fat bottom

fat bottom

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

what i do when i'm bored...

so... i got a little bored the other day... and usually when i'm bored, and the boys are both napping, i do some online shopping, sit down with a latte and watch a grown-up movie, or i bake... so wanting to do something constructive (well i could have tackled some laundry...) i decided to go ahead and get my creative juices flowing and make something scrumptious...

i've been searching and searching for a long time for a awesome vanilla cake recipe, and like most of you out there, we have our fail-safe recipe, but we're still itching for one better... through my reading and searching of other fellow bloggers i came across this vanilla cake recipe from "lovin' from the oven" that peaked my interest... so... i pulled out my apron, tweaked the recipe to my liking and got to baking...
the results were quite pleasing... a yummy moist vanilla cake that surprisingly tastes like that of box cake... it also kinda reminds me of cake batter ice cream from coldstone... i decided to top 'em with a salt caramel vanilla bean cream cheese frosting, drizzled with a little more salt caramel and a sprinkling of toffee bits... all and all... orgasmic... the combination of all the flavors... major drooolage! definatly a keeper and will be making these lip smackers again soon!
vanilla cake recipe:
recipe yields 12-15 cupcakes
dry ingredients:
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
wet/fat ingredients:
8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
2 XL egg whites
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/8 cup plain nonfat yogurt
1. preheat oven to 325°F and prep cupcake tins with paper liners
2. sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
3. in mixer, beat together melted butter and sugar until combined, then add egg whites and beat until mixture is smooth and light, and then stir in vanilla extract.
4. add flour mixture in two additions, alternating with the yogurt.
5. bake for 25 minutes, until cupcakes are barely golden on top, remove from oven, let cool in tins for 10 minutes, then cool on wire rack.

Salt caramel vanilla bean cream cheese frosting:
8 ozs. cream cheese softened
half of a vanilla bean, split

1/2 cup of homemade salt caramel
1-2 tbsp of heavy cream depending on how you want the consistency
2-3 cups depending on desired sweetness


1. place softened cream cheese in mixer fitted with paddle attachment, and cream
2. add in the vanilla bean seed and salt caramel, and blend in fully (dont you just love the vanilla bean specks!)
3. slowly add in your confectioners sugar, and if the frosting seems to thick, add heavy cream a little at a time
4. make sure to scrape down the sides of the mixer so everything is fully incorporated, frost and stuff your face!

jack sure did enjoy these ones...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

macarons part 2

so this weekend my brother and my sister in-law decided to come on down and visit us, and yay! for them it was such a gorgeous weekend... sunny, warm and wonderful... now a few years back my sister in-law lived in paris, and she was lucky enough to be surrounded by some really awesome sweet treats, one of which was the macaron... so the last time we got together i promised to make some of these little sweeties for her the next time they came and visited... so i did, cause it doesn't take much convincing for me to bake something... and i've kinda been itching to bake these again for a while... so here they are... i followed the same recipe for the meringue shells as i did last time but i went with a dark chocolate buttercream... and they were fantastic... and not to brag but, i'm pretty happy with myself having such success again with these... only my second time and they look pretty darn good... still have to work on getting them into a uniform little buttons, but so far i'm happy with the outcomes! next time i'm gonna get a little more daring and try these suckers out...

Monday, April 20, 2009

sweet strawberry pie... oh my!

you know whats great about this time of year, besides the fact that the weather is getting warmer... well, it's the abundance of fresh delicious fruit and veggies! and lucky for me, there are tons of little farmers markets for me to take advantage of down here in cape may...

on saturday (which was an absolutely GORGEOUS day) me and the hubs went to a local garden center/farmers market where we bought some awesome plants for our garden and of course, some fresh veggies and fruit... some of which were ripe, bright red strawberries... ahh... the possibilities...

so, because my hubs is a pie man, i decided to make a fresh strawberry pie... perfect for this gorgeous warm weather... go ahead and serve yourself up a slice of this with some cool lemonade, or if your like me, a nice cold glass of white wine... whooo hooo...
sweet and buttery pie dough:
1 cup ice cold water

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup (2 sticks) of very cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
1. combine the flour, sugar and salt
2. sprinkle the butter cubes over the flour and begin cutting them in with the pastry blender, until all of the butter is incorporated, forming pieces that are approximately the size of peas
3. slowly add 1/2 cup of the ice-cold water over the butter and flour mixture. using a rubber spatula, gather the dough together, and continue to add about 1/4 cup more of the water a tablespoon as a time.
4. once large clumps start pulling together, begin working it with your hands, bringing it together into one ball
5. divide the dough in half, wrap in plastic wrap tightly, and squish into a disk, and then chill in the fridge for atleast 1 hour

sweet strawberry filling:
8 cups of fresh strawberries, cut
2/3 cup water
2/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1. in a food processor, combine 1 cup of the strawberries, plus the water
2. in a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, cornstarch and the strawberry/water mixture, cook and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly, remove from heat and cool about 10 minutes
3. spread about 1/4 cup of the glaze on the bottom of the pie crust, then layer with strawberries (continue this process 2 more times)
4. cover with remaining pie crust, egg wash and sprinkle with sugar and bake at 375 for 25 minutes

it really was delicious, even better the next day after it was chilled in the fridge...

some more easter treats

so... here are some more easter goodies... i figured what better way to honor the easter bunny than to make some yummy carrot cupcakes... i know, a real mind-blower huh... like nobody has ever made that connection before...

anyways... i went with this pumpkin cake recipe that is ridiculously good, and i added some shredded carrot and added more spice... all together a great cupcake was born... super moist and super delicious! and the vanilla bean creamcheese frosting was so creamy and smooth... i'm sad i only got to eat one... boo hoo, huh...

pumpkin carrot cake recipe:
recipe yields 12 cupcakes

dry ingredients:
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
wet ingredients:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 eggs at room temp
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
8 ozs. pumpkin puree
1-2 cup shredded carrots

1. preheat oven to 350 and prepare cupcake tins
2. melt and brown the butter, set aside to cool
3. in a medium bowl, sift together all dry ingredients
4. beat the eggs lightly and gradually beat in the sugars and cooled
5. gently fold in the dry ingredients, dont overmix
6. whisk in the pumpkin and the carrots
7. bake about 17-20 minutes and cool completely

here are some topped with some toasted coconut... i had to take everyones word for it that these cupcakes tasted awesome, because unfortunately i am allergic to coconut... i know, i know, sucks to be me... don't let me get started on my food allergies... no watermelon, kiwi, cantaloupe, mango... the list goes on... and with summer coming too (insert my whiny face)

and here's some with just some simple multi-colored sprinkles... cause if you suffer from the debilitating illness of a coconut allergy you have to enjoy something else... food allergies and baking just don't mix!

i love the vanilla bean specks in the frosting...

and here's the easter bunny and my little guy... too funny

happy birthday lia!

so it was my pleasure to bake a yummy confection for my lovely sister in law lia... and luckily for me, lia loves peanutbutter...but come on now, who doesn't!

so i decided to go with a cake that i had seen on one of my favorite food blogs in the world, smitten kitchen... if you haven't done so already check it out! anyways, she had made a cake found in the book "sky high cakes"... a delicious chocolate layer cake, topped and filled with a creamy peanutbutter creamcheese frosting, and a smooth layer of dark chocolate ganache... by the way, her pictures are much yummier than mine...
(my cake didn't travel very well from cape may to staten island, PLUS when i put the ganache on, my cake was too cold from being in the fridge, that it didnt spread so smoothly)... but who cares when a cake tastes so good!

however, rather than following her recipe, i decided to go with my favorite chocolate cake recipe, if you haven't noticed, i use it alot... cause it never lets me down! but here are her recipes for the frosting and the ganache... so freakin' good!!
for the peanutbutter cream cheese frosting:
10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2/3 cup smooth peanut butter, preferably a commercial brand (because oil doesn’t separate out)
1. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar 1 cup at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl often. Continue to beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes.
2. Add the peanut butter and beat until thoroughly blended.
chocolate-peanutbutter ganache:
8 ounces seimsweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 cup half-and-half
1. In the top of d double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine the chocolate, peanut butter, and corn syrup. Cook, whisking often, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth.
2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the half-and-half, beating until smooth. Use while still warm.

the wonderful birthday girl!

here's my sister meghan, who looooves her cake... you wouldnt know it by looking at her, but when she was a baby, her nickname was "chubbles"... she was such a little porker... covered in adorable fat rolls...

if loving this cake is wrong, i don't ever wanna be right...

happy birthday lia!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

easter cupcakes for the coasties

so, today was a little easter party held for all the coastie kiddies... there were games, 2 bounce houses, an easter egg hunt, crafts, lots of goodies, and a kinda creepy looking "mr. bunny"... the thing was that my hubby didn't tell me until 4o'clock yesterday that we were supposed to bring goodies to share with everyone, you know like cookies, brownies and such... he always waits till the last moment to tell me things... typical man... but no matter, i love to break out the supplies and bake my pa-tootie off in the kitchen... so heres some pictures of the yummies...

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

what a way to greet the morning!

so... unless you're a complete nutter, there is something absolutely unbelievable about ooey gooey fresh from the oven cinnamon rolls! and i always seem to have a hankering for them, which is a big uh-oh especially now that i'm getting back in shape... (no more baby-belly and swimsuit season is just 'round the corner, whooo0 hooo0!) so i thought about it for a while, whether or not to make them, and well... the devil on my shoulder won...

so to make up a little bit for my lack of willpower, i decided to prolong the inevitable by making alton brown's overnight cinnamon rolls... but this didn't curb my desire to gorge myself, it made it worse!! having to count down the hours until they would be ready was torture! but in the end.... so worth it!

they were so0o0o0o0 good... not to dense, not to cakey... just perfect!

the one thing i altered in the recipe is the cinnamon filling... i added 1/2 tsp. of ground ginger, 1 tsp. of fresh ground nutmeg... and for added fattiness i chopped some dark chocolate (about 2 ozs.) really fine and added that too... it was subtle, but the and spicy-chocolate combo was AWESOME...

i used my cream cheese frosting recipe from my red velvet cupcake recipe, but just halved it... i love frosting, but i didn't want to overload the rolls, and lose all that yummy flavor...

i could not wait to dig into these... i really didnt even have patience to set them up to take some pictures!