Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Strawberry-Covered Chocolate Ice Cream Cupcakes

This is my entry for the 2011 Ice Cream Cupcake contest co-run by Scoopalicious and Cupcake Project. A twist on chocolate-covered strawberries, these are the inside out version featuring a strawberry cupcake surrounding a filling of dark chocolate ice cream, and topped with some candy coating.

First, you start with strawberry cupcakes (I used a box mix, but added an extra egg and substituted buttermilk for the water in the recipe, to get them extra firm.)

Hollow out a bit of the bottom using a paring knife or a cupcake corer.
Let a carton of chocolate ice cream sit out for about 15 minutes to soften it enough to fill the cupcakes. I used Häagen-Dazs Dark Chocolate, to get the richest, chocolatiest taste.
Once you've hollowed out all your cupcakes, fill them with the chocolate, smoothing the edge with the back of a spoon. Leave them upside down and put them in the freezer for at least an hour to make sure the ice cream has time to set.
When the ice cream is back to set, take them out, flip them over, top with some candy coating and chopped fresh strawberries, and you're done!
I've already looked at some of the early entries for the contest, so believe me, I have no delusions about winning anything with these. But they were fun and delicious, and now I'll have something to think about for a year until the next ice cream cupcake contest!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day

Today was National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day, and I celebrated by making three pies. Welcome, summer! Just in time for a heat wave here in the Northeast. Not maybe the best weather to have a 400-degree oven on for an entire evening, but once you've got the rhubarb and the strawberries, you're already on a dead set course and there is really no return.

Normally I would like to have experimented with each of the three pies and tried to make something different in each, but they were feeding a crowd so I just went with a tried and true recipe, with a little kick--adding some orange zest and orange juice to the filling gives it just the perfect balance to the tart rhubarb and the sweet strawberries.

Brushing the top of the pies with milk and sprinkling with sugar also helps give it that golden, sweet crust.