Saturday, January 31, 2009

Surprise for my Birthday

My birthday was the other day and Dan my son made a cake for me. Ina Garten made this cake awhile ago on her show the Barefoot Concessa. Hot pink icing three layers, looked really good. Well, Dan decided to give it a try and make it for me. It was a lovely surprise and was delicious. Makes getting old worth while. :)

Birthday Cake with Hot Pink Butter Icing

For the cake:

* 18 tablespoons (2 1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 3 cups sugar
* 6 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
* 8 ounces (about 1 cup) sour cream, at room temperature
* 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 1 lemon, zested
* 3 cups all-purpose flour
* 1/3 cup cornstarch
* 1 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the frosting:

* 3/4 pound (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
* 3 pounds confectioners' sugar, sifted
* 9 tablespoons milk
* 3 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* 14 drops pink food coloring (rose petal shade)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan, a 6-inch cake pan, and a 3-inch cake pan.

To make the cake, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. On medium speed, add the eggs, 2 at a time, then the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix well. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until smooth. Finish mixing by hand to be sure the batter is well mixed. Proportionately divide the batter between the 3 cake pans. Smooth the tops with a spatula, and bake as follows: the 9-inch pan for 45 minutes, the 6-inch pan for 35 to 40 minutes and the 3-inch pan for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in each cake. Cool in the pans to room temperature.

For the frosting, cream the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the confectioners' sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Mix on low speed for 1 to 2 minutes, until thickened. Add the food coloring and turn the mixer off. Using a spatula, fully incorporate the color into the frosting.

Frost each cake separately. Chill the cakes before stacking.

Place the 9-inch cake on a plate. Center the 6-inch cake on top of the 9-inch cake. Center the 3-inch cake on top of the 6-inch cake.

For the decoration, pipe or spoon the remaining frosting around the base of each cake and around the top edge of the 3-inch cake.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Ferrero Roches Peanut Butter Cookies

I went up north during Christmas for a rest. After working so many months for either 6 and 7 days a week. Rest was what I needed. The weather was not to bad except for the high winds for those couple days. The one day was really quite bad, one of the trees fell on the hydro wire, luckily it fell on another smaller tree and did not bring down the wire. The cottage I rented was the A frame and the upstairs was only part of the area, so when the wind was blowing the floor never stopped moving. It was a bit unnerving. Finally I went downstairs and decided to bake cookies. Looking to see what supplies were in the cottage it looked like Peanut Butter Cookies it was. Since we had the internet I used my recipe. When I finished preparing the dough I decided to add about 6 Ferrero Roches to the batter. I chopped them up coarsely mixed them and dropped them onto the cookie sheet and baked them. It is a really nice combination. When I got home I made them again.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

An award from Rosemary

Rosemary gave me an award. The Love Blog. I thank her so much for doing so. I love reading her blog. She has great recipes and wonderful garden photos.

I nominate the following blogs:

Rosemary's Blog Spot: For her wonderful recipes, garden photos and letting us in her lovely family.

Urban Veggie Garden Blog: My son's Blog which is full of great information. He is very passionate about things he does. Obsessvie at times one might say.

Cookie Madness: I enjoy this blog as well. She always has really interesting recipes. I have tried a few and they have always turned out great.

my little kitchen: I have to add this blog as this is the one that started me blogging. I found her recipes for "Maida Heatter's Cookies" Every Monday she posted a recipe from the book she bake the entire book. At the end she gives a cost break down.

Smart Cookie: Has a wonderful blog full of great recipes. Photos are done with an expert eye.
I enjoy her insight.

How To Eat A Cupcake: I started to make cupcakes due to her blog. I had always thought that making cupcakes was just to much work. But after reading the blog and seeing how great they looked I started to make them as well. All her recipes look amazing.

Bake or Break: The photos on this blog are outstanding. I try to get my photos to look like hers....not there yet. The recipes are just out of this world.

Bits of Life, Scrapbooking and Cooking: She is the daughter of Rosemary. She does the most beautiful scrapbooking. It really makes me want to get into it. But time is not my friend these days. It is nice to spend time with their family.

Rosemary's Book Challenge

Rosemary is having a book challenge

Book Challenge- T is for Tresspass

Grab the nearest book.
* Open the book to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post the text of the next two to five sentences in your blog along with these instructions.
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.

Study and master the principles descussed in this book
and then apple them to your every day business and
social contacts. Then please write Dale Carnegie a de-
tailed story of precisely how you applied these principles'
and what results your acheived. Be specific. Tell what

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Best Blue Berry Pie

We were watching America Test Kitchen and they made this Blueberry Pie. We used our pie dough. The pie was amazing. I think this was the first Blueberry Pie we have made. I would say it is worth a try. The recipe called for a dough that uses Vodka. When we try it I will post it. It does sound interesting.

Blueberry Filling:

6 cups fresh blueberries (used frozen)
1 granny smith apple or 2 small; peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp. quick cooking tapicoa, ground ( used 2 tbsp. corn starch)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/4" pieces

1 egg, lightly beaten with 1 tsp. water


Put rack in lowest position in oven and place a rimmed baking sheet on rack and heat oven to 400 degrees.

Place 3 cups berries in medium saucepan over medium heat. Using potato masher, mash berries several times to release juices. Continue to cook, stirring frequently and mashing occasionally. Half of the berries should be broken down and mixture is thickened and reduced to 1 1/2 cups, takes about 8 minutes. Let cool.

Place the grated apple on towel and wring to dry. Transfer apple to large bowl. Add the cooked berries and the 3 cups uncooked berries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, corn starch (tapioca) and salt; combine. Pour mixture to dough lined pie plate and place cut up butter on top.

Add the top crust with venting cut into it and brush top with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar.

Place pie in oven and bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees and continue to bake
until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool pie for at least 4 hours.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Chocolate Mocha Mousse Filled Cupcakes

One of my co-workers had a birthday in December. I decided to try these cupcakes I found at Janet is Hungry, they looked like they would be delicious and they were. Everyone liked them at work.

Chocolate Mocha Mousse Filled Cupcakes


1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups strong brewed coffee, cooled

Filling: 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips 1 tbsp strong brewed coffee 3/4 cup heavy cream 1 tbsp icing sugar

2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup icing sugar


1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. Prepare 2 muffins tins, either line with cupcake papers or grease.

2. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in bowl and mix with whisk.
In another bowl beat together the eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla until creamy. Add the flour mixture to wet ingredients beating just until incorporated. Mix in coffee until smooth (don't over-mix).

3. Fill prepared tins with batter 2/3 full. Bake at 350F for 22-24 minutes, until tester comes out clean. Cool cupcakes completely.

4. To make filling: combine chocolate chips and coffee in a double boiler of simmering water. Stir until melted, let this mixture cool slightly.

5. In a large bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Fold in the melted chocolate just until well blended.

6. Cut out a cone shape about 3/4" thick from the top of the cup cake. Take the tip off of this.

7. With pastry bag and tip fill each cupcake with filling and place the cut out cones on top. Place in frig to chill.

8. Make Icing: In a double boiler heat cream until just starting to simmer. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted. I added icing sugar to this and made an icing. Maybe about a cup or so until it is the thickness you wish. Janet is hungry made a glaze. Once the cream and chocolate were melted she dipped the cupcakes in this mixture.


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