Monday, January 24, 2011

PeanutButter-licious?

Every year I try to come up with something extra special...extra peanut butter-y, extra delicious, for my husband's birthday. The combination of chocolate and peanut butter are his absolute favorite!!
One night...while I was trying to fall asleep-- ideas of different peanut butter creations floated through my head.  It may sound strange..but sometimes when I can't sleep I have these crazy thoughts of different ways to make sweet treats.. little bubble thoughts..images of different way to put sweet treats together to make taste bud magic..haunt me!!! haha.
I was thinking about my husband's favorite treats... gooey peanut butter cookies, chocolate peanut butter cake or cupcakes... and peanut butter frosting...peanut butter cups..... and then it hit me... what about a brownie cupcake...filled with his favorite peanut butter cookie dough...a little schmear (haha love inventing words) of chocolate ganache...and that insane peanut butter frosting***!!!! Chocolate peanut butter heaven!! 
This is the "semi-homemade" version of the recipe! I made it with my own recipes..but this might speed the process up a bit for ya!
Here's what ya need:
PB cookie dough (they have these in the cake mix section of your grocery store)
PB frosting (I'll attach a great recipe)
1 brownie mix ( your favorite brownies... grab one that has the chocolate glaze to put on top.. I know Ghiradelli has one.)
1 cupcake pan that hold 12 cuppy's

Preheat your oven to about 350 degrees. (less if you are using a dark pan)

Make your peanut butter cookie dough and set in the fridge for about 10 mins.



 Follow the step on your brownie mix, but make sure you go for the fluffy brownie version. I believe you add an extra egg and a little less water.

Next, take your cookie dough out of the fridge and roll into about 1 inch balls. Place them on a cookie sheet and put in freezer for about 5-10 minutes.



Put cupcake liners in your cupcake pan and fill liners with brownie batter just like you would a regular cupcake..I did mine about a little over 1/2 full. Then take your pb dough out of the freezer and place one ball into each cupcake.
Bake these babies at for about 15-20 minutes...don't overcook. They will still be a little gooey..but look like brownies! When they come out of the oven they should look like this.........................
Now get out that packet of chocolate that came with your brownie mix ( or you could make your own ganache..yummy) After the cupcakes have cooled for a few minutes spread a little of that chocolate over them..it should melt on...looking pretty shiny..
(LIKE THIS~)

You are going to want to let this completely cool before you add your peanut butter frosting.I piped my frosting on. Super easy..get a piping bag, cut a little off the end of the bag,then pipe swirl the frosting around.


NOW you might have little cookie dough left over. What I did was make a few extra "mini" cookies..then dipped the edge in melted chocolate and used it as a topper.

COMING SOON (click here)... ganache recipe, pb frosting recipe, favorite brownie recipe, pb cookie recipe.
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Chocolate ganache

I love chocolate ganache. I seriously can't get enough of it. I have found that if I am making a cake or cuppy's that call for chocolate ganache...my scale isn't really that nice to me that week. AND with this cold weather going on here in CT, I haven't really been able to get outside to run as much as I would like to, or as much as I need to. My treadmill has proven to be a tiny bit boring these days. Anyway... here's a couple of recipes for ganache that I like to use!

Chocolate Ganache:
1 cup of heavy cream
12 ounces of good bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons of light corn syrup

In a saucepan heat the cream until right before it's going to boil, then take off heat. Add broken up chocolate and corn syrup and stir. WHALA... you have ganache... you may want to let it cool for a few minutes.. it will be a little runny. Sometimes I just pour it over the cake and let it run.. sometimes I let it cool and then frost my cake with it. IF YOU want more of a frosting consistency..then allow it to cool for a few minutes... then you can whip it with your mixer until it becomes fluffier.

Chocolate Ganache
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate ( you can use morsels, bar..whatever you have sometimes I find the morsels easier to use)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
6 Tbsp butter
In a small saucepan, heat cream and butter until just before it's about to boil
Pour over the chocolate. Let this sit for a couple of minutes then dip your cuppy's or pour over (or frost) your cake. You can also wait until it cools off just a little but more and whip this with your mixer for a "frosting" like consistency.

ENJOY!



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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Vanilla Cake Recipe

For the longest time I have been using this vanilla cake recipe. I thought the vanilla cake from the smitten kitchen's website was the ultimate cake.  It is a "denser" cake. I like to use it on cakes that I am going to be stacking into tiers. AND honestly, I love the texture and taste of it. It's buttery...vanilla-y and moist! 
I decided to look for another vanilla cake recipe to try out, maybe find one that was a little "fluffier". As I took out my cake flour box one day, I noticed a recipe on the back of the box. PERFECT timing! I tried it out...and I think it's MAGICAL! It's light, moist, and yes a little denser than any cake you will get out of a box!  It has a great flavor to it.  Try it out..see what you think... and post right here & let me know!



Vanilla Cake (adapted from king arthur)
Here's what ya need:
2 3/4 cups of cake flour ( I prefer king arthur)
1 2/3 cups of sugar
1 tblsp of baking powder
3/4 cup of unsalted butter (softened)
4 large egg whites plus 1 large egg
1 cup of whole milk
1 tablespoon of madagascar bourbon vanilla

Mix flour, sugar, baking powder in the mixer to blend.  Add the butter and mix into a paste. Add the egg whites, then the entire egg. Scrape down sides and the bottom of the bowl in between.
In a separate bowl mix the milk with the vanilla . Add the milk mixture 1/3 at a time to the egg mixture. Make sure you scrape down the sides after each addition.. Mix one to two minutes until batter is light and fluffy.

Recipe makes two 8" or 9" inch cakes. (I used 8 inch pans) You could also use this recipe to make 24 cupcakes.

Bake the cake in a greased pan on 350 for about 25-30 minutes (it took mine 30 minutes).
Cupcakes...20 minutes.

I frosted this cake with homemade chocolate frosting, then drizzled semi-sweet chocolate ganache over it. Just to add a little special touch--- I decorated it with a white chocolate heart!
Delicious, moist, light, vanilla...oh so good that you will definitely ask for a second slice.
My new favorite Vanilla cake!!!




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Saturday, January 8, 2011

13th Birthday 3-tier vanilla cake


Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream! Fondant Bow and embellishments...for the zebra print and the 13..and of course a little sparkle!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

december grooms cake & wedding cake




 
New Years Eve Wedding Cake:
 vanilla & chocolate cake layers with raspberry white chocolate buttercream filling, buttercream frosting and fondant coating. 



 Grooms Cake:
rich chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream, 
fondant coating on the baseball hat.


Congrats Ryan & Kate!!!
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