Monday, February 28, 2011
I haven't had a deep, dark chocolate cake in some time, and I was craving it like crazy. I came across this recipe on Gourmet website, and I was sold. I decided I would wait until the weekend to bake this, which was hard, because I wanted it that second!
Finally the day had arrived, and I was surprised at how easy this cake was (I'm not so sure why it is called a tart). The recipe says to let chill in the fridge for 4 hours, but I couldn't wait. It was so good slightly warm and pudding like. I served it with whipped cream, and it was heaven on a plate. The only downside was how messy the cutting was due to the crumbs.
Well, that actually meant more crumbs for me, so i guess it was also an upside!
Saturday, February 26, 2011
I baked some finger-food for a get together, and these muffins were a huge hit! The maple flavor was just right and the bananas kept the muffins insanely moist. The crumb topping was so delicious! People couldn't get enough of them, which was great.
I made the muffins mini, and got about 24 muffins out of the batter. But mini is not necessary, the bigger the better right? ;)
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
A few months ago my cousin and her boyfriend, who were traveling all over the world for a year, made a pit stop here in Israel to visit us. The boyfriend is a professional chef, so we had a great time discussing food. After finding out what a chocoholic I am, he said that he has an amazing chocolate cookie recipe. Of course he had me at "chocolate", so finally I received a facebook message with the recipe!
The cookies are true to their name, a true Indulgence. With 21 ounces of chocolate, chocolate chips AND white chocolate chips - it is a chocolate fiesta all in one cookie! The best thing is if you time the baking just right you will get such a to-die-for gooey center. YUMMY!
Saturday, February 19, 2011
This week something really exciting happened! My sister got engaged! We are all so happy for the two of them. The second big event this week was that I agreed to take on the making of the wedding cake. I KNOW, that is one big responsibility! It is a bit scary, but I do have a half a year to practice and prepare myself. I actually already ordered the book Martha Stewart's Wedding Cakes, you can always rely on Martha to have a book for any purpose!
I also baked a special engagement cake for them. I wanted it to be white and wedding-like, but still cute and suitable for a party. I had a few design ideas worked out perfectly in my mind, but sadly reality is not so easy... I ended up just piping pink flowers around a perfect white frosting. And now let me gush over this wonderful swiss meringue buttercream, I just discovered. It is just so buttery and delicious! you know how sometimes frosting's can be way too sweet? well this frosting is the opposite. It does take a little longer to put together, because of the egg whites, but it is totally worth it.
I was really happy about how the cake turned out, and it was a big hit!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I was kind of having a baker's block (It doesn't happen only to writer's!), I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to bake. I had plenty of recipes bookmarked, but nothing seemed appealing at that moment. Suddenly a cake popped into mind. A cake I haven't thought of in years, but use to be my favorite cake in the whole entire world. This simple chocolate cake was my birthday cake almost every year. I remembered my mom got the recipe from a friend and wrote it down in one of her recipe notebooks. I also remember the cake being insanely moist, which was what I loved about it. I decided I would find this cake recipe and bake it, you know, for old time's sake.
The big difference between me and mom can be seen by how we organize our recipes. I have different folders for breads, cakes, cupcakes, cookies, pies etc and they are all organized alphabetically (am I a little crazy?). So finding a recipe isn't hard to do. Now my mom is exactly the opposite - the recipes are all over the place in random notebooks. Luckily, I thought I remembered where the recipe was, and indeed after about 10 minutes - success!
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I don't make enough cookies, and when I do I usually make chocolate chip cookies (can you blame me?). So this week I made peanut butter cookies, and of course they still had chocolate chips in them, but I'm getting there!
I was actually surprised at how good the cookies turned out. I already have a great recipe for peanut butter cookies, which is also a family favorite. These cookies were flatter and softer, and were really delicious - and quite addicting too.
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Oh. WOW. These brownies are my new favorite.
Chocolaty? check.Salted caramel? check.
I have a new found love for the caramel and chocolate combination, especially since the the devil's food layer cake. So I couldn't believe my eyes when I found this recipe. The brownies are so gooey because of the caramel, that they stay just as delicious even days after baked! The thing is people didn't know there was caramel in the brownies until I mentioned it - The brownies just taste so good. I sprinkled salt on a few squares, like the recipe suggests, but that freaked out a couple of family members ("WHY is there salt on my brownie?!").
The brownies do take some time to prepare, because of the caramel and the layering. But believe me they are totally worth the effort!
Sunday, February 6, 2011
I was asked to make a dessert for a party, and happily I agreed. I decided since it was a grown up party, sophisticated lemon cupcakes would be suitable. Sadly I had a bit of a disaster while baking the cupcakes. For some reason they took on a life of their own, and wouldn't stop rising. They rose so much that the surface of my pan was covered in batter (which was not fun cleaning up!). So I basically had one gigantic cupcake. Weird right? Now I started to panic, because I was pressured with time. I needed a new recipe quickly! So I decided to just use my own knowledge, and whip up a new batch quickly.
Thankfully, I didn't have another disaster, but resulted in a nice fluffy cake with a delicate lemon flavor. To add some more lemon to the cupcake, I added lemon zest to the frosting! and yellow food coloring really brought everything together. The cupcakes were great, and no one knew about the
big little meltdown.
Saturday, February 5, 2011
It was my baby sister's 19th birthday party yesterday, and she had requested a cheesecake. Well to be exact, she had requested a cheesecake MONTHS ago. She likes to be prepared! There was one rule: a simple cheesecake - which means no fancy berries/sauces on top. I agreed.
I found this recipe for a vanilla bean cheesecake, and thought it was exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a plain cheesecake, but still flavorful. One surprise about the recipe was that the cake is not baked in a water bath. This was a plus, because no matter how many times I would wrap my cheesecake in tin foil water always got in the pan. That results in a soggy crust, and who wants a soggy crust? The con was that the edges of the cheesecake browned, but I wasn't too worried about that.
The cheesecake was so light and oh so creamy, a true delight AND the crust was amazing!
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
I just realized something pretty cool - this is my 100th divine baking post! Hopefully the next hundred (and the one after that...) will be just as fun.
I am the kind of person who uses any excuse/occasion to bake. If my sisters coworker is leaving her job, you can guess who is baking the farewell dessert! People think I'm doing them a favor. but really it is selfish, because I love, love, baking.
With that said, we can now move to the adorable cupcakes. The best way to show someone you care is chocolate (or is that only me?), and these cupcakes will do the trick. A brownie-like cake with a melt-in-your-mouth buttercream topped with a brownie heart... delicious! you will be loved forever.