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A young and slightly ignorant woman who has always loved baking and cooking, I want to make people happy with food as often as I can. I'm here to whisk away and explore!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Chocolate Donuts!

Every Sunday when my mom organizes the kid worship at church, she offers donuts to the team to compensate for asking them to get to the church building at the crack of dawn. (Ever wonder why the word "dawn" definitely rhymes with "YAWN"? Yeah, I know. Why didn't you notice that til now?)
Usually she ends up running late because she has to drive down to Safeway and get a box of average looking and tasting donuts. She hates it. Like, really really abhors detests HATES it. It's the worst part of her morning. So I took it upon my baker self to make homemade donuts for everyone. It was a win win win situation. I get to spend all night (and some parts of the early morning) in the kitchen, my mom wouldn't have to drive to Safeway and pick the least-stale box of donuts and thus avoid late arrival at church, and everyone would get to eat homemade donuts!

These should make about 3 dozen (plus donut holes!). I don't have a donut cutter so I just used a biscuit cutter and then a pastry tip turned upside down to cut out the middles.

  • 4 1/2 c flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Sift together the dry ingredients.
  2. Beat eggs with sugar until light.
  3. Add butter, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Add dry ingredients and mix until a soft dough is formed. Do not over mix, it will make your donuts hard and stiff instead of fluffy.
  5. If dough is too soft to roll, chill it for half an hour.
  6. Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick on a floured surface and cut with donut cutters.
  7. Fry in hot oil until golden on both sides, turning once. (I'm guessing the oil was about 350 degrees, I just eyeballed it because my thermometer is broken.)
  8. Remove from oil with a slotted spoon, hold over hot oil for a few minutes to drain, and then finish draining on paper towels.
  9. Top/decorate them however you like! I shook them in a bag with cinnamon and sugar or powdered sugar for the church goers. We also made a chocolate glaze with cocoa powder, sugar, and milk and topped them with chocolate jimmies. You could cover them with nuts or rainbow sprinkles too if you wanted. :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cupcake Challenge: Inspire me Cupcake

Week two!
I'm still excited about the cupcake challenge, but this is the second week in a row that the cupcakes haven't turned out right. The first (Cherry Limeade) I blogged right away about the cupcakes and yes, for the first day they were awesome! But when I put them away and tried them the next morning it was like eating playdough! >:P Blech. They got super chewy and hard and gross. I was significantly fallen.
This week I made Rocky Road cupcakes. Like last week, I followed a recipe from the internet...
I think I might have to stop doing that.

These weren't as bad as the last batch, but they weren't very good either. The cake itself was really dry and hard to eat. When they first came out of the oven they were like brownies so that was good. It's just when they had cooled they lost that brownie trait and became crumbly bricks. :(
I think in the future I'll use my own chocolate cake recipe because, quite honestly, it kicks some cupcake booty.
Decoration wise they were magnificent. Topped with a chocolate ganache, melted marshmallows, and chopped nuts...everyone that ate one ate it because they LOOKED delicious, not because they actually were. ;)

So already, even on week two, I'm learning things!
1. You aren't going to get it perfect the first time through. You'll have to go back, tweak things, work it through and put elbow grease into your recipes to make them as good as you want.
2. If a blog is cute and everyone raves about the author/photos/cuteness factor/creativeness it doesn't necessarily mean that their product is actually good. It could end up being really sucky.
3. If at first you aren't happy, get back up and turn on that kitchen aide again. You'll always be good at baking something (Like homemade donuts for instance!)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cupcake Challenge: Week 1

Here I am looking at cupcakes on the internet, lurking in cupcake shops, watching cupcake shows on tv, I even dreamed about cupcakes this week! (I'm serious... Me, my sister and her boyfriend were all part of this cupcake squad and we were dressed like these kick butt spies with all these gadgets like headsets and stuff. And the cupcakes were beyond awesome and everyone was all "You saved the day! It's amazing!" and we were all "We know...we know...we are the cupcakes squad of awesomeness.") I'm a little obsessed with cupcakes. SO! First week into my cupcake challenge, I was rip roaring ready to go...

And for this week I chose to do one of the recipes I've been saving for summer...Cherry Limeade Cupcakes! It was going to be either these or Rocky Road, but Cherry Limeade won by vote. (Ok, so the only people who voted were me, my sister, and my brother...but hey)

 I decided to use the recipe from Annie's Eats as a sounding board, tweaking a few things here and there. You can get the recipe and see her delicious cupcakes at her blog, www.annies-eats.com. I especially liked pouring lime syrup over the cakes to give them that extra boost of flavor.

Me and John Mark split one right after they came out of the oven (we didn't even wait for them to cool all the way!) and there wasn't a crumb left. THAT is awesome because neither I nor JM actually eat cupcakes that often. We don't have big sweet tooth cravings like my mom. ;)

This cupcake was super tasty! It was very very tart, but the frosting was just the right amount of sweetness to balance it. In fact, it tasted a lot like it's namesake drink. The cake itself was one of the the moistest cupcakes I've ever eaten. It was similar to a superb pound cake.

Had to have a glass of the original, of course...


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Malted Milkshake and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes

I really love cupcakes. I love thinking about them, looking at them on the internet, making them, decorating them, writing down recipes for them, eating them...I just really dig them. So of course, when I got an order to make not one kind of chocolate cupcake, but two, I didn't complain.
I actually had so much fun I thought to myself that maybe I'll just be a cupcake only bakery. No more cookies or cream puffs or loaves of bread...and then I remember how delicious half and half cookies were and how giddy I get watching cream puffs rise, and kneading dough? *sigh* Naw, I'll stick to being an all around classic bake-everything-I-can-get-my-hands-on bakery.

Chocolate Friends Forever... 

Perfectly puffed domes! 

All finished!

Before getting sprinkled with jimmies.

I'm proud of this photo. I'm getting better guys! I just need a decent camera that isn't 10 years old!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Getting a groove on.

I've been baking (in large quantities) since Wednesday. That's four days! I've baked four days in a row, but not stress baking like this. Things I have baked in the last four days:
-24 loaves of bread
-20 cheesy olive tomato focaccia.
-18 Red Velvet White Chocolate cupcakes decorated with baseballs and paw prints for the Paw Sox little league's end of year party.
-Half a dozen cherry filled Cream Cheese Red Velvet cupcakes
-A custom cake order. 14 inch blueberry cake with cherry cake and almond buttercream. It was decorated with a rippling American flag, the Navy ensigma, and the phrase "Go Navy!". It was for a going away party for a young man going into, you guessed it, the Navy.
-Half a dozen Earl Grey Citrus Cupcakes
-Dozen Chocolate Milkshake Cupcakes
-10 Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes
-62 Cranberry Orange mini Muffins

I've kinda gotten into my groove...my days have this wacky, but enjoyable pattern that I follow. It goes somewhat like this:
Wake up a little later than I had planned. Contemplate taking a shower, usually opt not to because I have woken up late. Check email quickly to make sure no one has ordered any more cakes or anything. Find myself surfing tumblr or facebook. Reprimand myself for wasting time on the internet. Run around getting errands done/dishes clean/ etc. Get started on the baked goods for the day. Quit at about 2 to stuff my face full of lunch. Continue baking. Quit at about 5 or 6 when I'm about 3/4 of the way through my baking and crash/sleep/render myself unconscious til just before dinner time around 8:00 or 8:30. Clean up the kitchen a bit, eat dinner, and finish the last of the baking, pack up and try to clean up again...usually ending around 11 or 12.
So I'm a little bit like a baking zombie! It's great. :)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I am not a fan of red velvet cake. I know it's probably one of the most loved cupcakes out there but I just don't like the taste.
I am glad to say that today I created a red velvet cake that I not only ate, but I loved!

What's the magic ingredient? Cherries...Cherries in the batter, cherries on top...CHERRIES! Also, almond cream cheese frosting made it taste like a cherry red velvet cheesecake cupcake. I wanted to eat two. My mom did eat two. I'm happy.