Posted on Leave a comment

Chocolate Mousse

After using just egg whites in the Italian meringue buttercream experiment, I had many yolks left over and didn’t want them to go to waste. In looking up desserts that utilize only egg yolks, I found one of my favorite decadent treats – chocolate mousse!

There are many different ways to make chocolate mousse and each way provides a different flavor and consistency. For my first go at chocolate mousse from scratch, I used a recipe from Betty Crocker. This is a very easy recipe to use and resulted in a very tasty dessert. After making the straight mousse, I mixed macadamia nuts and coconut into one serving and paired a second serving with a dark chocolate cake. Both combinations were delicious.

For the chocolate, you can use any type you prefer. I had a random assortment of semi-sweet, dark, and milk baking chocolate and chocolate morsels left over from other experiments, so I used them all and ended up with a mostly semi-sweet flavored mousse. Both the baking chocolate and morsels melted and mixed just fine. This recipe seems like it will take flavors and various mix-ins quite well, so have fun with it and top it off with some whipped cream!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Chocolate Mousse

4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
8 oz semi-sweet baking chocolate, chopped (or broken into pieces)

Beat egg yolks in a small bowl with an electric mixer on high speed for about 3 mins or until thick and lemon colored.

Gradually beat in the sugar.

Heat 1 cup of the whipping cream in a 2 qt saucepan over medium heat until hot (mine went from somewhat cool to nearly boiling very quickly, so keep an eye on the cream). Gradually stir at least half of the hot whipping cream into the egg yolk mixture. Then stir the mixture back into the rest of the hot whipping cream in the saucepan. Cook over a low heat for about 5 mins, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens (do not boil). Stir in chocolate until melted (I recommend having your chocolate ready in a medium bowl and pouring the heated mixture over the chocolate. Let this sit for a couple of minutes so that the chocolate has a chance to melt. This makes stirring a lot easier.)

Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours or until just chilled (mine was closer to an hour and a half than two hours), stirring occasionally. You’ll notice the mixture taking on more of a mousse texture each time you go to stir. Even though it’s firming up, it still stirs very easily. Don’t be afraid to mix it up. When you place the mixture in the fridge, cover and place an empty medium mixing bowl in the fridge with it.

Once the mixture is cooled, take both bowls out of the fridge. Beat 1 1/2 cups of whipping cream in the empty chilled bowl with an electric mixer on high until stiff. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Folding mixtures together does take some time. Be sure to work the mixtures from different areas of the bowl so that any pockets of chocolate or whipped cream that form are broken up and combined.

Pipe or spoon the mixture into serving bowls (or on cake or into prepared dessert cups, etc.). Serve immediately or refrigerate until serving.

xcpa1716
Chocolate mousse cup (double serving) with whipped cream
Posted on 4 Comments

Pull Apart (Cupcake) Cake with Italian Meringue Buttercream

In 2019, I’m taking on some baking challenges with two other bakers in different states. The challenge for January is a pull apart cupcake cake. I opted for a fun but simple design for this, my first cupcake cake. To still make it a challenge, though, I tried my hand at making Italian meringue buttercream (IMBC). I’ve made American (ABC) and Swiss Meringue (SMBC) buttercreams before but not Italian.

The design I selected for the cake was taken from bluprint (formerly Craftsy). My version ended up utilizing 9 regular sized cupcakes and 20 mini cupcakes, all yellow cake. The nice thing about such a simple design is that you end up with plenty of extra cupcakes to snack on. One mistake I made was with the mini cupcakes.

gcgn1676
Staging for pull apart jellyfish cake.

The recipe for the Italian meringue buttercream is by Yolanda Gampps on HowToCakeIt.com. She has an excellent video up if you’re interested in seeing her techniques. Her recipe is easy to follow and should have you whipping up some IMBC in no time. If you haven’t tried IMBC before or aren’t sure if you have, it is less sweet than American buttercream (one of the most common types of buttercream in the U.S.) and a little less buttery than Swiss meringue. It’s a really smooth and light flavor as a base. It also takes coloring and flavorings really well. I added some raspberry extract to the purple portion and it was very good.

After making the buttercream and arranging your cakes, use a piping bag with a wide tip to pipe the outline of your design. Then fill in the shape with more buttercream and smooth it out with an offset spatula. This helps to keep some of the definition in your shape and prevents you from pushing cupcakes around while trying to dollop icing on them.

Lessons learned from my first go at a pull apart cake:

  1. I need to be better about portioning out my buttercream colors. I ended up with far too much leftover blue buttercream and not near enough white buttercream to touch up the tentacles.
  2. I need to bake my mini cupcakes longer. I under-baked them slightly, resulting in them being too moist and the wrappers pulling awkwardly away from the cakes after sitting overnight.
  3. I forgot to put icing on the bottom of the large cupcakes before decorating them. Adding a dot of icing under each cupcake makes it harder for them to slide across the board and helps to hold them in place.
  4. This was only my second time piping anything (the first being the teeth on the sarlacc cake). You can tell I was playing around with one of the piping tips due to the variation in the design of the purple icing on the tentacles.

Overall, the experiment was a success. The expectation of a yummy pull apart cake that resembled a jellyfish was met and now we have a taste for IMBC!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Italian Meringue Buttercream

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
8 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into Tbsp-sized pieces, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.

While the sugar syrup is heating, put the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.

When the syrup reaches 230°F on the candy thermometer, begin to whip the egg whites on medium/high speed. Whip until the egg whites are stiff.

When the syrup reaches 240°F, immediately remove the pan from the heat and, with the mixer still running, pour the syrup into the egg whites in a very thin stream. Pour the syrup between the sides of the bowl and the whisk.

Whip the meringue at high speed until thick and glossy and the bowl is no longer warm on the outside, about 8-12 mins.

With the mixer running, add the butter, a piece at a time, whipping until each piece is fully incorporated before adding the next. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula occasionally.

After all of the butter has been added, continue to whip the buttercream until it’s thick and smooth, 3-5 mins.

Beat in the vanilla.

Divide the buttercream into different bowls to fold in different colors and flavors.

Posted on Leave a comment

Cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookies

I have been a fan of Christina Tosi‘s for a few years now. I’ve had some treats from the original Milk Bar and have two of her cookbooks, but hadn’t yet tried one of her recipes. I really wanted to try at least one before 2018 was over. I opted for the cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookie. This recipe is from her book, Milk, and she’s also shared it online as well.

Tosi includes various types of measurements for her recipes, so you can bake by volume or mass or recipe percentage. Typically, I like to write out recipes before I try them so that I can catch any points of confusion before I dive in. I did not do that this time and the result was using the entire box of cornflakes instead of only half of the box. The crunch still came out tasty, just not as clustered as it is intended to be.

My second mistake was not flattening out the portions of dough before placing 4″ apart on the sheet and baking. These cookies are huge and they spread! Unfortunately, this meant that I sacrificed some cookie dough to the burner on the bottom of the oven.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Cornflake crunch (makes 4 cups)

1/2 box (5 cups or 170 g) of cornflakes
1/2 cup (40 g) milk powder
3 Tbsp (40 g) sugar
9 Tbsp (130 g) butter, melted

Heat oven to 275°F.

Pour the cornflakes in a medium bowl and crush them with your hands to one-quarter their original size. Add the milk powder and sugar and toss into the mix. Add the butter and toss to coat. As you toss, the butter will act as glue, binding the dry ingredients to the cereal and creating small clusters.

Spread the clusters on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 mins, at which point they should look toasted, smell buttery, and crunch gently when cooled slightly and chewed.

Cool the cornflake crunch completely before storing or using in a recipe. Stored in an airtight container at room temp, the crunch will keep fresh for 1 week; in the fridge or freezer, it will keep for 1 month.

 

Cornflake-chocolate-chip-marshmallow cookies

16 Tbsp (2 sticks or 225 g) butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups (250 g) granulated sugar
2/3 cup (150 g) tightly packed light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp (2 g) vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (240 g) flour
1/2 tsp (2 g) baking powder
1/4 tsp (1.5 g) baking soda
3/4 recipe (3 cups or 270 g) of cornflake crunch
2/3 cup (125 g) mini chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups (65 g) mini marshmallows

Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2-3 mins. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg and vanilla and beat for 7-8 mins.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flower, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix just until the the dough comes together, no longer than 1 min. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Still on low speed, paddle in the cornflake crunch and mini chocolate chips just until they’re incorporated, more than 30-45 secs. Paddle in the mini marshmallows just until incorporated.

Using a 2 3/4 ounce ice cream scoop or a 1/3 cup measure, portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookies down flat (flatten cookies a bit). Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 1 week. Do not bake from room temp as they will not hold their shape.

Heat oven to 375°F.

Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4″ apart on parchment-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 mins. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. At the 18 min mark, the cookies should be browned on the edges and just beginning to brown toward the center. Leave them in the oven for an additional minute or so if they aren’t and they still seem pale and doughy on the surface.

Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring them to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.

Posted on Leave a comment

Andes Mint Fudge

Andes mint fudge.

This was a simple experiment that turned out quite well. Use your favorite fudge recipe and use Andes mint baking chips in place of the chocolate. For example, my recipe calls for 12 oz of chocolate. The Andes mint baking chips came in a 10 oz bag, so I did those 10 oz plus 2 oz semisweet Nestle chips. Varying the amount of Andes mint chips to chocolate chips or chocolate bits will change the strength of the mint in the fudge. Being a mint lover, the strength from the 10 oz/2 oz mix was very enjoyable.

 

Posted on Leave a comment

Survival by Chocolate: A Dementor Salve

A quick recap from the last post: I was recently asked if I would donate some goodies to a fund raising event for a local chapter of The Harry Potter AllianceCavendish Brewing Company was hosting a Yule Ball and was interested in treats for their room of requirement as well as pieces for the auction. I couldn’t resist supporting a good cause and coming up with themed bakes!

The second recipe to share from this experience is for my Survival by Chocolate: A Dementor Salve cake. This is pretty simple to put together and tastes amazing! This was an auction item for the night.

Start with a chocolate cake. I made a devil’s food cake but dark chocolate would work very well, too. I baked this one into two 9” rounds.

Then, make a Nutella buttercream. My Baking Addiction’s recipe utilizes a lot of powdered sugar and produces enough buttercream to top a large batch of cupcakes or very generously frost a 9” cake. I still had enough leftover buttercream to mix it with my cake scraps to make three large parfaits! Check out the recipe and notes on the site: https://www.mybakingaddiction.com/nutella-cupcakes/

To really help bring out the flavor of the Nutella, be sure to generously add baked and chopped hazelnuts and top with a chocolate ganache. For the ganache on this cake, I used a 1:1 ratio of heavy cream to chocolate.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Survival by Chocolate: A Dementor Salve

Bake a devil’s food cake in two 9” round pans. Once the cakes have cooled completely, trim the tops so that they are flat. Save cake scraps for later. Add a generous amount of buttercream to the top of the first round. Make sure the buttercream layer is level. Sprinkle some chopped hazelnuts on top. Place the second round on top of the buttercream and nut layer. Add buttercream to the top of the new layer. Frost the sides of both cake layers. Work frosting until the top and sides are smooth. Save extra buttercream for later. Pour the chocolate ganache over the entire cake. Decorate with more chopped hazelnuts.

Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 13-oz jar of Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1.5 lbs confectioner’s sugar, sifted
6-8 Tbsp heavy cream or milk

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and Nutella until well combined, thick, and fluffy (about 5 mins). Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar and continue mixing until well-blended.

Add vanilla and 3 Tbsp of heavy cream. Blend on low speed until moistened. Add an additional 3-5 Tbsp of heavy cream (I used 5) until you reach the desired consistency. Beat at high speed until frosting is smooth and fluffy (about 3 mins).

Chocolate ganache:
6 oz milk chocolate baking chocolate, broken or chopped into pieces
6 oz heavy cream

Heat heavy cream on the stove or in the microwave. For the microwave, heat for 45 seconds to 1 minute. Cream should be steaming but not boiling. Keep a close eye on it.

Pour heated cream over the chocolate pieces. Let sit for 2-3 minutes to melt the chocolate. Stir using a whisk until the chocolate and cream are well-blended into a rich chocolate sauce. Pour ganache over cake (cake should be sitting on a cooling rack that is over a cookie sheet covered with plastic, parchment, or wax paper to catch the drippings).

Using the leftovers:
Place the scraps left from leveling the cake rounds into a bowl. Add all of the extra buttercream to the scraps. Stir until combined. Spoon mixture into cups, layering with hazelnuts. Top with whipped cream or serve over vanilla ice cream. Serve as parfaits.

Posted on Leave a comment

Butterbeer Fudge

I was recently asked if I would donate some goodies to a fund raising event for a local chapter of The Harry Potter AllianceCavendish Brewing Company was hosting a Yule Ball and was interested in treats for their room of requirement as well as pieces for the auction. I couldn’t resist supporting a good cause and coming up with themed bakes!

The first recipe to share from this experience for butterbeer fudge and is from GetAwayToday.com: https://www.getawaytoday.com/…/butterbeer-fudge-copycat-rec…. A full bucket of butterbeer fudge was up for auction.

The process is very straightforward. When boiling and simmering the sugar mixture, be careful as some of it may jump out of the pot and can burn if it gets on you. Another trick I found to help make the process easier was to have the two separate bowls prepped with the chips or chocolate and extracts before starting the sugar mixture. This way you can just pour the heated mixture in straight from the stove without needing to fumble with anything. The fudge came out very soft and does melt in your mouth.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Butterbeer fudge
3/4 cup butter (Slice the butter so that it melts quicker)
3/4 cup evaporated milk
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow creme
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp rum extract
1 tsp butter extract
1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Place a square of parchment paper on the bottom of an 8×8 (or 9×9) inch pan. Coat the pan and paper with cooking spray. Set aside.

Add the butter, evaporated milk, marshmallow creme, and sugar into a saucepan. Use medium heat to bring the ingredients to a nice boil. Stir constantly. Once the mixture starts to boil, set a timer for 7 mins. Stir and simmer for the entire 7 mins. When the timer goes off, remove the pot from the heat. Working quickly, pour 1 cup of the mixture into a bowl. Add the white chocolate chips and vanilla extract. Stir together until smooth. To the rest of the batch, add the butterscotch chips, rum extract, and butter extract. Stir until the ingredients all combine together.

Pour the butterscotch fudge into the prepared pan. Spread evenly.

To keep the layers separate: Place a layer of wax paper on top of the butterscotch fudge layer. This keeps the two layers from combining. Spread the white chocolate fudge onto the top of the wax paper, edge to edge. Once the white layer is smooth and even, flip the entire layer over so the wax paper is on top. Scrape the fudge off the wax paper using a rubber spatula and smooth out any lumps.

To swirl the layers: skip the wax paper step. Pour the white chocolate fudge directly on top of the butterscotch fudge. As you spread the white fudge evenly across the pan, the fudges will start to swirl together. Run a rubber spatula in “s” shapes across the pan from top to bottom. Turn the pan and repeat. Keep swirling until you achieve a look you find pleasing.

Let the fudge set on a counter overnight. The next day, loosen the edges of the fudge from the pan and flip the pan upside down onto a cutting board. Remove the wax paper. Slice the fudge into the desired serving size. Store in an airtight container.

butterbeerfudgecut_watermarked
Butterbeer fudge sliced
Posted on Leave a comment

Mirror Glaze

I finally built up the nerve to try a mirror glaze and I am so glad I did. The recipe for this experiment is from Sugar Geek Show and I definitely recommend it. For the cake, I made a devil’s food box cake replacing the water with milk and oil with butter. After taking the cake out of the oven, I popped it out of the pan and wrapped it several times with plastic wrap before putting it in the freezer for at least an hour. Then, it was time to try for some magic.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mirror Glaze

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp water (first quantity)
8 tsp gelatin powder (4 – 0.25 oz packets)
1/2 cups of water (second quantity)
2 cups (360 g) of high quality white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli white chocolate premium baking bars)
Food coloring (I used Wilton icing colors)

Add the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, and the first quantity of water to a medium sauce pan and heat over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally.

While waiting, pour the second quantity of water into the powdered gelatin and mix with a spoon. Leave to fully absorb for a few minutes.

When the sugar, milk, and water mixture begins to simmer, remove from the heat and add the bloomed gelatin. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved.

Pour the hot liquid on top of the chocolate and leave to sit for 5 mins to melt.

Use whisk to stir the glaze until the chocolate has completely melted.

Separate the glaze into separate containers (keeping the containers the same type will help keep cooling time around the same. Metal bowls will retain heat resulting in a much longer cool down time). Add desired food coloring to each container of glaze and stir until well-mixed.

Leave the glaze to cool. (Now is a good time to take the cake out of the freezer.) Once the glaze cools to 90F*, pour it over the frozen cake which is on top of a cup or cooling rack which is sitting on a tray lined with plastic wrap to catch the drippings. Transfer the cake to the fridge to set for a few hours before serving.

*94F worked fine for me. I got a bit impatient because I made the metal bowl mistake. To remedy the mistake, I transferred the glaze to a plastic bowl.

Stir cooling glaze when ready to pour to ensure good consistency. If one or more containers of glaze get too cool, you can reheat the glaze in a pan or by using a baking torch and stirring.

BOOJ4531.PNG

Posted on Leave a comment

Portal Cakes

When I decided on my bundt cake theme, I knew I had to do an orange portal and a blue portal. Portal and Portal 2 are funny fun puzzle adventure games by Valve. If you’re not familiar, you have a gun that shoots two portals, an orange one and a blue one. You can enter an orange portal and come out a blue portal or vise versa. The portals help you solve your way out of sealed rooms as you work your way through a facility. No spoilers here, but I really enjoy the games and their characters.

For the orange portal, I decided on doing the maple pecan cake with cinnamon glaze that I’ve posted on here before.

For the blue portal, I tried a lemon pound cake recipe and added blueberries. This recipe comes from Tarteletthttp://www.tarteletteblog.com/search…

While I didn’t get to do a sample cake for this one to taste, it smelled delicious and came highly recommended. I will make it again in the future for tasting.

Just like the sarlacc cake, I made a vanilla buttercream to fill the center hole of the cake. I made black sugar cookies using the no fridge recipe and ninjabread men cookie cutters. Then, I cut one sugar cookie man in half and placed each half in the buttercream so it would stand up. Once they were set, I poured the colored glaze around the cake and made sure it filled in the center evenly. For the maple cake, I used the cinnamon glaze as before and colored it orange. For the lemon blueberry cake, I used a vanilla glaze and colored it blue.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ultimate Lemon Pound Cake (with blueberries)

2 3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3 sticks of butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 package fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 300F.

Butter and flour a 12 cup bundt pan.

Rinse blueberries. Coat blueberries with some extra flour so they won’t sink in the batter.

Sift flour and baking powder together. Cream the butter and 1 3/4 cup sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Reduce the speed and add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir in the lemon zest. Fold in the coated blueberries. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 1/2 hours, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 15 mins. Poke holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer.

Meanwhile, bring the lemon juice and remaining sugar to a boil over medium high heat in a small saucepan, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

Invert the cake onto a rack positioned over a baking sheet which is lined with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Slowly pour the syrup over the cake. It will seep through the holes and into the cake. Let cool to room temperature.

 

Posted on 2 Comments

Sarlacc Cake

The sarlacc cake! This is the cake that set me on a run of geek-themed bundt cakes. If you’ve watched the original Star Wars trilogy, you may recognize this monster as one who almost made a snack out of the Millennium Falcon. The recipes and construction come by way of Yummy Crumble. She took inspiration from other recipes and those are all cited in her original post. She also has a plethora of monster and creepy themed desserts that look like a blast to make and eat. This sarlacc cake is easier to construct than you’d expect and there are some work around if a part doesn’t work out. I had two failed attempts at making the madeleines (both human error, not recipe error) and ran out to purchase a small pack at my local Starbucks.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Caramel Bundt Cake

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour your bundt cake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda.

With an electric mixer and paddle attachment, beat the softened butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time until each is well mixed. Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla and mix some more.

On low, add the flour mixture alternating between the dry ingredients and the buttermilk. Start and end with the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined.

Pour into the bundt pan and bake for 35-45 mins or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean (mine went for 40 mins). Cool in the pan for 20 mins before transferring to a cooling rack.

Biscoff Cookies Madeleines

2 large room temperature eggs
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 1/4 vanilla extract
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground Biscoff cookie crumbs (grind up an 8 oz package as you’ll use the rest for decoration)
1/4 tsp baking powder
A pinch of cinnamon
8 Tbsp butter, melted and cooled

Set oven to 375F.

Lightly grease and flour madeleine pan. Place parchment on a regular baking sheet.

In a food processor, blend a package of Biscoff cookies into crumbs. Keep a 1/2 cup ready and put the rest aside.

Beat eggs and sugar together until thick. Beat in vanilla.

Sift flour, cookie crumbs, cinnamon, and baking powder into the bowl. Fold together until mixed.

Stream in melted butter while mixing on low. Spoon a Tbsp of batter into each cavity on the madeleine sheet. Bake for 12-14 mins or until lightly golden brown. Be careful not to over-bake. Allow to cool for a few mins before removing from sheet. Make sure the pan has cooled before making the next batch.

For the tentacles, place a small amount of batter into a baggie or piping bag. Pipe a thin line of batter onto the parchment paper. The batter spreads while baking. Bake at 375F until golden brown (just a few mins).

*My first batch didn’t work out because I got distracted and threw my cookie sheet and tentacles in at the same time and never checked on them. The entire batch burned black. During my second attempt, I ran into an issue with my flour and had to wait for a new bag. Once it showed up, I forgot to add the flour to my dry ingredients. Then entire batch spread as far as it could go while baking. I was able to salvage two crunchy pieces for the tentacles for my cake. I went and bought some madeleines to finish the cake.

Decoration

Rest of the Biscoff cookie crumbs
Your favorite salted caramel sauce (I used a jar of HERSHEY’S sundae topping)
Your favorite vanilla frosting (I used a basically vanilla buttercream and Yummy Crumble uses a caramel buttercream)
Handful of slivered almonds

Once the cake has cooled, drizzle the entire cake with caramel sauce.

Cover the cake with the cookie crumbs.

Using the raw almonds, create the teeth on the interior wall of the pit (the inside of the cake).

Fill the pit with frosting and cover the frosting with cookie crumbs. This will cover many of the almonds.

Using a small piping tip (no. 4), create teeth by piping small drops around the outside edge of the madeleine cookies. (I did two rows of teeth for fun). Place the two madeleine cookies inside the pit, pushing them slightly into the frosting so that they stand. Place the tentacles around the madeleine beak.

Posted on Leave a comment

Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake – Box Mix

Box cake mixes do not hold mix-ins well. No matter how many times I try this, I refuse to learn my lesson. The result is all of the fruit or nuts sinking to the bottom of the pan/top of the cake. This experiment included adding blueberries and lemon zest to a boxed cake mix. Very simple, very tasty, but would be better if the berries were better distributed.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Lemon Blueberry Bundt Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 lemon
1 box of blueberries

Take a small amount of the dry cake mix and place it in a small bowl. Rinse and dry the fresh blueberries. Toss blueberries in small bowl of cake mix until they are coated.

Prepare the rest of the dry box mix as directed on the box. For a bump in flavor, use an equal amount of milk instead of water and an equal amount of butter in place of oil.

Zest one lemon. Add zest to the cake batter and mix until combined. Fold in the blueberries.

Grease and flour a bundt pan. Follow the oven temp and baking time listed on the box. Start with the minimum bake time and increase time as needed until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Turn the pan upside down to get the cake out into a cooling rack. Let cool completely.

uwvi3677
Box cake mix typically isn’t dense enough to hold up fruit, so it sinks to the bottom of the pan, creating a blueberry crown in the finished cake.
Posted on Leave a comment

Individual Strawberry Jam Cakes

Looking for a tasty little treat for a mid-day snack or and end-of-day dessert? These hand-cakes by Martha Stewart will hit the spot. You can easily customize the recipe by switching out the flavor of the filling and using or omitting the citrus.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Individual Strawberry Jam Cakes

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp finely grated orange zest (I left out the citrus)
2 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt (left out)
1/4 cup milk
6 Tbsp strawberry jam or preserves
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (I substituted milk and added 1/2 tsp vanilla extract to make a vanilla glaze)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a standard 6-cup muffin tin and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat butter, granulated sugar, (and zest) until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks one at a time until creamy; set aside. Into a small bowl, soft together flour, baking powder, (and salt). Add flour mixture and milk in alternating batches to butter mixture. Set aside.

In a clean bowl, whisk egg whites to soft peaks; fold into batter among muffin cups. Make an indentation in the middle of each; full with 1 Tbsp of jam. Top with remaining batter.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in top cake layer comes out clean, about 30 mins. Untold cakes and transfer them to a wire rack to cool. In a small bowl, whisk together confectioner’s sugar and juice (or milk). Place parchment paper; drizzle cake with glaze.

Notes:
1. When separating batter, crest a thick enough base but conserve enough to cover the jam to reduce or prevent the jam leaning out.

2. When whisking icing, start with powdered sugar and slowly add the juice/milk to desired consistency. Blending all at once results in a thin, runny icing.