Monday, November 30, 2009

Lemon Mousse Cake with fresh raspberries

As I enjoyed a coffee with an old friend she let me know her birthday was coming up.  I was so excited when she asked me to make her a cake.  We collaborated and decided a lemony cake would be just the thing.

This is one of my favorite recipes from "The Cake Book" by Tish Boyle.  A yummy Genoise cake layered with a yogurt mousse.  A delicious syrup was applied each of the four layers of cake, then topped with the lemon yogurt mousse.  There was enough of the lemon mousse left over to ice the cake, and then I decorated it with fresh whipped cream and raspberries.

I coated the raspberries with honey just before they were placed on the cake.  These raspberries were perfectly ripe, but a little too much honey maybe!  ;)
In the center of the cake I piled the rest of the raspberries.
This was my second attempt at Lemon Mousse Cake, the first one was not quite as successful.  That was a few months ago.  Now I can say, I do know how to make a Genoise!  Julia Child would be pleased!
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Hope you had a great birthday Cat!!  I love comments and followers!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Shark Cupcakes- end of soccer season!

Such a fun cupcake to make!  So, when Courtney asked me to make her cupcakes for her daughter's soccer team "The Blue Sharks", an idea formed!  Being a girly girl and having only girls, this was a new venture!

I managed to find a cute shark cookie cutter, and went to work on some fondant.  I wasn't sure exactly how the shark face should look so I called on my husband for some help.  After his artistic suggestions this is what we came up with.
Here's a school of sharks swimming on some fluffy vanilla buttercream frosting.

Watch out!  I think these guys are serious!  It makes me want to play soccer.....
Here's the cupcakes all ready to swim off!  I found this great cupcake carrier from Snapwear, I just love it!  The weather is rainy today, I hope it clears up for the game.  At least the cupcakes are dry and secure.

I love to read your comments and I always love more followers!

German Chocolate Cake

German Chocolate Yummyness is what this is.  I have never actually made or eaten homemade from scratch German Chocolate cake and for some reason I keep hearing how good it is from different people.

So when my friend asked me to make her husband a German Chocolate Cake for his birthday, I was excited!

I was happy to try a new recipe and see what everyone was talking about.
When I was a kid I remember eating German chocolate cake from the box and a premade frosting out of the container.  My mom used to make it this way, and so did my grandmother.  Who knew you could make all this from scratch??  Can I just say, making this cake from scratch, with all natural, all fresh and organic ingredients ups the level of goodness by tenfold!  It is amazing even if I do say so myself!

I made it extra tall, with five layers of cake and gooey coconut and toasted pecan filling.  For the sides I used a chocolate buttercream.

For our family we made a smaller version with no nuts or coconut (because my sweet littlest daughter despises both of them) but I added them to the top of mine and my husband's. My 5 year old had fun decorating it just like Mommy!  I was quite impressed!

I love comments and followers!  Have a great weekend!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Princess Cupcakes

This week I had a fun project!  I made Princess Cupcakes for a birthday party.  The little sweetheart was turning 9.  Her mom showed me one of the invitations, and one of her napkins for the party.  The invitations had beautiful princess crowns and pink, and the napkins were the same pink with zebra strips.  Her party was at a beading store.  This is what I came up with.

She wanted Butter Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting.

I made the little crowns out of fondant and I brushed a little bit of luster dust on each one.  I had fun making different designs on each crown.

In the background (pic below) is the birthday girl's crown.  Her's is just a tiny bit bigger than the rest.

The whole ensemble.  What fun!

Thank you Nesha for letting me make your cupcakes!!  I hope your daughter had a wonderful party!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Pumpkin Roll

I made this very easy Pumpkin Roll for MOPS. I've always wanted to try a jelly roll cake but I've been too intimidated. No more! I am expanding my baking skills and I'm not afraid! I'm so glad I did, because it was actually very easy!!

I ended up making two of them. On the second one I changed up the spices, I wanted a little less clove, and a little more pumpkin pie taste. So I put in 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon allspice, 1/4 teaspoon cloves, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. It was very tasty!!

I found the recipe on a can of Libby Pumpkin. Just pull off the label and there it is! If you want it w/out the pumpkin here is a link to the recipe or read below. I've even included a link to a video below the recipe, it's very helpful!!

1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Not longer or less, the cake will crack.

BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

There is even a video if you want to see how it's done!

Happy Baking!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting - Recipe!!

My aunt Jeanne says this is her favorite cupcake recipe, she loves vanilla! So, even while she was hobbling around after foot surgery she made the effort send me this recipe. I'm so glad she did, it is super yummy!

It's from Martha Stewart,
Billy's Vanilla, Vanilla Cupcakes and Billy's Vanilla Buttercream.

You won't be disappointed!

I made small cupcakes and large cupcakes. The small have sprinkles and the large have none.

In the picture you can see a few of the cupcakes are a bit wide on the tops. I over filled the pan just a little bit and the result was wide tops.  Not exactly how I wanted them to look, but I was pretty happy with them anyway. This was my first time with the large cupcake size.

Large cupcake close up! Yummy!

Here are the small cupcakes up close!

Green and pink are one of my favorite color combinations.

I love followers and comments.

Leave me a comment and let me know which look you like best!
Large/Small?? Sprinkles or none?

Happy Baking!!

Makes about 30 cupcakes
(I added to the directions, hopefully it's more clear)

1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) room temperature unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, cutting into the flour mixture one piece at a time while the mixer is on low, being careful to not over beat.

In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.

Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. The large cupcakes did have to cook a little longer, just keep testing them until the center comes out clean.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Billy's Vanilla Buttercream

Makes enough for 30 cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
6 to 8 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 6 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually add remaining 2 cups sugar to reach desired consistency.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Carrot Pumpkin Cake

Carrot Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese frosting. I converted an Earthbound Farms recipe-Farm Stand Carrot Cake from their Food To Live By cookbook. I just substituted 1/2 the carrots for pumpkin, and omitted the nuts from the batter. It turned out wonderful!!

Earthbound Farm's Farm Stand in Carmel Valley, CA.

Carrot Pumpkin Cake with walnuts along the outside....

When we lived in CA, we would often visit the Earthbound Farm's Farm Stand and I've tasted the Carrot Cake. I knew it would be a winner recipe, and now it's got a new twist! I'm missing Earthbound farms, every fall they have a fun Harvest Festival with lots of organic pumpkins! We have had so many good times out there.

Here are some organic pumpkins we got one fall at Earthbound Farms. We did a pumpkin scramble and collected all we could in (I think) 90 seconds! Pretty good scrambling!

And now back to yummy cake! All sliced up and ready to serve!

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We seved this up on Friday night at Chris and Gary's. Thanks for the good times y'all!