Posts tagged baking
Posts tagged baking
Guys, it’s almost berry season ‘round here. Get excited.
A couple weeks back (I’m really behind) strawberries were on sale so we bought a bunch and it was wonderful. I had a lady lunch coming up, so I figured I’d provide dessert with simple strawberry shortcake fixin’s. (The bottom right picture included the whipped cream, sliced strawberries and biscuits. All ready to go!) That same day, we had some people over for dinner, and since I already had a bunch of stuff for it, I decided to make a fun take on strawberry shortcake (pictured top, right), inspired by a new cookbook I have which I will tell you about, but not right now. The recipe was for Strawberry and Basil shortcakes, but we didn’t have any basil around so I skipped it. I served the build-your-own dessert with both fresh strawberries and the balsamic-strawberry concoction. It was a great way to mix it up! I can’t wait to go strawberry picking in 2013.
Feliz Cinco de Mayo! (trying to make a tres leches cake)
Hot Cross Buns. Hot Cross Buns. One a penny..
Today is Good Friday. Here are some hot cross buns. I’m not very religious, but I assure you the two are related. I followed this recipe I’ve never had them before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect, or what they’re supposed to taste like, but I enjoyed them. The recipe calls for a sugar glaze cross, instead of the traditional “filled” cross. The bun itself, isn’t super sweet, but includes orange zest in the recipe, which I liked a lot. Wondering where to find currants? Check your Whole Foods. Now what do I do with the rest of my currants? (ps: I really like currants)
Happy Friday. Be Good.
Banana Cupcakes: A Recipe
Banana Cupcakes are maybe my favorite. At least they’re in the top five, maybe even three. I make them a lot, so they get enjoyed a lot. In the Bouchon Bakery book, they talk about how it’s important to make the same recipes over an over again. That way you know them well, and you can do it well. I would like to make this more of a practice in my life, trying to make the same thing many times, aiming for consistency and a better understanding of what is working and why it’s working. I often like to try new recipes, and usually when something doesn’t turn out right, I’m reluctant to try it again. I do have some new things I want to work on, as far as baking in 2013 (mentioned in my post about the Bouchon Book, linked above), but I also want to solidify some of my go-to’s. This recipe for Banana cupcakes is in pretty good shape, and I want to share it with you all.
This recipe yields 12 regular sized cupcakes. It’s adapted from banana butterscotch cupcakes in cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans. The book automatically opens to that page because the binding has a permanent crease.
Preheat oven to 350°. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugars on medium speed until blended and creamy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of your bowl with a rubber spatula, if needed. Add your bananas (if they are frozen, let them thaw completely and add as banana mush; if they are fresh, cut up into 1 inch pieces) and mix until mostly combined (you will still see banana bits. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is blended. Add the vanilla and beat for 1 minute. On a low speed, add half the flour mixture, mixing until it is just incorporated. Mix in the buttermilk and then finish with the remaining half of the flour mixture. If you want to add chocolate chips (which I often do) add them in at this point, either folding them in by hand (with a spatula) or using the mixer on a low speed.
Scoop batter into prepped muffin pans, leaving about 1/4 inch below the top of the cupcake liner. I’ve found that my yellow scoop is the perfect amount.
Bake for about 25 minutes. Once cupcakes have completely cooled, top with your preferred frosting. My favorites are cream cheese and peanut butter cream cheese.
My kitchen right now.
Vanilla Confetti Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
A friend from my old school messaged me on Facebook asking if I had checked my email. I forget I have a second email address because nobody has used it to contact me (well, except Brittany, but that’s just silly, because she lives upstairs). Sure enough, my coracakes email had something in the inbox… a request for cupcakes! I was super excited about it. It made me feel like what I’m doing is a real thing. I was given the request for half a dozen of one flavor (above) and another dozen (of a different flavor).. the only restrictions were no nuts, and one of them with cream cheese frosting. I kept it simple for these vanilla on vanilla cupcakes but amped up the fun of the cupcakes by adding sprinkles and the green dye. This was my first time using vanilla beans in a recipe, and I could taste the difference. I did make a mishap during the process, but figured out what went wrong and everything turned out alright. (Both recipes were from Joy the Baker.)
What up, girl? Just hanging out with Michelle and making cupcakes.
Here’s the video. Film, edit and music by ever-so-wonderful Kirsten Opstad.
Sidenote: let me appoligize for whatever is happening with my hair, especially my bangs. What is going on with my bangs? And for the fact that all my statements sound like a question? I don’t know why I talked like that.
Enjoy! Or don’t. Whatever.
Warning… things are about to get cute.
For Valentine’s Day, because of our schedule’s, Tyler and I opted to do take-out. There is a short period of time between when Tyler gets home from work and I get too sleepy to function (aka, my bedtime) so it seemed like the best option to celebrate love-day. We decided upon sushi, and I offered to cover dessert. The last issue of Martha Stewart Living had a bunch of chocolate cake recipes, and I was excited to try one.
Tyler requested a chocolate cake, rich in flavor. The “fudgy brownie cake” recipe seemed about right. It involved no layers, or frosting, so I was a little skeptical, but I was trusting in Martha. When I bake something for the first time, I am always nervous. I surprisingly have yet to make brownies from scratch, or a flour-less cake (this one actually called for 3 tablespoons of flour), so I was in unfamiliar territories. I was making up my own chocolate substitutions since I didn’t have the kinds that were called for in the recipe and I wasn’t sure what “done” looked like. Regardless, I think I made the right call.
In the magazine, they suggest dusting the cake with cocoa powder, but I decided I wanted to try making a stencil and dusting some sort of image with confectionary sugar. A nice contrast on the dark cake. I was going to go with a simple heart, or our initials or something… but I decided to challenge myself.
Drawing in stencil form makes your brain have to think in a different way, lines have to connect, the eye has to create contours that aren’t there, sometimes you just have to suggest the idea of an image. I’m making it sound more complicated… I ended of drawing a mushroom and a cupcake. (For obvious reasons, on Instagram, our house is geotagged as “mushrooms and cupcakes.”) I thought I was brilliant.
I was really proud of myself because it actually worked. I bumped the stencil while lifting it, so that’s why you see some extra dots of confectionary sugar, but no big deal. I was so excited to share it with Tyler that I didn’t care if the cake was good anymore. Which it was, it was delicious and dense and sliced so clean you could eat it without utensils. All things worth noting, I guess. And also great compliment to sushi.
About that… I HAD to take a picture.