Do you find non-fiction objectionable? Do you loathe and abhor self-help books? Do you find memoirs so depressing you think you may go out and beat your neighbor to make yourself feel better? Well...that's how I feel. If you feel the same, you've found the right place. In my feature IN WHICH I AM WELL INFORMED I will be reading something of a non-fiction nature and I will tell you what I've learned from said item. No worries, this is going to be fun!
**I just want to preface this post by saying that all my thoughts are my own and are only meant in fun and not to be offensive. Sometimes life should be laughed at and not taken so seriously. It's better that way.**
So, recently I've had this idea stuck in my head that I *NEEDED* to make cupcakes from scratch. I wanted a moist cake and I wanted to try a vanilla and then something a little different. Then, Missie comes along and shows me this site, and I kind of die with drool. All you book bloggers know that when you read a website, there are always links to other sites about similar themes. So, Sweet Tooth took me to I Am Baker, which is like the epitome of cakes. I mean, this woman bakes so much cake, I want to live in her kitchen. True story.
Anyway, both sites made me want to bake cupcakes and cakes in surprisingly large amounts. That is where all the background comes for this post, and I'm sure future cakey posts.
Vanilla Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting:
This recipe came from Brown Eyed Baker.
My recipe did not turn out like hers. Hers look all moist on top and mine weren't so moist outside which really reflects the inside. I'm sure this was something I screwed up, but oh well. Anyway, I'm not going to post my whole process, just some pictures with a link to her printable recipe. I will say, that overnight I kept them in a container with a lid and they were a lot more moist the next day. Oh, and the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting was delicious.
|This is the just after I frosted it|
The original recipe for the Chocolate cake came from foodnetwork.com (link here), but I just printed this recipe from Sweet Tooth because it had the frosting I wanted. :D You can also see the recipe for the chocolate cake here at I Am Baker .
On to the show:
For the full original recipe, CLICK THIS LINK
1. Add all dry ingredients into mixer: Flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt - the recipe calls for sifting...I didn't sift because I don't have a sifter and I'm kinda lazy sometimes. I put them in the mixer and mixed them with the paddle attachment.
2. In another bowl, combine all the wet ingredients except coffee: buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla - First off, just wanted to let you know that I used Olive Oil instead of Vegetable Oil. I also used Vanilla Emulsion as I always do. Ummm....and my eggs weren't room temp. My cake turned out just fine. And it was ridiculously moist.
3. With Mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry - This is also rediculously easy. Just slowly pour in and stir with the mixer. I kept using the paddle attachment.
4. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine - This is the one alteration I really made to the recipe. I don't drink coffee. I know, *gasp* but I've never had it and I won't drink it, even in a recipe. That's just a personal thing. According to all the sights I checked on this, you can't taste the coffee in the recipe. It does, however, deepen the chocolate flavor, which is actually really awesome. But, because of the amount it asks for, you can't omit it. So, instead of adding the coffee, I added 1 cup of near boiling water. My cake turned out fabulous. If you want to add the coffee, DO IT, if you don't, there is another option. Just sayin'.
|This is my batter|
5. After all the mixing, pour into lined cupcake tin - You don't have to line it with liners, but you'll need to grease it if you don't. Butter works just fine. You don't want the cups full to the top with batter, you'll want them around 2/3 full.
|Unbaked Chocolate Cupcake's in Tin|
6. Put it into a preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 16-18 minutes - Everyone's oven is different. This time worked for me. Just keep checking. When you can stick a toothpick through the center and it comes out clean, they are done.
|Baked Cupcakes fresh out of oven|
Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
(Her recipe is different than mine)
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 TBS unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 box of powdered sugar (about 1-3/4 cup - 2 cups)
1 cup whipping Cream - Beaten
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups for decoration
1. Beat whipping cream until frothy - I didn't want to use frozen whipped topping. I didn't want the flavor or the added preservatives. Personal decision. So, I made my own whipped topping. The longer you beat whipping cream, the more it thickens and gets frothy and nice for topping. I beat it til it was a similar consistency.
2. Add Cream Cheese and butter into mixer - I creamed these with the whipped topping to make sure there were no lumps. Then I scraped off the sides using rubber spatula.
3. Add peanut butter - Added this then mixed again
4. Add powdered sugar - I only added half of what it called for because I didn't have anymore. Plus, if frosting is too sweet it makes me kind of sick. I think it turned out way better with less sugar. This is truly a personal thing, so you make your own choice. Adding more will thicken the frosting which is also a personal preference. :D
|My Frosting - *drools*|
5. Frost cupcakes: You can frost them with a spoon or spatuala, but I wanted mine pretty like in all the pictures I see. So, I decided to use a decorating tip. I couldn't find any frosting bags when I was shopping, so I made my own. I bought the cake tips from Walmart (in the baking isle) for like $1.00. Then, I went home, took a gallon ziplock bag, took my pointy knife with a sharp tip and poked a SMALL whole in the corner. Then, I stuck my decorative tip in the SMALL hole. At first the hole was too small, so I just kept making it bigger a little at a time until the tip fit through. If you make it too big, the tip will slide through, so be careful.
|Homemade Frosting Decorating Kit|
Fill the bag partially with PB cream cheese frosting. I put in about 1-2 cups, at a time, into the bag. Also, let it be noted that I suck at decorative frosting. So, Hubs did it for me. LOL! He's gifted in that department. His looked so much better than mine! Anyway, here they are below!! I topped mine off with a mini reese's cup because my 5 year old found them and wanted them and I decided they'd totally work.
|Here is the whole tray (missing a couple that Hubs stole Post-Frost)|
|Hubs Frosting Work|
|You know I had to cut it to show you|
|Another angle of the goodness|
I Am Baker, it's almost impossible to mess it up. I know it's more work than the box, but it really is worth it. The flavor is so much better. Anyway, *hugs* Come back next week and check out Jayden's Triple Chocolate Cookies from Demons at Deadnight! Book baking is probably my favorite thing EVER!! I wonder how many recipes from books I could acquire for this feature and my belly? *ponders*
Anyone know some good recipes from fictional books?? Let me know. Thanks!