Monday, June 14, 2010

Kumato Tomatoes

What in the world is a Kumato Tomato?  I had no idea what these were until we had some friends over for dinner.  They brought appetizers and dessert.  The appetizer consisted of these brown tomatoes (Kumato) with fresh mozzarella and basil on top then drizzled with olive oil!  My boys loved them.  I don't eat tomatoes so I didn't try them.  I just may break down and take a taste-test myself.  I am hearing so many good things about these unusual tomatoes. 

I did some research (naturally) and found out that they have a more authentic tomato flavor.  What does that mean, you ask?  Well, in recent years tomatoes have become tasteless, or so I hear.  These Kumatos are intense and sweet.  They have a higher level of fructose in them.  The Kumato originates from a ‘lost’ wild tomato and has been developed through ten years of cross-breeding by plant specialists at Syngenta.  They have been available in the U.K., Australia and other countries for a few years.  I only recently found them in my local Giant grocery store. 

If you check out the company's website you will find many fantastic-looking recipes.  I will be trying a few of these.  I am especially looking forward to trying the Egg and Tomato Strata and the Tomato Sauce recipe, Baked Kumatos with a Crunchy Parmesan Crust!  The list goes on... 

The color of the Kumato is unusual to say the least.  They go from brown to a greenish brown and are always edible.  The Kumato ripens from the inside so it is edible no matter what color it is.  They come in two sizes:  a regular golf-ball size (which is what I found in my grocery store) or mini Kumatos.  I haven't seen the mini ones yet. 


The Creative Cook

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting or S'mores Cupcakes

I found this recipe on Martha Stewart's website but this delicious recipe is courtesy of Jennifer Shea, owner of Trophy Cupcakes in Washington State.  I finally made the cupcakes today after much debate and contemplation.  The recipe looked fairly difficult.  They got rave reviews from my intrepid tasters! 

The batter is very watery.  Don't be alarmed by that.  I was lazy today so I used chocolate morsels rather than chopping or shaving a chocolate bar.  It didn't really work because I ran out of chocolate to put on top of the cupcakes.  Also, I found that I had left-over batter.  I'm not sure why there was so much batter left after I filled all 24 cupcake "cups" but I could probably have made another two or three cupcakes with it. Another issue I had with these cupcakes was that I didn't want to go out and buy a torch.  I found out from another blogger that I could have frosted the cupcakes with the Marshmallow Frosting and not torched them or I could have tried to brown them very carefully under a broiler.  Instead, I used homemade marshmallows to top each cupcake.  They came out great!  I will post the recipe for the marshmallows soon.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Frosting


Makes 2 dozen.

2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon cocoa powder (not Dutch-processed)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup whole milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used semi-sweet)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 standard muffin tins with cupcake liners; set aside.

Sift 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into the bowl of an electric mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix ingredients together on low speed.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla. Add to flour mixture and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add boiling water and stir to combine; set cake batter aside.

Place graham cracker crumbs, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and melted butter in a large bowl; stir until well combined.

Place 1 tablespoon graham cracker mixture into the bottom of each prepared muffin cup. Use the bottom of a small glass to pack crumbs into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Reserve remaining graham cracker mixture for topping.

Place 2 teaspoons chocolate in each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tins to oven and bake until the edges of the graham cracker mixture is golden, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven and fill each muffin cup three-quarters full with cake batter. Sprinkle each with remaining chocolate and graham cracker mixture. Return to oven and bake, rotating pans halfway through baking, until tops are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Transfer muffin tins to a wire rack and let cupcakes cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan and let cool completely.

Transfer frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a large plain round or French tip (such as Ateco #867 or Ateco #809). Pipe frosting in a spiral motion on each cupcake. Transfer cupcakes to a baking sheet. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the frosting, taking care not to burn the cupcake liners. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container, up to 2 days.

Marshmallow Frosting

Makes enough for 2 dozen cupcakes

8 large egg whites

2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.

Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined. Use immediately
The Creative Cook