Monthly Archives: May 2012

Anatomy of an ‘Upcake

Here’s a helpful little diagram illustrating what goes into each of our 21 & ‘Upcake cupcakes.

Friday Movie Night: Nacho Libre


So we’ve decided to start a new weekly post: Friday Movie Night. Each week we’ll suggest a new movie (since we are total movie buffs over here) and a snack/dessert to go with it. Of course, we’ll have to add our own 21 & ‘Upcakes twist to it, but sometimes you need a night in, a good movie, a few friends and tasty treat to bring it together. This week’s movie: Nacho Libre.

Nacho Libre, if you haven’t seen it, came out a few years ago and stars Jack Black in one of his true-to-form comedic roles. Basic plot-line: Berated all his life by those around him, a monk follows his dream and dons a mask to moonlight as a Luchador (Mexican wrestler). It’s sure to brighten your spirits this weekend if you find yourself not at theatres watching the Avengers, not celebrating Star Wars Day (May the 4th), or recovering from Cinco de Mayo.

And what goes better with a Mexican themed movie than churros, a Mexican fritter that’s fried and coated in cinnamon and sugar. We’ve found this recipe from our friends over at All Recipes, but if you don’t feel up to frying your own churros you can always buy frozen in a pinch. In any case, you can make it your own by pairing it with some Mexican Hot Chocolate. Granted it may be a little warm down here in Florida for hot chocolate, but once you have churros dipped in hot chocolate, you’ll never want to go without again.

Mexican Hot Chocolate is given it’s name by the type of chocolate that is used to make it, it’s generally infused with different spices such as cinnamon, almond, and vanilla. Often times you can find these in your local market or even Walmart will sometimes carry it, look for the Ibarra or Taza brands. If you can’t find it, don’t worry, you can substitute it with one ounce semisweet chocolate, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 drop almond extract for 1 ounce Mexican chocolate. We also like to add a little chili powder to it for that added kick, and it really helps to bring out the flavors in the chocolate. To make this whole evening a 21 & ‘Upcakes evening though, we suggest adding a little tequila to your hot chocolate.

Once you’ve cooked up your churros and Mexican hot chocolate, it’s time to sit back, relax, and let Jack Black provide the laughs.

Churro Recipe

  • 1 cup water
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 quarts oil for frying
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine water, 2 1/2 tablespoons sugar, salt and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Stir in flour until mixture forms a ball.

Heat oil for frying in deep-fryer or deep skillet to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pipe strips of dough into hot oil using a pastry bag. If this is too much, you can also turn them into little dough balls, less authentic, but also less intimidating for those of us afraid of scalding hot oil. Fry until golden; drain on paper towels.

Combine 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Roll drained churros in cinnamon and sugar mixture.

Mexican Hot Chocolate

  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 8 ounces Mexican chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2-3 oz silver tequila (to taste so you can always add more “1 tequila, 2 tequila, 3 tequila, floor”)
  • Dash of salt
In a large saucepan, combine all the ingredients and 1 cup water over medium heat, whisking constantly, until hot but not boiling, about 8 minutes (the mixture should be smooth). Pour into 4 large mugs and dip your churros as you go. If you have a milk frother, this is a golden opportunity to try it out as well. Enjoy!  


Key Lime Margarita Cake Shot


It’s officially May and officially too hot down here in Florida. Our forecast for this week includes multiple days in the 90s, I think Florida decided to skip Spring along with Winter this year. Nonetheless, one good thing about Summer and warm weather, a whole new world of diversions, drinks, and desserts come to the forefront again. One of my personal favorites: sitting at the beach, or by the pool, with a margarita in hand, scents from the BBQ mingling with the scents of the warm summer air, and the hope of key lime pie for dessert. So we here at 21 & ‘Upcakes thought, why not combine these into one delicious dessert for summer? Well at least the margarita and key lime pie, we’ll save the BBQ for another time and place. We present to you the Key Lime Margarita Cake Shot.

This joyful little bite-size morsel is perfect for the first of May. It has the refreshing taste of citrus, is small enough you can still fit in that bikini next week, and has the added little punch of tequila. I also have to give a shout out to my friends Brent and Cynthia for this one. Brent is a friend who is actually on an R&D team for a major dessert company and he recently brought over a mini, layered key lime cake which started the wheels turning. Then my friend Cynthia challenged us to create something with key lime, whether it be cake or pie. We chose both.

We started with a layer of graham cracker crust soaked in a light key lime juice glaze, because what’s key lime pie without the crust? Next we topped it we moist key lime cake recipe we found that we of course tweaked and kicked up to ‘Upcake status by adding a dash of key lime margarita. (Which, by the way, is delicious and if you want the recipe for any goings on you may have in the next few days, it can be found on the Food Network site here.)

Then we added a layer of key lime margarita pie. That’s right, key lime pie and a key lime margarita met and created a beautiful bundle of joy that is a spiked pie filling. Once that re-hardened a bit in the freezer we topped it with another layer of cake and a lime twist to finish it off. We wanted to put a real key lime twist on top, but apparently it’s still too early here in Orlando for key limes to have found their way up here.

The result: a bite-size piece of joy that is key lime to the Nth degree. So what are your May and Summer plans? Any recommendations or requests? Or maybe even your favorite Summer drink? Submit your idea and if we turn it into a post, we’ll give you a shout-out too.