Monday, April 21, 2014

Easy No Cook 7 Minute Frosting

"Try to live your life in a way that you will not regret years of useless virtue, and inertia, and timidity. Take up the battle. Take it up! It’s yours. This is your life. This is your world."


- Maya Angelou
This is a frosting I make often. I love it. It's light, and fluffy. And I love marshmallows. And that's basically what this frosting is, is the base of a homemade marshmallow. I usually always have the ingredients too. (I have chickens, so eggs are rarely scarce.) I've even blogged about it, sort of. It's here in my Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting. That version is a cooked version as well as it being broiled, to make a toasty marshmallow frosting.

The frosting is super light and fun and sticky, in a good way. Making the frosting perfect for a Spring or Summer cupcake. It's the opposite of a heavy sugary buttercream that feels like it might weigh you down in hot weather.

This frosting is actually healthy-ish. Sure it has a lot of sugar in it, but as far as frostings go, this one is quite good for you, being it's only basically egg whites and sugar, and it's full of protein. You can even reduce the sugar to make it "not too sweet."

Vintage Ice Blue Jeannette Glass Co. Harp Cake Stand Circa 1950s available at my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.

This version is a no cook version. This makes it much quicker to whip up than a traditional cooked version, where you would cook it over a water bath before whipping. One of the benefits of the cooked version is the egg whites are cooked. So you aren't serving up raw eggs. I have my own chickens so raw eggs don't scare me. But if they scare you, then use my other cooked version here. I believe raw eggs are probably safe for most people. But if I was feeding a crowd, of people I wasn't familiar with, I would probably use the cooked version. Just to be on the safe side.

Happy Spring!!

I used Wilton's 1M pastry tip to frost these.

Here are some cupcakes that would go great with this frosting:

Moist Banana Cupcakes

Really Moist Lemon Cupcakes for Lemon Lovers - You could use this 7 minute frosting, and broil it like I did with my Sweet Potato Cupcakes, and you would have a lemon meringue cupcake! Yum!

The Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

Pink Velvet Cupcakes - (These are really just delicious Strawberry Cupcakes)

Moist Apple Cupcakes

Irish Coffee Cupcakes - (The cupcake itself is a coffee flavored cupcake, the whipped cream frosting makes it an Irish Coffee cupcake, this frosting would complement it nicely.)

The Best Moist and Fluffy White Cupcake Recipe

Everyday I feed the birds. I throw birdseed on the ground and in a bird feeder above where these birds are. These guys are new here. I find it fascinating that birds from all around just happen to know where the food is. I love seeing new birds. I guess I'm a bird watcher, although I never contemplated it.

If you didn't already hear, I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

The squirrel likes the birdseed too. He's saying, "birdseed?" I thought that was squirrel seed.

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Vintage Fenton Silver Crest 2 Tiered Stand, Vintage Lead Crystal Square Cake Stand, and the Antique Jean Pouyat Limoges Floral Small Plates, available at my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.

Easy No Cook 7 Minute Frosting

Makes enough to generously frost (like I did in the photos) 12 cupcakes. Recipe can easily be doubled to frost 24 cupcakes or a 2 layer cake.

 Note** This type of frosting doesn't keep well. Frosting your cake or cupcakes and serving them up to 4 hours is best, so plan accordingly.


5 egg whites - room temperature is best, but not necessary

1 cup (207 g.) to 1 1/2 cups (313 g.) sugar (This time I used 1 1/2 cups, but you can use as little as 1 cup if you want a "not too sweet frosting." I wouldn't use any less than 1 cup.

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar - This helps with the stability and volume of meringue, if you don't have this, or can't find it, it's o.k. to leave it out, but I do recommend it, especially if you are new to making a meringue.

 dash of salt

2 tsp. vanilla extract


Make sure the bowl of your stand mixer is totally clean and void of any sort of grease. If there is any sort of fat in the bowl or on the whisk attachment, it will prevent the meringue from forming.

In the bowl of your clean and dry stand mixer, add all of the ingredients. Use the whisk attachment, and whip, for about 7 - 9 minutes. Beat on medium for 2 minutes, then turn up the mixer to medium high and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 5 - 7 minutes more. You need to beat it on medium first, if you were to just beat it on high for the entire time the meringue can become dry, so it's best to gradually bring it up to the medium high speed and not just beat it on high the entire time.

For cupcakes, transfer the frosting to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the frosting on your cooled cupcakes, or use the frosting to frost a cake and serve immediately or within 4 hours of frosting them.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Moist Banana Cupcakes

“What you focus on expands, and when you focus on the goodness in your life, you create more of it. Opportunities, relationships, even money flowed my way when I learned to be grateful no matter what happened in my life.”
- Oprah Winfrey

These banana cupcakes are one of the cupcakes I made for an event recently, as I mentioned in my last post. They were so well received that someone who attended that event, had me makes these cupcakes and the raspberry cupcakes for her event a few weeks later. So hey, these are pretty great! (If I do say so myself.)

Here are my mashed bananas, from the freezer is fine, just thaw them first, drain them of liquid and mash. Make sure they are very ripe for the best flavor.
I like using bananas in baked goods because I have a husband who doesn't like to eat a banana when it has even a few black spots.  That means my freezer sees a lot of bananas. No problem. I just thaw them and use them for yummy baked goods like these moist cupcakes.

My batter is ready to go, ready to be scooped into the cupcake tins

These cupcakes are everything you want a banana cupcake to be.

1. Full of banana flavor.

2. A great, moist texture.

Ready for the oven
Yep, these hit all the right notes. 
I frosted them with a mascarpone frosting. I love mascarpone cheese. It's sometimes called Italian cream cheese. It's much better tasting than traditional cream cheese, in my opinion. It's richer with a less tangy flavor.

Right out of the oven

The only ingredients in the mascarpone frosting is the cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla. I've made mascarpone frostings before that included cream, and also ones that included butter. This version is my favorite. The flavor of the mascarpone cheese really stands out. The only down side is mascarpone cheese isn't cheap. If you live in the U.S., Trader Joes is the best place to buy it that I know of. The last time I checked, at the Trader Joes closest to me (which is about an hour away, so not super close) I think mascarpone cheese was 2.89 for the 8 oz. container. But at my local supermarket it's close to 5.00. And you need 3 containers. So yeah, not cheap, but very delicious. If you don't want to make this frosting, don't substitute cream cheese, just make another recipe. I'll list a few other frosting recipes below.

Here is some of my mascarpone cheese - 2 of my containers are pictured, but I needed 3 to frost my cupcakes.

Since most people like bananas, I think these are a great choice for a crowd.

Here is my mascarpone frosting - this stuff is to die for, especially if you are a mascarpone lover like me.

I hope these are as successful for your people, as they were for mine!

We have deer that live on our land. They are really active now that it's Spring.

More frosting recipe choices that would be great with these cupcakes:

Traditional Cream Cheese frosting from my Super Moist Red Velvet Cupcakes.

A yummy vanilla Not Too Sweet Frosting from my Best Super Moist White Cupcake Recipe.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream - (also not too sweet, and so yummy,) from My Favorite White Cupcakes

Toasted Marshmallow Frosting from my Sweet Potato Cupcakes.

Salted Caramel Buttercream -or Caramel Buttercream with a little less salt - from my Whoopie Pies.

Chocolate Buttercream from my Best Moist Chocolate Cupcake Recipe.

If you didn't already hear, I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

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Vintage Blue Lace Tablecloth, Fenton "Spanish Lace" Milk Glass Cake Stand, Shelley Primrose Chintz Plate Set, Rosina Queens Daintyflower teacup, Antique Nippon Blue Cream and Sugar Set, and Vintage FB Rogers Silver Tray available at my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.

Moist Banana Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes

For the Cupcakes


2 cups (310 g.) flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 sticks (8 oz.)  butter at room temperature

1 1/4 cup (278 g.) white sugar

3/4 cup (177 ml.) sour cream

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

4 eggs

5  very ripe bananas mashed, or 2 cups mashed (16 oz.) (473 ml.)

1 cup chopped walnuts - optional - I've made these cupcakes about 4 times now, and I haven't used nuts yet, but I plan to at some point, depending on who I serve them to.

Dried Banana Chips for topping, optional

Mascarpone Frosting

This amount of frosting will frost 24 cupcakes using about the same amount as I have used in the photos.


3 - 8 oz. packages mascarpone cheese

3 cups (315 g.) powdered sugar

3 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, 180 degrees Celsius, Gas Mark 4. Line 24 muffin cups with cupcake liners, greaseproof are best.

In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the room temperature butter, and sugar and beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for a few seconds, just to make sure it's all been mixed in.

In another large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. The flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Add the sour cream and vanilla to the butter/sugar mixture. Beat together until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat together. (I just start the mixer on low, and add an egg, wait a few seconds, add another, etc. until they have all been added.) (Of course I have the eggs cracked into a small bowl first, so as not to risk getting a piece of egg shell into my cupcakes.) Add the mashed bananas and mix again until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again just to be sure it's all been incorporated.

Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture. Mix just until it's been combined. Be careful not to overmix it, now that you have added the flour, you don't want to overwork it. Just mix it until it's all been incorporated. Scrape down the bowl one more time, and mix it together. Stir in the nuts, (if using) just until they have been mixed in.

Scoop with an ice cream scoop, or spoon with a spoon, the batter into the cupcake liners until they are about 2/3rds full. Bake for about 18-22 minutes until they pass a toothpick test. While cupcakes are baking, make the frosting, (directions below.)

Cool on wire racks for 10-20 minutes. Then remove them from the muffin tins and finish cooling on wire racks until cool.

Frost the cupcakes with the frosting and top with a dried banana chip, if desired.

Directions for Mascarpone Frosting

The mascarpone cheese is soft enough to be used straight from the fridge. It can be used cold, or at cool room temperature. If the cheese is at too warm of room temperature, it can melt like butter.

Beat the mascarpone cheese with the vanilla extract for about a minute. Stop the mixer and add the powdered sugar. Start the mixer on low until the sugar has been mixed with the mascarpone, (to make sure it doesn't fly out of your mixer) continue beating on medium high for another minute or so.

Refrigerate any leftover frosting. If you want to frost cupcakes after it's been refrigerated, you will need to beat it again.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Raspberry Filled and Frosted Cupcakes

"The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are."

- Joseph Campbell


I wanted to make some raspberry cupcakes since I started to see fresh raspberries in the stores. And I did! But, let's just say they didn't come out as expected.


Pureeing my raspberries

As you can see in one of the photos below, they came out so, well, dark. I even dyed the batter pink, didn't help. In retrospect, I think I should have added some whitener, like this. That may have brought the batter back to a more appealing pretty pink color like I wanted them to be. Oh well.

Putting them through a strainer to remove the seeds

They tasted great. Had a good raspberry flavor, and great texture. The only thing I did was substitute raspberry puree and raspberry extract instead of strawberry in my Pink Velvet Cupcakes. I just couldn't bring myself to serve them to anyone. I mean we eat with our eyes first, you know? I showed one to my husband and he said, "is it chocolate?" Umm, no.

You need to coax the puree through the strainer, you'll have a pile of raspberry seeds left over

But sometimes out of mistakes, something wonderful appears. Isn't there a quote that goes something like that?

These are the raspberry cupcakes I made. They almost look like chocolate, or even red velvet cupcakes. :( I was sad. They actually taste pretty good, and had a good raspberry flavor. If you want to make them just substitute raspberries for the strawberries in these Pink Velvet Cupcakes . I did add pink food coloring to these. Just raspberries are naturally dark.

I needed to make a few batches of cupcakes for a gathering. I had my choice of flavors. This was one of the choices I made. And one of the favorites of the group. I had raspberries on the brain, so this is what I came up with.

Making the raspberry cream cheese filling

I also wanted to make a filled cupcake, people love filled cupcakes. I can't believe I've never posted about one here. This can be the start of something wonderful. Me posting about filled cupcakes more often.

The tip on the right is an actual tip for filling cupcakes made by Wilton. The tip on the left is a standard round tip, which can also be used to fill cupcakes. Just make sure the round tip is big enough to get the filling through.

I started these by making a raspberry puree out of frozen raspberries. The great thing about unsweetened raspberries is that they are pretty tart and have a strong flavor. Making them a great ingredient to add to fillings and frostings.

Here's my disposable bag with a filling tip

The buttercream I used here is a typical American buttercream. Butter and powdered sugar with the added raspberry puree from the frozen raspberries. Usually the biggest complaint with this type of frosting is how sweet it is. I think the unsweetened raspberries offsets that sweetness well.

Put the tip in about 3/4 of the way through

Don't get me wrong, it's still sweet. So if you're looking for a 'not too sweet frosting', maybe make another choice. Another option to overwhelm all of the sweetness in this frosting, is to add fresh lemon juice. Raspberries and lemon are flavors that go well together. Adding a few tablespoons to the frosting would certainly help add another dimension to the flavor and make the frosting more balanced. But like I said, I do like the frosting the way it is as well. So I'll leave that decision up to you.

Fill it up while lifting up, to fill the whole thing. Don't overfill it, or it will burst. See how this one is about to burst, starting to crack where the opening is.

I do enjoy filling cupcakes, I think it's fun! And it's very little work for a big payback in the crowd pleasing department.

I recommend using a test cupcake to fill it, then cut it open to see how you did. This one looks good.

One more little thing - I know I don't post to this blog very often, but I actually have another cupcake post ready to go, already photographed! I haven't forgotten about you! I'll be back soon!
Happy Baking! Until we meet again ~  

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If you didn't already hear, I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

Vintage Noritake Cheri Plates, Vintage Pink Lace Tablecloth, Vintage Etched Crystal Champagne Coupe Glasses, Vintage Rogers Silverplated Copper Tray, (holding cupcakes), and , Vintage Rogers Large Silver tray, (holding champagne) available at my shop, House of Lucien.

Raspberry Filled and Frosted Cupcakes


1 batch of 24 or 25 white cupcakes, I strongly recommend my "The Best White and Fluffy Cupcake Recipe" - baked and cooled

1 - 10 oz. (283 g.) package unsweetened frozen raspberries - thawed

For the Filling

1 - 8 oz. (227 g.)  package cream cheese, right out of the fridge is fine, or at cool room temperature

1 cup (105 g.) powdered sugar

1/3 cup (79 ml.)  raspberry puree - from the frozen raspberries mentioned above

For the Raspberry Buttercream

 (this makes enough to generously frost 24 or 25 cupcakes, about the amount per cupcake I've used here. If you are spreading on the frosting I would halve this.)

4 sticks (1 pound) butter - room temperature - salted or unsalted, if using unsalted, I'd add a little pinch of salt

10 cups (1025 g.) powdered sugar

1/2 cup (118 ml.) raspberry puree - from the frozen raspberries mentioned above

Fresh Raspberries for topping, if desired


Start by pureeing the raspberries. If the raspberries are still frozen, put them in a pan on medium high heat and stir frequently until they are thawed and a liquid. Place them (from the pan, or from the bag if thawed) in a blender or food processor and puree. Pour this mixture through a fine mesh strainer sitting on top of a bowl to strain out the seeds. You will need to coax the mixture through the strainer using the back of a spoon. Work the mixture back and forth until all the puree is gone through, and only seeds remain. Discard the seeds and set aside the raspberry puree.

Make the filling - Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer. Blend the cream cheese until it's creamy and blended. Add the powdered sugar. Mix together until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and mix again. Add the 1/3 cup of raspberry puree and blend again. Scrape down the bowl and blend until all is incorporated.

Spoon this mixture into a pastry bag fitted with a filling tip, (shown in photos above) or a round tip big enough to push the filling through.

Fill the cupcakes with the filling by pushing the tip 3/4 of the way down the cupcake, squeeze, then slowly lift up to fill the entire inside of the cupcake. I recommend using a test cupcake. Fill one, then cut it open to see if you filled it entirely. If you don't fill it with enough filling, the cupcake could just absorb the filling and not come across as a filled cupcake. Once you do a few and get a hang of it, it will go easy from there. Fill them up good, but don't overfill them. If you overfill them, they burst, or crack open. Set the filled cupcakes aside.

Make the Buttercream - At this point, I clean the bowl of my stand mixer and the paddle, to use it again to make the frosting. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large bowl with a hand mixer, place the room temperature butter inside and beat it until creamy. Add half of the powdered sugar and blend, on low at first so you don't spray powdered sugar all over your kitchen, then on medium high to blend. Add the rest and blend again until it's all incorporated. Add the raspberry puree, a little at a time, add some and blend, add a little more and blend, etc. Until it's all been added. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and blend again. Blend until it's quite fluffy about 2 minutes more.

Use the buttercream to frost the cupcakes. Top with fresh raspberries, if desired.

Serve these at room temperature. They will need to be refrigerated eventually because of the cream cheese, but if you do, just bring them to room temperature before serving. If you don't the buttercream will be on the solid side, since you know, cause it's butter, and butter solidifies when cold.

I hope you love these like I do!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Homemade Boursin Cheese Recipe

"If the divine creator has taken pains to give us delicious and exquisite things to eat, the least we can do is prepare them well and serve them with ceremony."

- Fernand Point

I live a few hours outside of Seattle. I've never seen so much team spirit in all of my life! At first, I really couldn't figure out why so many people were wearing blue and green this past few weeks. Then as time went by, I finally figured it out. People are talking about their beloved team, the Seattle Seahawks, everywhere I go. On the radio, at the grocery store, even at the salon. I've never seen anything like it.

 Their pride is contagious. I've become so proud and excited myself about this football team. I don't even know how the game is played. But I will be watching with my husband, as he talks me through the game. Super Bowl is coming, and you'll need to serve something yummy that pleases everyone. This is one of those things.

Just a few simple ingredients (with a few herbs/spices) combine together to make this irresistible spread.
This is my kind of recipe. Simple, easy and inexpensive, but sure doesn't taste like it. A big payoff, for about 10 minutes worth of work. When I say payoff, I mean people rave about it, they love this stuff. They might even expect you to bring it along to every party you are invited to here on out. Don't say I didn't warn you.
I've been making this spread for a while now and been wanting to share it with you. If I have the cream cheese in the house, I always have the other ingredients on hand, so it's a cinch to whip up on the fly. It can also be frozen for months without losing it's great creamy texture. So if you have company stopping by unexpectedly, you can have some ready quickly.


Sure it's perfect for an appetizer served with crackers and vegetables like I've shown here, but it can also be enjoyed in many other ways.
Such as:
- Garlic Bread - spread it on bread like you would for regular garlic bread and broil it under the broiler
- Use it as a spread on sandwiches instead of mayo
- Thin it with milk to use as a pasta sauce
- Use it as a topping for a baked potato or other vegetables

- Put it in your mashed potatoes instead of butter

As a filling for chicken like this  Boursin Stuffed Chicken

- Mixed in with scrambled eggs or in an omelet

- On top of a steak like you would with regular butter

and of course, has lots of recipe ideas, here.

Another plus to this recipe is the cost. A box of Boursin cheese is about 4 or 5 bucks, and the package is a little over 5 oz. This recipe makes 12 oz. and costs at most 2 dollars or maybe 2.50, (depending on what brand of cream cheese you purchase) so you get double the amount at half the cost, or even less. What a deal!
Happy Super Bowl Sunday! I hope your team wins. (If your team is from Seattle, I mean.)
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Large Footed Vintage Silver Butlers Serving Tray, Vintage Leonard Silver and Glass Relish Tray (holding celery and carrots), International Silver Vintage Jam Dish (holding the cheese), and Vintage International Silver Bowl with Spoon (holding the tomatoes), available in my Etsy Shop, House of Lucien.  Follow House of Lucien on Facebook!

I've started a second Etsy shop! Coco's Kitchen is where I sell vintage cookbooks and vintage kitchen items. I'm adding new items all the time, and I would love it if you checked it out, and favorited my shop, and even spread the word, if that's your kind of thing. Thank you!

Homemade Boursin Cheese Recipe

makes 12 oz. (340 g.) or about a cup and a half. Recipe can easily be doubled


1 - 8 oz (227 g.) package of cream cheese - at room temperature

1 stick (1/2 cup) or (114 grams) butter - at room temperature

2 cloves of garlic, minced or put through a garlic press

1/2 tsp. dried oregano

1/2 tsp. dried basil

1/2 tsp. dried thyme

OR instead of the 3 above, use about 1 - 1 1/2 tsp. of an Italian Seasoning blend

Freshly ground black pepper - to taste

Salt - to taste, a few pinches


Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix it all together for a few minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape everything down with a spatula and mix again for a minute or two. Conversely, you can do the same thing in a food processor.

A variation to this recipe is to make a roasted garlic version, if you don't like raw garlic. Just replace roasted garlic with the fresh. If you are using roasted garlic I may add one or two more cloves.

This is better the next day when the flavors have a chance to meld. Bring to room temperature before serving.

This keeps in the fridge for about a week. Or it freezes well for 4 or 5 months. Just make sure it's wrapped very well so no air can get in.  Bring to room temperature before serving.

I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!