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Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes

With 50 Decidedly Grown-Up Recipes

Allison Robicelli - Author

Matt Robicelli - Author

ePub eBook | $16.99 | add to cart | view cart
ISBN 9781101607176 | 320 pages | 17 Oct 2013 | Studio | 18 - AND UP
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Summary of Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes Summary of Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes Reviews for Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes An Excerpt from Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes
The ultimate guide to gourmet cupcakes, featuring grown-up flavors (figs! whiskey! fried chicken!) and the delicious story of a family saved by a love of sweets
 
No food coloring. No fondant. No red velvet. Upscale bakery Robicellis has become a buzzed-about, in-demand purveyor of decidedly adult cupcakes. Nixing cutesy, pastel-colored dollops of fluff for real ingredients and rich French buttercreams, the husband and wife team have reinvented the cupcake craze for a more sophisticated palate, making each a small piece of the greatest cake ever made. Now their extraordinary recipes are available to the home cook.
 
Now their extraordinary recipes are available to the home cook, including:
  • The Laurenzano (fresh fig cake topped with goat cheese buttercream, fig balsamic gastrique, and crisp prosciutto flakes)
  • The Brooklyn Blackout Cake (chocolate cake with chocolate custard buttercream, dipped in homemade fudge and rolled in chocolate cake crumbs)
 
This book captures not only the Robicellis unique take on baking but also their edgy, unapologetically hilarious take on life, including how they survived severe economic setbacks to launch the countrys hottest cupcake brand a venture begun with thirty dollars in borrowed quarters.
 
Offering both cupcake recipes and a recipe for life that calls for a stash of emergency cake, Robicellis: A Love Story, with Cupcakes is a baking book like youve never seen before.


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Apple Maple Crisp

Every apple-picking day we return with roughly one hundred pounds of apples to be eaten by two adults and two small children. Truthfully, I end up eating about six apples a year, so I don’t know who I’m kidding bringing home all these goddamn apples. I tell myself, “I’m going to make a bunch of my famous apple pies,” but even if I do find the time between being a mom, keeping up with the house, running a business, and screwing around on the Internet, at best I’m going to use up a small fraction of those apples. Plus for every time I’ve promised it, I’ve never actually gotten around to making a single pie (next year, though! For real!). We could make a giant pot of applesauce before the entire lot of it rots, but no one likes applesauce that much. When was the last time you watched someone eat a giant bowl of applesauce?

Apple butter, on the other hand, seems a little more gourmet. It can be put into jars and canned, which can then be stored for ages or given away for Christmas a few short months later. If you’re not the canning type, store plastic containers of it in the freezer.

Use it throughout the year on your morning toast, on peanut butter or turkey and Brie sandwiches, with pork chops, mixed into oatmeal, poured into a graham cracker crust

with some vanilla pudding, or my personal favorite—dollop on top of vanilla ice cream with crushed-up shortbread for a one-minute “deconstructed apple pie à la mode.”

Matt says: “Deconstructed” desserts are a fancy way of rearranging ingredients in classic recipes, then charging thirteen dollars for them in a trendy restaurant.

Because apple butter requires a long cooking time at low and slow temperatures, we make ours in the oven, though in a home kitchen, we recommend using a slow cooker because it’s going to make your life a hell of a lot easier. Start that at least twenty-four hours before you’re going to make the rest of this recipe or, if you can’t wait that long, just use store bought.

Slow-Cooker Apple Butter

3 Pounds cooking apples

1 cup apple cider

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup grade B maple syrup

¼ cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 vanilla bean, split

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Apple Cake

2 cups of peeled, shredded, drained, and pressed apples (about 2 large cooking apples)

1 cup granulated sugar

¾ cup brown sugar

1/ 3 cup grade B maple syrup

1 cup canola oil

4 large eggs plus 1 large egg white, lightly beaten

2¼ cups all-purpose flour, sifted, plus extra if needed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

Vanilla Buttercream

One recipe French Buttercream (or American Frosting)

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Maple Oat Crisp

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, softened

1½ cups quick-cooking oats

¾ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¼ cup grade B maple syrup

½ cup all-purpose flour

To Finish

Grade A maple syrup

Slow -Cooker Apple Butter

Peel, core, and finely chop the apples, reserving any juices that come out of them.

Place in the slow-cooker pot with the apple cider, granulated sugar, brown sugar, maple syrup, lemon juice, salt, vanilla bean, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and nutmeg. Set to low for 9 hours. If you want to do this before you go to bed, that would be smart—you’ll be using your time wisely, and wake up to a house that smells amazing.

Remove the lid of the pot, give the mixture a good stir, then set to high and continue to cook for another 3 hours to allow the excess moisture to evaporate and the flavors to concentrate. If for any reason the apple butter gets too thick, add more apple cider,

¼ cup at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Fish out the vanilla bean. Transfer the apple butter to a food processor and blend until smooth. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use an immersion blender, or just leave the butter slightly chunky. It’s not really “butter” that way, but it is still delicious.

Apple Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 baking cups.

In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine the apples granulated sugar, and brown sugar and mix on medium-low until well combined, about 1 minute.

With the mixer running, slowly pour in the maple syrup, canola oil, and eggs.

Continue mixing until combined. Stop the mixer, remove the bowl and paddle, and use the paddle to scrape the insides of the bowl, making sure everything is fully incorporated.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, and nutmeg, and add to the batter. Mix on medium until just combined, 10 to 20 seconds.

Remove the bowl and paddle from the mixer and use the paddle to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, ensuring that everything is well mixed.

Scoop the batter into the prepared baking cups, filling them three quarters of the way.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

The cupcakes are done when the centers spring back when you touch them.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven and let to cool completely while you make the oat crisp and buttercream.

Matt says: Achtung! Depending on the kind of apples you use, your cake batter may appear a little loose and watery. If this happens to you, add another 2 tablespoons flour, then allow the batter to sit in the refrigerator for 10 minutes or so to allow it to hydrate a bit before baking.

Maple Oat Crisp

Increase the oven temperature to 375° F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.

In the mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, oats, brown sugar, and salt on high speed until well mixed. Drizzle in the maple syrup.

Turn the mixer to low and add the flour, a bit at a time, until the mixture is crumbly.

Crumble the oat crisp loosely across the baking sheet, letting the mixture fall through your finger in small clumps.

Bake for 5 minutes, remove the pan, stir the crisp to redistribute, then bake for another 5 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool completely before using.

Vanilla Buttercream

Prepare the recipe for French buttercream:

This is it—the star of the show, the main event, the most important part of our cupcakes—buttercream! (celebrating mime)

As this is French buttercream, this is tres, tres serious. You will pay attention, follow along, and execute these directions! C’est Sérieux!

You need:

5 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 cups guar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons corn syrup

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 ½ lb cold butter—preferably European

Now let’s do this! Oeil du tigre, bítchés!

In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, add water, then add sugar, corn syrup, & cream of tartar. The last 2 help keep the sugar from crystallizing. (Candy thermometer. Non-negotiable!)

Put the pot on high heat. It’s going to be there for a while. Be patient and keep your eye on it. Don’t go walking away & watching TV or something.

Put yolks & eggs in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment & turn to high. (WEEE!!!) Just let it go! Eggs will triple in volume & go to “ribbons stage.” You can’t overwhip!

Wait on the sugar—looking for 235 degrees, aka “soft ball.” When it happens, be ready to move quickly. Turn off the mixer & add xanthan gum, turn to medium. Remove the thermometer from hot sugar. Lift with two hands.

Rest the lip of the saucepan on the edge of the mixer bowl. Slowly tilt & pour sugar in a sloooow steady stream down the side of the bowl. Don’t go too fast! If you do there will be chunks of scrambled eggs in your buttercream.

Once sugar is all in, turn the mixer to high. (WEEE!!! [AGAIN!]) Beat til cool. Gauge this by putting the inside of your wrist to the outside of the bowl. It’s more accurate than your hands.

Switch out the whisk for the paddle. Next we’re adding the butter. It’s too heavy for the whisk and you’ll end up breaking your stand mixer if you stay with the whisk.

Start cutting the butter into thin pieces—you could shave it with a cheese slicer if you’d like. Add butter piece by piece—pain in the derriere, yes, but we’re making an emulsion.

See, if you dump all the butter in at once, the butter & eggs will never combine properly, & you’ll have a “broken” buttercream. You’ll be able to identify this easily—it’ll be a chunky, watery, hot mess.

If your buttercream does break, you can fix it! Turn to medium-high, then add a little more butter, piece by piece, til fixed. Or try adding a little guar gum! This is very strong, so add a pinch & beat for a minute, then check.

Once your butter is added, turn the mixer to med/high to add some air—ten, twenty seconds at most. Quelle Magnifique! It should be fluffy & make you want to eat it with your fingers.

Once you have your base, there’s so many ways to flavor it! Coffee powder! Vanilla beans! Dutch cocoa! Peanut butter! Caramel! Ham! *Ok, maybe not ham. Party pooper.

Congratulations! You did it! You made French buttercream! You are a god amongst men!

While adding the butter, also add the vanilla.

Assembly

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip with the vanilla buttercream and pipe onto each apple cupcake.

Using the back of a teaspoon, make a small divot in the center of each cupcake, about 1 inch wide.

Fill with a generous scoop of the cooled apple butter.

Sprinkle the oat crisp across the top of each cupcake. Serve immediately or refrigerate until 10 to 30 minutes before serving.

Before serving, drizzle each cupcake with a small
 

*  *  *

 

Cinnamon Bun

What’s more comforting on a cold, rainy day than a warm, gooey cinnamon bun? Maybe curling up in a soft robe with a nice hot cup of tea, watching bad movies on Lifetime starring Valerie Bertinelli as some sort of woman “scorned.” Or lying on the couch while an entire litter of kittens sleeps peacefully on your chest. Or sitting in front of a fireplace doing crossword puzzles while listening to Sade’s smooth-as-satin voice.

Okay, maybe there are a lot of things more comforting than cinnamon buns, but you know what? You can’t eat kittens or Sade, so there.

The key part to any worthwhile cinnamon bun, in our opinion, is the sticky “goo” that oozes out. So rather than make just a simple cinnamon cake, we dot ours with a cinnamon sugar mixture that sinks to the bottom during baking and oozes out when you unwrap it. There’s no shame in using a knife and fork to eat this one.

Cinnamon Goo

4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted

1/ 3 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Vanilla Cake

4 large eggs

12 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

1¾ cups granulated sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

Cinnamon goo (from above)

Cinnamon Streusel

6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Cinnamon Butterscotch

½ recipe butterscotch

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Cream Cheese Buttercream

One recipe French Buttercream (or American Frosting)

One 8-ounce package cream cheese

¼ teaspoon guar gum (optional)

Cinnamon Goo

Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon together in a bowl until the mixture looks like wet sand. Note that this mixture will not come together all the way—that’s totally normal. Don’t beat yourself up thinking you’re doing something wrong. Set aside.

Vanilla Cake

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with 12 baking cups.

Melt the butter in a microwave at 60% power for 1½ to 2 minutes. Keep the butter warm—do not allow it to sit and cool off.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs on medium-low speed for 2 minutes until light yellow and lightly foamy.

Increase the mixer speed to medium-high. Pour the warm butter into the eggs slowly, so that the mixture tempers and the eggs do not scramble. Once the butter is added, reduce the speed to medium-low.

With the mixer running, add the milk, vanilla, and salt. Mix for 1 minute until well combined.

Sift together the flour, granulated sugar, and baking powder and add to the batter. Mix on medium until just combined, 10 to 20 seconds. Remove the bowl and paddle from the mixer and use the paddle to scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl, ensuring that everything is well mixed.

Scoop the batter into the prepared baking cups, filling them two thirds of the way.

Using a teaspoon, mix the cinnamon goo once again to reincorporate the butter and sugar. Place random small dollops of the goo over each unbaked cupcake.

Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through.

The cupcakes are done when the centers spring back when you touch them.

Remove the cupcakes from the oven. Let cool for 5 minutes. Leave the oven on to bake the streusel.

Cinnamon Streusel

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt in a clean bowl of the mixer on medium speed until the mixture looks like small pebbles. If the mixture is still too smooth, add more flour, 1 teaspoon at a time, until the desired consistency is reached.

Sprinkle the streusel over the baking sheet, making sure there are no large clumps.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, rotating the pan once, until golden brown.

Cinnamon Butterscotch

Butterscotch

12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter

1¼ cups brown sugar (we use light, but dark is fine too)

1 teaspoon corn syrup

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup heavy cream

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon bourbon (optional)

Melt the butter in a medium heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan, over low to medium heat.

When the butter is melted, immediately dump in all the brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt and increase the heat to medium-high. Using a wooden spoon, stir the mixture near constantly, making sure you get into those corners so there’s nothing hiding, just waiting to burn and ruin all your hard work.

We’re going to keep cooking and stirring this for about 5 minutes, and we’re going to be judging our next move based on sight. Initially, the sugar mixture will look like wet sand. In a few moments, it’s going to start looking like molten lava, bubbling up and spitting at you. This is good! Just don’t forget to keep stirring! Shortly, it’s going to stop looking like lava and stop feeling heavy like wet sand. This means the sugar is melting and we’re ready to add the cream.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and, standing back a bit so you don’t burn your face off, slowly pour in all the cream. Slowly stir with your wooden spoon (corners! Don’t forget!), making sure all the sugar mix gets incorporated with the cream.

Turn the heat to low and return your pan to the stove. Replace your trusty wooden spoon with a sturdy wire whisk (well done, spoon). Simmer the butterscotch for 8 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat, transfer to a heatproof bowl, and stir continuously for 1 minute off the heat. Add the vanilla and bourbon, if using, and continue to stir until well combined. When it is cool enough to the touch, taste the butterscotch for seasoning and add more salt, vanilla, or bourbon to taste

You’ll need only half of it for this recipe, but feel free to make a full recipe and store the other half in your refrigerator for another use.

Once the butterscotch is cooked, stir in the cinnamon. Set aside to cool.

Cream Cheese Buttercream

For French buttercream:

This is it—the star of the show, the main event, the most important part of our cupcakes—buttercream! (celebrating mime)

As this is French buttercream, this is tres, tres serious. You will pay attention, follow along, and execute these directions! C’est Sérieux!

You need:

5 egg yolks

1 whole egg

1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum

2 cups guar

1 cup water

2 tablespoons corn syrup

¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

1 ½ lb cold butter—preferably European

Now let’s do this! Oeil du tigre, bítchés!

In a heavy nonreactive saucepan, add water, then add sugar, corn syrup, & cream of tartar. The last 2 help keep the sugar from crystallizing. (Candy thermometer. Non-negotiable!)

Put the pot on high heat. It’s going to be there for a while. Be patient and keep your eye on it. Don’t go walking away & watching TV or something.

Put yolks & eggs in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment & turn to high. (WEEE!!!) Just let it go! Eggs will triple in volume & go to “ribbons stage.” You can’t overwhip!

Wait on the sugar—looking for 235 degrees, aka “soft ball.” When it happens, be ready to move quickly. Turn off the mixer & add xanthan gum, turn to medium. Remove the thermometer from hot sugar. Lift with two hands.

Rest the lip of the saucepan on the edge of the mixer bowl. Slowly tilt & pour sugar in a sloooow steady stream down the side of the bowl. Don’t go too fast! If you do there will be chunks of scrambled eggs in your buttercream.

Once sugar is all in, turn the mixer to high. (WEEE!!! [AGAIN!]) Beat til cool. Gauge this by putting the inside of your wrist to the outside of the bowl. It’s more accurate than your hands.

Switch out the whisk for the paddle. Next we’re adding the butter. It’s too heavy for the whisk and you’ll end up breaking your stand mixer if you stay with the whisk.

Start cutting the butter into thin pieces—you could shave it with a cheese slicer if you’d like. Add butter piece by piece—pain in the derriere, yes, but we’re making an emulsion.

See, if you dump all the butter in at once, the butter & eggs will never combine properly, & you’ll have a “broken” buttercream. You’ll be able to identify this easily—it’ll be a chunky, watery, hot mess.

If your buttercream does break, you can fix it! Turn to medium-high, then add a little more butter, piece by piece, til fixed. Or try adding a little guar gum! This is very strong, so add a pinch & beat for a minute, then check.

Once your butter is added, turn the mixer to med/high to add some air—ten, twenty seconds at most. Quelle Magnifique! It should be fluffy & make you want to eat it with your fingers.

Once you have your base, there’s so many ways to flavor it! Coffee powder! Vanilla beans! Dutch cocoa! Peanut butter! Caramel! Ham! *Ok, maybe not ham. Party pooper.

Congratulations! You did it! You made French buttercream! You are a god amongst men!

Once completed, add the cream cheese and beat on high until well incorporated. If the cream cheese is particularly liquidy, it could cause the buttercream to “break.” If that happens, add the guar gum and continue beating on high for 2 minutes until the mixture comes back together.

Assembly

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a fluted tip with the cream cheese buttercream and pipe onto each vanilla cupcake.

Sprinkle the streusel crumbs over each cupcake.

Using a teaspoon, drizzle the cinnamon butterscotch over each cupcake.

Half-Assed Corner

Skip the cinnamon streusel and used crushed cinnamon-flavored cereal instead.

“Delicious, decadent, and velvety smooth, the Robicelli’s famous French buttercream recipe alone is worth the price of this book. Such wonderful recipes! And James Joyce's Ulysses stream of conscious has nothing on Allison's stream of Brooklyn. You will laugh-out-loud and ache in pain through the love and struggles of these two great creative pastry chefs. You have to get this book.”
—Shirley O. Corriher, author of CookWise and BakeWise
 
“You need this book because it’s freaking hysterical. A serious cookbook that doesn’t take itself so seriously. It’s absolutely genius.”
—Johnny Iuzzini, James Beard Award-winning pastry chef and author of Dessert Fourplay
 
“This book is truly one-of-a-kind! No one until now has had the ‘balls’ (as Allison might say) to write a book like this. And I am so happy the Robicellis did.”
—Amanda Freitag, chef and TV personality
 
“The Robicellis are a living legend and their baked creations are nothing short of mystical.” 
—Cathy Erway, author of The Art of Eating In
 
“If you think all cupcakes are the same and nothing special, you haven't tried Robicelli's. This book is a beautiful and witty love story filled with passion and amazingly delicious recipes.”
—Fany Gerson, author of My Sweet Mexico
 
“This is the book for when you need to impress diplomats, TV chefs and future in-laws. Plus you learn how to make the fancy French buttercream that really pisses off other adults at your kid's party.”
—Siobhan Wallace, author of New York a La Cart
 
“Bonnie and Clyde had bullets; Allison and Matt have cupcakes. That's the major difference between two otherwise old-fashioned love stories.”
—Doug Quint, owner of Big Gay Ice Cream
 
“This cookbook is tender like fried chicken, sweet like buttercream, and salty like caramel sauce. It does not pussyfoot around. You will never make a better cupcake in your life— take THAT, elementary-school bake-sale suckas!”
—Liz Gutman, author of The Liddabit Sweets Candy Cookbook


“Laugh out loud funny.”-- The New York Times

“The funniest blogger in the Brooklyn food scene.” --Scoutmob

“Best cupcakes in NYC— seriously.” --Edible Brooklyn



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