Monday, September 26, 2011

Been a LONG time, Biscoff Cupcakes

Wow it has been a crazy year and I have not baked much lately. I went to work full time outside the home and that did not work out for my family so now I am back home. This means MORE BAKING!!! YAY!!!!

Today the Picky Palate blog posted a recipe for Biscoff Cupcakes. I had never heard of Biscoff before. Turns out that Biscoff is a spread, much the consistency of peanut butter, made up of crushed up cookies. I decided I simply MUST try this. So I did.

I am not sure how often I will make these. The frosting is so extremely sweet it made me gag. The Biscoff was a tad oily and so the frosting with all that oil + the butter was a little greasy, if that makes sense. The cake part was great but again with the oiliness of the Biscoff the bottoms of the cupcake wrappers we a bit oily looking. Also, the cakes seemed to fall a bit while cooling leaving a concave part. This could easily be hidden by the frosting but I can not imagine anyone wanting THAT much of this overly sweet frosting.

Perhaps I did something wrong.

Maybe if there was a different frosting.

Either way I am back in the baking groove and excited about it!!

I did not take pictures because they were not very pretty.

If you love SUPER sweet frosting than this is for you. If you want sweet but not a toothache then you might try substituting a different frosting. Again the cake was GREAT!!

Here is the link to Picky Palate, go check them out. It is an AWESOME blog with lots of great stuff!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Drum roll please!!

So it turns out that coconuts are not only for Monty Python to make horse clop noises after all!

When I was younger I lived in Germany with my family. Military brat :-) One happy memory I have is going to Globus and dad would buy these awesome candies. They were called Raffaello. There were three little confectionery bits of heaven in a wrapper and I always got one of them. After reading a blog from Willow Bird Baking I had an awesome idea. This idea involved making a cupcake to feature this fantastic candy.

First I will say if you have not checked out Willow Bird Baking to go do that, seriously, finish reading this blog and then click as fast as your fingers will click and go check out her site. This site has some awesome recipes and makes even the novice baker feel like she can make amazing things like croissants.

For these cupcake I used her "Ugly as Sin" cake recipe and the pastry cream that went with it. The flavor was amazing. I did use Splenda instead of sugar as both my hubby and father are diabetic (so bad when there is a baker in the family haha)

On top I also used the cream cheese frosting that I got from the Joy of Baking site that I have used with my red velvet cake. This was WONDERFUL!!

So while this all tasted amazing there were a few things I would do differently next time. The actual cake batter while very yummy and tasty did not work so well as a cupcake. I don't know if it was the fact that I used Splenda or what but the cupcakes did not rise as well as I had hoped. It was also difficult to get out of the cupcake wrappers. Next time I will most likely use a different cake recipe.

The pastry cream was absolutely AMAZING!! In fact I used to be able to buy this phenomenal coconut pie but the store I got it from discontinued it. What I liked was that it was not the traditional custard pie and it had such great flavor. Well this pastry cream is IT!! I am sooooo going to use this as a pie filling as well. So be looking for that post.

Lastly, here are the recipes used. Please don't forget to go check out Willow Bird Baking.

Cake :
8 ounces (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
13 1/2 ounces (3 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature (I left this out accidentally; still worked great)
6 large egg whites, at room temperature

To bake the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle of the oven. Grease and line with parchment two 9×3-inch round cake pans. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. Mix the coconut milk and vanilla, set aside.

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes (scrape down the bowl). Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until incorporated. Add half the coconut milk and mix thoroughly. Continue to add the flour and coconut alternately, ending with flour. Add sour cream and mix until incorporated. Set aside in a large bowl if you don’t have a spare bowl for your mixer.

Beat the egg whites in your stand mixer with the whisk attachment (if you are using the same bowl, be sure it is VERY CLEAN or the whites will not whip up. Any fat on the bowl will prevent the whites from foaming). Beat the whites on high speed for 2-3 minutes, until it forms soft peaks. Don’t overdo it or the whites will get too stiff and not fold into the batter smoothly. Stir 1/3 of the egg whites into the cake batter to lighten it. Gently fold the remaining whites into the batter.

I got about 36 cupcakes from this recipe. I baked them for about 10 minutes at 350. While still warm I scooped out part of the cake from the top (just enough to put the cream in later)

Coconut Pastry Cream :
1 can (14 fluid ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
3/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
pinch kosher salt
3 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons corn starch
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup whipping cream

To make the coconut pastry cream: Heat the coconut milk, sugar, salt and vanilla bean in a medium saucepan over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and corn starch. Once the cream is hot, remove the vanilla bean, scraping out any remaining seeds and returning them to the cream. Add 1/2 cup of the hot cream slowly to the yolks, whisking as you add. Then pour the yolk mixture into the pot of hot cream and whisk. Continue to whisk with heat on medium-high for 3 more minutes. The mixture will turn thick and bubble. You need to continue to whisk for the full 3 minutes or the pastry cream will separate once it is cool. After the 3 minutes, whisk in the butter. Add the coconut flakes. Pour into a shallow dish to cool.

Cover with plastic wrap pressed right against the pastry cream. This will prevent a thick skin from forming on the surface. Refrigerate for at least an hour or freeze for 30 minutes. Once it is cold, stir the pastry cream to loosen. Whip the 1/2 cup cream to medium peaks. Stir in 1/3 to the pastry cream to lighten. Fold in the remaining cream until the pastry cream is nice and light.

Once this is done spoon into the cupcakes.

Cream Cheese Frosting :

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 1/2 (360 ml) cups heavy whipping cream

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature

1 - 8 ounce (227 grams) tub of Mascarpone cheese, room temperature

3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup (115 grams) confectioners' (icing or powdered) sugar, sifted

Step one:

In your food processor, or with a hand mixer, process the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar and process until smooth. Transfer this mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Step two:

Then, in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form. With a large spatula, gently but quickly fold a little of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten it. Then fold in the remaining whipped cream, in two stages. If the frosting is not thick enough to spread, cover and place in the refrigerator for an hour, or until it is firm enough to spread.

The end result looks like the picture above.

I put this in a decorators bag and this spiraled it onto the cupcakes and over the pastry cream.

Last step is to top with a Raffaello candy!!

ENJOY, I know I did :-)

Friday, August 20, 2010

New adventure coming!!

If you are like me and think the candies pictured above are the most amazing thing EVER made then you wont want to miss the post that will be coming next weekend.

I was inspired by a blog done by Willow Bird Baking and as soon as I get my stuff I will be making some new yummies!

Be sure to check back!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Italian Cream Cake

I so could not eat all of this :-)

I needed a stress release so I decided to bake a cake this evening. Baking is one thing that just inevitably makes me happy.
After a visit with some friends while on vacation last weekend I have been craving an Italian cream cake. I looked up recipes and finally decided on this one from Emeril Lagasse's Food network page

Here is the link

This was an absolutely wonderful cake. VERY rich and full of pecans and coconut. The only thing I did differently was frost the entire cake versus just the top of each layer. To get enough to cover the entire cake I doubled the frosting recipe.

It will definitely be a cake that I make again. I know my dad will love it!

Here is the actual recipe I used:


For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup shortening, room temperature
  • 1 stick butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 eggs, separated and at room temperature
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the frosting:

  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (16-ounce) box powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts


Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and grease and flour 3 (9-inch) cake pans.

In the bowl of an electric mixer cream the shortening, butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together onto a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. With the mixer on low speed, add the sifted ingredients in batches alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until stiff, and gently fold into the prepared batter. Add the coconut, pecans and vanilla and fold into the batter. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared cake pans and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle of each cake. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. When the cakes are completely cool, stack the layers with the frosting and frost the sides and top.

While the cake is baking, prepare the frosting. In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, butter and vanilla and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. Add the nuts and fold together. Keep refrigerated until you are ready to frost the cake.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Winner Winner!!!

So I used a random number generator at to pick who would win the cake tattoos. The winner is Missy!!! YAY Be sure to shoot me an email with your address and I will get it mailed out. I am sure you will love the product.

I am hoping to do a giveaway once a month or so as I try new things and like them or even just things I already love.

Congrats Missy!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Cake Tattoo Giveaway!!

Ok ya'll I was so impressed with Duff's Cake Tattoos that I am giving the set pictured above away!!


All you have to do is be a follower of this blog AND comment as to what your favorite cake decorating item is.

It can be a tool, something like the cake tattoos, a specific brand of fondant or recipe.

Anything goes but lets share our favorite things with each-other

This contest will run all week and the winner will be chosen at random Saturday July 24th!

Share with your friends lets see how many comments we can get!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Duff Goldman's cake tattoos

So, tomorrow is my daughters 7th birthday. I was desperate to try something new. Time constraints however did not allow me to be as creative as I desired.

She wanted a funky fancy zebra striped cake but again time constraints did not allow for fondant and all that good stuff. I was going to try but was not sure it would get done.

As I walked through the grocery store I ran across some new products. Duff Goldman from Charm City Cakes has started a line of decorating products to help those of us trying to get the look of professional custom cakes at home.

This was PERFECT.

These are edible tattoos. Basically, it is special food color on edible paper that you wrap around an iced cake. According to Michaels website they only have 2 different versions of the cake tattoos. I found mine at Walmart for $12.99 and they had at least 8 different sets. The sets ranged from bright and colorful to classic black and white. This included 2 sheets of edible art. It will decorate two tiers on a cake, 20 cupcakes or 20 cookies.
It was packaged very well and the quality was great.

I baked my cakes and then used the Wilton decorators icing. The cakes need to be completely cool and level before icing. Mine were cooled but not level and I do not think that it looks as good as it could have. Oh well, ya live and learn. The next one will be better.

The frosting needs to be COMPLETELY SMOOTH!

These tattoos are on paper that just gets wrapped around the cake and it sticks to the frosting. So any little bump or dip will show up. Also if the frosting is too dry the paper will NOT stick so be sure to have a water bottle handy to just mist the frosting NOT the paper.

The first piece of paper I had tore with the heat from my hand so be sure to handle it delicately.

One thing I did not like was that the pieces are not continuous. To get a wrap all the way around the 8 inch layer I had to use 2 full pieces plus part of a third. On the 6 inch layer it was the same and the words did not match up. So to a trained eye it would be obvious.

All in all I really liked the product and will use it again.

Thank you Duff!!!