Wednesday, April 30, 2008
I made about a dozen regular sized cupcakes, and made minis with the rest of the batter...if I only knew then what I know now, I would have only made minis...as you'll read why later.
The cupcakes turned out great.
It was on to the icing. This requires about 15 minutes total of electric mixer strength in the arms...OUCH! My arms are still burning. PLUS...I had my 16 pound baby in the other arm half the time trying to do this while holding her...she was a bit fussy! Anyways, I think the icing turned out ok....not sure if maybe it should have been a little stiffer, since I ran into problems later on.
I went ahead and frosted the minis, and then the regular cupcakes....aren't they cute?! They reminded me of little Dairy Queen ice cream cones!
Then it was off to the fridge while i melted the chocolate dipping sauce.
I also think the chocolate could have been a little thinner, but didn't want to add anymore oil as these little puppies were going to be packed full of enough fat and calories...
After letting the chocolate cool for 15 minutes, I grabbed a mini that had been setting in the fridge all this time, and dunked it in the chocolate. Out came an oozing dripping glob of marshmallow-y goop falling off the cupcake and almost back into the bowl of chocolate. Hmmm? So it was into the freezer with the cupcakes.....
The freezer helped a little...but the icing swirls still softened up when I dunked them into the chocolate sauce....too bad, because the swirls made for a cute cupcake! So the tops look like one big mound, instead of a tall Dairy Queen swirl mountain!
So, even though I was not completely satisfied with the final look of the cupcakes, I was happy that I was atleast able to get them covered in chocolate!
And as for the taste...holy cow! SUGAR SUGAR SUGAR! I split a big cupcake in half and could hardly get one half down...it was so sweet. DELICIOUS...but very sugary and sweet! That is why I wish I would have done ONLY minis. Now I know!
We have playgroup tomorrow, so I'll be taking a plate of minis to share with the girls..and all the big ones and what ever is left of the minis....you guessed it...are going to the hangar with my husband for the marines!
I think next time maybe I'll try these out with just plain old buttercream icing that I use on all my regular cupcakes. Then that way they won't be so sweet. And, I think they would freeze harder so that i could get a prettier chocolate coating! But I won't be making these again for a while. The sugar from just eating half of one of these is going to keep me up for days!!!
Monday, April 28, 2008
I have never bought or even eaten figs before so this was me taking a leap of faith....trying something new!
When the cake was in the oven it really smelled delicious, much to my surprise! Even though I had read all the comments about it being too sweet and some people cutting out some sugar, I went ahead and followed the recipe..minus the butter on top. I have a sweet tooth, and decided that I'd decide if it were too sweet.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
So, you might be wondering why the title includes the words "WRINKLE FREE"...well, that would be because I left out the raisins. I'm not a big fan. At least not incorporated in my food. I'll eat raisins plain, but not in my breads, or cake! So there you have it.
Shredding the carrots (organic), I think, was the most time consuming part of the whole recipe, but fun, nonetheless. My son checked in on me from time to time to see if there was anything he could do to help.... but it always seemed like there was a more interesting part in THE BEE MOVIE that he was watching, so he never stuck around for long! He just likes to dump and stir things anyways.
So. I knew i didn't want to make a big 9 inch cake...so I pulled out my 6 inch pans instead. Then I prepped my cupcake pan for the leftovers. (I made 9 cupcakes after filling 2-6 inch pans)
I watched the batter like a hawk and noticed that the middles were sinking as it got close to the end....but I just figured I would cover up the sink hole with some icing!
Which brings me to the next part...the icing. I added a full 4 cups of powdered sugar and still thought the icing was fairly thin. But I didn't want to add any more sugar, so I put it in the fridge for a few minutes before I put it on the cake.
I slathered on a layer of icing between the two 6 inch cakes..with a spinkled layer of coconut for some added flair! Then I iced the entire cake with the rest of the icing, which ended up being the perfect amount after swirling some on my 9 cupcakes. I had big dreams of decorating the cake and making it pretty, but ran out of umph, and mommy time, so i just threw on some coconut flakes and called it good. My kids were ready for some attention, and I was burnt out.
My husband has been gone for two months doing some military training, so I am freezing the cake and we'll cut into it when he gets home this week! He loves him some carrot cake, so I'm anxious to see what he thinks! He will be the true judge!
I hope to have more creativity with next week's recipe! This was so much fun!
Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan
Yields 10 servings
For the cake:
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
3 cups grated carrots (about 9 carrots, you can grate them in food processor fitted w/ a shredding a blade or use a box grater)
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup shredded coconut (sweetened or unsweetened)
½ cup moist, plump raisins (dark or golden) or dried cranberries
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
4 large eggs
For the frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick ( 8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 pound or 3 and ¾ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice or ½ teaspoon pure lemon extract
½ cup shredded coconut (optional)
Finely chopped toasted nuts and/or toasted shredded coconut (optional)
Position the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter three 9-x-2-inch round cake pans, flour the insides, and tap out the excess. Put the two pans on one baking sheet and one on another.
To make the cake:
Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, stir together the carrots, chopped nuts, coconut, and raisins.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the sugar and oil together on a medium speed until smooth. Add the eggs one by one and continue to beat until the batter is even smoother. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture, mixing only until the dry ingredients disappear. Gently mix the chunky ingredients. Divide the batter among the baking pans.
Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pans from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point, until a thin knife inserted into the centers comes out clean. The cakes will have just started to come away from the sides of the pans. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes and unmold them. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.
The cakes can be wrapped airtight and kept at room temperature overnight or frozen for up to 2 months.
To make the frosting:
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until the frosting is velvety smooth. Beat in the lemon juice or extract.
If you'd like coconut in the filling, scoop about half of the frosting and stir the coconut into this position.
To assemble the cake:
Put one layer top side up on a cardboard cake round or a cake plate protected by strips of wax or parchment paper. If you added the coconut to the frosting, use half of the coconut frosting to generously cover the first layer (or generously cover with plain frosting). Use an offset spatula or a spoon to smooth the frosting all the way to the edges of the layer. Top with the second layer, this time placing the cake stop side down, and frost with the remainder of the coconut frosting or plain frosting. Top with the last layer, right side up, and frost the top- and the sides- of the cake. Finish the top with swirls of frosting. If you want to top the cake with toasted nuts or coconut, sprinkle them on now while the frosting is soft.
Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, just to set the frosting before serving.
This cake can be served as soon as the frosting is set. It can also wait, at room temperature and covered with a cake keeper overnight. The cake is best served in thick slices at room temperature and while it's good plain, it's even better with vanilla ice cream or some lemon curd.
The cake will keep at room temperature for 2 to 3 days. It can also be frozen. Freeze it uncovered, then when it's firm, wrap airtight and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost, still wrapped, overnight in the refrigerator.
1 cup chopped walnuts (toasted or raw)
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl.
5 Pour mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack!
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I have to admit that for the few ingredients that this little cookie contains, they actually taste pretty darn good! Yay me!
I have more recipes I am dying to try, but since it's late and I should really be taking advantage of this time by cleaning my house, doing my dishes, or even better yet, SLEEPING, I should hold off 'til tomorrow. And I think I'll go for some sleep. Cleaning can wait!
GLUTEN FREE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES
·2 cups white sugar
·4 eggs, beaten
·2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
·1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
2. Combine peanut butter, eggs, and sugar and mix until smooth. Mix in chocolate chips and nuts, if desired. Spoon dough by tablespoons onto a cookie sheet.
3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheets for 5 to 10 minutes before removing.
Monday, April 7, 2008
I've got a cookie recipe I might try soon. I've got a busy week coming up and some company, so we'll see what all I get done!
Sunday, April 6, 2008
2 ¼ cups of Dr. Pepper
2 cups of sugar
2 ½ cups of cake flour
4 ounces of unsweetened chocolate
½ cup of maraschino cherry syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of unsalted butter (2 sticks)
pinch of salt
1 ½ teaspoons of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
¼ cup sour cream
But I'll have to say I think today was a pretty successful baking day...I think I'll be popping in at some friends houses tomorrow to get rid of them all now.....otherwise my baby fat won't be coming off as quickly as I'd like!
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Friday, April 4, 2008
My 3 year old son even helped out! He loves to use my cookies cutters, so he was my scone maker. He did an excellent job!
They turned out very puffy and biscuit looking, but they taste amazing! I might even drizzle some chocolate over them, or do a half dip, since I didn't get that in before the baking process!
Here is the recipe:
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cup chocolate chips
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1 1/4 cup milk
Mix all ingredients minus chocolate chips. Cut in butter. Blend until course and grainy. Add milk. Mix until almost combined. Fold in chocolate chips (don't forget now). Do not overmix.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the Dough 10 times to bring it together and smooth it out. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough to a one-inch thickness. Cut into desired shape, and place on ungreased sheet pan. Knead the scraps together just until combined, then roll out again.
Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with honey and jam.