Tag Archives: vanilla

Raspberry Swiss Roll Layer Cake (No Bake!}

A few weeks ago, my husband and I had an amazing dinner with friends.  It was a gorgeous home cooked meal, with all of the fixings, great wine and even better company.  When dessert rolled around, my girlfriend brought out a simple trifle, layered with raspberry swiss rolls, fresh berries and pudding.  She kind of apologized for its simplicity and stated it was one of her husbands favourites.  It was so good!  Very simple, but light tasting, fresh and so moist.   I enjoyed it so much, and couldn’t quite put a finger on why it was such a familiar, and happy, taste to me.

Swiss Roll Cake via SweetRevelations

Driving home from errands a few days later it dawned on me.  It was the swiss rolls!   It was that spongy cake and sweet raspberry center that brought a flood of memories back.   I remember staying at my grandmothers, my Mémé’s, as a teenager.  My Pépé had passed, and I was staying with her to keep her company.  We discovered at that time, that we both had the terrible habit of waking in the night to eat something sweet.   I’m not sure that it’s hereditary, but what a coincidence to discover that we both would end up in the kitchen in the night to nibble on something sweet with a glass of tea or milk.   I remember our surprise, “you do this too?!” and our pleasure at sharing this naughty habit (something it took me years to break).   I can still hear her, as she giggled about it.  At Mémé’s, when I was there, the midnight offering was a slice or two of raspberry swiss rolls.  She always put the slices on little saucers, and often, we would snack without much talking, and then both of us would head straight back to bed.

It’s funny how some foods can trigger such amazing memories and feelings sometimes.  Just thinking about those sleepovers made me feel so happy and nostalgic for the time she was here.  My grandmother was a tiny woman, with a gigantic heart, who was immensely proud of her family.  When I was newly married, she moved back to her home town to live in a retirement home, over 2000 kilometers away.  I mourned her absence and visited and wrote to her often.  I was lucky enough to fly down and sit with her, many years later, as she drew her very last breath.  She was probably one of the most influential women in my life, and still is very much with me in spirit today, especially as I have recently become a Mémé myself.

Swiss Roll Layer Cake via SweetRevelations

Just a few days ago I decided to track down those swiss rolls and use them to make a simple and fresh dessert of my own.  I layered slices of them in a springform pan with vanilla pudding.  The cake was left in the fridge overnight, and just before serving I piled it high with whipped topping and fresh berries.   I was so pleased with the results.  It was super moist, slightly sweet from the swiss rolls and bursting with fresh fruit.  Kind of like trifle, but in cake form.  It was an ideal make ahead dessert too, and something easily prepped the night before.  The hardest part of the dessert was finding the swiss rolls.  Having never purchased them myself, I finally found them in the bakery department of my local grocery store.  And oh boy was I excited about those rolls!  I bought every package they had on the shelf!

I’m completely okay with using instant pudding and store-bought layers for this cake.  There’s a time for beautiful, scratch made layer cakes and there’s a time for easy, family style desserts with memories and stories behind them.  Even though Mémé never made this cake, it’s my twist on one of her favourite treats and it certainly reminds me of the love of sweets we shared.  Who knew a no bake layer cake could be so easy and so tasty!

Swiss Roll Cake via SweetRevelations

Have you got a food, smell or taste that triggers happy memories for you?  I would love to hear about it!

Happy baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Raspberry Swiss Roll Layer Cake {No Bake}

  • 2 400 gram packages of Raspberry Swiss Roll, sliced in 1″ pieces
  • 3 packages of instant vanilla pudding
  • 5 cups of half and half cream
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • fresh fruit for garnish

 

  1. Line an 8″ or 9″ springform pan with parchment, as best you can, by cutting a circle for the bottom and a long rectangle for the side.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the pudding mixes and half and half cream, for about 2 minutes, set aside.
  2. Layer the slices of Swiss Roll in the bottom of the pan, being sure to tuck pieces close together for a snug fit.  Spread 1 1/2 cups of pudding on top of the layer.  Repeat two more times.  Add a final layer of Swiss Roll on top ( I sliced the top layer about 1/2″ only).  Refrigerate overnight.   Keep any unused pudding for serving.
  3. Before serving, carefully remove from the springform pan and set the cake on a platter.  Use a spatula to spread any remaining pudding on the sides.  Top with whipped topping and fresh fruit.  The cake will keep, covered, for a few days in the refrigerator.

 

10 Comments

Filed under Cake

Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies {Featured Post}

Happy holiday cookie baking everybody!

I recently shared a recipe post over at Hello Creative Family, all about Easy Icebox Shortbread Cookies.  This is a dream cookie dough mix for busy bakers during the holidays!  It’s a super versatile, delicious, buttery dough, that can mixed into 4 different cookie flavours, and the best part is, that the dough can be made well ahead of time.   Just follow this link to the recipe here:

http://hellocreativefamily.com/easy-icebox-shortbread-cookies-recipe/

Check out the recipe and start your holiday baking off right!

Happy cookie baking friends,

Renee

xo

 

Back-To-Basics-Easy-Icebox-Shortbread-Cookies-Recipe

 

 

 

5 Comments

Filed under Cookies

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

It’s the week-end everybody!  And I can’t believe I’m saying this already, but we woke this morning to just a light dusting of snow on the deck.  Even though I find the first few snowfalls kind of exciting, I do feel that we seemed to have skipped fall entirely.  I’m hopeful that this was just a blip on Mother Natures part, and this week we will be back to crisp, windy, sunny fall days.

Yesterday I was sorting through my old bakery recipe book, looking for some inspiration, when I came across this recipe.  For those of you who might be new followers, I used to own a little bake shop and let that go so I could focus on my real love.  Which is you.  And blogging.  And creating.

And I’m so glad I did, because it’s given me so many new opportunities that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.  And not waking up at 3 am on Saturday mornings anymore is a major bonus.  I can tell you, your local baker is seriously sleep deprived friends.

mini cheesecakes, sweetrevelations

These Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes were one of my most popular items in the fall and winter.  Still, when I run into some of my loyal customers, they bring up these cheesecakes and tell me how they miss them so.  They are a decadent treat that can easily be customized.  The brownie bottom is just the right amount of rich chocolate, paired with the creamy cheesecake topping and of course, the cherries on top.  This is also an amazing treat when you swap out the cherries for whole pecans and a good drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

As you know, I love a dessert that can be made ahead and these are no exception.  Cheesecakes freeze very well, so can be prepared a week or two ahead of time if needed.   Just thaw, garnish with toppings and serve.

Reminiscing through my old book sure did make my heart skip a beat.  It was such a busy and exciting time in my life.  Even though I do miss the bake shop sometimes, I’m so happy that I get to share these recipes with you.  I’m exactly where I was meant to be.

Enjoy the fall weather friends,

Renee

xo

Mini Brownie Bottom Cherry Cheesecakes

Brownie Layer

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

 

Cheesecake Layer

  • 2 pkg (250 gr each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • cherry pie filling for garnish

Preheat oven to 350° and line 16 muffin cups with liners

  1.  For the brownie layer, mix the flour and salt in a small bowl and set aside.  Place a small glass or stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt the chocolate and butter.  In a medium mixing bowl, combine the sugar, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well incorporated.  Whisk in the chocolate mixture and mix well.  Fold in the flour mixture with a spatula, just until incorporated.
  2. Spoon the brownie mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner.   Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.  Once baked, reduce the oven temperature to 300°.
  3. While the brownie layer is baking, prepare the cheesecake layer.  Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl for at least 4 minutes, or until smooth and well combined.  Add salt and vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time, only mixing until the eggs are combined.  Be careful not to over mix and add too much air.
  4. Top each brownie layer with the cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Turn the oven off, prop the oven door open just slightly with a wooden spoon and leave the cheesecakes inside until the oven cools (I just found the texture was a little nicer this way and the cheesecakes were less prone to cracking).  Put room temperature cheesecakes in the fridge to chill for 3-4 hours before topping and serving.
  5. Top chilled cheesecakes with cherry pie filling and serve.

Notes:

  1. You can bake the cheesecakes without leaving them in the oven to cool.  Bake at 325° for approx. 25 minutes.  Cool to room temperature and chill.
  2. Once the cheesecakes have come to room temperature, they can be easily frozen for later use.  Place them in containers, in a single layer and wrap with plastic wrap.   Defrost and garnish with cherries just before serving.

12 Comments

Filed under Cake, Cup Cakes

Dutch Baby Pancake

We are a lazy Sunday morning kind of family.  Usually, we indulge in a brunch of some sort, that includes endless cups of premium coffee (because life is too short to drink bad coffee), crispy Canadian bacon and something sweet.  Sometimes,  it’s these doughnuts (insane) or these beignets (oh mercy) on the menu, depending on whether I was able to prep the night before.   More often than not, my husband will have pancake duty.  It’s entirely his job, always has been.  He’s good at it and I’m generally pretty useless until I’ve had a few servings of that premium coffee I was telling you about.

sweetrevelationsdutchbaby

This week-end we threw a Dutch Baby Pancake  into the oven.  Sometimes called a German Pancake or a Bismarck, this is literally one giant egg-y, custard-y pan of Sunday morning awesomeness.  With only 5 ingredients, that virtually every household has, there really is no excuse for not making one.  If nothing else, get the kids involved and watch how delighted they are when the magic happens with this seemingly plain and boring batter.  Once fully baked, this Dutch Baby Pancake is a giant puff of sweetness that deflates moments after being out of the oven.

Have I mentioned that this takes only twenty-five minutes from start to finish?  And that it’s made in a blender?  That makes this totally doable on a weekday morning too.

dutchbabypancake

Some seasonal fruit, a handful of nuts and a sprinkling of powdered sugar is really all that is needed for garnish (a dollop of whipped topping also never hurt anyone).   For something so simple, the results are deliciously outstanding and a great way to showcase some of our sweet, local peaches!

dutchbabysweetrevelations

We’re gearing up for a hectic week of back to school routines here.  I hope you’re all enjoying the last few lazy days of summer too!

Renee

xo

Dutch Baby Pancake

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 large eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • splash of vanilla
  • fruit, powdered sugar or maple syrup for serving

Preheat oven to 425°

  1.  Put the butter in the bottom of a 9″ pie plate or cast iron pan.  Set the pan in the hot oven to melt the butter while you mix the rest of the ingredients.
  2. In a blender, mix the eggs for about 1 minute.  Add the flour, milk and vanilla and mix for an additional 30 seconds to combine.
  3. Pour the batter into the pie plate with the hot melted butter.  Bake for 20 minutes, until the edge of the pancake is lightly toasted brown and the pancake is puffed up.  Resist the urge to open the oven door during baking.  Serve immediately with fresh fruit, maple syrup or powdered sugar.

 

17 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies {Loaded With Walnuts and Cranberries}

I bet if I polled every follower of SweetRevelations, you would all have your version of the best Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  Every home has one, that ultimate Chocolate Chip recipe that no one can beat.  It might be flat and crispy or thick and slightly chewy in the middle.   You may have a whole system down for how to produce the most amazing chocolatey bite; use only dark brown sugar, butter is a must, refrigerate a minimum of one hour before baking, stand on tip toes, tap heels three times and voila! The whole family is delighted and rejoicing in the joy that only this classic cookie can bring.

If you don’t have one, I wonder if you’ve made endless batches on a quest for the perfect recipe?

chocchip

I present to you my version of the Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookie that is loaded with walnuts and cranberries.  It’s my go-to, Sunday baking, soul soothing recipe, that’s super thick, crisp on the outside and slightly soft inside.  You might be questioning the cranberry but I urge you to give it a shot.  It just adds an extra chewy bit of sweetness that compliments the chocolate chunks so well.  Warm from the oven, these are the very definition of comfort food.

cookie

All kidding about the heel tapping aside, I do believe the addition of molasses and chilling the dough is what puts these bakery style cookies over the top.  I dare say I’ve found the perfect recipe.  The batter is on the larger side and will produce close to 40 big cookies.  You can bake what you need now and easily freeze dough balls to pop in the oven at a later date.

Life is simply just better with milk and cookies!

splash

Do you have the ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe?  I would love it if you would share your favourite Chocolate Chip Cookie secrets with me!

Happy baking!

Renee

xo

 

Perfected Chocolate Chip Cookies

*adapted from Baking Illustrated

  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1  1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 1  1/2 cups chocolate chunks, semi sweet
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325°

1. Melt butter and set aside to cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; set aside.

2. Using the paddle attachment on a stand mixer, combine the sugars and the butter and mix well.  Add eggs, yolks, vanilla and molasses.  Mix until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated.  Stir in chocolate, walnuts and cranberries.

3.  Refrigerate the dough for an hour.  Using a cookie scoop (mine is 2″ in diameter), scoop chilled dough onto parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake for 18 mins. Let the cookies rest on the sheet for about 2 mins.  Store in an airtight container.

14 Comments

Filed under Cookies

Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Happy Monday friends!  Today was the first day back to work after our March Break.  Nine days off to sleep in, read great novels, recipe test and repeat!  While we didn’t take off to anywhere for the holidays it was certainly nice to catch up with friends and not have the morning rush out the door!

Speaking of being rushed, I’m always thinking of ways that I can satisfy my family’s love of dessert while enjoying the holidays. Easter is fast approaching and with that comes some menu planning.  My goal is to do as much work ahead as possible so I can enjoy my time with those around me.  This Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake, or BBSEEICC for short, seems to be just the ticket.

cake

If there’s one thing this whole house can agree on it’s ice cream.  Remember this Salted Caramel Ice Cream Cake?   I’m still dreaming about it.  It was pure ice cream decadence with very little prep.   This Speckled Easter Cake is too, the only difficult part is deciding what flavours to use.  Honestly, I’m not EGGS- aggerating, the sky’s the limit here with flavour possibilities!

cake top

I used just a simple brownie base with layers of chocolate, chocolate ganache and vanilla ice cream. I’ve come to love the simplicity of this lightly tinted whipped cream icing along with some gorgeous spring blue speckled eggs on top.  It’s a small 6″ cake, just enough for us for dinner without all of the crazy leftovers ~ not that anyone would be complaining.  If you’ve been following me for a while you know that my favourite family cake size is a 6″ pan.  It’s the perfect size for this family of five along with the few extra friends that are often at the dinner table.

slice

I know I’ve said this before but ice cream certainly doesn’t only need to be a summer treat.  It’s a favourite in this house all year-long.  So much so that I’ve been known to hide the containers at the very bottom of the deep freeze in the hopes that teenage hands won’t find them and they’ll stick around for a while.   You’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do.

 

Happy Easter everyone and have a blessed spring.

Renee

xo

 

Brownie Bottom Speckled Egg Easter Ice Cream Cake

Brownie Layer

*this makes 2 6″ layers – I used one and froze the other for later

*from Kraft Foods

  • 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup  milk
  • 1 tsp.  vanilla
  • 1 cup  flour
  • 1/2 tsp.  salt

PREHEAT oven to 350°F.

1.  Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl for 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.   Add the sugar and mix well.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until blended.  Add the milk and the vanilla and mix well. Combine flour and salt.  Add to chocolate mixture, mixing just until blended. Spread evenly into two greased and floured 6″ springform pans.  Bake 20 minutes and set aside to cool.

 

Chocolate Ganache

In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup heavy cream just to a boil over medium-high heat. Put 6 oz  bittersweet chocolate in a heatproof medium bowl and pour the boiling cream over the chocolate. Let it sit until the chocolate is melted, about 2 minutes. Stir the mixture with a spatula until the ganache is smooth.  Allow to cool.

Whipped Cream Icing

* don’t make this until you are ready to ice your cake

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • few drops of teal gel colour

1.  .   In a medium bowl whip the cream until soft peaks form.  Add in sugar and mix well.  Add in teal tint.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Cake Assembly

*need two cups of premium vanilla and two cups of premium chocolate ice cream (or flavours of your choice), slightly softened.

1.  Cover the cooled brownie layer with a layer (approx. 2 cups) of ice cream, using a piece of saran on top to evenly distribute the layer with your hands.  Cover and freeze until ice cream is firm.  Spread the ganache on top of the firm ice cream layer and return to the freezer until firm.  Spread the remaining 2 cups of ice cream on top of the ganache and return the cake to the freezer for 6 hours or more to harden.

2.  Remove the cake from the freezer and use the Whipped Cream Icing to ice the entire cake.  Mix a 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract with a few drops of water.  Use a small paintbrush to flick drops of the vanilla on to the cake and make a speckled look.  Top with some chocolate speckled eggs.  Return the whole cake to the freezer until needed.  The cake should sit at room temperature for a few minutes before serving (to soften the cake slightly but not long enough to melt the ice cream).

15 Comments

Filed under Cake, Ice Cream

Homemade Vanilla Extract

I wish this blog was scratch and sniff…I really do.

vanillabeans4

 

This is my coveted jar of homemade vanilla that I’ve been using for over 4 years.  The smell is so intense and the flavor in baked goods is bar none.  It’s a simple mix of vodka and vanilla beans that I’ve been adding to and refilling for quite some time.   It is by far one of my best ingredients and the scent can be associated with so many amazing things.  Moms cookies, vanilla bean cake, homemade ice cream and marshmallows.  The list goes on and on.

vanillabeans2

A while ago when I was teaching basic baking classes to some young boys, they always argued over who got to pour the vanilla in.  It’s such a tiny part of most recipes but the flavor it imparts can’t be denied.  It enhances everything else in the bowl.  It’s essential!

vanillabeans1

It’s also an easy gift to make.  If you started a jar of vanilla extract today you could have a some pretty awesome Christmas gifts for December!  It really only needs a couple of months to steep, but the longer it sits the better.  Keep the bottle in the pantry and give it a shake every now and then.  There are loads of vanilla extract printables on line (like the one below from tidymom.net) and you can cross a whole mess of people off your Christmas list ~ in July everyone!  That’s the best part!

vanillabeans3

What’s your favourite vanilla memory?

Homemade Vanilla Extract

  • Use 3-4 whole vanilla beans per cup of vodka.  Split the beans in half, place in a sealable jar and pour vodka on top!  Place in a cool dark place for 2-3 months before using.  Give the jar a shake every now and then.  I continue to add beans that I have used in baking (however not if they have been steeped in any kind of milk or cream), and adding more vodka when low.

 

 

 

19 Comments

Filed under Extra Special, Sauces and Syrups, Tutorial

Peach Fritters

My dad is a great story-teller.   It’s something that I love about him and a bond that we share.  I love to hear the stories of his childhood in a small fishing village.  I love to hear stories about my ancestors and my heritage.  And I appreciate every one of them because they make the generations past seem real to me.

This year for my birthday he gave me the best gift.

He gave me an old cookbook that was my great-grandfathers.  My father is named after him and he died in 1927 in an accident.  He was a cook on a tug boat and my grandmother got this book when they went to retrieve his body and belongings.   It just made me feel so much more that cooking must be in my genes.   That I’m doing the right thing.

I decided to try the recipe for Fruit Fritters that was in there.  I love how some of the pages are marked with pencil and some have drops of  whatever on them.

I wonder, did he make the Fruit Fritters?

On my card my dad said that my great-grandfather would have been proud of the work I have done in the kitchen.

Gosh, that is just the best gift isn’t it?

For my fritters I used peaches.  It’s peach season around here and they are big and juicy and so sweet.  Apples would be good too.

Peach Fritters

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 4-5 medium peaches, peeled and sliced into 1 inch slices
  • powdered sugar for dusting

1.  Sift dry ingredients together.  Add milk and eggs and mix until smooth.

2.  Heat canola oil to 350° in a deep pan or fryer.  Batter peach slices and gently drop into oil.  Fry for 3-5 minutes.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Best eaten warm.

23 Comments

Filed under Breakfast, Extra Special, Scones and Breads

Chocolate Love

I have to tell you right off that I think I may have discovered the best chocolate frosting ever this week-end….

***squeal!!***

Like, if I could marry a frosting this would be the one.

If I could bathe in a frosting this would be the one.

Don`t judge me… this stuff is so darn chocolatey and rich and delicious.  Ruffled on top of a moist dark chocolate cake.   With a fresh and sweet strawberries on top?

You know you want it….

I thought I would give this recipe a whirl because my usual chocolate frosting just isn’t fudgey and chocolatey enough for me sometimes.  This is melted Belgian chocolate and cocoa whipped together with icing sugar and butter.

You had me at melted Belgian chocolate…..

I swirled some on top of my cupcakes and used some to make little tiny trifle cups.  These are just plastic wine cups that I layered with a cupcake, some icing and some diced berries.  Perfect to bring out to the patio after dinner.

Make it.  Then e-mail me right away and tell me that without a doubt this is the best chocolate and cupcake combo you have ever had.  Enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Cupcakes

*adapted from What The Fruitcake?

Makes 24 cupcakes

3/4 cup strong hot coffee

3/4 cup dark cocoa

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups brown sugar

3 large eggs, room temperature

2 1/2 cups flour

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp mayonnaise, room temperature

Preheat oven to 350°.  Line cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners

1.  Whisk together coffee and cocoa in a small bowl and set aside.  Sift together flour, baking soda and baking powder in another small bowl and set aside.  Measure out buttermilk and mix with vanilla extract and set aside.

2.  In a large bowl cream together butter, sugar and salt.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating each egg in thoroughly and scraping the side of the bowl before adding the next egg.  Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the egg mixture and mix until combined.  Add 1/2 of the buttermilk and mix until combined.  Repeat, ending with the last of the flour mixture.  Add the cocoa and coffee mixture and mix until thoroughly combined.  Fold in mayonnaise.

3.  Divide equally into prepared cupcake liners.  Bake for 16-18 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Allow to cool thoroughly on wire racks before frosting.

Dark Chocolate Frosting

from Martha Stewart

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

  •                                         1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  •                                         2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  •                                         3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  •                                         1/4 teaspoon salt
  •                                         1 1/2 pounds best-quality semi sweet chocolate, melted and cooled (I used Callebaut Bittersweet)

 1.   Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved.   Beat butter, confectioners’ sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.

This icing can be stored in the fridge for about a week.  Bring to room temperature and beat until smooth again.

60 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing

Spring Cupcakes and a Symbol of Hope

I always eagerly await the first signs of spring.  Bright and cheerful bursts of tulips and daffodils are a welcome sight after a cold, bland winter.   They invigorate us and announce to us that spring has sprung!

Thank you for arriving spring I am so ready for you!  I’m ready for open windows, bed sheets on the clothesline, sitting in the sun and drinks on the patio!

I thought these cupcakes would be the perfect fit for our Easter table.  Beautiful sunny yellows amid pops of white, blue and pink colours.

It’s doesn’t hurt when your pops of colour are candy coated and full of milk chocolate either.  Another wonderful sign of spring. Easter chocolate.

Remember here when I made lime cupcakes with Tequila frosting?  These are identical, just substitute the lime for lemon.  Omit the step of brushing on the Tequila.   Swirl on a generous amount of Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream (below).  These  are keeper lemon cupcakes.  Really moist with a good hit of lemon followed by, you guessed it, the creamiest lemony Swiss Meringue icing.

Did you know April is also Daffodil Month for the Canadian and American Cancer Society? Daffodils are a symbol of hope for those living with cancer.  Unfortunately everyone has a cancer story.  All of the monies raised from the Daffodil Campaign go to life saving cancer research.

I hope this spring leaves you feeling rejuvenated.  I hope spring has sprung where you live!  Happy Easter everyone.

Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd or lemon pie filling (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 speed until whites have increased in volume, are thick and glossy 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 lemon curd and beat until combined. Use immediately.

17 Comments

Filed under Cup Cakes, Fondant and Icing