Thursday, October 4, 2012

Dirty Chai Cupcakes (★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆)

I've always had a thing against leftovers.

I just couldn't get my head around
1) Having any food left over to have for "leftovers,"
2) Day old reheated food. How is that enticing?

None of those options sounded very good, so leftovers found themselves on my "You're Dead To Me" list. 

Now, maybe you think I'm being "overly" dramatic.
You swear by leftovers and think I should give them another try.

Am I right?  ...Ya  ....Thought so.
I've got you pegged.  ...And it annoys the heck out of you. 
                                  ...And so do all my ellipsis
But what is so great about microwaved pizza?

Don't shoot me, but I don't like it cold.  Why would you consume all that wonderful fattening grease in solid form? Shiver.  Ew, I just got the heebie jeebies.

Microwaved pizza [or insert favorite leftover of choice here] is chewier, limp-ier, soggier...sad-ier than fresh from the oven pizza.   The crust gets tough, the cheese requires 10x the amount of chewing, and that pepperoni scalds the top of your mouth because it didn't need to get warmed up for 50 secs like the rest of the slice.

What about that sounds good?

In all honesty, pizza is a bad example.  Because I actually will eat a day old slice.  But I'm not happy about it!  And all I can think about is how good that piece must've tasted yesterday.

Crust crispy, but soft in all the right places.
Melt in your mouth cheese, with just the right amount of grease.
The aroma of the pepperoni mixed with the spices in the sauce, tantalizing.

Leftovers?  Blasphemy!
But that was then and this is now.

What?!  A thrilling twist!
Didn't see that one coming, huh?
Well, those of you who pay close attention to grammar may have noticed my use of the past tense earlier.

You're going up to check now, aren't you?

It's cool.  I can wait.



Oh good, you're back.

Anyway, now back to me.

Then I didn't have a full time job.  Then I didn't have any real bills.  Then I was going on four hours of sleep every night, skipping breakfast, and eating a bowl of oatmeal for lunch.  Ah, to be a college student again.

Now, my schedule is tighter.  And I'm trying to take better care of myself.
Leftovers suddenly take on a new appeal when that means you don't have to pre-pack your food for the next day.

"I'm so hungry, I could finish this whole filet mignon right now! ...Or I could save half and not have to worry about packing a lunch for work.  Hello halvsies!"

Shocking, I know.
But this is what it's come down to.

Purposely eating only half my meals.
Butchering filet mignon in the microwave.
Freezing the leftover espresso ganache from my Dirty Chai Cookies, and using it to bake "leftover cupcakes."

Yup, that's what I made you today.

But not just any leftovers.... Dirty Chai Cupcake leftovers.

And if I do say so myself, those are the best kind!
Dirty Chai Cupcakes

Chai Cupcakes:
  • 1 Box Vanilla Cake Mix
  • 2/3-1 Cup Chai Tea Latte Concentrate (Substitute for water)
  • 1-2 Tbsp Chai Tea (ground loose leaf or from tea bag)
  • 1 Small Package of Vanilla Pudding
Whipped Espresso Ganache:
  • 10oz semi sweet chocolate chips (I used dark chocolate)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tsp instant espresso

1) Prepare mix according to box, substituting an equal amount of Chai Tea Concentrate for the amount 
    of water called for.  
2) Add 1-2 Tbsp of Chai Tea.  I used Tazo tea and just cut the bag open and scooped some out.  I like 
    my tea strong and spicy so 2 Tbsp worked for me, but I would start with 1 Tbsp and test the batter.
3) Add vanilla pudding.  Mix well.
4) Bake according to directions on box.  

A) Set aside chocolate in a heatproof bowl.
B) In small saucepan, heat cream just until boiling.
C) Add espresso powder to cream and stir until dissolved. 
D) Pour cream over chocolate chips and stir until melted and thoroughly combined.
E) Let ganache cool to room temperature.  With a hand mixer beat until slightly fluffy.  Be careful not   
     to over beat.  Mixture will become like chocolate butter and be very difficult to spread.  (Tip: if
     needed to help with the whipping process place bowl in the refrigerator for a few minutes. Be 
     careful as ganache gets very firm once chilled and will be extremely difficult to spread.)

If you revamp a leftover you can't really call it such anymore, can you?
That's using the ol' noggin. 


  1. Hahha.. Loved your post. I'm a total left over girl and I can totally eat them cold. Not just a piece a pizza...A piece of chicken parm is good cold too ;-) Cupcakes look pretty! Sound pretty dang good!

    1. Aw, thanks! And I had a few people feel the need to tell me how good leftovers are. I do, however, find BBQ from the refrigerator even better than off the grill. Thanks for stopping by.

  2. These cupcakes sound delicious! I love Chai tea and that spicy flavor would be great in cupcakes. I recently had Earl Grey gelato and I bet I could make Earl Grey cupcakes with a vanilla bean you've got me thinking! I'm visiting from the Two Cup Tuesday link party.

    Christy @ Creating a Beautiful Life

    1. Wow, Christy! You are so creative! Those sound delightful!! Good thinking. :) Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Fantastic cupcakes, and I absolutely looooooooooove Chai tea :)

    1. Thanks Winnie! I TOO love chai tea. Sooooo gooood!

  4. Thank you for linking up at The Weekly Creative!! We'd love for you to come over to our newest link party: at The Inspiration Network: DELISH- a desserts only link party. Bring your desserts and let's party!!

    Melanie and Diana
    The Inspiration Network

    1. Hi Melanie! Thanks I'll be sure to link up this Wednesday!