07 February 2012

Cupcakes

I am really horrid at this, but I am trying! I have made cupcakes since my last posting. I just didn't post about them or take pictures or anything that I know I should've done with them. I did feed them to people, which is pretty good since that is the whole point of baking anyway.

So, let's review. After the Chocolate Chip Cupcakes, I made some Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Swiss Meringue and I made Thin Mint Cupcakes with truffles tucked inside && Andes de Menthe ganache and I also made some German Chocolate Cupcakes (with Betty Crocker Frosting; totally cheating). Yup, I've been busy, I am just so bad at this - I promise to get better!

All right, let's discuss the Strawberry Cupcakes with Chocolate Swiss Meringue. I used a basic vanilla cupcake and mixed in yummy frozen strawberries { cos the fresh ones around here are kind of yuck } and those came out amazing; tasted just like a strawberry shortcake. Yummers. I wouldn't change that for the world, the frosting on the other hand . . .

I got impatient. I didn't wait for the sugar concoction to cool and it effed up my whole frosting. The merguine curdled and it suffered. I served them anyway; the taste was all right, but the texture was gross. Like totally slimy and greasy. If a recipe says to wait for something to cool, they aren't joking. It was messed up - never again.

Okay, onto Thin Mint Cupcakes. These are quoted to be "the greatest cupcakes in existence and my wife might want to sleep with you after eating these." These were awesome cupcakes, we start with crushed thin mints { or grasshoppers, either/or } meshed with cream cheese and rolled into truffle balls; we place these truffles on the cookies we have in the bottom of the cupcake wrapper. Then we fill it with a simple chocolate cake batter { I reduced the sugar by an eighth and increased the cocoa by just a smudge } and after they are done we drizzled on an Andes de Menthe ganache { I totally butchered this recipe too, with excellent results, really excellent results }.

Lastly, we have the German Chocolate cupcakes. I cheated on the frosting and used Betty Crocker's Coconut Peacan topping and I feel bad about it. I didn't like these personally but they got me a hug and a lots of "those are really good." I messed up the batter on this one and it was too runny; when I went to add some cocoa to fix it, I got way too much but it actually made them taste richer. The kitchen was against me making these, I attempted these twice before it worked. The first batter flubbed cos I added too many eggs. Next, all the outlets died and my KitchenAid's bowl detached itself and tried to kill me when I got it to work. BUT! I did not deter myself, and the cupcakes were made for birthdays!

That's the wrap up on the last three recipes. I will be posting pictures when I make them again, and I will be making them again. Plus, some new recipes; anyone up for Caramel Delite Cupcakes? Yup, me, too. AND don't worry, the links to the recipes will be posted when I make them again. I gotta make them to tell the tweaks.

Jackie

06 January 2012

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

So, I totally realized that I forgot I had a blog. Especially a blog about foods - right after the last post I got pretty sick, and couldn't bake. Then I got better and well, the holidays came up at work. I literally baked for Christmas {tons of cookies, which I hate doing but that's further down} and a New Year's Eve birthday. ... I realized that I messed up, but! I was totally saved by the fact that it is now 2012 and still the first week of the New Year. I can fix this!

Well, Happy New Year and all that jazz. Since it's the New Year, I realized that I haven't properly introduced my baking staff. The very staff that I cannot live without anymore . . . ever meet someone that was just so utterly perfect and fit so well into your life that you felt crushed when they it? Yeah, I went through that as well when my first KitchenAid committed suicide {for reals, it just jumped off the counter one day and BAM! I'm mixing royal icing by hand}. I mourned for him, my perfect silver Artisan. The one with the five quart bowl and tilt head - I wasn't even into baking when I got him; he stayed in a box for almost five years before he was taken out {My moms 4.5 classic finally ventured into the land of dead electronics. She had that one for almost 20 years!}. Turns out he was tossed around on the move to Texas.

After about two months without my beloved, I finally replaced him, with naturally a red one. A sexy Professional 600 series, holds up to 14 cups of flour. I kinda lost my mind when I went looking for a new KitchenAid. I had been hand mixing everything, my Aunt visited and got me a hand mixer {Black & Decker, that thing missed its calling as a power drill} and that got me by sorta. I missed my stand mixers, I don't have to watch those - I can clean in between, ah, the perfection.

Here's a picture:

All of my appliances are red. It kinda happened that way

Like I said, perfection. His bowl is unattached, being used to fold eggs white into a batter. A delicious batter of chocolate chip cupcakes. They are pretty awesome, I have a Chocolate Ganache  frosting to sit on top of them, but we will get to those later on in the post. We have the next members of the team to visit, anyway.

The second most important part of the team are my muffin tins, average size Wilton muffin tins. I have those nifty silicon cupcake holders that sit on the cookie sheets but I don't like them quite as much as I thought I would. They are awesome when I have extra batter and not a whole lot of patience but I don't use them too much. They are bitches to clean. Anyway, here are the wonderful pans I use:

The light one is my moms, the dark one mine

These Wilton pans rock. My moms pan has been around since before I was even conceived, which is pretty gnarly. I recently got us a second muffin tin, which might strike some people as odd cos that pretty much means we made only 12 cupcakes or muffins at a time for almost 25 years. Holy shit. That's a lot of patience, which I ran out of and got a second pan to finish off a whole batter in one shot. Amazing. 

Aren't we glad that we met the team? Me, the KitchenAid and the muffin tins. We are a pretty good team, as far as I'm concerned. So, now to the important part of the post. The cupcakes. The stars. 

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes. They mix together two things I love: eating cookies and making cupcakes. I love making cupcakes and brownies; they are almost my most favourite thing to do in the world. And, while I love to bake, I can't stand baking cookies. I loathe making cookies, I don't know why, I just do. It's most likely from these dreaded words: Cream butter until smooth, adding in sugar. I detest creaming butter; I don't even have to do it, it's the machine's job. Makes my blood boil.

Eh, well, we're on the subject of cupcakes anyway, delicious Chocolate Chip cupcakes - a recipe from one of my baking books I received for Christmas. Cos naturally, when I am not baking, I am reading about baking {for serious}. These cupcakes come from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes; the one or two things I did differently: made my own cake flour {using only the 3.25 cups and not adding in the corn starch for the .25 cups and not using the tablespoons at the end} and I used buttermilk, 1.33 cups plus a splash. 

Here are the cupcakes all naked: 
Last batch before frosting. 


I also did not use the chocolate chip frosting, as I mentioned before, I had left over Chocolate Ganache Frosting; my frosting was super dark chocolaty - not what I expected, though that is probably from me using 60% bittersweet Ghirardelli baking bar and chips. I love Ghirardelli baking bars - they are the best! These are also the ugliest cupcakes I've ever made:

Yup, super ugly. But delish.

Overall, I liked these. Just not the butter creaming part, that part sucked. Oh, well.

Jackie



02 November 2011

Red Velvet Brownies

So, I'm tooling around on pinterest, and I found this amazing recipe for red velvet brownies. {The recipe is found here.} Naturally I didn't follow the recipe exactly nor did I time it quite right, but they were amazing! I scored a "damn good" from the folks at work.

Here are the brownies before frosting:


The beginning of a lovely relationship.

Things that didn't go right with this concoction - I ran out of red food colouring; I was using the ones we use for Easter eggs, I forgot that we used a lot of red this past year. Luckily, I have a whole assortment of Wilton gel colours, so this is a mixture of Great Value red food colouring and Wilton's Red Red. Since I didn't have enough liquid colour for the cocoa mix, I added in more vanilla (probably another teaspoon), plus three teaspoons or such of water to get the paste. Everything else went awesome.

Here are the frosted brownies:


FROSTING!

I didn't like the frosting. It turned out all right, some people liked it at work and others not so much. I find that the chocolate to sugar ratio makes this taste too sweet. If I was too make this frosting again, I would use less powdered sugar just to even it out. Once again, I didn't measure the vanilla. I just kinda toss it in there and yes, I used French vanilla instead of pure. 

And, lastly here is the inside of the brownies - they went wild at work:


Big hit.

Overall, these were awesome. Easy to make, fast to be eaten and just great. I served them warm and the frosting did melt into them. I loved and work thought they were the best; I will make these again for holiday parties.

Jackie


31 October 2011

Week 1 - Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

So, I finished my first cupcakes. Chocolate Pumpkin - something that seems to embody both Halloween and the Autumn season. I got the recipe from here - though I didn't follow it exactly, nor I did make the same frosting. My frosting recipe (I also didn't follow it exactly) is from Crazy About Cupcakes.

I totally messed up the picture of the naked cupcakes, though I do have good pictures of the frosted ones. These cupcakes baked wonderfully - which is good because I messed up how to do the recipe and I also forgot to time them. I know, I bake like I have ADHD. The recipe calls for mixing together the buttermilk, pumpkin and vanilla; naturally I saw butter and attempted to cream that together with the pumpkin. Not the first nor will it be the last time I misread something simple. Preparedness is not just a boy scout trait!

I had to use regular milk {for the first time in ages I had no buttermilk!} and I added a pinch plus a dash of pumpkin spice, the batter didn't taste that pumpkin-y - even though I added more than half the can of pumpkin. The spice totally helped it.

After the cupcakes baked, I made my frosting. I used 5 tablespoons butter, and just about more than a cup of cocoa powder. I found that using only three-quarters of a cup of cocoa still left the frosting with that powdered sugar taste. I also didn't measure the vanilla {spoiler alert: I use French vanilla, instead of pure }.

Here is the finished result:


Tada! Frosted and has sprinkles!

So, these will be going to work tomorrow - I am sure that they will be awesome! 

{ edit: the cupcakes were a hit with everyone who ate them, except for one person. but, i can't please everyone. these were A+ }

Jackie

Cakeylace

Welcome to Cakeylace, my little cup of heaven. This is where I like to show off some of my better kitchen creations, mostly cupcakes but sometimes good old fashion cakes as well. I absolutely love baking and trying new recipes. While I know its late in the year all ready, I have decided that I am going to bake a new cupcake recipe every week, on my days off from work.

By this time next year, I should have fifty two different cupcakes to share with the world, what they were like, how they taste and how much my cohorts at work enjoyed each and every one of them. { There is always someone at work who loves my baking. }

I hope everyone enjoys this as much as I do!

Jackie