Thursday, May 28, 2009


....And the beat goes on. Another day of culinary school means more creative ways to utilize the products we make, daily.  Case in point: chocolate cupcakes topped with Swiss meringue buttercream and vanilla meringue cookies. Do we see a theme here? Yes, yesterday's lesson was all about meringue. Swiss meringue buttercream, Italian meringue, original meringue cookies, etc etc. If it involved whipping egg whites, we covered it.  I came home with a boatload of freshly baked (by me) meringue cookies and 2 tubs full of Swiss meringue buttercream. So, I baked a batch of Martha's one bowl chocolate cupcakes (my favorite) and topped them with the Swiss meringue buttercream that I seemed to have had an endless amount of.  I then took the simple, yet delicious meringue cookies and topped each cupcake followed by a dusting of cocoa powder. My neighbors are sure enjoying the perks of culinary school; a.k.a. leftovers on a daily basis.

Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Yields 18-24

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons safflower oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.

2. Sift cocoa powder, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Add eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla, and mix until smooth.

3. Divide batter among muffin cups, filling each 2/3 full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire racks, and let cool. Cupcakes will keep, covered, for up to 3 days.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


This is a recipe that you absolutely cannot go wrong with. You've got your brownie underbelly base with a crackly crispy chocolate chip cookie top to create a double whammy of perfection! I swapped out the chocolate chips for mini M&M's to add some color, however, I did make these with the chocolate chips way back when and they were equally as delicious.

I made these for the guys across the hall who babysat my pups Friday night and nothing says 'thank you' better than an M&M cookie/brownie combo.

I undercooked these slightly to get a gooey brownie bottom because I wanted to pair it with a crunchy top.  I froze them whole before cutting them into perfect squares. These were very rich but well worth it!  Thanks to Beth of Supplicious for selecting this week's TWD recipe. Check out her blog for details!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I've got to make this short and sweet. It has been a very busy holiday weekend and I don't have too much time to divulge into this month's Iron Cupcake Earth; ingredient: SAVORY.

I tried to think of my most favorite food that would convert nicely into a cupcake. For anyone who knows me, hummus and pita are my absolute favorite! I can literally eat hummus plain, all day long.  There's nothing like homemade hummus with warm pita pockets nearby. Mmmm.

So, with that said, I've created a cornbread cupcake studded with sun dried tomato chunks, topped with a sun dried tomato hummus buttercream and a mini pita pocket and sun dried tomato chip for garnish.  I used this cornbread recipe and made 12 cupcakes.  I chopped up sun dried tomatoes from this great gourmet market near me and created my own sun dried tomato hummus buttercream by starting out with your basic buttercream recipe and adding 3/4 c. of hummus.

Voting begins on Saturday May 30th and noon and will continue through Friday June 5th at No One Puts Cupcake In A Corner.  

Sun Dried Tomato Hummus and Pita Cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2/3 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and vegetable oil until well combined. Put in chopped sun dried tomatoes. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Sun Dried Tomato Hummus Buttercream

1 stick butter, at room temperature
3 c. confectioner's sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk
1/2 c. hummus
chopped sun dried tomatoes

Beat butter until smooth and creamy. Add confectioner's sugar and beat well.  Add in milk until desired consistency. Beat in hummus and sun dried tomatoes.
Our May ETSY PRIZE-PACK is from artists:
Last and certainly not least, don’t forget our corporate prize providers: HEAD CHEFS by FIESTA PRODUCTS,, HELLO CUPCAKE by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson,, JESSIE STEELE APRONS; TASTE OF HOME books,; a t-shirt from UPWITHCUPCAKES.COM Iron Cupcake:Earth is sponsored in part by 1-800-Flowers, . 


Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Kelly of Baking With The Boys chose this weeks TWD recipe; fresh mango bread.  I've recently become a fan of mangos and the best time to get them is right now; during the month of May. So all you mango lovers out there; head to the store and buy yourselves some juicy, sweet, super flavorful mangos. They are beyond delicious, and so was this bread.  

The recipe calls for 1 cut up mango, however I put in 2 because the mangos I bought were too good not to use.  After cutting them up a ton of mango juice surfaced which I ended up putting into the bread dough before baking. I think this kept the bread super moist with an extra blast of mango flavor. Raisins were the perfect compliment to this fruit-filled loaf.

Many thanks to Kelly for choosing this recipe and further heightening my mango-loving taste buds. Check out her site for the recipe!

Monday, May 18, 2009


I made these cookies today in class as part of an assignment!! The cookies themselves were crisp with a fine caramelized taste on top.  The spices were rationed out perfectly to create a spicy, sweet, gingery flavor.  Everyone in the class brought home their final product and I decided to make sandwiches out of them. I used this basic cream cheese frosting and mixed in cinnamon to create a cinnamon cream cheese filling. Using a plastic pastry bag with a small cut hole, I piped some filling in the middle of one half of the cookies and created very delicious sandwiches by gently pressing the unfrosted cookies on top. Mmm Mmm good.

Unfortunately I can't post the recipes for what we make at culinary school so I hope you enjoy the pictures!

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Hello! Remember me? Well, for someone who usually posts on average about 4 posts per week, I've been pretty MIA this last week.  You see, I started culinary school full time (going for my baking and pastry arts degree!) and get my baking fix while at school; a.k.a. less time for recreational baking. Four hours on my feet all morning baking in a professional kitchen leads to extreme exhaustion! However, I'm going to make a valiant effort to keep you all interested by posting a couple times a week. No worries, my posts will be super drool-worthy, I promise :)

Speaking of drool-worthy, check out this birthday cake I made for my dear friend Jenn who turned 27 this weekend! I decided to knock 2 birds out with one stone by using the Cake Slice Baker's May recipe selection: Mile High Devils food cake.  Coincidentally, devils food is one of Jenn's favorites, so it all worked out in my favor. Phew!

This cake was easy to make and was a big hit! The chocolate cake is rich and moist and the recipe calls for one of two options for the frosting. Either a brown sugar 7 minute frosting or a brown sugar Swiss meringue buttercream.  Since I've made a boatload of recipes involving marshmallow meringue lately, I went with the Swiss meringue frosting instead. Don't get me wrong, marshmallow meringue is still on the top of my list for favorite frosting's, but I felt that the Swiss meringue buttercream would be a better option for decorating as it's smooth and very easy to work with.  

I wasn't quite sure how I wanted to decorate this cake but apparently I ended up making it somewhat similar to a crown (or tiara!), which is quite fitting considering Jenn is like a princess! I used chocolate frosting to pipe the lettering, dots, and hearts around the cake.  I used these really funky black and white stripe/polka dot candles that meshed with the colors of the cake perfectly!

Jenn really loved her cake which was my main concern at the end of the day! You can check out the other cake slice baker creations here.  Enjoy, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY JENN! 

Mile-High Devil’s Food Cake

From: Sky High: Irresistible Triple-Layer Cakes

By Alisa Huntsman and Peter Wynne

Makes an 8-inch triple layer cake:

  • 1 cup of unsweetened cocoa NOT DUTCHED PROCESSED

  • 1 and ¼ cups of hot water

  • 3 cups of light brown sugar; packed

  • 2 and 2/3 cups cake flour*

  • 1 and ½ teaspoons baking soda

  • ¾ teaspoon of salt

  • 9 ounces of unsalted butter at room temperature [2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons]

  • 3 large eggs

  • 1 and ½ teaspoons of vanilla extract

  • ¾ cup of cold water

{*1 cup of cake flour is equal to ¾ cup of flour plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch}

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter the bottoms and sides of three 8-inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and grease the paper as well.

Place the cocoa in a medium bowl and add the hot water. Whisk until smooth and let it cool to room temperature.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar, flour, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low blend to combine. Add the butter and the dissolved cocoa. Then raise the mixer to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes until light and fluffy.

In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and cold water until combined. Add this liquid to the batter in three additions scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions. Divide the batter among the three pans.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until a cakes tester inserted into the almost comes out clean. There should be a few crumbs attached still. Cool the cakes in the pans for 15 minutes. Then invert and remove parchment paper and cool completely on a wire rack.

Bakers’ choice of: Brown Sugar 7-Minute Frosting or Brown Sugar Buttercream

Brown Sugar 7-Minute Frosting

  • 6 egg whites

  • 1 and ½ cups of brown sugar

  • ¼ cup light corn syrup*

  • 2 tablespoons of water

  • ½ teaspoon of cream of tartar

{*corn syrup can be substituted with equal parts of treacle OR liquid glucose OR light colored honey}

Do not try to make this frosting on a rainy day or if you live in an extremely humid area. The humidity will make it impossible to work with the egg whites.

Place all the egg whites in a bowl and set them aside while you make the syrup.

In a small heavy saucepan, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and water. Bring to a boil over medium-low heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Continue to boil washing down the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Boil until the syrup reaches 238 degrees F (softball stage) on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat.

Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites in the bowl and beat just to combine. With the mixer on medium speed gradually add the syrup in a thin stream taking care not to hit the beaters. Beat until fairly stiff peaks form but the frosting is still spreadable. If the frosting is too stiff it will be hard to work with. Use immediately.

Brown Sugar Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites

  • 1 and ¼ cups of packed brown sugar

  • ¼ cup of water

  • 1 pound of unsalted butter (16 ounces) at room temperature

Place all the egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer; set aside.

In a heavy medium saucepan combine the sugar and water. Cook over medium heat stirring to dissolve the sugar. Then bring to a boil without stirring and cook until the syrup reaches 238 degrees F on a candy thermometer.

Begin beating the egg whites on medium low speed. Slowly pour in the syrup making sure not to hit the beater. Increase the mixer speed to medium high and beat until the meringue has cooled to body temperature.

With the mixer on med-low add 1-2 tablespoons of butter at a time. When all the butter has been added increase the mixer’s speed to medium and beat until the mixture looks curdled or separated. Continue to beat until the icing comes together again looking like soft smooth whipped butter.

Assembling the cake:

Place one layer flat side down and cover it with 2/3 cup of the frosting. Top with second layer and repeat process. Top with third layer and frost the sides of the cake.

Bakers Notes:

A cake topped with the meringue frosting is the best eaten the day it’s made. It does not do well in the fridge.

If you choose the buttercream frosting you can keep it in the fridge for 3 days. Make sure to allow the cake to come to room temperature for 1 to 1 ½ hours before slicing. Otherwise the frosting will be hard and heavy.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Well folks, here it is. My most favorite TWD recipe to date; tartest lemon tart.  I made this a few weeks ago as I have been out of town and wanted to keep pace with this lovely Tuesday's With Dorie group which I've been a member of for over a year!  The fact that I couldn't post about this earlier has been killing me!  I'm dying to gush! So here it goes. 

It's lemony, tart, buttery, crumbly, gooey, and sweet. I topped it off with a marshmallow meringue that was then browned with a blow torch for the perfect touch. I've always been a fan of anything lemon related because of the refreshment factor.  I love a lemon tart tasting treat..ahhhh, nothing beats it.  This should be's that good.  I have no more words to describe this slice of lemon heaven; only that I send many many thanks to Babette of Babette Feasts (where you can find the recipe) for choosing this week's recipe and that I can hardly wait to make it again...and again..and, ugh, well.. you get the point.  I'll shut up now and let my pictures do the talking...kapeesh?

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Megan of My Baking Adventures chose this weeks TWD recipe: Tiramisu Cake. I made this cake several months ago for an Italian themed dinner party and since I'm out of town it worked out perfectly because I would not have been able to make this. You can see my Tiramisu cake post here.  Enjoy!

P.S. I already made next week's TWD selection: Tartest Lemon Tart and it just might be my most favorite Dorie recipe to date. Check back next Tuesday for the posting!

Friday, May 1, 2009


Don't forget to vote for me for this month's Iron Cupcake Earth challenge: SODA POP! Voting is open until May 4th at No One Puts Cupcake In A Corner. Click here to view my entry of CHOCOLATE CHERRY FUDGE SODA POP CUPCAKES! Voting takes place on the right hand side of the page. Scroll down and vote for me!