Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TWD: Caramel Crunch Bars

This week's pick was made by Whitney of What's left on the table?. Go check out her site if you'd like the recipe. I highly recommend it because it was another great pick this week. These little things are addictive. I cut mine into little triangles and I just kept going back for more. It's so bad but so good at the same time. Good thing I am taking the rest to work because they need to get out of the house!

I only made a few slight changes to the recipe. I left out the coffee because I didn't have any and instead of toffee bits on top I put some sprinkles. I'm sure it would be equally as good with the toffee bits but I didn't have any on had. I thought these bars were sweet enough with just the chocolate and sprinkles so it might have been too sweet for me with the toffee bits so I'm glad I didn't have any.

These were really easy to put together. I will definitely make these again. I like the hint of cinnamon in the base of the bars. They almost remind me of shortbread cookies but better. I mean can it get better than chocolate in the base and more chocolate on top?

My chocolate on the top of the bars wasn't getting hard so I did have to stick it in the fridge for a little bit. In the recipe Dorie suggests that you put the chocolate on top of the bars and then put it back in the oven after you shut it off for a few minutes but I was baking something else so that wasn't really an option so instead I just covered my baking pan with a metal sheet pan. It melted the chips just fine and then I just spread them out with an offset spatula.

Anyways go check out what other bakers have done this week!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chocolate Cupcakes with Nutella Butter Cream

So this is the other chocolate cake recipe that I tested out for my friends wedding cake. This is just a basic chocolate cake with sour cream. The sour cream is a nice addition because it keeps the cake moist. I froze a couple of these to see if they would work well for her cake. I hope so because I really like this recipe and it's pretty simple to put together. I was able to get 12 cupcakes out of this recipe.

Anyways I'm sure you all want me to get onto the frosting recipe. That's the best part anyways so I'll start with that recipe. This was a pretty simple butter cream to put together. The only thing that I don't like a Nutella is that the jars are so small! I had to use almost one full jar for just the one recipe of butter cream. I'm sure I'll have to go through lots of jars for the wedding cake! That's ok though because it is so worth it. I know I said before that this was really good, but I just have to mention it again because it was that good! It might be my favorite frosting now.

Nutella Butter Cream

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 cups sifted powdered sugar (I sifted the sugar and then measured it)
2 tablespoons milk (I used 1%)
1 cup Nutella

Mix butter until smooth and creamy. Add in Nutella and mix until nice and fluffy.

Add sugar 1 cup at a time until smooth. This will take about 3 to 5 minutes to get the desired consistency. Spread on cupcakes, a cake or just use your finger. I won't tell if you won't!

Basic Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

3/4 cup AP flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners.
In a bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In your mixing bowl beat the butter until it's smooth and creamy. Then add the sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time until fully incorporated. Then add in your vanilla extract.

Mix in sour cream and flour mixture. Scoop into muffin cups and bake 15 to 20 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.

Cool on a rack and then frost with your frosting. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

TWD: Devils Food White Out Cake

This weeks pick was made by Stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater. This was one good chocolate cake. I was ever better with the Nutella butter cream that I made. That frosting was so good. I don't usually make frosting but this is one that I will be making again and again and again. It was that good.
I made this with Nutella butter cream because my friend wants her wedding cake to be chocolate with a hazelnut butter cream so I wanted to try out different chocolate cake recipes with different hazelnut butter creams. I ended up only making the one batch of butter cream and I think we found a winner! Did I mention how good it was? Anyways back to the cake. It was good and had a nice chocolate flavor. I'll post the recipe for the other chocolate cake that I made and the Nutella butter cream later this week. I think I liked the other cake recipe a little better because it had sour cream in it and it was a little more moist and a little less dense. But both were good cakes in my opinion!

I made my cake into mini cakes. I used my mini spring form pans and came out with 4 fairly tall cakes. I froze two of the cakes for later to see how well they freeze. I'm planning on make the wedding cake in stages so I don't feel so rushed and so I will need to freeze the cakes for at least a few weeks. Hopefully it will come out just as good from the freezer!

Anyways go check out what other bakers have done this week!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TWD: Floating Islands..........wasn't in the cards for me

This week's pick was made by Shari of Whisk: a food blog. Go check out her site I'm sure she had better luck than I did. I tried this week, I really did. But my creme anglaise just wasn't having any of it. It tasted really good but it looked like the eggs had curdled so the texture was slightly off. I even strained it but that didn't help.

I suppose that letting it boil didn't really help......I was in a rush and had it at a higher temperature than I probably should have. Live and learn! Since this was such a failure for me I'm not going to post any pictures. But go check out what other bakers have done this week.

I will definitely be back next week. I would never pass up devils food cake!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Triple Berry Coffee Cake

I was craving some coffee cake but I've never really made one so I started searching around and came across this one and knew I had to make it. Mine didn't come out looking as pretty but it was still really good. I used a frozen triple berry mix that I had but you could use whatever fresh or frozen berries you like. I plan on trying this recipe again when berries are in season because I think it might be even better with fresh berries.

I wanted to make the coffee cake into cupcakes but I wasn't too sure how well they would turn out so I decided to do a few test ones in my mini bundt pan. They turned out pretty cute but I wasn't able to put as much fruit or topping as I would have liked to. So I decided to just make the rest into a regular square pan. I may try again next time with my jumbo muffin pan and see how those turn out.

Triple Berry Coffee Cake
Adapted from Burghilicious

1 cup sour cream (I used low fat)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 baking powder
2 cups flour
10 ounces frozen unsweetened berries or 2 cups fresh berries

3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9"x9" square metal pan.

In a small bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda. Set aside to react.

Beat the butter in a mixer until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each addition, then add vanilla extract. Add baking powder and one cup of flour, mixing until just combined. Add the sour cream mixture and mix until combined then add the remaining cup of flour and mix until fully incorporated.

In a separate bowl, mix together the topping ingredients.

Spread half the batter into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the berries evenly over the batter followed but 1/3 of the topping. Spread the other half of the batter, taking care to not smear the filling. Sprinkle the remaining topping over the cake. Bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow to cool slightly and enjoy!