Monday, December 26, 2011

Berry Pudding Cake

I think the thing that motivates me most when it comes to baking goodies is when I get to make them for other people and share my love of food with them. If it were just up to cooking for myself, I'd probably just be living off of canned soup and sandwiches... actually, scratch that. It'd probably just be tinned soup and bread... sandwiches would take too much effort :P But anyways, it was because I was scheduled to work on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day (night shifts... so, I still had celebratory time with the family, don't worry) that I was lured back into the kitchen to make treats to share at our staff potluck! So, I decided on something semi-healthy... a berry pudding cake. Nom nom nom.

Berry Pudding Cake

- 4 cups of mixed berries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp orange peel
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- Powdered sugar to decorate

1. In a 9-by-3inch dish, add in the berries in an even layer. Sprinkle evenly with 1/4 cup sugar
2. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and add in the olive oil, orange peel, vanilla and 1 cup of sugar.
3. Add in the flour, baking powder and salt. Continue to mix until well encorporated.
4. Pour batter evenly over the berries and bake in a 350degree oven for 35-40minutes.
5. Cool and sprinkle with confectioner's sugar. Slice into squares and serve warm or cold.

This was a big hit! I loved it! It was actually really easy and the presentation was simple, yet a real stunner. Definitely a recipe I'll be keeping in my good-books ^^

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Red Velvet Cupcakes

It seems like I'm just always apologizing for stepping away from my food blog for months at a time. I've actually noticed that a lot of the blogs I follow have done the same... I guess it's just that life has taken hold of all of us and we've not had the opportunity to spend as much time in the kitchen as we once did. I'm hoping that soon enough I'll make the kitchen my nesting quarters again, but for now I really have no idea when I'll be posting my baking creations. It's just a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing for me at this point in time. Don't ask me why I decided to wake up this morning and make Red Velvet Cupcakes. Perhaps it was the thought of a future wedding that got me thinking... "I've always wanted Red Velvet Cake for my wedding cake. It's simple, none of that fancy-schmancy custard filling, with multiple layers of cake + fruit preserve + frosting all with a fondant exterior." I just like the plain, the ordinary, the non-showy... that's me. And then I thought to myself how I'd always wanted to bake my own wedding cake or make a cupcake-tree display (as it saves on the messy and awkward hacking up of the cake with a knife). Call me crazy... all my friends have; stating, "You're going to have enough to worry about in terms of the wedding; taking on the task of making the cake... girl, you're insane!" Maybe I am, but I think it'd be cool to say that I made my own wedding cake... either it says "Hey, this girl's really talented" or "Hey, this girl's ridiculously frugal"; honestly, I could live with either remark. Ain't nowt wrong with being frugal.

Anyways... enough with the rambling banter. I'm sure you all just want the recipe. So here it is!

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Yields 8 cupcakes

1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Red food coloring (I use Wilton's concentrated coloring paste, as you get a nice deep color without needing to use loads of coloring)
1 egg
1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp white vinegar

1. Set the oven to 350degrees. Sift together the flour, salt and cocoa powder.
2. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla, beating until smooth. Add in enough red food coloring to make a deep red color.
3. Alternately, add in the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the butter mixture (In thirds, starting with the milk and ending with the flour). Stir until just combined.
4. Pour batter into prepared muffin tins and bake for ~25minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
5. Remove from oven, place on cooling rack and then ice with your favorite cream cheese frosting.

My Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

- 1/2 cup cream cheese
- 3 tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 cups of confectioner's sugar

1. Cream the butter and cream cheese together.
2. 1/2 cup at a time, add in the sugar.
3. Place in piping bag and use to decorate.

It actually felt really good to get back into the kitchen after such a long hiatus. Well, I have actually been "in the kitchen" a lot but y'know what I mean... I haven't ventured to make anything new lately, or gotten around to blogging about my cooking adventures. I'll try and amend that problem though. Bye for now, peeps!