Thursday, March 27, 2008

Eating sugar but thinking healthy!

Hello all!  I'm back with a post and more pictures!  FYI, the pics in the last post were my delicious pistachio cupcakes with vanilla frosting and PB&Honey cupcake with honey-roasted cashews - YUM YUM!  The pistachio is definitely going on my final recipe list once I get it a little more cupcakey and a little less muffiny.  So I've been looking at a lot of vegan/low-fat/gluten-free/low-calorie/low-sugar recipes for my bakery, and I found this short preview of a new documentary that is a lot like Supersize Me - but in reverse.  Five people go on a raw-food diet to try and reverse their diabetes - and it works!  Check it out, it's interesting.  

Now, back to the sugar:

Turtle Cupcakes: Take Two!
Aesthetically, these are a lot more appealing than the ones I made previously at the bakery.  This is a devils food cake with a rich cocoa frosting (too rich for me but everyone else liked it) covered in pecans.  There is a pool of caramel in the middle, which was a problem because it was literally
a pool - too liquidy and not caramely enough.  Do you see my dinky chocolate turtle on top?  lol needs work.  Soooo, I'm going to do take 3 soon with THREE different kinds of caramel: dulce de leche, a thick caramel 
sauce and a thick, chewy sauce using milk-maid caramels.  I'll let you know!

I worked on my sugar cookie decorating while watching ANTM (America's Next Top Model) and here is the result - better than before!  I realized that the royal icing is better for piping borders and letters when it sits overnight.  I made a thank you cookie for my french teacher (she wrote me a reccommendation for a study abroad program I'm applying for) and it turned out well!

This week has been super busy because I've been filling in for my boss at Mangiamo...I made 15 loaves of banana bread yesterday!  Five loaves of regular banana bread, five loaves of chocolate chip banana bread and five loaves of banana walnut bread.  It turned out really well because the bananas were really, really brown and on the verge of rotting (gives the bread a deep banana flavor), and I only mixed in the bananas so there was big chunks of banana in the bread!  Here is the recipe if you are interested.  For the chocolate chip version, I folded in 1/2 to 1 cup chocolate chips (depending on preference) after mixing.  For the walnut version, I folded in 1/3 cup crushed walnuts to the batter after mixing.  Enjoy!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

I baked and baked and baked

Here are some more ideas I tried out...I've got something...

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The good, the bad and the ugly

I've been cupcake crazy as usual and have plenty of more pictures to prove it! I also made a cake the other day that we ended up having to call "Study Break Cake" (it's dead week) instead of easter egg cake - no religious connotations here! I wanted to write on it "Praise the lord Jesus" and have a big cross, but K'Lynn wasn't having it (although she did laugh). Haha. Anyways, here's what I got:

These are turtle cupcakes. They turned out okay. It was a chocolate cupcake (I used a mix so they weren't the best), covered in chocolate ganache. Then I topped them with caramel buttercream (needs work) and pecans. Problems with this cupcake:

1. Accidently used milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate for the ganache - too sweet.
2. Caramel flavor in buttercream not prominent enough - remind me to work on that!
3. Pecans needed to be toasted for better flavor.
4. The way they were decorated is horrendous!

I was bored one night and made these. They're plain chocolate cupcakes with marshmallow buttercream and marshmallow fondant on top. The marshmallow fondant is absolutely delicious on top!!! It's fluffy like the cupcake, and the flavors compliment each other really well. I'm thinking I can make a low-calorie chocolate cupcake and put marshmallow fondant on top and call it "Cloud Nine". We'll see!

These cupcakes are ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! When I was little, my best friend's mom made a "better than sex" cake. It was a devils food cake, covered in condensed milk straight out of the oven with whipped cream and crushed heath bar on top. I decided it was time to make this a cupcake the other day at work, and voila! It's all the same, except I turned the condensed milk into dulce de leche (baked it for 2 hours) so it could be thick enough to fill the cupcake with and drizzled caramel on top. Why this cupcake is so great:

1. The devils food is amazing; moist but firm, full of flavor but doesn't overpower the cupcake and dark dark dark!!!
2. The heath bars on top add a perfect finishing touch both decoration-wise and taste-wise.
3. The whipped cream cuts some of the sweetness of the dulce de leche, so its not too sweet (and anyone who says it is is crazy!
4. It looks great!

So after all this cupcake making, I only have two final recipes: PB&J and Better Than What?!? (kid-friendly version)...I need to remake my other recipes and see if they're worth it!

I also made a cake yesterday to practice piping and such:

It's a chocolate cake mix with a cadbury cream filling (i.e. liquid fondant) and covered in buttercream. I topped it with colored coconut and chocolate eggs. It didn't taste like anything special, just another cake. Anyways, nothing too new at work - oh except the other croissant baker quit, so I'm picking up all her shifts until we find a new person! BUT the good part about it is, I can take over her shifts permanently when we hire someone new...that means my weekends will be free! BOOP BOOP!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Wasn't quick enough!

I would show you pictures, but by the time I got back to work with my camera my treats were all gone!  A good thing, no doubt!  Yesterday I made partycakes again (cakeballs) with a new flavor: white cake with raspberry cream cheese and a white chocolate topping.  Yummy!  And I made Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies: Chocolate chip brownies with a cinnamon glaze.  Good as well!  Maybe next time I can show you pics...