Tuesday, September 30, 2008

hate baking?

I wonder... can I begin to hate baking?
If only I had all the time and money in the world to bake... mainly if I had more money. Especially if it would be just enough for a KitchenAid stand mixer with a tilt head in metallic chrome or imperial gray. Sexxxxxxxxxxay.

Anyways, my latest labor of 'love'- taken from JustJennRecipes blog:
Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cupcakes w/ Peppermint Frosting
2 sticks butter
2C sugar
4 eggs
1 Tbsp. Peppermint Extract (I felt it was too strong)
2.5C Flour
1/2C Cocoa Powder- I used Scharffen Berger
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1C chocolate milk
1/2C mini chocolate chips - I used chopped up Andes mints which may have made it over the top minty

350 degree over - 20 minutes - Toothpick test

Cream sugar and butter until fluffy.
Add eggs one at a time, then add peppermint extract.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt.
On low speed, add flour and chocolate milk to the butter mixture- alternating between wet and dry- until well combines.
Stir in chocolate chips.
Spoon into pan.

Peppermint Frosting
6 Tbsp. butter
3C powdered sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 C milk
2 tsp. peppermint extract (I think I spilled in some extra... oops)

Cream butter and sugar. Add cocoa and milk, alternating. Add peppermint extract. Beat until nice and fluffy.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

i'm back! maybe...

Been so busy (or lazy) that I haven't gotten to update much... not much to update though. In the past few weeks, I've only been able to bake just once... and it was a semi-success. Tasted good, but my impatience blew the presentation to hell (and then I just gave up).
SO... without further ado... I present to you "The House Cake"- a housewarming 'gift':

Almond Cake with Raspberry Cream Filling
and Marshmallow Vanilla Buttercream Icing

"Roof" made of chocolate graham cracker sticks.

The icing wasn't as thick as I would have liked, so it kind of just gooped down the cake... and thusly, my "roof tiles" would slide right off. And... I pretty much stopped caring/trying at that point, wrapped this sucker in plenty of plastic wrap and aluminum foil before hauling it over to the friend's new home.

Tasted good; Looked like gross.

Almond Cake (adapted from my "Hello, Cupcake!" book)
2C AP Flour
2.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
3.5oz (half a package) almond paste
1C sugar
3 large eggs
1C milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

350 degrees Two 8in Square Pans 26min. Toothpick Test
Whisk together dry ingredients
In another bowl, on medium, beat butter, almond paste and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add eggs one at a time. Reduce speed to low and all the flour mixtures and the milk, alternating- beginning and ending with flour. Beat until just blended. Stir in the vanilla.
Pour into buttered pans.

Marshmallow Vanilla Buttercream Icing
(adapted from "Hello, Cupcake!" as well)
16 oz. Marshmallow Fluff (I used 2 containers of 7.5oz)
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2c powdered sugar (+extra as needed)

Beat Marshmallow Fluff with electric mixer on low. Add in butter pieces gradually, beating well after each addition. until smooth. Add vanilla extract and powdered sugar. Scrape the bowl to incorporate. Add more powdered sugar if needed to adjust texture.

1C Heavy Whipping Cream
1/4C Raspberry jam
1 Tbsp granulated white sugar (or to taste)

Chill beaters and bowl for at least 30 min in freezer.
Beat whipping cream until soft peaks. Add jam and sugar. Beat until stiff peaks.

Monday, September 8, 2008

disappointing baking day

I baked two new recipes... and they didn't come out as expected. O well, practice makes perfect.

French-Style Yogurt Cake w/ Ground Almonds on top

in deep (fryer) trouble

on a "whim", the boy bought a deep fryer because he was craving deep fried oreos for dessert:

...this can't be a good thing (or can it?)

Sunday, September 7, 2008


Mini Salami Puff Sandwiches

Notes: Used Cotto Salami.
1 puff pastry sheet (half a package) yields 16 2in. round cut outs.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

the bananas have ripened... but i'm a failure.

IT'S BANANA BREAD TIME! At last... I've been pretty excited to get started on these new recipes... too bad this one first one sucked.

Banana Bread w/ Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar from Orangette

3 ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1.5C unbleached AP flour (I switched over to see the difference, if any)
1C Gran. Sugar
1tsp Baking Soda (I ended up adding in baking powder*)
2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1C Semisweet Chocolate Chips

Topping: 2tbsp gran sugar + 1/8tsp ground cinnamon

Mash bananas. Add eggs. Stir to combine
Add flour, sugar, baking soda*, cinnamon and vanilla.
Stir to mix.
Add 3/4C of chocolate chips.
Pour into prepared pan.
Sprinkle top with cinnamon sugar and remaining chocolate chips.

I used a loaf pan, lined with parchment.** (Neato trick I learned from reading the Orangette blog- spray the pan with cooking spray, THEN line it. WHOA.)

Bake 375 degree oven for 35-40min. Do the toothpick test. Cool on wire rack.

What I Did/Did Not Do:
*After making the baking soda/powder switcheroo, I ran to look up if there was a way to salvage the mistake. You can! Sorta... so I simply added another tsp of baking powder. Next time, I'll do it 'right' and see if there's a difference.
**So the recipe uses a 8in sq pan. And... I don't have that. And... I have a round. AND... I don't know why this time I DIDN'T follow the directions as closely as possible. So, a round probably would have been better than a loaf for the temperature and cooking time. I didn't think of this until I did the toothpick test (naturally). So I ended up fiddling with the oven temp and baking time to see if I could salvage THIS baking fiasco. I baked for 20 more min at approx. 325 degrees. It worked out ok in the end...

Notes: (may just apply towards my own processes)
Crust came out nice, in my opinion. Crumbly and crusty with sugar and chocolate atop.
The bread is chewy... which isn't a bad thing. It is what the original recipe said it would be. SO I guess I can't be too disappointed.
Also, I think I'm going to get another sized loaf pan. This one bakes much like a BRICK. Not so charming to have a BRICK of bread or cake sometimes.

I don't know how much a fan I am of chocolate in banana bread. Its OKAY. But I could do without. That'll be my next one to try then. But I might have to divide the recipe and add chocolate to one half, cuz the boy INSISTS upon the chocolate chips.

Monday, September 1, 2008

more domo?

I think some domo-kun cupcakes are going to be made in the near future too.

kosher salt vs. table salt

So, I had some time to do baking this weekend, unfortunately didn't bake on Monday... and another lesson learned: kosher salt makes cookies saltier. *edit: apparently, kosher salt ISN'T saltier... so now, I dunno why it tasted salty. >> NOW I do, I added 1 1/4 tsp salt... oops. I wrote it down wrong. :(

2.25C AP Flour
2/3C Cocoa Powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt (I used kosher salt...)
1C (2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4C Gran. Sugar
2/3C Packed Brown Sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 bag (12.5oz) mint chips (Since I couldn't find any, I used chopped up Andes mints. I also divided the dough so I could also use up the remaining mini PB cups from the brownie disaster and make Chocolate PB Cookies.)

Combine flour, coca, baking soda, salt.

Beat butter, sugars, vanilla until creamy.
Add eggs, one at a time.

Gradually beat in flour mixture. I did the first "half" of mixing with the mixer, then switched to by hand. As as the original recipe said, it is a STIFF DOUGH!

Stir in the chips (mint or PB, whatever you like). Drop onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 350 degrees. I upped the time from the 9-11min as stated in the original recipe, to 13-15 minutes. (My first 11min batch came out moist, but a little to moist for me.)

Yields about 3 doz. using a medium cookie scooper.

Notes: The cookies came out "nibbler" sized, which is very nice for sharing! I may have beat the butters and eggs too much and they came out to be really fluffy cookies, but that wasn't much of a bad thing. Maybe unexpected since they didn't flatten out much in the oven.

ALSO, I did make my "eggie in a basket". YUM!

I'll be baking some banana bread in the next day or so! So let's all look forward to that!