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!
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.
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.
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.
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:
- 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!
Christmas Swirl Cookies
Only a few days before Christmas. This time of the year is always busy and there never seems to be enough time in the days! This past weekend was quite busy to say the least. From a dance concert, picture with Santa, last minute shopping to 7 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange! I love making cookies, so in the matter of a few hours they were completely done. These cookies are a cross between a shortbread and a sugar cookie. The presentation is beautiful and looks like it took you forever to make them but the recipe and steps are quite easy. Here's the ingredients you will need:
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2/3 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 1/4 cups butter, chopped into chunks
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp food colouring, or more
- 1 1 /2 cups sprinkles
In a stand mixer, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and sugars on medium until well blended. Add butter in, gradually, and continue mixing. Add in vanilla extract. At this point, your dough will form a ball. Remove all dough and divide into two equal parts. Return one portion back in to the mixer and add the food coloring and any extra extracts. I used Wilton gel food coloring in leaf green and vanilla extract for this batch. You could coordinate your colors and flavors, for example green food coloring matched with a mint extract or yellow with a lemon extract, etc. Also, if you are using liquid food coloring, you will need to add a few tbsp of flour to keep the dough from becoming too wet. Mix until the colour is spread out evenly. Roll out each portions of your dough, between two sheets a wax paper until is reaches about 11 x 9 inches and is 1/4 inch thick. Slide both unto a cookie sheet and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. When firm, remove the top sheets of wax paper from both. Brush the uncoloured vanilla dough lightly with water using a pastry brush. Then flip the coloured dough onto the vanilla uncolored dough so they are stacked atop each other and even. Press the edges lightly with your fingertips to seal them together. Using a small pairing knife, trim the edges of the dough to make straight, even lines. Pour out sprinkles onto a large platter and set aside. Be sure your dough is still cold, but flexible. Once it's ready, begin rolling the long side of dough into a swirl, jelly-roll style.
If the outer layer of uncolored dough tears a bit, it's not a problem, just pinch and pat those tears and then just keep rolling.
Gently lift the dough log onto the sprinkles and roll away. Cover log completely with sprinkles. Wrap the log in plastic wrap twice. Depending on when you want to bake the cookies, either place the wrapped dough into refrigerator for about 3-4 hours or you can put it the freezer and keep it there for up to 2 months. If you are in a hurry like I was, slice carefully now!
Slice your dough into 1/4-1/8 inch slices and bake on parchment lined baking sheets. Bake at 350°C for 15-17 minutes until edges are slightly golden. Let the cookies rest on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes, then move them to a cookie rack to finish cooling. Enjoy your whimsical Christmas cookies!
An indulgence in miniature version. Mini donuts! Baked in tiny donut pans, not deep fried. Add icing and sprinkles and there it is, pure happiness in the palm of your hand!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat oven to 325°F. Blend all the dry ingredients and then add the liquid ingredients, mix well but don't overmix and then fill each pan hole to about 1/2 full. Bake the donuts, checking them at 8 minutes and then again until they are done. They can take up to 15 minutes.
Allow them to cool for a few minutes or they may fall apart when taking them out of the pan.
Glaze or decorate them if desired.Makes 24 donuts. You can have fun decorating these with different coloured sugars and sprinkles.
What beautiful weather this summer is giving us! With this comes early arrivals of strawberries. This past weekend, my husband, daughter and I went to Lester's strawberry U Pick. We had a lot of fun and picked a lot of berries. With all these berries I decided to make a strawberry shortcake. I have never made one before but it was on my bucket list of things to make!
Not a hard recipe at all and fairly quick to make. The final product was delicious! If you have some fresh strawberries on hand you may want to give this one a try.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour, pre-sifted
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ cup margarine, room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs plus 2 large egg yolks
- ½ cup 1 % milk
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of a 8-inch round cake pan. Line bottom with parchment paper; grease the paper and then flour bottom and sides of pan. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl, set aside.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla on high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs and yolks, one-at-a-time, beating well after each addition. Reduce speed to low, add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk. Beat until just combined. Spoon batter into prepared cake pan and spread evenly with rubber spatula.
Bake, for approximately 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove cake from pan and return to wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, make the cream and filling.
Cream and Filling
- 1¼ pounds fresh strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
- ½ cup sugar, divided
- 1½ cups cream, cold
- 1 tsp unflavoured gelatin
In a medium-sized bowl, stir together the strawberries and ¼-cup sugar; set aside.
Place two tablespoons cold water into a small saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin; let soften 5 minutes. Place saucepan over low heat, and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the cream and remaining sugar until very soft peaks form. Continue to whisk, and gradually add the gelatin mixture; beat until soft peaks form.
Using a serrated knife, cut cake in half horizontally. Place bottom half, cut side up, on a cake stand or plate. Drizzle the juice from the berries onto the cake.
Evenly arrange half of the strawberries over the bottom cake layer. Refrigerate the remaining berries.
Top the strawberry layer with half of the whipped cream, leaving a 2.5-cm (1-inch) border.
Place the top half of the cake, cut side down, onto the layer of strawberries and cream. Top the cake with the remaining whipped cream, leaving a 2.5-cm (1-inch) border.
Refrigerate the cake at least 1 hour. It's even better the next day!
Just before serving top the cake with the remaining chilled strawberries. Enjoy!
President's Choice® is promoting some new Blue Menu® items that offer lower fat, Omega-3, high in fibre and lower salt options.
Here's just a few of the new items now available in store:
Get sneaky with omega-3
Our bodies are unable to make omega-3 polyunsaturates, so it’s important we find ways to add them to our diets. Rather than chasing the kids around the kitchen with a spoonful of fish oil, spread our new, oh-so creamy PC® Blue Menu™ Omega-3 Peanut Butter on toast so they taste nothing but the glorious flavour of freshly roasted peanuts while getting some omega-3.
Lose the fat, not the flavour
Succulent PC® Blue Menu™ Korean Chicken Breast Chunks are an exciting new option that is extremely flavourful and low in saturated fat. Serve over rice with a side of vegetables or salad for an easy weeknight family meal.
Shake off that salt habit
To help cut down on your sodium consumption look for foods without added salt, such as PC® Blue Menu™ No Salt Added Sockeye Salmon.
Wean yourself off sugar
PC® Blue Menu™ Pineapple Juice Beverage is made from fresh-pressed juicy Costa Rican pineapples. It contains less sugar than PC® 100% Pure Pineapple Juice (just 16 g per serving) yet offers all that refreshingly sweet pineapple taste you love and 100% of the daily vitamin C you need.
Visit pc.ca for other new and must try products.
For the month of March I will be giving 10 lucky people a jar of PC Blue Menu Smooth Peanut Butter with Omega 3. Leave a comment on this blog post and you'll be entered to win.