Saturday, October 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Red Velvet Cupcakes (Yield: about 24 cupcakes)
For the cake:
2½ cups cake flour
1½ cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
1½ cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. (1 oz.) liquid red food coloring
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. distilled white vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. In a medium bowl, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, vegetable oil, buttermilk, food coloring, vanilla and vinegar. Beat on medium speed until well blended. Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared liners. Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Let cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Last week I made 1-2-3 Cookies from Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl Dish recipe book... you may know her from Real Housewives of New York - she's the girl we all love to hate. Anywho, I don't recommend the book - Anna & Kristina's Grocery Bag (who I love and adore, and even have a signed copy of one of Giada DeLaurentis' cookbooks - not by Giada but by A&K) gave it like a trillion thumbs down, BUT they did say that these cookies were pretty good.
So, I embarked on making them last week. And here is the recipe, should you feel so inclined when you have about 2 minutes to spare.
1 part Sugar
to 2 parts Fat
to 3 parts Flour
Add whatever else you like, whether it be nuts, chocolate chips, M&M's, Sprinkles... the list goes on. As an ode to traditional baking, I of course added chocolate chips, and you know what? They weren't half bad. Super easy and they tasted pretty much exactly like Dad's Cookies that you buy in the store - you know, the ones in the yellow bag. I have no idea how the girl stays skinny if she makes these all the time though, with all that butter, but to each his own!
Today I am making Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting. I realized during making them that I had no red food coloring, so I made my own. The cupcakes are cooling and look more like Maroon Velvet Cupcakes... but the batter was pretty darn good, I must say! I will post that whole episode with pictures soon!
Friday, October 22, 2010
That being said, I just posted on CupcakeCraze's facebook page that the most exciting thing I had concocted in the kitchen this week was bottle after bottle after bottle for my lovely little girl. But I have been reminded by my lovely aunt that I DID actually make something this week. YAY! SO simple. Lemon tarts. I would tell you all about them, but the pastry was bought from the store, already in the tart cup, and lemon meringue that came from a box. Nothing exciting. Please don't be dissapointed. I think my homemade caramel should still buy me some time! Next week I should be back at it!
And in light of the fact that Christmas is coming very quickly... it is already November after next weekend! So I have created a list of baking to dos in November, so that I am not baking up a storm in December! The idea is one batch per week to freeze and pull out during the wonderful Christmas season! (I bought my first Christmas gift today, too!)
Week 1: Shortbread - White chocolate and cranberry and Mint Chocolate YUM!
Week 2: Gingerbread (I LOVE LOVE LOVE gingerbread... nothing like curling up by the fire, with the tree lights twinkling and reading a good book with a gingerbread cookie that has been dipped into a hot cup of tea!)
Week 3: Chocolate fudge topped with crushed candy cane
Week 4: Glazed sugar cookies in Christmas festivity figures!
As usual, I will chronicle all my baking adventures in November, when the time comes! Until then, I will figure out what I want to try next week!
Also, I have no idea if anyone reads this blog, besides of course, my lovely sister in law, but if you do read and you do enjoy, could you comment on this post, so that I know that I am not writing for just me? I would be forever greatful! And if there is something that you would like to see me try, before you do, I am ALWAYS open to recipes and suggestions!
Sunday, October 17, 2010
(Yes, I realize that these pics are in the wrong order... one way that blogger is NOT user friendly!)
1/4 cup water
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
pinch of salt (if you use salted butter, DO NOT add the salt in - it will be overpowering)
Thursday, October 14, 2010
Tried out Yellow Butter Cake with Chocolate Frosting from http://annies-eats.com/ and it turned out quite scrumptious! The Chocolate Frosting is pretty lip smacking good - too bad I ate too much for dinner and could only eat a little slice, but it will still be here tomorrow!
If you want to try it out for yourself, just check out this link below:
I am finding latley though, that no matter how the recipes vary, most cakes do actually taste the same and have the same type of crumb, UNLESS you sift the flour. Which is super time consuming, so I have been trying out different recipes in hopes that I will find one that has that lovely thick, moist crumb and doesn't need to be sifted. I don't think I am going to find it, and kind of have to resign myself to the fact that I just need to sift. But it is worth it - the difference between a cake that has sifted flour in it, vs. unsifted is amazingly wonderful!
That being said, there was nothing wrong with this cake - it tastes kind of like a vanilla one that you would buy in a box, but the frosting is pretty yummy! The only thing I would change is the amount of cocoa powder/water ratio. I put in the full amount and found it kind of bitter - so unless you like that taste, I would recommend maybe putting in half. It is light and fluffy and finger-licking good!
Happy finger licking!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
A few weeks ago I was asked to do this demo for our churche's moms group. Easy peasy, I thought! Not so... This past week I made the cupcakes and froze them because I did NOT want to be making 150 cupcakes on Thanksgiving Monday! Can you even imagine? No thank you! So I made them and the first two batches did not turn out! (If I learned one thing from today it's that for demo's I should stick to a store bought mix... no one will know the difference anyway!). Anywho, they pulled away from their wrappers and shrank and did all sorts of strange stuff that brought a tear to my eye. (Not in a good way!) Anyways, after my child tried to dive into the hot oven several times during the baking process I finally lost it and declared my rage on Facebook. Which I never do. Well, rarely do. You know it's bad when... !
Anywho, after several trips to Michaels, and a jaunt accross the bridge to Langley with my poor one year old in tow (I treated her to a cupcake at Frosting's Cupcakery http://frostingcupcakery.ca/ to make up for it!) I was finally done purchasing all our supplies! NOT SO! On Thanksgiving I had to run out and buy a few more tips because I had counted wrong and had completely forgotten to buy stuff to actually decorate the cupcakes with after frosting them. Oy vey!
BUT, all that being said, and after almost killing "Mike" (my sister in laws lovely Kitchenaid mixer) today with all the frosting that he had to whip, I think it worked out. People seemed to appreciate the little tips of advice for decorating both their cakes and cupcakes, or else they were just being really, really nice, after a horrible teaching job from me! I also realized that when I got home I had done totally wrong proportions for the icing and put in WAY too much butter! (Ooops!) It was a great learning experience for me, and should I do it again (after forgetting about the stress that this brought upon me!) I know what I would do differently - and that in itself makes it all worth it! Next on my agenda: Yellow butter cake with chocolate frosting from Annie's Eats! http://annies-eats.com/2010/10/12/yellow-butter-cake-with-chocolate-frosting/
Oooh and my CupcakeCraze business cards come soon! WOOWOO! Check us out on Facebook under CupcakeCraze!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
I learned one VERY important lesson: do NOT ever use Tenderflake or the pie crust recipe that it has on the box. It actually tasted like chemicals. No joke. I did everything the box told me to, but it still tasted like chemicals/wax/nothing... depending on where you bit into the crust. Good thing the pumpkin filling was good and didn't do a bad job of covering up aformentioned crust!
So I think that Tenderflake should come to my house and clean my kitchen for me after all the trouble I went through to make their horribly distgusting crust! Do you hear me Tenderflake?!?!
So, Happy Thanksgiving - I hope your pumpkin pie was better than mine!
Sunday, October 3, 2010
Tomorrow night is Gnocchi Mac n' Cheese from noblepig.com; and yes, it technically is still baking. Just with savory ingredients. I don't need to let you know how it turns out because it has become a quick favorite in our house and we are always fighting over the leftover bits a few hours after dinner! Expensive to make, yes, but worth every blessed penny! Janelle told me about this recipe a few months ago, and bless her heart, she can't even eat it, but still makes it for her hubby! Here is the recipe, and some very gloriously cheesy pictures! http://noblepig.com/2010/08/28/gnocchi-mac-n-cheese.aspx
I'm off to eat some sticky buns before Joel gets his meathooks all over them and empties the entire dish!
Saturday, October 2, 2010
The recipe is found at http://www.dontforgetdelicious.com/2009/fastest-cinnamon-rolls/
I changed a few things - one being that I don't own a food processor, but I could tell that you might need to process it a bit because of the cottage cheese. Clumps of cottage cheese aren't exactly a delicacy. So I threw all the wet ingredients into my magic bullet, and then dumped it into the kitchenaid mixer and added the dry. It worked pretty well - just make sure you don't blend the flour mixture for very long. I also made a brown sugar syrup for the bottom of the pan because I wanted more of a sticky roll - just don't make the mistake I did by not properly combining the brown sugar and melted butter on the stove beforehand - my sugar and butter totally seperated and it was pretty much a heart attack waiting to happen. (This generally won't happen if you simmer the butter and sugar on the stove, at quite a low temperature for a few minutes or so, and stir VERY often, if not continuoulsy). Mmmmmmm... so tasty! Hope you enjoy!
Friday, October 1, 2010
I have been wanting to do this for a while, and with baby asleep I finally have some time to set this up and see where it takes me! This is my hope: that I will be able to update once a week, and that I will not gain 200 pounds eating the products of my baking fetish!
As you may, or may not, be aware, I am significantly in love with cupcakes. I adore cupcakes. Especially the mini ones. They are sooo cute. And you can pop the whole thing in your mouth at once. Not to mention that the cake to frosting ratio is superb - unlike what you can even hope to imagine with a regular sized cupcake. I am hoping to post about my new creations on here, rather than on Facebook, because it really isn't conducive to my rather long winded tales that involve the cupcake baking.
Take today for example. Right now I have a batch of "Fastest Cinnamon Rolls" in the oven. To get to that point I had to clean up a bag of sugar that my adorable child decided to empty all over the floor (and lick up) and then somehow she managed to twist the cap off of the syrup and drizzle all over said floor after I had cleaned up the sugar fiasco. Facebook won't let me fit that in my CupcakeCraze status, so alas, here we are. The name of the rolls are a bit diseiving (sp.?) becuase I kind of hoped that somehow they would be able to knead and roll themselves out. But they didn't. My kitchen is still a disaster as I write this, and hubby will be home any minute to witness the destruction, but I cannot bring myself to turn around and tackle it. I just checked on them in the oven and it appears that I did not melt the brown sugar with the butter for the "sauce" and my rolls seem to be swimming in a butter/heart attack glaze right now with clumps of brown sugar floating around. Super! I'll let you know how they turn out. I may need to save them by straining out the butter, pasta style, and smothering them in cream cheese icing. Which is okay with me.