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Featured Recipe by Camila//Pies and Tacos

Photos by Camila//Pies and Tacos

Want to dazzle your guests this holiday? Check out this wonderful recipe by Camila of Pies and Tacos. Thank you so much!

*For original post, please see link above.


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 190 grams 6.75 oz
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 31 grams 1.125 oz
  • 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams 7 oz.
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup canola oil 107 grams 3.8 oz

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • 1/3 cup dark chocolate chopped 56 grams, 2 oz
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 191 grams, 6.75 oz
  • 1 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened 113 grams, 4 oz
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Matcha Macarons

  • 3 egg whites 90-120 grams, depends on the size of your egg
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar 100 grams
  • 1 cup almond flour 96 grams
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar 90 grams
  • 1/2 tablespoon matcha powder

Matcha Buttercream

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter room temperature (170 grams, 6 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar 191 grams, 6.75 oz
  • 2 teaspoon of matcha powder or more it’s up to how strong you’d like your buttercream to be
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Chocolate Cupcakes

  • Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners or grease it with butter and flour.
  • Sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
  • In another bowl, mix coffee, vinegar, vanilla and oil. Pour dry mixture over wet ingredients. Whisk briefly, until incorporated. Be careful not to overmix. As soon as you see no more streaks of dry mixture, stop whisking.
  • Distribute batter evenly in cupcake pans.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove and let it cool.

Chocolate Fudge Frosting

  • Start by melting the chopped dark chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler. Make sure to chop the chocolate finely, so it’s easier to melt it.
  • Let it cool until it isn’t warm to the touch any longer.
  • While the chocolate cools down, you can gather the rest of the ingredients.
  • Sift powdered sugar and cocoa powder together. Set aside.
  • Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  • Cream butter for about 2 minutes on medium speed.
  • Turn mixer off, add sifted powdered sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl.
  • Turn mixer on low to combine the ingredients together.
  • Once they are combined, you can turn the speed up. Cream on medium high for about 30 seconds.
  • Add melted chocolate, mix until combined.
  • Add vanilla, milk and cream frosting on medium high for 45 seconds.
  • Check for consistency. If frosting is too thick and dry, add a bit more milk, about 1 teaspoon at a time, mixing in between.
  • If the mixture is too runny, there might be two options. You may either add some more sifted powdered sugar. Or it may be the case that your butter or chocolate were too warm when you made the frosting, or your kitchen might be too warm. In this situation, you want to cover your frosting bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for a few minutes, about 10 or so. Cream frosting again, and check for the consistency.

Matcha Macarons

  • Before you start, get all of your ingredients ready.
  • Prepare a large piping bag, fitted with a large round tip.
  • Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicon mat.
  • Under my parchment, I put a layout with my cactus that you can find above on the post.
  • Measure out all of your ingredients.
  • Now you can finally start.
  • Place egg whites and granulated sugar in a heat proof bowl or in a double boiler. Over a pan of simmering water, whisk the whites and sugar until frothy and sugar completely melted. It will take a couple minutes.
  • Make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the simmering water.
  • Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. (I use my kitchenAid bowl when doing this, because it makes it easier)
  • With the whisk attachment, whisk mixture on high speed for a few minutes until stiff peaks are formed.
  • Best way to check this is to keep your eye on the whites. Once they get glossy and you start seeing streaks formed by the whisk, it might be time to stop.
  • You don’t want to overbeat the mixture at this point, because you don’t want to add too much air to it. Just whisk until stiff peaks have formed.
  • Sift powdered sugar, almond flour and matcha together.
  • Pour into stiff whites.
  • Start folding gently forming a letter J with a spatula.
  • It’s time to stop folding when the batter is glossy and has a thick and flowing consistency. There are several ways to test this, and you might have to have a couple failed batches before you get this right.
  • First, grab a spatula full of batter and pull it up at a 90 degree angle on top of the bowl, then you start drawing a figure 8 in the air with the dripping batter. And if you can draw a few number 8s with the flowing batter, without having it break apart, that means your batter is probably ready, or close to being ready.
  • Then, I grab a teaspoon of batter and spoon onto my parchment paper or silicon mat.
  • If the batter stays stiff and doesn’t spread out a bit, I start folding a little bit more, about 3 folds.
  • Test again.
  • Once the batter spreads out a bit and starts to look glossy on the parchment paper, I transfer my mixture to the piping bag.
  • You don’t want your batter to be too runny either. So be careful not to overmix. It’s always best to undermix and test several times until the proper consistency has been achieved.
  • This is the most important part about making macarons in my opinion.
  • To pipe the cactus macarons I used two different tips, a round Wilton 12, and a round Wilton 2A. The large tip (the 2A) I used to pipe the body of the cactus, and the smaller one (tip 12) I used to pipe the arms.
  • When you pipe the macarons, you will need to use a toothpick to spread the batter around to fit the whole cactus shape. Check the post above for picture instructions.
  • Once you’ve piped as many cactus macarons as you can, bang the trays against the counter a few times each. This will release air bubbles that are in the batter and prevent your macaron shells from cracking.
  • Let your trays sit for a while so the shells will dry out a little bit. I usually leave about 20-40 minutes, depending on how humid the day is. You’ll know they’re ready when you gently touch the surface of a macaron and it seems dry.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
  • Bake one tray at a time.
  • Bake for 4 minutes, rotate tray.
  • Bake for 4 more minutes, check if it needs to be rotated again. You will know if it needs to be rotated again depending on how the macarons are baking. Take a look at them, if one side seems taller then the other, maybe you have to rotate the tray again.
  • Bake for around 2-4 more minutes. Really keep an eye out, not to overbake.
  • When baked, the macarons will have a deeper color and formed feet.
  • Remove from the oven and bake the other tray.
  • Let the macarons cool down before proceeding with the filling.

Matcha Buttercream

  • Some of the Matcha Buttercream will be used to pipe inside the cupcakes, and some will be used as the filling for the macarons.
  • Start by Sift powdered sugar and matcha powder together. Set aside.
  • Cream butter on medium speed, until creamy, for about 1 minute. Add powdered sugar and matcha and beat until mixture is fluffy and incorporated, another minute. If mixture seems too stiff, add one or two teaspoons of milk. If it seems too runny, add one or two teaspoons of powdered sugar.
  • Add vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds to combine.

To assemble Cactus Macarons

  • Put filling in prepared piping bag. Pipe some filling in each macaron and close the sandwich. You are looking for the proportions of 2:1 cookie:filling
  • On the post above I mention the recipe I used for the royal icing, to make the decorations on my macarons. For the star on top, I simply used a piece of fondant from Wilton brand, rolled out and cut into stars.

To assemble Cupcakes

  • Use a spoon to remove the center of the cupcakes. Fill them with Matcha Buttercream.
  • Frost with the Chocolate Frosting.
  • Sprinkle some dried coconut flakes to resemble snow.
  • Place the Cactus Macaron on top. Voila.
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