Monday, March 29, 2010

Maple Syrup and Birthday Cupcakes

This past weekend a good friend from high school was visiting Boston. K had a conference here last week and stayed to hang out this weekend. On top of hanging out with friends, Butler made it to the Final Four! K went to Butler and is the president of his local alumni club!


On Saturday we decided to partake in some local fun by heading up to New Hampshire to go to a maple house where they boil maple syrup. We had beautiful weather on Saturday. It was a bit chilly but sunny and not a cloud in the sky. After arriving at the Grant Family Maple House, we had some food and got in line to learn all about how maple syrup is made.


What we learned is that the sap from the trees has about 2-3% sugar in it straight from the tree. At that percentage, it would take 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup!! So they first condense the sap until it reaches about 8% sugar. The sap is then boiled to evaporate off the water.


Once the temperature reads 7 degrees above the boiling point of water, you have syrup! The guy in the maple house even explained how they use a baraometer on the wall to get the barometric pressure so they know the exact boiling temperature of water for that given day. It was all very scientific and extremely interesting.


The small bottles of maple syrup were a sample from each batch they had made at the maple house this season. The guy explained that as the season goes on, the syrup tends to get darker due to the change in the amount of sugar in the sap.


Of course, we had to get some maple products while we were there. Obviously, maple syrup. We also got some maple candies, some maple sugar, and some maple pepper. Can't wait to find creative ways to use the sugar and pepper. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know!


Also, since K's birthday was last week, I made him some cupcakes to celebrate. I went with my go-to chocolate cupcake recipe. I love that you can whip these up by dirtying only one bowl and using a whisk! I dipped them in some ganache and topped with festive sprinkles. Aren't they pretty?

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13 comments:

Brisbane Baker said...

Mmmmm I love one dish cupcakes!

www.brisbanebaker.blogspot.com

Carly said...

Those cupcakes look delish! Can you tell me more about the "dipping in ganache" technique? Does the ganache need to be a certain consistency first?

yumventures said...

I have seen some maple cheesecake around the blogs, maybe that would be awesome use for the sugar? Or to top maple sugar cookies :)

Joanne said...

I made a seriously awesome maple mousse cake to go with Christmas dinner this year and it used maple sugar. It was one of the best desserts I've ever eaten. The link to the post is: http://joanne-eatswellwithothers.blogspot.com/2010/01/frozen-maple-mousse-pie-with-chocolate.html.

KV said...

Go Butler!! I think I'm going to use your "go to" cupcake recipe to make some Final Four treats for the office Friday

Kelly said...

Wow that maple syrup event looks really cool, I wish I had known about it- it looks like they only do it once a year!

Jen said...

Carly - I dipped the cupcakes in the ganache while it was still very liquidy. I did it a few minutes after making the ganache and then let it set up on the cupcakes. Hope that helps.

Cara said...

Jen, the maple syrup experience sounds like so much fun and I've always wanted to do it! I wonder if it's too late this year.

Lila said...

Those cupcakes look so pretty. Can you tell me what kind of liners you're using? They stay so nice and bright.

stephchows said...

ooo I love sugar houses!!! The tastings are always the best :)

Jen said...

Lila, I get the liners online. Here is the link for the colored ones, and I also get brown liners as well.

Memória said...

The cupcakes look beautiful and festive!! I love real maple syrup!

Kyle said...

I should have a birthday more often. So good...

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