With Sweet Dreams and Even Sweeter Days

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Lemon Honey Pound Cake


This pound cake was so long ago, it almost seems like ages and ages away!  Somehow or another, it got lost in the shuffle.  But the time has come for it to have its day in the sun.

A month or (two?) ago one of my best friends Maria came over for a baking day.  Maria is the deepest and most dedicated chocoholic I know.  Great, wonderful, I was on it.  Chocolate recipes abounded.

There was only one problem.  It was the middle of Lent, and Maria (being the good girl that she is :D) decided to abstain from chocolate.  Therefore I was thrown for a loop and left wondering what in the world we were going to make together.

Finally she narrowed it down to this, and I must say, I was glad she did.  It may not be a triple chocolate cake Maria, but it was darn good on its on.  The glaze keeps it super moist for ages, and even though I sent Maria home with half, I'm pretty sure my half was enjoyed for breakfast the next 3-4 days.

Can't wait for our next baking day together, and I promise next time we'll make devil's food cake to make up for it :)

But for now, a perfect summer dessert instead!


Lemon Honey Pound Cake
Servings: 1 9x5 inch loaf

Ingredients:

For Pound Cake:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
Zest of 1 lemon

For Glaze:
Juice of 1 lemon 
1 tbsp honey 
1/4 cup powdered sugar 

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl with an electric mixer blend together butter and sugar until creamy. Add eggs and honey and beat to combine scraping down the sides as needed. Add the milk and lemon zest then beat until smooth.  With the mixer on low speed, add flour mixture until just combined.  Pour it into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake it for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Let cool completely on a cooling rack.  Take out of pan when cooled.  To make glaze, in a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice, honey and powdered sugar. With a spoon drizzle the glaze over top of the cooled cake and let set.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from: Shop Cook Make




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Moulin Rouge Cupcakes


I'm sorry for my extended absence on here, but I am back, better than ever with plenty to share.  I have returned from my whirlwind trip to Paris and London. 

Out of our many different adventures one was in fact the inspiration for these cupcakes.  The Moulin Rouge.

Right in the heart of Paris's red light district, which is extremely interesting if not stereotypical.

I dreamt these cupcakes up when I was getting ready for my trip, and this one of my first very detailed cupcakes that I did completely without a guide and just from my head.

I was so giddy with the final result and they turned out exactly as I had hoped.  From a sketch I did quickly while sitting at the computer, to a final product sitting in front of me, it was great watching a vision of mine come to life.  A feeling I know I will be replicating very much now that I'm home.

And as for the baked goods in Paris.  I can't even describe to you.  I will dream of the "Vanille" macarons at Lauderee for months.

As for these cupcakes, I think they would fit right in.


Although when I described them as "racy" to my surrogate grandmother Connie and gifted her with one, she said that if I thought these were racy, I needed to get out more.  She then proceeded to offer our handsome waiter at Carrabas a piece of hers.

I guess now that I'm home I'll work on getting on her level.  But for now, these leftover cupcakes will do just fine. :)


Moulin Rouge Cupcakes
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the Cupcakes:
1-⅓ cup Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
¼ teaspoons Salt
1 stick Unsalted Butter, Softened
1 cup Sugar
2  Eggs
½ cups Milk
½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract

For the Buttercream:
3 cups Powdered Sugar
2 sticks Unsalted Butter, At Room Temperature
¼ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
3 dashes Milk
Food Coloring

For Decorating:
1/2 bag white candy melts
1/3 bag chocolate candy melts
pearl dragees for decorating (can be found at craft or baking stores)

Directions:
To make cupcakes, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard size muffin tin with paper or foil liners.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; whisk briefly to combine. Set aside.
In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the 1 stick butter on medium speed until fluffy (2-3 minutes). Add the sugar and beat until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla and beat lightly until combined. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and beat just until combined.  Fill cupcake liners 3/4 of the way full.  Bake for 18-22 minutes (rotating pan halfway through) or until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool the cupcakes for 15 minutes in tins. Take out of tins and cool completely.

To make buttercream, sift powdered sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat it together with the butter until creamy. Add vanilla and a few dashes of milk, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, beating until just combined. (If icing is too stiff – add a tad more milk until desired consistency is reached. If too thin – add a tad more powdered sugar.) Tint with any color food coloring of your choosing.  Beat until color is consistent and well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.  

To decorate, lay out a sheet of wax paper.  On a piece of plain paper draw an outline of legs.  Place under wax paper.  Melt white candy melts in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water with drop each of red and yellow food coloring as well as with 1/4 teaspoon of cocoa powder, or until looks like skin color.  When melted ladle into a plastic squeeze bottle.  Working fast, fill outline of legs with white chocolate.  Move paper under wax paper and repeat until 12 legs have been made.  Melt chocolate candy melts in double boiler and transfer to a separate squeeze bottle.  Outline bottom on feet for shoes and draw garter on one leg for each pair.  Immediately place on dragees if desired.  Set aside to set (or place in freezer to speed up process if desired).  Ladle buttercream into a plastic decorators bag with a large petal tip in it.  With the small side of the icing tip facing outward go around each cupcake with a back and forth motion.  Continue for the middle as well as a second layer if desired.  If you don't like how it looks, just scrape it off and try again.  It took me a few tries to get the look I was going for.  It helps if the buttercream is cold.  Immediately top with firmed legs.  Enjoy!



Recipe Inspiration: A Mary Original
Cupcakes adapted from: Magnolia Bakery
Icing adapted from: Food Network

Monday, May 2, 2011

Strawberry Glazed Doughnuts


So I figure now is as good a time as any to relay some big news...

I'm heading off to London and Paris on Sunday!  Classes end on Friday and then two days later I'll be on a plane for my first time abroad ever!

I'm so excited I try not to think about it often... it makes studying almost impossible.

And in my last week home to prepare for my trip, I haven't gone to the gym once and have been busy eating strawberry doughnuts.

I know, I know, I don't know what's wrong with me either.

But these doughnuts were so worth it.


The other morning I woke up with a craving for strawberry glazed doughnuts, but a quick internet search yielded nothing what I had pictured in my head.  So I just made them up!  

I was lucky enough that someone ordered some the next day, because when I made them a second time they were absolutely absolutely perfect.  And these babies are still baked, so they're not as bad as the fried ones.

(That's my argument to myself - and we're going to keep it that way)


I love these so so much, and am so glad I created them, and I think you will be too! :)

Enjoy!


Strawberry Glazed Doughnuts
Servings: 10 doughnuts

Ingredients:

Doughnuts:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
1 tbsp melted butter
10  medium to large strawberries (between 1/2 and 3/4 cup depending on size), pureed with 2 tsp seedless strawberry jam
1 tbsp pure maple syrup

Glaze:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cups cold milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Grease a 6-doughnut pan with baking spray.  To make doughnuts combine dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add in milk, egg, butter, and maple syrup.  Stir until well combined.  Stir in strawberry mixture, starting with 1/2 of it and adding more only if needed.  Batter should be wet, but not runny.  Put dough into a pastry bag or plastic bag and snip approx 1-inch off end.  Pipe batter into each well, reserving extra batter.  Bake for 7-9 minutes until doughnuts spring back when touched.  Let cool five minutes and turn onto a cooling rack to cool completely.  Spray pan again and continue with the rest of batter until all doughnuts have been made.  While doughnuts are cooling make glaze.  To make glaze, stir all ingredients together until smooth.  When doughnuts are cooled dip each into glaze (twice if you want to be naughty about it) and place back on cooling rack to let glaze set.  When glaze has set enjoy!

(some notes - added 9/24/12 - A few people have commented that they enjoyed adding some leftover strawberry puree to the glaze for even more strawberry flavor.  While I have not tried this personally I think it's a great idea and something to pursue if you feel you would enjoy it as well.  Also a few people have noted their donuts are flat.  The most common case for this would be a too runny and wet batter.  If you fear this might be the case, err on the side of a drier batter, mixing in puree only until just moistened with no flour streaks remaining.  Good luck!  - Mary)

Doughnut recipe: A Mary original
Glaze adapted from: The Pioneer Woman Cooks