Thursday, July 17, 2008

summer scones

best scones ever

preheat oven to 425 and place rack in middle.

in medium bowl:

2 1/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 to 3/4 cup sugar depending on how sweet you like your scones and what fruit you are using. i generally use closer to 3/4...but on the low side of it :)

in glass measuring cup, lightly mix one egg with buttermilk to make 3/4 cup

cube one stick of cold butter and work into flour mixture with fork, pastry cutter or fingers. do not over work. butter should be in small pieces (like peas or blueberries) and still cold so work fast.

add 1 -2 cups of fresh berries or fruit to flour mixture.

slowly add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients, working in with a fork. don't over mix. flatten dough into a 8 or 9 inch disc and cut into 8 pieces (like a pie) and place onto cookie sheet about 3 inches apart.

bake for 15-18 minutes

place on cooling rack and resist the urge to eat all of them.

after they are mostly cooled (as long as i can stand it) i drizzle them with a simple icing....i mix about 1 1/2 c powdered sugar with water and vanilla until it looks right..probably about a little more than a tablespoon of water and a 1 tsp of vanilla.

OH MY they are delicious and perfect.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

magic brownies. not that kind of magic.

i really, truly, seriously bake brownies once a month. like clockwork. and i eat the entire batch. all by myself. it is not even difficult and takes just under 2 days. i previously posted the recipe here .

they are heaven. seriously.

bake them.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

oh my oh my i have been neglecting this. it is not that i am not baking, because i am. of course i am. but i realized that this blog requires me to copy recipes which takes time and effort and i am a lazy, lazy, lazy baker.

but i promise i will get better at this.

last week was my dad's birthday. he asked for an angel food cake with chocolate frosting and whipped cream and strawberries in the middle.

easy enough, right?

it was a learning experience. it was delicious...not very pretty...but good. it kind of looked like a big blob.

i also made a cake and cupcakes for my cousin's bridal shower. i am still waiting for the pictures.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Cake

chocolate layer cake with vanilla buttercream frosting. the cross is chocolate buttercream. it is delicious. i mean sacrelicious. happy easter!

Monday, March 17, 2008

we all scream for ice cream.

it is almost ice cream season again....and we have a new soft serve machine. expect good things.

last year the highlights of homemade ice cream season were the following:

fresh peach and cinnamon
dark chocolate with cayenne
strawberry honey

last night i attempted to make vanilla frozen yogurt and it didn't work. i am off to a good start.

The party of the year will be the ice cream social we are going to have in july. can you imagine anything better than homemade ice cream, cocktails, pretty dresses, and a warm beautiful back yard? i might even do an ice cream cake just to step it up a notch.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Brandied Cherry Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Frosting

hi! i made a noteworthy cake finally. it has been awhile.

Firstly, after baking many chocolate cakes over the years, i think i have found a favorite. It is the "Beatty's chocolate cake" from the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook. It has a cup of fresh hot coffee in it and it is delicious. I use good, dark cocoa is worth it to splurge on good cocoa powder.

Second, in my quest to find an alternative to chocolate frosting while keeping richness and texture (read: not boring vanilla) i found a nice white chocolate frosting that hits the spot. I started with a recipe from the Macrina Cookbook and altered it. Don't worry, i will post the recipes here for everyone to enjoy.

Finally, I made an important discovery. I have always hated fruit near my chocolate. especially fruit in my chocolate cake. i guess a chocolate covered strawberry here and there is acceptable.....but i always hate it when a perfectly good cake is ruined with a layer of raspberry preserves or sauce. But i discovered that if is done right, and with the right fruit, these two can live together in nummyness. and by done right i mean cooked with brandy, butter and sugar. For this cake i used dried cherries. i simmered them in brandy and sugar for a few minutes, then added butter and orange zest. I let everything simmer together in harmony and the result is 100 % awesome. I used the cherries and sauce as a layer between the cakes, under the white chocolate frosting, as well as a nice, simple decoration on top.

The pic above is a mini version of the cake.....and the first time i had made a 4 inch layer turned out super are the recipes for a 8 inch round layer cake:

beatty's chocolate cake

1 3/4 c flour
2 cup sugar
3/4 c cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

preheat oven to 350
butter and flour two 8 in round cake pans
mix together all dry ingredents. in seperate bowl combine buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. slowly add the wet to the dry ingredients. with mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine (make sure you scrape the side and bottom of bowl)

bake 35-40 min. cool in pan 15-20 min, then turn out onto a cooling rack.

White Chocolate Frosting

8-10 oz white chocolate, coarsely chopped
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
4-6 oz cream cheese, at room temp
1/2- 1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice, at room temp

melt chocolate in double broiler and let cool to room temp. using paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth, 3-5 min. add cream cheese and beat for another 3-5 min until mixture is light and fluffy. add lemon juice and mix until incorporated. finally, add melted white chocolate and mix until the frosting has a smooth light texture, about 2 min.