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Tag Archives: baking

Elvis is Alive

…and he’s in my kitchen! Hopefully the title caught your attention and you will try out this recipe for Elvis cupcakes! I am pleasantly surprised at how well they turned out. Today was one of the few days that I did not feel much like baking. Mainly because I don’t like getting my kitchen dirty and having to wash dishes on my day off. But I had some bananas that were old and needed to be baked or thrown away, so I decided to find a new recipe to try. I also wanted to try something gluten-free to bring to our small group because one of the girls who attends cannot have gluten. I generally avoid gluten and grains – but lately I’ve been a little lax and have a few bites here and there. (and maybe a whole muffin too…oops!). I never expect anyone to cook or bake specifically to my dietary needs, but I like to bake “alternative” sweets so that everyone can enjoy them!

Now, about those awesome cupcakes I made. I went off of this website and used the first recipe listed with a little modification and tripled the batch. The original recipe says it will make 7 cupcakes, and I would say that is about right on. I was able to get 18 medium (regular sized) and 12 mini cupcakes out of a triple batch.  Now, the tricky part was the icing because although I wanted to make some amazing bacon-y type frosting, I didn’t have bacon. I thought about making a banana glaze, but ended up making a chocolate icing. I can’t totally tell you the measurements because I didn’t measure but I’ll put what I think I used and you can tweak the recipe to get the consistency you would like. This is very similar to how you would make sugar cookie or cinnamon roll icing.

Gluten-Free Elvis Cupcakes (Triple Batch)

3 cup JIFF Peanut Butter (original recipe calls for natural but I didn’t have any)
6 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed (I used one extra than called for)
1 Tbsp baking soda
1 Tbsp raw apple cider vinegar (you can use regular ACV as well)
1/8th tsp plus 2 more servings of Kal Pure Stevia (to taste) I did not add any extra sweetener to my mix

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Add all ingredients to a medium bowl and blend well with whisk.  Taste for sweetness. Using large scoop (1/4 cup), divide batter into 7 cupcake liners (using scant full large scoop).  Bake for 15-17 minutes.  DO NOT OVER BAKE!

Chocolate Icing

1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1-2 TBSP honey
1/2 boiling water
~2 cups powdered sugar

Place chocolate chips and honey into a heat proof bowl. Pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over chips and stir until melted. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of powdered sugar and whisk, stir or beat with mixer until creamy and slowly drips off of a spatula. If the mixture is too thick, add a small amount of water and stir again. If the icing is too thin, keep adding powdered sugar until it thickens up. If the icing gets too stiff or dried out while you are icing your cupcakes, just add a little water and stir it up.

There you have it – the gluten-free Elvis Cupcake. The King lives on…until I eat them all.

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Posted by on May 6, 2013 in Baking

 

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My First Wedding Cake

Oh my goodness, this was so exciting, challenging and nerve-racking all at the same time. About three weeks before I made the cake, the bakery got call about someone wanting a simple wedding cake. They were part of the family who got the eggless Mickey Mouse cake and the grandma insisted they get their wedding cake from our bakery.

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At the consultation, I sat with the bride after she had picked her flavor, filling and frosting with my boss, and talked to her about what decoration she would like. She wanted completely simple, almost to the point of no borders, but we decided a pearl border with a few small pearls on the edges would be a good combo. She was going to use fresh roses as the cake topper. Baking the vanilla cakes was no problem, and they came out of the pans beautifully, so I didn’t have to worry about fixing messy edges. I also had to make the raspberry filling (great choice bride!!) for the cake. I have made a few fillings at work and I can’t believe how easy it is to make. Literally you add 1 1/2 cups of fruit, 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch to a pan and bring to a boil until the fruit breaks down and the sauce becomes “clear.” On Saturday I finished all of my other work and began working on the wedding cake. The first step was to level the cakes, as close to perfect as I could.

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I was already nervous and a little shaky at this point and this coffee cup totally summed up what I was feeling! I mean, I am in charge of making someone’s wedding cake, which they are expecting to be perfect on their day. You don’t want to be the detail that didn’t turn out right for a wedding!

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Next step, place first layer perfectly centered on the cake board, pipe the frosting wall in the middle and add the amazingly tasty raspberry filling.

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Carefully place top layer and finish pre-icing your cake. I repeated these steps for the top tier of the cake and placed both tiers in the freezer to set the filling and frosting.

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After they had set, I put the final icing on the bottom tier and got it as perfectly smooth as I could. Then I had to put a few dowel rods into the cake to support the top tier. Push the dowel all the way to the cake board, mark where it meets the top of the cake, remove from cake and cut on your mark. At this point, finish icing the top tier.

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The scariest step comes next – placing the top tier on the bottom tier. Did I mention this was my first tiered cake as well?? Oh yeah, my nerves were going crazy! Deep breath, deep breath and set cake. Thanks be to God that I was able to place the top tier almost perfectly centered on the first try.

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Take a few deep breaths, say thank you prayers and finish icing your cake.

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I have to give my boss a big thank you for trusting me to make this cake and I am very glad for the experience of creating a wedding cake and a tiered cake. Wishing the newly married couple a lifetime of happiness!

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Baking, Cakes

 

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Turkey Cake

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Happy Thanksgiving! I was asked to make a turkey cake for a friend, so I set out to find a fun design that would feed 20 people. Thank you pintetest and google, I found the right cake to try out.

The all brown turkey is the first version, and the orange and brown is the final version. I’ll post a picture later of the exact cake I made for my friend because she requested more colorful feathers.

Have a great holiday weekend!

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Cooking

 

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Oreo Chocolate Mousse Cake

Oreo Chocolate Mousse Cake

I tried to write this post a few weeks ago, but when it was almost finished, the whole thing got deleted. Here is the shortener, mainly picture version!

I had the chance to make another birthday cake this week, and it came with a great opportunity to use my creativity skills and create a cake I’ve never made before. Luckily, I got some help from The Crumb Boss and her YouTube site for recipes and how-to’s. The videos had a little more chatting than I prefer, but great to watch for technique and recipes. Before I get into making this great creation of a cake, check out what came in that big box:

I got a Kitchen-Aid Mixer!! Woo-hoo. This cake really made good use of my new mixer. I am learning to get all of my ingredients prepared before beginning the baking process. Making sure eggs, milk and butter are at room temperature will ensure your cakes and icing bind together well. If you add cold milk to your butter and sugar mixture, it can cause it to seize up and get lumpy.

Also, prepare your pans before you start mixing anything, that way you can immediately pour batter into pans and put them in the oven. Some cakes will not rise correctly if they sit after mixing or before being put into the oven.

While my chocolate cakes were baking, I began making chocolate mousse with help from the Cake Boss videos and website. First off, whip heavy cream.

Next, melt chocolate. Make sure you have as much as the recipe calls for, I only had half and ended up adding a few different chocolate bars I had around the house!

Whip egg whites until they have soft peaks.

Slowly fold half egg whites into chocolate. Add whipped cream and other half egg whites until smooth.

At some point, use food processor to chop up oreos. Begin layering process: chocolate cake, chocolate mousse and oreo crumbs.

Remember to add oreos BEFORE placing middle layer on cake. Or you will have to attempt to pull the middle layer off like I did – very nerve-racking! Lesson learned.

Finish layering cake. Figure out how to ice cake. I ended up having a lot of the chocolate sauce left that wasn’t made into mousse, so I decided to pour it over the cake kind of like a ganache.

I was very happy with the end result, even though, per usual, things didn’t go exactly as planned.

Happy Birthday M! She is demonstrating the Mexican tradition of taking a bite out of your cake before it is served. They were telling me that someone will usually push your face into the cake, so she was pretty worried about that. All of the girls restrained our men, and she came away with a cake-free face!

I love living in San Antonio and the new friends I have met here. I am getting the chance to learn about another culture and they are challenging me to bake new and interesting things! What do you love about where you live?

 
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Posted by on September 5, 2012 in Baking, Cakes, When in Texas...

 

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Ch-ch-ch-changes…

Anyone remember that song? Yep, now you can listen to it in case you don’t know what I’m referring to. I like ‘oldies,’ what can I say?

Back to this post…change is the major theme in my life right now. In only a matter of weeks, I have had some huge changes in my life. Unfortunately, one of them was the loss of my beyond amazing Grandma Noni. I still don’t feel like that is a reality, and I think being away from my family has added to that feeling. On the flip side, I have been thinking of her almost daily because I need her most important advice to get me through each day.

First things first; one thing at a time.

In late June I decided I wasn’t going to make it another year at my current job. We have gone under new ownership/management, software updates, personnel changes and beginning in July, we started learning a completely new software system. Now, maybe to the average person this doesn’t sound too bad, but adding these things on top of an already stressful job pushed me over my limit of healthy and allowable stress. I slowly started looking for new jobs, mainly on Monster and Craig’s list. I happened to look at the local universities and also local grocery stores. Just for the heck of it, I applied for three different cake decorating positions and one full-time bakery position. I also applied for traditional office/admin jobs and jobs that had more emphasis on accounting because I enjoy that type of work much more than my current position as payroll specialist.

I ended up getting a call back about the full-time bakery position and was offered a part-time position that eventually would get me into the bakery. They weren’t ready to put me in the bakery full-time because I didn’t have commercial baking experience. That was all I needed to help me put in my two-week’s notice. During the two weeks I ended up having two interviews and working try-outs with two different bakeries! One offered me a full-time baking and decorating position, so you are reading the blog of a newly employed bakery worker! Woo-hoo….I’m almost too exhausted to be excited but I can tell my stress level has dropped dramatically just knowing that I have a full-time job.

I am definitely scared that I won’t end up liking baking full-time in a real bakery, or that I’ll be super slow or be a horrible decorator. But, I took the position because the owner was willing to give me a chance even though I had no experience. I don’t know when another chance would come up to get this kind of experience, so I decided I had better try it or I’ll never know if I like the bakery world.

Now, if starting a new job isn’t enough change, let’s add in moving into a new apartment. Yes, we are crazy, thanks for asking! We had the opportunity to move upstairs in our current apartment and we jumped at the chance because the upstairs apartments have awesome balconies and HUGE kitchens compared to our current one. We will be losing a room, so I have absolutely no idea what I will do with all the stuff in our office, but gaining a balcony and bigger kitchen is totally worth it. Ben and I love being outside and we love cooking. With a bigger kitchen we may be able to cook at the same time now!

I have to give God all the credit for the great things that are happening in our lives right now. I could not have imagined actually having a job at a bakery and then God provides me a job at the bakery Ben and I both love eating at! I will be taking a slight pay cut, and God has provided us a better apartment for a little less money each month, so it shouldn’t affect us too much. Matthew 6:8 explains it so well “…for your Father knows what you need before you ask.” God has been giving me strength to work each day at my current job, but He also had everything prepared when I asked him for a new job.

What is God doing in your life right now? How have you seeing His blessings lately?

 
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Posted by on August 19, 2012 in Faith

 

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Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcakes

Chocolate-filled Banana Cupcakes

For our second week in cake decorating class, we were instructed to make 6-12 cupcakes, filling and frosting. I had some very ripe bananas that I wanted to use for banana cupcakes. I slightly modified my banana bread recipe, mostly by using cake flower in a larger ratio to the liquid ingredients. For the chocolate filling, I used butter, melted chocolate and a little oil. The buttercream frosting was the standard vanilla recipe from class.

We colored some of the frosting to practice decorating and then we learned how to swirl the frosting to make two or three different colors show up in one swirl of frosting. Pink, yellow and white were my colors of choice and it turned out beautiful! I was totally impressed at how easy it was to make the cupcakes look that cool.We also practiced two kinds of flowers, and leaves. My green icing for the leaves was a little too watery, so they kind of turned into green blobs on the flowers. I didn’t like the colors of the flowers, so I didn’t take any pictures. Oops…bad blogger! I’ll have to make some to put on a cake and show you pictures.

Thank you to my mother-in-law for buying me a cool cupcake carrier! It make transporting my decorated cupcakes much easier and I wasn’t worried about ruining them because they didn’t slide all over the place.

What is your favorite kitchen accessory? What new baking/cooking/decorating techniques have you learned lately?

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2012 in Cakes

 

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Memorial Weekend Plans

I haven’t been blogging lately, because I’ve been living life! So, I have a little to-do list for this holiday weekend. I’m so excited for a three day weekend, even if I did just take a mini vacation. Here is my to-do list in order of importance and surely, I will not do all of this.

1. Rest
2. Relax
3. Get a tan
4. Finish the end tables I’m re-doing for friends
5. Bake/decorate some fun desserts
6. Update blog
7. Maybe scrapbook a page or just order some pictures to be printed
8. Re-arrange living room
9. Clean up/organize the office
10. Make chocolate waffles

What are your plans for the weekend? What should I bake this weekend?

 
 

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