February
24
Filed Under (General Message) by Coco on 24-02-2009

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Ok, I know that baking is a science but this takes the cake!!! 😉

The Periodic Table of Cupcakes is terrific fun. (Link opens in a new window)

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February
22
Filed Under (General Message) by Coco on 22-02-2009

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On Saturday Feb 21st, we went to the Metropolitan Library Systems Book Sale! ItBaking Books Bonanza at CakeArtisan.com was my first time which became more evident as we approached the Oklahoma State Fair Ground. There were far more cars trying to park than I ever anticipated. Seasoned book fair veterans toted bags, suitcases and plastic garbage cans with wheels and I saw one lady with her little red wagon!! These people were serious.

Upon entering the pavilion where the books were, there were taped off rows where the early birds had been made wait until the doors opened, so you just know all the good books were already gone. Even so, I managed to snaggle 22, yes TWENTY TWO great books filled with culinary baking delights from days gone by to more recently published Pastry, Pillsbury and Betty Crocker baking books. How much did this booty cost me… $26.00 for the entire load!

I guess the reason to share this news with you apart from my obvious over-excitement is that I hope to prepare many treats from these treasures in the coming months and continue to add to my trove of tried and true recipes.  If you don’t have a book fair anywhere near you soon, I suggest getting along to the local library to borrow and browse before you buy!  Have a great week!

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February
20
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 20-02-2009

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Dobos Cake (/’doboʃ/, Hungarian: dobostorta) is a famous Hungarian cake, invented by and named after a well-known Hungarian confectioner, József C. Dobos (1847-1924) in 1884. It is a five-layer sponge cake, layered with chocolate buttercream and topped with thin caramel slices. The sides of the cake are sometimes coated with ground hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts or almonds but the original cake is without coat, since it was a slice of a big cake. Dobos’s aim was to make a cake that would last longer than other pastries, in an age when cooling techniques were limited. The caramel topping helps keep the cake from drying out. The cake is also often called ‘Dobos-torta’ or ‘Dobostorta’.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is my Dobos Torte…  We made ours rectangular and topped it with a poured caramel that set hard but before it did I scored it with a knife into portioned pieces.

I will get the recipe entered tomorrow (Saturday 2/21)

The guys that work with my Husband really enjoyed this treat!

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February
10
Filed Under (Cakes, Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 10-02-2009

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I love baking for others so of course Valentine’s Day provides ample opportunity.  I’m getting an early start by making these delicious red velvet cupcakes for my friends.  Hubby has three to take to work for the guys and I will take the rest with me.

These little beauties have a hidden gooey cream cheese frosting center and are also topped with more and then rolled in sparkly red sugar just for fun.

I had to try this recipe out.  It’s not mine it’s from my friend over at Art of Dessert who has perfected it!

Red Velvet Cake
1 1/2 cups butter, softened to room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt
1 ounce red food coloring (liquid or gel)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups flour
3 Tbs. cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans or line three muffin pans with cupcake liners.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time. Combine yogurt, red food coloring and vanilla extract in a small bowl. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt in another bowl. Alternate adding the yogurt mixture and flour mixture into the large bowl. Pour batter into prepared pans or lined muffin pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes (15-20 minutes for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting

16 oz. (two 8 oz. bars) cream cheese, cold
1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened to room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
7 cups powdered sugar, measure then sift

With the mixer on a low speed, beat the cream cheese and butter till blended. Mix in vanilla and lemon extracts. Slowly add the powdered sugar, a cup at a time. Once all the powdered sugar is added, increase to a higher speed to whip up the frosting till light and fluffy.

Recipe by Art of Dessert

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February
09
Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 09-02-2009

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While good in theory my attempt at whole wheat cinnamon rolls just didn’t “pan out” as expected.  After my dismal attempt to make a healthier treat for my husband I have researched substituting whole wheat flour for the white all purpose flour in the original recipe.  So the fact that I learned lots of new information makes the exercise very useful and I feel less unhappy about ditching two dozen of these not-so-tasty morsels.

Unfortunately, they look a whole lot better than they tasted! The whole wheat flour made them VERY dense and heavy. They also didn’t rise very much while proofing. So here are the tips I learned about substituting whole wheat flour into a recipe.

  1. Use half white all purpose and half whole wheat.
  2. Sift the whole wheat flour at least once but twice if you have time as this will incorporate a lot more air into the recipe.  Also spoon the flour into the measuring cup instead of scooping.
  3. You may need to add a little more water to the recipe with whole wheat especially freshly ground since it can have quite different absorptive properties.
  4. One site suggested using 7/8 of a cup of whole wheat for every 1 cup  of white all purpose.

Ok, well those are some very good pointers and I will be making them again today using white all purpose.  One of the guys my hubby works with says my cinnamon rolls are the best he’s ever eaten… Bet he doesn’t feel that way when he tries one of the four whole wheat ones hubby took in today!  (He was being supportive of my baking and fearful that I might get discouraged and he risks living in a treat free house!!)

Here’s the recipe using the white all purpose, but you should be able to substitute safely now that we know a little more about using whole wheat… besides some things are just not meant to be healthy… Cinnamon rolls are a treat to be eaten in moderation, not an essential part of our daily diet.


Jumbo Cinnamon Rolls

Yield: 12 Large Rolls

Dough
1 pint Water, warm
2.5 pounds All-purpose flour
6 ounces Granulated sugar
1/2 ounce Active dry yeast
3/4 ounces Dry milk powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt
5 ounces Whole butter, softened

Filling
3 ounces Whole butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon, ground (I used way more cinnamon than this)
3 ounces Brown sugar
2 ounces Raisins (ewwww… I leave these out)

11 fluid ounces Powdered Sugar Glaze

Method:

1.    Combine all the dough ingredients in a large mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook. Knead the dough until it is smooth, approximately 6 to 8 minutes.

2.    Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover and ferment until doubled.

3.    Punch down the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface. Shape into a rectangle, approximately 18 inches × 30 inches (45 centimeters × 75 centimeters).

4.    To make the filling, spread the softened butter over the surface of the dough. Combine the cinnamon, brown sugar and raisins and sprinkle this mixture over the butter, covering the dough evenly.

5.    Starting with the longer side, roll the dough into a spiral. Cut into 12-pieces, each approximately 1-1/2 inches (3.7 centimeters) thick. Place the rolls close together, cut side up, on a paper-lined sheet pan and allow them to rise until doubled.

6.    Bake at 300°F (150°C) oven until golden brown and done, approximately 30 minutes.

7.    Cool slightly, then top with Powdered Sugar Glaze.

Powdered Sugar Glaze

1 pound Powdered sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons Vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Lemon juice
1 fluid ounce Water, warm

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Stir to blend thoroughly and dissolve any lumps. Cover and store at room temperature.

(Source: On Baking – Labensky)

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February
06
Filed Under (Sweet Stuff) by Coco on 06-02-2009

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Recently, I had the opportunity to sample and review the new Quaker True Delights granola bars before they hit the market…

Trouble is, I just can’t decide which flavour is my favourite!  I mean, come on… when faced with the choice between Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Toasted Banana Macadamia Nut or Honey Roasted Cashew Mixed Berry you can see what a difficult decision this would be.

These granola bars will definitely become a part of our family pantry.  They not only taste good they are also good for you.  I love how they are pretty low in fat and sugar and have 3 grams of fiber.  Be sure to keep an eye out at your store.

If you click here and go out to their website you can get more information and a $1.00 off coupon!

Check out the nutrition label facts:

Nutrition Facts

Serving size 1 bar (35g)
Servings Per Container 5

Amount per serving
Calories 140 Calories from Fat 40
%Daily Value*
Total Fat 4.5g 7%
Saturated Fat 1.5g 7%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 65mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 23g 8%
Dietary Fiber 3g 14%
Sugars 8g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A 0%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 0%
Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:
Calories 2,000 2,500
Total Fat less than 65g 80g
Sat. Fat less than 20g 25g
Cholesterol less than 300mg 300mg
Sodium less than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber 25g 30g
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