Sunday, February 27, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Few days ago I was talking to some of my friends about my favorite things/shopping from my “past international life”.

When narrowing down the list of my “favorite things/places” this was my top three: The Container Store, my manicure place in NY and the red velvet cupcakes from Magnolia’s.

Happily I found this store close to work very similar to “The Container Store”. I love having everything organized, from my cookie cutters to my closet and containers are a great help. Happy me there is a Muji in Madrid where I can buy more containers!!!

For my manicure a friend recommended a place close to the office. I have to say that they do a very good job with NY prices!!. They are no open “24/7” like in NY but I will not complain.

For the beautiful Magnolia red velvet cupcakes I worked two ways to solve my cravings. The first one is for when I am in downtown Madrid. I will go to Cream Bakery and get me a red velvet (actually it usually is 2). The red velvets are as good as Magnolia’s.

The second way to solve my craving is, me taking my Magnolia’s book and baking some of my favorite cupcakes! And this is what I did! I am happy with the result!

But what really make me happy is that step-by-step I am finding in Madrid those little things that make happy: a container, a good manicure and a red velvet cupcake.

I hope you like it!


Makes 12 cupcakes

2 cups all porpoise flour

95 gr butter

½ teaspoon sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons red food coloring

1 ½ tablespoon cocoa

¾ teaspoon vanilla extract

¾ teaspoon salt

¾ cup buttermilk

¾ teaspoon cider vinegar

¾ teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven at 350. Line the cupcake papers.

In a small bowl, sift the flour and set aside. In a large bow, on a medium Speedy of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well alter each addition.

In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts, alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat.

In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Bake for 20min, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting

Makes enough for 12 cupcakes


3 tablespoons all-pourpous flour

1 cup milk

1 cup unsalted butter softened

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Be sure to follow the recipe directions exactly.

In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 min. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 min.

In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth or creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.

Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer). Use immediately.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Corn Muffins

I always though that the order that rules my life during the week- days was kind of a Swiss influence. You are in Switzerland and your schedules and habits become Swiss.

How can this happen? Easy. You are not allowed noises (washing machines, loud tv, loud conversations, noisy showers). So before 22.00 pm everything needs to be done!

Well, since I am working back in Spain, happily my schedules and habits have not become “Spanish”. I get out of work at a decent hour (late for my friend Silvia from Geneva). I have dinner early and time to do things before bed time, at an early time.

You might think this in too much order for you. For me this has two objectives: sleeping time and time for breakfast!! I love having the time for breakfast in the morning and something nice for breakfast!

Corn Muffins are one of my all time favorites. Now even more that I get fresh corn flour from Asturias. The recipe is simple and quick to prepare.

I hope you like it!!


Makes 1 dozen

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons yellow cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

Coarse salt

1/4 cup sunflower

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons mild honey

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup whole milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with baking cups. Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and 1 1/4 teaspoons salt in a large bowl. Combine oil, butter, and honey; stir in eggs and milk. Stir oil mixture into cornmeal mixture. Divide batter evenly among baking cups.

Bake until tops are golden and a toothpick inserted into the centers comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Baby Shower Cookies and Cupcakes

After having a great time back in November with Mariapi and Mercedes from "Muy Dulce", I did not hesitate one second to join them again this past weekend.

The theme this time was baby showers. You should have seen the beautiful table presentation that Mariapi and Mercedes prepared with the cuttest cookies and cupcakes!

As always, I had a blast of time hanging around these talented two. They have infinite pacience with us the students. Theach us all little tricks. Make you feel like at home and always with the sweetest smile.

These time there were people from all over Spain. From Mallorca, Sevilla, Cuenca ... go figure!
I am telling you !! M&M Rock!!

So, if you want to see them in action you can do two things:

1. Tune your TV tomorrow 15th Feb. Antena 3 news.
2. Join them in their next course. I will be there!

And to Mariapi and Mercedes: Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tomato Tart Tatin

Long time no see!! I know it has been linger than usual. Good news is that I am getting my head around my new life and new schedules. Except for the last weekend that I worked (not everything is glamorous in fashion), I don’t have to do crazy hours. And this feels so nice!!!

It feels as nice as sleeping in my bed every night, having coffee in my own mug, listening to my favorite radio show, making plans with two weeks in advance ….. go figure!!!

So this year I wanted something different. Something that I have not done since I was 14 years old. I spent my birthday with my family!!! It was great to have them at home!!

I prepared a simple, cozy dinner. In this post you have a tomato tatin that I found in one the baking applications that I have in my IPad. So simple and yummy!

I hope you like it!


Serves 4

25 gr butter

1 tablespoon caster sugar

500 gr cherry tomatoes, halved

1 clove garlic, crushed

2 teaspoon white wine vinegar

salt and pepper


250 gr plain flour sifted

pinch of salt

140 gr butter

1tbsp chopped oregano plus extra to garnish

5-6 tbsp cold water


Preheat the oven to 200ºc. Melt the butter in a heavy based pan. Add the sugar and stir over a fairly high heat until just golden brown.

Remove it from the heat and quickly add the tomatoes, garlic and white wine vinegar, Stirring to coat evenly. Season with salt and pepper.

Tip the tomatoes into a 23cm cake tin, spreading evenly.

For the pastry, place the flour, salt, butter and oregano in a food processor and process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Add just enough water to bind to a soft, but not sticky, dough.

Roll out the pastry to a 25cm round and place over the tomatoes, tucking in the edges. Pierce with a fork to let out steam.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, then run a knife around the edge and turn out onto a warmed serving plate.

Sprinkle the tarte tatin with chopped oregano, and serve warm.