Zucchini Parmesan Muffins with Fresh Mozzarella and Ham Fillings

I started getting complaints from my kiddo because of the recent cease of baking. Well, there’s still no time for baked sweets, but I thought these muffins, although savory, could rehabilitate me. I served them warm with a green salad and a chicken effortlessly grilled whole on a beer can. Turned out a pretty decent lunch.

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Ricotta Lemon Rosemary Cupcakes with Tomato Jam Filling

I probably have never gone so long without posting. But it seems an unfortunate habit for me to pick up some nasty flu virus when the flu season is already over and everybody else but me enjoys outdoors, warm weather and sunshine. I had a miserable week. And I haven’t baked anything since. These cupcakes I made just before. I was recently interviewed by The Globe & Mail regarding homemade cheeses and, after a photo session, had a whole batch of fresh ricotta left on hands. Always happy to experiment, I put the cheese into a good use.

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Oat and Carrot “Marmalade” Muffins with Orange Glaze

I like this carrot jam and make it often. This is not the marmalade, but its intense citrus flavor and the texture reminiscent to orange peel always fool everyone. If you are not very exciting about making the carrot jam, but want to give these muffins a try, any marmalade (homemade or store-bought) should do the trick just as well. To be honest, I was basically throwing whatever I had on hand (carrot jam it was) into my mixing bowl. Nevertheless, the muffins turned out perfect.

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Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes with Caramel Buttercream Frosting

I had almost started making these when I realized I was out of praline paste. I did want the frosting to be caramel, but I didn’t have neither intention nor time for making praline at that moment. Instead, I quickly fixed caramel crème anglaise and then turned it into the buttercream. I liked the outcome. The caramel flavor was there, and the texture was perfect for piping – soft, but also very stable.

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Triple Banana Double Caramel Mini Cupcakes

This is my basic and the most often used banana-bread formula. I do vary flavors, play with different flours, but I usually keep the proportions of the main ingredients the same. The bread is moist but not wet or sticky, just as good as any banana bread should be. I bake this batter as a loaf, cake layers or cupcakes, according to my mood or need.

Let me explain the cupcakes’ weird name. They are indeed banana cupcakes (banana number 1), filled with banana caramel (banana number 2, caramel number 1) and frosted with caramel cream cheese frosting (caramel number 2), and garnished with banana chips (banana number 3).

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Devil’s Mini-Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

I made these little cakes for my son’s school birthday party. We’d been arguing for a while if they should (or should not) have colored sprinkles on their tops. Tim kept saying that the sprinkles could significantly increase the cupcakes’ popularity. Well, I had my own counterarguments, and I won after all. They were very well received nevertheless. The cupcake batter is a famous Flo Braker’s devil’s food cake; the one that Alice Medrich tried to improve but couldn’t make it any better. It is delicious, moist and tender, very American, but without so commonly excessive overalkalized cocoa flavor.

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