Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Makes about 30 cupcakes
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising (3/4 c + 2 tbsp)
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (1/2 c + 2tbsp)
2 cups sugar (1 cup)
1 tablespoon baking powder (1 1/2 tsp)
3/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 tsp)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes (1/2 c-1 stick)
4 large eggs (2 eggs)
1 cup whole milk (1/2 cup)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (1/2 tsp)
1. Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes.
4. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
ADAPTED FROM: SKY HIGH:IRRESISTIBLE LAYER CAKES VIA LEITE'S CULINARIA
For the cake
3/4 cup skinned pistachio nuts
1 2/3 cups sugar
2 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
5 eggs, lightly beaten
For the marzipan
8 ounces almond paste
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
For the dark ganache glaze
1 pound extra-bittersweet chocolate
1 1/4 cups heavy cream
3/4 cup apricot preserves
Marzipan roses for decoration (optional)
Make the cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Butter three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom of each pan with a round of parchment or waxed paper and butter the paper.
2. Spread out the pistachios in a baking pan and toast in the oven for 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly colored. Transfer to a dish and let cool completely. Finely chop the pistachios and set 1/4 cup aside for decoration.
3. Put the remaining 1/2 cup pistachios in a food processor. Add the sugar and pulse just enough to grind them finely.
4. Pour into a large mixing bowl and add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Blend with the mixer on low for 30 seconds. Add the butter, milk, and vanilla and, with the mixer on low, beat until completely incorporated.
5. Raise the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the beaten eggs in 2 or 3 additions, scraping down the sides of the bowl well and mixing only long enough to blend after each addition. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.
6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a cake tester or wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the layers to cool in the pans for 10 minutes. Turn out onto wire racks, carefully peel off the paper liners, and let cool completely.
Make the marzipan (You can also use store bought marzipan)
1. Crumble the almond paste into a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer on low speed to soften the almond paste. Add the confectioners’ sugar and corn syrup and beat until smooth. Wrap well in plastic so it doesn’t dry out, and allow to rest at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours before rolling out.
Make the dark ganache glaze (I used Ghirardelli)
1. Chop the chocolate coarsely and put it in a heatproof bowl. Bring the cream to a bare simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth and use the glaze soon after making so that it doesn’t set.
Assemble the cake
1. Roll out a third of the marzipan on a work surface dusted with a little confectioners’ sugar to about 1/8-inch thickness.
2. Set one of the cake pans upside down on the marzipan and trim around it with a small knife to make an 8-inch round. Repeat two more times with the remaining marzipan. Save all your scraps to make roses for decoration, if you like.
3. Place one cake layer on a cake board, flat side up. Spread 1/4 cup of the preserves evenly over the top, leaving a 1/4-inch margin all around. Place one marzipan round on top of the preserves and spread 1/3 cup of the Dark Ganache Glaze over the marzipan so that it completely covers the surface. Repeat with the second cake layer, adding more preserves, another round of marzipan, and more ganache glaze. Top the cake with the third layer. Spread the last of the apricot preserves over the top of the cake and cover it with the last round of marzipan.
4. Place the cake on a wire cooling rack that is nesting in a baking pan. Pour the remaining ganache glaze over the cake, in several additions, spreading to coat the top and sides. Allow the ganache to set. Garnish the cake with the reserved chopped toasted pistachio nuts and a single marzipan rose or several smaller roses.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped, melted
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/2 cup chocolate milk
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (6 ounces) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
2. In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. Beat the melted chocolate into the butter mixture. Add the eggs, peppermint extract, and chocolate milk. Beat until creamy.
3. In a separate medium-sized bowl combine the flour and baking soda.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and beat until well blended (DO NOT OVER BEAT). With a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
5. Fill the cupcake liners 2/3-3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in pan.
Mint Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes about 3 cups - enough to frost 12 cupcakes
3 egg whites
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons peppermint extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Put egg whites and sugar in a double boiler over simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees).
2. Pour heated egg mixture into a clean bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes (It's very important to beat it for the whole 6 minutes).
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears soupy or separated after all butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.)
4. Beat in extracts. Reduce speed to low; beat 2 minutes to eliminate air bubbles. Stir with a rubber spatula until smooth.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Makes 24 cupcakes
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup water
2 1/4 cups crushed Oreo cookies (about 20 cookies)
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 24 muffin tin cups with paper liners.
Put the unsweetened chocolate in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler and place it over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the water and set aside to cool slightly.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the butter and sugar until smoothly blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed during mixing. On low speed, mix in the melted chocolate. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is blended into the batter. Add the vanilla and beat until the mixture looks creamy and the color has lightened slightly, about 1 minute. Mix in the sour cream until no white streaks remain. On low speed, add half of the flour mixture, mixing just to incorporate it. Mix in the water. Mix in the remaining flour mixture until it is incorporated and the batter looks smooth.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the cookie pieces and 2 teaspoons of chocolate chips into the bottom of each paper liner. Spoon a scant 1/4 cup of batter over the chocolate chips. Sprinkle remaining cookie pieces and chocolate chips over the tops, pressing them gently into the batter.
Bake just until the tops feel firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pans on a wire rack.
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt, plus a pinch for the egg whites
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons caramel syrup (ice cream topping)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately beat in dry ingredients and milk. Add caramel syrup and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
4. Beat egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff but not dry. Gently fold whites into batter.
5. Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
BROWN SUGAR SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
1 cup light brown sugar
4 egg whites
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low and continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Monday, June 16, 2008
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs, about 10 whole crackers
3 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
All ingredients should be at room temperature
1 ½ lbs cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons grated peel of key lime zest, colored part only
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup sour cream *light sour cream works well also*
½ cup key lime juice (about 8-9 limes), seeds removed *I used Nellie and Joe's key lime juice*
4 large eggs
Remove roasting pan from oven carefully. Remove cheesecake pan from roaster water bath and place on wire rack. Run a sharp small knife around the sides of the pan to loosen and keep the cheesecake from cracking as it cools. Cool at room temperature. When cool, remove foil wrapping, wrap in plastic and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.
To serve, remove from refrigerator. Remove the pan sides. Slide the cheesecake onto a serving plate and bring to room temperature. Garnish with whipped cream and thin lime slices. Serve thin slices of the cheesecake, using a knife which has been run under (or dipped into) hot water, then wiped dry.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
adapted from Parents.com
- 1 box (18.25 ounces) devil's food cake mix click here for the recipe I used for the cake from scratch*
- 3 eggs (omit if using recipe from scratch)
- 1 cup buttermilk (omit if using recipe from scratch)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil (omit if using recipe from scratch)
- 2 cups chopped chocolate-covered peanut butter cups (about 8 ounces), plus more to garnish *I used about 2 1/2 bags of Reese's*
- 8 ounces dark chocolate, chopped *I used 4 ounces of dark and 4 ounces of milk*
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line with waxed paper; coat paper.
2. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, eggs, buttermilk and vegetable oil on low for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high; beat for 2 minutes, scraping down side of the bowl after 1 minute. Fold in 2 cups of the chopped peanut butter cups.
3. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 34 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let layers cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto wire racks and cool completely.
4. Place chopped dark chocolate in a medium-size bowl. Bring cream just to a boil and pour over chocolate. Whisk until chocolate melts. Add peanut butter and whisk until smooth.
5. Trim top of cake layers flat with a serrated knife. Put 1 cake layer on cooling rack and place on a baking sheet. Pour 1 cup frosting on top; spread evenly with a spatula. Top with remaining cake layer. Pour remaining frosting over the top, allowing it to spill over the sides. Smooth top and sides with spatula. Refrigerate 1 hour to set. Transfer cake to serving plate and garnish with chopped candy, if desired.