Saturday, December 3, 2011

Truffle Shuffle

A couple of weeks ago, I invited some of my favorite ladies over to my home to sip on some cosmopolitans and make chocolate truffles! This was actually my first time I've ever made truffles and you wouldn't believe how easy it was! The recipe below is from the Barefoot Contessa. I love this recipe because it's super easy and you can pretty much roll the truffles in anything you want. We rolled ours in confectioners sugar and chopped pecans. They're quite rich because of the bittersweet chocolate. If you're not a dark chocolate fan, you can always use more semi-sweet chocolate or milk chocolate. Whatever chocolate you use, it will be delicious!

Ready, set, TRUFFLE! To-go boxes with recipes for the gals...



This is how we roll...



YUM!



Wanna roll with us? Here's the fabulous recipe:

Chocolate Truffles by The Barefoot Contessa

Ingredients

1/2 pound good bittersweet chocolate
1/2 pound good semisweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, optional
1 tablespoon prepared coffee
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar
Cocoa powder

Directions

Chop the chocolates finely with a sharp knife. Place them in a heat-proof mixing bowl.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils. Turn off the heat and allow the cream to sit for 20 seconds. Pour the cream through a fine-meshed sieve into the bowl with chocolate. With a wire whisk, slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. Whisk in the Grand Marnier, if using, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside at room temperature for 1 hour.

With 2 teaspoons, spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until firm. Roll each dollop of chocolate in your hands to roughly make a round ball. Roll in confectioners' sugar, cocoa powder, or both. These will keep refrigerated for weeks, but serve at room temperature.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars


Ah Thanksgiving, a time to give thanks and to be with family & friends and FOOD! This year, it's a potluck Thanksgiving and guess who's in charge of dessert? I love chocolate, cheesecake and pumpkin pie. Why not have all three?....in ONE BAR! This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart and it's incredibly decadent. It has the richness from the cream cheese and the sweetness from the semi-sweet chocolate swirls. It also has the warmth from the pure pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. If Thanksgiving tasted like a dessert it would be these Chocolate Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars! Here's how I made them.

You'll Need:

For the Crust
20 chocolate graham crackers
2 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling
2 packages bar cream cheese (8 ounces each)
1 cup sugar
1 cup canned solid-pack pumpkin puree
3 large eggs
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 ounces semisweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
In a food processor, blend cookies with sugar until finely ground (you should have about 1 cup crumbs); add butter, and pulse until moistened.
Transfer crumb mixture to prepared pan, and press gently into bottom. Bake until fragrant and slightly firm, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Place cream cheese in food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, pumpkin puree, eggs, flour, pumpkin-pie spice, and salt; process until combined. Set aside.

Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 30-second increments, stirring between each, until melted. Add 1 cup pumpkin mixture; stir to combine. Set aside.
Pour remaining pumpkin mixture into prepared pan. Drop dollops of chocolate mixture onto pumpkin mixture; swirl. Bake until cheesecake is set but jiggles slightly when gently shaken, 40 to 50 minutes.
Cool in pan. Cover; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days). Using overhang, transfer cake to work surface. With a knife dipped in hot water, cut into 16 squares.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Go "Upside Down" for Banana Cake!



I know pineapple seems to be the popular fruit for an upside down cake but, I had some bananas sitting on my kitchen counter. I asked myself, "what if I made an upside down banana cake?" And, I did! The best part about this cake is the luscious caramel, banana topping. The cake itself has a fluffy-like texture and the perfect balance of sweetness.

Wanna go bananas?

Here's what you'll need:

3 big ripe bananas
8 tbsp unsalted butter + 2 tbsp for caramel topping
2/3 cup light brown sugar (lightly packed)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and slice bananas and set aside. In a 9 inch baking pan, add brown sugar, cinnamon and 2 tbsp butter and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved or when "caramel" forms.
2. In the same pan with the caramel, arrange banana slices in a single layer and set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time, then vanilla extract and sour cream.
4. Gently fold flour mixture into wet batter. Batter will be slightly lumpy, don't over mix.
5. Carefully, pour batter over sliced bananas and spread evenly. Bake for 45-55 minutes (depending on your oven) or until golden brown. Let cake rest in pan for 15 minutes until you remove it.


And Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A "Milk Toof" Birthday

My sister is a huge fan of mymilktoof.blogspot.com by Inhae Renee Lee. My Milk Toof chronicles the adventures of two very entertaining "baby teeth", Ickle & Lardee. Not too long ago, she introduced me to this site and now I'm a fan! I surprised her with a Ickle & Lardee cake on her birthday and she was ecstatic! I made Ickle & Lardee out of fondant and a rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting topped with rainbow sprinkles.









Happy Birthday Sister! XO

Monday, June 20, 2011

Somewhere Over The Rainbow

Rainbow cake pops for my friend's surprise birthday party...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Skeletons & Tiaras

Jack Skellington Cake Pops
(From "The Nightmare Before Christmas")



Princess Tiara Cake Pops
(I made these for a client's daughter's 3rd birthday party...princess themed of course.)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring Baking

Ahhh...Spring is here! I've always wanted to make a bundt cake from scratch so, I did! I made a lemon bundt cake. The recipe below is adapted from Martha Stewart's cakes. This cake is quite dense and buttery but, it's refreshing like spring because of the fresh lemon zest and juice used in the cake. Yum! It'll put a spring in your step!



Bake one today and share it with your neighbors...


Here's the recipe:

Lemon Bundt Cake

Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest and 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a standard 12-cup bundt pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, lemon zest, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2. Using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition; mix in lemon juice.

3. With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture in three parts and sour cream in two, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until incorporated (do not overmix). Spoon batter into prepared pan, and smooth top with a rubber spatula. Firmly tap pan on a work surface to level batter.

4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes (if cake browns too quickly, tent loosely with aluminum foil). Let cake cool in pan 30 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
Dust with confectioners' sugar before serving.

Cappuccino Cake Pops

Delicious chocolate cake dipped in cappuccino flavored candy topped with chocolate covered espresso beans. Delizioso!




Ciao!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Souven-EARS

I bought some cute little souvenirs from my trip to Disneyland. This darling Minnie cupcake is actually an antenna topper! Even though our car doesn't have an antenna, I had to get it! I was thinking of using it as a Christmas oranment.



I also got Minnie Sprinkles, of course...







And I couldn't help it, I made Mickey Mouse cake pops! The cake pop reminds me of the balloons they have at the park.



E n j o y!

"It's a sweet world after all..."

For my birthday, my husband took me to the "happiest place on earth"... Disneyland! Can you think of a better place to celebrate your birthday?! I truly had a magical time and I felt like a kid again!


We discovered a cute little sweet shoppe in the park that had tons of goodies. Including these darling candied apples:

Mickey & Minnie...



Bunnies & Rainbow Mickey...



and Jack Skellington, oh my!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Girl Scout Cookie Cake Pops



It's that time of the year again, when you can buy those oh-so addicting Girl Scout cookies! I've always wanted to make dulce de leche cake pops and I decided to put a little spin on it. It's dreamy vanilla cake with "dulce de leche" cookie pieces, then dipped in milk chocolate and topped with more cookie pieces. It's like having a dessert within a dessert...dangerous, but DELICIOUS!



ENJOY!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

"My Bunny Valentine, Sweet Bunny Valentine"





I can't believe it's been 1 year since I started blogging about my baking adventures! It’s been a hectic, but fun couple of months. I’ve been so busy with cake pop orders! (I think I might have made hundreds already!) And I love it!
Since Valentine’s Day is around the corner, I made heart shaped cake pops & adorable bunnies.



Happy Valentine’s Day! XO