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Cranberry And Cream Scones

Warning: this post is about love!

I like to give my man a little extra attention in the morning because it is truly the only time of the day we can spend "uninterrupted"…you know how it goes, work, hobbies, friends, functions, for some kids and others pets, and before you know it the day is drawing to an end.
I was getting tired of our breakfast selections so when I saw Meeta's invite to her Monthly Mingle, I figured it would be a great way for me to show B. my love and appreciation with one of his favorites, scones. I felt bad the recipe called for heavy cream and butter so to alliviate any guilt I added dried cranberries…it’s good for the heart!

B. could not stop humming his way through the house knowing that he had those waiting for him this morning. After over 8 years of marriage, I am blessed by the fact that he thanks me for every meal or special treat I set out in front of him… I thank him for still opening the car door for me and making sure my tank is full. We are romantics in our own and geeky way. For example, we have a V-Day card contest every single year: who will be the one to give the most Valentine cards, romantic, funny, creepy, dorky, homemade,…. I think I went a little crazy this year…we’ll see!

Big silence of approval from B. regarding these scones and he asked for another batch next week…my heart can’t say no!

Cranberry and Cream Scones, adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Cream Scones:

Makes 8 large ones.

2/3 cup heavy cream

1 egg

2 cups flour

2 Tb sugar

1 Tb baking powder

pinch of salt

5 Tb. cold butter, cut in small morsels

extra sugar for rolling the dough

1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350.
In a small bowl, whisk the cream and the egg. Set aside.
In a separate and larger bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender, 2 forks or your fingers (my choice, I like to play with food), until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cranberries.
Mix in the wet ingredients and mix thoroughly with a spoon or again your hands. Do this fairly quickly to avoid over kneading the dough. Gather into a ball and pat on a sugared board. With a 3 inch cookie cutter, cut out 8 rounds.
Put them on a foil or parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake until golden brown.

Note: I like rolling the dough with sugar on my board and not extra flour. It coats the scones with a light crunch and prevents the dough from getting tough.

Creme Au Nutella and Macarons

I don’t think I have confessed this here yet, but we are Nutella fanatics…us and about 95% of the world! On toast, croissant, brioche, scones, with a spoon, knife, fingers and when gone camping without utensils, with the other end of your toothbrush…never say never it might happen!
I remember letting out a little (ok, an over) excited "yes" when I read about Shelley and Sara co-project to celebrate Nutella Day and spread the love by including other bloggers (round up on the 7th). No way, I’d miss that!

I was reading one of the (many) magazines I brought back from France when I found this recipe and was first attracted by the picture, especially given my recent falling in love with everything in pretty glasses. I thought "hmm, wonder if I could do this cream with Nutella..", well duh! The recipe was for a "Creme au Nutella", I did play around with it and added whipped cream and a few macarons, you know, just for good composure! Well, actually the recipe for the cream calls for only egg yolks so you know what I am tempted to do when I have leftover whites!

Creme Au Nutella:

Serves 6

200 gr. dark chocolate (bittersweet)
1/4 cup Nutella

3 egg yolks
100 gr. sugar
3 cups heavy cream, divided
50 gr. powdered sugar

In a heavy saucepan, heat 2 cups of cream to boiling point. Remove from heat and stir the chocolate and Nutella. Let stand for a couple of minute. Stir until fully incorporated (like a ganache).
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the sugar until pale. Slowly stir the chocolate mixture whith the yolks and sugar. Return to the saucepan and cook over low heat until thickened, about 5 – 8 minutes, much like a pudding. Do not let this boil.Pour the cream in glasses or dishes and refrigerate at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, whip the remaining cup of cream with the powdered sugar until soft peaks form and divide among the glasses.

Macarons Vanille and Nutella:

For the shells:
120 gr. egg whites, divided
35 gr. sugar
150 gr. finely ground almonds
150 gr. powdered sugar
For the boiling syrup:
150 gr. sugar and 50 gr. water

Sift the ground almonds and powdered sugar.
In a stand mixer, whip 60 gr. egg whites to soft peaks, add 35 gr. sugar.
In the meantime, in a saucepan on high heat bring the water and sugar for the syrup to 230 F. on a candy thermometer.Slowly add the boiling syrup to the egg whites and continue to whip on medium – high speed until they are completely cooled and you have a shiny meringue (10-15 minutes).
Mix the remaining 60 gr. of egg whites and the sifted almond/sugar and carefully fold into the meringue.
Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the mixture and pipe macarons about 3 inches in diameter on parchment paper lined baking sheet. You can let them sit at room temperature for 20 minutes if desired. This is often done to assure those little feet at the bottom but I found that I can skip this step with this recipe and still end up with the same result.
Bake at 320 for 15 minutes. Let cool.

For the Chocolate Nutella ganache:

Heat 1/2 cup of heavy cream to boiling point. Remove from heat and stir in 3/4 cup dark chocolate and 2 Tb. Nutella. Let stand 2 minutes. Stir until well incorporated.
Refrigerate until of spreadable consistency.
Fill the macarons shells … and eat!

Forgot to mention I added a layer of straight up Nutella at the bottom of each glass….

Lemon Surprises

I really did not want to call these by their "real" name because of the ill sound it produces in my ear everytime I serve them to guests. They are "lemon sauce puddings"…uh…they are more like a cross between a mousse, a curd and a fallen souffle. They rise a tiny bit once in the oven, the top layer is a perfect tender mousse and when your spoon reaches the bottom you scoop out a nice lemon sauce/ curd. There are many versions of this dessert and the night I made these for guests, I noticed that Lisa posted one of them.

I found this particular one on a site that I love, Lex Culinaria, and the history behind them is as lovely as the outcome:

Lemon Surprises, adapted from Lex Culinaria:

preheat oven to 350F
juice and rind of 1 lemon
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
2 egg yolks
pinch salt
1 cup milk
2 egg whites, beaten until stiff but not dry peaks form

Sift together dry ingredients and combine with yolks. Add in milk, lemon juice and rind. Fold in beaten egg whites.
Spread batter in bottom of 4 ramequins and place baking dish inside a larger baking dish or roasting pan. Fill outer pan with hot water until the water comes halfway up the sides of the pudding dish. Place whole contraption in the oven and bake for 35 minutes.

Blogger Postcards Around The World #2 – Happy Valentine’s

This is the second edition of this postcard exchange organized by the lovely and talented Meeta. It is extremely difficult to find a Valentine related postcard and since I make my own greeting cards, I decided to create this one for….sorry can’t say…! Let’s just say it has to travel some miles and a few ponds….!

Life has a way of getting in the middle of one’s best laid plans and I apologize if it took me a while to blog about it, the card was actually sent last week.

Food And Photography – Guest Posting

Inspiration


Seeing my desserts through a lens, becoming the "director of photography" of my own baking ( and I say that in the lightest way possible, wink!)…I would have never thought I would enjoy it so much, live it so much and want to learn from professional food photographers. That’s why I have always refrained from answering readers' questions about food photography, (vast and subjective topic) but when Leemei from My Cooking Hut asked if I’d be interested to write about my experiences as a food blogger-photographer, I figured it was a sign I needed to sit down and do so.

We all blog differently, we all photograph differently and we all think about it differently, but in the end we all try to do something that is enjoyable and fulfilling for where we are at that moment in our life. Since some of you asked, I hope that you will take this guest post as it is: an account of my experiences and doings in "dessert photography" and not as a "photo 101". I leave that for the books and the pros, who will always be my source of inspiration.
Click for the photography guest post. Thank you Leemei for the opportunity!

Chocolate Cupcakes - Happy Thanksgiving!


That would be rude to leave you without a dessert and a recipe wouldn’t it? My photo subjects for the guest post were chocolate buttermilk cupcakes with cream cheese buttercream. No intense bubbling sugar or multi layer dessert. I know how to kick back and relax too!! Actually I live surrounded by cupcake fiends so once in a while, it feels good to let loose whilst in the middle of baking and photographing for the book. There is something really satisfying in a simple chocolate cupcake, whether it be unwrapping that mini cake or adding sprinkles to it. Something so essential and basic when you are solitary writing and baking, that it brings you back to reality in just a few bites. Especially when your little nephew asks "Auntie Helen, can you make me chocolate cupcakes with snow frosting and plenty of sprinkles on top?"….Ah the simple things are good….

Buttermilk Chocolate Cupcakes:
Makes about 18-20 depending on the size.

4 oz fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 cups hot brewed coffee
2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
¾ cup canola oil
1 ½ cups buttermilk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly coat the inside of your cupcake wrappers with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the chocolate and the hot coffee and let stand, stirring occasionally until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. With your electric mixer, beat together the eggs and sugar until pale and thick (about 5 minutes). Slowly add the oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and the previously melted chocolate mixture to eggs/sugar mixture. Beat until well incorporated. Add the flour mixture in 3 increments and beat until smooth. Divide the batter among your cupcake liners and bake for about 25 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

For the cream cheese buttercream:
1 1/2 sticks (170 gr) butter at room temperature
4 oz (120gr) cream cheese, softened
3 egg whites
1/2 cup (100gr) sugar
2 Tb water
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste or 1/2 vanilla bean split open and seeded.

In the bowl of stand mixer, whip the egg whites until they have soft peaks. In the meantime, combine 2 Tb water with the sugar to a boil in a heavy saucepan and bring the syrup to 250F. Slowly add the sugar syrup to the egg whites. If you use hand beaters, this is even easier and there is less hot syrup splatter on the side of your bowl and in the whisk attachment of the stand mixer. Continue to whip until the meringue is completely cooled. Slowly add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. The mass might curdle but no panic, continue to whip until it all comes together. Add the cream cheese, the same way, a little at a time until everything is smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, or paste or bean. Keep it in the fridge up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to a month.

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Sweet Work Part 2


The second part of my interview with Anita for the release of her book "Field Guide To Cookies" is up in the latest edition of Desserts Magazine! Watch out now….it’s a whole issue of just cookies! Perfect for this month of gift giving. No, I don’t get a cent for promoting the magazine, I just get excited when I see quality work and passion shared for food and baking in particular. Sharing….it’s all about sharing. Now…go get Anita’s book ok?!!!

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops

Having parted with the croissants after such a busy- frenzy -packed folding-rolling weekend (say 3 times fast), I needed something simple to bake and nibble on around the house. I brought back many books from France but I have not had the chance to sit down and really read them through so I picked up Dorie one more time because I was sure to find something homy and for which I would have all the ingredients on hand. So far her recipes have not failed me so my hopes were high and I have to say that one more time, she did not disappoint.
She describes these as "deeply and unswervingly chocolaty-closer to the chocolatiness of a brownie than of a cookie(…) a bit crips at the surface and oatmeal-and-brown-sugar chewy through and through." Could not have said it better. These are delicious and great for a chocoholic!

Chocolate Oatmeal Drops, adapted from Dorie Greenspan, "Baking, From My Home to Yours":

Makes about 50 cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2 sticks (8oz) butter

1 Tb. water

1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar

9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and cinnamon.

Set a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl and add the water, then the brown sugar and the chocolate. Melt on low heat, stirring occasionally. Don’t let the ingredients get too hot, the mixture will remain grainy.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the eggs, one at a time. Whisk in the dry ingredients, then the oats. Do not stir too much.

Drop by tablespoonfuls on parchement paper lined baking sheet and bake for about 12 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool to room temp. The soft center will harden once the cookies are out of the oven.

I Think I Read Wrong…Croissants???

I strongly remember uttering these words one cold morning while spending Christmas at home… Let me give you the lowdown: a couple of months ago, as I was exchanging emails with Lisa, she mentionned that she, Yvonne, Peabody and Brilynn were going to make Biscotti and apost about it on the same day. Would I like to join in? Never the one to refuse an invitation, especially when it involved baking, I jumped on the offer, especially after I read about their first collaboration. It was fun, I had a good time and of course ate too many… Could not wait for the next cross baking post but figured that it would have to wait until after the holidays.
Imagine my surprise when Brilynn emailed her interest in croissants…I did not mean to sound blase or anything but I thought "clearly, she must not have made any or it’s been a while…" and then I put the whole thing out of my mind, well, not really as I was myself on a croissant tasting tour of France!!

I made croissants before….I made kilometers and kilometers of them before…and I have learned to hate to love them….sums it up doesn’t it ladies? I have learned to know what to do with my dough on certain days depending on the weather, I have learned to get butter and dough to the appropriate temperature, to fold, laminate, cut, fold, roll, etc…and each time I love and hate the process. Here is a sample of the conversations held with myself in my head (yep, croissants will do that to you!): did I proof the yeast right? Is this room too drafty? is the butter too warm? maybe it’s the dough. Let it rest. Do I square-fold or rectangle-fold that butter? how many turns is that? dang! They look really big. Remember to egg wash….
When you work in a bakery, there are usually two people making croissants, one folds and turns, one cuts and shapes. Your baking schedule allows you to start the dough early one day and make other pastries and desserts while you fold and turn your dough several times.
At home, you got time to read, clean or relax and if you mess up you won’t have a 6 feet tall Executive Watchdog yell at you unless you are married to one and he is extremely hungry.

Back to the present. When I got home, we all had agreed on croissants (hey I am game for anything, just meant I would have to run a few extra miles), our group now also included Quellia and Veronica. I was really excited about baking with this group as we all come from various countries, different cultural and culinary backgrounds, different moments in life, better-halved or not, with/without children, different jobs, occupations and hobbies. and I knew as I have often learned in a pastry kitchen that it would mean 7 different interpretations, readings and outcomes of the same recipe and that was really great… we had found the essence of baking and cooking, our Holy Grail.

I have relied on the same 2-3 same croissant recipes over the years so I was excited to try this new one from Tartine, and I bow to Veronica’s computer for posting the recipe! The main differences for me was the use of a pre-ferment and a rectangular fold. I had planned to get on the same train as everyone else and start on Friday but my plans got derailed….I thought that over the years my husband had come to understand that when the words "making croissants" are spoken that means "you are on your own Bubbah"…well , my timetable got a little shaken as B. committed us to a dinner with our bestfriends (would not want to miss it) and half the neighborhood ended up in my living room on Sunday afternoon. Talk about making me nervous…I mixed the dough saturday morning, add the butter and gave it a first turn saturday before dinner. Gave it 2 more turns early Sunday and had to wait for the evening to roll, cut and shape. I have learned that too many turns does not necesseraly gives a better croissant so I stopped at 3 turns, but I am glad to see that 4 worked for some of us.
I have to admit that I only strayed in one thing: I used the old square fold (image courtesy of Le Petrin)to incorporate my butter and give the first turn. Why? Old chef taught me that way, I succeeded making them ever since and it became half old habit – half superstition.

As I was the last one the start, I received the blunt of everbody’s fears, excitement, questions, and success as I woke up Sunday morning to 57 emails!!! As the day progressed, pictures starting trickling in and I was cheering "allright!" "you go girl" "oh man!" A sisterhood of croissants, all these women devoting their love of baking to pounds and pounds of butter and flour…with success! Don’t you wish ya’ll were our neighbors?!!

In the end I rolled half the dough for regular small croissants, 1/4 for chocolate ones and I froze the remaining quarter for Marzipan filled one for later. The chocolate ones did not turn up as flaky and moist as I would have wanted, this maybe due to the fact that I waited a while after the last turn and the weather changed on me. I am going to wait a few weeks….I love my arteries too much. If you make them, do not schedule any blood work the week after and deliver them to your neighbors walking not driving, your thighs will thank you!

Tiramisu Verrines

I am having a renewed interest for Italian desserts and a sudden craving for Tiramisu. Since I don’t seem to own that many Italian related cookbooks I dug up this recipe online. I think I must have looked at over 100 Tiramisus and as I often say: "my eyes were burning, my gums were hurting and my stomach was grawling from all that sugar"! , but now my taste buds are dancing!

Like many among us, I will always remember the first time I had (good) Tiramisu. My parents had taken my brother and I on a little excursion to Italy. We were staying in the Alps so it was a quick hop and we stop in a small village and entered the first restaurant we found open. I believe that I am the only one in the family to remember the whole thing but it was truly my first foodie experience. Everything we were served that afternoon was made fresh by the chef. He was alone in the kitchen, cooking us freah trays of antipasti, freah ravioli, salads and desserts. My father loves Tiramisu and never fails to order one at Italian restaurant he visits,(no joke), so you can bet that he was not going to pass on the opportunity to sample another!
I will always remember the look of satisfaction in his eyes after taking the first bite, that nod of his head toward my plate to tell me I could go ahead I would not be disappointed. My excitement was building up, my first grown up dessert! So classic in its black and white attire, so full of promises with its creamy interior. That particular Tiramisu set the standard for my expectations of a good Tiramisu: a subtle balance of espresso, brandy, cheese, cream and cookie.

You will find many different ways to make Tiramisu and I have yet to be sure of the "authentic" one. Some conain eggs, some whipped cream, some start with a sabayon/zabaglione, some use thin European ladyfingers, some prefer Savoiardi cookies. One thing for sure: use only the best mascarpone cheese you can find. I really hesitated between Mario and Tyler for this recipe. I tried not to be influenced by the reviewers. I really wanted to make Mario’s version, his being if Italian descent and all, but in the end Tyler’s won…and no not because he is a cutie (and Lisa won’t disagree with me…!), but because it did not seem as dry. I am sure I’ll eventually try Mario’s and compare. This one is a kepper, flavorful, creamy, dense, complex.

Tiramisu, adapted from Tyler Florence:

Serves 10 (small glasses)

7 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup brandy, plus 2 tablespoons

8 ounces mascarpone, softened to room temperature

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup brewed espresso coffee

1 ounce dark chocolate

1/4 cup rum

1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract

30 savoiardi cookies, broken in small pieces

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Cream together egg yolks and sugar in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Add 1/3 cup of the brandy and continue to whisk until mixture is thick and doubled in volume. Remove from heat. Stir in the mascarpone until completely blended.

In a chilled bowl, whip the heavy cream to soft peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture, to lighten.
In a small saucepan, combine espresso, chocolate, rum, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons brandy. Heat gently, and stir to dissolve the chocolate. Then, chill the mixture to cool it down, about 15 minutes.

Divide the broken cookies pieces in the glasses and spoon enough of the coffee mixture to soak them. Spread 1/2 the mascarpone cream evenly with a spatula on top of the cookies. Repeat with a second layer of cookies, more coffee and remaining mascarpone cream. Whip the remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream to soft peaks. Top each glass with some whiped cream. Sprinkle top with cocoa powder. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.

I think I could have way too many of these in one sitting. They are delicious! I am 8 again!

Chocolate Kahlua Souffles

I hope I have not missed the deadline…I might have by a few hours… I am talking about my first participation in "Hay, Hay, it’s Donna Day", a monthly event hosted this time by Running With Tweezers.

The theme this month gave me the possibility to make one of my to-go desserts when only a few ingredients are on hand and I want to impress guests with a minimum of fuss. Really, once you get over the fear of the whole "Oh My, Souffles…", there is nothing easier to do. If you know how to whip eggs to a stiff foam, then you’re set.
I like the fact that souffles carry that mystic aura around them but I wish novice cooks were not that afraid about making them. It is truly fun to see a little puddle of egg whites foam up in the oven and then quickly turn its ugly head by deflating on you the moment you start breathing a sigh of relief because you succeeded. Souffles are deceiving like that, yet comforting, like resting your head on a pillow. I love digging my spoon into one, releasing that cloud of aromas and flavors. I love that they feel so light on my tongue with a glass of wine. I love that I feel no guilt if I have one (or 2) for dessert and I love the thousands of possible flavors you can spend a lifetime exploring in just one dessert.

I was pressed for time but did not want to miss the chance of baking one of my favorites, a chocolate Kahlua souffles. Obviously the alcohol can be changed at your heart’s content but coffee and chocolate are definetely a good pair.

Chocolate and Kahlua Souffles, inspired by these:

Serves 4

1.5 oz (40 g) butter

1.5 oz (40 g) flour

1/4 pint (150 ml) milk

1/8 pint (75 ml) Kahlua

4 oz (100 g) plain or milk chocolate

1.5 oz (40 g) sugar

2 eggs, separated

Melt the butter in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the flour. Stir until smooth. Place the milk and chocolate pieces in a saucepan and heat until the chocolate melts.
Pour onto the butter and flour mixture, return to low heat and stir until the mixture thickens a bit. Remove from the heat. Add the sugar, liqueur and egg yolks, and mix well.

Whisk the two egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the chocolate mixture. Turn into 4 greased ramekin dishes. Cover and place in a roasting tin with 1-inch (2.5 cm) water.

Bake at 190C/375F/gas mark 5 for 40-50 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wait a minute! These don’t look souffle-ish…! Well, this is an actual picture of a souffle in the deflating phase…seriously! The reason? Batteries put in the wrong way in the camera and the following 40 seconds delay in the picture shot which gave enough time for that little marvel to show it’s ugly side…oh well, it is still delicious.

Chestnut Cupcakes & Swirled Chocolate Frosting

I can never resist a sweet blogging event and when Cheryl of Cupcake Bakeshop and Garrett of Vanilla Garlic announced a Cupcake Round Up event, my mind started salivating….Oh yeah, by now it is not my mouth anymore…!

I have had less time these past few days to be as creative as I would like to (more personal training clients, crafts projects to finish up…) but I did not want to miss the opportunity to show up with something of my own at this event.
I had half a can of chestnut puree left from the other day so I looked for a recipe that would allow me to include it in the ingredient list without perturbing the other liquid/dry ingredient ratios.I got inspired by this recipe from Magnolia Bakery and the frosting came about according to what I add in the pantry and refrigerator. I love cream cheese frosting, I love chocolate and I love chestnuts. I did not want the frosting to be too sweet so I reduced the amount of powdered sugar one would normally use and used bittersweet chocolate. It was perfect to balance the smoothness of the chestnut. i kept them on the small side as B. is trying to watch his sweets intake and they made a perfect little bite to have with coffee after dinner.

Chestnut Cupackes with Swirled Cream Cheese and Chocolate Frosting, adapted from Magnolia Bakery:

Makes 12

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 ounces chestnut puree
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Frosting:
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
2Tb. butter, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
4 oz. melted chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake papers. Set aside.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the chestnut puree. Mix well.
Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk and vanilla.
Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

For the frosting: in a large mixing bowl, use a spatula to mix well the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar.
Paint the inside of a pastry bag fitted with a plain round tip with the melted chocolate. Spoon the cream cheese mixture in the bag and decorate the cupcakes in whirly motion.

End result? I made them on tuesday and they are already gone…talk about self restriction! Bad me!