Cooking Cupcakes and Pirlau with Charleston Cooks - Carolina Now

Cooking with Charleston Cooks

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If you're looking to impress your friends and family with a delicious summer recipe look no farther. Mark Pollard with Charleston Cooks has amazing tips and makes cooking fun and easy. He does a ton of cooking classes at his shop in downtown Greenville. You can visit to learn more about those classes and to see all the cool appliances and accessories they carry. Here are the recipes that we prepared on the show Tuesday, July 9th.

Carolina Gold Rice and Summer Squash Pirlau.

It serves 6-8.


About 6-7 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Olive oil

1 yellow onion, peeled and diced

2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or pressed

2 cups Carolina Gold rice or short grain rice

2/3 cup dry white wine

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 zucchini squash, julienne

1. Place chicken or vegetable stock in large sauce pan over low heat

2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan.

3. Add the onions to the pan. Sweat until onions have softened and are translucent.

4. Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds

5. Add the rice and stir to coat well with the oil. Cook until the rice starts to sizzle about 1 minute.

6. Add the white wine and cook, stirring until wine is almost evaporated, about 1-2 minutes.

7. Begin adding the warm broth one ladleful at a time making sure that all liquid is absorbed before adding additional liquid. Cook the rice until al dente. The amount of stock used may vary.

8. Add the zucchini and 1 more ladleful of stock. Stir to combine. Add parmesan cheese and butter. Stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 


Makes 24 cupcakes

Ingredients for Cake:

2/3 cup sour cream

2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 eggs

1 whole vanilla bean, split

2 cups white sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter melted

1 cup water

2 cups all purpose flour

Pecan caramel icing Ingredients:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/8 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar, sifted

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup pecans, ground

Kosher or sea salt for garnish

How to make:

Preheat the oven to 235 degrees. Place 12 silicone baking cups on a Silpat-lined baking sheet

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix the sour cream, baking soda, salt and eggs combined

Scrape out the insides of the vanilla bean and add to the egg mixture

Add the vanilla and sugar to the egg mixture. Mix until combined

In a small bowl, mix the melted butter with 1 cup water. With mixer set to low speed, alternate adding the flour with the water and butter mixture, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue mixing until combined.

Fill the silicone muffin cups or a greased and floured muffin tin two-thirds full with the batter. Bake until gold brown and a cake tester or toothpick inserted in the cupcake comes out clean about 20-30 minutes.

Cool the cupcakes completely. When cool, frost with the pecan caramel icing.

How to make the caramel icing:

In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter

Add the brown sugar and stir over low heat until the sugar is melted

Add the heavy cream and bring mixture just to a boil

Remove from heat and whisk in 1/8 cup powdered sugar

Cool slightly and whisk in the vanilla and remaining 1/8 cup powdered sugar. Keep whisking until frosting thickens slightly. Add more half and half in the mixture is too thick. Fold in the pecans and drizzle over the cupcakes. Garnish with a light sprinkle of kosher or sea salt.

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