Monday, November 29, 2010

Kahlua Chocolate Cake

Recently I've been trying to come up with a new flavor to add to my 'roster.'  Being that I LOVE chocolate I thought about doing something extra to a great recipe I already use from Glorious Treats.  So, I decided to punch up the flavor a bit with Kahlua.  Coffee intensifies chocolate so I thought this would be a good addition.  I reduced the boiling water to 3/4 cup and replaced with 1/4 cup of Kahlua.  In the end the Kahlua flavor was subtle and the cake was deliciously moist. Overall, this cake was a HUGE hit and I would definitely make it again.

Added dry ingredients  (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder and salt) to wet ingredients (eggs, oil, milk and vanilla)

Mix in Kahlua and boiling water
Batter will be runny
Drizzled Kahlua on top and in between layers
3 layers of frosting
Covered the cake in rosesusing small star tip (Wilton). Couldn't find my large star tip 21

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cupcake Display

I'm pretty pleased with my cakes and frosting but I'm looking for a little more oomph in my presentations.  Food is also a form of artistic expression but I don't like food that has been overly manipulated and handled.  Sometimes I see these beautiful cakes on Cake Boss and Amazing Cakes but watching them make it makes me not want to eat it.  I like my food to look a little less like art and a little more like food.  All that to say while I was baking for Thanksgiving, I decided to play with a display option for an event I'm doing next week.  I went to Michael's earlier this week and lost my damn mind picked up a few things.  I wanted to either do a cupcake bouquet or cupcake martini. I bought the glass, a round styrofoam block and some confetti string.
I taped (double-sided) the block inside the glass and spread the red and white string.
I stuck 2 toothipicks in the styrofoam for each cupcake and slid them on one by one.
I cut the leaves off these decorations.
Placed the leaves in an alternate pattern.

Frosted them with the small star tip (Wilton)
All done! Pretty classy if I do say so myself;)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Cupcake Marathon

Today I made over 100 cupcakes!  My feet are sore but I still feel great! After taste-testing quite a few being surrounded by cupcakes all day, I know what I'll pass on at dinner tomorrow.  At least they were not the regular sized-ones:) Actually, most of the feedback I get usually has to do with the size.  This is one instance where bigger is not always better.  I personally also like the mini cupcakes because I feel a lot a little less guilty.
Red Velvet, Cookies n Cream, and Caramel

These are most of the cupcakes I made.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

After making bread for the first time a few months ago, I vowed to never buy bread again (I get really excited sometimes).  I'm always pleased with the results and I love knowing EXACTLY what I put in it.  My mom and neighbor love it also and often ask when I'm making my next loaf.  I modify a recipe from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.  (I replace 3 cups of all purpose flour with whole wheat flour and replace some of the regular sugar with brown sugar and honey.  I do this to ensure that the bread is soft and moist.  It takes about 3-4 hours but most of that time is just waiting for the dough to rise.


Heat milk to 110 degrees and place in bowl of mixer.
Sprinkle yeast over milk and stir with whisk.

Add flour, eggs, butter, sugar, honey and salt and knead. 
Pat down on a floured surface and sprinkle with cinnamon and raisins 

Let rise for 1 hour. Since my apartment is cold,  I place it on my stovetop with the oven on. I rotate  it after 30 minutes.

It should double in size.

Pat out and spread cinnamon sugar and water filling.  Roll into a log and tuck in edges.  Let rise in greased loaf pans.
Brush with beaten egg and bake for 30-40 minutes at 380-400 degrees.The baking times and temperature in Martha Stewart's book don't work for me for some reason. So I bake it for less time at a reduce temperature.
Let cool on wire rack before slicing. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bite-Sized Red Velvet Cupcakes

I made these little red velvet cupcakes for the Going-Natural event.  I modified a few of the recipes I've seen to get the perfect red velvet for me.  I like to use a little more cocoa powder than most recipes.  This yields about 28 mini-cupcakes (they are really small).
          1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 
           1/2 teaspoon salt
         1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
          3/4 cups sugar (brown and organic cane sugar)
         1 egg
         3 tablespoons cocoa powder 
         1 tbsp heavy cream
          1/2 ounces red food coloring
          1/2 cup buttermilk (Saco buttermilk powder mixed with almond milk)
          1 teaspoon vanilla paste
          1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
         1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Cream butter and sugar about 2-3 minutes.  Blend in egg.  Make a paste from cocoa and red dye.

Add paste to butter sugar mixture

Mix in flour and salt.  Add milk and vanilla.
Combine the baking soda and vinegar in a separate bowl. Fold in with a rubber spatula.
Bake 11 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. ( I used very small cupcake liners.  Add more time for bigger liners.)
 I made a standard cream cheese buttercream (confectioner's sugar, butter, cream cheese, milk, and vanilla) then sprinkled red crystals on top.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Gluten-Free Mini Coconut Cupcakes

I'm supplying cupcakes for my good friend Mireille's Going Natural product launch party this Sunday.  She is sensitive to wheat and loves coconut and vanilla.  She asked me if I could make something that she would be able to eat during the event.  I've never baked without wheat flour but was up to the challenge.  I made up my own recipe following some of the steps and ingredients for the Caramel Cupcakes as a base.  I generally use brown sugar to ensure moistness.

2 egg yolks
1 egg
1 tsp coconut extract
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup plus 2 tbsp buttermilk
(I used Saco buttermilk powder with coconut milk)
1 ½ cup gluten-free all purpose flour
½ tsp xanthan gum
2/3  cup sugar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp condensed milk
2 ¼ tsp baking powder
¼ salt
¼ cup butter (room temperature)
¼ coconut oil (room temperature)
½ cup shredded coconut 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together, the eggs, egg yolk, coconut extract, vanilla extract, condensed milk and buttermilk and set aside. 

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low. With the mixer running, gradually drop in the coconut oil then the butter pieces and until blended, about 2 minutes. With the mixer still on low, begin slowly pouring in the wet ingredients. When all the wet ingredients have been added, increase speed to medium and mix until the batter is light and fluffy, about 1 1/2 more minutes. 
Mixing in wet ingredients.
Fold in unsweetened shredded coconut
Bake for 15-17 minutes
Nice and moist!

"They" always say that baking is very precise but a lot of times I throw few ingredients together and eyeball the measurements and still get good results.  That's exactly what happened with the frosting.  I whipped up these ingredients together.
About 2 cups sugar, 2 tbsp coconut milk, 3 tbsp organic heavy cream, 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut and 1/4 tsp coconut extract)
Whipped with a whisk then beat with paddle attachment  about 3-4 minutes

Cupcakes Take the Cake Meetup

On Sunday 11/14, I went to a meetup at Williams-Sonoma for Bakerella's Cake Pops book signing.  Afterwards we went to Grand Central Station and had lunch and cupcakes from Magnolia Bakery.  It was great meeting the ladies of The Mad Haus Frau and Cupcakes Take the Cake.  Check out some pics from Haus Frau's page  
Be sure to check out the rest of her blog. She had some really great Halloween treats (including Chunks of Flesh rice krispie treats)!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Caramel Cupcakes

This past Saturday I had a Book Club meeting with some wonderful ladies from my church.  It's very casual and we all bring a dish or drink and gather at someone's house.  The book selection was "The Shack."  We had some smoked gouda cheese and crackers, mac and cheese, fried chicken and salad.  I decided to make these cupcakes.  I tweaked a recipe I got from Piece of Cake Blogspot.  The buttermilk does make the cake extra moist.  I almost always substitute brown sugar, almond milk and vanilla paste.

I've made these in the past.  Here are 2 more pics:

I love how simple and tasty these are!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

My First Post- Cookies and Cream

Well, I've been talking about having a cupcake side hustle for a while and I'm finally going full speed ahead with it. Tonight I made Cookies and Cream cupcakes for my friends in Baltimore.  One of our friends is heading there tomorrow for a long weekend.  I used the recipe from with a little tweaking.  I used 2/3 cup brown sugar and 1 cup of organic cane sugar, almond milk instead of cow's milk, and vanilla paste instead of extract.  Her recipe is GREAT and very easy to follow.

This is a pic of some I made a while back

The Oreo on the bottom is a nice surprise. 

Ready to go! I get these boxes from Michael's. I think they're so cute:)