Saturday, January 1, 2011

This is the New Year.

Hey folks. Happy New Year to you all. Does it feel any different? 

When I was young I wasn't allowed to stay up til midnight, so there was always this sense of mystery surround New Year's Eve. So it was such a big deal seeing the ball drop on tv, finally having that privilege. 

I stay up until midnight all the time now. I was actually getting the urge to go to bed earlier yesterday. 

Do you make resolutions? I don't. I guess I don't see the need. In my opinion, one should constantly be improving a little bit each and every day, without the pressure of a resolution behind it. Life is a series of small events that culminate into something important. Can't wait around for something earth shattering, or decide on a specific moment in time to instantly change of facet of your character. 

Enough rambling. Have a cupcake. 
Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Makes 18

* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for tins
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup whole milk
* 3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for tins
* 3 large eggs
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* Vanilla Cream (see below)
* Chocolate-Ganache Glaze (see below)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour standard muffin tins. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Warm milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat.
2. Beat eggs and sugar with a mixer on high speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes. Beat in dry ingredients.
3. Bring milk and butter to a boil. With mixer on low speed, add milk mixture to batter, and beat until smooth. Add vanilla. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each halfway. Bake cupcakes until light gold, about 15 minutes. Let cool in tins for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire racks. Let cool.
4. Using a serrated knife, cut each in half horizontally. Spread 1 tablespoon vanilla cream on each cupcake bottom. Sandwich with top. Spoon glaze over each, and serve immediately.

Vanilla cream
* 2 large egg yolks
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
* Pinch of salt
* 1 cup whole milk
* 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Whisk yolks until smooth. Mix sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add milk in a slow, steady stream. Cook, stirring, until mixture begins to bubble and thicken, about 5 minutes.
2. Pour 1/3 of milk mixture into yolks, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan, and cook over medium heat, stirring often, until thick, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in vanilla. 

Chocolate Ganache
 * 2/3 cup heavy cream
* 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Bring cream to a boil in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, and add chocolate and corn syrup. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, and let cool, stirring often. Use immediately. 

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