Thursday, 6 December 2012

Cupcakes by Karen

In 2010 we visited Walt Disney World, and being big un-posh foodies (nothing on the scale of Mrs Petticoat's adventures - seriously, that girl eats some awesome food) we visited Epcot's Food and Wine Festival and hopped over to say hello at Foodie Fest at Ariel's in Disney's Yacht & Beach Club Resort.

It was a meet up of Disney food admirers, we met lots of lovely people, but two in particular made us feel like we should be there, in the sea of American accents. Im pretty sure we were the only English people there that year.

Karen and Mike (and their 8 month baby bump) chatted away and weve been in contact ever since. They live within touching distance of Walt Disney World, and we live here in Manchester - thank you facebook and twitter!! We saw them again in 2011 with their then 1 yr old addition Anna, and now, they have another beautiful munchkin baby Lily. Hopefully we will see them again on our 2013 trip but in the meantime... Karen has been making cupcakes... lots of cupcakes.

Ok, so now you know the backstory, a while ago I shared my Basic Vanilla Cupcake recipe with Karen to make smaller batches than usual American recipes called for.... I mean, how can 2 adults possibly eat 24 cupcakes in 3 days (actually dont answer that, its possible). So, Karen took my recipe and did a whole bunch of AMAZING things with it that makes me very jealous that a) I didnt think of that idea, b) that we had those ingredients in the UK and c) that i wasnt so lazy.

Anways.... i'll be doing a few posts with her creations in, heres a few to wet your whistle...

Remember, they all use this as a base.... Basic Vanilla Cupcake

Key lime

Add a few tablespoons key lime juice (available at Publix w fruit juices) to batter and icing. Drizzle with mango or raspberry purée for complimentary flavors or sprinkle with graham crumbs for more of a "key lime pie" touch.

Caramel apple crunch

Use about 2T sweet apple sprinkles (pampered chef) and 1T sweet caramel sprinkles in batter, caramel fruit dip in icing And top with more apple sprinkles.

Salted caramel

Add a touch of Vanilla and just a tiny cinnamon to batter, cream cheese icing, top with straight caramel fruit dip then sprinkle with fluer del sel or any course sea salt.

Piña colada

Add crushed pineapple and coconut to both batter and icing

Raspberry chocolate chip

Add about 1/4c raspberry purée (I use frozen raspberries, purée in food processor and strain seeds) and mini chocolate chips to batter, and a few Tbsp purée to icing.

Banana nut crunch

Add a mashed banana to batter, 1-2 Tbsp honey to icing and top with this topping:

Cinnamon toast crunch

Add a bit of cinnamon and vanilla to batter, crush cinnamon toast crunch cereal finely and add to icing, top with a few pieces of whole cereal.

Cherry vanilla chocolate chip

Add vanilla, chopped maraschino cherries and mini chocolate chips to batter, top with vanilla buttercream icing and put a cherry on top!

Peanut Butter and Jelly

Add a touch of vanilla and peanut butter to the batter to taste. When cupcakes cool, spoon out a “hole” in the middle, remove most cake from what is taken out but keep enough to “cap” after you put the jelly in. Put the jelly in the middle and cap. Add PB to the frosting to taste.

Ill be posting some more of Karen's cupcakes soon... so keep an eye out, and if you adapt my basic recipe, let me know!!!

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