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Indian Bhaingan Bhartha (Indian Baba Ghanoush)

July 23, 2012

Bhaingan Bhartha is a classic Indian dish. However, it is slightly different in every region of India. The one we traditionally make at home is a Maharashtrian, and most similar to the South-Indian version of Bhaingan Bharta. I love this dish in the summer because it can served at room temperature or cold.

It is also very health as there is no dairy or oil (aka very low calorie and vegan!). How can you go wrong with a dish like that?! You can also make it ahead of time- which is great for folks working or preparing food for a party.

Leftovers are great, as they can be used in many versatile ways! My favorite dinner time meal is to it my Bhaingan Bhartha with chappathi (homemade Indian bread). But since I was being ghetto in my apartment, I ate it with a thin flour (corn will do) tortilla heated quickly on the stove top.

Bhaingan Bhartha:

  • 1 large Italian eggplant
  • PAM Original Flavor
  • 2 Serrano chilies- diced (with seeds and all don’t be a woose!)
  • 2 cloves of garlic- roughly chopped
  • handful of coriander- washed and dried
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp hing Asafoetida powder (optional but adds great flavor!)
  • 1-2 tbsp water
  • coarse salt
  • coarse pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350-400 degrees. Cut the eggplant in half and score the eggplant meat like a grid making sure not to pierce the skin. Rub with a generous amount of PAM and place on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for about 30-40 minutes until eggplant is completely cooked through and soft. Let cool before handling, then scoop out the meat into a bowl.

2. In a blender/food processor add the garlic, coriander, chili, salt and pepper. Blend until its a thick paste- add a bit of the water to help it blend together. It should resemble a thick paste/chutney.

3. Using a morter and pestel, mash up the roasted eggplant a bit. Add the chili -coriander paste and continue mashing. Add hing and cumin powder and make sure everything is incorporated well into the roasted eggplant. Taste for salt and spice.

4. Place into a serving dish and top with freshly chopped coriander. Serve with bread, rice or chappathi.
Serves 2-4

Great ways to use the leftovers:

- spread on a wrap/tortilla as you would do with hummus, top with your favorite veggies, proteins and grill on a panini grill or in a pan

- Use as a dip: serve with pita chips, tortilla chips, etc

Like this vegan dish? Try These!

  Tandoori Tofu Masala

  Masala Tofu Burgers

  Italian Balsamic Glazed Broccoli

My Wonderful Vacation in St. Maarten & St. Barts!

June 27, 2012

My family and I had planned on visiting Panama City, Panama this year. We were all really excited, as we had not been to Central America before. However, due to some last minute complications we ended up not going there.. and by last minute I mean literally at the airport right before our plane was supposed to take off. Luckily we were able to book an extremely last minute trip to St. Maarten & St. Bart’s for the same week.. this gives a whole new meaning to “last minute.”

We embarked on our journey of a direct 3 hour flight to the beautiful half Dutch, half French island of St. Maarten. My family and I are huge fans of tropical weather and islands, so we have visited nearly every island in the Caribbean and West Indies, but this was our first time in St. Maarten. I was expecting the usual- beautiful beaches, friendly island folk, tons of shopping and mediocre food. I was pleasantly surprised to find that St. Maarten had a variety of food, tons of restaurants and plenty of choices, hence not mediocre!

(Our resort!)

First off, the national drink (rather I should say national liquor) of the island is the Guavaberry Rum. Guavaberry is an indigenous fruit to the island, and the Guavaberry Emporium has been turning this berry into a fruity and sweet rum for years. While we were shopping, we stumbled upon the original Guavaberry Emporium store and were enticed by the colors and smells from the store. From this liquor they make a yummy blended cocktail that includes pineapple juice, coconut cream and ice. It is soooo yummy! It tasted like a mix of strawberry, coconut with a hint of rose. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Our next food adventure was at a local breakfast joint called Beau Beau’s. It was beautiful- right on the beach overlooking the turquoise water and in the near distant was our resort.

The restaurant served local dishes and something in particular caught my eye- ‘Johnny Cakes.’ They are a traditional local bread stuffed with all sorts of things. For breakfast, I got it with egg whites and cheese, yum! Its a fried bread that is crispy and golden brown on the outside and soft and sweetish on the inside. It really complimented the eggs and cheese. I dumped some Matouk’s habanero hot sauce on it and it tasted delicious! I love trying local dishes that are not available anywhere else- I mean that’s the whole point of traveling right?!

Next on our list was French! We were determined to try our luck at a French restaurant- I say “luck” because there’s never usually anything for a vegetarian to eat. Our resort recommended a restaurant on the ‘French Side’ of the island called- well this is embarrassing I forgot the name. However, the food was very good and there weer plenty of veggie options and they were very accommodating! I actually was able to experience (and EAT) two dishes that are normally not available for vegetarians (or available in general)- French Onion Soup (yes, I made this a while ago because I was never able to eat it out) AND Baked Alaska- oh my god yes.

We started off with some sweet wine- my parents prefer Muscato, but it was not available. So we basically got the next best sweet wine-

The soup was so yummy- perfectly caramelized onions topped with crusty bread and loads of gooey Gruyere cheese.

The Baked Alaska was everything I expected it to be- a mound of layered cake and ice cream covered in whipped meringue then flambeed in front of me- YUM!

For my vegetarian entree, I chose the puff pastry filled with roasted vegetables accompanied by small side dish samplings and gastrique (and their homemade hot sauce haha). Everything was really yummy, however I do think that the puff pastry basket could have been accompanied by a grain- either pasta, risotto, farrow, etc.

Next we had Italian. This restaurant was also located on the French side and was beautifully situated on the water, so we had a night time view of Simpson Bay. The restaurant was really cute and had its own unique charm. Luckily, since it was low season, we didn’t have to wait for a table or even make a reservation! The menu was full of hearty Northern Italian dishes- not conducive to a bikini body but I was on vacation so oh well!

We started off with an Eggplant Melanzane- layers of eggplants coated with cheese and homemade marinara:

I chose PROBABLY the fattiest dish on the menu- homemade spinach and ricotta raviolis in a sage butter sauce. Yup I am going to die of congestive heart failure.

For dessert I think we initially wanted a warm chocolate brownie of some sorts, but it was not available :(. So we opted for the warm caramel apple tartine. It was very yummy and the caramel was tasty and fresh:

Me and my older sister at dinner!

The next day my sister and I embarked on what we thought would be a calm and peaceful ziplining adventure. No. we were absolutely wrong. The people at the park failed to inform us that the course was in fact this crazy expert Lara Croft Tomb Raider like obstacle course that required a ridiculous amount of coordination and balance. We also had a “guide” that didn’t “guide” us at all, but instead ditched us for his French girlfriend. Seriously?! If you are ever in St. Maarten I advise against going to the Loterie Farm where they have hiking and zipling OR be prepared with proper sneakers, clothing and mind set to get through a crazy tree topped obstacle course. Oh and by the way, my sister got stung by a wasp while we were in the middle of a plank.

After our not-so-fun adventure, we decided to treat ourselves at the Loterie Farm restaurant with some French food. I ordered the Guavaberry Colada

and Baked Brie with fresh Mango Salsa. Out of this entire experience my food was the only this was good! The Baked Brie was the best I ever had- flaky pastry oozing with tons of melted brie and sweet mango salsa- YUM!

The next day was our day trip to the French aka rich people island of St. Barts! I say rich people island because its frequently visited by celebrities many of which have villas there, and the island only consists of very pricey boutique hotels. When you arrive at Gustavia via ferry, the first thing you literally see is a Louis Vuitton store. Now if that doesn’t exude rich, then I don’t know what does! St. Bart’s is beautiful- tons of green mountains filled with red-roofed buildings, turquoise water and tons of palm trees.

They also have an awesome airport that’s right on the water and only supports small jet planes (see another obvious trait of it being a rich people island!!)

Since it is French colonized, everything is in French, including the currency (they use the Euro which is quite unfortunate for us Americans since the exchange rate sucks).

This also meant that the food was generally expensive/overpriced for what they offer. Also, since the island mostly offered French food, that meant a whole lotta nothing for us vegetarians. For lunch we ate at a cafe that seemed to have the most options for vegetarians and it was also called Le Piment with a chili pepper in its’ name and that is always a good sign.

This is a funny story actually.

I had order the Goat Cheese Salad drizzled with island Honey and I specifically said make sure there is no meat or seafood on it please (obviously the waiter didn’t really know English, but I figured he got the point). My dish comes out first and its a Caesar Salad loaded with eggs, bacon, and all sorts on non-veg things. I was like uhh what is this? And they were all like “wee wee wee, french, french..you ordered this etc” and I was like this has meat. So our waiter was like “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” and then comes back with a completely different salad than what I had ordered. Except this time I didn’t complain- instead of a Goat Cheese Salad it was a melted brie on toast salad with dried fig and cashews. It was actually awesome! It was perfectly dressed mixed greens and sprouts topped with crusty french bread oozing with high-quality melted brie along with tons of roasted cashews and dried figs.

FOo dessert we went to a Gelateria across the street that literally charged us 2 EU for HALF a scoop.. that’s like $3.50 aka a LOT. I got coconut flavor, and it was very good but indeed very pricey.

During our last day on St. Maarten we stopped at a local restaurant for some island Roti and curry!

I got it the way they traditionally eat it- Curry Potato wrapped in a roti with a side of salad. We asked for them to make it extra spicy (of course) and it was really yummy! Strong flavors of garam masala, clove and turmeric infused the potatoes and the roti was flaky and layered with what seamed to be crushed moong daal (yellow daal).

Last but not least we tried some Mexican food. Our resort recommended a place called Jimbo’s Rock & Blues Cafe so we decided to give it a try. At first it was a bit difficult to find because it’s hidden from the main road (Airport Road to be exact) and the sign was not lit. It was situated by the harbor and had a very tropical oasis-like feel- with tons of palm trees, a sunken bar and a pool surrounding the restaurant. The atmosphere was really cool!

We were also pleased to find that the menu was filled with a large selection of vegetarian options! We actually met Jimbo himself and he’s a native New Yorker- no wonder the Mexican food was so delicious! He was nice enough to chat with us and tell us about his travels to India and his love for yoga!

I ordered the Black Bean and Garlic Mashed Potato Chimichanga served with Jalapeno Corn Bread and salsa.. yummy!!

Jimbo treated us with some complimentary house-infused Passion fruit Tequila:

I’m not even a fan of tequila but this was very yummy! He told us how he makes it- they take the pulp if the passion fruit and mash it was tons of sugar and let is macerate. Then they add the tequila and let is sit for about 2-3 months until its sweetened and infused with all the natural flavors of passion fruit. It was very tasty and probably the easiest shot of tequila I had ever taken ;)

All in all our trip was great. We had some mishaps here and there but we made the best of it. It also helped that the weather was amazing and it was low season, so we ate, drank, shopped and traveled as we pleased! I definitely recommend visiting and definitely recommend all the restaurants I highlighted here!

Want some recipes?

  French Onion Soup (veggie!)

  Mediterranean Hush Puppies

  Mango Cupcakes

Ooey Gooey Caramel Nut Tart

June 5, 2012

During my last trip to Boston, I visited Flour Bakery. My boyfriend lives right next door to it and has been raving about it, so I decided to give it a try. I’m sure you’ve heard of Flour- its been featured in many magazines and shows like the Today Show on NBC. The owner and founder Joanne Chang offers an abundant amount of pastries, breads, sweets and sandwiches, but she is particularly famous for her sticky buns. I’m a fan of sticky buns and I think I get it from my Momma.. but I’m talking about the ghetto kind- Pillsbury and Cinnabon yum. Let’s just say Flour’s sticky buns are at a whole other level- they were fresh and moist- dripping with a delicious amount of caramel and pecans. The brioche base was so light and tasty. The sticky buns were an instant hit in my book. You can tell they make their sweets fresh on a daily basis- really makes a difference in taste, texture and quality of the food.

My boyfriend noticed that I really liked Flour and surprised me with the recipe book- I know he’s pretty awesome right?! It’s loaded with scrumptious recipes for pies, tarts, buns, pastries, etc. A lot of them though require some prep work and time. I received the book around Mother’s Day, so I decided to make one of the Flour treats for my mom. I really wanted to make the sticky buns because my mom loves them, but did not have the time. I opted to make a tart. There was no picture in the book for this particular recipe, so I had to use my imagination. But after looking at the ingredients, I knew this was going to be a yummy dessert. I made it a few hours before we celebrated Mother’s Day and was at first a little weary of how it came out. But after I let the tart set for an hour or 2 and it was super delicious and my mommy loved it!

It wasn’t all peaches making this tart though. I unfortunately live next to a pricey gourmet grocery store, so buying 4-5 different types of nuts broke my wallet a bit. They were definitely good quality though so can’t complain there! I also was in the process of making the dough for the tart shell, when I realized that I didn’t have a rolling pin in my apartment kitchen! Once again I had to do some ghetto activities to make the tart work, because I was too far into the process to quit! It’s pretty embarrassing how I made the tart shell, considering the fact that I’m a self-proclaimed chef. Oh well- still tasted good! I also accented the tart with a hint of grapefruit instead of orange, and it turned out very nice!

Ooey Gooey Caramel Nut Tart: 

adapted from Flour

Caramel-Nut filling- substitute grapefruit zest for orange zest in the original recipe

If you’re not drooling by now I’m offended…

Like Caramel? Try these!

  Salted Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cupcakes

  Dulce de Leche Ice Cream

Mango Cupcakes with Mango-Cardamom Buttercream Frosting

May 2, 2012

You would think that as a 1st generation Indian, mango would be one of my favorite fruits. Yeah, it’s definitely…not. I don’t know- for some reason I’m just not into mango. I only like ‘kent’ mangoes, which come during the summer and are fiber-less. Otherwise, mangoes tend to be mushy and fiber-full.

I also think mango flavored things (at least in the US) are not good and taste more like peach if anything. However, I do think mangoes have a beautiful and vibrant color that will light up any dining table. Unlike me, my family, friends and boyfriend love mangoes and since mangoes are currently in season, I decided to create a mango flavored cupcake!

It was pretty easy to make and most of the ingredients are readily available at your grocery store. Let me just say for a person who doesn’t really like mango, these cupcakes were pretty awesome. I add some cardamom to cut the sweetness of the mango and add a bit of depth to the flavor. The mango puree used in this recipe is from an Indian grocery store, however it can be found in a regular grocery store or Asian supermarket. The mango extract is readily available at your regular supermarket.

Mango Cupcakes:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 2/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs- at room temperature
  • 2/3 cups plain yogurt- at room temperature
  • 2 tsp mango extract/essence
  • 1 cup mango puree
  • PAM Baking Flavor

Mango-Cardamom Buttercream Frosting:

  • 3 cups (more or less) confectioners sugar- sifted
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter- at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup mango puree
  • 1 tsp mango extract/essence
  • 1 tsp freshly crushed cardamom
  • 1-2 tbsp milk- I used Skim Plus (optional)

Mango Drizzle (Optional): 

  • Reserved mango puree
  • fresh mango slices
  • crushed cardamom sprinkled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in a cupcake tray and spray with cooking spray.

1. Into a medium-sized bowl sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy. Add each egg one at a time, beating on low well after each addition, then beat in yogurt and mango extract.

2. While the mixer is on low, add flour mixture in about three batches, alternating with mango puree and beginning and ending with flour. BE CAREFUL not to over beat. Pour batter into cups, filling each about 3/4 the way up. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

3. For the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, using a hand mixer, beat the butter for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the mango puree and mango extract. Beat until combined. Slowly add the confectioners sugar until the frosting becomes thicker and stiff. Beat in the cardamom. If you desire a thinner frosting, add a bit of the milk- I added about 1 tbsp. Beat until well combined and desired thickness is achieved. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe onto your cooled cupcakes, drizzle on reserved mango puree and sprinkle with cardamom and a fresh slice of mango.

Makes 24 cupcakes

Like Cupcakes? Try these!

  Vegan Saffron Cupcakes with Rose-Cardamom Frosting

   Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes

  Salted Dulce de Leche Chocolate Cupcakes

Roasted Chili-Garlic Spiced Cashews

April 19, 2012

Having a small dinner party or entertaining a large group of friends? You can never go wrong with serving a bowl of yummy roasted nuts. I like to spice mine up (of course), I mean if you couldn’t tell by now that I love spicy food and cannot do without it, then I don’t know where you’ve been! If you don’t want to serve the same ole’ boring salted “gourmet nut collection,” then check out my recipe for yummy Roasted Chili-Garlic Spiced Cashews This cocktail snack can be made days in advance, or even right before your guest arrive. Apologies for the horrible pictures, but lighting was just so off in my apartment that evening!!

Roasted Chili-Garlic Spiced Cashews: 

  • 2 cups whole cashews (unsalted)
  • PAM Regular/Butter Flavor
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • coarse black pepper- generous amount
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of coriander powder
  • pinch of cumin powder

1.In medium-sized non stick skillet spray with PAM, pour oil and toast cashews over medium flame until lightly coated with oil and light golden brown- please watch, as nuts tend to burn very quickly. Add all of the spices and toss to coat. Toast for a few more minutes until cashews are fragrant and coated well0 be careful they will be very hot. Remove from the pan onto a serving and let cool before serving so they can become crunchy. Taste for salt- if it seems less, just top it with some coarse sea salt. Enjoy!

Need More Appetizer Ideas for a Cocktail Party? Check these out!

  Indian Stuffed Masala Peppers

   Tandoori Tofu Masala

   Mini-Mexican Pizza Towers

Visit to my Alma Mater after 2 years- Boston!

April 10, 2012

I’m sure all of you guys- who have kept up with my blog and have read my ‘Who’s This Priyanka page- know by now that I lived in Boston for 4 years. No, not just for shits n’ giggles, but I actually attended undergrad there- yes, Boston University.

Me and my mommy at my Economics Graduation

Oh, what pleasant (mostly fuzzy) memories I have from my time there. Boston is a beautiful city, but having been born and brought up in NYC and suddenly moving to a much smaller and quieter city is not exactly fun. I felt like Boston was boring with no variety in things to do, places to see, and most importantly in places to eat! Hence, why I did not visit for nearly 2 years once I graduated and got out of there.

Boy, was I in for a surprise this time around. There were many reasons as to why I wanted to visit suddenly, but one thing in particular really got me ready to go- this can be discussed later. In general, I have quite a few friends who still live in Boston so this was a great time to reconnect and see everyone. My boyfriend and my best friend both live in Boston and attend grad school there- the dorkiest of the kind- Med school and Law school. So I guess you can see I had 2 huge incentives to visit Boston.

My bestfriend- Janice- lives in Newton (just outside of Boston), as she attends BC Law School, so I took a bus that goes straight into Newton.

Shortly after, my boyfriend picked me up from her place and we headed to the South End area of Boston (where he lives). Now, I know you’re probably getting excited thinking that this post is about my social endeavors while in Boston, but it’s actually about the amazing food I ate- all thanks to my boo :)

I also met up with some of my other really good friends and even crashed my friends surprise birthday party- yes, classy move on my part.

My boyfriend and I started the weekend off at Toro- this really yummy Spanish Tapas restaurant in the South End of Boston. It’s a restaurant that doesn’t take reservations but is always packed- yeah, it’s one of THOSE. Before we get into details, here are some Quick Rates on Toro:

Quick Rates (1-10, 10 being the best):

  • Food: 9
  • Beverages: 7
  • Service: 8
  • Ambiance: 8
  • Price: 7

We walked in pretty late around 10:45pm and it was packed! There weren’t any tables available, so we opted to sit at the first open seat at the bar. It was actually a good idea cause the service was really fast. They set up our place mats and cutlery and we were on our way to tapas land. My boyfriend had been to the restaurant a few times before, and even though is a carnivore he knew exactly which veggie dishes to order- let’s just say he has pretty good taste :) I ordered a house sangria, which was pretty good, but definitely not the best that I’ve had (Carmen’s next to my house in Staten Island is near and dear to my heart). We started off with Hot Peppers with Sea Salt (obviously this had my name written all over it):

Tortilla Espanola- egg, potato & onion omelet with aioli:

Smoked Mashed eggplants with garlic (similar to my Baba Ghanoush) and of course last by not least their Grilled Corn with Queso Cotija- a traditional Mexican street food. All was served with fresh crusty bread. Everything was so yummy- and I don’t say that very often, but the peppers were roasted to perfection with just the right amount of coarse sea salt. However, they were not spicy at all which was a bit disappointing. The omelet was served in 3 perfect little squared, all perfectly layers with thinly sliced potato and onion and the aioli was so garlicky- it was definitely right up my alley! My favorite was definitely the corn. The first time I ate corn like this was actually from a street vendor in Acapulco, Mexico and it was absolutely amazing, and the corn at Toro was a close 2nd to my original experience! 2 cobs were cut in half and rolled in a generous amount of aioli dressing and topped with a a delicious amount of queso cotija and spices. It was messy and oh so scrumptious.

We also ordered a small Vegetable Paella, but we were so stuffed from the tapas, that we barely even touched this! But it was so good- fresh paella topped with charred-grilled veggies and seasoned just right. I could’ve used some jalapeños, but the taste was very good. Us after our fabulous meal:

The following day for lunch, my boo treated me to another fabulous dining experience at an African- actually Senegalese- restaurant called Teranga. It was actually right next to Toro on the same street. Most of the restaurants in the South End of Boston have their own unique appeal and are pretty much one of a kind. I don’t think I’ve ever eaten at an African restaurant (besides a really disappointing Ethiopian restaurant in NJ a few years ago), so I was excited to try it! Here are some Quick Rates for Teranaga:

Quick Rates (1-10, 10 being the best):

  • Food: 7
  • Beverages: 8
  • Service: 8
  • Ambiance: 6
  • Price: 8

I ordered the Ginger Root juice, even though i was warned that it will be really spicy, however I like ginger and drinks that have a bite to it. My boyfriend ordered the Bouye juice, which is a juice from the  baobab tree. It was sweet and resembled the texture and look of an Indian lassi- actually it tasted like a sweet lassi to me. Mine was lighter and made from fresh ginger root and mixed with pineapple juice, orange blossom water and vanilla sugar.

It was sweet and spicy and warmed my throat as I drank it- I really liked it! Honestly, it might have been a bit strong and overpowering for people, but I like strong and bold flavors. Before I get into detail about our food, I had to say I was very excited about their separate vegetarian menu! In general the food seemed very Indian-ish to me- smiler spices, nutty and warm flavors. For starters, we shared the Accara which were black-eye pea fritters served with a tomato-onion chutney. They tasted very similar to Indian pakoras, but without veggies or spice. I liked them, as they were simple yet satisfying. For my main course I had ordered the Yassa- Marinated grilled vegetables (eggplant, red pepper, green pepper) cooked in a lemon-caramelized onion sauce and served with jasmine rice. My boyfriend ordered the National Dish, which consisted of some herb-stuffed dish, so it really wouldn’t make sense to go into details about that on my blog hehe. My dish almost resembled a Thai curry dish- it came with perfectly cooked pepper, potato, carrots and caramelized onions in a semi-thick lemon sauce with a side of fluffy jasmine rice.

I also asked for hot sauce and they gave me a habanero chutney- YUM!! My dish was really tasty, but just a bit too lemony for me. However, when I added the habanero chutney, it cut a bit of the sourness and tasted really good. The service was also really good- we had a really sweet waitress, who seemed to be amused by my obsession with chilies and spice. All in all it was a great experience, partially because of the food, but mostly because of the company :)

Like these Restaurant Reviews? Check out these in NYC! 

 Richard Sandoval’s Zengo

 Fresco by Scotto

  Mariebelle Chocolate Bar

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes (with Mint & Orange)

March 19, 2012

I’m sure you know by now that I have a huge sweet tooth and will always given in to something chocolatey. I was bored one day and was really in the mood for a strawberry shortcake, but I wanted chocolate as well. So what better way to combine chocolate and strawberries than in a cupcake?! It give’s the look and feel of a strawberry shortcake but is not as heavy and dense as the biscuits in strawberry shortcakes. It’s also easy to make and involves ingredients that are rdily available. It is also one of those “homestyle” desserts- so the appearance does not have to be perfect. When I think of this dessert, I think of a warm southern summer night. Its absolutely scrumptious!

I also add a bit of mint and orange just make it taste even lighter and citrusy.

Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes: 

  • 24 chocolate cupcakes cooled- with 1 tbsp of orange zest added to the batter
  • 1 pint of fresh strawberries- sliced
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 3-4 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • handful of fresh mint- finely chopped

1. In a medium sized bowl add the strawberries, orang juice, orange zest and sugar. Increase/decrease amount of sugar added based on natural sweetness of the berries. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

2. In a large cool and clean metal bowl pour in the heavy cream. Beat on high for about 30 seconds. Slowly add in the sugar and vanilla and continue to beat on medium-high for about 4 minutes until medium-firm peaks form. Shut off mixer and fold in the chopped mint- fold gently using a spatula.

3. Once the chocolate cupcakes have cooled, gently slice the tops off (holding knife against the cupcake liner) and set aside. Take about 1-2 tbsp of the strawberry mixture and top the cupcake with i- drizzling on some liquid to seep into the cake. Top with mint-orange whipped cream and gently place the cupcake lid on top. Top with more cream and a sprig of mint for garnishing.  I recommend assembling the cupcakes right before serving. You can keep the strawberries, cream and cupcake separately int he fridge and assemble right before your guests arrive.

Makes 24 Cupcakes

Like Berries? Like Cupcakes? Like Sweets?

   Orange-Scented Strawberry Shortcake

   Salted Dulce-de-Leche Chocolate Cupcakes

   Sweetheart Cranberry Scones

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