Saturday, 4 January 2014

Chocolate Quinoa Layer Cake with Chocolate SMB

Chocolate quinoa layer cake with Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Booya. I feel huge.  I've been eating nonstop since holidays began.  This Chocolate layer cake was a dessert I made for a NYE dinner party.

I doubled my usual cupcake recipe and baked the batter in 8 inch circular pans.  Then I ended up reserving one layer for the freezer as I thought 3 layers would be enough.  And it was.  I had just enough SMB to frost all the sides.  The layers were moist and I did not have to slice them though if you like lots of frosting I guess you could.  However, at that point you would also need way more buttercream.

I thought of melted chocolate decorations as I was too lazy to pipe buttercream around the cake.  I think they turned out quite well considering I had not made these before.  I made big evergreen trees and plastered them on the sides of the cake.  Then I topped the centre of the cake on top with a daisy and a bunch of swirls of chocolate. 





For the over the top Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I used THIS recipe and added 4 oz dark melted chocolate to the buttercream.
For the Chocolate Quinoa Layers, I used THIS recipe BUT ADDED 1/4 CUP MORE COOKED QUINOA TO EACH BATCH.  It has more quinoa than the original recipe; is baked in 8 inch layers (2) and I doubled the recipe and added 5-10 minutes to the baking time.  Make the recipe twice because only one batch will fit in your blender or processor anyway.  You will kill your Vitamix if you try to do a double batch (and it won't fit anyway).  Freeze one of the layers so that you'll have 3 layers in total from the double-batch (or make extra cupcakes with the batter after you make 3 layers).

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

CLASSIC CHRISTMAS COOKIES: VANILLA BEAN BUTTER COOKIE RECIPE


1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg white, beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, ground up)
2 ½ cups sifted all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon coarse salt
½ cup fine sanding sugar

1. Put butter and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Mix in whole egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt and mix until combined.

2. Halve dough; shape each half into a log. Place each log on a 12-by-16 inch sheet of parchment. Roll in parchment to 1 ½ inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Transfer to paper towel tubes to hold shape, and freeze until firm, about 1 hour.

3. Preheat oven to 375ºF. Brush each log with egg white; roll in sanding sugar. Cut into ½-inch thick rounds. Space 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment. Bake until edges are golden, 18 to 20 minutes. (cakebrain note: ensure the cookies are golden brown and they'll taste much more flavour as well as a better crunch). Let cool on sheets on wire racks. Store in airtight containers at room temperature up to 3 days.




Nothing says Christmas more than the smell of baking sugar and butter in the oven.  'Tis the season to watch the waistline spread!

This has been a tough year for me baking-wise.  There simply is no time for my fave hobby.  I do miss it so.  I have learned that I need to let go of the notion that I have to bake 8 different cookies and craft together a homemade selection of artisanal cookies and treats for my Christmas giveaways.  Not happening, folks!  Fulltime teaching, mentoring and mommying doesn't allow me to anymore!
This classic Vanilla bean butter cookie is perfectly easy.  I double a batch and keep rolls in the fridge for baking off fresh and gifting.   I make another double batch Gluten Free for myself and my GF buddies too. It is such a versatile recipe it was also used for my Tiffany Snowflake cookies pictured below.  Give it a try and don't beat yourself up if you can't make the snowflake.  It is simply gorgeous as it is packaged in cellophane bags too.   Make sure the cookies are baked until golden brown or you won't truly get that lively nutty flavour from the butter.  I like mine almost burnt but they don't look as festive.  Lol.

Merry Christmas dear readers and Happy New Year!


XMAS GIFTING IDEA (FOR THE TECH-INCLINED)
I am so geeky I sometimes surprise myself!  This batch was gifted to IT (love you guys!) and they of course know what a QR code is.  You do know what a QR code is, don't you?  If you don't know, don't attempt it because you're not tech-inclined and I'm not telling! lol  HOHOHO!


Thursday, 31 October 2013

Happy Hallowe'en!

Happy Hallowe'en!


I baked a batch of my Chocolate Quinoa Cupcakes (GF) for my daughter's Girl Guides & Brownies Hallowe'en party.  A batch of regular cupcakes makes 48 mini cupcakes.  I piped on vanilla buttercream, sprinkled orange sprinkles and then free-hand drizzled melted dark chocolate from a parchment cone onto parchment paper in the form of pumpkins.  


After the chocolate pumpkins dried, we placed one on each mini cupcake.  I think they look pretty cute!  I was surprised how well the chocolate pumpkins turned out. 



Saturday, 12 October 2013

BAD KARMA TO PEOPLE WHO STEAL BLOGGERS' CONTENT



Well, it seems like everyone's chosen a picture from my food blog and has not given proper attribution where it is due.  It is so prevalent that it's scary.  People have no issue with stealing a picture from the web and posting it next to their recipe or a different recipe.  

The original picture comes from my blog post for Coconut Vanilla Bean Rice Pudding Brûlée (which happens to be awesome).

Thursday, 5 September 2013

BANANA BREAD MADELEINES (GF)

Pretty Banana Bread Madeleines (gluten free)
How long can a working mom sustain this bento madness?

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

COCONUT BUTTER MOCHI



Coconut Butter Mochi cakes are gluten free additions to a school lunchbox. And they look cute in the mini flower shape.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Lunchbots Quad Bento Lunchbox: Floral Fun



Ham sandwich flowers, baby carrots with ranch dip (in round container), blueberries,cantaloupe flowers watermelon flowers and a pineapple skewer.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

SUMMER FOODIE HIGHLIGHTS:DEHYDRATED KALE AND PORTLAND


Forgive me for I have sinned:  I ate this voodoo doughnut.  But when in Portland, one must indulge.  I love it when the red jelly oozes out of the centre of the chocolate frosting covered long-john.  fab.

Oh yah. Summer.  It's been a while since I've posted what with life, teaching and mentoring.  I am taking this summer off and really trying to de-stress.  So what's new? I've purchased a new Fuji X100S camera.  It's retro cool.  All the pics here were taken with it.  I haven't figured out how to use it yet...but that'll come with time and practice.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

HOW TO SWIRL BUTTERCREAM


Meet my friend, the 1M Wilton Tip.

So you want to learn how to swirl buttercream like a professional?

I created a couple of Vine looping videos for you with the help of my 6 year old.  She held the iPhone and tapped the screen to help me tape the videos.



On the first take, the buttercream farted.  I had air pockets in the piping bag and didn't burp the bag so thus the fart at the end.  Just do as I say (and not as I do) and burp your bag (getting all the air pockets out) and you won't the have a buttercream fart.  This entails simply squeezing a small amount of buttercream into a container while twisting from the top to get rid of the air pockets.



In the second video there are no buttercream farts.  I don't pile on the buttercream like they do in the bakeries because we simply don't like that much buttercream on the cupcakes.  But do as you please.  You can take your sweet time building a higher conical mound of buttercream if you're so inclined.

Roasted Cauliflower and Onions with Parmesan





So there are no excuses explaining my long absence.

All I can say is come summer time (yippee!) I will definitely be blogging more and posting more delicious recipes.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Looping Video Food Porn Reviews: The Vine App






This is my first time using The Vine App: 6 second looping videos.   I'm still not sure whether I like this over still shots. It gets me all dizzy watching the looping videos. Perhaps I need to work on my perspective and filming techniques. You can create stop-motion or short video clips. I think this could be a good thing if I can improve my filming techniques.

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Valentine's Day Butter Cookies with Red Royal Icing



I've made Valentine's Day cookies several times with similar results. All were tasty. My first version was tasty but the red icing well, was a weird pinkish orange hue. Creating deep reds is perplexing. Do you add a whole bottle of fakey "no taste" food colouring? Often this renders the tongues bright red of the people who ingested your cookies. Or do you add a dab and hope that it'll do?  My second version was made with white chocolate but in the end the same washed out colours resulted.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

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