Monday, August 30, 2010

first lakewood market

here is all my rosy girl stuff... ready for the first day at the market.  ned did a really great job on the logo!

the weather was great for my first market :)  here is what my table looked like, all ready to go!

i made caramel banana cupcakes, zucchini spice cupcakes, dark chocolate and cardamom cupcakes, peanut butter dog treats and blueberry scones.  by the end of the day i had sold out of everything except a couple dog treats!  and i was lucky enough to have a bunch of friends come visit too.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chocolate Banana Bread

i usually don't like making breads but i just got this clay bread pan from a patton & breznai estate sale and i was dying to try it.  i have nothing against breads, i just prefer a grab and go muffin.  i'd been wanting to try dorie greenspan's cocoa-nana bread recipe for a while now and when my bananas were looking less than ideal for eating, this seemed like a perfect opportunity.  if you haven't checked out baking: from my home to yours you really should.  dorie's recipes are always so delicious and relatively easy to make.  if you buy one baking book this year, let it be dorie's!

Cocoa-Nana Bread
Copied from eat me, delicious
2 cups all purpose flour (I used 272 g)
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or 1/2 cup store bought chocolate chips)

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Butter a 9x5 inch loaf pan and placed it on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets stacked on top of the other. (This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from overbaking.)

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about a minute, until softened. Add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. At this point, the batter may look a little curdled - it's okay. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the mashed bananas. Add the dry ingredients in 3 additions, mixing only unilt they disappear into the batter. Still on low speed, add the buttermilk, mixing until it is incorporated. Stir in the chopped chocolate. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake for 30 minutes. Cover the bread loosely with a foil tent to keep the top from getting too dark, and continue to bake for another 40 to 45 minutes (total baking time is between 70 to 75 minutes), or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the brad and unmolding it. Invert and cool to room temperature right side up. 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

a surplus of blackberries


these blackberry cupcakes were a new recipe i tried last week.  my boyfriend michael's next door neighbor has a surplus of blackberries growing in her backyard and because she just had her teeth whitened is not able to eat them!  this has resulted in michael, his mom and myself making as many blackberry items as possible... tarts, jam, pies, cobblers, etc.  eventually we decided to stop fighting a losing battle and michael has just been freezing them in bunches instead.  but back to the cupcakes, i used the lovely tastespotting and found this tasty recipe and got to try it out just in time for alex and emilio's going away party.  the cupcakes were a hit and i gave one to my boss, bill, who ended up buying a dozen to auction off at his family reunion.  anyways, i highly recommend these cupcakes.

Blackberry Cupcakes with Blackberry Buttercream Icing
Adapted from berry delicious.  Makes 24 cupcakes.
3 6oz packs blackberries (+24 individual blackberries kept aside for garnish if you desire)
1/3 cup milk, at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tsp lemon juice
2 1/4 cup cake flour, sifted ***
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
1 recipe Blackberry Buttercream Frosting, recipe follows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and fill two muffin pans with liners.
Puree blackberries in a food processor or blender.  Scrape into a fine mesh sieve set over a bowl. With a rubber spatula or spoon, work the blackberries through the sieve, leaving seeds behind. Remove 1/4 cup of puree for the frosting.
In small bowl, combine 2/3 c. puree, milk, egg, lemon juice, and mix with fork or whisk until well blended.  In the bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine. Continue beating at slow speed and add butter. Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.  This may get a little messy so use your guard for your stand mixer bowl if you have one.
Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined. Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat for 30 more seconds.   This is very important!  This is a lot of batter so you need to make sure you are scraping down the sides in order for everything to get properly incorporated.  Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center cupcake in each pan comes out clean. Cool cupcakes on cooling rack and frost when completely cool.

***sometimes i run out of cake flour and because it can be a pain in the butt to find, you can always this substitute:  1 c. all purpose flour - 2 tbsp, then replace 2 tbsp with 2 tbsp cornstarch.   some people choose to just leave the cornstarch out all together making it 1 c. cake flour = 1 c. minus 2 tbsp. all purpose, but i prefer to add the cornstarch.  it's up to you!

Blackberry Buttercream Frosting
2 sticks butter unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp almond extract
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of salt
1/4 cup blackberry puree

Cream butter and extracts until smooth. Mix in confectioner’s sugar and salt and beat 2-3 minutes on high. Add blackberry puree and beat for an additional minute. Adjust consistency, if desired, with additional confectioner’s sugar or water.  I used a 1M cupcake tip to frost my cupcakes.


Monday, August 16, 2010

an earl grey kitty bobcats evening

i was invited to a lovely evening of kitty bobcats fun a few weeks ago and decided to make these earl grey cupcakes to bring.  bridge was planned for the evening, even though we never got to it, and tea and bridge seem to go well together to me so these cupcakes were an obvious fit.  i really loved these cupcakes and to be honest, a lot of the stuff i bake i only end up sampling and not eating just because i'm not a big sugar person, but i loved these and actually ate two of them.  the pan of 6 is what i brought over to the kitty bobcats evening, the other 6 got eaten before then :)

Earl Grey Cupcakes with Earl Grey Lemon Buttercream Frosting
adapted from patent and the pantry and honey and jam.  yields 12 cupcakes.
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1 tbsp. Earl Grey tea ***

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and fill 1 muffin pan with liners. Beat the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add eggs one at a time, beating for about 1 minute after each egg is added.  Make sure they are thoroughly combined before adding the next one by scraping down the edges of the bowl.  Whisk together the dry ingredients, including the tea in a medium bowl.  Beat in half of the dry mixture with the wet, then add the milk and the rest of the dry mixture, stirring until just combined.  Again, make sure to scrape down the edges during this process.  Fill liners about two-thirds full.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Cool thoroughly before frosting.

***i didn't use a bagged earl grey tea so i'm not sure how many bags would be needed in this recipe.  i'm out right now, but later when i find out i will post the brand i used.

Earl Grey Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 1/2 - 2 c. of powdered sugar
zest of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 teaspoons of earl grey tea leaves

Cream the butter until nice and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Gradually add the powdered sugar, making sure to scrape the edges of the bowl.  Next, add the lemon zest, lemon juice and tea, making sure it is well mixed.  Frost with your favorite tip and eat :)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

craving key lime pie?

a few weeks ago i went to a pig roast and struggled over what to bring.  i eventually for some reason or another decided on these graham cracker cupcakes with a key lime cream cheese frosting.  i don't really see the connection between these and a pig roast, but i liked the idea of a citrus flavor at a summer party.  plus they are really beautiful and people seemed to really respond to them!  mostly, i just had a lot of fun decorating these guys :)

Graham Cracker Cupcakes with Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
adapted from ming makes cupcakes
1 c. flour
1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs ***
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 c. milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and fill 1 muffin pan with liners.  Mix flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Gradually beat in the butter on a low-medium speed.  Add sugar gradually, beating at a medium speed until mixed thoroughly.  This does get a little messy so I do suggest using the guard for the bowl if you have one.
Beat in eggs, one at a time and then add the vanilla and milk and beat until just mixed.  Pour into lined muffin pan.  Bake for 18 minutes or until toothpick comes out almost clean.

*** I used about 4 graham crackers and smashed them up with my hands as much as possible and then used a fork to break it down finer.  I'm sure you could just use the fork, but i am a hands on kind of gal.

Key Lime Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 stick butter, room temperature
2 c. confectioners' sugar
2 tbsp. key lime juice ***

Beat together cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed about 2 minutes until well mixed.  Beat in key lime juice.  Gradually add confectioners' sugar and beat until desired consistency.  Frost cupcakes and top with a lime slice and sprinkle of graham cracker crumbs.

***I live in ohio and found it nearly impossible to find key lime juice, plus that stuff is mostly a sugary mix of ingredients anyways so I found this substitute worked better.  I combined 1/4 c. of fresh squeezed lime juice with 1/4 c. of fresh squeeze lime juice and just got the 2 tbsp from that.  I used the remaining juice to make myself a refreshing lemon lime water drink :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

a light birthday cake

about a month ago, it was one of my favorite yoga teacher's, denys morgan's birthday.  she teaches at studio 11 in tremont, which is a great studio and comes highly recommended.  since it had been so hot out i wanted to make her a lighter cake that could be enjoyed even in the 90 degree weather.  i found this recipe at smitten kitchen which has to be one of my all time favorite food blogs out there.  all of her food pictures are beautiful and every recipe i have tried from that blog has come out perfect.  she is so organized, i guarantee if you went there now you could find something you liked right away!  this cake was ridiculously easy to make and so pretty too!  the day i made this cake for denys my mom was drooling a little so i ended up making her one as well the following week.  this is a really a great cake to bring to your summer parties.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake
from smitten kitchen
Makes 1 thin 9" round cake.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 large egg
1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk  ***
1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 oz)

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside in a medium bowl.  In the bowl of your stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-held electric mixer, beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about two-three minutes, then beat in vanilla and zest. Add egg and beat for an additional minute.
At low speed, mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined.  Make sure to scrape down the edges in between the steps as well.  Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top.  Arrange raspberries evenly over top, in whatever way you think looks nice and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar.
Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more  Invert on your serving plate of choice!

***For the first time last week I made my own buttermilk and it was SO EASY.  Get our your 1 c. measuring cup and put 2 tbsp of lemon juice in it, then fill the rest up with milk.  Let stand for 5 minutes and bam! you have buttermilk.  You simply must try it!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

peanut buttercream for the win

i made this cake for dinner right after my friend jessi moved into town.  the picture was an afterthought because i forgot to take one at home so i was left to take a quick picture right before everyone was ready to eat.  this is the only recipe i've made from rose's heavenly cakes but this cake alone is enough to check the book out from the library.  it also made npr's best new cookbook list, which is how i found out about it originally.  the cake was super easy to make and was surprisingly not as heavy as i expected it to be.  really though, only one pan and no strange ingredients.  the recipe calls for the frosting to be made in a food processor but i just used a normal mixer to beat it all together.  i plan on making this again soon once i find the time!

Spice Cake with Peanut Buttercream Frosting recipe can be found here :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

choco-nilla cake with marshmallow frosting

 last fall my boyfriend and i had a small dinner party with some of his closest friends and i used this as an excuse to try out this cake.  i saw it posted and i had just been waiting for an occasion to try it.  unfortunately for me, i ate too much dinner and appetizers that i was pretty full by the time we got to this gorgeous cake, BUT i did eat plenty for leftovers :)  it was relatively easy to make, but the frosting is a little involved.  worth the effort though, i promise!  i just cut my chocolate cake in half to make it 3 layers, but you could always choose to leave it 2 layers if you feel like making your life easier.  and if you have the wilton bake even strips, use them!!  i hadn't gotten mine yet when i made this cake, but they are worth the investment.

 Choco-Nilla Cake with Marshmallow Frosting
 copied from my baking adventures

Vanilla Cake
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

Chocolate Cake
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbs. cornstarch
1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup water
2  greased and floured 9 inch cake pans

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Make the vanilla cake: Whisk together the yogurt or sour cream, eggs, sugar, salt, baking powder, vegetable oil, and vanilla. Stir in the flour, mixing till smooth. Pour the batter into one of the prepared pans.  Bake the cake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the cake is beginning to brown on top. Remove the cake from the oven, and after 10 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.
 Make the chocolate cake: Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the eggs, oil, and vanilla, beating until smooth. Gradually add the water, beating until smooth. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake the cake for about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven, and after 10 minutes turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool.

Marshmallow Icing - adapted from Dorie Greenspan
1/2 cup egg whites (about 4 large)
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl or in another large bowl. Have a candy thermometer at hand.
Put the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, cover the pan and boil for 3 minutes. Uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees F on the candy thermometer. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the egg whites.
When the syrup is at about 235 degrees F, begin beating the egg whites on medium speed with the whisk attachment or with a hand mixer. If the whites form firm, shiny peaks before the syrup reaches temperature, reduce the mixer speed to low and keep mixing the whites until the syrup catches up. With the mixer at medium speed, and standing back slightly, carefully pour in the hot syrup, pouring it between the beater(s) and the side of the bowl. Splatters are inevitable — don’t try to scrape them into the whites, just carry on. Add the vanilla extract and keep beating the whites at medium speed until they reach room temperature, about 5 minutes. You should have a smooth, shiny, marshmallowy frosting.