SOOOOOO, day number two of blogging for me and I must say that it’s been a very whirlwind, very exciting, adrenaline filled weekend! Which for me, is actually more the norm than anything low key and relaxing! I’m always multitasking 15 things at once. Picture the guy at the circus that twirls plates on sticks only the plates are filled with baked goodies, paint brushes, my handy dandy glue gun, and various other little ditties that assist me in my daily creative endeavors.
Oh, and my Starbucks. I ALWAYS have my Starbucks (venti half caf with cream). yum. I’m actually enjoying one right this very minute as I’m typing.
More about that later.
But while I’m sharing I might as well let you in on another hobby of mine…reading magazines-the home/ decor/food/design/entertaining, you name it. I also have Food Network or HGTV or Fine Living on at all times!
Even when I’m gone, I leave it on Food Network for my dog, Oakley. Seriously.
He loves it and it helps him relax, watching all of that delicious, beautiful, goodness. He told me.
So, I’m always looking for yummy, EASY, recipes that are fun and seasonal that my family and friends can all enjoy! For Easter, I was in charge of dessert, so I dug through my “recipe file” and came up with the Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes topped with the sweet little phyllo bird nests. (I love bird nests….don’t worry, I won’t get started on that tangent right now) I figure that cupcakes with sweet little yummy nests can be enjoyed any day, right?
Now for the recipes…
FOR THE CAKE
I used Ree’s recipe, (aka The Pioneer Woman) but you can use anything you’d like, even a box cake in a pinch!
- 2 cups Flour
- 2 cups Sugar
- ¼ teaspoons Salt
- 4 Tablespoons (heaping) Cocoa
- 2 sticks Butter
- 1 cup Boiling Water
- ½ cups Buttermilk
- 2 whole Beaten Eggs
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla
- Preparation Instructions
First, combine flour, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl.
Next melt some butter in a sauce pan. Once the butter is melted, add the cocoa and stir together.
Pour in boiling water allowing mixture to boil for 30 seconds. Pour mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently to cool.
Mix the buttermilk, beaten eggs, baking soda, and vanilla together and stir into chocolate mixture.
Now I made cupcakes not a sheet cake, so I put paper cups in the cupcake tins and used an ice cream scoop to put the batter in easily and evenly (the batter is very thin) and then bake at 350-degrees for 20-25 minutes.
FOR THE ICING
For the icing, I wanted something smooth and shiny to set off the nests, so I turned to Ina Garten for a little help. Ganache sounds very fancy and very difficult but it’s very simple and very tasty, so I love to use it! (I’m all about anything that’s easy AND impressive)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 8 ounces good semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granule
Place the heavy cream, chocolate chips, and instant coffee into a double boiler over simmering water and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture is melted and smooth.
FOR THE BIRD NESTS
Now for the show stopper…the darling little bird nests. For this, only Martha would do! Now I made mini nests in mini cupcake tins so I ended up with 24 little gems. Make sure to watch that they don’t burn – mine were finished in 10 minutes.
Ingredients (makes 12):
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for tin
- 8 ounces (1/2 package) kataifi, thawed
- 4 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Jelly beans, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat the 12 mini-muffin tins with melted butter. Next separate the phyllo and lay them out in 1-inch-thick bundles, then cut bundles into 2 inches pieces with kitchen shears. Put all of the phyllo into a bowl and shake it into a loose pile with fingers. Pour in the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon and toss until all is coated. Evenly divide the phyllo and place into the 12 mini-muffin cups. You’ll want to gently press the sides and bottom to form the shape of a nest. Cook 15 to 20 minutes until golden. Let cool in the tin and then remove.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Now, once the cupcakes are cooled, dip them in the ganache and while they are wet gently press the nests on the top, and fill with jelly beans!
Darling, easy peasy lemon squeezy chocolate ganache cupcakes topped with adorable little nests.
From me to you!