Monday, May 10, 2010

Red Velvet and Carrot Cupcake Pops!

If you have never seen Bakerella's blog you are missing out! She has the cutest ideas and fantastic photos. You may remember an earlier post I did on cake balls which I also found on her site. Though she did not make up cake pops, she has great instructions. These cupcake pops, however, are a Bakerella orginal. If you need more instructions she has a video of her making these on the Martha Stewart Show. Since I wanted to do two types of cake and the decorating part of these yummy treats takes a while, I opted for cake mixes. The recipe below is for one cake type so just double for 2 cakes. Note - Constantly refrigerating after each step helps them to maintain the cupcake shape and prevents them from leaving crumbs in the chocolate.

What you need:
-Cooled fully baked 9x13 cake (any flavor)
-1 Can of cream cheese frosting
-Mini flower cookie cutter to shape the bottom
-Lollipop sticks (about 50 for one cake)
-Almond bark or candy melts in chocolate/brown
-Almond bark or candy melts in another color (white/pink/etc)
-M&Ms (one for each pop - I used one color for each type of pop)
-Styrofoam for drying (or something comparable) - use a stick to pre-make holes

What to do:
1. Crumble the cooled cake into fine crumbles. (A food processor would be fantastic for this, but I just did it by hand)
2. Mix in the whole can of cream cheese frosting
3. Form into balls and place on a pan lined with wax paper (you may have to wash your hands a few times)
4. Refrigerate for a couple hours or chill in the freezer for 15 minutes
5. Remove chilled balls from the fridge and roll into cylinders. Using the cookie cutter, shape cylinder into cupcakes.

6. Place cupcake shapes back in the fridge or freezer to chill.

7. Melt chocolate according to package instructions (I microwaved on half power for 30 seconds about 2 times). Stir after every 30 seconds. Be careful not to get water in your chocolate!

8. Remove cupcakes from fridge and dip the bottoms in the chocolate. Place a lollipop stick in them and let cool upside down. Place in fridge.

9. Prepare colored candy melts according to instructions.
10. Remove half dipped pops from the fridge and dip in pink/white/colored chocolate.
11. Immediately place M&M on top and add sprinkles.
12. Stick in Styrofoam with pre-made holes to cool. Store in airtight containers or cover with individual candy bags.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hot Mocha Rum Soufflés

Hot Mocha Rum Soufflés Oh My! I was at this discount baking store the other day that I am just a teensy bit obsessed with, and I bought this really cool pan (so of course I had to use it in my next post)! Luckily I have this giant book of desserts (by Martha Day) of which I picked out this recipe (and slightly modified it).

Here is what you need:
6 ramekins and a walled baking sheet (I only had four so yes I did waste a little)
2 tbs unsalted melted butter (for greasing ramekins)
generous 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
generous 1/3 cup of sugar
4tbs strong coffee (I used instant espresso/hot water)
2 tbs dark rum
6 egg whites
powdered sugar for dusting

The Steps:
1. Fill baking sheet with one inch of water and place in oven. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Grease ramekins with butter. (dump out any that pools)

3. Mix 2 tsps of the cocoa with 1 tbs of the sugar and coat each ramekin with a thin layer.

4. Mix the remaining cocoa powder with the coffee and rum in a medium/large bowl.

5. Whisk egg whites until they form firm peaks. Whisk in remaining sugar.

6. Stir a generous spoonful of egg whites into cocoa mixture to lighten it, then gently fold in the rest of the whites.

7. Spoon mix into prepared baking dishes and smooth tops. Place on hot baking sheet (the one from the oven), and bake 12-15 minutes or until well risen.

8. Dust with powdered sugar and serve immediately.
They taste like molten lava cakes so grab some vanilla ice cream to go with it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Black and White Cheesecake Bars

Last week was my birthday week so I decided to make something special. Let me just warn you in advance that these are a tad bit messy to make so grab some latex gloves at the store or just wash your hands a lot!

This is mostly Martha!

What you will need:
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
10 ounces (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
21/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Line dish with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both long sides, then spray parchment.

3. Sift flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Cream butter and granulated sugar with a mixer until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla, and beat until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Reduce speed to low; add flour mixture. Increase speed to medium; beat until incorporated.

4. Reserve 1 cup of dough; cover, and refrigerate. Press remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish (this is where you need to use your hands). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, about 25 minutes. Let cool in dish on a wire rack.

5. Mix cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and remaining egg and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl. Spread over cooled base; pipe reserved dough in a lattice design using a medium round tip. You may need to let the reserved dough warm to room temperature first so it is easier to pipe. Bake until filling is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using overhang. Cut off the edges and cut into squares or bars.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Rocky Road Rice Krispie Treats

So I'm not going to lie, my first effort to make Rocky Road Rice Krispie treats completely crashed and burned. "How can you mess up Rice Krispie treats?" you might ask. Well, I made the mistake of trying to take a microwave shortcut. Let's just say they came out a tad dry and being completely abhorred at my creation, I set out to right my food injustice. My second batch turned out absolutely delicious! So here's a recipe for all of you, like me, that like to let the little kid in you show more than just once in a while.

4 tbs butter
4 cups rice cereal (I used a chocolaty off brand)
3 cups small marshmallows or 40 large ones (according to my mom who only uses large mallows in her recipe)

Rocky Road part:
1 cup small marshmallows
1/2 cup chocolate chips (I used dark)
1/2 cup almond pieces (optional)

1. Melt butter on low heat
2. Stir in marshmallows (3 cups) and mix until melted
3. Add rice cereal and stir until all the cereal is covered with stickiness
4. Spoon half of the cereal mix into a square greased pan
5. Sprinkle Rocky Road mix on top of the cereal mix in the pan
6. Spoon the remaining cereal mix on top of the Rocky Road mix
7. Using a damp paper towel press the rice krispies down into the pan and let cool

1. Melt butter on low heat

2. Stir in marshmallows (3 cups) and mix until melted

3. Add rice cereal and stir until all the cereal is covered with stickinessYou can see the strings of sticky goodness that are necessary to glue the cereal pieces together.

4. Spoon half of the cereal mix into a square greased pan
5. Sprinkle Rocky Road mix on top of the cereal mix in the pan
Yes you can see the I, myself have omitted the nuts. While I do agree that its not true Rocky Road without them I think the treats are crunchy enough. So do what you will with yours! I will omit the nuts :)

6. Spoon the remaining cereal mix on top of the Rocky Road mix
7. Using a damp paper towel press the rice krispies down into the pan and let cool

Monday, April 5, 2010

Selva Negra! (That's Black Forest Cake ya'll)

I made this cake for my hubby's birthday this past week (he's the one who calls it Selva Negra). Since I had to work until 7pm (I know!) After I went to the store to buy ingredients and everything, I was a tired little baker and didn't take very many pictures. But never fear! The cake turned out AMAZING! I googled a ton of recipes and made one up. The only thing you might want to add when making this is putting cherries in the layers. They were out of canned bing cherries so I just left that part out.

1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Spray pan with flour spray two 7 or 8 inch round pans.
3. Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
4. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
5. Beat in flour mixture, alternating with buttermilk, until combined. Pour evenly into pans.
6. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.
7. Cool completely and turn out of pans.
8. Cut each layer in half, horizontally, making 4 layers total.
9. Sprinkle layers with the 1/2 cup kirshwasser.

Filling and Frosting
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoon kirschwasser
1 (1 ounce) square semisweet chocolate

1. In mixer (trust me, use a mixer!), whip the cream to stiff peaks.
2. Beat in sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla and 2 teaspoons of kirshwasser.
3. Frost each layer and top and sides of cake. Be sure the middle layers are thick because the weight of the cake will thin them out. You might even want to half the recipe and whip it stiffer (or add cherries!).
4. Sprinkle with chocolate curls made by using a potato peeler or cheese grate on semisweet baking chocolate.

I bought a little piping kit but you could use a ziploc and piping tips to decorate.