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Snowy Chocolate Cupcakes

Home-made chocolate cupcakes Self-raising flou...

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Source: chefpriyanka.wordpress.com

Did you ever want to make just a few cupcakes for maybe you and your immediate family or some friends? Isn’t it annoying when recipes are written to serve like 24 cupcakes- does anyone reallyneed to eat 24 cupcakes? No. Aside from the fact that it’s not healthy, it’s just completely unnecessary if you’re not having a party or get-together. So, I decided to make these cupcakes in a small batch, therefore nothing goes to waste and no one is compelled to eat more (even though they’re so delicious you’re going to want to eat like 5 of them at one sitting :) ).

Scrumptious chocolate cupcakes topped with lucisious dark chocolate frosting and snow! And by snow I mean sweetened coconut flakes- yummy! They’re easy to make and even easier to eat! And the cake is unbelievably moist because I used homemade buttermilk of course! Oh, if you’re wondering what kind of cupcake liner I used, they’re Reynolds Wrap! I did not use mybabycakes machine with this recipe- I know surprise surprise! I was in the mood for a regular sized cupcake :) .

Snowy Chocolate Cupcakes:

1. PREHEAT oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 12 cup cupcake sheet with PAM and place liners in each cup. Set aside.

2. Melt the chocolate squares in the microwave and set aside to cool a bit. Meanwhile in large bowl beat together softened butter, brown and white sugar until creamy. Add the egg and beat until combined well about 2 minutes. Using a spatula stir in the melted chocolate.

3. In a medium bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa. In a small bowl combine buttermilk and vanilla- set aside.

4. With the mixer on low, add in about 1/3 of the flour mixture and blend well. Then add about 1/3 of the buttermilk mixture and blend well. Continue adding the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, alternating and mixing well between each addition. Scrape sides of bowl with the spatula. DO NOT OVER MIX.

5. Pour about 2 hefty tbsp of mixture into each cup. Bake for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove and cool before frosting.

Makes 12 cupcakes

Dark Chocolate Frosting:

  • 4 tbsp Melted Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2  cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I used Ghiradelli Brand)
  • 1 oz bittersweet chocolate melted (I used Ghiradelli 70% Cacao Bar)
  • 3 cups Confectioner’s Sugar
  • 3-4 tbsp Milk (I used skim plus)
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. In a large bowl combine melted butter and cocoa. Add the melted chocolate. Mix well until lumps are smooth. Using a hand mixer beat in confectioner’s sugar and 2-3 tbsp of milk. Beat until thick and creamy- I like my frosting really thick because it’s easier to pipe that way. However, you can add more or less milk depending on your desired consistency.

2. Place frosting into a piping bag with a medium round tip, or cut off a small corner of a big ziplock bag. Pipe into swirls on the cooled cupcakes. Top with a generous amount of sweetened coconut and serve!

Makes about 2 cups

Like Cupcakes? Try These!

Chocolate-Pumpkin Cupcakes

Vanilla-Chocolate Cupcakes with Raspberries

 

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Banana Bread Cake Pops

Banana bread with chocolate.

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This past weekend was my boyfriend’s birthday and I planned a surprise party for him (yes, I can be sweet when I try!). So, I decided to treat everyone to some quick, sweet bites- Banana Bread Cake Pops. Why the Banana Bread? Well, it’s a staple in the Naik House- we always have some moist, chocolatey and nutty banana bread that my boyfriend always goes home with. Let’s just say he REALLY likes our banana bread! I thought, why don’t I just use that banana bread and make them into cake pops? Plus, no guests likes to stand around holding a plate and fork chowing down a slice of cake! I mean no one said that cake pops have to be made with a particular type of cake, or cake at all!

I combined a tweeked version of our Banana Bread recipe with sweet banana frosting and enrobed it in deep, dark chocolate. Now, if that doesn’t sound good to you, than I don’t what does! If you’re not a banana fan (like me), you’re palette is definitely going to change after you take a bite out of these!

Banana Bread Recipe:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 1 1/2 quart loaf pan with PAM. Set aside.

1. In a medium-sized bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

2. In a small bowl whisk together eggs, cream and oil until well combined. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, break up the banana and add sugar.

Using a hand mixer, whip together until fluffy, about 1 minute. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the wet ingredients and beat for 2 minutes.

Add the flour mixture (I added 1/2 cup at a time) and continue beating for 2 minutes longer. DO NOT OVER BEAT! Pour into the loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until inserted wooden toothpicks comes out clean. Set aside to cool for an hour.

Banana Frosting:

1. In a large bowl mash the banana with the lemon juice. Mix in the vanilla and milk.

Using a hand mixer, blend banana mixture together on medium-low speed until slightly smooth. Add the sugar in slowly and continuously with the blender on medium-low. As the frosting becomes thicker, increase the speed of the mixer. Frosting should have a thick and creamy consistency- you don’t want it to be too thick. If it is too thick, you can add a little milk.

Makes 2 cups of Frosting

Coating:

  • 5 3.5oz Dark Chocolate Bars (I used Ghiradelli 60% Cacao Brand)
  • Sugar Pearls- any color
  • 1/2 3.5oz White Chocolate Bar (I used Ghiradelli Brand)

1. In a large clear bowl, break dark chocolate bar into small pieces. Microwave for 35 second. Remove and stir with a spatula. Continue until chocolate is almost all melted. Stir vigorously to melt remaining pieces and the chocolate will become shiny. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

2. When you’re ready to decorate, melt the white chocolate the same way.

To Make Cake Pop Balls:

1. Once the banana bread is cool, break it up into a large bowl.

2. Use a little more than 1 cup of the banana frosting, and stir into the crumbled banana bread. Mix well. The consistency should be almost like a thick, crumbly dough:

3. Using your hands, grab a little bit of the dough and roll into 1-2 inch balls. Ass your rolling, press the dough together to make sure its compacted tightly- you don’t want them falling apart later on! If your hand gets super sticky, just dab a little warmer on them and continue rolling. Place balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper:

Freeze for about 2 hours, or until the balls are cool and hard.

4. Once the chocolate is melted and cooled to room temperature, stick the cookie stick into each cake pop, and dip the balls until completely coated and smooth. Remove and carefully place back on parchment lined sheet. Dip each ball, making sure that they’re dipped all around, and there are no rough edges. If decorating with sugar pearls, coat the tops with a few pearls right after you dip the cake pops. If decorating with white chocolate drizzle, let cool (overnight preferably).

Pour the melted white chocolate in a small ziplock bag and cut a TINY part of the corner off. Drizzle the cooled cake pops, going back and forth until a pretty lined drizzle-effect appears. Let cool for about 2 hours.

5. I served mine in a rectangular basket, filled with a styrofoam piece (so they stay put), and everyone loved them!

Makes about 48-50 Cake Pops


 
 

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Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

A bowl of cocoa powder.

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Chocolate BiscottiChocolate Biscotti

A work colleague once asked me if I order in restaurants the same way that I order coffee.  I thought his comment was pretty funny, especially since the weekend before my husband had said I was a waiter’s worst nightmare.

“What do you mean?” I asked my husband.

“Well, you like to change everything in the dish.  You want to order the steamed fish but have them fry it instead, and have the sauce on the side instead of pouring it over the fish – and if it comes with potatoes, you want rice instead!”  He said.

Surely he was exaggerating!

But I did have to concede to my work colleague that being finicky with my coffee never earned me any brownie points with the baristas.  One day I’m having a cappuccino with one sugar then the next I’m having it with one and a half sugars.  Then I learned that you get more milk with a latte so I switched to that (with one sugar).  Then I went off coffee and started having chai lattes – then soy chai lattes, then I missed my coffees and got back on to the lattes – but I wanted a weak latte, one and a half sugars and chocolate sprinkles on top…. oh and extra creamy.

And then I switched to tea – but that’s a whole different story altogether!

 

The one thing that remains constant though, is my love for a great biscotti.  Regardless of what drink I’m having, a perfectly made biscotti always goes well.  I simply love biscotti as it makes the perfect snack with tea (or coffee), especially since you can store it and bring it out when you have unexpected visitors.  This recipe keeps for up to a week in an airtight container.

I’m especially partial to this Chocolate and Almond Biscotti recipe.

When making this remember the dough is quite soft – so I used some cling wrap to shape the dough and then chilled it in the refrigerator which made handling much easier.

You’ll also want to make sure to have a sharp serrated knife so that when you cut the biscotti.  Remember, aim to cut the biscotti in one go – avoid a back and forth motion so you don’t shatter the loaf.

Chocolate BiscottiChocolate Biscotti

Chocolate and Almond Biscotti

  • 140 grams flour
  • 25 grams Lindt Dutch processed cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 100 grams sugar
  • 60 grams butter
  • 50 grams Lindt Excellence 70% Chocolate, cut into pieces
  • 60 grams almond slivers
  1. In a bowl mix together the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In another bowl, using a hand held whisk, beat the egg, egg yolk, salt and sugar. Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly. In a bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave for around 30 seconds (this will depend on the strength of your microwave)
  3. Add the butter and chocolate to the egg mixture and then add the flour mixture. Fold the mixture until smooth.
  4. Add the almond slivers evenly throughout the batter. The dough should be quite soft.
  5. Line a baking sheet with some cling wrap and place the dough onto the cling wrap and shape into a loaf, around 6 cm wide. Use the cling wrap to shape the loaf. Smooth and even the sides and cover with the cling wrap. Place the baking sheet with the biscotti load in the refrigerator and allow to chill for around 2 hours.
  6. Once chilled, remove the cling wrap and place the loaf in the center of a baking sheet. Pre-heat the oven to 175c (fan forced)
  7. Bake the biscotti for around 30 minutes until the loaf has spread and risen. The loaf should feel firm when pressed.
  8. Cool the load on the pan on a wire rack. When cooled, use a sharp serrated knife to slice the baked loaf, around 1 cm thick.
  9. Return the slices to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Then turn the slices over and bake for another 8 minutes. Cool the biscotti completely.

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate

 

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peanut butter banana chocolate chip muffins

butter, sugar, egg, flour, baking powder, choc...

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What do you do when (a) it’s your free day, (b) there’s plenty of bananas in the kitchen, (c) and there’s that cool jar of peanut butter sitting in the pantry, screaming out “try me!” ? Bake these muffins of course. Yeah I know, it’s like four weeks or so to the end of the semester, and I have like a pile of readings and assignments to do. I need a break, yes? HEH HEH. These muffins were totally worth the mini break!

Crunchy muffin top, yet soft, fluffy and moist on the inside. Even if you’re not a peanut butter fan, you’ll still love these. I’d know because I’m not a big fan of peanut butter unless it comes in the form of reese peanut butter cups. This recipe’s definitely a keeper for me. Trust me, make these muffins. (:

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
makes about 20 medium sized muffins
(adapted from here)

Ingredients

 

  • 2 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed (makes about 1 1/4 cups of mashed bananas)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 3 tbsp canola oil (I used normal vegetable oil)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Steps

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F/167 C.
  2. In a large bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Add sugar, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Combine, and set aside.
  3. In another bowl, combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla essence. Mix well.
  4. Add dry mixture into the wet mixture. Mix enough just to combine. Add in the chocolate chips.
  5. Fill muffin cases, about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Oh in case you were wondering, this is the jar of peanut butter that left me intrigued. It’s my dad’s favourite brand of peanut butter.

source: http://snaprolls.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/fifteen-peanut-butter-banana-chocolate-chip-muffins/

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Recipe

Rhubarb is the culinary equivalent of the groundhog. When its fuscia stalks emerge in the markets, you know that spring is nearly here. Luckily, rhubarb’s best friend, the strawberry, also make an early spring debut in California, jostling for attention with the well-established lemons and oranges crowding the supermarket shelves. Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I’ve combined all of these seasonal goodies in this dessert recipe. Strawberries, rhubarb and lemon muddle together in this impossibly bright cobbler, while a crumbly sweet dough flecked with lemon zest attempts to keep a lid on the bubbling fruit.

Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler
Serves 6

For the filling:
2 cups diced rhubarb
1 pound strawberries, hulled, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For the topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Make the filling:
Combine all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Make the topping:
Combine flour, sugar baking powder, salt and butter in bowl of a food processor. Pulse until dough resembles coarse meal. Add cream and egg; pulse until dough comes together. Pulse in lemon zest.

Spoon strawberries into a baking pan or individual ramekins. Drop spoonfuls of the topping over the fruit. Bake until the topping is golden and the filling is bubbly, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly. Serve slightly warm or at room temperature. The flavors will develop as the cobbler cools. Serve with creme fraiche.

If you like this, you might enjoy these TasteFood recipes:
Pear and Prune Crumble with Armagnac Cream
Rhubarb Trifle with Vanilla Almond Cream
Strawberry Rhubarb Soup

or these rhubarb recipes from the food blogs:
Red Wine Poached Rhubarb from David Lebovitz
Rhubarb Fool from Real Epicurean
Rhubarb Apple Cake from Whipped

Source: http://tastefoodblog.com/2011/03/21/strawberry-rhubarb-cobbler-recipe/

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Fruit

 

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Banana Nutella Muffins Recipe

One year ago today I wrote my first post for this blog. When I started I really never thought anyone would read it. For a couple of months I was writing just for myself and the two other people I had told about the blog. Then I discovered Foodbuzz, and was introduced to a wide world of food bloggers. They were kind and supportive, and I like to think that some of the people I’ve “met” through Foodbuzz are my friends.

When I started writing the blog, I had a hard time coming up with what to say. What is it people want to read? Then I came across this quote:

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self.  ~Cyril Connolly

It helped me realize that writing for some imaginary potential audience won’t work. This blog is a place for me to share my experiences with food, recipes I enjoy, and the occasional anecdote about my day. It’s an escape from the day to day more than anything else (sometimes I even write my posts while at work when I need to clear my head; sshh, don’t tell anyone!)

I’ve been fortunate enough to get a few subscribers and regular readers. I want to thank all of you for reading my ramblings and sharing your thoughts with me. Your comments are always very much appreciated!

My original plan was to remake the Amaretto Cheese Tart I wrote about in my first post. An unexpected condo visit on Sunday changed my plans. Instead I’m sharing these Banana Nutella Muffins with you. They seem fitting since muffins are probably the baked good I make the most.

I was hoping for more of a Nutella swirl look to them, but I over-mixed the batter and lost the swirl. It’s ok, they still taste great, and the Nutella drizzle on top completely makes up for the lack of swirl inside.

Don’t worry, I’ll make the tart soon!

Banana Nutella Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (anything but fat free)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Nutella, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 ripe but firm banana for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat the oven to 375. Line a 12 cup muffin tin.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the flours, baking powder and salt together.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the mashed banana, butter and egg together. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla.
  4. Mix the wet into the dry until just combined. Stir in the Nutella.
  5. Pour batter evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Top each muffin with thin slices of banana.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes.
  7. Once done, cool on a wire rack. Drizzle with Nutella.

source: http://iwantthepie.wordpress.com/2011/03/23/banana-nutella-muffins/

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Chocolate, Dessert, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Raspberry Trifle Cake Recipe

Ten days ago (that would be 8 March 2011) was a very auspicious day.  It was the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day (go us!), and it was also Pancake Tuesday/Mardi Gras.  AND.  And.  It was my birthday.  I turned TWENTY-NINE.  Holy smokes.  That’s a prime number.

In honour of the occasion (and because I need to perfect my fondant for Chel‘s wedding cake in June), I made my own birthday cake.

This is very loosely based on a cupcake the Pie and I made for our ownwedding back in August 2009.  The cupcake itself came from Susannah Blake’s Cupcake Heaven, but I think I’ve sufficiently changed this so I can call this recipe all my own.

Some of this stuff you can do ahead of time, like the fondant and the buttercream icing, and just put them in the fridge until you need them.

For the Cake:

Preheat your oven to 350°F and butter two 8″ round baking pans.  Line the bottoms with circles of parchment paper and butter those too.
Beat together 1 cup butter, softened, and 1 cup granulated sugar, until pale and fluffy.
Add in 4 eggs, one at a time, and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
Sift in 2 cups self-rising flour (or 2 cups all-purpose flour and 3 teaspoons baking powder) and fold it in.
Fold in 2 cups frozen raspberries, thawed and drained.  Save about half a cup of the juice you’ve drained off for your icing.  You could use fresh raspberries if you’ve got them but it seems kind of a waste if you’re just squishing them into batter. 
Spoon the batter into your prepared pans and bake for 15 minutes, until risen and golden and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

Remove the pans to racks to cool completely.

For the Fondant:

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip together 3 teaspoons vanilla1 cup butter, softened but not melted, and 1 cup corn syrup.  If you want your fondant to be white, use the light corn syrup, as the dark stuff I used gave the fondant a creamy complexion.

When the mixture is creamy and fluffy, reduce the speed to low and add 1kg icing sugar, a bit at a time.  If you do it all at once, or if you do it on high, you will get a mushroom cloud of icing sugar everywhere.

And it might even get on your dog.

When it is all incorporated, you will have a large doughy mass. 

Tip it out onto some waxed paper and knead it into a ball. If your dough is too tacky you might find that you want to add more icing sugar.  To do this simply dust a work surface with icing sugar and knead it in.

When the dough has reached the consistency that you are happy with (i.e., not sticky, but not so dry that it cracks), then you can colour it.   It helps to wear gloves for this part.

Spread a few drops of food colouring over your dough and knead them in until the colour is uniform. 

It will take a while to get it the colour you want it.

I was aiming for a pale pink but because of the yellowish tinge due to the dark corn syrup it came out more flesh coloured.  Or at least, MY flesh colour.

I pulled off an extra bit of the newly coloured dough here and added extra food colouring so it was a darker pink than the rest. 

I will use this for the decoration part.

When you have kneaded to your satisfaction, wrap the dough tightly in waxed paper and seal it in an airtight container in the refrigerator until you need it.

For the Buttercream Icing:

In a stand mixer, whip 2 cups softened butter until pale and fluffy.  

Beat in 2 cups icing sugar until you get soft peaks.

Add in 4 tablespoons raspberry jam.

And that 1/2 cup reserved raspberry juice

Mix well.  It may be slightly grainy, but that’s okay for our purposes.

Plop the icing in the fridge until you are ready to use it.

To Decorate:

Remove the icing and the fondant from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature.

Tip out the cakes and peel off the parchment paper.

Slice off the round top of each cake, if you care about such things.  I didn’t, because I wanted the top to be rounded slightly, and so I flipped one cake upside down and put the two flat sides together.  Cut each cake in half horizontally.

I am spreading raspberry jam here in the centre, with custard on the bottom and top-most layers.  I did not make the jam or the custard myself.  I suppose you could create some form of preserve with fresh raspberries, but at this point I think I’ve done enough. I tried to make custard by hand, but I messed it up twice and that’s my limit on egg-wasting.  I suppose you could use pudding if you like, but I didn’t have any on hand.
So here’s the custard.
And here’s the jam.
Then there’s another custard layer.
Don’t go all the way to the edges, because the cake’s weight will force the filling out and down the sides.

Spread a crumb coat of buttercream on your cake (just a thin layer to trap the crumbs) and place the cake in the refrigerator for 15 minutesuntil the icing has set.  Remove the cake from the refrigerator and use the remaining buttercream to smooth out the surface.  Chuck it in the refrigerator again until the second layer of icing is set.

While the cake is chilling, roll out your fondant on a surface dusted with icing sugar or corn starch.  You will want to roll it to about 1/4″ thick.  Any thinner and you will be able to see the flaws in the cake through it.  Any thicker and you will have trouble stretching it properly.  Make sure to take off your rings and watches while you do this so you don’t mar the fondant surface.

To determine the surface area you will be covering, measure the height and width of your cake.  You will need to create a round surface of fondant that is a diameter of twice the height plus the width of your cake.

Gently lift the flattened fondant over your rolling pin and use it as a lever to help you lay the fondant over your chilled cake.  I found that approach didn’t work for me, and I had to try several different methods before I found one that worked.  I rolled it out over waxed paper and used the waxed paper to do the transfer.  The only problem is that my waxed paper was too narrow and I had to double it, which resulted in it leaving a line on the fondant.  I will have to find some industrial-width waxed paper for next time.

Using your hands, gently lift and press the fondant into the sides of your cake after smoothing the top.  Don’t pull on the fondant or it will crack — lift instead and flatten out the wrinkles with the palm of your hand.  It may seem counter-intuitive, but you’ll see what I mean when you do it.  Notice the strong colour resemblance between my hand hand the fondant?  Yes, I am pale and pasty and spring can’t come soon enough.

Trim off excess fondant at the base of the cake.  Otherwise you will have a cake that resembles a demented jellyfish.  Or some bizarre prehistoric alien life form that may slowly yet inexorably expand, engulfing your family, your house, and then the entire planet.  THE THING THAT TIME FORGOT.

So yeah, you want to trim that sucker.

There are such things as fondant smoothers that you can use to even out the fondant surface.  I didn’t have one, so I used a flat-sided plastic cup.  And that excess icing sugar or corn starch on the surface?  Don’t worry about it.  It will either come off by itself in the course of you smoothing and shaping, or you can wipe it off with a wet finger.It’s far from perfect, but quite impressive for a first attempt, if I do say so myself.

Here I have rolled out the darker fondant onto a sheet of waxed paper and traced on it a design.

Cut out the design with a sharp knife and pull off the excess, leaving the design on the waxed paper.

Lightly brush the top of the fondant pieces with water.

Carefully roll the design on the paper face down on top of the cake and press down lightly.

I took a deep breath after I’d done this.

Even more carefully, peel off the waxed paper, leaving your design on the cake.  Smooth the sharp edges with your fingers.

You can also freehand other elements out of the leftover fondant, as you see I did here.  You can also store the scraps in the fridge in an airtight container, just in case you want them for something else later.

Chill the cake to harden the fondant before serving.  Then eat as much of it as you can handle.

I would definitely recommend storing this cake in the refrigerator and eating it within a few days of making it.

 

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2011 in Baking, Dessert, Fruit, Sweets

 

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Cappuccino Vanilla Cake Recipe

Dry ingredients for a Wacky Cake - ingredients...

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I am starting to think this food blog idea may not have been such a good idea. After all, I’m making all kinds of cakes, cupcakes, chocolates, and amazing meals that are too tempting to resist. I don’t think I thought this through thoroughly. Who is going to eat all this?! Yikes!

I’ve been sending the desserts to work with P which helps out a lot. It’s nice to share and also not to have the dessert calling to me from the fridge: ‘Eat me!”.  But to add to my recent array of baking sins, I recently made a Cappuccino Vanilla cake. Yes. I know. How could I do such a horrible thing!?

Well, I did it and it was delicious. Of course I overdid it on the liqueurs and even added Crème de Cacao to the icing.

I am so bad.

**Warning: This cake is truly a temptress.**

Here is what you will need:

Vanilla Cake

1- 8 inch baking pan

1 ½ cup of flour

¾ cup of sugar

½ tbsp of baking powder

1 ½ tsp of salt

½ cup of unsalted butter (equals 1 stick of butter), at room temperature

½ cup of milk (I used skim)

2 eggs

¾ tsp of vanilla extract

Coffee Buttercream

2/3 cup of heavy cream

1 ¼ cup of white chocolate buttons

1 2/3 cup of unsalted butter (at room temperature)

2/3 cup of icing sugar

1 tbsp of instant coffee powder

1 tbsp of Crème de Cacao

Finishing Touches

1/3 cup of roasted and roughly chopped or blended hazelnuts

5 Ferrero Rocher chocolates

Cocoa Powder, to dust

Crème de Cacao

1 tbsp of instant coffee powder

Here is what to do:

Let your butter come to room temperature.

Set the oven to 325F and grease your pan with butter.

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Place all the wet ingredients in another bowl: eggs, milk and vanilla extract. Wisk and set aside.

Using a mixer, slowly add the soft butter in chunks to the dry ingredients until the butter is fully incorporated. Then begin adding the wet ingredients in 3 parts until the dry and wet ingredients are well mixed. Fill your 8-inch baking pan ¾ of the way and level off at the top.

Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 325F. To check if it’s ready, insert a skewer into the centre and if it comes out lean – it’s ready to come out of the oven.

Remove from the oven and let cool for about 15 minutes.  Remove from the pan and let cool off completely.

Cut the cake in half and put in the freezer while you prepare the buttercream icing. Freezing your cake will prevent crumbs coming up when you are icing it.

Dissolve the instant coffee in heated Crème de Cacao (or you can use hot water instead). Stir and set to the side (or refrigerate it) to cool off.

Bring water to a simmer and using a double boiler heat the cream and chocolate until melted. In a separate bowl, beat the butter using a hand mixer until it is light and creamy. Gradually add the icing sugar, and then beat in the melted chocolate and cream mixture. Beat the dissolved instant coffee into the buttercream.

Remove the cake from the freezer and place the top of the cake on the bottom. Mix 2 oz of Crème de Cacao and dissolved instant coffee and using a brush, gently pat both sides of the cake layers and allow the mixture to be absorbed by the cake. This will make the cake more flavorful and moist.

Place the top of the cake on the bottom and set up your layers so that the top of the cake is the most level. Then spread a quarter of the coffee buttercream on the first layer, level it with a spatula and then sandwich with the other layer. Cover the top with more buttercream icing and cover the sides with the rest. Press the hazelnuts into the sides of the cake.

Pile the Ferrero Roche chocolates on top of the cake and dust the cake with cocoa powder. You can tie a bow around the cake for a more refined finishing touch.

I’m sure by now your kitchen smells of coffee, melted chocolate and Crème de Cacao. Make sure you share this cake! It will be worth it.

Happy Baking!

Marynika

source: http://foodtoheart.com/2011/02/22/cappuccino-vanilla-cake/

 

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2011 in Baking, Candy, Chocolate, Dessert, Sweets

 

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Melonpan Recipe – Cooking With Dog

1/2 lb butter, 1 c sugar, 1/4 c water and 1 tb...

Image via Wikipedia

Ingredients for Melonpan
(5 pieces)

- Bread Dough -
140g Bread Flour (4.94 oz)
25g Sugar (0.882 oz)
1/3 tsp Salt
5g Non-Fat Dry Milk Powder (0.176 oz)
3g Instant Yeast (0.106 oz) – a little less than 1 tsp
1 tbsp Beaten Egg
70ml Warm Water (2.37 fl oz)
15g Butter (0.529 oz)
Bread Flour for dusting

- Cookie Dough -
25g Unsalted Butter (0.882 oz)
35g Sugar (1.23 oz)
25g Beaten Egg (0.882 oz)
80g Cake/Pastry Flour (2.82 oz)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
Bread Flour for dusting

 
 

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Betty’s Hot Water Corn Fritters Recipe

Cornmeal breading

Image via Wikipedia

In this video, Betty demonstrates how to make Hot Water Corn Fritters. These are light corn cakes with a lacy, crusty edge.

Ingredients:

2 cups plain yellow cornmeal (You may use white cornmeal.)
1 ¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 to 2 cups boiling water
peanut oil

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups plain yellow cornmeal, 1 ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon sugar, and ¼ teaspoon baking powder. Add ¼ cup half-and-half and 1 tablespoon vegetable oil. Stir in boiling water, a little at a time, just until the batter is fairly thick, but still runny where the water pools a bit. The amount of water you will need to add will depends upon the type of cornmeal used. If the cornmeal is coarsely-ground, it will require more liquid. Pour peanut oil into a heavy skillet to about ¼-inch depth. Place over medium-high heat. When oil is heated, drop batter by ¼-cupfuls into the hot oil. Fry, about 3 minutes on each side, until fritters are golden. Remove from oil and drain on paper toweling. You may need to fry several batches, depending on the size of your skillet. When you are finished frying and draining the corn fritters, place them on a nice serving plate and serve with fresh butter. Yum! I hope you enjoy this recipe! –Betty 

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2011 in Baking, Betty's Kitchen

 

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