One would think that after putting in 40 plus hours a week at your job as an Engineer, the last thing that you would want to do is to come home and spend your free time in your kitchen, cooking and baking and then blogging about it all. Not so for Jen of Bean Town Baker. One of her favourite places is her recently renovated condo kitchen and in this small but very functional space she produces some delectable dishes. From her original Brie Bites that she came up with for a friend’s wine and cheese party to her Butternut Squash and Spinach Casserole it is evident that this girl is totally at home in her kitchen. Jen has been blogging for a little over three years and has a lovely Friday Favs feature on her site where she highlights a favourite blogger of hers and has them guest post on her blog. She also ran the Power of Pink Challenge (for the past 3 years) and has participated in and is a member of Operation Baking Gals. This twenty-something young lady fought and overcame her fear of heights twice during the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer last year in San Francisco and she raised nearly $2800 for this cause! You’ll learn in her post that she will be doing another Avon walk again this year. Jen was quite involved, along with three other ladies in seeing that the Boston Cupcake Camp took place last April and she is working with another friend on a new project called Boston Bake for Hope. She is certainly one busy and involved woman and I’m very happy that she is here today with her recipe and her story. You can follow Jen on Twitter @beantownbaker
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I was checking out my Twitter feed when I first found out about Frosting for a Cause. I instantly checked out what I needed to do to join and signed up. Breast Cancer is a disease that hit close to home for me. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. She had a mastectomy and went through numerous weeks of chemotherapy followed by 30 days of radiation treatment. She lost all of her hair and got fairly sick from the chemo, but she had an amazing positive attitude throughout the whole thing. She stayed strong and was able to laugh throughout the whole process. One of her favorite things to do was to take off her wig when you weren’t looking. It always shocked people when you turned around and she was sitting there bald, smiling ear to ear.
Because my mother had breast cancer at such a young age, I try to do what I can about raising awareness about breast cancer. Every year, I walk in the Komen Race for the Cure. In 2010, I walked my first Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in San Francisco and have already signed up to walk the Avon Walk in New York this year.
As part of my duties participating in Frosting for the Cause, I have donated $25 to the American Cancer Society. And, as an added bonus, the company I work for will match that donation.
These cupcakes are a standard chocolate cupcake recipe filled with some homemade cherry pie filling. I topped them off with some cream cheese frosting and a fun red piece of candy decoration as the cherry on top.
Black Forest Cupcakes – Cupcakes from Erin’s Food Files, Cherry Pie Filling recipe from Elly Says Opa, frosting from Beantown Baker
1/2 cup butter
3 oz sugar
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
3 1/2 oz bittersweet (dark) chocolate, melted
1/2 cup milk
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a muffin pan by greasing or inserting liners (recommended method).
In a mixing bowl, use a hand-held mixer on medium-high speed to beat the butter and sugar together until light & fluffy. Add the egg and beat well. In another bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking powder. In alternate batches, stir the melted chocolate, dry ingredients, and milk into the butter mixture. Distribute the batter among the prepared cups.
Bake until the tops spring back when lightly topped, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or cool, topped with frosting.
Cherry Pie Filling
1 red plums, halved and pitted
1 1/2 cups sweet cherries, pitted and halved (or frozen)
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Process the plum and cherries in a food processor until nearly smooth, about 1 minute. Stir in the sugar, salt, lemon juice, and cinnamon and mix to combine.
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese at room temp
1/2 stick butter at room temp
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy.
Add vanilla extract.
Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached.
Assemble the Cupcakes
Once cupcakes have been completely cooled, use the cone method to scoop out a portion of the cupcake. Discard the removed portions of the cupcakes. Fill cupcakes with cherry pie filling. Using a wide piping tip, pipe frosting on top of the cupcake and filling.