Tag Archives: fruit

Pineapple Flowers

How beautiful is this?  An oven dried pineapple flower on top of a coconut cupcake.   A little time consuming but this garnish is so worth the extra effort!

First, peel a small pineapple.  Use a paring knife to remove all eyes and slice very thinly (paper thin).    Place on a parchment lined cookie sheet (put some butter on parchment) and place in 225° oven.    Set your timer for 1/2 an hour and then turn slices over.   Bake for another 1/2 hour and turn slices over again.  This time, put a small ball of tin foil under each slice to begin forming the flower shape.  Bake for another 1/2 hour or until dried out.  These will keep for 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container.

I love the look and I think it’s stunning.   It makes this cupcake so tropical and elegant.

It almost makes me not want to eat it…..I said almost……didn’t make it past the photo shoot I’m afraid.  Delish.

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Filed under Extra Special

Blueberry Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream

I admit, I’ve become a little cupcake obssessed lately.  There are so many flavour combinations to choose from and it’s a perfectly wrapped little treat for someone!  Yum!

Friday is usually our “meeting” day at work and I offered to bring snacks this time.   Since we meet fairly early, I wanted to find something that was deliciously sweet but also could be considered breakfast-y so people would eat it (really, our group of ladies need NO arm twisting!).  How does Blueberry Cupcakes with Maple Buttercream sound?  Let me tell you, delish.  Think blueberry pancakes with pure maple syrup.  The buttercream icing is so fabulous, easily one of my favs.   Who would not want to start the day this way??

First, make my Vanilla Cupcake Recipe and add a 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries to the mix.  Bake as directed.

*this recipe is adapted from Yumology

When the cupcakes came out of the oven, I poked a hole in the center of each one with a toothpick and poured just a few drops of pure maple syrup on top.  I spread it around with the back of a spoon and as the cupcakes were cooling it was absorbed into the cakes.

Frost with Martha Stewarts Maple Buttercream

3 large egg yolks

1 cup pure maple syrup

1 cup cold unsalted butter cut into cubes

1.  In a stand mixer, whisk eggs on high speed for 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, place maple syrup in a small pan and boil over medium heat until syrup reaches 240 degrees (10 minutes).  While mixer is running, slowly pour the hot maple syrup down the side of the bowl into the eggs (do not pour directly on the whisk attachment!).  Continue beating mixture for about 4 minutes or until mixing bowl is warm to the touch.  Add butter, one piece at a time and beat until fluffy (5 minutes).  Use immediately.

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Filed under Cup Cakes

Easy Homemade Fondant

I decided this week-end I would give fondant a go.  Homemade that is.  It’s super easy, although a little messy, and there’s oodles of video’s online, like this one,  about how to make your own.  It basically has 4 ingredients; water, marshmallows, shortening and icing sugar.  I flavoured mine with a bit of almond extract too.  It keeps well at room temperature for a few weeks and tastes way better than store bought.

Amanda at I Am Baker (amazing cakes!) made these cute cupcakes with fondant and fruit.  And it was so cute I totally stole the idea.  So although it makes me look super creative…I’m not…..

I have very few pictures to show you because..well, uh errr…we ate them as we were photographing them.  We voted and we liked the raspberry and chocolate best.  The chocolate cupcakes are absolutely amazing!  Recipe to follow soon….

A delicious surprise inside!  Even if you’re not crazy about fondant (you”ll like this one I promise!), you can still enjoy the berries and cake!

I added some raspberry preserves to the last one before topping with berries.  Yum!

Well we had to eat these anyway…they were all cut up!  We couldn’t let them go to waste!

And finally…playing with gel colours and attempting to decorate a mini cake (it’s actually 2 cupcakes).  My friend is getting married and I was trying to use her wedding colours on it.  Key word here is trying (she’s probably horrified).  It looks like a glorified Hostess Cupcake.  I was just playing!

This belongs on the boo boo plate, which is a plate that I throw all my mistakes on.  The kids hover over the boo boo plate like vultures.  I’ve never had people so eager to watch me make a mistake!  My son (bless him) carried this down to his buddies house and they were going to eat it anyway.  Love that boy!

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Filed under Fondant and Icing

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fond

My girlfriend moved to England a few years ago.  I cried like a baby when she left.  Although I was so happy for her courage to move far away, I was devastated at what I thought was my loss.  I’ve been to visit and she took me to Paris for my birthday ( SOOO NICE).  She has been home to visit many times since then.  We talk every Sunday on the phone and it’s as though she still lives 10 minutes away.  I do still have times when I really miss the girl time.  The distance makes movie night a little difficult and I sure would love to go have dinner (in Paris again would be awesome!).   Really, not a lot has changed though, we still argue over movies and books and we always seem to talk about food.  She recently sent me a recipe for Genoise Sponge Cake that she made at a dinner party and it looked amazing!   Below is my version, just a simple 2 layer with lemon whipped cream, raspberry preserves and fresh raspberries.   As I make it, I have a little smile on my face, thinking of my good friend.  Enjoy,

Sponge Cake

*adapted from Gourmet Magazine

preheat oven to 350 degrees

6 eggs room temperature

2/3 cup vanilla sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sifted cake  flour

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/3 cup melted unsalted butter, cooled

Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting (see below)

3/4 cup raspberry preserves for serving

2 pints fresh raspberries for serving

1.  Butter and flour a 10″ round pan.  In stand mixer with whisk attachment combine eggs, vanilla and sugar.  Beat on high speed for 10 minutes (mixture should triple in volume).  In a separate bowl, sift flour and salt together.

2.  Remove bowl from stand mixer and very gently fold flour and salt in with spatula (1/3 at a time).  In a small bowl, mix some of the cake mixture with the melted butter until incorporated.  Add this to the cake mixture, again gently folding.

3.  Pour mixture into cake pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden.  Cake will begin to pull away from sides of pan.   Unmold onto wire rack for cooling.

*Sponge cake is easier to work with on the 2nd day, so make the night before if you plan on cutting layers.

4.  Cut cooled cake into 2 layers.  Place bottom layer on a cake platter and spread with raspberry preserves.  Spread a layer of frosting on top of preserves.  Put 2nd layer on top of frosting.  Frost top with remaining frosting and cover top with fresh raspberries.

Lemon Whipped Cream Frosting

*Better Homes and Gardens Recipe

In large chilled bowl beat 2 cups whipping cream, 2 Tbps. powdered sugar, and 1 Tbsp. instant vanilla pudding on medium-high until stiff peaks form. Fold in 1 Tbsp. grated lemon peel.

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Filed under Cake