Thursday, September 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Firefighter Jake!
Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake with Suzy-q Filling




I have several from scratch chocolate cake recipes but, so far, none have been as moist and easy to work with as a modified Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix! One recipe I'm working on is very close, until then, this is what I do:

1 Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
1 pkg Jello Instant Chocolate Fudge pudding
1 cup water
1/3 cup canola oil
4 eggs

Follow the directions on the box, other than the pudding and an extra egg. I mix the cake mix and dry pudding a minute or so before adding the water, oil and one egg. I add another egg after a few seconds, then another and then the last egg. I scrape the sides and bottom of bowl and mix for 2 minutes on setting 2 on my Kitchen Aid mixer.

Bake according to package instructions.

You should get 24 very nice looking, and tasting, rounded top cupcakes or two 8 inch layers.

To get even, level, flat topped cake layers, I use Wilton Bake Even strips. They are worth every penny, mine are at least 25 years old!! You soak in very cold water, lightly squeeze excess water out, do not wring, and place around the outside of cake pans, securing with pins that come with them. I put them on after I have filled the pans with batter and put them directly into the oven. I didn't have to trim any cake off these layers.

When the layers have cooled enough to handle, I cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate until both sides are cool and the cake has firmed up enough to handle, plan on an hour in the frig. I cut both these layers in half using a Wilton Cake Leveler, filled with suzy-q filling and refrigerated to let the filling firm up, about 30 minutes. I crumb coated the 4 layers and refrigerated again then covered with Chocolate buttercream.

The firefighter and happy birthday Jake are Wilton black fondant. For the firefighter I found a pic online, printed it and cut it out, placed on rolled out fondant and used an exacto knife to cut around it. I use FMM tappits for the letters.


Kearsley Boy's and Girl's Bowling-State Champs


Kearsley Boy's & Girl's Bowling



Kearsley Boy's and Girl's Bowling League were State Champions this year!! State Representative Pam Faris requested a few dozen cupcakes, the league was invited to the state capitol for a little party. As usual, Pam leaves the decorating, or not decorating, up to me.  


I thought bowling balls and pins would be cute :) but I wanted to acknowledge the State Champions aspect too.



I didn't have room for "boys and girls" but they loved them!



Brownie Batter Truffles


These are by far the easiest sweet treat I've done this season :) I had leftover brownie batter filling from Blackout Cupcakes, white chocolate, plenty of sprinkles and company :)

I used a box brownie mix, Ghirardelli, don't get the mix with chunks of chocolate in it as you will have to dig them out before putting in a piping bag, the chips tend to clog up the end of the bag. Yes, I did that :)

1 cup dry brownie mix
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 Tbs. heavy cream

Mix brownie mix and room temp butter, add powdered sugar, mix well and then add cream. Very easy and so good!

Since I had leftover brownie batter it was in the fridge for a couple of days so you should refrigerate until firm, it will be easier to make balls. I dipped some in white chocolate and rolled some in just sprinkles.

Halloween is right around the corner and these would be so easy to make look like pumpkins.

Have fun decorating!!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Oatmeal Cream Pie Cake

This doesn't really taste like a Little Debbie's Oatmeal Cream Pie but it is delicious!!



Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup + 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup quick oats
1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar (packed)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla

Filling
1 cup butter, softened
1-7 oz jar marshmallow fluff
2 cups confectioner sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbs heavy cream or milk

Preheat oven to 350
Line the bottom of 8 inch round cake pan with waxed or parchment paper.

Mix flour, baking soda, cinnamon and quick oats in small bowl and set aside.

Cream butter, stir in brown sugar, scrape sides of bowl as needed, add egg and vanilla and stir until combined, I did this by hand instead of using a hand or my stand mixer. Stir in flour mixture, mix well and form into a ball with a spatula.

Scoop ball into center of cake pan and flatten a little, making it about an inch larger all around. I did the first 2 layers without flattening and it didn't quite fill the pan but was still good :)

Bake at 350 for about 20 - 22 minutes until edges are golden brown. The center of the cookie should not be shiny or wet.

I did 3 separate batches so I wouldn't have to mess around guessing how much to put in each pan but you can double or triple this and do it your own way. Make sure you stay under 1/2 tsp of baking soda per batch or it rises too much, check out bottom layer in pic, I got distracted and spilled a little baking soda, it's quite a bit thicker than the first two.

For the filling, cream softened butter with hand mixer or in stand mixer for about 2 minutes, add marshmallow cream, powdered sugar and vanilla, mix on low until incorporated and then on medium until desired consistency. Add 1 tablespoon of heavy cream, half and half or milk if needed. This makes enough to generously frost two layers with some leftover. You could also frost sides and top but you don't need to.

This has a really nice taste with a little crunch around the edges but is not as soft as the Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie cookie. I think the icing could use more marshmallow and less butter which I'll try next time but tastes wonderful as is!

I'm going to try making these as individual cookies and will post the results along with the size ball of batter and baking time you will need.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Marshmallow Fondant

I came across a tutorial for a quilted fondant cake board cover and wanted to try it right away, since April 15th was my sister's birthday it was the perfect reason to give it a go!


Check out Royal Bakery for the tutorial.

I made some marshmallow fondant a few days before I baked her cake. It was pretty easy to cover a 12 x 12 inch board, easier than I was expecting anyway.

Ingredients:

16 oz bag mini marshmallows
2 Tbs water
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp lemon extract
2 Tbs light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
2 lbs. confectioner sugar
about a 1/2 cup of shortening

I greased my glass bowl with shortening before adding a bag of mini marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water, I put this in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring in between until the marshmallows were completely melted, about 2 1/2 minutes. It can be pretty hot so handle with care. I pour and scrape this into my stand mixer bowl that has also been greased and add salt, corn syrup, lemon extract and vanilla (I grease everything, spatulas, paddle, etc.) Next pour about half of the powdered sugar into the melted marshmallows and mix on low speed, scraping down occasionally. When that is incorporated, I add half of what's left in the bag and mix some more.

When that is incorporated I scrape it onto a very well greased counter top, dump some more powdered sugar on top, grease my hands and start kneading. I used all 2 lbs. of sugar this time, just keep kneading and greasing your hands and the counter top if needed.
If you have used regular fondant then you should be able to tell when it's ready. This is one of those things that takes practice. The first time I made marshmallow fondant I did not add enough sugar, I still used it but it was harder to work with and didn't dry as well as this batch did.

The cake is white velvet but I was not real happy with the taste so will keep working on it and post the recipe if I ever get it where I like it.
Here is the finished cake, letters, numbers, flowers and butterflies are marshmallow fondant too!