Showing posts with label baking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label baking. Show all posts

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Blueberry Muffin Round Robin

So I was the lucky girl who got to participate in Aleta's Blueberry Muffin Round Robin. This is how it worked. Whoever wanted to participated in taste testing signed up and whoever wanted to submit their blueberry muffin recipe as the BEST RECIPE EVER could do so. I was assigned Recipe A and Recipe C to make and test. It's a hard life I lead.

First up, Recipe A (These recipes are halved. To make a full dozen, double it).

1 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup oil
1/2 egg (2 tbsp-I beat the egg then measured it out)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
1 1/2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp finely chopped pecans

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Combine flour, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and pecans in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients; stir just until combined. Gently fold in blueberries. Allow batter for 15 minutes before dividing evenly among paper-lined muffin cups.
  4. Combine melted butter and brown sugar in a small bowl. Spoon 2 tsp over each muffin, then sprinkle with 1 tsp of finely chopped pecans.
  5. Bake muffins at 375 for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Now up, Recipe C.

1 cup flour
1/4 cup & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup & 2 tbsp milk
1/2 egg (about 2 tbsp-I beat the egg and then measured it out)
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 tbsp lemon zest

1/4 cup sugar
2 tbsp & 2 tsp flour
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tbsp butter, softened

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Make the batter by combining the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, butter, milk and egg. Blend with an electric mixer. Gently fold in the blueberries and lemon zest. Set aside.
  3. For the topping combine the first four ingredients. Cut in butter until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
  4. Grease muffin tins. Spoon batter into tins (fill 2/3 full), then top with streusel mixture. Bake on middle rack approximately 20-25 minutes.

So I taste-tested, I took both to my pals Jen and Kelly and they taste-tested and I had hubby taste them. BY FAR the winner was. . .


SERIOUSLY GOOD. I'm not even kidding people. You need to make this. Both of the recipes were actually good. Hubby preferred Recipe C, but the rest of us were all about A. I think it was the brown sugar that put Recipe A over the top. I will be making these again and again and again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Rainbow Cake or The Cake That Should Have Won

WHAAAAAATTTTT? There's no bitterness here!

So I stumbled upon this Rainbow Cake beauty on my new favorite blog Omnomicon (which I so DON'T want to share with you because there are many lovies on there I want to make and show off). Aleta has the cutest little rainbow cake on there and I decided to try it out for our bake-off. But here's the big secret. It's diet. THAT'S RIGHT. Diet. But not ewww-that-is-so-gross-diet. YOU CAN'T EVEN TELL. In fact my dad, who is NOT a big cake eater, said it was one of the moistest cakes he had ever had. Oh and ps? The frosting is diet too. Let's make cake, shall we?

First up you are going to mix the cake mix with 24 oz. of clear diet soda.
Yes Matt. IT'S A BOX.

Your batter is going to be lumpy. But it's okay. Just mix it up according to the box directions. And you can take licks of this! No raw eggs!

Here's where I suck because I didn't get any of the dividing-the-batter action. (Sorry the pictures is a little blurry!) I knew I only wanted 3 colors so I basically figured out how many ounces were in the whole thing and divided it by 3, then put the batter in 3 separate bowls. I added the gel color until it was the color I wanted.

I don't know how I got perfect circles in my cake but here is how I layered it. I knew I wanted the bottom color to be the most prominent so I put about 2 and half cups of the bottom color in first. Then I put about 1 1/2 cups of the second color and about 3/4 cups of the third color. Eyeball it and trust your gut.

Then bake that sucker according to the directions on the box. Mine required an extra 10 minutes or so. Just keep poking it with a toothpick until it comes out clean. The tops of my cakes were really bloated so I shaved the entire bump off the bottom layer and part of it on the top. Now it's time for FROSTING!

All you're going to do here is take 16 oz. of cool whip and mix in the two packages of fat-free, sugar-free pudding (I used the white chocolate flavor). I would do it one at a time. It makes it a little easier to mix. Also, I would mix this while your cake is baking. That way the whip cream has time to thaw out. That will come in handy later.

Start frosting that sucker! This frosting is very sticky. Meaning it sticks to the cake! So that's why it is important that it has sit for awhile. I found that it was easier to spread the frosting warmer it was. It's not going to be perfectly smooth like buttercream so if that bothers you, sorry.

How cute is this thing? I really loved it. And seriously. GOOD. So moist. I really think this is some of the most moist cake I have ever had. I can't wait to try the full rainbow!
Rainbow Cake
2 boxes white cake mix
24 oz of clear diet soda (I used Sprite)
gel food coloring
16 oz. whipped topping such as cool whip
2 oz instant fat-free sugar-free pudding mix (I used white chocolate flavor)
1. Mix the cake with the soda according to the box directions. It will be slightly lumpy.
2. Figure out how many total ounces of cake batter you have and divide that by how many colors you want to do. Divide batter into bowls, add gel coloring and mix!
3. Drop your colored batter in your greased pans in the order you want your rainbow. Your bottom layer should be about double the amount of your top layer.
4. Bake your cake according to the box. You will probably need an additional 10 minutes or so. Check it every 5 minutes until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Let it cool completely.
5. While your cake is cooling mix your 2 packages of pudding with your whipped topping. Do one package at a time and mix thoroughly.
6. Frost your cake and chow down!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And the winner is. . .not me :-(

THAT DARN TARTLET! And I mean Michelle!
That's right the winner is The Pecan Tartlet by Michelle! BOO. Nah, I'm kidding. We had such a good time doing this. It was so much fun! Thank you for all of you who voted! Make sure and come back and comment OFTEN! :-) And tomorrow I'm going to let you in on a BIG secret about my cake! You'll be surprised! Stick around kids, we might do this again!

And now, here's a few words from our winner. . .on her blog.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Mardi Gras Bake-Off

Two bakers. Two desserts. One winner. Who will you pick? Please choose dessert #1 or dessert #2 and post your choice in your comment. The winner is decided BY YOU. Voting and comments will be kept open until noon on Wednesday, February 25th! Happy voting!

Dessert #1:
The Big Easy Chocolate Pecan Tartlet

Dessert #2:
Mardi Gras Rainbow Cake

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's on Like Donkey Kong

I have a little contest going on with my pal Michelle. And you my dear readers (and hers too I'm assuming) are going to be deciding the outcome. Here's the wager: it's a BAKE-OFF. That's right. I have found a way to incorporate food into every part of my life INCLUDING my competitive streak.

Michelle and I were both very, very sad to see Valentine's leave with all it's pink and red glory and we were trying to decide what holiday we could celebrate next so we could bake more cute things. Michelle in all her smartness came up with Mardi Gras! It's a Mardi Gras Smackdown! A Fat Tuesday brawl! And it won't be easy. Michelle is a baker from way back when and I'm a novice. But I'll give her a run for her money.

We are both supposed to make the cutest, yummiest looking dessert by Tuesday and then we will post the photos (without names! I don't want any of Michelle's friends coming over here and voting for her's to make me lose! what paranoia?) and you my dear readers, will vote. All 12 of you. AND YOU LURKERS TOO. That's right Natausha and Aunt Carlene. I'm calling you out.

So be prepared to salivate and vote FOR ME. I mean, vote for the one you think looks the best. Which is mine. Bring it on Michelle. You're going down sista!

P.S. The prize is the title of BEST BAKER IN THE WHOLE WIDE WORLD. But that's only if I win. (No, I am not competitive at all. Why do you ask?)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Boredom breeds baking

I have been sick for 4 days. YUCK. And it has been this weird stupid sickness. I've been battling a migraine for 3 days. And today I had finally had it. I just couldn't sit around anymore. I was ready to pull out my hair. So I decided to bake! First on the menu, Popovers. (I don't know why but they looked easy to make so I thought I would try.)

Easy Popovers
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 tablespoon butter or margine, melted and cooled
1 cup of milk
2 large eggs

You can bake popovers in a metal muffin pan, a popover pan or ovenproof glass custard cups. DO NOT open your oven while the popovers are baking or they will collapse.

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425.

  2. Butter containers generously.
  3. Place flour, salt, butter, and milk (you can use a mixer, blender or food processor) and whirl until smooth.

  4. Add eggs, one at a time, processing briefly after each addition just until blended.

  5. Pour batter into buttered containers, filling each about one third to half full.

  6. Bake in a 425 oven for 10 minutes.

  7. Reduce heat to 375 and bake until tops are richly browned, 20 to 30 minutes.

  8. For drier popovers, loosen popovers from the containers, but leave them sitting at an angle in the cups. Prick the sides of each popover with a wooden pick and let stand in a turned-off oven with the door ajar.

  9. Serve warm with butter, jam or honey.