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Monday, May 26, 2008

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

Another Paula Deen recipe...I was in Target and saw a "Chocolate Celebration" special edition of her magazine and had to buy it because of this recipe.

I took them to work the next day and everyone loved me.

Boston Cream Pie Cupcakes

1 box yellow cake mix

For Filling:
1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding mix
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1/4 cup sour cream

Prepare cake mix following cupcake directions. Let cupcakes cool completely.

In a large bowl, combine pudding mix, cream, confectioner's sugar, milk, and sour cream. Beat at medium speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form.

To fill the cupcakes you can do it several ways:
1. The recipe suggested using a squeeze bottle that has a long narrow tip (you can find these at Michael's, etc.).
2. I used a mechanical pastry bag (looks like a cookie press) that I got for Christmas from Williams-Sonoma. It has a special tip just for filling cupcakes.
3. It can probably be done with a regular pastry bag and large tip.

After filling the cupcakes spread chocolate ganache evenly over each cupcake.

Chocolate Ganache

6 (1 ounce) squares semisweet chocolate
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups confectioner's sugar

In medium bowl, combine chocolate and cream. Microwave on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each, until chocolate is melted and smooth (about 2 minutes total). Gradually whisk in confectioner's sugar until smooth. Let mixture cool until it reaches a spreadable consistency (about 30 minutes).

*Instead of spreading the ganache on, I just dipped the cupcakes into in it, swirled until it was covered. It looked more like a Boston cream pie this way and it's a lot easier. This ganache is good. Someone at work said it tasted like the chocolate frosting from Krispy Kreme. I'll have to use it with other things from now on.

Mystery Mocha Cake

I've also had a version of this cake called Hot Fudge Cake. That is a more logical name for it since after it is baked it has a layer of "hot fudge" on the bottom.

A few Sundays ago it was rainy so I decided to go used book shopping in Winston and found Paula Deen's dessert recipe book. This was one of the first recipes I opened up to and decided to make it a few days later with dinner. It was pretty simple to make. The longest part was actually making the coffee to pour over it in the end. It did seem strange to make the batter, then pour sugar (brown and white) and cocoa over it, and then pour the coffee over it. Despite its appearance I figured that anything with chocolate, coffee, and butter could not be bad. And I was right, it was very tasty. It needed some vanilla ice cream though since it is served warm. Even after I put the small amount of leftovers in the fridge, it was still really good cold the next day. A very good recipe for any chocolate lover.

Oh, and I didn't get any photos since it got eaten pretty quickly.

Mystery Mocha Cake
~Paula Deen
3/4 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 cup
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 one ounce square semisweet chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons cocoa
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch square pan.

Mix together the 3/4 cup granulated sugar, flour, and baking powder.

Melt together chocolate and butter in a saucepan and add to flour mixture. Add milk and vanilla, mixing well. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Combine the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cocoa, and brown sugar. Sprinkle over batter. Pour coffee on top of this and do not stir. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Cake should have a chocolate syrup base on the bottom. This cake is best when served warm.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Strawberry Galette

Since it is May I thought I needed to try out some new strawberry recipes. This one I got from Martha Stewart. Her recipe included a basil cream but I just made my own whipped cream which turned out really great. The recipe takes a little extra prep time. I made the dough the night before just to have it ready and did the rest the next morning. Also, the original recipe called for a pound of strawberries. I had bought 2 quarts and one was more than enough for the galette. The only thing I'd change for next time would be to make it larger. I used my tart pan to cut the dough so it was more like 8 or 9 inches instead of 10. The strawberry design didn't turn out as good as Martha's pic but I by the time I got to that stage of the recipe I was in a hurry to finish it before lunch and wasn't too concerned. It got good reviews but there wasn't enough to go around! Also, I'm a little bit in love with this whipped cream recipe.

Strawberry Galette

For the Dough

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
1 1/8 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
8 ounces (1 cup) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons ice water

For the Galette

2 qts strawberries, hulled
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Make the dough: Pulse flour, salt, and sugar in a food processor to combine. Add butter, and pulse until mixture forms coarse crumbs. Add ice water, and pulse until just combined (dough will still be crumbly). Shape dough into a disk, wrap in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out a 10-inch round, and transfer to a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Make the galette: Cut strawberries lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Toss slices with 1/4 cup sugar and the cornstarch, and immediately arrange them in concentric circles on dough. Start 1 inch from edge, overlapping slices slightly. Fold edge of dough over berries. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Whisk together yolk and water. Brush dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Dot berries with butter. Bake until crust is golden brown, 40 to 45 minutes.

Transfer to a serving plate. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Whipped Cream

1 cup heavy cream, chilled

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whip the cream, sugar, and vanilla in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until firm.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hydrangea Cake

I saw a version of this cake at a bakery website in NY, Whimsical Bakehouse ( Hydrangeas are my favorite flower so I planned to make the cake at some point and thought that mother's day was a good occasion. I'm starting to realize that all my cakes turn out blue for one reason or another...hmm.

Anyhow, I used a soccer ball cake pan made by Wilton to make the round shaped cake. I only thinly iced the cake with a crumb coat and then used tip 104 for the petals. The leaf was made out of white chocolate using a leaf (it wasn't hydrangea but close enough) for a mold. The site just recommended making sure it wasn't poisonous and was washed before you used it, good advice. It wasn't terribly difficult and got good reviews from the mom and grandmothers.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie at it's purest. Quite possibly the easiest pie ever but if you add some lemon zest on top of the meringue and a twist of lemon peel, people think it's really fancy.

Lemon Meringue Pie
(slightly altered version of Paula Deen's)

1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Grated lemon zest of one lemon
3 egg yolks
1 prebaked pie shell

Meringue: 5 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar

In medium bowl, combine milk, lemon juice, and zest; blend in egg yolks. Pour into cooled crust.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Beat egg whites with cream of tartar until soft peaks from. Gradually beat in the sugar until stiff. Spread over filling; seal to edge of crust. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown

Refrigerate for at least 2 hrs. before serving.