Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Turtle Cupcake

My newest creation: dark chocolate cupcake with brown sugar swiss meringue buttercream, topped with homemade caramel sauce, candied pecans and chocolate chunks.....VERY YUMMY....will definitely stay on my menu!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Strawberry Mojito Buttercream to the Max...

I know that I have posted a recipe for straw mojito buttercream, but this is revised, this is better. Of course it's more complicated, because that seems to be the way I roll....but no matter, it's worth the extra effort.

The reason I've been playing around with this recipe is that I wanted to be able to infuse more strawberry puree into the buttercream. A single recipe of American buttercream won't hold more than 3/4 cup of the puree without deflating, or curdling. Also, I couldn't get more than that into Swiss meringue buttercream....BUT....if you make a half recipe of both, and then combine them in the can put an entire batch of strawberry puree into the mix and still have a good thick buttercream that won't deflate....
So here's what I did....
Macerated Strawberry Mojito mix
1 quart strawberries, washed, hulled and coarsely chopped
pinch salt
1/2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
1/2 lime zest
1/2 lemon zest
1/4 lime juice
1/4 lemon juice
1 Tbsp rum
Mix and let sit for at least an hour in the fridge. puree when ready to use (I like to keep some chunks in there).

American Buttercream
2 sticks unsalted butter softened
4 cups powdered sugar
pinch salt
pinch flour
1/2 to 3/4 cup strawberry puree
Cream sugar, add powdered sugar, salt and flour and beat until incorporated, slowly add it...don't add too can add more later....beat until incorporated.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into Tbsp chunks
In heatproof bowl over pan of simmering water, whisk egg whites, sugar and CofT until mixture reaches 160 degrees. Transfer mixture to stand mixer bowl (OR, you can heat your egg mixture in the same bowl, just wiping the bottom of the bowl off after heating).

With whisk attachment, beat mixture on high speed for approx 8-10 minutes, until mixture has soft peaks and is cool (I know it's ready when I take the whisk off and the meringue on the beater when I remove it looks like and eagles beak). Put on blade attachment and on med speed slowly add butter. when all the butter is in, turn mixer up to med high and beat until you start hearing a change in the consistency (like a slap slap on the side of the bowl). now on low speed add approx 1 cup of the puree (OH....MAKE SURE THIS PUREE IS AT ROOM TEMP, OR YOU'LL HAVE A CURDLED MESS ON YOUR HANDS) turn up mix and beat until incorporated.

NOW.....mix the two buttercreams together, beat until incorporated, then add the rest of your puree (if you want to)....enjoy!

note...I made this the night before I needed it, when I wanted to use it the next day, I put it in the KA, and it looked curdled....I beat it with the whisk attachment on high for a few minutes...and presto, it was beautiful again.

Hannah Montana and reindeers...

Cupcakes for and stars I made out of a mix of candy clay and fondant. The reindeer were a last minute order....made also out of a mix of candy clay and fondant.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congratulations Lindsay!

Lindsay graduated from nursing school, she want a dozen cupcakes decorated for her nursing graduation, and the other 2 dz for her birthday this weekend.

I made Brown Sugar Praline with brown sugar cream cheese frosting, red velvet with white chocolate cream cheese frosting and mojito with strawberry mojito buttercream...mmmmm.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Daniel!

My baby turned 5...this is his cake.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Again with the Red Velvet?

yes, again. The Martha Stewart cupcakes got real greasy after the first, onward I go to find something better. In between that post and this post I had made 4 other red velvet recipes, and was not really happy with any of them.
But on the following day (so 24 hours after making it) I ate one at was so good. wierd I thought, that it would taste better than the day before....but it did...and not only did it taste good, but I wanted another one. Mind you, I make so many cupcakes, that I don't ever really feel that way. Soooooo.....
Yesterday I made another 2 batches. The one that was good on day 2, was a recipe I had found on the American Profile magazine site...It is dense, moist, tight crumb...more of a "not southern" red velvet...but, um, I'm not southern...and I loved it.
The other that I made was from The Pink Cake Box blog site, she has a recipe for a red velvet, that is real similar to Martha's, but she uses whole milk and curdles it with more vinegar, and adds more cocoa.
Results: I was pleased with both. The Pink Cake Box recipe, is more of a traditional red velvet, and is holding up quite well...not too greasy. (I did omit some oil tho), and of course I really like the more non traditional red velvet American Profile cuppie....even on day 1.
The cuppies on the left, the redder ones are the American Profile, and of course on the right is the Pink Cake Box.
AMERICAN PROFILE, Red Velvet Cupcakes Recipe
(adapted from Rebecca Rather, the Pastry Queen)
1/4 cup red food coloring
3 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1
teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
I also folded in about 1/2 of chopped dark chocolate chips at the end
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease muffin cups with butter or cooking spray and lightly flour, knocking out excess, or line with paper baking cups.
2. To prepare cupcakes, stir food coloring and cocoa powder together to make a paste.
3. Combine butter and sugar and beat with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Beat in cocoa paste. Reduce speed to medium and beat batter 4 minutes.
4. Sift together flours, salt and baking soda. Stir vanilla into buttermilk. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on medium speed just until combined. Beat in sour cream and vinegar until combined.
5. Fill muffin cups three-fourths full. Bake jumbo cupcakes 25 to 35 minutes or regular-size cupcakes 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool in pans 5 minutes. Unmold onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Pink Cake Box Red Velvet Cupcakes
Ingredients & Supplies Needed:Muffin Tins and Cupcake Papers
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil (I only used 1 1/4 cup)
1 cup milk
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons liquid red food coloring (Add more for desired darkness)
2 teaspoons white distilled vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
again, I added 1/2 cup finely chopped dark chocolate chips at end
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with cupcake papers. .
In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a separate bowl, mix milk and vinegar and let sit for 10 minutes – curdling will occur. Then add the oil, eggs, food coloring and vanilla to the milk mixture, whisking until mixed.
Using a stand mixer, add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the paddle until just combined.
Divide the cake batter evenly into the tins – about 3/4 full. Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean

Friday, December 11, 2009

Purse cake

My first, looks more like a lunch box....But I have to say, I'm pleased with this cake. I used Fondariffic fondant, and it rolled and worked beautifully.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Worst cake day of my life...

Well, I wrote the other two posts prior to attempting this cake. I was already fustrated and tired from all the things that had gone wrong on the other two....But this, this, thing....this cake just put me right over the edge.

I think my problem started when I tried to frost a verrrryyyy cold cake with Swiss meringue wait, my problem started when I tried to add very cold strawberries to the icing....then tried to spread that on the cold cake.....well, instead of smooth and shiny, you get chunky and stucco looking....I can only hope the cake layers don't try and slide off the filling.

I put cake in the car in the garage to take to work in the morning. It's in the single digits outside.....Oooohhhh, now that should help. not.



My second of 3 cakes this weekend, this one is for a coworkers daughter. I made a small cake and cupcakes to match.

Cookie Monster!

My, oh my, did I have problems with this guy. I made his head, shoulders and hands out of peanut butter rice krispy treats, and covered it with milk chocolate ganache. The cake is a 3 layer chocolate cake with a peanut butter filling I found on Smitten Kitchen (oh yeah, you know it's good if it's from her), then frosted it in a milk chocolate ganache buttercream ----then covered the whole thing with homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Problem 1: I made him the day before, which made my frosting dry as a bone, so every time I moved him, some bit of frosting would fall off.

Problem 2: For whatever reason, my chocolate buttercream deflated. It usually crusts, but not this time, soft, and I had difficulties attaching the cookies to it (tasted good tho)

Problem 3: I didn't put dowels in, thought candy sticks would suffice, ended up fretting over that decision to the point of a stomach ache (next time, put the damn dowels in Sandi)

Problem 4: Put his arm on, arm fell off taking big piece of side of cake....which is ....
Problem 5: The cake was wayyyyyyy to soft for this endeavor.

Anyways, here are the before and after his arm fell off pics...(BTW, lots more problems, just don't want to bore you)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Cute Pic

My baby looking all angelic. My how looks are deceiving.....

Holiday Cupcakes

What I did today....
Top picture from upper left to right:
- dark chocolate mocha cake with mocha frosting and Green and Black's Expresso Chocolate shavings,
-gingerbread with fresh pear and crystallized ginger topped with a limoncello cream cheese buttercream and homemade gingerbread man,
-red velvet with peppermint white chocolate cream cheese frosting and chopped peppermint bark, and finally
-dark chocolate cake with nutella filling, dipped in ganache and topped with a Frangelico Swiss Meringue buttercream, hazelnut/chocolate shavings and a hazelnut/chocolate cookie.