Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Modern Baker: Devil's Food Cake with Fluffy White Icing

This cake is the reason I joined the Modern Bakers! It's the cake on the cover of the cookbook. It seems only fitting it be the last cake I blog about. Can you believe it! I baked my way through the entire cookbook! I learned so much and am so grateful to Nick Maligieri for all that he taught me about baking. I will be using this cookbook for years to come. I am also so grateful to Phyl for starting this challenge! Thanks Phyl! I look forward to seeing our baking adventure! If you want to see everything I've baked, check out my Modern Baker page.

If I haven't mentioned it before chocolate cake with white icing is my favorite dessert. I agree with N.M. that this is an American classic and in my opinion it out shines apple pie by a long shot!
I made a half recipe of the cake and baked it in a 6'' pan. Unfortunately, I only have one six inch pan so I had to bake the cake, cool it, turn the cake out, clean the pan and then repeat.
Little Charlotte peeking at the cake and asking again, "When do we get to eat it?"
The devil's food cake is very good. The recipe only uses brown sugar and uses melted unsweetened chocolate instead of cocoa powder for the chocolate flavor. The cake is actually not very sweet. It's moist and chocolatey but not very sugary on it's own. The frosting is quite sweet so the pairing worked together perfectly.
It is truly amazing what egg whites and sugar can do when whipped! Fluffy fluffy icing! Again I halved the recipe and I wasn't sure two egg whites and some sugar would cover a whole cake, but it sure did! There was even a little left over for the girls and I to lick off the beaters.

To make the icing you dissolve the sugar and corn syrup in the egg whites. Once they're dissolved the egg whites are beaten in a stand mixer for quite awhile. The directions said until the mixture is cool. I set the mixer and went and cleaned the living room. When I returned the volume in the mixer had exponentially expanded and I had fluffy icing!!

And, there you have it. The perfect cake to finish a fantastic challenge!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Ladybug Appetizers

How cute are these!!! I made these for a family BBQ. They were a huge hit and tasted good too!

Supplies Needed:
Crackers
Olives
Cherry Tomatoes
Celery

I tinted the cream cheese with black food coloring and using a piping tip to do the black dots.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Summer 2012 Bucket List

Thank you Pinterest for another fantastic family tradition! The "Summer Bucket List"! At the beginning of the summer I filled this bucket with activities/crafts and summer recipes. Then, the girls drew out of the bucket to find out what we'd be doing that week! They loved it! I loved it!

Our Summer 2012 Bucket List
Craft/Activity
Play hopscotch
Play Frisbee
Bubbles!
Play in Sprinkler
Build with Marshmallows
Make a pillow/blanket/anything goes fort
Splat painting
Paint pet rocks
Make a fairy garden
Water balloon fight!
Make volcanoes
Plaster Magnets
Freezer pop painting
Make playdoh
Sharpie tie dye shirts
Sunscreen experiment
Water color over crayon art
Berry picking
Picnic
Saturday Market
Family Bike Ride
Hike to a waterfall

Recipes
Homemade ice cream
Homemade frozen yogurt
Homemade sorbet
Lemonade from scratch
Cake balls
Homemade popcorn
Rootbeer floats
Princess Punch
Cupcake Cones
Peep S'mores
Trail mix bars
Lemonade popsicles
Watermelon popsicles
Peach popsicles
Pink mojito popsicles (non-alcohol)
Summer Morning (melon) popsicles
Neapolitan popsicles

New Park Monday: This wasn't in the bucket, but it went along with it. Each week we picked a new park and let our friends know where to meet us on Monday if they wanted to play. The original intention had been to go to new parks we'd never been to all summer, but that proved overly complicated as most of those parks are all quite far from our house since we've been to all the nearby ones. Instead we did a combo of new-to-us and old favorites. It was great fun with great friends!!!

As for me, I learned how to can (strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry jam), make skirts for the girls, and, for the most part, learned what was a flower vs. weed in my yard. A big thanks to my stepmom and bro-in-law for coaching me there! Can't wait to get their garden advice come next spring!

It's almost fall! That means it's time to swing into holiday and birthday planning mode!

Until next summer!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Modern Baker: Rum-Scented Marble Cake

The Modern Bakers are baking cakes and this one is a winner!

My second perfect unmolding!
I was smart this time and calculated the ounces of rum needed before going to the liquor store. I had to buy a big bottle to get the amount needed so perhaps some rum balls are in order!

I liked the combination of chocolate and yellow cake. The flavors came together well. The rum really was just a hint and not overwhelming.

The cake process what pretty easy. I made a large batch of the yellow cake part and then folded about two cups of that batter into the chocolate to create the chocolate layer. I stacked the batter into the pan using half of the yellow batter, the the chocolate batter, followed by the rest of the yellow batter.

The cake baked nicely and was gobbled up quickly.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Modern Baker: Incredibly Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

It's another Modern Baker recipe. We're baking in the cakes section and I'm making more cupcakes. These incredibly moist chocolate cupcakes absolutely live up to their name. The chocolate cake melts in your mouth. I'm finding I really enjoy cake recipes that include sour cream as this one does.

The cupcakes were a hit. The icing is a chocolate fudge icing and was a little finicky. I actually made it twice. The first time after I made it I looked down and found I'd made soup. Since I was frosting for an event that morning I quickly went to work on a second batch. I was careful to cool the chocolate and cream mixture more completely before combining and I also reduced the cream liquid into the chocolate. This batch came out much better but still a bit runny. As I finished up I found my first batch had thickened to an almost useable point. I think a note on the icing to remember that it needs to be *completely* cooled before determining consistency is important.

The fudge icing was good, although I personally would prefer the confectioners' sugar icing from the golden cupcakes on these cupcakes in the future.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cupcake Cones for the Olympics

The celebrate the beginning of the Summer Olympics we baked cupcake cones with red, white, and blue sprinkles! I followed Martha Stewart's recipe. The cupcakes were delicious and the process was beyond EASY. I had no idea cupcake cones were so easy and fun!
Here's Penelope eyeing the filled cones before they go into the oven. I know your question- Don't the  cones burn in the oven. Well, no, they don't. I don't know why, but they just don't.
We enjoyed our cupcake cones after dinner while we waited for the opening ceremonies to begin. I wish I could say that my kids were captivated by the Olympics. They weren't. They watched a little and asked some questions but just were not into as much as I expected. Oh well. In 2 years we have another shot with the Winter Olympics.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Food Fun

 Here are some of my recent food funning!

Watermelon

Fishy Lunch

Wrapped puzzle and smiley face

Loving Summer! Heart mini omelet on rice cake, heart apples and heart watermelon with a bit of honeydew melon.

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