Welcome to the Eframo Family Blog

I'm so happy that you are interested in getting the latest and greatest from our family! We hope you enjoy posts from Melissa, Steve, Brittain, Christian (wait 'til you see his mad skillz on the keyboard), and....well, Rowan is still only banging (and breaking!) the keys, so no updates from her, but there will be plenty ABOUT her!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Chocolate Ganache Cupcake Recipe

Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes-from America's Test Kitchen

Ganache filling:
2 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/4 c heavy cream
1 Tbsp confectioner's sugar

Chocolate cupcakes:
3 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine
1/3 c (1 oz) dutch-processed cocoa
3/4 c hot coffee
3/4 c (4 1/8 oz) bread flour
3/4 c (5 1/4 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 recipe frosting (I have a good one for buttercream and chocolate buttercream if you need)

For Ganache filling:
Place chocolate, cream, and confectioner's sugar in medium microwave-safe bowl.  Heat in microwave for 20-30 seconds.  Whisk until smooth;transfer bowl to refrigerator and let stand until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

For cupcakes:  
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350.  Line standard size muffin pan with baking-cup liners.  Place chocolate and cocoa in medium bowl.  Pour hot coffee over mixture and whisk until smooth.  Set in fridge to cool completely, about 20 minutes.  Whisk flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda together in medium bowl;set aside.  Whisk oil, eggs, vinegar, and vanilla into cooled chocolate-cocoa mixture until smooth.  Add flour mixture and whisk until smooth.  Divide batter evenly among muffin pan cups.  Place one slightly rounded teaspoon of the ganache filling on top of each cupcake.  Bake until cupcakes are set and just firm to touch, 17-19 minutes.  Cool cupcakes in muffin pan on wire rack until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.  Carefully lift each cupcake from muffin pan and set on wire rack.  Cool to room temperature before frosting, about 1 hour.

Recommended bittersweet chocolate:  Ghiradelli bittersweet baking bar
Recommended dutch processed cocoa:  Ghiradelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa

Not Martha Stewart, but I have fun trying!

Lots of fun times in the Eframo household lately!  We've had our fair share of this darn cold getting passed from one family member to the next, to the next, and then back to the original pint-sized preschooler who this bug has originated from.  It amazes me the amount of little bugs that make their way through a preschool classroom and end up infecting most of the family.  I guess the flu shot is a must this season!  So as several of us have been battling boogers and nasty coughs we have been able to get a lot of good ol' family time in.  Mostly consisting of sibling fights, an occasional board game, too much TV, and cupcakes galore....I like to bake when I get bored :).  And baking in our household is nothing like the experiences I see Martha Stewart having in her kitchen!  There's Christian shoveling in the chocolate chips quicker than I can measure them out and Rowan who has quite the ability to sniff out cupcake batter from beyond the fridge door and lick her way through all of our hard work to keep that batter germ free.  And just when we are finally able to get those puppies frosted I ask Brittain why the frosting is a giant, heaping clump that I can't even manage to spread.  "Uhhhhhhh, well, maybe I put in a little more powdered sugar than I was supposed to?"  Well, yes, adding 3 cups instead of the 1 cup the recipe called for will make that frosting a little difficult to work with.  The more sugar, the better, according to Brittain!  Needless to say, our cupcakes were not the prettiest, but they were delicious!  Every last crumb was eaten, even from the cupcake labeled "POOP" that Brittain cleverly decorated by adding a giant pile of very sugary chocolate frosting to.  After the hyperness wore off and the last cupcake was eaten, it was fun to look back and laugh at the experience of such novice bakers!  I wouldn't trade it for the world!  I will post this cupcake recipe for all of you to enjoy.  I hope you and your family have as much fun making them as ours did!  Happy Baking!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"I'll never find the time to......"

blog!  I've wanted to start a family blog for months and months and months, maybe even years.  It's just one of the many things that I've really wanted to do, but never found the time.  Who knew that after having our third child I would finally find the time?!  For the moments of peace that I get while the kids are napping, I would like to actually do something that I enjoy....atleast once in awhile.  God knows there are plenty of dishes to wash, laundry to put in, beds to be made, and the quick shower that I have now mastered in about 2 minutes, but I want more out of life.  Dishes, laundry, and all of that (ok, maybe not the 2 minute shower) can wait, and this is something that I'm learning now.  I know that some little fairy is not going to come and take care of the dishes, the laundry, and whatever odd smell is coming from the refrigerator, but I can always do all of this later....or wait until Steve gets home, or get a maid, or have my pre-teen start actually helping out around the house :).  Often times in life we lose sight of the things that we are passionate about.  Although my children and husband are my biggest passion, there is more to my life than that.  It took me awhile, but I finally put together a list of all of the things that I am most passionate about.  Writing was right there at the top, along with baking, party planning, decorating, photography, exercise, nutrition, and the Kansas Jayhawks.  Then it hit me.....blogging would be a way that I can include everything that I'm passionate about into one little weekly entry.  So that's my plan and thanks for being a part of it!  And maybe along the way I'll find other things that I am passionate about!  What do I have to lose?!?!  I'm really excited and can't wait to get started!  So enough about me and on to the reason you all came to check out my blog......the Eframo family update!

The kids are growing up so quickly!  A close friend of ours just recently said to me, "So is Rowan already 6 months old?"  And yes, it was a close friend that we had not seen in awhile, but not THAT long!  "Ummmmm, are you kidding?"  was my initial response, but soon realized they were serious.  I can barely remember Rowan at 6 months because it has been so long!  I often hear people say to enjoy the time with your children while they are young because it goes by so fast.  So true!  Brittain is now 11 and 1/2 (as we just celebrated her 1/2 birthday....yes, I do think 1 birthday a year is plenty, but she does not), Christian is 4, and Rowan is 13 months (not 6 months!).  They definitely keep us busy, but they also keep us so happy!  Brittain is playing softball for her school for the second year now.  They did not have enough girls on the Varsity team, so they bumped them all up to Varsity.  So she is learning so much this year and really doing a great job!  She is really enjoying school, but definitely learning to balance her time between her activities and her education.  We don't see much of her during the week as she is buried in her books as soon as she gets home from school or softball practice.  She is pushing a later bedtime constantly and I'm so close to caving in, just so I can see her more :).  Christian has just started preschool this month.  He LOVES it!  He wakes up every morning asking me if he has preschool.  When he does he can't wait to get his clothes on and go.  When he does not, he'll tell me that I said he had preschool tomorrow and today is tomorrow.  Hopefully they will work on the days of the week soon.  He thinks every day is tomorrow.....or "Towednesday", or "Tothursday", or "Tofriday".  Anyways, he loves his teacher, the 4 boys in his class (yes, the poor kid is already surrounded by all of the girls in our family, but now he has 15 more of them in his class), and learning.  He comes home with all of these cool art projects that he loves to give away....so be on the lookout in the mail for his next big art project, you just may be the lucky one!  And then there's our little monkey Rowan.  Christian told me the other day that Rowan was more like Spiderman than a monkey, and oh how true that is!  She manages to scale every piece of furniture in our house!  The kitchen chairs are her latest endeavor and she has mastered that.  Not a good sight when you look over and your 1 year old is standing on the very high kitchen table, just singing and dancing!  The coffee table, which used to take a lot of effort, is now cake to her!  I really am afraid I'm going to be looking all over the house one day for her and she'll be peering down at me from the ceiling.  She is a lovely child, very strong willed, but so much fun! I hope that gave you all a quick update.  I have so much more to write, but then I wouldn't have anything for next week.  Weekly updates are my goal!  Have a great rest of the week and enjoy the great fall weather!
With much love,
The Eframo's