Archive | January, 2011

First Love: Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

10 Jan

Remember when you were just a kid and your favorite dessert was the basic yellow cake and chocolate icing? Always so moist and perfectly sweet, great for every birthday.

Well that’s what we’ve got here.

My first batch was dry and honestly overcooked by a couple of minutes. I thought I’d try something new and substitute sour cream for the milk just to see if this really made for a moister cake. Sure enough it did!

I loved the flavor of this cake. While still being a more dense little cuppie, it kept a beautiful texture and taste. I must warn you though this frosting may be a little rich for all the kids. For me though, a big chocolate lover, it was heavenly.

 

Recipe

(Printable Version)

Classic Yellow Cupcakes

  • 1 1/4 cups AP Flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 large
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 STICK) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream

Directions

Sift flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Set aside.

Beat butter on high until soft. Add sugar and continue beating on medium-high until light and fluffy (3 minutes). Then add eggs one at a time as usual, beating slightly in between. Make sure this mixture is well mixed and fluffy before adding the dry ingredients.

Measure sour cream and vanilla. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients followed by 1/2 of the sour cream and so on and so on ending with flour.

Scoop batter into cupcake paper-lined muffin tins filling them 3/4 full. Bake for 17-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Rich Chocolate Buttercream

  • 4 T butter room temp
  • 3 oz baker’s chocolate melted
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 1/2 tsp whipping cream

Melt chocolate and set aside.

Beat butter then add melted chocolate and vanilla to mixing bowl. Mix ingredients together completely, scraping the sides of the bowl to incorporate all ingredients.

Slowly add the powdered sugar, milk and whipping cream to chocolate mixture alternating between dry and wet ingredients. Continue to beat until the frosting has reached a light and fluffy consistency.

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Daily Cravings: Ham and Cheese Sliders

6 Jan

Photo Credit: The Girl Who Ate Everything

Have you ever had these little sammies at a wedding show or some sort of reception? If not, you’re missing out!

These sandwiches are smothered in a butter-mustard-poppyseed mixture which makes a simple ham and swiss slider out of this world.

Daily Cravings:Chocolate Chunk Nutella Cheesecake

4 Jan

Photo Credit: La Fuji Mama

I’ve had this little gem stashed in my bookmarks page for many many months. Three of my favorite things: nutella, chocolate and cheesecake. Thank you Fuji Mama!

YUM! I’ve got to make these.

Christmas Dessert Almost Didn’t Happen

3 Jan

I decided to bake a cake to bring to my Grandmother’s for Christmas. It really wasn’t needed, there would be other goodies there, but I took the opportunity to bake a little something anyway. Rather than re-tackling the Vermont Spice Cake as my hubby requested I thought I’d test out my unused bundt pan. It was a wedding gift that has sat unloved for over two years, and Tina from My Life as a Mrs. had a recipe I just couldn’t resist.

Chocolate Chip Cake. Did I mention it has chocolate ganache drenched over the top? Tell me you could say no this because I know you can’t.

Because I love you readers, I cannot lie to you, I had a few issues with this cake. Don’t get me wrong the flavor here was AMAZING! Very moist while still being sweet and the ganache (I used Ghiradelli chocolate chips) was perfection.

However, the instructions said to let the cake cool completely before flipping it to the plate. Here’s where I hit a snafu. I began this cake a little too late and just had to go to sleep before it could cool completely. I covered the cake and left it to do in the morning. Upon going to flip the cake to the platter the next morning it didn’t budge, not one centimeter.

I thought this was the end of my Chocolate Chip Cake attempt. Then, with a little help from my mom I got it out, but some of the top stuck to the pan. No worries, I pieced it back together and figured my ganache would cover the trouble spots (which it did).

My other issue with this cake is that the wonderful little chocolate chip all sunk to the bottom (er well top) of the cake. After eating a few too many pieces of this cake, I’ve decided next time I’ll only sprinkle the chocolate chip on the top of the batter once in the pan. The ganache on top was plenty sweet for the rest of the cake. I’ll either try  that, or whip my badder a little more to see if I can’t get a thicker consistency to hold the chips in place.

Like I said, even with these minuscule mess-ups this cake was a big hit and one I’ll definitely be making again.

Recipe

(Printable Version)

Ingredients

For the Cake:
1 Box Yellow Cake Mix (She used Duncan Heinz, as did I)
1 Large Box of Instant Vanilla Pudding
4 Large Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Oil
2 tsps Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Chocolate Chips

For the Ganache:
1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Directions

For the cake:

Preheat Oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together the first 6 ingredients in a stand mixer until combined. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. Spray a Bundt Pan with non-stick cooking spray (don’t be afraid to be generous with the spray). Pour the cake batter into the pan and bake for one hour.

Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Do not leave it overnight as I did. Once cool, invert to cake pan.

For the Ganache:

Once the cake is cool prepare the ganache.

Melt all ingredients over medium-low heat in a small saucepan. Stir constantly until smooth then let set for 10-12 minutes. Slowly drizzle over the cake when ready, if you do it too early it will all slide off of the cake. (As you can see I could have let mine set a minute or two longer).

Once on the cake allow it to cool further then cut yourself a slice and enjoy!

New Year’s Resolutions

3 Jan

Photo Credit: The Cupcake Blog

This year is going to be a big year. In just seven days I start my third trimester! In all honesty last year was not the best, it did however lead me to baking and this blog, which I love. While I’ve got my personal resolutions for the year, I’ve also got special resolutions just for this lovely site.

1. Post, at minimum, every other day. I have no excuse not to, it’s not like I’m not on the computer everyday anyway.

2. Bake more cupcakes. I strayed from my original love and am ready to jump back into the cupcake world.

3. Incorporate more “Stork Stories”. As I get closer to the big day (April 3) I’ve got so much to share! And expect stories and photos of the little one once he arrives.

4. Share my sweets. I know I’ve got a growing baby in me right now, but the weight gain this month was a little more than I’d have liked. While I’d love to completely blame the baby, I think the cookies and cakes had a lot to do with it. So, I will be taking more of my sweet treats to the office so I’m not the only one looking pudgy.

5. Branch out from chocolate. Yes, it’s my favorite, but I’ve been told there are other flavors out there.

Whew, this should be a good year!