Vanilla Cupcakes with Rich Chocolate Frosting

I’m so glad its spring! You know what reminds me of spring? Cupcakes. I don’t know why but they feel very spring-like to me. Cupcakes are fun. Today, I made these cupcakes with my friend. We made them for a birthday celebration! My friend and I think that the cupcake and frosting go well together. The cake is buttery and the frosting is rich. They are delicious! Here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups self rising flour
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:

1
Preheat oven to 350°.
2
Grease and lightly flour three 9 inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
3
In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth.
4
Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
5
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6
Combine the flours and add in four parts, alternating with the milk and the vanilla extract, beating well after each addition.
7
Divide batter among the cake pans.
8
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean.
9
Let cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes.
10
Remove from pans and cool completely on wire rack.
11
If you’re making cupcakes, line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
12
Spoon the batter into the cups about three-quarters full.
13
Bake until the tops spring back when lightly touched, about 20 to 22 minutes.
14
Remove cupcakes from pans and cool completely on a rack before icing.

Icing ingredients:

3/4 cups of cocoa
4 cups of powdered sugar (I use 2 1/2 cups)
1/2 cup of butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Directions:

Mix cocoa and sugar together first; add remaining ingredients. Stir until smooth.

Read more at: http://www.food.com/recipe/magnolia-bakerys-vanilla-birthday-cake-and-frosting-139518?oc=linkback and http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,166,145171-234207,00.html

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I really recommend these! They are great!

Mug Cakes

I got this idea from Mrs. DeYarmond, her blog is http://weightandmeasures.wordpress.com/. She does some very nice looking mug cakes and I thought I would give it a try. They were a success and I really recommend them. Unfortunately I will not be bringing in any nice snacks for my class tomorrow but at least I can post this. This is quick and easy! I love it! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

1 coffee Mug
4 tablespoons flour(that’s plain flour, not self-rising)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional) some nuts (optional)
Small splash of vanilla
How to make it

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well .
Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.
EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to share!)
And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?
Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake any time of the day or night

Thank you to: http://www.grouprecipes.com/73892/5-minute-chocolate-mug-cake.html, for the recipe.

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Lemon Tart

So I’m a big fan of lemon. I previously made lemon bars and this recipe reminded me of them. I really liked this recipe and so did my class. If I were to suggest anything it would probably a little more butter in the crust, but that’s just me. Thanks to: http://www.photographybyme44.wordpress.com and, http://allrecipes.com/recipe/down-under-lemon-tart/. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

Original recipe makes 1 9- or 10-inch tart

Sweet Pastry:
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
7/8 cup butter
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons cold water

Filling:
4 eggs
3/4 cup superfine sugar (or granulated sugar, processed to fine texture in a food processor)
2 tablespoons minced lemon zest
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup cream

Directions

Place flour, butter, and confectioners’ sugar in food processor; process until mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add egg yolk and 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water, and process until mixture forms a dough. Mold dough into 2 flat shapes, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for 20 minutes.
Roll out pastry to 1/8 inch thick (3mm), and line a 9- or 10-inch (24 cm) tart pan. Patch any cracks with extra dough and chill the crust in the freezer for 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Line pastry with foil, fill the foil with a little raw rice, and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil and rice, and continue baking until pastry is a light golden color.
In a mixing bowl, mix together eggs, superfine sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cream. Do not over beat. Pour the mixture through a strainer. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet, and carefully pour the lemon mixture into the baked pastry crust.
Bake until the tart is nearly set, about 20 minutes. The filling will be runny in the center, and will set when cool; don’t over cook, or cracks will appear. Cool and serve.

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Eastery Meringues

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. This is probably because I get to see lots family but also because I’m fond of all the sweets. I wanted to make something that is in the spirit of Easter. So I did some research and found a meringue recipe online. It is a family style recipe but I think it is a good one. Most of my family thinks that they are a bit sweet but I think they are fine the way they are. Happy (almost) Easter

Choose any colors you like, but use food coloring sparingly. One drop at a time.

To make: 50 minutes
To bake: 30-35 minutes (+ 45 minutes cooling in oven)

You Will Need:
3 egg whites (medium)
3/4 cups superfine sugar
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Food coloring — red, green, yellow. Use a toothpick to add one drop at a time.

Makes 30 meringues. Bake at 250˚

Separate the eggs. Crack the eggs over a large bowl and separate the whites from the yolks. You only need the whites.
Whisk the whites. Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Be careful not to overbeat, since they will start to look lumpy — a little like cotton balls.
Whisking egg whites is easiest using an electric mixer, but try it with a hand whisk.
Add the sugar. Add 1 tsp of sugar to the egg whites; whisk. Pour in a second and continue whisking. Add remaining sugar, while whisking to stiff peaks.
Add lemon juice. Whisk in the cornstarch and lemon juice until just combined. The meringue should look smooth and glossy.
Add a little color. Divide the meringue into 3 bowls and color each one with a couple of drops of food coloring. Fold the color in using a spatula.
Make meringue swirls. Spoon the meringue into a piping bag and squeeze to make swirls onto 2 cookie sheets lined with parchment. Make each one about 1 inch across. Now bake in the oven.
Bake the meringues for 30-35 minutes, until firm on the outside. Turn off the oven and leave them for a further 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.

Piping tips: To fill the piping bag stand it in a tall glass and fold the edges down over the rim. For the swirls use a 1/2 inch tip.

Serving suggestions: When the meringues are cool, sandwich them together with whipped cream or softened vanilla ice cream.

I chose to make some whipped cream also so that I could sandwich them with it.

Ingredients

1 cup of whipping cream
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions

In a large bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks are just about to form. Beat in vanilla and sugar until peaks form. Make sure not to over-beat, cream will then become lumpy and butter-like.

Thanks to: http://family.go.com/food/recipe-ak-800799-multicolored-meringues-t/, and http://allrecipes.com/recipe/whipped-cream/
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Chocolate Melting Moments

Today I brought my class Chocolate Melting Moments. I got the recipe from a book that I received for my birthday. The book is called The Vintage Tea Party book, by Angel Adoree. The recipe is on page 153. I can not post the actual recipe today because it is not mine, however I found a similar recipe with the same name online, which can be found here. I really recommend this book though, it’s got lots of cool recipes.

Here is some feedback I got:

Cookie part needs more butter
Maybe bigger
A bit grainy
Weren’t too sweet
Loved the smell

The reason less grainy is on the list, is because it was an English recipe. The recipe says corn flour but in America that is cornstarch. I did get the finely ground corn meal, but it was still a little grainy.

However, I think this was a great recipe and I will be making these again. So I really recommend the book!

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Swedish Pancakes

Today I made Swedish pancakes. The recipe I used was from a friend of my mom’s who has Swedish background in her family. I put chocolate chips in my pancakes. I found a recipe online that is similar to the one I used:

Ingredients
8 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 – 1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Confectioners’ sugar, maple syrup and fresh fruit, for garnish

Directions
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet. Combine the flour, milk, sugar, eggs, melted butter, vanilla and salt in a blender; process until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Warm the same skillet over medium heat until a drop of water bounces and sizzles. Add 1 teaspoon butter; turn to coat the pan with the melted butter. Pour in a scant 1/3 cup batter and quickly swirl the pan to evenly coat the bottom. Cook until the pancake sets, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, carefully lift the pancake by the edges and flip; cook until lightly golden on the other side, 15 to 30 seconds. Transfer to a plate; keep warm in the oven while making the others. Repeat with the remaining butter and batter to make about 12 pancakes. If the pancakes seem too thick, thin the batter slightly with warm water. Fold or roll and serve with confectioners’ sugar, syrup and fresh fruit.

Thanks to, http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/swedish-pancakes-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

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