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Ok, this recipe needed a “do over.”  A huge part of the online baking community is about sharing, that’s a large part of why we do this: a shared love of food and cooking it.  We all see recipes and foods online or in cookbooks that we like and it’s perfectly fine to go ahead and make them and then to write about your experiences.  But, and here’s the point… I saw this recipe for yummy cookies on Caroline’s Chocolate & Carrots blog and thought I’d see how they turned out since I have more than one friend these days who has a reaction to flour products but still likes a sweet, baked treat.

In my haste yesterday to:

  1. Gather up two dogs to take them to the vet for shots
  2. Wash my car and vacuum the inside in 105 degrees
  3. Go to the post office, video store, bank, City building, library
  4. Get Starbucks
  5. See what Hobby Lobby had on sale
  6. Buy lunch
  7. Grocery shop for our healthy eating lifestyle change
  8. Go to the gym
  9. Do some work for a client or two (need money from time to time…LOL)
  10. Remove the covers from both air conditioner condensers to clean them and help Hubby(and about destroy both in the process),

I hit the “publish” button on my WordPress post instead of “save draft” which inadvertently posted a half baked article which didn’t give any credit to Caroline and her recipe at all.  Luckily for me, she was very understanding and polite about it… Sorry Caroline..

Anyway, here is the recipe and they are really great cookies so you must bake them!

One of the first things I do before I bake is set all my ingredients out and all of the equipment I’m going to be using… This is called mise en place or putting everything in it’s place. You can read more about that term here…

Mise en place - putting it all in order ready to bake!

Mise en place – putting it all in order ready to bake!

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups powdered sugar
  • Cups of dark or Dutch Processed cocoa powder
  • Teaspoon salt (we use Kosher)
  • 3 to 4 large egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1 Tablespoon of GOOD vanilla (I use Madagascar)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (I used good ‘ol Nestle Semi-Sweet)


Method

  • First off, preheat your oven to 350°F (180°C) (F to C temp converter here)
  • Prepare your baking sheets with silicon mats or sprayed parchment
  • Combine all dry ingredients into a bowl (flour, cocoa powder and salt)
  • Fold in 3 egg whites and then vanilla
  • Only beat until mixture is moist and fudge brownie like.  If it’s too dry then add an additional egg white.
  • Fold in chocolate chips
  • Using a tablespoon, place cookie mix onto prepared baking sheets, leaving room as they will spread. (I got 12 on a half pan sized baking sheet)
No flour, no fuss, fudgy chocolate chip cookies

On the tray

Bake for approx 14 mins or until the tops begin to crack. They will have a shiny gloss finish to them.

No Flour, No fuss, fudgy chocolate chip cookies by Cake Artisan

Finished Cookies

Haha… my first embedded video..

 

Points to consider:

If you are using a convection oven adjust the temperature down by about 25 degrees and you can usually reduce your bake time by a minute or two.  Keep an eye on your cookies as all ovens vary a little.

Many variables can affect your baking… humidity, altitude and the age of your products.  For example, the older the flour  is the drier it can be, therefore often requiring the addition of more liquid than normally called for just to get it to the right consistency… don’t panic, there is NO FLOUR in this particular recipe, this was just an example of a variable.

Enjoy and happy baking!

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August
23
Filed Under (Not Cake, Recipes, Sweet Stuff) by Colleen on 23-08-2011

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Egg Nog from scratchThis quick post is so a friend can share in this recipe… but hey we are all friends here on the internet so give this yummy egg nog recipe a shot!  It does have alcohol in it so beware.

Ingredients:

1/3 Cup + 1Tbs. Sugar

1 Pint Whole Milk

1 Cup Heavy Cream

3 Oz Bourbon

1tsp Grated Nutmeg

4 Large Eggs

 

 Method:

The parts are made in stages and then combined, so firstly:

Separate Whites from Yolks. Yolks into one bowl and whites into another.

Whip yellows at high speed until they lighten in color.

Add 1/3 cup sugar.

Add Cream to Milk and then the entire mixture to the yellows.

Add nutmeg.

Mix.

Add Bourbon

 

Chill mixture while cleaning mixer and then do this bit:

 

Whip whites at high speed to soft peaks

Add sugar and whip to stiff peaks

 

Then:

Integrate the yolk mixture with the whites by carefully stirring in.  Don’t destroy all the whites fluffy goodness as they give a lightness to the nog.

 

ENJOY!

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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 Coco 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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