Monthly Archives: February 2009

TWD – Caramel Crunch Bars

I was excited for this weeks recipe because I love caramel. Some of my favourite treats have caramel in them. So I made these last night because some of my classmates were doing a presentation at the hospital today and I figured it would be a nice treat. Plus it would mean I wouldn’t eat them all myself! The base was easy enough to make. Then came the melting of the chocolate over the base. This didn’t work out for me so I ended up melting the chocolate in a pot over low heat and spread it over after. Then I used Skor bits because Heath bars are not available in Canada!

To be honest, these were not quite what I expected. They were ok and everyone at work ate them up but I didn’t love them. Perhaps I needed to bake the base a little longer!? Who knows! But at least they look pretty for the picture:)

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Thanks to Whitney of What’s left on the table for choosing this weeks recipe and you can head over to her blog to get the recipe.

Seven-Minute Frosting

I realize that I forgot to post the recipe for the frosting I used with the previous post. It also calls to use a thermometer but my mum didn’t have one and I have made the frosting before so I just did without!

I noticed in other peoples blogs that the original frosting tasted like marshmallows so this one is very similar! It is still a little tedious but I love it! I often end up eating the extra frosting, yum!

Seven-Minute Frosting

(from Cupcakes! by Elinor Klivans)

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/3 cup water

3 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Put th sugar, water, egg whites and cream of tartar in a heatproof bowl or the top of a double boiler with at least a 2-quart capacity and beat with a handheld electric mixer on high speed until opaque,white and faomy, about 1 minute. Put the bowl over, but not touching, a saucepan of barely simmering water (or the bottom of the double boiler). The top container should sit firmly over the pan of hot water; be sure to keep the cord of the elctric mixer away from the burner. Beat on high speed until the frosting forms a soft peak that stands straight up if you stop the beaters and lift them up, about 7 minutes. The frosting should register 160 degrees F on the thermometer. Remove the container of frosting from the water, add the vanilla and almond extracts, and continue beating for 2 minutes to further thicken the frosting.

**I omit the almond extract but I’m sure it would be yummy too! Enjoy and sorry for not posting it before!

TWD: Devils Food White Out Cake

First of all, I would like to thank Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater for choosing this dessert. I was so excited for this because a) it is the cover cake! and b) I have never made a cake from scratch. I tend to stick to cupcakes, squares, and muffins so this was a great way to push myself into the world of cakes!

As some of you may know, I am currently in my last semester of university and I am doing placements. I had the opportunity to spend the first month in a fabulous pharmacy. On my last day at the pharmacy, we had a potluck. So I decided this would be a great opportunity to try out the cake. It went over very well and I only managed to sneak a tiny sliver home for my boyfriend so I think I will need to make it again for the family.

All and all the cake making went pretty well.I was making it after work and it was getting late, so instead of using the original icing I used a similar one that I knew would go great with the cake. It was a 7 minute frosting that I have used in the past for cupcakes. It seemed fairly similar to Dorie’s recipe. Next time I will use the original recipe when I have a little more time!

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The picture of the cake was taken at the potluck and it was a little dark so sorry about the quality. Hopefully there will be more cakes and more pictures in the future!

Valentine’s Cupcakes

So this was Valentine’s weekend and of course you need to have chocolate baked goods. The girls and I planned an evening of dancing and the best way to start that off is with pizza and chocolate treats. I searched and searched for appropriate chocolate recipes and ended up settling on cupcakes.  A cake was too big, cookies too small and thus the chocolate cupcake.

Valentine's Chocolate Cupcakes

Valentine's Chocolate Cupcakes

I got the recipe from the cupcake project who adapted it from Chockylit. Now the cupcake project made some additions to get these to Better than Sex Cupcakes, I thought that was a little too hot for us, so I made these traditional style without and filling etc.

Chocolate Cupcakes

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature

1-1/4 cups sugar

2 large eggs, room temperature

3/4 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoons vanilla

2/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Beat butter until softened. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until well combined. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder into a small sized bowl and whisk to combine. Measure out the milk and vanilla and stir to combine. Add about a third of the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar and beat to combine. Add about a half of the milk/vanilla and beat to combine. Continue adding, alternating between dry and wet and finishing with the dry. Stir in chocolate chips. Scoop batter into cupcake cups about 1/2 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 22-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Chocolate Frosting

5.3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons boiling water
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar

Chop the chocolate and place in a heat proof bowl. Melt over a pan of gently simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 – 20 minutes. Dissolve the cocoa powder in the boiling water in a small bowl. Set aside. In an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Scrape the bowl. Add powdered sugar and beat to combine. Add cooled, melted chocolate and beat to combine. Add cocoa paste and beat to combine.

 

Cupcake

Cupcake featuring a Cadbury Button

Well, I have to say that I loved the cupcakes, meh on the frosting though. I added more icing sugar than it originally called for in order to make it sweet enough for my taste buds. In retrospect I wish I had done a cream cheese icing or a seven minute icing. You bake and learn I say, gives me a good reason to make them again with a different frosting. Hope you all had a great chocolate filled Valentine’s Day.

Toffee Crunch Blondies

I must say that I love not being in school. One of my older sisters (who shall remain nameless but may be my co-blogger) told me that she likes me more now. Well actually she said I was more fun but same thing!  Technically I am  in school but placement leaves more time for baking than usual university life. Or perhaps being at home makes me less stressed. I am sure once it gets closer to board exams in May, the baking will subside but for now its keeping me busy!

This past Tuesday, a couple of my classmates and I had to do presentations to some of the pharmacy staff at the hospital. I happily volunteered to bring in some treats much to the worry of my fellow presenters who thought this may lure a larger audience. However I figured if people were eating yummy squares they would be less focused on the presentation, particularly mine since public speaking causes me mild anxiety.

I have made this recipe a couple of times  for bake sales at school and for family. They are so easy to make which was always great when I was making them while studying for a midterm.

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The recipe is from the back of the Chipits Skor bag. Sometimes you find great recipes in the oddest places!

Chipits Toffee Crunch Blondies

1.    Beat ½ cup softened butter with 1 cup of packed brown sugar and 2 eggs until well blended.
2.    Stir in 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1tsp baking powder, ½ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp salt; mix well.
3.    Stir in 1 cup of toffee skor bits. Add 1 cup of chocolate chips, if desired.
4.    Spread evenly in greased 9×13 inch baking pan.
5.    Bake at 350 for 23-28 minutes or until golden brown.
6.    Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle evening with remaining skor bits.

TWD: Floating Islands

Given that I am the big sis, I feel that I have to let Claire get first dibs on the Tuesdays with Dorie recipes. Thus, I got floating islands. Don’t get me wrong, this looks like a pretty dessert, great to feed to company etc. But I live alone, and this isn’t the most portable of desserts. Regardless, given that Claire assigned it to me, I made it, such an obedient big sister, now let me tell you about it.

Well for starters, I have to say any recipe that lets me use my brand new Christmas present of a Kitchen Aid mixer, gets some props.  I started with the creme anglaise, which went fine I guess. I thought it turned out a little lumpy and my straining didn’t go that well but whatever, it was fine. I used my brand new candy thermometer, which I had always meant to pick up but did so just for this recipe. I think it was around 180, close enough anyways. When I tasted the sauce I thought it tasted a little eggy. Hard for me to tell though because sometimes when I know what is in something, then that’s all I can taste. Like if I know someone baked with oil instead of butter, I swear I can taste it. It is all in my head no doubt, but what can you do.

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Okay so then I moved on to the meringue. This went fine, until I got to the poaching part. I guess when I think of meringue, I think of pavlova and as such I was a little disappointed. I mean you poach it and you don’t get any nice crispiness, just fluffy airy-ness, which is good but it is not pavlova.

Meringue

Meringue

Poaching Times

Poaching Times

So I assembled the whole thing and I didn’t eat it. It just didn’t look that yummy. But I am totally glad that I made it, as I had never poached a meringue before and I always wanted a candy thermometer and I really love using my mixer. Oh yeah and Claire told me I had to do it so that is reason enough. I checked out Shari’s post over at Whisk, since this was her recipe choice, and of course I subscribe to her blog.  I almost didn’t post after that, her’s looked amazing and her photos rocked. But alas, Claire and I are infant bloggers, can’t expect perfection yet, so here is our go. I also didn’t post when I read this on Dorie’s blog

“Every Tuesday, when the TWD bakers post, I try to visit as many of the members’ blogs as I can before my conscience starts screaming at me and telling to me to get back to work. ”

Hopefully her conscience keeps her away from here for a while as we perfect the art of baking, from our home to yours.

TWD: World Peace Cookies

I have not made cookies in forever so this recipe was a nice change. Plus, these slice and bake cookies were different to my usual chocolate chocolate chip cookies. I made these cookies Sunday night and then baked them up last night. I had no troubles with making them or rolling them. However last night the slicing did cause a bit of an issues as some of them crumbed when I cut them. This may be more frustrating to me due to my OCD-like tendencies but alas.

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The final product is a chocolately shortbread which is quite yummy. Even my non-chocolate-loving mum agreed.  I still have one more roll of cookies to bake so I may try to make them a little more equal in thickness and a little more circular! My dad is on his way home from a trip overseas so I hope he enjoys this treat when he gets home!  Thanks to Jessica of cookbookhabit for this weeks delicious choice!

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