Sunday, September 16, 2012

A little break

If you haven't noticed I have been gone for awhile and that is probably going to continue for a couple weeks at least. I have some pretty major projects going on at school and they are pretty much taking up my free time. Sorry for the absence but I doubt you will miss me. I will fill you in on my projects because they should be quite exciting.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tiramisu Cake

This week seems to have gone by faster than any other week this summer. I went with my brother's soon-to-be wife to her family's house in Glenwood Springs, the happy couple, pictured below, were finalizing some wedding plans. I being lazy and not currently employed wanted something to do, and I had never met her mom. Those four days felt like two but at the same time felt like a week. It was great fun, just being able to hang out with that family.
I don't remember what I did between Monday and Thursday, but I know it was something that kept me busy. On Thursday. my mom and I went to the reservoir by our house and tried stand up paddleboarding. We had great fun and we thought it would be a lot harder than it looked but it was fairly easy, and I quite enjoyed it. We are planning on going again soon.  
Then one of my cousins decided to turn another year older and we had to celebrate on the weekend as per usual for the family. There is one thing that you can count on with my moms side of the family and that is coffee. When we get together we make a couple pots of coffee for a couple hours of family time. So when I was trying to decide what kind of dessert to make I knew immediately when I came across it that it would be the perfect cake to make for this family. The only hurdle is my cousin is lactose intolerant. For tiramisu its kind of hard to make without using dairy. What I did was instead of using heavy cream I just made a meringue and added that, so that the only dairy element was the mascarponne cheese.
These recipes come from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle. 

Génoise Cake
1 cup sifted cake flour
½ tsp salt
6 large eggs
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour the bottom and sides of two 9-inch round cake pans. Sift together the flour and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk to combine, and set aside.
In another bowl whisk together the eggs and sugar by hand. Set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the eggs are warm. Beat with an electric mixer on high until the mixture triples in volume, about 8 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and beat in the zest and extract.
Sift one-third of the flour mixture over the batter and gently fold it in with a rubber spatula. Sift in the remaining flour in two more additions, again folding gently. Transfer the melted butter to a small bowl if necessary and scoop about ¾ cup into the bowl. Stir until blended. Fold this mixture into the remaining batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake the cake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick come out clean. Cool the cake in the pans and remove when cool.

Coffee Syrup
1 cup hot espresso or strong coffee
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, combine the espresso and sugar, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the vanilla extract and set the syrup aside.

Mascarpone Cream
I didn't feel like putting the cocoa powder on it
6 large egg yolks
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp water
1 lb mascarpone cheese
3 tbsp dark rum
¾ cup heavy cream (or 1 egg white with a tsp sugar made into a medium stiff meringue)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dutch-processed cocoa powder for dusting
In a medium stainless steel bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and water. Place the bowl over a pot of simmering water, (the bottom of the bowl should not touch the water) and whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and is hot to the touch about 7 minutes. Immediately scrape the mixture into a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until completely cool, about 15 minutes.
In a bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment beat the mascarpone cheese at a medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually beat in the cooled egg yolk mixture and mix until blended. Add in the rum.
In a bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment beat the heavy cream with vanilla extract at high speed until it forms soft peaks. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone mixture. (Or in my case the meringue, I heated the egg whites until they were hot to the touch because then they were safer to eat.)

Assemble the Cake
Place one of the layers on a plate and brush it generously with ¼ cup of the espresso syrup, saturating it. Invert the layer and center it in the bottom of a spring form pan. Brush the top of the layer with another ¼ cup of espresso syrup. Pour half of the mascarpone cream on top and smooth it into an even layer let the cream seep into the gap between the cake and side of the pan. Brush the remaining cake layer with ¼ cup of the syrup, then invert the layer and place it on top of the mascarpone cream layer. Brush the top of the cake with the remaining syrup. Top with the remaining mascarpone cream, again letting the cream seep into the gap between the cake and the side of the pan and smoothing it into an even layer. Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours, until set.
Unmold the cake thirty minutes before serving, dusting the top with a light coating of cocoa powder. Slice with a hot knife, wiping clean between each cut.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Fresh Peach Spoom

Its that time of year, where peaches are in season and super delicious. There is a farmers market every weekend at the shopping area near my house and so we go on Saturdays and get fresh produce like peaches that we can't grow at home.
This last weekend we got a box of peaches, 13lbs of peaches for only $6. They are nice and ripe and super juicy. Since we bought so much Mom was looking for a way to use a bunch of them fairly quickly. I decided to make a spoom (its like a sorbet but better).
Spoom is a sorbet with the addition of a meringue. It turned out pretty awesome.

1 lb fruit puree (it can be fresh or canned or whatever, and any flavor you want it to be
Simple syrup: 2 cups sugar,1 cup water, lemon juice
Italian meringue: 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup egg whites (buy the plain egg whites in a container that has already been pasteurized)

To make the simple syrup, pour sugar and water into a heavy bottomed pan and boil until the sugar is dissolved, add a little bit of lemon juice (this is not to flavor the syrup its to make sure that the sugar does not recrystallize.) Let cool, and then refrigerate until ready to use.
In a bowl (I suggest using a kitchen aid or a mixer you can just turn on and let it go). pour in the egg whites and start whipping. once they have started to change to white slowly pour in the sugar. Turn to high speed and allow to whip up. You want medium to stiff peak, to test for that stop the beater and lift it out of the meringue and hold it upright so the meringue is on top. If the peak falls over any then it is below stiff, if it doesn't move then it is stiff.
IN a ice cream maker or whatever you have got to freeze mix the puree and the simple syrup. Allow it to cool down to almost freeze and then add the meringue in and allow it to freeze the rest of the way. If your ice cream maker is anything like mine, it will take a while to make it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Spiced Apple Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting

All put together minus carpet  
This last weekend I have done a lot of work to please to my two cats. I built a cat tree from them. I got plans for it from and started working on it on Friday night, measuring and planing the cuts to make. They said that it should be able to be completed in about 2 hrs and for about $25. It took a couple hours on Friday, all day Saturday and most of the day on Sunday to complete it. It was $25 for the carpet, and then $24 for the sisal rope, and another $7 for the shelf/ 2'x4'x1/2'' particle board. All in all is a little bit more than $25 that they said, but still less than buying a good quality one from the store.

All put together with carpet, and cats enjoying it

Its no where near what a professional one would look like, but I'm happy with it and the cats seem to love it. There are parts that are not straight or level, but I blame the wood not my workmanship. I am accident prone, and I am surprised that I did not get injured more than I did making this cat tree. I stabbed my self with a screw and bled a little bit because of that. I also was using the scissors too long and got a blister that popped before I realized I even had it. (That is not counting all the little burns I got from the hot glue gun, but they didn't stay for very long so I didn't count them.)


Apple Cake with Maple Frosting from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups peeled and chopped Granny Smith apples (about 2 apples)
½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour bottom and sides of 9 inch cake pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt. Set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat at medium-high speed until well blended and light, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla extract, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating it with the buttermilk in two additions and mixing just until blended. Stir in the chopped apples and walnuts. Scrape the batter into prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is golden and a toothpick inserted into center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake completely in the pan on a wire rack.

 Cream Cheese Spice Frosting
6 ounces cream cheese softened
3 tablespoons butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract, spices and slat. Reduce the speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and beat until well blended. Raise the speed to high and beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add a 1/8 tsp maple flavoring along with the vanilla extract to make Cream Cheese Maple Frosting

Changes Made
Instead of chopping the apples, I used our food processor which has a shredder blade and shredded the apples. Also I did not add the walnuts in case anyone was allergic to nuts. I doubled the recipe and made 32 cupcakes instead of one large cake. I filled the liners almost to the top. I baked the cupcakes for 13-18 minutes.
For the frosting I added extra butter on accident and I did not add the maple flavoring. Also I added a small amount of cloves instead of the freshly ground nutmeg.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tequilla Sunrise Bundt Cake

Can you find the cupcake?
There is this party tomorrow that is for the celebration of the 4th of July. I'm not a person who really gets into decorating cakes for special occasions, like for example I do not care if the baked good I make is fitting with the color scheme of red, white and blue. I wanted to make a cake that was pretty, and  delicious.

I think that desserts are kind of like books, everyone says they aren't judging the book by its cover, when in reality how else are you supposed to judge the book as to whether or not you want to read it. People judge desserts by how they look before they decided if they want to eat it.

Strawberry Limoncello Poppy Seed Cupcakes
My teachers at school taught me that using blues and black colorings is a put off because they aren't naturally occurring colors, like in fruit. (yes there are blueberries and blackberries, but neither of them actually produce that color, such as when you smash a blackberry it doesn't ooze black juice, it comes out redish purple). With that being said, I did use some food coloring with this project, but it didn't turn out as I hoped it would.

This cake decided that it wanted to come out of the pan in pieces, so I'm keeping it to eat myself. I made some more Limoncello Poppy Seed Cupcakes but this time I used some strawberry yogurt because that is what I had to use. I would have retried the bundt cake if I had the supplies to make a second one, but alas I did not want to make another trip to the store.

Tequila Sunrise Bundt Cake
This recipe comes to you via Booze Infused Cakes book.
Can't tell much of a difference between the orange and red layers

Maraschino cherries, well drained
3 tablespoons and 1/2 cup Tequila, divided
1 package yellow cake mix
3 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup and 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate, thawed, divided
1 teaspoon orange flavoring
Red food gel coloring (so you don't thin the batter)
3 to 5 tablespoons grenadine syrup
1 tablespoon sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a bundt pan or other kind of pan if you desire. You can soak the cherries in 2 tablespoons of tequila, but I suggest not, I did not enjoy the tequila soaked cherries. In a large bowl mix together the cake mix, eggs, oil 3/4 cup orange juice concentrate, orange flavoring and 1/2 cup tequila. Mix until incorporated. Divide batter evenly between three bowls, (or I just took out a third at a time). A third of the batter is about 1 1/2 cups. Place a cherry in each of the grooves of the bundt pan, then pPour a third of the batter into the bundt pan before adding coloring. Add a little coloring to make it an orange color and pour a third on top of the plain batter. Add more coloring until it is a red color and pour into pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean.
Just a picture of the fallen apart part


Remove the cake from the oven and drizzle the grenadine syrup on top, (go easy on the amount). Leave pan to cool for at least 10 minutes. Carefully invert cake onto wire rack and remove pan. (Let it cool more than ten minutes so it won't break apart since its still warm).  Whisk together 1 tablespoon each of orange juice concentrate, tequila and powdered sugar. Brush glaze over warm cake, let cool completely, and slice into wedges to serve. For my glaze I made it with just orange juice and powdered sugar and used more powdered sugar than a tablespoon, I made it a thicker glaze so that it would look cooler.  The picture in the book looked a lot more professional than the one that I have, and it actually looked more like a sunrise does.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Limoncello Poppy Seed Cupcakes

What's up internet fans? Long time no post, sorry about that. I'm going to make excuses now. It has just been too hot to bake anything and I have been pretty busy. I had a job and I was taking a class. Now the class is almost over with and I quit the job. Do not ever work for the Renaissance Festivals, at least the one in Colorado. Pay is barely over minimum wage and the place I was working was the only shop that was not allowed to except tips. It was a really crappy job.

I've got a favor to ask of those who live in Utah. My cousin's Harley was stolen from his apartment complex, so my favor is for you to keep your eyes peeled for it. And either call the cops about it or let me know so I can tell my cousin. A couple of things to look for are the scratches toward the back of the pipes, the mirrors are flipped upside down, and for a trained eye the screaming eagle intake vance and hines short shots
forward controls.
  Here is a picture of it.

I saw a while ago this recipe for Limoncello Pound Cake. I really like lemon poppy seed muffins, so I decided to try the recipe with an addition of poppy seeds. I also decided to make them into cupcakes/muffins whatever you want to call them. They were delicious. I made them kind of last minute and did not have a chance to charge my camera and take a picture. I suggest making them, since they are quite delicious.

Limoncello Poppy Seed Cupcakes 
3 eggs
1 cup yogurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup limoncello
1/2 cup melted butter
1 cup sugar
1 and 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons poppy seeds

3 tablespoons limoncello
1 cup confectioner's sugar


Preheat the oven to 350°, put liners in cupcake pan. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, yogurt, lemon zest and juice, limoncello, butter, and sugar.
Sift the dry ingredients together in a smaller bowl, then add to the mixture, literally mix until the dry ingredients are no longer visible, do not over mix otherwise you get a weird texture of cake.Bake for about 15-20 minutes, then test with a toothpick, should come out clean when the cake is done.
To make the glaze, put the sugar and limoncello in a bowl and whisk together, adding more sugar or limoncello if the consistency is not to your liking. Then put some on the cooled cupcakes. You can drizzle it on the cupcakes or use it kind of like frosting and make it look sorta pretty. Its up to you.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Blue Hawaiian Cupcakes

I got a job working at the renaissance festival that is here in Colorado. It starts on Saturday and I'm kind of excited about it. I think it will be really fun. I also have started my summer class, and have made it through a 1/5 of it already. That is kind of scary in my opinion. I've only been in it a week and I only have fourish weeks to go, it might be less.
My brother moved back to Colorado last weekend, its nice to have him back. His fiancee is still in KC and will move back more towards July.
Not too many anecdotes since the last time I posted. I have updated my recipe page, finally. It was down for awhile but I've put it back up.
The rain has been pretty good? or awful, depends on how you look at it. I think it might be better if it had waited a few days in between each of these huge storms. We had a huge storm Wednesday night and that closed one of the major roads by my house and so we have to take this long totally out of the way road to get what normally is a mile down the road. Or we have to pay tolls on the toll road to get down to another location and then turn around and kind of back track. Last night it was what I'm calling flash flooding because the lightning was flashing insanely, and it was flooding areas of the neighborhood like the street and our garden. Now that pretty important road for us is going to be closed longer since the rain dumped a bunch more. It was already going to be closed through the weekend, I'm interested in how much longer they are planing on keeping it closed.

Blue Hawaiian Cupcakes from Booze Infused Cakes

1 (18.25 oz) pkg white cake mix
3/4 cup pineapple juice
1/2 cup light rum
3 egg whites
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup cream of coconut
2 tablespoons blue curacao

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line standard muffin cups with paper liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine cake mix, pineapple juice, rum, egg whits and oil. Blend with a mixer on low speed until moistened. Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes. Spoon batter into prepared muffin pans  filling cups about half full. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until cupcakes test done with a toothpick. Cool completely.
Poke the end of a wooden spoon into the top of each cupcake, making one to three holes about 3/4 the way through cupcake. In a small spouted measuring cup, whisk together cream of coconut and blue curacao. Pour mixture into the holes in cupcakes until filled; let stand for at least 10 minutes. Before serving, top cupcakes with a swirl of whip cream and garnish with well-drained cherries.

My alterations
It took me going to three different stores before I found blue curacao, when I did finally find it I also saw pineapple rum, so I bought that and used it instead of light rum. I also used whole eggs instead of just the egg whites. I normally do this because it keeps the cupcakes more moist than normal.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

All those things I want to do, (updated)

Remember that one post I did about carrot cake? No well, you don't have to check it out if you don't want to, unless you want to have a recipe for it. I decided to update my bucket list and if anyone wants to help me fulfill any of them I would not object to company and I will blog about it and put up pictures. Like pennies, I collect them and you can collect them for me and then just help out my life long dream of having a lot of pennies. I'm up to $15 in pennies at last count.
  1. Parasail
  2. Go to Australia
  3. Get Married
  4. Have kiddos
  5. Go to South Africa and swim with sea turtles
  6. Make a recipe famous
  7. Go to Vegas again
  8. Go to Alaska
  9. Scuba Dive
  10. Pyramids at sunset
  11. Ride a camel
  12. Travel to over 30 countries:25 so far
  13. Travel to over 100 cities outside of the U.S.: 75 so far
  14. Travel to all 50 states: 24 so far
  15. Go white water rafting again
  16. Learn to snowboard fully
  17. Jet-ski in Hawaii
  18. Own a house near a lake
  19. Dance with my father at my wedding
  20. Go skydiving
  21. Race a sports car
  22. Fire a gun
  23. Go Zorbing
  24. Oktoberfest
  25. Test drive a Ferrari
  26. Go bungee jumping
  27. Visit the Acropolis
  28. Visit the Pantheon
  29. Visit the Parthenon
  30. Visit the Great Wall of China
  31. Start a blog
  32. See Steve Irwin’s Zoo (modified since his death)
  33. Ride in a hot air balloon
  34. Take a canopy tour
  35. Visit the Fjords of Norway
  36. Visit the Great Barrier Reef
  37. Visit Niagara Falls
  38. Visit Easter Island
  39. Go to Stonehenge
  40. Try oysters
  41. Try escargot
  42. Try caviar
  43. Heli-snowboarding
  44. Snowboard into a different country(Austria to Switzerland)
  45. Hang Gliding
  46. Collect a  100,000 pennies: 1500 so far
  47. Actually finish making a blanket
  48. Learn to sew
  49. Drive at 100+ mph
  50. Get tattoo 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Beer Bread

I turned 21 a little over a week ago. I bought my first drink yesterday, it was a deliciously tequilay frozen strawberry margarita. Today I went and bought some beer to make a recipe I saw on a blog. It was for beer bread. Thanks to a lovely class at school where we did nothing but learn about beer and taste it, I know what kind of beer that I like. I love the hefeweizen by Paulaner which is a brewery based in Munich, Germany.
Jacqueline is the blogger over at Bake it with Booze where I got the idea to make this here bread. She even said that she wanted to try it with a hefeweizen. Since I love hefeweizens I decided to make it with that kind of beer.
Let me tell you, this bread is super easy and takes maybe ten minutes at the most (I'm accounting for distractions such as the neighbor coming over) to actually prepare it. There is no time needed to let it rise and I only got one bowl dirty (which means that I used my hand to stir and just wiped out my measuring stuff). It has a deliciously crunchy outside and super moist inside. It is awesome. I love it.


3 cups flour 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 cup sugar 
1 12-ounce bottle or can of beer 
1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter

Preheat the oven to 375. Mix all dry ingredients together in a med-large bowl. Pour in the beer and mix until just combined. Pour some of the melted butter not much enough to coat the bottom of a loaf pan; swirl to coat the bottom thoroughly. Spoon the batter into the loaf pan. It will be lumpy in the pan and it doesn't matter. Pour the rest of the butter over the top of the loaf, giving it a good coating. Bake for about 50-55 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then eat, if you feel like, or let it cool even more and then enjoy later.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Wild Animal Sanctuary

This is yet another post not about baking, but I don't care. Today was a really cool day. My family, (aunt and uncle, grandparents and my parents) and I went on a trip up the this Wild Animal Sanctuary. It is this place that rescues carnivores such as lions, tigers and bears. (most recently the Bolivian Lions. All of these animals were kept in different conditions and most had never lived in the wild. They were rescued and brought to this sanctuary. People can go pay $10 to walk on this platform and observe them from a height that does not put stress on them. It was pretty cool to see these animals that actually looked pretty happy.
There were a few different bears in different enclosures that liked playing in the tubs of water.