Tag Archives: cakes

Valentine Cake Pops

This morning I had to make some mini chocolate cupcakes for an event.  I had a few dozen left over, that I usually leave un-iced for a lunch box treat.

On a whim, I thought, what if I use my left over minis and give Cake Pops a whirl?

I have really good whims sometimes…..

Cake Pops are the infamous creation of Bakerella.  She’s had an amazing year and has captured the world over with her Cake Pop creations.

I gotta say, she’s a pretty smart lady, cause these taste really good and look awesome.

These were fun and so incredibly easy.  And, they fit right in with my promise of Valentine’s Day posts for the next few weeks.

Wouldn’t these be great at a class party?  A girl’s night out?  Wrapped up with a sweet saying and some ribbon?

Lovely.

The um, unfortunate part is that I can’t actually give you a recipe.  I can only tell you what I did.

I took about 12 left over cooled mini chocolate cupcakes and crumbled them up in a bowl.  Then I used approximately 3 tablespoons of left over chocolate icing and mixed that all together until I had a nice dough ball.  I rolled them up and put them on parchment and in the fridge for about 15 minutes to firm up a bit.

Next, I melted some chocolate and dipped my candy sticks into it and then into the cake ball.  I left them in the fridge for a good hour to get nice and firm.

See?

I used Candy Melts to dip my cake balls when they were firm.  Keep some in the fridge while you are working so they are nice and cold when you need them.

Decorate with sprinkles, sparkles, jimmies, coloured Candy Melts, whatever you have on hand!  I found these super cute printables from Mommy By Day…Crafter By Night  and attached them to my candy sticks.

If you want a full recipe, that will yield 48 or more…look here.

I hope you give these a whirl when you have left over cake!

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Ina’s Classic Coconut Cake

To say that I”m a chocolate cake fanatic is an extreme understatement.  For some reason, I’m just drawn to rich dark desserts that ooze with chocolate and the like.  Vanilla just isn’t my thing.   I’m not sure why, I love the smell and I do like the taste (really, of any dessert), but if I had my druthers I would bake something chocolatey.

Not so today, I just got it in my head that I needed a bright and cheery dessert for a New Years Day dinner at my sister in-laws.   And I had coconut on the brain.  Now, I’m not a huge coconut fan, unless they are in these snacking favourites, but I just needed to make something…well…different.  So the search began for a fantastic Coconut Cake, something coconutty but not too sweet.  A look through some of my favourite cookbooks and I quickly settled on Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

I made just a small 6 inch version as a test batch and then an 8 inch contour version for the dinner.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.  I must say that it’s pretty darn good and will be on my ‘make again’ list.  This is a fairly dense cake and the icing compliments it so well.  I do love a good cream cheese icing every now and then.

I needed to glam it up a bit with the pineapple flower.  These are so easy to make and look stunning on desserts.

It doesn’t take long before the cake is gone… and oddly enough, there are only two of us in the house at the moment, the baker and the photographer.  You know what that means…we had cake for lunch!

Thank you for all of your support in 2011.  I can’t say how much your comments and feedback mean to me.  I have so enjoyed this year of blogging and meeting new blogging and baker friends alike.  I get my inspiration from so many of you!  We sure have whipped up some sweet things on this journey.  Lets see what 2012 has to bring!

Renee

Coconut Cake

*recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Coconut Cake Recipe

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 4 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
  • 1 pound confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces sweetened shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 2 (9-inch) round cake pans, then line them parchment paper.

1.   In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.   Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light yellow and fluffy. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs 1 at a time, scraping down the bowl once during mixing. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and mix well.

2.  With the mixer on low speed, alternately add the dry ingredients and the buttermilk to the batter in 3 parts, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Fold in the 4 ounces of coconut with a rubber spatula.

3.  Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and smooth the top with a knife. Bake in the center of the oven for appox 4o minutes,  until the tops are browned and a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a baking rack for 10 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto a baking rack to finish cooling.

4.  For the frosting, in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and almond extract on low speed. Add the confectioners’ sugar and mix until just smooth (don’t whip!).

5.  To assemble, place 1 layer on a flat serving plate, top side down, and spread with frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and frost the top and sides. To decorate the cake, sprinkle the top with coconut and lightly press more coconut onto the sides. Serve at room temperature.

Garnish with a pineapple flower.

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Mini Dark Chocolate Pound Cakes

I’m pretty sure if you’ve been following my blog you’ve noticed that I kinda have a thing for rich dark chocolate desserts.  Decadent, rich, chocolate desserts of any kind.

Remember thesethese and oh the memories…. this?

Well today I made these….

Just a little treat for my mom who is celebrating her birthday today.  I could bake till the cows come home and that would still not be present enough for my mom, but a yummy Dark Chocolate Pound Cake with Chocolate Ganache drizzle and a Vanilla Peppermint Glaze sure is a start!

She is a great listener, cheer leader, doctor, counsellor…..

She is a ‘warm cookies just out of the oven’ kind of person.

She is a ‘take less so someone can have more’ kind of person.

She is a ‘buy 20 chocolate easter bunnies, even for the grown-ups, because  they are still her children’, kind of person.

Well she sure gave me an appreciation of all things sweet in the kitchen.  And all things sweet about being a good mom.  And all things sweet about living a good life.  Well done mom, sit back and relax.

Have a piece of cake.

Dark Chocolate Pound Cake

*adapted from Jacques Torres’ A Year In Chocolate

*double this recipe to use in a large bundt pan

  • 5 large egg yolks, room temp
  • 3 whole eggs, room temp
  • 1 1/4 cups cake flour, sifted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 350°

Lightly grease 5 mini bundt pans

1.  In a small bowl whisk together all of the eggs and yolks until combined.  Set aside.  In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa and baking powder.  Set aside.

2.  In the bowl of a stand mixer cream the butter, sugar and sugar until very pale and increased in volume (this can take up to 10 minutes!).  Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and beat into mixture.

3.  Reduce mixer speed to med-low and add 1/3 of the eggs then 1/3 of the flour mixture.  Continue alternating the eggs and flour ending with the flour.  Beat the batter until smooth.

4.  Scrape the batter into prepared pans and bake for approx 20 minutes.  Be sure to check regularly after 16 minutes so cakes aren’t dry.  Invert cakes on wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1/2 cup quality Belgian bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

1.  Combine the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Heat the cream through gently just until it starts to bubble and pour over the chocolate. Let the mixture sit for about 3 minutes.   Stir slowly until the chocolate melts and the ganache becomes smooth and glossy.  Drizzle over cooled cakes.

Peppermint Glaze

  • 3/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp unsalted butter softened
  • few drops of peppermint oil
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp milk

1.  Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.  Spoon on top of chocolate ganache.

*Garnish with crushed candy canes.

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Dark Chocolate Beetroot Cake with Sugared Cranberries

I am not a huge beet fan.

This week I asked a lady I work with whether she ate beets.  She rattled off a few ways that she likes to cook them and  proclaimed that she loved them.  The only thing that kept circling through my tiny brain was “Ewwwwww….”

But this week-end beets and I have had a new beginning.   A re-awakening!  A moist, chocolatey, gloriously decadent new beginning.  Are you with me??

I simply could not get over how amazing this cake tasted.  I was pretty skeptical last night as I was boiling the beets in preparation for this morning.  I mean, how can a cake that tastes this awesome be chalk full of antioxidants and nutrients?   And, not even a hint that there are beets in here.  Just a deep chocolatey, moist, earthy cake.   If I didn’t have beet stained fingertips, no one would believe me.

A simple ganache and some sugared cranberries is all that is needed for garnish.  Even a slight dusting of powdered sugar would do.  It’s so elegant and so simple.  Very impressive.  I’m not kidding.  Put beets on your grocery list.  You will not be disappointed!

I think my husband did a wonderful job on these photos.  I stood there watching with my finger in the ganache bowl.  Afterwards, we shared this piece.  We’re a good team.  A good food blogging, photo taking, cake eating team.

Dark Chocolate Beetroot Cake

*recipe adapted from Always Order Dessert

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons extra dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
3/4 cup + 1/4 cup butter, softened and divided
1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup quality Belgian semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups beet puree (about 6-7 small-medium beets roasted, peeled, and processed until smooth)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon instant espresso powder

For the ganache:
1 cup quality Belgian bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup heavy cream

Grease and flour your bundt pan.

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt and sift until evenly distributed. Set aside.

2. Cream 3/4 cup butter and the sugar in a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Add the eggs in one at a time and beat until well incorporated.

3. Combine the chocolate with the remaining butter and microwave 20 seconds at a time, stirring each time, until melted. Stir in espresso powder and set aside.

4.  Add the vanilla extract to the eggs, followed by the chocolate, and the beet puree and mix until well combined.

5.  Add the flour mixture to the beet mixture and mix just until completely and evenly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared bundt pan and bake at 375 degrees F for about 50 minutes or until a tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting on a wire rack.

6. While the cake is cooling, make the ganache by combining the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl. Heat the cream through gently just until it starts to bubble and pour over the chocolate. Stir slowly until the chocolate melts and the ganache becomes smooth and glossy.

7. Pour the ganache over the cooled cake and let set 15-20 minutes before serving.

Garnish with sugared cranberries.

Note:  If you taste the cake while warm you will taste the beets.  Strange, I know, but if you wait until the cake is completely cool, you will taste nothing but rich chocolate!

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Apple Spice Cupcakes with Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Well fall is definitely upon us!  I was at the market this morning and was instantly drawn to crates and crates of local apples.  This is one of my favourite seasons to be baking, and apples are by far one of my favourite fruits!

I also bought a huge jar of homemade apple butter and decided to use it to flavour the icing.   Anyone who has been following SweetRevelations knows how much I adore my yummy Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing!

The cakes were really good.  I love any cinnamon/nutmeg/allspice combo.  And the icing was pretty yummy too!  Great apple flavour that screams fall and Thanksgiving dinners.  I thought the cakes were so good that I left some un-iced (the horror!) and packed them in the freezer for lunch treats.

The Pastry Case is where I found this yummy recipe and I have no doubt that the cakes would taste awesome with the Salted Caramel Italian Meringue Buttercream that she has on her site.  Or, you could make the Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream that I made here (delish).

Apple Spice Cupcakes

from The Pastry Case

yield: 30 cupcakes

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light molasses
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 3 tart baking apples, peeled and shredded (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tins with paper liners.

1.  Using a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula then beat in the molasses. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds between each addition.

2.  In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ground spices to blend.

3.  Add the flour mixture and sour cream alternately to the batter, starting and ending with the flour mixture. After each addition, beat on low-speed just to combine the ingredients. Stir in the shredded apples and vanilla.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup of apple butter or more to taste

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and apple butter and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

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Milk Dud Cupcakes

Remember this?

I posted these back in August with the promise of a recipe!  I have received a few e-mails wondering where that recipe might be….sorry I keep forgetting!

Have you ever had a Milk Dud?  Chewy, stick in your teeth caramel covered in milk chocolate.  One of my favourite combinations (one of my dentists favs too I’m sure…)  I’m eating some as I type as a matter of fact.  It’s really the icing (again) that is the star here.  Take some smooth and creamy Swiss Meringue Buttercream, my absolute favourite, and beat in some homemade Salted Caramel Sauce.  Screaming your name yet??

Honestly, I could’ve bathed in this icing it’s that yummy.  Don’t judge me, it really is that good.

I really apologize for the lack of photo’s but these literally went like hotcakes and I didn’t have a chance to take any extra’s.

I was left with one giant box of Milk Duds that I have been hiding in the back of the pantry for a month.  I have a teenager who is more obsessed with chocolate than me (if that’s possible) and often my goodies just “disappear.”

Since the caramel really is the star here, I will be posting the recipe for the icing only.  My advice is to use your best rich chocolate cake recipe.

Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream

*adapted from Sweetapolita

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup heavy cream

pinch of sea salt

2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature

5 large egg whites

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

pinch of salt

Making Salted Caramel Sauce:

*make this first to set aside to cool while you make the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

1. Place  1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons of the sugar and the
water in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Stop stirring and cook until caramel is amber, gently swirling the pan from time to time. Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, whisking by hand until smooth. It
will be splatter, so be careful. Whisk in sea salt. Let cool.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with two inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the rest of the sugar just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes!).

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt and salted caramel sauce (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

Garnish with a Milk Dud

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Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes with Rum and Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Phew!  That is a mouthful!  But worth every last syllable I guarantee you.

This is actually a recipe for a bundt cake that I found a few years ago.  And I have made it as a bundt cake with some Rum Syrup brushed on top many times and it is fantastic!  Today we are going to a BBQ so I opted to make these as cupcakes and add my favourite Swiss Meringue Buttercream, using the Rum Syrup as flavouring.

I love fall baking.  I know that it’s still technically summer, but markets are starting to display beautiful little pie pumpkins just shouting my name.  Who doesn’t love a good pumpkin dessert (my mom makes the best pumpkin pie hands down).  I roasted a few pumpkins the other day to use for this recipe and froze the rest for later use.

Pumpkin Pecan Cupcakes

  • 3/4 chopped pecans
  •  1-2/3 cups packed brown sugar
  •  1/4 cup softened butter
  •  3 eggs , room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  •  2 cups roasted pumpkin purée
  •  2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  •  2 tsp baking powder
  •  1-3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  •  1 tsp baking soda
  •  1 tsp ground ginger
  •  3/4 tsp salt
  •  1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  •  1/4 tsp ground allspice

 

Syrup

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum

Line 2 muffin tins with liners or grease and flour a  10″ bundt pan.

1.  On baking sheet, toast pecans in 350°F (180°C) oven until fragrant, about 8 minutes; let cool.

2.  In small bowl, stir pecans with 2 tbsp of the brown sugar and sprinkle over the bottom of each cupcake liner (about 1/2 tsp).  Or, if using a bundt pan sprinkle around the bottom of greased and floured 10″ pan.

3.  In large bowl, beat remaining sugar with butter and beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in oil until fluffy. Beat in pumpkin until
smooth.

4.  In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, ginger, salt, nutmeg and allspice; stir into egg mixture, just until mixed.   Fill liners or pan.

5.  Bake in 350°F oven until cake tester inserted in centre comes out clean, about 24 minutes for cupcakes and 50 minutes for bundt cake.   I removed cupcakes immediately to a rack to cool.  Let bundt cool on rack for 10 minutes then remove from pan and transfer to rack.

Syrup: In small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.   Stir in sugar and 3 tbsp water.  Boil until dissolved and thickened,
about 3 minutes. Stir in rum and boil for 1 minute. Brush over cakes.  * I brushed some syrup on top of the cupcakes as they were cooling and used the rest in my buttercream.

Rum and Brown Sugar Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites

pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups brown sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup rum syrup (above)

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add vanilla flavouring and rum syrup (to taste) and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

Garnish with toasted pecans.

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Garden Party Cupcakes

Today I met up with some girls from work for lunch.  In just a few weeks summer will be over and we’ll be back to our jobs at school!  I offered to bring dessert (of course) and as if my co workers haven’t had enough of my cupcakes, I brought some!

Pretty ones this time (well, I think they’re all pretty…).  Perfect for a garden party!  Treats for a nice bunch of ladies who deserve a bouquet of summer flowers every now and then.

I think these would be welcome at any gathering.  How about a rose or two?

Do you have a picture of cupcakes fit for a garden party?  I would love to see it!

I must say that as good as they looked, they tasted even better.  Blueberry Cakes with Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream frosting.    A very moist cake, bursting with fresh local blueberries and a tangy, creamy frosting.  I am a die-hard fan of Swiss Meringue Buttercream.   I rarely make any other kind of frosting.  Nothing compares to the creamy, light texture and sweet taste.  It’s what takes cake to a gourmet level!

Blueberry Cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups vanilla sugar, regular white sugar is fine too

4 eggs, room temperature

2 tbsp lemon juice

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries

Heat oven to 350° and line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

1.   In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and well combined (2-3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg until well incorporated.  Beat in lemon juice.  Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at a time and alternate with the milk and vanilla.   Mix the last addition of flour until the ingredients are well incorporated but do not over mix!  Gently fold in blueberries.

3.  Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

from Martha Stewart

5  large egg whites

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar

4 sticks unsalted butter, very soft

1 1/2 tsp lemon extract

1.  Fill a saucepan (large enough to fit your mixing bowl just a few inches) with a few inches of water.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer.

2.  In your stand mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites, sugar and salt just until combined.  Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 140 degrees).  The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well.  Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment.  Whisk on medium until whites have increased in volume and the outside of the bowl is just slightly warm to the touch.

3.  Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment.  Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled.  Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces one at a time.  Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick.  It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify.  Add lemon extract and beat until combined.  Use immediately.

I use a 1M Wilton tip for icing swirls.

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Eat, Drink And Be….Showered!

A few weeks ago I went to my friends wedding shower.  Beautifully done!  No games, open house style with yummy food and pretty decorations.  Everyone got to spend a few minutes alone with the bride-to-be.  Of course I eyed up the dessert table which looked so000 pretty with different flavours of fancy cupcakes (and you can bet I ate every kind).   And, as we were leaving we were given these cute little thank you boxes filled with mint smoothies….mine didn’t even make it out of the parking lot!  Yum!  What a nice day.  Blessings to you my friend.

My Vanilla Cupcakes with buttercream frosting and white chocolate (coloured of course!) hearts.

Mmmm buttercream frosting again with fresh fruit.  Perfect for a summer BBQ!

Vanilla Cupcakes

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups vanilla sugar, regular white sugar is fine too

4 eggs, room temperature

2 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350° and line 2 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

1.   In a small bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Set aside.

2.  In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy and well combined (2-3 minutes).  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating each egg until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients 1 cup at at time and alternate with the milk and vanilla.   Mix the last addition of flour until the ingredients are well incorporated but do not over mix!

3.  Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pans for 10 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool completely before icing.

And now I must seriously go and eat some fruit….and not some on top of a cupcake!  I have had 3 cupcakes so far!

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Spring~ New Beginnings

   It’s official!  Spring has arrived and with that many new beginnings.   To top it off, it’s Mother’s Day today, so in honour of my mom, who has been a great teacher in my life in all things sweet, I have decided to launch Sweet Revelations today.  I am passionate about scratch baking and will regularly post some of my best work (along with recipes for you to try of course!) .     Today my husband and I had both of our fab moms over for tea and we served one of the best carrot cakes I have ever made~ if I do say so myself!  So simple, with an amazing maple syrup and cream cheese icing.

  Enjoy the beauty of the new season.

Single Layer Carrot Cake

Adapted from The Kitchen Sink

Oven 325

1/2 cup toasted pecans- finely chopped

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup buttermilk *

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs- room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 cups carrots coarsely shredded

Butter and flour one 9-inch cake pan.  Line the bottom with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar until pale (approx 3 mins).  Beat in the oil, milk and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.   Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until moistened.  Stir in the carrots and pecans.

Bake for 1 hour until toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Let the cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then unmold on to a wire rack to cool completely.

* to make buttermilk/sour milk place 1 tbsp of lemon juice in a glass measuring cup.  Pour in enough milk to equal one cup.  Let the milk sit for 5 minutes.

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Adapted from The Kitchen Sink

1 pkg (250 g) cream cheese – room temperature

1/4 cup unsalted butter- room temperature

1 cup icing sugar

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

In a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Add icing sugar and mix until well blended.  Mix in maple syrup.   Icing may need to be chilled for a few minutes to be firm enough to spread.

Before serving, drizzle each piece with pure maple syrup.

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