welcome back to the blog! the lemon craze is finally over! as much as i love lemons even i had to admit it was becoming a little too much. i elected to go on the opposite side of the flavor spectrum – away from light and fruity – and towards more hearty and dark. i haven’t made cupcakes in some time – and now i remember why – and after jumping from one cupcake idea to another i finally – last minute, the night before – decided on this recipe. that’s usually how it happens; i rack my brain to decided and in a random moment, the final idea clicks! does anyone else have that problem?
anywhoosen – i love this recipe for a few reasons, one being the flavor profile, it’s getting closer to summer and that’s usually when lighter foods come onto blogs – which will also probably happen here – but there has been this recent chill after about two weeks of high 80s to mid-90s here in arizona and then boom! – chilly air again. it seemed like a cozier idea than orange or berries for the post. it’s heartier and you do get to try a different technique here when it comes to the pistachios.
i didn’t want little chunks of pistachios in the cupcakes – not that that’s a bad thing, but it wasn’t what i wanted for this recipe – i wanted a smooth cupcake combined for a smooth frosting – i usually like a barrage of textures going on but this time i deviated – i pulverized whole roasted pistachios and sugar – all at home! heck yes for diy! – because if you grind nuts by itself in a food processor they can become more of a paste and add additional moisture to the recipe.
i added sugar, instead of flour, to prevent that from happening and ended up with the perfect consistency of the sugar and pistachio as well as a well-rounded flavor of pistachios throughout the entire cupcake. i added vanilla to the frosting – real vanilla not that supermarket imitation sh*t – to add more warmth, because apparently there wasn’t enough already – to the cupcake. i will admit that the frosting came come across as a bit too sweet for people like me who usually prefer whipped cream based frostings, but the lack of sweetness from the cupcakes helped balance it out. you really do want either vanilla powder or paste, if you’re using powder then you want to use considerably less than the instructions, maybe about half of what the directions say. if you’re using paste, i suggest a liquor based paste to add even more warmth to the cupcake.
as you can probably tell from the playlist below, this is somewhat time consuming of a cupcake, it’s not hard by any means – it is a cupcake after all – but the steps to this will take some of your time. the grinding of the pistachios, the sitting of the batter, the baking, making the frosting – this is something you can do the day before and just let it come back to room temperature a few hours and whip it again with your hand mixer before piping – frosting the cupcake in fancy way if your extra like me – you’ll want a star tip and a medium sized one as well – cooling down of the cupcake, all in all – especially the dishes – this can take about 2 hours easy. so that’s a side note i wanted to make clear. is it worth it? yep!
instead of eating all these cupcakes myself, something i can’t do anyway, or just give them to friends, i decided to donate them to my friend’s place of work – the salvation army – and to give to the volunteers there instead. the highlight? when i was walking in looking for her and asked an employee, they said with a huge grin on their face “are you the friend with the cupcakes?!” the appreciation they felt was amazing and the fact that someone other than greedy me and my greedy friends who’ll eat anything – we’re really greedy – liked it was a little three cheers for tatiana moment.
i think this will be something i’ll be doing form now on – donating the food – either to the salvation army or to a soup kitchen. i really did enjoy the feeling, which in a way is selfish – the feeling you get from the process of helping people – either way it’s great for both parties, right? thanks for reading and
see – no i won’t this is a computer – you soon!
biting down // r.i.p (feat. 2 chainz) // ain’t it fun // maneater // still sane // let’s wade in the water // dog days are over // kings and queens // hard out here for a pimp // buzzcut season // and we all return to our roots // sing // teach me how to jerk // falling slowly // paradise // over my head (cable car) // can’t hold us (feat. ray dalton) // kiss me // we’ve got a big mess on our hands // fancy (feat. charli xcx) // flashing lights // black water falls // dream on // birthday cake // you are old, father william // like we never loved at all // report card // i don’t wanna know // nothing’s wrong // what a catch donnie // wine red // a world alone // here comes the sun // settle down // the garden // northern downpour // wake me up // so good // green, green rocky road // all you wanted // love, save the empty // fare the well (dink’s song) // celebration // latch (feat. sam smith)
CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO CUPCAKE W. VANILLA BEAN BUTTERCREAM
1 c. |125 g| flour
1 1/4 c. |250 g| sugar
6 tbsp. |45 g| cocoa powder
1 tsp. |5 g| baking soda
1/2 tsp. |3 g| fine sea salt
1/2 c. |113 g| vegetable oil
1/2 c. |115 g| sour cream
3/4 c. |178 g| water
1 tbsp. |15 g| distilled white vinegar
1 egg |50 g|
3/4 c. |115 g| whole pistachios
Vanilla Bean Frosting
4 oz. |60 g| unsalted butter (room temp.)
4 c. |520 g| powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. |2 g| kosher salt
1/3 + 1 tsp. |85 g| half and half
2 tsp. |10 g| vanilla paste
Take 1/2 c. |115 g| of sugar with all of your pistachios and grind them to a fine texture in your food processer. Take your pistachios mixture and put it in a large bowl, add the remainder of your sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda and mix them together.
In another bowl you want to take your sour cream and whisk it out until it no longer holds form, then, slowly, add your vegetable oil while still mixing – no worries it will look curdled and that’s fine – then in a thin stream add your water to your vegetable oil and sour cream mixture while simultaneously whisking the entire mixture, add the white vinegar and then put it aside.
In a small kitchen bowl, crack and scramble your egg, add your wet mixture in takes of 3 to your dry ingredients followed by your eggs right before the last addition of your wet mixture. Let the batter sit for about 30 minutes to thicken up.
Preheat your oven to 350F, fill your cupcake pans a little under half way (they do rise!) let them sit for about a minute and them smack them on the table to release all the air bubbles that may be in them. Then proceed to bake for 30 to 40 minutes, check after 25 minutes.
Place your room temperature butter in your mixing bowl, with your hand mixer on low, whip the butter until it has lost its form. Then slowly add the powder sugar, mixing your entire mixture together with a spatula intermittently to make sure everything is combined. Once all your powdered sugar has been incorporated into the butter, add your half and half – start with half and then continue to add the milk little by little until you get a lighter fluffier texture of frosting, then add your vanilla paste and mix it one last time with your hand mixer.
Then take a piping bag with a star tip and fill your piping bag with half of your frosting, if you try to put all of your frosting in at one time it will become too full and make piping the frosting onto the cupcakes fairly difficult.
You can also decorate you’re your cupcakes with pistachios, cocoa nibs or chocolate chips and enjoy!
downloadable recipe: CHOCOLATE PISTACHIO CUPCAKE W. VANILLA BEAN BUTTERCREAM