fat bottom

fat bottom

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

yummy fluffy frosting

so... no real story behind this post... just that fact that i was craving the combination of strawberries and chocolate... so i dug into my bag of tricks and pulled these tasty suckers out... i used my favorite of all favorite chocolate cake recipes, and i played on a frosting recipe by dorie greenspan... and the results were fantastic! so, i'm just keeping this post simple, with just some pictures and a recipe... i think the pictures are enough to make you wanna lick the screen... so here you are... enjoy!

ridiculously good chocolate cake:
dry ingredients:
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups a.p. flour
1 1/2 cups cocoa powder (i use 1 cup cocoa powder, and 1/2 cup special dark cocoa powder)
2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 coarse seasalt (i make my own vanilla seasalt, just for that added vanilla kick... i place the seasalt in a mason jar, along with a split vanilla bean and shake it up a bit... after a few days the salt has a subtle vanilla undertone... and it looks pretty all speckled with the vanilla)

wet/fat ingredients:
3 eggs
3/4 cup veg. oil
1 1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
6 ozs. chopped good quality bittersweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups strong brewed hot coffee

1. preheat oven to 325 and prep your cupcake tins with liners
2. chop the bittersweet chocolate, place it in a lrg. glass measuring cup, and pour the hot coffee on top. let sit for about 5 minutes, then stir to make sure it is all melted and smooth
3. sift together all of the dry ingredients in a lrg. mixing bowl
4. in stand mixer on medium, beat the eggs until slightly thickened and lemon colored, 3 minutes
5. add the buttermilk, the veg. oil and the vanilla to the egg and beat until combined
6. slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture, and mix until combined
7. turn mixer down to low, and slowly add in the dry ingredients, scraping down the bowl as necessary, and mix until combined
8. fill cupcake liners 2/3 full and bake 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick come out clean

fluffy marshmallow frosting with a strawberry twist:
1/2 cup of egg whites (about 4 lrg)
1 cup of sugar
3/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla

1. put the egg whites in a clean, dry mixer bowl
2. place the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. bring the mixture to a boil over medium high heat, then cover and boil for 3 minutes
3. uncover and allow the syrup to boil until it reaches 242 degrees on a candy thermometer
4. when the mixture reaches 235 degrees and begin whipping the egg whites on medium until the egg whites form shiny peaks, but if the whites peak before the sugar mixture reaches 242, turn the mixer down to low until the sugar mixture catches up
5. now when temp is reached, turn the mixer to low, carefully pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixer
6. after the syrup is all in, add in the vanilla and mix on medium until it reaches room temp, forming soft billowy peaks
*7. now i folded in some fresh pureed strawberries that i had sweetened slightly with a simple syrup, this made it slightly tart and sweet... yummy!

and for added prettiness, i decided to top them with some dark chocolate curls, and because the frosting was a tad on the tart side, i drizzled a little white chocolate ganache atop some of them... is there anything better then strawberries and chocolate...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

booze and bake!

so... as i said on my last post, i was getting ready to celebrate my hometowns st. patty's day parade, and all the craziness that ensues... and like all the years before, it was good times!

the day starts off with a face paced downhill 1 mile run down the avenue, followed by a parade filled with firemen, horses, floats of all kinds, lots of bagpipes, some new york politicians, cute little irish dancers, and lots of wacky people... and the entire streets are lined with green-clad drunks...
here's some of the many bagpipers...
jacks favorite... firetrucks!
and this guy...

my lucky little guy with his party beads!
usually we start at my moms house, walk the parade route stopping in one of the many bars to get a drink, and then we end at my brothers place where we have a few drinks, then back to moms for a feast of good ol 'irish food... sheppards pie galore, cornbeef and cabbage, lots of potatoes, corn chowder, lots of soda bread... while back at moms, we get down and drity and play a mean game of bingo thanks to nana, and the winners all recieve green prizes... like irish spring soap, a box of green jello, all sorts of green cheesie knick-knacks...

"i love you man..." jack and his cousin brandon, what were these two drinking...
so anyways bake to the cupcakes...
being that it was an irish celebration, i went with a good ol' irish dessert... irish carbomb cupcakes... guiness chocolate cupcakes, filled with a baileys chocolate mousse, topped with a jameson infused buttercream... they were freakin' awesome...
the yummy inside...

cheers everyone!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

a black and white affair

so, i was in the mood to bake, i was originally going to bake some yummy fresh from the oven cinnamon rolls, but alas... i had no buttermilk... so after much procrastination and some suggestions from the hubby (who at first said he'd run to the store for some buttermilk... however, he got sidetracked by his and my sons new obsession... LEGOS!)... i decided to make some vanilla cupcakes with a swirl of vanilla and chocolate buttercreams... i've always wanted to try this swirling method, and i wanted to try it before the st. patricks day parade...

now, i'm not talking about the st. patricks day parade in manhattan or in boston... i'm talking about the crazy st. paddys day parade of staten island, new york... its a day full of fun, food and well... debauchery... think about a 9 by 12 mile wide island, populated with 430,000+ people coming together to celebrate... but the main reason everyone gets together is not the parade, the marching bands, and general merriment... its the fact that the parade route hosts a slew of bars... and it turns into a little mardi gras... half the cops are wasted so, walking with a 16oz. red cup full of fun is somewhat okay...

its my families favorite holiday!!

so, the reason i wanted to try this swirl method is because i am going to be bringing dessert... chocolate guinness cupcakes, filled with a baileys cream center, topped with a jameson infused buttercream that happens to be tri-colored (white, orange and green)... so i needed to practice a little... and heres what i did... all and all, not so bad!!