Wednesday, March 17, 2010

'O My Guinness

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I tried a recipe I was challenged to make. Sounds weird... but Guinness Cupcakes really are good. My friend suggested they be called pint cakes instead of cupcakes.

Chocolate Cake with a hint of Guinness topped with a Cream Cheese froth. 3 out of 4 agree they are good! (We think he might have been smuggling sips of guinness which impaired his voting abilities.)

The cake itself isn't too sweet. The hint of flavor is really good. I tried half without icing and then half with. I loved the way the cream cheese paired with it. And how fitting that the glaze looks so frothy. All in all a very festive cake. Sooo fun. 'O My Guinness!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Taking Requests

I was asked to make a birthday cake. Once I agreed, I realized I was way out of my league but I'd give it my best shot! My guidelines were: Chocolate and Raspberry. My goal was simply to make a great tasting cake thus creating a surprising distraction from the homely aesthetic that was sure to underwhelm the party guests.

I did a hybrid recipe of the Oh.My.Gosh.Cake (a.k.a. Swan's Down Cake Flour Simple Chocolate Cake) and this recipe that sounded like it fit the bill perfectly!

We were in Texas this weekend visiting family while my husband's band had their CD release party. I figured that the in laws would be willing to taste test for me. Thanks to their feedback (literally) I refined my technique and was happy with my revised recipe!

Pre-bake changes:

Greased the pans and coated with Cocoa Powder instead of white flour. Good tip courtesy of my Sister in Law, Tiffany. I folded chocolate chips in the batter before dividing into pans.

Assembly changes:

Thicker layers of icing, SEEDLESS raspberries for the filling (the first time was a bit crunchy!), chocolate bar shavings for the sides of the cake, and a raspberry garnish on top!

May I present to you:

Triple Chocolate Raspberry Cake

Kiddie Kakes (classic yellow w/ Chocolate frosting for the non-raspberry types)

Karin's Kake - A Happy Birthday Girl

I didn't taste a piece (I figured they wouldn't appreciate a missing sliver!) but, I heard that it was good. Maybe they were being nice, but I think it was probably a success! A personal accomplishment at least! Cheers to Taking Requests!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Baker's Cramp?

I know you think I've been a lazy baker because I haven't blogged recently. But it's simply not true. In fact I've been in the test kitchen trying to perfect a recipe for my first cake request. A friend asked me to make his wife's birthday cake. I'm not sure what got into me, but I said "Yes." I think it was a risk I needed to take.... you know put my money where my mouth is and actually do a cake for someone.

It's been a fun adventure and I'll have pictures to post soon... but for now, I'm resting up... My wrist and right arm are killing me! Baker's Cramp?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sunday Brownie Sundae

So my sister was in this weekend and it was her birthday. She doesn't like *GASP* cake. So, I had to go the brownie route and hook a sister up. Literally.

I used my pampered chef scratch recipe and whipped up some Bonanza Brownie Bars. *Muah!* (furrowed brow, Italian accent, Lips pursed, and the accompanying hand gesture!)

These are so good. Try them out for yourself when you get a chance.

Bonanza Brownie Bars

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 1/2 cup sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray Bar Pan with oil.

Combine flour and cocoa and set aside.

In separate bowl, mix butter, sugar, vanilla. Add one egg at a time to butter mixture, mixing well after each addition.

Gradually add flour mixture, mixing until well blended.

Spread evenly in Stoneware Bar Pan (10” x 15 ½”)

Bake 28 – 33 minutes DO NOT OVER-BAKE.

You know I had to Crump it up... so here are a couple variations I tried:

#1) I added some peanut M&M's down one column because I couldn't fully commit to the idea in case it sucked!

Turned out pretty good. Although, I am still glad I spared a few plain!

#2) Ice cream sandwich. (I justified this because the brownies were pretty thin because I halved the recipe.)

Yum. Sunday Brownie Sunday.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Johnny Cakes

I laughed when my husband said "Johnny Cakes" in a funny NY accent when he looked at the cornbread I made to go along with our dinner last night.

I was trying a new mexican chicken dish and thought they would make a good compliment. Thank you, Jiffy for being so yummy! I'm so glad that I made them because the main dish was not very good! It's not the typical cake I would blog about... but since it saved the day... all hail, Johnny Cakes!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Baker's Golden Rule

We've all heard of "The Golden Rule"

Do to others as you would like them to do to you.

~ Luke 6:31, NLT

May I suggest:

"Treat" people the way you want to be "Treated."

- Lani Crump

The Baker's Golden Rule.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Naticakes, Naticakes...

I was finally able to actually eat at Naticakes this weekend with my mom and a friend. The shop is just perfect for downtown Franklin. So Shabby Chic.

Since there were three of us we each picked one we'd like to try and shared. Tuxedo (chocolate/vanilla icing), Dark Mint Chocolate (dark chocolate/mint flavored icing), and the unanimous favorite... Dulce de Leche (Vanilla with caramel filling/ butter cream icing drizzled with caramel) YUMMMMMMMMY.

We really enjoyed the icings. They were so light - almost like mousse or whipped cream. (I'm telling my self that also means that they are light in calories and fat!) A welcomed change to the typical top heavy specialty cupcakes in most bakeries.

If you are local, make sure you stop by and if you are from afar... next time you're in town remind me to take you to "Naticakes, Naticakes..."