite. I'm not too impressed by the atmosphere, but hey, I like bar food just as much as the next person, and if I have to see scantaly clad women in short orange shorts to get my fried pickles then I guess I have to do what I have to do. It's not usually too difficult to convince my husband to go either! Until today that is. Now that I know how to make these at home, no more short orange shorts just for pickle chips!

Here's the recipe I used, but I had to change it a little bit to use what I had on hand. Instead of whole Dill Pickles I used a jar of Dill Pickle Chips.

1 jar Dill Pickle Chips (any brand)
1 cup beer
2 eggs
1 -2 cups flour
canola oil or Crisco
salt and pepper, to taste

garlic powder, to taste

Place enough oil in a large skillet so that the oil is about 1-2 inches up the side of the pan. Or use a deep fryer if you have one. Heat the oil to 350 degrees F.

Drain Pickles in a collander. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the yolks and 3/4 cup beer. Season the mixture with salt,pepper, and garlic powder.
Whisk in enough flour to form a batter. If the batter is too thick add the remaining beer to thin the batter.
Using tongs, dip pickles one at a time into the batter (I actually put all of my pickles in the batter and mixed them around with my hand) and then place in the heated oil.
Fry pickles for about 2 minutes on each side.
Place pickles on a plate lined with paper towel and season with salt. Serve with Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Sauce, or Ketchup.

Drain the pickles. Try to remove as much of the moisture as possible. They will coat better.

Whisk together eggs, beer, seasonings, and flour.

Melt oil in your pan. Heat to approx. 350 degrees. You want about an inch of oil in your pan.

Dip your pickle chips in the batter. Your batter should be a tad bit thicker than this, I added too much beer. Oops!

Place your pickle chips in the hot oil.

Brown on each side about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel.

Serve with Ranch Dressing, Buffalo Sauce, or Ketchup.
 These pickle chips were so good! Like I said, I think my batter was a little too thin, but that didn't stop me from enjoying every little bite!

Well there's my first of many new recipes for 2012. I want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!! Please be safe and like I said before, check back for new adventures in the Campbell Kitchen!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A reflection of 2011

I can't believe that another year is almost come and gone. It seems like yesterday that we were just starting 2011.This year has been full of ups and downs for the Campbell family. We've had people come into our lives that we never even knew existed on this great Earth and we've had people depart that we know some day we will see again. It's been a year of new beginnings with the inception of Cups by Kim and it's been a year full of firsts with baby Sophie, who now isn't so much of a baby, but more of a 23 year old trapped in an 18 month old body, and with big brother Aiden starting into 1st grade and Cub Scouts.

I wanted to take this opportunity to tell everyone who has supported me and my business Thank You. I couldn't have gotten this business to where it is without all of you. Your support, kind words, honest opinions, and cupcake cravings have helped us start what we feel is going to be an amazing business. I hope that as we start this new year that we can look to the future with the thought in mind, "what can we do next?" It has long been a dream of mine to do something creative. I never even considered my "creative" intuition to be about a business. But now I see just how important this is to me, and again, I couldn't have done it without you.

I pray for health and well being for all of you as we venture into the great unknown together. And I pray that each day brings something new and exciting for all of us. Each day is a new beginning and the opportunity to change your life and the lives that you encounter.

I feel this great need to change the world. To do something meaningful. To give back. To make a difference. How to do it? I'm not quite sure, but I know that God will show me. He will keep me pointed in the direction that only He knows I need to be going and I just have to trust Him.

This has been a scary, exciting, nerve wracking, lack of sleeping, tears shedding, feet hurting, back breaking, kind of year, but I wouldn't have changed it for the world. I'm turning in a new direction, things may start to look a little different here, but I am still going to be posting things about the cupcake business and creations, but I'm also considering adding to this blog. I'm thinking of adding some recipes and personal experiences to this and I'm hoping that you'll come along with me.

Okay, enough of the sappy thank you's! Now onto the fun stuff!! As many of you know, I have started doing Cake Pops. Well someone approached me a couple of weeks ago and asked if I had ever done Cake Pop Bouquets. At that point, I had never even considered doing bouquets, in fact, about 2 months ago I had all but given up on the cake pop idea all together. I knew that all of the beautiful pictures online and in magazines had to infact be those little green styrofoam balls dipped in chocolate. There was no way that with the laws of gravity that a ball of cake and icing would stay mounted atop a 1/2 cm white popsicle stick. It just wasn't possible. That's until I came across Mighty Morgan at  I know I've mentioned her before, but I just have to say it again, if it wasn't for her detailed explination of this art, I wouldn't be on here now posting this! So anyways, back to the bouquets, I have kind of now mastered the art of cake pops and decided that, "Sure! I can do bouquets. No problem!". As some of you know, I have done fruit bouquets in the past so I figured it couldn't be too much different than that, and right I was! These turned out so cute! I secretly hope that everyone decides to order one of these because they were so fun to do and turned out so well!!

So as we end this year with some tasty, fun creations, may I be the first to say,
Merry Christmas 
 Happy New Year, and
may God Bless You
Cups by Kim!!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Just taking some pictures

I know how most of you like to look at this page and see what I've been up to. Well today I decided just to post some pictures of things I've been working on. It's been a crazy weekend so far, but for now, it's break time. Well, at least until tomorrow night then it starts all over again! So here's what I've been up to!

Vanilla Cupcakes topped with Royal Icing Sugar Snowflakes

Lemon Cupcakes topped with Giraffes

It's a Barrel of Monkeys

Chocolate and Lemon Baby Shower Cakes

More Monkeys

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Soccer Balls

Vanilla with Spiderman
 So that's about it. Oh, and more cake pops!

Chocolate Reindeer Cake Pops

And finally a Vanilla Snowman Cake Pop that I'm proud of!

Okay, now I'm finished! Well I hope all of you have a great week! I'll be back next week!!