Monday, July 27, 2009

Peanut Butter Glazed White Chocolate Pudding Cake

This cake is the mother load of moist and delicious!!! If you like peanut butter and a light chocolate cake then this is for you! It also looks soo delicious that even if you don't like peanut butter it is a great cake to bring to a party!
I used my favorite white cake mix and threw in a bit of this and that and decided my peanut butter glaze would be the perfect compliment...(it is also Andrew's favorite cake frosting and since he does all the eating I decided this giant cake would be a great way to say "Thanks for the willingness to EAT MY TREATS")! Ok so here is what you do;
all you need is
  • 1 box white cake mix
  • 1 package instant pudding (chocolate)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
Mix all the ingredients together and pour into two greased and lined round pans. Bake until toothpick comes out clean. Make peanut butter glaze using slightly less milk than usual to make it a bit thicker! This frosting is super powerful and a little goes a long way...put some glaze between the cakes, evenly stack the cakes and frost the cake spreading the icing nice and thin. I crumbled some of the cake on top and there you go!

You will see if you look closely I do eat a healthy diet in addition to cake...see the V8 back there =)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fondant Fear?

So this is the very first time I have ever worked with fondant...and the fondant was home-made by me! I must say after all the things I have read about how fondant was so difficult to work with and especially scary to make at home, I think this was quite a success. What do you think?

Also I do agree that fondant is not the BEST tasting icing for a cake but this home-made marshmallow fondant is not as bad as store bought and if you roll it nice and thin you almost don't even know it is there, and if you start with a delicious cake (make sure it's a strong cake to hold the structure of the fondant and shape of your cake) then you won't be disappointed!

The cake...since you are makeing everything else from scratch you can use a cake mix...any flavor and add a few things to make it more like a pound cake. Use your favorite mix (I used yellow) and add 1/3 cup oil, 80z sour cream, any flavor pudding mix (i used vanilla) and 1/3 cup oil...mix it and bake it according to the package in greased and lined pans. Let them cool in the fridge for a while!

To make the fondant...use a 16 oz pkg of marshmallows (i used mini) and mix it in a large microwave safe bowl with 2 TBS water. Microwave for 30 second intervals, stirring, unti
l completely melted (IT WILL BE HOT!!!). When completely melted mix in 1lb powdered sugar. Grease a large work surface with Crisco/shortening and put another pound of powdered sugar on the surface in a pile and turn out marshmallow mixture onto the pile of sugar and knead for 6 minutes or until pliable and mixed...thats it, done! Now, you can use it right away but it is best if you place in the fridge and use it the next day. Those blobs of sugar will dissolve! Coat the ball of fondant with shortening and wrap in saran and place in an airtight container. When you take the fondant out of the fridge you will need to microwave it for a few seconds to make it more pliable and ready to work with, knead for a minute or so (this is where you would add your color if you do not want white fondant) and roll it out to a thickness of about 1/8 and 1/4 inch but wait...don't cover your cake yet!

Frosting your cake with butter cream before the fondant is put on is an important step. You can buy your favorite buttercream or make a super easy version at home. Here is what you need.

3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1/2 cup, 1 stick softened butter
3+ TBSP milk1/2 tsp vanilla
Mix sugar, butter, vanilla and 2TBSP milk in a bowl until fluffy, adding milk 1 TBSP at a time until spreadable. Frost your chilled cake (it doesn't need to look nice at this point).
Now you can cover with a thin layer of fondant. Cut off the overhang, and smooth nicely with your hand. Decorate. To stick fondant to fondant, just dampen the area and hold it together for a second or two.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cheeseburgers and French Fries

If you are heading to a BBQ then you should be sure to bring these sweet sliders for dessert!As you noticed I LOVE to make sweets that look like a main course and when I was cruising the
blog-o-sphere and stumbled upon Bakerella's page filled with "Fast Food Fun" I had to make these with a few little twists. Check out Bakerella's originals here!
Thanks for a great idea Bakerella!!

I made these burgers the size of a standard cupcakesize and used yellow tinted and red tinted frosting as the ketchup and cheese and a sprinkle of green coconut as the lettuce. Then I brushed a bit of honey on the buns (haha that m
akes me laugh!) and added some sesame seeds for the real effect.

The french fries are made from rolled sugar cookies just chill the dough before you slice your fries and bake them! It makes life soo much easier and don't forget the extra sugar to look like salt!

And of course...
I needed a taste tester for these little burgers..If food and eating is involved I always have at least two volunteers to taste test.

So what do you think?.......

Christmas Tree Cake

This was my first attempt at making a stacked and carved was definitley not the easiest cake I ever made and being that I made it in a super rush I think it came out pretty well. Next time I would be sure to start it a bit earlier and make sure I had a few more decorations to hang on the tree...instead of just a few craisins! 
If I thought making the cake was tricky ... the drive with it to New Jersey was quite the challenge!!! But we made it there and the cake was pretty darn tasty! All you need to whip this cake up is the following;
  1. your favorite cake recipe (or a box mix) 
  2. coconut
  3. green food coloring
  4. frosting
  5. oven proof bowls or various sizes (pyrex works well)
Bake the cake in three or more different size oven proof bowls, cool COMPLETELY!! Chill the cake in the fridge for an hour (or less if you are in a rush..or pop it in the freezer). Cut each size into a cone shape..frost each one then stack on a big skewer or dowel. cover in green coconut, decorate your tree and don't forget the star on top! 

Pumpkin Streusel Muffins

hese muffins are sooo yummy and totally taste like Fall. They are pretty easy to make too! I made these to fill an autumn basket and not only do they taste great they look delicious!! Here is what you need to make 24 muffins...and if you cant eat all of them they stay great in the freezer, just wrap in saran and store them in a ziplock!
  • 4cups all purpose baking mix (like bisquick)
  • 1cup chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2/3cup quick/instant or old fashioned oats
  • 3/4cup sugar
  • 1tsp cinnamon (or more if you like)
  • 1 can Pumpkin Pie mix (like Libby's)
  • 2 large eggs
For the streusel topping you need:
  • 2/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/4 cup packed brown sugar or white sugar (whatever you have)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter
Preheat the oven to 400*F and grease 24 muffin tins or use paper liners.
Make your streusel by combining dry ingredients and cutting in cold butter with back of fork (or you can use your hands if it is easier) until it is crumbly. Done. Set it aside!
Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl. Combine eggs and pumpkin in another bowl and stir into dry mix JUST UNTIL MOIST!  Spoon into muffin cups and fill 3/4 of the way. Top with streusel mix. (You may have extra streusel..that's OK put it in the fridge in a 
container with lid and it will last weeks..use it on other delicious treats!)
Bake for 15 minutes until toothpick comes out clean.

Here is the finished basket...cellophane and a wicker basket make it look store bought don't you think!!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Best Banana Bread

This is definitely the best banana bread i have ever tasted and everyone who tries it agrees. Even better than its taste is its versatility!!! You can use butter OR oil, white sugar OR brown and you can leave it plain, add chocolate chips, walnuts OR both! Did I mention all you need to make this fabulous bread is a spoon and a bowl..and a loaf pan of course! The following is how I make it, I like the butter method slightly better but honestly the taste is exactly the same!
  • about 4 ripe med size RIPE bananas (more or less according to taste)
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup of sugar (if your bananas are not overly ripe then use 1 full cup sugar)
  • 1/3 cup and 1 tbs melted butter (here is where you can use oil if you prefer!)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup walnuts or 3/4chocolate chips or 1 cup (total) of both
Preheat the oven to 350*F and grease a standard loaf pan. If using butter in the mix grease pan with butter...if you are using oil in mix grease your pan with oil or nonstick spray. Peel bananas and add to a big bowl. Mash them up with a big spoon, or potato masher or whatever you have handy (your hands are OK too). Stir the melted butter into the bananas then mix in sugar, vanilla and egg. Add the baking soda and salt and then add the flour. Mix until blended but be gentle you never want to over mix flour..just mix it all up (don't worry it will be delicious) and pour into your greased pan. (don't even bother smoothing it out in the pan just pile it in) and bake for about 1 hour...set you kitchen timer for 50 minutes and stick a toothpick inside if it comes out moist but the top is looking perfect put a piece of tin foil loosely on top for the rest of its cook time. Voila! Take it out and let it cool in the pan for a few minutes and then on a rack and your whole house (or in my case apartment) will smell like fresh banana bread!

Chocolate PeanutButter Cupcake recipe

These delicious cupcakes are a huge hit! They are soo easy to make and they are always my go-to dessert when i need something sure to please! These may be my boyfriend's favorite cupcakes and when I let him help me frost them i always find that several cupcakes are MIA...aka...eaten!
So yes, this recipe is made with a box cake mix but you can use any chocolate mix you like..I used Betty cuz she knows her stuff! But they are semi home-made since you will be making the frosting yourself!!!
Here is what you need:
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix (your favorite)
  • powdered sugar
  • milk
  • creamy peanut butter (you can use chunky if you like peanuts in your frosting)
All you have to do is bake the cake as directed in cupcake comes out super light and fluffy and airy. Let them cool down in the pan for a few minutes and then on a wire rack. While waiting (and trying not to eat them!!!) make your frosting...Now measurements here are not incredibly important because you cannot in any way mess this up and it depends on how many cupcakes made it to the frosting stage (hopefully you didn't eat too many). Okay, in a medium mixing bowl place about a half cup of peanut butter, half a cup of powdered sugar and a few tablespoons of milk and whisk with an actual whisk (use makes it better I swear!)...whisk until it is the desired want a sticky, gooey glaze-like frosting...if it is too dry/thick just add more milk a teaspoon at a time....if it is too thin add some more powdered sugar...give it a taste...too sweet for your taste? add more peanut I said your CANNOT mess this up I guarantee it!! If you have any left over store it in the fridge it will last a few weeks! And remember a little bit of frosting goes a very long way!!

Turkey Day!

After the ice cream Hot Dog Cake I figured I had reached my peak, I mean what could I possibly make that would be more shocking that a Hot Dog....well how about a Turkey! Thanksgiving was fast approaching and my family asked me to make a cake so... I thought long and hard and my one and only criteria for my cake was that i wanted it to look
STIC!!!! I didn't want just a plain old sheet cake cut in the shape of my hand and frosted brown (although i have seen many very adorable versions of these!!!) but I had to top the Hot Dog! Soo I baked a yellow and caramel cake from the box (I definitely had no time or patients to make a cake from scratch for this project!!) 

and used a combination of pantry staples for the rest. And made some stuffing and molded some turkey drumsticks out of cake. Everything on the platter is edible and it was super delicious! You should have seen the faces when I put this bad boy on the table after eating a ton of REAL TURKEY

Hot Dog Anyone?

You can't live in the New York area without running into a hot dog everywhere you go. Walk down the city streets and there are at least three vendors selling dirty water franks on every corner. Walk past a playground and there ya dogs! Gray's Papaya has about four locations across Manhattan for your massive and sudden hot dog craving needs and forget about a baseball game, there is no way you can sit through a game without a hot dog and a beer or two..or three..or...well, what I am saying is HOT DOGS are everywhere. I do not particularly LOVE hot dogs but my sister Erica has professed her love for the frank! She will eat them at any opportunity, she will even bring her own dogs to a BBQ!
Sooo, it was Erica's Birthday (mid-November so she h
asn't had a mass quantity of hot dogs as compared to summer months) and my mom was making lasagna (yum) which she hates and she said all she wanted was a hot dog....So I made her this Hot Dog Cake!!! I made it out of ice cream since my favorite thing in the world is ice cream...and I think it came out pretty good!