Red Velvet Cheesecake Layer Cake
March 24, 2012, 5:03 pm
Filed under: baking, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

 

 

So my blogging nightmare has come true. I waited a long while after having the initial desire to start a food  blog before actually starting it because of the huge fear that I would ultimately neglect it… and so I have.

My sincerest apologies to anyone who noticed or missed it.

Onward to my post. 🙂

This incredibly delicious ultimate perfection of a dessert.

A creamy Cheesecake sandwiched between to moist, fluffy Red Velvet Cakes.

Combining two of the most delicious desserts to make one magical concoction.

I found the original recipe  Here. There’s a link there to a tutorial for these awesome icing roses.

Jon started work at a new tattoo studio recently and a few weeks after he did I had the crew and their lovely ladies over for dinner to meet and mingle with them (seeing as my kids keep me pretty much house bound having them come to me was my best option) As if I need ANY excuse to cook for people.

We dined on an array of Italian dishes and I made this incredible cake for dessert.

 

I sincerely enjoyed our evening. Delicious food, great company and a decadent dessert!

For the cheesecake layer:
20 oz full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Zest of half a lemon
1-1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp all purpose flour
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and set a pot of water to boil.
Grease a 9″ springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pain with tinfoil to keep water out, and set the pan into a larger pan (for the water bath).
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
Hand  mix in the lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt.
Add eggs one at a time, making sure they are combined but not overmixed.
Add the sour cream and stir in the flour until just combined.
Pour the batter into the greased pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan, halfway up the cheesecake pan.
Bake until the cheesecake is just set in the middle – about 40 minutes.
Run a knife along the sides of the pan and let the cheesecake cool completely by placing plastic wrap onto the surface of the cheesecake and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
For the red velvet layer:
2-1/2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs, at room temperature
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
Red food coloring, as desired
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9″ pans.
Whisk together the flour, sugar,  cocoa powder, and salt together in a medium bowl.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs, oil, buttermilk, vanilla extract,  together until well combined.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined. Add the food coloring until desired color is achieved.
In a small bowl or cup mix together the baking soda and vinegar and allow it to fizz for a few seconds then add it to the batter.
 Divide the batter equally between the 2 pans. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean, rotating the pans halfway.
Cool the cakes in the pans for 5 minutes, then run a knife around the edges and invert them onto cooling racks to cool completely.
For the cream cheese frosting:
24 oz cream cheese, cold
12 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
6-8 cups powdered sugar
 In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and butter until light and creamy.
 Slowly add the powdered sugar
 Add the vanilla extract and beat until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.
To Assemble:
Layer the cakes on top of each other and frost and decorate how you’d like!
I’ve already been asked to make this cake again and I’m excited to do it! It’s fun to make and the results speak for themselves!

I’m going to make an honest effort to more regularly update and post the things I’m baking. I do bake a lot I just never make it as far as talking pictures and getting them up here, but I’m gonna try! Thanks so much to everyone who is still reading and enjoying!

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Spicy Pumpkin Cupcakes
October 18, 2011, 11:02 pm
Filed under: baking | Tags: , ,

Have you ever been baking something you just knew was going to be delicious?

That was the case with these cupcakes. As soon as I licked the batter off my finger I knew they were magic.

I was right.

Soft, moist and full of spices. They were the perfect dessert to bring to a pumpkin carving get together with family.

I topped them with a double batch of super fluffy French Icing  that I whipped the crap out of  and finished ’em off with some cute fall inspired leaf sprinkles.

 

Adorable, no?

 

We had such a fantastic time hanging out with my family (some of which we hadn’t seen or spent time with in way too long) I thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

It didn’t hurt that it was an autumn inspired event since I love everything fall! 🙂

The above photo is one of my absolute favorites, ever.  My beautiful little girl, Sierra carving her pumpkin (all by herself!) Plus my handsome boys, Jon and Gage and of course  littlest love, Mila enjoying themselves. ❤

If you know me at all you know I couldn’t bring  just one dessert!

 

So I also whipped up these awesome Cookie Sandwiches & Candy Corn Fudge

 

 

AND I got to tote my cupcakes around in my nifty new cupcake holder- holds 24 cupcakes and is shaped like a giant cupcake, right up my alley…  (thanks for the gift  babe, you know me too well!)

 

 

 

 

So I did totally cheat and use canned pumpkin for this recipe but I fully intend to make it again and use fresh.

I also put an OBSCENE amount of spices in the batter… I love me some spices! 🙂

 

This recipe was adapted from Annie’s Eats  and I may even adapt it a little more next time… I’ll keep you posted 😉

 

Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp. baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

3 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 tbls. All spice

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp. salt

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree (or 1 1/2 cups fresh)

1 cup sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup canola or vegetable oil

4 large eggs

 

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

In a medium bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices and salt.  Set aside.

Blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in two or three additions, mixing just until incorporated. Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.  Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.

 

Again, I doubled this frosting recipe  (leaving out the Oreo crumbs) and piled it on. Delish!

 

 

 

 

 

Mmm!

 



Caramel Apple Mini-Cheesecakes & Caramel Apple Bites
September 21, 2011, 10:54 pm
Filed under: baking | Tags: , ,

I’m back! It’s been two long months since I’ve been able to dedicate time to my baking and my blog. It was a long move with a lot of hiccups a long the way, but finally we are settled in!

Just in time for my favorite baking season of the year, fall!

Sigh… I must admit though, it hasn’t been very fall like here in Texas and my heart aches for the beautiful Hudson Valley.

It’s still SO incredibly hot here and feels nothing like the cool autumn days I cherished in New York . So I figured I’d take the best of  this seasons baking ingredients and mix it with one of summer’s cool treats to  make these delicious mini cheesecakes. They are FABULOUS. Creamy and cool with that spicy jolt of cinnamon and comfort  of simmered apples.Mmm mmm!

I’m also always looking for fun new recipes Sierra and I can make together and these caramel apple bites stole my attention as soon as I saw the idea.

They didn’t hold up very well, so I definitely suggest doing them as an activity for a party or quality time with the kids and serving them immediately. Messy,  but yummy! 🙂 (It is  notable that they are not any messier than classic caramel apples)

For the caramel apple bites:

1 package Kraft wrapped caramels

2 tbls heavy cream

2 large Granny Smith apples

Sprinkles and/or mini chocolate chips/nuts

20 or so skewers/lollipop sticks (I couldn’t find mine last minute so we winged it with corn on the cob holders, but I don’t recommend it! 🙂 )

Using a melon-baller  scoop out round circles of the apple. (Each apple makes 8 or so ‘bites’)

Add caramels and heavy cream to a double boiler. Heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth.

Dip apple bites in warm caramel and roll in sprinkles/chips/nuts.

Let set up a few minutes and devour!

(Reserve left over caramel for the cheesecakes if making both)

Now for these incredible little cheesecakes!

For the caramel apple topping:

2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced thin.

1/2-1 tsp cinnamon (I like a full teaspoon but I LOVE cinnamon)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tbs sugar (more or less to taste)

2 tbls butter

1/2 cup melted caramels

For the graham cracker crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tbls butter, melted

1 tbls sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

For the filling:

2 (8ounce) packages cream cheese (softened)

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

dash of salt

Directions:

Caramel Apple Topping:

In a medium sauce pan combine sliced apples, butter, cinnamon, sugar and vanilla. Cover and simmer about an hour or until apples are soft.

Remove from heat and stir in melted caramels. (See above for directions on melting caramels)

Set aside.

Meanwhile for graham cracker crust:

Preheat oven to 350

Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, cinnamon and sugar. Press about a tablespoon of the mixture into 12 cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.

Reduce oven heat to 300.

For the filling:

In a medium mixing bowl, beat soften cream cheese until light. Add sugar, vanilla and dash of salt. Beat well. Add eggs and beat until just mixed.

Layer cheese mixture over cooled graham cracker crusts.

Bake at 300 16-20 minutes.

Let cool to room temperature then layer cooled caramel apples on top. Cool in the fridge at least an hour.



Oreo Cupcakes – A sweet treat for my sweet little birthday boy!
July 10, 2011, 4:41 am
Filed under: baking | Tags: , , ,

My beautiful little boy turned 2 yesterday! Gage is such a special soul. I don’t think there’s anyone who’s met him that didn’t fall in love a little bit.  Gage has an ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) and doesn’t usually like crowds but this birthday was so great for him.  He really took part in the fun and even had a sincere interest in opening his presents. But I have to say, more than anything, he loved his cupcakes! He’s always a sucker for Mama’s cupcakes (and all my other baked goods!)

I set out to make him something extra special, and extra decadent – just the way he likes ’em!

They really came out AMAZING… And so fun to photograph! (Obviously!)

I love these little bitty cupcake bites!

The Oreo baked inside makes these cupcakes extra special but the icing recipe I used is very special to me.

Almost every family birthday party (both immediate and extended) as far back as I can remember had a request for French Icing. Seeing as it’s always been my favorite, I knew right away it would be the icing I’d make for Gage on his birthday! It’s a not-too-sweet lick-your-fingers-clean kinda icing that my family traditionally paired with spice cake at our gatherings but it really is delicious on anything! I stayed true to the original recipe with the exception of adding Oreo crumbs. Delicious! I’m extremely excited to share it and I sincerely hope you try it, with or without the Oreos!

For the cup cakes:

2 cups sugar

2 cups flour

3/4 cups cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package instant chocolate pudding

3 eggs

1cup sour cream

1/2 cup oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water (or strong brewed coffee – I would have used this but my coffee maker isn’t working!)

24 Oreo cookies, with one side twisted off and reserved for the frosting.

Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans.

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pudding mix. Add oil, eggs sour cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes) Continue beating while slowly adding in the boiling water. Beat about 30 seconds after adding the water.

Put the Oreo with one side twisted off cream side up and fill cupcake liners about 1/2 way. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean. Let them cool completely on cooling rack.

* I had extra batter after 24 cup cakes. I made cup cake bites using mini Oreos. I also used some mini Oreos as a garnish.

For the icing:

1 cup milk

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup butter -at room temperature

1/2 cup Crisco

3/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla

24 Oreo cookie tops -crushed

 Place milk in a small saucepan.  Sprinkle the flour over the milk, 1/4 cup at a time and whisk until smooth.  Place the saucepan over low heat and stir constantly until the mixture becomes thick pulls into a ball.  Remove from the heat and put ball into a bowl. Place plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture and tuck around it to make sure there is no exposed parts.  Refrigerate until cooled to room temperature or colder (at least 30 minutes). In a large bowl, cream the butter and Crisco.  Add the cooled flour milk mixture and beat until well blended.  Mix in the vanilla.  With the mixer on medium speed, gradually add the sugar and then continue to beat the icing a

fter adding the sugar for an additional 10-12 minutes until noticeably whiter and creamy. Add Oreo crumbs and mix until just blended.

* Visit my wonderful friend at thepurplespoon for great step by step photos making this icing. She modified the recipe some but the basic steps are the same. 🙂



Rainbow Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Cheese Icing
June 20, 2011, 3:53 am
Filed under: baking | Tags:



These were the most fun thing to make! I’ve seen them a few times when browsing around the food corners of the net and always thought they were SO beautiful. They are also incredibly fun to eat! Due to a bum ankle I have to pick my battles when it comes to prep time and since these take a lil time to assemble I opted to use a boxed cake mix but you can certainly use your favorite from scratch white cake recipe as well. I wanted something ‘cloud like’ for the frosting and this light and dreamy cream cheese icing fit the bill!

Sierra (my daughter) had a lot of fun adding each color to get it just right.

I think she did a great job! We used (lots!) of Wiltons gel coloring and they came out SO vibrant!

Try really hard not to eat all of them before you even finish frosting them.

Gage (my son) was a pretty big fan too!

Say cheese!! 😀

 Rainbow cup cake batter:

1 white cake mix
2 egg whites
1  cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil

Whipped Cream Cheese Icing:

  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
For the cupcakes:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and beat on medium speed about 2 minutes

Divide batter according to how many colors you are using.

Use gel food coloring to color batter to desired intensity.

To get a layered stripe put a spoonful of each color in the cupcake one at a time. The batter is thick and it won’t spread on it’s own. I set out a little bowl of water and dipped a finger in the water and then gently spread the batter out. The water helps the batter not to stick to your fingers.

Bake them according to the package or recipe instructions or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely.

For the icing:

In a small bowl beat whipping cream until stiff peaks form and set aside.

In a large bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth and light, then fold in whipped cream.

Pipe icing onto cupcakes & serve immediately. Refrigerate left overs. (If any make it! 🙂 )




Heath Bar Mini-Cakes with Heath Buttercream and Chocolate Ganache (And mini cupcakes too!)
June 18, 2011, 12:11 am
Filed under: baking | Tags: , , ,

I was really excited about this post for a couple of reasons. For one thing I love anything mini and this being a double dose of mini was especially exciting. More than that I was excited because when I think of Heath, I think of my mom.  When I was a kid we often indulged in the yumminess that is a DQ blizzard.  I was always a sucker for cookies and cream and my mom always got Heath. I LOVED my cookies and cream but Oh how I envied her Heath…lucky for me she always shared. 🙂 I don’t know why I never gave in and just got my own Heath blizzard. Maybe it was because I just couldn’t say no to Oreo…or maybe it was because I knew I’d always get to have the best of both worlds thanks to my always generous Mama . Either way as I’ve grown up anytime I’ve had a Heath bar it brings back warm and cherished memories. My mom and I are living in different states and have gone longer without seeing each other than  we ever have. I miss her more than words can say so I thought it appropriate to dedicate a post (and a delicious dessert) just to my beautiful Mom! I wish you were here to enjoy these! ❤

Now lets get to baking!

Start by being amazed how simple ingredients like this can transform into pure bliss in a bite.

 

 

 

 

Beat all those ingredients up then fold in a very special candy surprise!

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

Fill cupcake liners about half full

 

 

 

 

 

Bake until beautiful and let them cool completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What’s the secret ingredient to a rich, and yummy frosting?!

 

 

 

You guessed it…It all starts with butter!

 

 

 

 

 

Add sugar and whip whip whip!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now on to the ganache….

The start to any good ganache is a nice high quality chocolate 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Add warm cream and let it sit.

 

 

 

 

Add a few more things and whisk it up!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now we get to assemble the cakes!

Make sure they’re even

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut em in half

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fill with ganache

 

 

 

 

 

 


Frost

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top with heath candy pieces and eat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heath Mini Cakes:

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups flour

3/4 cups cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 package instant chocolate pudding

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup oil

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup boiling water

1 cup heath bits

Heath Butter Cream:

8 oz (2 sticks) unsalted butter softened

3-4 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3-4 tablespoons heavy cream

3/4- 1 cup heath bits, ground.  (I used what was left of the bag I had, which was about 3/4 of a cup but if you have extra I’d definitely add the extra 1/4 cup)

Chocolate Ganache:

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp vanilla extract

2  tablespoons corn syrup

Decoration:

2 Heath Candy Bars, broken into pieces

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350. Line cupcake pans.

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pudding mix. Add milk, oil, eggs and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes) Continue beating while slowly adding in the boiling water. Beat about 30 seconds after adding the water. Fold in heath bits. Fill cupcake liners about half way. Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool completely on cooling rack.

For the frosting: Grind heath bits in a food processor or blender until powder-like, set aside. Whip the butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar, a tablespoon or two at a time. Keep adding sugar until icing is nice and thick. Beat in the vanilla then add the cream one tablespoon at a time until smooth and spreadable. Beat in heath bits powder.

For the ganache: Cut chocolate into small pieces and place into a bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium heat until hot and simmering, do not let it boil. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and let it sit for 5 minutes. Whisk smooth and whisk in vanilla and corn syrup.

-To assemble cakes:  Flip the cupcakes upside down. Make sure the sides are level and even. (I used a small glass for this)  Cut them in half and put ganache between the two layers. Put the top of the cupcake face down on the ganache.  Frost and decorate with broken heath candy bar pieces!

*Notes:  -For an easier time with assembling the cakes, freeze them for 30 minutes or so before handling.

– I also found the butter cream to be much more tasty after letting it sit in the refrigerator over night. I took it out, let it sit to a little cooler than room temp and whipped another tablespoon of cream into it. It really brought out the yummy heath flavor.

These were so delicious!

And these mini cupcakes were a special kinda one bite treat! 🙂



Caramel Stuffed Brownies
June 12, 2011, 11:28 pm
Filed under: baking | Tags: , , ,

I love to cook and bake, and I LOVE to photograph and share my food! I went back and forth on whether or not to start a blog but when I pondered the question to my friends on Facebook this morning the supportive response really touched me and I felt very moved to start. So I’m excited! I spent most of the afternoon exploring the world that lives on the other side of  the blogs I read so faithfully. Tweaking settings, themes and fonts. I worked myself up and now I am way too enthused to wait until I bake something new to post my first recipe… So I’m posting these awesome brownies I made yesterday. There are no step-by-step photos on this first post but there IS a  recipe for a super rich, incredibly delicious treat. These ultimate chocolate fix caramel stuffed brownies are sure to appease even the strongest sweet tooth craving!

Enjoy!



 

 

 

 

 

 

For the brownies:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
12 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1½ cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

For the caramel filling:
1 12 ounce package caramel melt bits (or 1 14 ounce package caramel candies, unwrapped)
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil and grease the foil well with butter or cooking spray. Melt chopped chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Or In a large, microwave-safe bowl microwave in intervals of 20 seconds until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, stirring in between intervals. Whisk in the sugar, eggs and vanilla until incorporated. Stir in the flour and salt just until combined. Spread about half of the brownie batter in the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Bake for 18 minutes. Remove from the oven (keep the oven on) and let the brownies cool for 20 minutes.

To make the caramel filling, combine the caramels and cream in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds at 50% power. Stir. Repeat Continue the microwave process until the caramels and cream are melted and combined. Spread the caramel mixture over the bottom brownie layer. Let the carmel set about about 10 minutes. Scoop the remaining brownie batter in spoonfuls over the caramel layer and spread it evenly across the caramel layer (spooning the batter in piles over the caramel will help to get an even layer of batter over the caramel). Sprinkle the chocolate and white chips on top. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until brownie is set. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before slicing and serving. (Who are we kidding, scoop some gooey-ness out and try a bite warm!)



I can’t wait to share more with all of you! A big thank you to you all, you have no idea what your support and encouragement means to me! ❤