Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Valentine's Day Cupcakes - Special Dark

I won't even waste any time jibber jabbering here, let's get to the recipe!!

oven 350, makes 18 standard size cupcakes

3/4 C Hershey's Special Dark cocoa (you'll know you've got the right stuff because it is almost black)
1 C sugar
1/2 C (1 stick) butter
3/4 C buttermilk
1/2 C water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
1 C all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder


10 oz. Hershey's Special Dark chocolate
1 C heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Put the cocoa, sugar, buttermilk, water, and butter in a medium saucepan. Heat over low-medium heat and stir until butter is melted and the ingredients are blended well.

Remove from heat and allow to cool 15 minutes.

While mixture is cooling, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a medium bowl, set aside.

Add vanilla and egg to the chocolate mixture, mix until combined.

Pour chocolate mixture into flour mixture in three parts, stirring until smooth after each addition.

Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full, and bake for 20 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean.

Allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then remove to rack to cool completely.

Spoon a small amount of liquid ganache onto each cupcake one at a time,and swirl to spread evenly over the top. Ganache will set as it sits.

In a medium saucepan over low heat, heat cream until it starts to bubble. Remove from heat, add the chocolate, cover, and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.

Stir until mixture is smooth, stir in vanilla and salt.

Ganache is ready to use!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My New Favorite Thing

Chocolate plastic!! Or modeling chocolate, but chocolate plastic sounds so much cooler. I am sure this is old news to savvy bakers out there, but I had never heard of it until I got this awesome cupcake book from my sister T for Christmas, A Baker's Field Guide to Cupcakes, by Dede Wilson. It is seriously the most fun stuff!! Normally I just use fondant for cute cutout decorations and stuff, but fondant is going to have to move over for my new best baking friend.

Here is the rediculously simple recipe, taken from the aforementioned book:

28 oz (2 packages) Wilton Candy Melts
2/3 C light corn syrup

Melt candy melts in the microwave, in a double boiler, or in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir in the corn syrup until the mixture blends well together.

Scrape out onto a large piece of plastic wrap and wrap up tightly (I used a large ziploc bag).

Let sit until cool and firm enough to roll out (or cheat and put in the fridge like I did)

That's it!! It is ready to play :)

You can use other kinds of chocolate as well, but I guess the candy melts are more foolproof since they aren't technically chocolate. I added Wilton icing colors to the chocolate when I mixed in the corn syrup, and it worked out very well. Pictures are coming...

Chocolate play doh. It just doesn't get any better!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Make that...

five earthquakes.

It's Over It's Over!!!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a pretty much a tv junkie, so I am ecstatic about this news.

In other news, we keep having earthquakes here. I go my whole life (including several years in various parts of California) without ever experiencing one, but in the past 3 days have been through 4. And those are just the ones I have felt...there have been many more small ones. Anyway, I have decided that I really don't like them! Fortunately Kalei hasn't noticed anything weird going on.

We have a super busy week this week, one of those where I am not even sure how to fit it all in. I have 3 cupcake/cake projects to complete, visiters coming this weekend, and I just started my new 3 day a week babysitting job. We are also babysitting for a couple of friends so they can go on Valentines Day dates, and we are going on a date of our own as well. Then there is a Valentines Day party at the Family Treehouse to attend, and it's Jay's grandpa's birthday this weekend. Tons of fun stuff, but my brain is scrambled just thinking about it!

Expect some new pictures and recipes in the next few days as I work on my baking projects. I have a super yummy cupcake recipe I have been working on and I can't wait to share it!

How are all of you doing? :o)

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

4 Year Old Drama

Last night, about 10 minutes after I had tucked Kalei into bed, I heard her calling out "mom, mom!!" (yes it's Mom now, no more "Mommy" :p ) So I go back into her room, just inside the doorway, and she is crying, yelling "I don't want my Sally Halloween costume anymore, I want a Foofah costume!" The funniest part about it is that she was actually asleep, a rather creepy habit of hers... It's ok Kalei, go back to sleep! :o)

template by