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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Birthday Cake














This cake was made for a birthday so technically it is a birthday cake, but seeing as it was also Halloween weekend and the San Francisco Giants are playing, we could also say it is a "Happy Birthday Halloween Go Giants" cake. The colors are right, the timing is right, it's just right.



I had fun with this one because I got to use a new mold to create a design inside the cake (which I hadn't done before) and I obviously have a peanut butter weakness because I loaded it with Reese's Pieces both inside and out, in between the layers and on top. Too much? Uh, no.



Preheat oven to 325



Ingredients:


  • 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate


  • 4 cups sifted cake flour


  • 3 tsp baking powder


  • 1 tsp salt


  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), softened


  • 2 cups of sugar


  • 4 eggs


  • 1 tbs vanilla


  • 1 1/3 cup milk


  • Reeses's Pieces!!!!
    Directions
    :

  • In a small bowl combine the sifted flour, baking powder, and salt.


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Then add the vanilla.


  • Add the milk and flour to the butter mixture, alternating between the two until the batter is smooth.


  • Beat at medium to high speed for 30 seconds.


  • I then divided the batter in half, added Orange and Black food coloring to each batch respectively. And baked them for 25 minutes.

    The results were sweet and festive. I really liked this cake because it came out light and fluffy like a lot of those packaged cake mixes, but so much better and not too sweet like a lot of packaged stuff is. Not that I don't eat the cake from a box mix, but nothing beats homemade!

If the Giants win, I suggest you make one! Or you can always wait until next Halloween :)



P.S. Special little surprise guest: Mini Halloween Swirl cupcake!!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Angel Food Cupcakes with Raspberry Filling



I made these yesterday for a Nicholas Cage movie marathon. You're probably wondering "Why Angel Food?" Well I figured it out last night as we perused the extensive Cage movie list Chris and Shara compiled. Cage was in 'City of Angels' and apparently at the end of 'Gone in 60 Seconds' they reference Angel Food cake. So other than the fact that they were yummy, they were fitting too!

As I was making these I noticed a red or pink cutesy theme in my cupcakes. But I can't really take all the credit for these ones since the cupcake liners I got in Japantown (which read: "Whoever loves me loves my dog") were so random and cute that they just added the cuteness for me.

This was my first time attempting Angel Food, but I got the approval of a culinary school student that was at the movie event. So...if I can do it, so can you!

Preheat oven to 325

Ingredients

Filling
  • 3 cups of raspberries
  • 1/4 cup & 2 tbsp sugar
  • 4 tsp of cornstarch, dissolved in 4 tsp water
Cupcakes


  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 10 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
Glaze
  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp water
  • pinch of salt

Directions

Filling
  • In a saucepan, cook 2 1/2 cups of the raspberries with granulated sugar. Crush the berries as you cook them over moderately high heat
  • Strain the above puree and return it to the pan with the rest of the berries, and the cornstarch mixture
  • Bring it to a boil until it is thickened
  • Refrigerate until firm
Cupcakes
  • Combine cake flour and powdered sugar in one bowl. In another bowl mix the eggs whites, salt, and cream of tartar
  • Beat the egg whites mix on high speed until peaks form, then beat in the granulated sugar
  • Sift the flour and powdered sugar over the egg whites and fold gently
  • Spoon the batter into muffin tins and bake for 13-15 minutes, until cakes are springy and golden
  • Once they are cool poke a hole in them and pipe in the filling
Glaze
Stir the ingredients and cover the cupcakes with the glaze however you like

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Chocolate Dipped Pumpkin Biscotti

The nice thing about making cookies is that you can make one batch that feeds many. So I brought some to my parents and grandparents, sent some back east, and brought some to the office. By now my office is used to me bringing baked goods in, but these were by far the quickest to go of anything. I sent out an email and I kid you not, within 30 seconds there was a swarm of coworkers. And like that, poof! Biscottis GONE.

Tis the season for pumpkin, so try them out. This was a bit of my own concoction but people seemed to like them!

Preheat oven to 350

Ingredients:

Chocolate for dipping:
  • 12 oz Milk Chocolate Chips
  • Butter (as needed)
Biscotti
  • 1/2 can of pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp coriander
Directions:

  • Put the oil, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla in an electric mixer and mix at low speed
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to above mixture and blend well
  • Stir in the nuts, pumpkin, and spices
  • Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and shape into a long log (3" wide and 1" high)
  • Space them 4" apart on cookie sheets lined with parchment paper
  • Bake about 35 minutes, until golden and firm
  • After 35 minutes take them out, let them cool, and cut them into slices
  • Set them back on the lined cookie sheet on their side and bake for another 10-15 minutes
While the cookies are baking melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave (yea, I was feeling lazy. This is what happens when you bake at 10:00pm on a work night!) Dip the cookies on their side into the melted chocolate, let cool, and you're done!

Enjoy the pumpkin treat!