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I love everything chocolate! Cake, bars, brownies; the list and possibilities is endless. I was looking for a chocolate cake recipe but yet with a ittle something extra and this cake definitely has it! You get the homemade, from scratch, dense chocolate cake with a white buttercream icing. This gives the similar taste of a whoopie pie cookie with the dark chocolate and the sweet buttercream. Then literally the icing on the cake is the ganache you pour over the finished iced cake. It's delicious. Enjoy!

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups milk

Frosting:

  • 1 1/3 cups butter, softened
  • 6 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff

Ganache:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. In a large mixing bowl mix butter, sugar and salt. Beat until fluffy. In a separate bowl whisk the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Beat the eggs into the butter mixture one at a time. Mix together the milk with the vanilla.

On low speed add part of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and beat until combined then add half the milk, another part of the flour, the remaining milk then the remaining flour. Scrape the bowl. Pour batter into pans. Bake 30 - 35 minutes. Cool 5 minutes then continue cooling on wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat butter on medium speed for two minutes. Add the sugar and beat 6 minutes on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and then marshmallow fluff just until combined. Frost the cake with a nice thick layer of frosting in the middle. Refrigerate for 25 - 30 minutes before pouring the ganache on top. To make the ganache, Iheat the whipping cream over medium heat until it comes to a simmer. Pour over the chocolate, cover for 5 minutes and then stir. Once the chocolate is wrm but not hot, pour over cake, allowing it to drip down over the sides. Top with sprinkles.

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Well this week I had intended and planned to make this wonderful carrot cake. I had made one before that did not turn out and ended up in the garbage. I only remembered what I did wrong with the initial cake when I made this one. If you do not thoroughly grease the bottom of the pans (which I thought I did) the cakes will stick, and I mean stick!

I took them out of the oven after smelling the wonderful aroma in my kitchen for 40 minutes and was delighted at how they had lightly browned around the edges and seemed to be baked perfectly. They were perfect except they did not want to come out of pans! 

They both cracked severely in the end but the cake flavour and consistency was amazing! Something had to be made out of the cracked crumbs and cake... it was like a light bulb went off in my head and I thought cake balls...carrot cake balls! 

So, in the end I made these wonderful moist gems and they turned out to be a huge success rather than a disaster baking adventure. I am however going to attempt the carrot cake again. They say third time is a charm and I hope to make it someday! Maybe parchment lined pans would do the trick.

Carrot Cake Balls

  • 1 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pineapple tidbits (not drained!) 

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 lb icing sugar

Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine oil, sugar and eggs in large bowl. Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in separate bowl. Then add this to the first mixture. Put carrots, pineapple, coconut and vanilla in a food chopper or blender. Puree until smooth, and then add to the combined mixture. Divide between two 9" pans, (lined on the bottom with parchment paper if making the cake and greased on the sides. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cakes cool for 5 minutes before attempting to place on racks to cool completely.

Once cool, crumble the cake in a large bowl. This cake is so moist, you do not need to add icing to the mixture to create the cake balls. I rolled one cake layer into 36 balls and refrigerated for a 1/2 hour. 

To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese until nice and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and powdered sugar and beat until smooth. I added a dollop of cream cheese frosting to each cake ball and placed in a small cupcake foil liner. I also added some orange sugar to pretty it up! Enjoy!

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This year marks the 25th anniversary of the PC Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie! To celebrate you can purchase an anniversary tin at a Loblaws store near you. I had the pleasure of receiving one. It contains 2 packs of cookies and a collector tin for putting your homemade goodies in. 

This recipe was inspired by these lovely cookies and submitted to me from President's Choice. It is a rich, scrumptious cheesecake! Try is out, you won't be disappointed. 

 

Crust:

  • 2 cups PC The Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie pieces
  • ¼ cup  unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp sugar

 

Filling:

  • 2 blocks plain cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups PC The Decadent Chocolate Chip Cookie pieces
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Grind cookies into fine crumbs using a blender or a food processor. Add butter and blend until smooth, and then add sugar. Press crust into bottom of 9-inch springform pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling. Preheat the oven to 350°F degrees.Beat the cream cheese until smooth in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Blend in sugar and sour cream. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix until smooth.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the cookie pieces and ¼ cup of the chocolate chips. Pour filling into crust-lined pan and smooth top with a spatula. Sprinkle remaining ½ cup chocolate chips evenly over the top. Bake 40 minutes. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven for 1 hour to set. Remove from oven and chill in refrigerator until firm, about 3-4 hours. 

And there it is! Enjoy, I know I did!

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I saw a recipe for these on Pinterest and really wanted to make them. They took an entire Saturday to complete. Initially they were supposed to be covered in fondant but lets just say, that did not work! The idea is to freeze each layer and when you are ready to pour the hot fondant over them it solidifies right away. Yes, it does harden but not that pretty! I do believe they are better without the fondant. 

It may seem like a lot of work but it's mostly just waiting for the freezing and the steps are fairly easy to complete. 

For the Cake:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee granules
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup hot water

For the Pomegranate Cream:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • ¼ cup flour

For the Chocolate Cream:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 oz dark chocolate, melted and cooled to room temp.

For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9x13 pan with parchment, thoroughly greasing the sides. Whisk dry ingredients in a bowl. Beat the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla. Mix in the dry, and whisk for two minutes. Pour in the hot water and mix well. Pour into cake pan and tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove any large bubbles. Bake for 20 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 15 minutes, then flip out on a plastic board. Remove the parchment paper. Trim top if uneven, place in the freezer. 

For the Whipped Pomegranate Cream: Place juice and flour in small saucepan. Whisk until no lumps remain. Heat over medium heat, whisking until mixture comes to a boil. Cook until it thickens into a paste. Remove and place in fridge to cool. Beat the butter and sugar in a clean mixing bowl, until fluffy and glossy. Once cooled, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat until light and fluffy 5 minutes. Spread the pomegranate cream evenly over the cake and return to the freezer.

For the Whipped Chocolate Cream: Add the milk, flour, and cocoa powder to a small saucepan. Whisk until there are no lumps. Then heat over medium, whisking constantly until the mixture comes to a boil. Whisk and cook a few more minutes until it thickens into a paste. Remove from heat and place pan in the fridge to cool. Beat the butter and sugar in a clean mixing bowl, for 5-7 minutes, until fluffy and glossy. Once cooled, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Pour in the vanilla and the cooled melted chocolate and beat until light and fluffy 5 minutes. Spread evenly over the top of the pomegranate cream. Return to the freezer.

Once frozen, trim the edges of the cake until very smooth. The cake will be about 8x12 inches after trimming. Then carefully cut the cake into 1 inch squares, 96 total. You may want to use a clean ruler to mark the top of the chocolate cream to make the pieces even. Store in freezer until ready to serve. Keep refrigerated once removed from the freezer.

The combination of chocolate and pomegranate makes these irresistible! Bet you can't eat just one!

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A Meyer lemon is a cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon. They are not quite as tart as a lemon but definitely not as sweet as a mandarin! Recommended for baking, I thought I would purchase some while at Costco last weekend. 

I have always wanted to make lemon curd. It's like a lemon jam or pie filling; quite nice. This is what goes inside the cooked cupcake. A few extra steps involved with these but very much worth the effort. 

For the lemon curd:

  • 4 Meyer lemons, zested
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 8 Tbsp butter
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup Meyer lemon juice
  • 2 tsp cornstarch

For the cupcakes:

  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1⅔ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tsp lemon juice

For the buttercream:

  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsps lemon juice

To make the lemon curd, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the lemon zest and sugar. Mix until combined.

Set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar/zest mixture and beat for another minute. Add eggs, lemon juice and salt. Beat for another two minutes. Pour mixture into a saucepan. Heat over low/medium heat, stirring constantly. Cook for 5 minutes, being sure to stir continuously.

Reduce heat to low. Scoop out about two tablespoons of the mixture and mix with cornstarch in a small bowl. Once combined, pour back into pot and turn heat back up to medium-high and continue cooking for another 8-10 minutes. Continue stirring as it heats. When the mixture comes to a simmer and thickens, remove from heat. Pour into a bowl and chill for several hours.

The Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350º. Line cupcake pan with liners. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice. Beat for another two minutes.

Scoop into muffin cups. (I filled mine just over ¾ full). Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

When completely cooled, scoop out part of the centre of the cupcake and set aside. Fill with a tablespoon of curd. Replace with top of cupcake. Frost with buttercream frosting. 

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Well, Valentine's Day is upon us again. I was quite busy this year, cupcakes for work and cookies for school. I managed to get it all done and in bed by 11 last night, so mission accomplished!

The cookies were just my basic sugar cookies, add red food colouring to the mix, dip in melted chocolate and adorn with sprinkles. 

The cupcakes were quite easy to make. I made a double batch and each batch makes 24 regular size cupcakes. the recipe is a 3 step process, first mixing the dry ingredients, then the wet and thirdly creaming the butter and sugar. You combine all 3 and then you have these amazing sweeties!

I added buttercream frosting and adorned them with Valentine sprinkles, chocolates and coloured sugars. Here's the recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp red gel-paste food color

Preheat oven to 350°F. Carefully line cupcake pan with cupcake liners. Sift together the dry ingredients-flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl combine the buttermilk, food color, vinegar and vanilla. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the oil and sugar on low speed, then beat on medium for 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well for 2-3 minutes, scraping down bowl as needed. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk mixture in thirds. When everything is blended and smooth, continue mixing on low speed for 2 minutes. Use an ice cream scoop and fill the cupcake liners almost full. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Cupcakes are done when they feel firm to a gentle touch on top-they should spring back. Remove from oven and cool completely on metal racks before frosting. The buttercream icing recipe can be found with the Cocoa Cupcakes recipe. 

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Okay, as I said before, I don't particularly follow sports. I don't know the different teams and players, not even for hockey; except for a couple of players from my hometown, I could not tell you one player's name in hockey!

I realized on Wednesday that the Super Bowl (which I know is the BIG football game!) is this weekend. Last year I looked up the teams that were playing, printed team logos and put them on cupcakes. This year all I know is that there is a Super Bowl on Sunday, February 3, and that the commercials at half-time are talked about a lot!

The past few months I have been addicted to Pinterest. So, the following creation is a compilation of a few ideas and recipes I came across while pinning. The free downloadable cupcake wrappers can be found on nothingbutcountry.com. Here's the cupcake recipe:

Cocoa Cupcakes

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking sod
  • 1 cup hot water

in a large bowl, add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, oil, eggs, milk, vanilla, baking powder and soda and mix all together. Add the hot water (i microwaved a cup of water for 1 minute) and mix well. The mixture will be very runny! Pour into 24 cupcake liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 350°F for 17-20 minutes. Remove from pan to cool on wire racks. 

The icing is absolutely delicious! It's my new favourite and I will be using this one again and again! 

Chocolate Butter Icing

  • 8 oz chocolate, chopped
  • 6 cups icing sugar
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Melt the chocolate in a heat proof dish over simmering water on the stove. Be sure to not let the bowl touch the water or the chocolate may burn. When melted, remove and let cool. In a large bowl, add the icing sugar, butter, vanilla and milk. Blend well. Remove a 1/2 cup of the icing for the football laces and put aside. Add the melted chocolate to the remaining icing and mix. I used an icing bag fitted with a large open tip to frost the cupcakes.

Start with a small dot and imitate the shape of a football on the cupcake. Add lines with the white frosting in an icing bag fitted with a small open tip. Cut out the cupcake wrappers and wrap around you cupcakes adhering with tape. And there you have it, Super Bowl treats! 

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