It's not only Friday but also cupcake time around here. Sounds like a good way to wrap up a week, no? Today, I'm overjoyed to share with you the wonders of The Sprinkles Baking Book which makes it an especially happy Famous Fridays! Add in that these cupcakes were inspired by the great Barbra Streisand and I'm ready to burst into song, as you will be too once you taste these divine little beauties!
Have you ever been to a Sprinkles cupcake store? I actually haven't--strangely cupcakes, especially ones with buttercream icing, really aren't my thing--but I was browsing the New Books section at our local library and came across the Sprinkles cookbook and it looked so enticing and was filled with so many more treats than just cupcakes, that I knew I had to check it out--literally! And I'm so glad I did! Sprinkles (both the book and the stores) is the brainchild of Candace Nelson, who opened the first cupcakes-only bakery in America in 2005, not only sold out of all her cupcakes in 3 hours on the first day of business but went on to sell over 2,000 cupcakes that very first week!! Now with 17 locations around the country, you could argue that Candace is the Cupcake Queen of America! The bakeries and book feature all different sorts of cupcakes, some classic, like red velvet, strawberry and dark chocolate, some more exotic like chai latte, strawberry cheesecake and creme bruleé. The book also includes a wide variety of other desserts like cookies, brownies, cakes, pies etc. which all look amazing but I figured that since they're famous for their cupcakes, I should share one of their most famous cupcakes inspired by one of their most famous customers and cupcake lovers with you. The story goes that after Barbra tasted one of their vanilla cupcakes, she asked them to make a thin chocolate glaze instead of the usual buttercream topping just for her (right up my alley, Babs) and it became an instant hit. In addition, she introduced them to Oprah which certainly didn't hurt their business either!!
And now on to this pretty simple but terrific cupcake. The cake is light, tender and full of good vanilla flavor. Easy to make too!
The topping is a chocolate lover's dream. Candace suggests that you dip the tops once in the ganache, let set and then dip again so that what you wind up with is a fairly substantial layer of the glaze. It's dark, rich, satiny smooth and absolutely wonderful. Clearly Barbra has talent in many areas!!
My family loved these and yours will too. Plus, they're just perfect for all the parties, picnics and end-of-the-year bake sales that keep popping up. Not sure why, but cupcakes seem so summery to me. And speaking of summer, they say we're finally going to get some summery weather here in the East!! Can't wait to feel the warmth!! So pick up a copy of Sprinkles and bake up a batch of happiness!! Kids stuck inside studying for finals would surely enjoy a cupcake break! Be well and I'll see you next week with some more yummy seasonal offerings! Have a great weekend everyone!!
Sprinkles' Barbra Streisand Cupcake-Famous Fridays
Makes 1 dozen
Prep Time for cupcakes: 15 minutes; Bake Time: 18-20 minutes. Prep Time for Ganache: 5 minutes; Assembly: 10 minutes, plus time for ganache to set so you can double dip
For the cupcake
- 1 1/2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 large egg whites
For the Ganache
- 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup heavy cream
1. Preheat oven to 325ºF and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda and salt in a medium bowl. Stir the vanilla into the milk in the measuring cup.
3. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Lower the speed to medium-low and one at a time, add the egg and egg whites, mixing well between each addition until the mixture is creamy. Gradually add half the flour mixture and beat on low speed. Then add the milk mixture and beat on low speed and finally the rest of the flour, beating until just blended after each addition.
4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared cups and bake for 18-20 minutes until light and slightly golden. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool the rest of the way on the rack.
5. To make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium-sized bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan to a simmer and then pour over the chocolate in the bowl. Let sit for a minute and then stir gently to melt until entirely smooth.
6. Dip the tops of the cooled cupcakes into the chocolate. Let dry for about 20-30 minutes and then dip again. Let the ganache set and then serve. Store leftover cupcakes at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap for 3-4 days.
Note: Recipe adapted from The Sprinkles Baking Book by Candace Nelson.