July
21
Filed Under (Cakes, Recipes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 21-07-2011

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My husband mentioned that he’d seen a Paula Deen recipe for pink lemonade cake.  I thought that sounded really nice and would be a great Summertime dessert.  After looking at Paula’s recipe online and the comments by users who had found it “too dense” “too this” or “too that” I decided to run with her basic flavour idea but to tweak it and hopefully turn out something really nice.

This is what I did.  It’s really easy and very tasty.

Pink Lemonade Cupcake Batter by Cake Artisan

Pink Lemonade Cupcake Batter

I took a box of white cake mix and prepared it as directed on the box except that I don’t like to use oil in my cakes so I replaced the 1/3 cup of oil with an equivalent 1/3 cup of natural, unsweetened apple sauce.  To the mix I then added three heaped tablespoons of the Country Time Pink Lemonade drink mix and also added a dash of Madagascar Vanilla and about a tablespoon of lemon zest.  I decided I wanted my cake to be more pink than the pale colour it was currently so I added a dash of pink food colouring until it was pink enough for me.

Ingredients so far:

1 box of Moist White Cake Mix

3 egg whites (no yolks)

1/3 cup natural, unsweetened apple sauce

1 & 1/4 cup of water

3 heaped tablespoons of Country Time Pink Lemonade drink mix powder (not diluted)

1 tsp of Madagascar Vanilla or Vanilla Essence

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon zest

Country Time - Pink Lemonade

Country Time - Pink Lemonade

Pink food colouring

 

(Baking purists are probably rolling their eyes at my suggestion of using a box mix and then the addition of pink food colouring.  It worked for what we were doing here so I’m ok with it.  If you aren’t, there are plenty of from scratch white cake recipes out there to delight your pure little baker’s hearts.)

Even though I have a passion for baking we try not to keep too many goodies in the house because we both could stand to lose some weight.  So we send our goodies off to work with my husband and I’ve heard his coworkers think this is ok.  Since they are headed for the office I decided to make cupcakes as they are far more manageable than needing to find a knife and plates for carving up a larger single cake.

Next I created a tasty complementary frosting.  I pretty much always go for my basic cream cheese frosting and just change it up a little to suit what it is that I’m making.

Frosting:

Crusting cream cheese buttercream

5 heaped tablespoons of Country Time  Pink Lemonade Drink Powder

Pink Lemonade Cupcake by Cake Artisan adapted from Paula Deen's Pink Lemonade Cake

Pink Lemonade Cupcake

After the cupcakes came out of the oven and cooled I frosted them with a generous swirl of buttercream and some sugar sprinkles just to make them shiny.  So that’s it folks.. really a quick and easy recipe and perfect for summer mealtimes or snacks.  Enjoy!  And remember if you have any questions don’t hesitate to email me.  I try to answer all emails even if they may take a couple of days to get you your response.

~ Colleen

 

 

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April
04

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Red velvet, while synonymous with Valentines Day and now popular for weddings, is just plain gorgeous to look at.  To be totally honest, red is my absolute favourite colour and any chance I get to wear it, look at it or eat it I do.  Not that many red foods around when you think about it… and I don’t really eat very much red meat.

Sooo let’s get busy and make some delicious red velvet cookies to be enjoyed and shared all year around.  But wait, just think how cute they would be for Christmas or Valentine’s Day as well!

This recipe calls for Dutch Processed Chocolate.   So what’s the difference between that and regular unsweetened cocoa powder you ask?   First off, Both types of cocoa powder are unsweetened and therefore bitter when tasted alone.

Dutch-Process Cocoa or Alkalized Unsweetened Cocoa Powder:

Has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. Because it’s neutral and doesn’t react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and is easy to dissolve in liquids.

Hershey Dutch Processed Cocoa
Hershey’s Dutch Processed Cocoa

 

Ghirardelli Sweetened Cocoa
Ghirardelli Cocoa
Unsweetened Cocoa:

Has a complex chocolate flavor while the Dutch-process is darker and more mellow. Its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes. When natural cocoa (an acid) is used in recipes calling for baking soda (an alkali), it creates a leavening action that causes the batter to rise when placed in the oven.

Ok, on to our recipe:

Ingredients:

3 1/4 cups (355 grams) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened Dutch processed cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups (350 grams) granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3 Tablespoons of Red Food Coloring.. I used the gel type

For Red Velvet Cookies:

1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder.

2. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and the food coloring then beat until combined.

Red Velvet Cookie Dough by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookie Dough

Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.

3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough toroll.

4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in the center of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

5.    Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired

Red Velvet Cookies by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookies

shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookiesto the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.

Note: If you are not going to frost the baked cookies, you may want to sprinkle the unbaked cookies with crystal or sparkling sugar.

Bake cookies for about 10 – 12 minutes (depending on size) or until they are firm around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure that the frosting on the cookies dries completely before storing. (This may take several hours.) Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight

Red Velvet Cookies Iced by Cake Artisan
Red Velvet Cookies

container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.

Makes about 36 – 4 inch (10 cm) cookies.

BEST frosted with a cream cheese frosting.  I use the recipe on my site here and thin it with some milk to make it more like a glaze if I don’t want heavy frosting.  Also, I have rolled out fondant into the same shape as the cookie and placed it on top of a thin layer of the frosting which gives a nice finish!

For a final finish on my fondant covered cookies I used an impression mat to make pretty patterns.. and then dusted with pearl dust.. there is no limit to what you can do with these or any other cookies!  Happy Baking!

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October
27
Filed Under (Cakes, Recipes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 27-10-2010

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I’m always amazed at little ones!  How in the world did my then 4yo daughter decide she wanted to learn to play the violin?  While being exposed to lots of music I certainly hadn’t suggested she learn to play an instrument let alone a classical one.  No worries we got her started and away she went with gusto…  Well this post isn’t about music but recently I was asked by my friends to make their 3yo daughter a birthday cake. Apparently she had requested “a raspberry on the inside” birthday cake.  I’d never made one before but love a challenge so this is how I did it.

WARNING – Heavy text as some dummy (me) forgot to take progress photos… but it turned out great so bear with me folks.

First off I thought I’d start with a white cake recipe and add my raspberry goodness to it.

White cake mix or this from scratch recipe…

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

Then To make it Raspberry Flavoured…

Ok.. great but it had to be raspberry flavoured…  I could not for the life of me find fresh raspberries that day that weren’t growing fur, so my next best option was a heaping tablespoon of raspberry jam (jelly) with the seeds for authenticity AND I added a 1/3 of a sachet of Raspberry Jello Crystals dissolved into a half cup of water.

Raspberry cake by Cake Artisan

Cake Crumb

I figured it wouldn’t throw off the balance of the cake since it thickens as it sets up.  My theory proved right and the cake was relatively dense (with a fine crumb texture like a Madeira or pound cake) but still light and very flavourful.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two eight inch round pans or line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the sugar and butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Finally stir in the milk until batter is smooth, the jello crystals and the raspberry jam. Pour or spoon batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven.  For cupcakes 20-25 mins.
Raspberry Cake by Cake Artisan

Raspberry Jam (Jelly)

For this little lady’s cake I made two 6 inch and two 8 inch round cakes to stack.

In between each matching pair I spread a fine layer of raspberry jam (jelly) and then added raspberry cream cheese frosting (my original recipe with some raspberry jello crystals and a small amount of jam added to it).

I placed wooden dowels inside of McDonalds straws into the 8 inch stacked cakes and then placed the 6 inch stacked pair on top.

Raspberry Cake by Cake Artisan

Dowels

All of the cakes were covered in my crusting cream cheese frosting prior to stacking as they wanted it smoothed to look like fondant.  I then cut out about one hundred or so purple and one hundred or so pink fondant flowers for decoration.  This cake was to compliment a Tinkerbell cake topper.

The glitter is edible sparkle glitter.  The cake was a lot of work but my friends loved it.  Hubby enjoyed the crumbs I had cut off the top so much I made him his very own raspberry cake the next day.  It was pretty much gone in an instant.  Don’t forget to email me if you have any questions.  Happy Baking!

Tinkerbell Raspberry Cake by Cake Artisan

Raspberry Cake

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May
05
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 05-05-2010

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This is the cake I made for my daughter Megan’s baby shower this past weekend.  The cake on the bottom was yellow cake filled with white cream cheese frosting and then covered with the same frosting coloured blue.  I added balls of chocolate fondant to the sides and for the circles.

Teddy Bear Baby Shower cake made for my daughter Megan's baby shower on May 1st 2010.

Baby Shower Cake

The top cake was made using the good old Wilton Teddy Bear pan.  I made this for her first birthday some 20+ years ago so thought it would be a nice touch for this cake.  The cake is chocolate cake and is iced with a chocolate flavoured cream cheese frosting.  The diaper is thinly rolled white fondant made using Carrie Biggers’ recipe.  Sorry but I can’t give that to you here because Carrie sells it on her website as one of her product range.  It’s a great recipe and tastes so much better than commercially produced fondant.  I am always horrified when I see the fondant being torn off of wedding cakes by folks that have only had the shop bought kind.  The home made stuff is so much nicer and very edible.

Vanilla and Chocolate baby shower cakeOk, so I have to “fess up.”  Even experienced bakers and decorators make mistakes.  Stupid mistakes actually.  That bear on the top took three attempts before I got it right.  I can’t believe it since I’ve made it many times before but the first time around I didn’t add enough batter to the pan so when bear came out he had NO LEGS!  Um no.  That bear became chocolate cake balls that I put into the party favour boxes for our guests to take home with them, so not a total waste.

With my second attempt I totally forgot to insert the cone into the center of the pan which ensures even cooking.  Not realizing my mistake I took the “perfect” bear from the pan and then wondered why his head was caving in.  After a crack formed I could see that the batter inside was still liquid and not even close to being cooked.  This poor bear met his demise down the garbage disposal.. sorry bear number 2.

So finally at 11:30pm on Friday night (the party was the next day) I baked off bear number 3.  You might think this one worked out perfectly.  Well not exactly.  Probably due to the fact that it had been one heck of a busy week I did remember to insert the heat cone this time BUT forgot to spray it with cooking spray.  As I pulled it out a crack formed across poor bear’s face.  Thank goodness for buttercream which I used to patch him up with.

So next time you make a mistake or forget something, don’t worry too much, we all do it!

Happy baking!

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December
22
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 22-12-2009

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Here’s a thought that crossed my spoiled mind this evening. What if, say, like my family in Australia, I can’t just run to the store and grab a box of red velvet cake mix off the shelf. I’ve obviously forgotten that it wasn’t that many years ago that I didn’t even know what a red velvet cake was! Imagine that.

This week I received an email from a fellow cake maker who asked me to share my favourite red velvet cake recipe since she wasn’t able to buy a box mix. Fellow bakers give me mixed reactions when I openly admit to using (insert scary music here)…. red velvet cake out of a box!! Well, I do and I’m not afraid to say it. Why not? It’s bad enough getting covered in red cake mix, which I usually do, without having to mess with red food colouring when measuring it out for a “from scratch” recipe.

Actually, there is a little history to my dread of red…  I used to own a small bakery in Australia and had left some decorating items out on the dining table in my brand new dining room, in my brand new home.  To cut a long story short, my youngest daughter was a climber and the result was red food colouring all over her and the brand new carpet!  We bleached it out and then had to dye the carpet back lovingly with teabags.  So you might now understand my dislike of red food colouring, even if red is my favourite color!

Ok, back to the cake at hand.  I tend to look at box cake mixes as a starting point, and usually tweak them by changing out the oil with apple sauce for instance, and adding my own flavourings, add-ins etc. I’m sure the good people at Duncan Hines, Betty Crocker and Pillsbury didn’t just whip them together in five minutes. It is my understanding that they have spent years perfecting their mixes for our convenience. And very often that is the time I have no compunction in reaching for one.

Sure there is nothing quite like a delicately created sponge or genoise but there are times when I just need to get out two dozen cupcakes in a hurry and trust me, 5 year olds very rarely call me out on using a box cake mix over a scratch baked cake. Their beaming little faces covered in frosting are all the proof I need that sometimes, it’s ok.

So let’s get this red velvet cake made!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dutch processed (dark) cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons red gel food coloring
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter ( softened)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2  1/2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Method:

Preheat oven to 325°. Line muffin pan with paper liners.

Whisk together cocoa powder, food coloring, and hot water. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of your electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and shortening until smooth. Scrape down bowl and add sugar. Beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Stir buttermilk and vanilla into the cooled cocoa mixture. Sift cake flour and salt together into another bowl. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour mixture (in 3 parts) and the cocoa mixture (in 2 parts) to the egg mixture. Beat until incorporated.  Combine vinegar and baking soda and stir until baking soda dissolves; the mixture will fizz. Add to batter and stir until just combined.

Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full with batter. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 10 minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan, and let cool completely.

___________

So, of course I ended up with red food coloring up one arm and on the kitchen rug.  Still not sure how that happened!  These cakes are very light and fluffy due to the sifted cake flour. I topped and filled mine with my favourite crusting cream cheese buttercream and some decorator sugar and toppings I had on hand. I love the color with this recipe. I have made them in the past where they weren’t red enough but it helps to use the dutch processed cocoa powder because it’s darker than regular cocoa.

Don’t forget to try this recipe out making the Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cake Balls, they’re delicious! Ok, so now I’m off to make a cuppa and maybe sneak one of these! ~ Colleen

Just in case I get busy in the next day or so!Merry Christmas from Cake Artisan


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December
19
Filed Under (Not Cake, Pies) by Colleen on 19-12-2009

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As a Foodbuzz Featured Publisher I had received a great coupon from Pepperidge Farms and wanted to make a meal around their pastry.  Easy!  Chicken Pot Pie.  I used my coupon to buy the frozen sheets of pastry and lined two pie plates, made my filling and topped with two puff pastry lids.  Delicious, quick and very affordable!

Ingredients:

1.5 T olive oil
2 cups diced onion
1 cup celery
1 tsp. minced garlic
4T all-purpose flour
1 ea. 10 oz bag  frozen peas and carrots
2 cups chicken stock or strong vegetable broth
2 cups diced chicken

1 package Pepperidge Farms puff pastry
Melted butter as needed

Method:

Using a small stock pot, heat oil and sauté onion and celery until translucent.
Add the diced chicken and cook until done.
Add garlic and sauté two minutes more.
Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon until well incorporated.
Pour in stock and stir.
Simmer until filling has thickened.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add remaining vegetables and stir until all is cooked thru.

Roll out pie crust and cut it about 1/2 an inch larger than the pie plate  you are using.  Add some of the filling.  I usually fill it almost to the edge.  I do brush the edge of the bottom pie shell with egg wash and then add the top crust, also rolled out to be a bit larger than the plate.  Secure the top crust to the bottom with a fork or by a folding method whichever you are used to.

Bake in pre-heated 400° oven until the crust is nice and golden as you want to make sure the bottom crust is cooking also.  The filling is already cooked so you just have to ensure that it is warmed through especially if you had pre-made it and it was refrigerated.

When you have a nice dark golden colour on your pastry you can remove it and serve it up!

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