Saturday, October 24, 2009

Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream Recipe

One of my favorite frostings is Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Now that I have started making cakes and cupcakes from scratch, I have also begun to try new icing/frostings. I will never go back to frosting in a container. There is no comparison! This Buttercream is so silky and delicious, it is a delight!
The recipe below has been adapted from Martha Stewart
and The Cake Book by Tish Boyle.

Makes about 9 cups, enough for about 28 cupcakes
2 1/2 cups sugar
10 large egg whites
4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
12 oz of bittersweet chocolate
5 tablespoons water

Chop bittersweet chocolate into pieces. Mix chocolate and water, and melt in double boiler. If you don't have a double boiler, then boil water in a sauce pan and melt chocolate in a stainless steel bowl above the boiling water. When chocolate is melted, set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water (use the same one you melted the chocolate with), and whisk gently until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes or when it reaches 160 degrees using an instant read thermometer. You can test it by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.

Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.

The picture above is just after eggs have reached 160 degrees, and placed in the mixer. Below the mixture has reached stiff peaks.

Now, add the butter, one piece (1 tbs) at a time, while the mixer is on medium. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Beat mixture on high for 1 minute. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.

Add melted chocolate to buttercream and whisk on medium high until mixed. Remove from mixer and with a rubber spatula scrape sides and incorporate everything into meringue.

Perfect Chocolate Swiss Meringue, a delicious topping for a deep chocolate cupcake! Enjoy!
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Cake Pops

I found this blog and I fell in love with cake pops. A must see! Then there is more!! A proposal. The sweetest sweet. I'm a hopeless romantic and this was very romantic!

check it out for yourself:

Blessings, Rachel

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Birthday Cake for L- Pink and Brown

My first cake order!! Woohoo!! My friend texted me Sunday night and asked me to make a cake for one of her good friend's birthday. All she specified was she wanted a chocolate cake with pink icing. I asked if we could do pink and brown? She said her friend loved pink and brown! So, I busily got to work!
I made my favorite chocolate cake recipe and filled it with a homemade chocolate pudding between the layers. Everything is made from scratch and I used lots of organic ingredients. I made my first Swiss Buttercream icing for the crumb coat, it came out perfect, and was amazingly simple to make. Here is my cake ready for fondant!

I made my own marshmallow fondant, and a chocolate fondant. Here is a picture of the first layer with the pink marshmallow fondant.

My finished cake!! I love fondant and I have so much fun working with it. The lighting in my kitchen was tricking my camera. The pink above is the actual color of the cake.

Front side of cake, showing off the right side with the flowers.

This is the back of the cake. Notice the fondant balls in this picture.

The top of the cake with the monogram.

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My bow! (Sorry the lighting is funky!)

Another picture of the side. I am so happy with this cake!! Happy Birthday L! Thanks Paula for giving me a chance! :)
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Persian Love Cake Recipe

Persian Love Cake
(One of 10 Favorite Cakes from

This delicious cake starts with candied rose petals. I used a pastry brush to brush on foamy egg whites. Next I sprinkled both sides with sugar and left them to dry overnight. Here in humid TX, it did take all night and most of the next day to completely dry. The petals with loads of sugar came out the best. I used a cake cooling rack to dry them on. Below are my dry petals!

The cake itself was so easy to mix. I used several more eggs, than the original recipe, to make the cake more light and airy.

Here is the saffron whipped frosting. It came out a beautiful soft yellow.

I cut each cake layer in half, applied the sugar syrup, and saffron frosting.

Once the cake was frosted, I placed the candied rose petals and roses on the top.

I made a little extra cake batter to make a few cupcakes for the family. 
We love you GG and Gpa!!

My finished cake. What a fun and unique flavor combination! I brought the cake to our Retrouvaille CORE and Discernment Saturday night. Everyone felt the Love. :)

Or my slightly altered recipe below:


Candied rose petals
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
Petals from 2 organic roses

1 cup (100g) cake flour
14 tablespoons baker's sugar or superfine sugar, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
6 large eggs, separated
1 tablespoon cream of tarter per 1 cup egg whites
6 tablespoons water
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (removed from about 5 green cardamom pods) ground in a pestle and mortar

3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream, divided
Lg pinch of saffron threads
2/3 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons rose water
2 tablespoons natural unsalted pistachios

Sugar Syrup
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 Earl Gray tea bag


Candied rose petals: Whisk egg whites in small bowl until foamy. Using pastry brush, brush rose petals on both sides with egg whites; sprinkle on both sides with sugar.  Dry on nonstick rack at least 6 hours or overnight.
Cake: Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans with 1 1/2-inch-high sides. Line pan bottoms with parchment paper; butter parchment. I used two square 8x8 inch pans with 2 inch high sides.
Sift flour, 7 tablespoons baker's sugar, baking powder, and salt into large bowl. Whisk yolks and next 4 ingredients in small bowl until smooth. Add yolk mixture to dry ingredients; whisk until smooth. Beat egg whites and cream of tarter, in medium bowl until soft peaks form. Gradually add 7 tablespoons baker's sugar; beat until whites resemble thick marshmallow fluff. Fold whites into batter in 3 additions. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake until cakes are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in pans on racks 15 minutes. Turn out onto racks, peel off parchment, and cool completely. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Wrap and store at room temperature.) Before frosting and cutting the cake layers, chill for 45 minutes.

*Sugar Syrup: Bring water to boil in a small saucepan, add sugar and stir to dissolve. Place tea bag in sugar/water mixture and steep for 15 minutes. Remove tea bag and allow to cool to room temperature.

Frosting: Combine 1/2 cup cream and saffron in small saucepan. Bring to simmer. Remove from heat; let steep 20 minutes. Chill until cold. Beat remaining 2 1/2 cups cream, powdered sugar, and rose water in large bowl until soft peaks form; strain in saffron cream. Beat until peaks form.
Remove cake from the refrigerator, and cut cake layers in half horizontally. Place first half of cake layer on platter cut side up. Using a pastry brush, brush sugar syrup all over the top of the layer. Next, spread about 1/2 cup frosting on layer.  Repeat with 3 of the cut layers. With the final (4th) cake layer, place flat side up. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake. Chill at least 1 hour and up to 6 hours. Garnish cake with rose petals and pistachios.

*Sugar Syrup is from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

I'm intrigued by the Red Velvet Cupcakes. I like the idea, but not the dye.   Hmmmm.  I have been reading all about the different recipes online, and saw you could make them with beets. I found in my research some bad reviews using the beets . Earthy tasting did not sound appetizing (dirt? yuck!). So I continued on my research, and it turns out that regular cocoa, milk and baking soda tend to turn a chocolate cake slightly reddish. Was this the original Red Velvet?   It seems no one is really sure.   It became popular in the 50's and is known as a Traditional Southern Recipe. I wish I could ask my grandmother, being a southern woman, maybe she would have known!!  Anyway there are a lot of interesting stories out there!

As for me, I decided to forgo the bottle of red dye and just make delicious, yummy, chocolate cupcakes with regular cocoa, (not dutch processed cocoa) to see how it would go.  I did not use a recipe with milk or baking soda, so maybe it would have been more pronounced if I had.  The problem with milk is it tends dilute the chocolate flavor and make it more bitter.  I went for more flavor, and less color. 

I topped them off with some traditional cream cheese frosting. You could use a butter roux instead. The cream cheese frosting was very soft, so I added more powdered sugar hoping to make it firmer. It was sweeter and still tasted good, but still a bit more soft than I wanted.

Here you can see the crumb is quite good and if you look left you can see a slight reddish tint from the Hershey's cocoa powder, not the dark chocolate look the dutch cocoa gives. Not really red by any stretch, however, anyway you slice it, it's a wonderful combination.

These were given to my Aunt Joyce and Uncle Mike as a gift for watching my girls. Thanks Y'all!
Hope you like 'em! :)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cupcake Day

Thursday and Friday I made Chocolate Chip Butter Cupcakes. They were delicious!!!!

Here is the yummy cake batter.  I doubled the recipe so we had plenty of cupcakes!  I brought them to small group Friday night.

The cupcakes are cooling off and getting ready for frosting!

This is a simple all white buttercream frosting. I'm trying a new experiment with color. I want to use all natural colors, so I reduced the beet juice from a can of beets, strained it, and added it to the frosting. It made the loveliest pink!!  I also made green with Spirulina, and reduced blueberry-acai juice for the purple. The beets worked the best and I really liked the brightness of the color. 

The taste for the pink was pretty much unchanged, the purple tasted a bit like grape juice, and the green was tangy and very yummy. My daughter like the green the best! Of course the sprinkles are totally full of additives, and artificial ingredients, but my girls just had a blast helping and decorating with them!

My personal favorite!  Pink!!