Sunday, February 24, 2013

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

As promised, I am keeping up with this blog of mine! We have 17 days until our engagement picture shoot. I am a borderline starting to panic because 1.) I have not dropped the weight I wanted too, 2.) I still have no idea what I am wearing for it, and 3.) we are doing a stylized picnic scene for the first half of the shoot, and I can't seem to decide what I want it to look like. Allow me to explain:
  • I have lost 5lbs, which I am not complaining about. However, I want to drop 10 more before our pictures, and it isn't looking like that is going to happen. For the life of me I couldn't find the motivation to workout after work - until a recent trip to the mall. I am tired of seeing cute sleeveless dresses and never buying them because I hate my arms. I call my arms turkey legs. You know, the things you buy at the fair? My arms look like the round ends of those. So, I have finally found the motivation I needed! I am going to cut out processed foods and begin working out at least 4 days a week. I may not get the results I want for out engagement pictures, but you better believe I will get them by the time our wedding gets here!
  • I have ordered 4 different dresses online and have sent them all back. I keep searching for the perfect engagement session outfit and hating everything once I receive it. I think at this point I have discovered two things - I don't look good in ivory/white, and I really need to start a water and air diet. On a happy note, I went to the mall on Friday, and I think (fingers crossed) that I finally found something I like! '
  • A stylized shoot is where you have props set up for your pictures. I have several things to use for a picnic style set up, but keep stressing myself out trying to figure out what I want to use and how I want it set up. Leave it to me to complicate even the simplest things!
I am the queen of planning ahead, so winging anything is nearly impossible for me to handle. The same can be said for our engagement shoot. I have planned so much that I am going crazy. I just want to get beautiful pictures that we love for the rest of our lives. Being a perfectionist is really a horrible way to be more often than not. 

I realize I am a week late here, but I felt like baking something Valentine's Day-ish. What could be better than a chocolate covered strawberry cupcake?! These are rich and really taste like an actual chocolate covered strawberry. I've outdone myself folks!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Cupcakes

I chose to use my own personal chocolate cupcake recipe (sorry kids, not sharing that today). Go ahead and use your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe or feel free to use this recipe from My Baking Addiction.

1 (18.25 ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
1 (5.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup warm water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners or spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In the bowl of a standard mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs, vanilla and water. Beat for about two minutes on medium speed until well combined.
Using a large cookie scoop, distribute the batter between 24 muffin wells; about 3 tablespoons of batter per well.
Bake in preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow cupcakes to cool inside muffin tins for about 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin tins and allow to fully cool on a wire rack. Once cupcakes are cool, prepare your frosting.

Strawberry Buttercream Frosting
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4-5 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup pureed strawberries

In the bowl of a standard mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed. Gradually add in the powdered sugar until completely incorporated. Add in vanilla and strawberry puree, mix until incorporated. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes.

Friends, feel free to frost your cupcakes and stop at this point. The next step in my cupcakes is where the process gets sticky...literally. But, if you really want the chocolate covered strawberry taste and feel, this step is necessary. It is a pain, and it is messy - fair warning.

Chocolate Coating
12 oz semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
3 tbsp canola oil

Melt the chocolate and oil together in a microwave safe bowl for 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval. Pour chocolate into a wide and short cup. The cup should be wide enough so that you can dip the cupcake inside without touching the sides. Allow the chocolate to cool for 15 minutes after heating.

Take a cupcake, turn it up-side-down, and steadily dip it down into the chocolate up to the point with the frosting meets the cupcake. Pull it straight out of the chocolate, allowing the extra chocolate to drip off into the cup.  Turn the cupcake right-side-up and place it on the wire rack.  The frosting should be completely covered with chocolate but if any shows, use a knife to drizzle some chocolate into the spots where the frosting shows.  Repeat with remaining cupcakes.  Allow the chocolate coating to set-up – this can be done at room temperature or in the fridge for 15 minutes (My frosting did not keep its piping shape, which was quite sad for me. You may want to allow more cooling time than this).

* I chose to keep mine in the refrigerator, as I prefer the taste more this way!

1 comment:

  1. aw try not to stress, I hate what I wore, but I look back at my pictures, well over 12 years ago, and I just look at how young and in love we were. Forget that I was too heavy or that I wore pants that were too short, I was happy, and it shows. I think your cupcakes are adorable, and how fun your pictures sound.