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Entries in guest blog (62)

Sunday
Feb142010

Sweets for the Sweet: Valentine's Day Cupcake Tutorial from Hello Naomi

Now would be an appropriate time for me to act very high and mighty on the subject of Hello Naomi in a "I discovered her way before the fact" sort of way. After all, she was first featured on CakeSpy over 2 years ago, while she was still a student and baked only as a Flickr-posting hobbyist. But I'm not gonna be like that--I can share.

Of course, awesome like hers couldn't be contained, and now she's moved on to wonderful things including starting her own baking business, and she's also dipped into party planning and works with a company that does invitation design

And happily, she's offered up a sweet tutorial for Valentine's Day Cupcakes. It's not too late to whip up a batch for your sweetie!

Valentines Day Cupcake Tutorial

Makes 12

What you will need:

 

  • 12 vanilla cupcakes (here's Naomi's recipe)
  • 500g ready to roll white icing (fondant)
  • Red gel food dye
  • Blue food dye
  • Circle cutter (the same size as your cupcake tops)
  • 2 size heart cutters
  • Non-stick small rolling pin
  • Plastic mat
  • Pure icing sugar for dusting
  • Water or cake decorating glue w/ small paintbrush

 

 Procedure

  1. Divide the fondant into 4. Using a plastic mat, dye one lot of fondant red, one pink, one blue and leave the other white. Colouring is done by kneeding drops of colour into the fondant until mixed through evenly. Pink is made by using a small amount of the red dye, red is eventually achieved by using a fair amount of dye (using a gel dye is much faster than using liquid dye). Use sifted icing sugar to soak up any moisture from the dye and prevent sticking. Wrap each colour in cling wrap. Wipe mat after each colour.
  2. Roll out the white fondant until aprox ¼ inch thick. Dust icing sugar on the top and bottom if sticking and dust away excess.
  3. Cut out 3x circles using the circle cutter. Using a pallet knife or flat knife lift each circle, lightly wet the back using a paint brush and place onto a cupcake. Smooth the top and edges using the palm of your hand. Wrap excess fondant in cling wrap.
  4. Repeat for 3 pink cupcakes and 6 blue ones.
  5. Once all the cupcakes are covered it is time to decorate them. Roll out the remaining pink fondant and cut out 3 large hearts. Lightly wet the back and place in the middle of 3 blue cupcakes. Roll out the remaining white fondant, cut out 3 large hearts, lightly wet the back and place in the middle of the remaining 3 blue cupcakes.
  6. Roll out the red fondant, cut out 12 hearts, lightly wet the back and place in the middle of each cupcake.
  7. Package them in a cute box with tissue paper, alternating designs, and give them to someone special!

About the contributor: Naomi was studying her PhD in Computer Engineering when she discovered her love of cake decorating. By posting photos onto the photo sharing website flickr under the user name ‘hello naomi’ she quickly became well known for her original designs and demand quickly grew to the point where she decided to start a business in 2009. Since then she has also ventured into party planning, collaborating with Imprintables invitations to form scissors.paper.cake.

Sunday
Feb142010

Sweet Cakes: Naomi Henderson's Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Hello Naomi's Vanilla Cupcake Recipe 

Perfect for use with this tutorial for Valentine's Day Sweetheart Cupcakes!

Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup castor sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Procedure

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (350°F ) . Line a 12 hole cupcake trays with standard size papers.
  2. Sift the flours together and set aside.
  3. Soften butter in the microwave.
  4. Warm the milk in the microwave to luke warm.
  5. Place the softened butter in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer (med-low speed) for 1 min until smooth.
  6. Beat on med and add the sugar 1/3 at a time beating for a minute between additions. (The fluffier the butter and sugar is, the fluffier and higher your cupcakes will rise)
  7. Add the vanilla seeds or extract and beat though
  8. Add the eggs one at a time mixing on med-low and for a minute in between additions.
  9. Once the eggs are mixed remove mixing bowl from stand and using a wooden spoon mix in 1/3 of the flour. Mix until there are no lumps.
  10. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix until well combined.
  11. Add another 1/3 of the flour, mix until no lumps. Mix through the rest of the milk until well combined and then mix through the rest of the flour until there are no lumps.
  12. Spoon mixture into cupcake papers about 2/3 full using an ice cream scoop. Bake on the middle rack for 18-20 minutes until golden (rotate tray after about 15 min).
  13. Remove from trays and cool on a wire rack for at least 45 minutes before decorating.
  14. Frost as desired, or according to this awesome tutorial!

Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Wednesday
Feb102010

Wining and Dining: Red Wine Valentine Cookies from The Hot Cookie

When CakeSpy contributor Sarah of The Hot Cookie sent over the recipe for these cookies, I first saw the light pink hue and sesame seeds in the rolling pictures (below) and thought "sushi cookies!". Well, no, but reading on I learned they were something far more delicious: Red Wine Valentines. Infused with buttery flavor cut with sweet and tart wine, these sweet treats will undoubtedly set the tone for romance--as Sarah wisely says,

Fewer things can be more meaningful than a homemade treat. Whether it's made by your own hands or crafted from an independent bakery, these Red Wine Valentine cookies will spark an interest in your other's eyes.

Here's the recipe:
Red Wine Valentines

Ingredients
  • ½ cup port wine
  • 2 Tbsp. beet juice*
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Zest of half an orange
  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup dried currants
  • Sesame seeds
Procedure
  1. In a small sauce pan bring wine and beet juice to a boil. Once boiling occurs, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20-22 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. Sift together flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg, orange zest, and cooled wine/beet reduction. Mix until combined.
  4. Mix in flour mixture until just incorporated. Add currants.
  5. Divide dough into thirds and roll into logs about 2 inches in diameter. Wrap dough logs with wax paper or parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. Unwrap dough and roll/press dough into sesame seeds.
  8. Slice log into ¼ inch slices. Place on greased or parchment lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are firm and centers appear undercooked. Let cool on baking sheet.

About the contributor: The Hot Cookie is a small, all-natural cookie company in Indianapolis run by two go-local/pro-green ladies with a thirst for life and a hunger for sweets. All of their two-bite cookies are made in small batches with as many high quality, local, and organic ingredients available.

You can shop here, visit the website here, and keep up to date via their blog!

Saturday
Jan022010

The Splendid Tableau: A Cookie Tableau Adventure from Cake Gumshoe Megan

Cookie Tableau

CakeSpy Note: This is a post from Cake Gumshoe Megan, who gets in over her head every Christmas...

Despite the fact cake is actually my drug of choice, every year at Christmas I become a cookie dervish. I tell myself it's because I'm developing the repertoire I will be known for later in life, but I think it's really just because I finally have an excuse to bake and bake and bake and no one will ask me what I'm going to do with all of those cookies.

Seventeen or so dozen cookies later (gingerbread, sugar, springerle, candy cane cookies, brownies, chocolate raspberry drizzle, chocolate peanut butter chunk, stained glass, macaroons and chocolate butter snowflakes, if anyone was interested), I turned my attention to a cookie tableau. Reading a Theresa Layman book on gingerbread gave me the idea for a tableau, but I decided to make mine out of sugar cookies and have an undersea theme. I have a very good friend who has been so supportive in pretty much every area of my life, and I knew he'd appreciate something edible for the holidays.

What I didn't know was that Mother Nature was conspiring against me.

The blizzard that dumped two feet of snow on the mid-Atlantic forced me to fly home for Christmas two days early and sent my tableau plans sprawling. The Christmas rush forced me to give a non-edible present to my friend, but I still wanted to make a tableau, so I shifted my sights to a gingerbread winter scene.

A trip to Michael's yielded gel paste food coloring and a foray into Wegmans' bulk candy aisle gave me all the decorations I needed (and plenty to snack on). I ended up using Spree, Jelly Belly jelly beans and candy canes.

I would recommend a little planning with this since my lack of design had me dithering in the candy aisle for longer than absolutely necessary, but if you're at all like me, you can totally do this by the seat of your pants too.

First I used a lebkuchen recipe from Festive Baking by Sarah Kelly Iaia. This is my go-to gingerbread recipe. It uses honey instead of molasses, so you can taste the spices rather than the syrup. I used one whole recipe total in making the background and then the buildings and little gingerbread man. I drew templates free-hand and cut them out with a paring knife.



Baking them in an unfamiliar oven yielded slightly crispy edges, but those were neatly covered by royal icing.


From there I just decorated the buildings as my imagination dictated and space on the background allowed. I did make one mistake which couldn't be fixed due to lack of time. I added too much water to my yellow piping icing, so the windows to the church weren't fully flooded. Some of the "icing" soaked into the cookie.


I also wouldn't recommend taking shortcuts with the icing as I did with the sky. Rather than make a whole new batch of royal icing, pipe a border and then flood, I just flooded the whole thing, which led to rather messy edges. I wasn't too worried about thin coverage in the middle since the buildings were going to cover most of it.

I made a few sugarwork decorations and let everything dry for two days. A little Karo syrup glue to attach the buildings to the background, and I was finished. The final size was about 8 1/2 by 11 inches.


I really enjoyed myself despite a total lack of architectural and drawing skills, and I definitely plan to make another one soon. This time I will have a much more detailed plan beforehand!

Friday
Dec252009

Pork Roll: Bacon Cinnamon Rolls By Rainy Day Gal

IMGP1188

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Rainy Day Gal (a.k.a. Jenny Miller), a fellow Seattle blogger with a major sweet tooth. Her current endeavor is "The 12 Days of Bakemas"--12 days, 12 recipes, and 12 million dirty dishes."

Yeah, you heard me.

You're not going to believe these. And you're really not going to
believe how ridiculously easy they are to make. My nine-month old could
bake em.

You need two ingredients:

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1. Bacon.

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2. Cinnamon rolls. I swear by these "Grands" Cinnabon doodleybobs.

Of course, if you're feeling ambitious, you could always make your
own
. But if you're exhausted, have been picking up Cheerios off the
floor for two months, and have no energy to shower let alone make your own
dang cinnamon rolls, stick with me.

Click here for more!

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First, fry up that bacon. Not all the way--give it sort of a half-fry. You
don't want to make it too crunchy because it'll snap when you try to roll
it up into those cinnamonny buns. Plus, it'll cook more in le oven.

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Let it drain on paper towels. For big cinnamon rolls, you'll need two
slices of bacon per roll. For the tiny guys, you just need one.

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Pop that can. How I looove that sound. Separate the rolls.

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Unroll them on a piece of parchment paper or a big ol' cutting board.

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Lay the bacon strips across the dough....

IMGP1188

...roll 'em up...

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...lay them in a greased pan and bake according to package directions.

Sit by the oven and twiddle your thumbs.

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Ding! They're done!

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Frost 'em.

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Smell 'em.

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Ready?

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Set?

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SWOON.

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I think these things have to qualify as a religious experience. Someone
call the Vatican.

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And it's a crime how easy they are to make. Something this good you should
have to work for, right?

IMGP1200

Wrong.

Make these Christmas morning. Thank me later.

Happy 6th Day of Bakemas!

-RDG

Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

  1. Buy bacon.
  2. Buy cinnamon rolls.
  3. Cook bacon.
  4. Roll bacon into cinnamon rolls.
  5. Bake cinnamon rolls.
  6. Frost cinnamon rolls.
  7. Eat cinnamon rolls.
  8. Repeat.

Tuesday
Dec222009

Babka's Your Uncle: A Carbohydratey Christmas Breakfast Idea from Rainy Day Gal

IMGP1310

CakeSpy Note: This is a guest post from Rainy Day Gal (a.k.a. Jenny Miller), a fellow Seattle blogger with a major sweet tooth. Her current endeavor is "The 12 Days of Bakemas"--12 days, 12 recipes, and 12 million dirty dishes."

Bab-what? Bab-who?

The word is Babka, my friends, and you should really get to know each other.

What is babka, you ask? It's an eastern European bread twisted and rolled up with chocolate and cinnamony goodness, topped off with a sprinkling of streusel.

Why is it called babka? Because it's darn fun to say. Or, as my other good friend Wikipedia informed me, it stems from the Polish noun "baba," meaning grandmother--so-named because of its resemblance to a grandmother.

Huh. I don't know about your grandmother, but mine is definitely twisted, stuffed with chocolate and perpetually covered in streusel. Quite a fitting name, I'd say.

Before we get going, I must say: of what I have made so far in this 12 days of Bakemas adventure, chocolate babka has been by far my favorite. And here are the reasons why:

1) The dough is soft and chewy like the inside of a cinnamon roll.

2) Said dough is covered in melted chocolate.

3) The streusel on top gives it a buttery, sugary crunch.

4) It's pretty and swirly and twisty.

5) It's fun to say. Babka. Baaaabka. You try.

Alright. Enough talkie talkie. Ready to do this thing?

Let's go.

(Click here for the full recipe and directions!)

You need flour. Bread flour and all-purpose, please.

Also snag some cocoa powder, salt, powdered sugar, granulated sugar, and cinnamon from your pantry.

You'll also need vanilla extract, 1 packet of dry active yeast, cooking spray, butter, one egg (yolk only), and 3/4 cup of 1% milk.

And finally, the star of the show: Chocolate. Semi-sweet, and 4 ounces of it.

Now, put on that apron (or as I like to call it, an "old college sweatshirt") and let's begin.

IMGP1241

Warm up the milk and pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer.

Add 1 teaspoon granulated sugar (make sure your camera is not in focus during this step: very important)...

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...and that packet-o-yeast. Turn on the mixer and blend until the yeast has dissolved. Let stand 5 minutes.

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Meanwhile, measure out 6 tablespoons of granulated sugar. Turns out it's about 1/3 cup. Throw in 1/4 teaspoon salt while you're at it.

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Add the sugar/salt mixture...

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...1 teaspoon vanilla extract...

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...and egg yolk. Give it a stir.

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Measure out 1/3 cup all-purpose flour and add 1 1/4 cups bread flour.

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Switch attachments to your dough hook, but not before pretending to be Captain Hook for 4 minutes.

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Slowly add the flours while the mixer is running. Mix until a purdy dough begins to form.

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Now, soften 5 tablespoons of butter...

IMGP1255

...and add it to the dough. Mix until all of the buttah is incorporated.

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Turn the whole mess out onto a floured surface. Warning: it's a gonna be sticky. And greasy.

Keep 1/3 cup all-purpose flour right next to ya...

IMGP1258

...and knead for about 10 minutes, adding the flour a tablespoon at a time until it no longer sticks to your hands. The dough should be smooove and elastic.

IMGP1259

Spray a bowl (non-metal, please) with cooking spray, plop in that mound-o-dough, give it a flip to coat the whole durn thing with cooking spray, cover, and let rest in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours (or until it's doubled in size).

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Meanwhile, grab that bee-youtiful chocolate.

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Give it a good chop...

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...and throw it in a bowl.

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Add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, and 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder.

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Give it a good stir.

Alrighty. We've done the dough and the filling. Now let's prep the streusel.

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In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon butter, one tablespoon flour, and one tablespoon powdered sugar.

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Mash it all up with a fork, and then stick it in the fridge until we're ready to use it.

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Finally, let's get our bread pan ready. Line the bottom with parchment paper, and then spray the whole dang thing with cooking spray.

Now would also be a good time to preheat your oven to 350°.

IMGP1285

Is your dough ready? If you're not sure, press two fingers into it. If the indentations stay put, it's good to go. If not, let it rise longer.

If it's ready, punch it down, re-cover, and let rest five minutes.

IMGP1287

Now then. Flip it out onto a floured surface and roll into a 15"x15" square.

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Spread out the filling on top of the dough, leaving a little room at the edges.

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Roll it up nice and tight, pinching the edges closed....

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...and give it a few good twists. That is what's going to make it all swirly and purdy.

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Squeeze it into your bread pan. If it looks like a snake, that's cool. It won't taste like one. I promise.

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Crumble the streusel on top, and stick this bad boy in the oven for 40 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you tap the top.

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Or until it looks like this.

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Oh my.

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This is going to be gooood.

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Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes, then flip it out onto a wire rack to let cool completely. And by "completely," I mean as long as you can prevent yourself from ripping that sucker in half and inhaling the whole dang thing.

I think I lasted all of 7.5 minutes. I then cut out the middle piece (above) and scarfed it.

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Then I let the rest of the loaf cool like a good little gal.

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I must say, this stuff was delicious warm and cold. When it was warm, the chocolate was melty and gooey. But when it was cold, the chocolate had hardened and gave it delicious little rungs of texture.

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I'd love this bread warm on Christmas morning. Coffee, a warm, gooey slice of this chocolatey delight, and hanging out with my favorite peeps.

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Heavenly.

Happy 12 Days of Bakemas!

-RDG

Chocolate Babka Recipe

from Cooking Light


  •  Ingredients for dough

1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 package dry yeast (about 2 1/4 teaspoons)
3/4 cup warm 1% low-fat milk (105° to 110°)
6 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten
7.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 2/3 cups), divided
5.85 ounces bread flour (about 1 1/4 cups)
5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and softened
Cooking spray


  • Ingredients for Filling
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

  • Ingredients for streusel
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened

  • Procedure

 

  1. Dissolve 1 teaspoon granulated sugar and yeast in warm milk in the bowl of a stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, vanilla extract, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and egg yolk. Weigh or lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Add 6 ounces (about 1 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour and bread flour to milk mixture; beat with dough hook attachment at medium speed until well blended (about 2 minutes). Add 5 tablespoons butter, beating until well blended. Scrape dough out onto a floured surface (dough will be very sticky). Knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes); add 1.5 ounces (about 1/3 cup) all-purpose flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, to prevent dough from sticking to hands (dough will be very soft).
  2. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat top. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size. (Gently press two fingers into dough. If indentation remains, dough has risen enough.) Punch dough down; cover and let dough rest 5 minutes.
  3. Line the bottom of a 9 x 5?inch loaf pan with parchment paper; coat sides of pan with cooking spray.
  4. To prepare filling, combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside.
  5. Place dough on a generously floured surface; roll dough out into a 16-inch square. Sprinkle filling over dough, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edges. Roll up dough tightly, jelly-roll fashion; pinch seam and ends to seal. Holding dough by ends, twist dough 4 times as if wringing out a towel. Fit dough into prepared pan. Cover and let rise 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°.
  7. To prepare streusel, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, and 1 tablespoon softened butter, stirring with a fork until mixture is crumbly; sprinkle streusel evenly over dough. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until loaf is browned on bottom and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool bread in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pan. Cool bread completely on wire rack before slicing.

 

Friday
Nov272009

Winter Wonderland: A Sweet Dispatch from the National Gingerbread House Competition

Gingerbread Houses
Have you ever been curious about the nation's gingerbread elite? Even if you weren't, bet you are now. Here, Cake Gumshoe Shannon reports on the scene at the National Gingerbread Competition:

A peppermint forest, a sprinkle laden path, sugary turrets and beams of brown baked gingerbread. This is the stuff that children’s dreams are made of, as are the incredible and edible works of art entered in this year’s famous National Gingerbread House Competition put on by The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina.
Gingerbread Windmill
After months of baking and building, gingerbread architects and purveyors of icing of all ages from across the country have witnessed the judging of their mouth-watering creations. Winning entries are now on display throughout the historic hotel until January 3.

While the name of the contest may conjure pictures of a child’s dilapidated yet endearing four-sided gingerbread home made from a store-bought kit, you’ll find much more among this spicy and sweet collection of entirely edible concoctions.
A marshmallow-laden igloo. A zoo of tasty lions and tigers with caramel cages. A Dutch windwill with spokes of pretzels and chocolate. A cuckoo clock with almond pinecone weights. A castle with a gingerbread princess. Next to a mandate of gingerbread as a building block, imagination is the most important rule of this contest.

Some of my most favorite entries are the most out-of-box inventions such as a festive Egyptian pyramid draped with frosted boughs and holly atop a sugary sweet desert neighbored by a crystal blue sea with a magical sailboat. The base of the boat is made of ice cream cones and is topped by a mast of ruby red licorice and a sail of yellow fruit roll-up.

Then there is the gingerbread house that models a posh Mediterranean villa with a terracotta roof, manicured gardens, a tiled patio and glistening blue fountains that mimic running water, or the gingerbread woven picnic basket filled with fruit and a parade of ants atop an iced picnic blanket.

The grand prize winner of this year’s contest perhaps bends all notions of gingerbread houses with a stunning copper and gold gilded bird cage with two brilliant snow white turtle doves. The base of the bird cage is encircled with perfectly shaped pears and leaves that seem to glow with reflected light (pictured top).
Gingerbread Picnic Basket
Certainly too beautiful to eat, it’s not hard to see on first glance, why this entry brought home the contest’s ultimate prize, which includes a $3,000 prize check, a two-night club floor stay at The Grove Park Inn, dinner for two, daily breakfast for two and a prize package from Chef Nicholas Lodge including a two-day class at the Nicholas Lodge School in Atlanta, Georgia, not to mention major bragging rights at the next neighborhood cookout or potluck.

While the top winners are interesting to see as a collection, each individual gingerbread creation has a story to tell that’s reflected in the incredible attention to detail and hours of work invested. To hear the stories behind the gingerbread, visit The Grove Park Inn and take part in the “Stories of Gingerbread” guided tours.

The Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave., Asheville, NC 1-800-438-5800; Gingerbread Hotline 1-800-413-5778; online at groveparkinn.com.

For more of Shannon Connell’s work, check out her website.

Tuesday
Nov242009

Roll With It: Pumpkin Roulade Cake Recipe from Cake Gumshoe Julia

Guest Post from Cake Gumshoe Julia - roulade cake with sugar
CakeSpy Note: What the world needs now is love, sweet love--all rolled up in a pumpkin roulade cake. Cake Gumshoe Julia is at it again, and has contributed a totally sweet recipe! You can follow her everyday adventures on her site, Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body.

I have been wanting to make a roll cake for years. But I have been so intimidated by them--they always look so perfect, and I always feared there was no room for error in the texture of the cake or consistency of the frosting. It had to be perfect or else it wouldn't roll correctly. But Saturday morning I was feeling lucky.

I had a pumpkin I had just roasted which I wanted to use for some baked goods. I also realized I hadn't made any pumpkin baked goods yet and Thanksgiving is only 5 days away. So right then I knew I had to make Ina Garten's Pumpkin Roulade. Her recipes have always turned out well for me, which gave me the confidence to move forward. Of course I modified her recipe slightly (I just have a habit of always adding some of my own 'flair' you can call it).

Pumpkin Roulade Cake

For the cake:
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, plus extra for dusting

For the filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used low fat)
Note: I have been using Philadelphia cream cheese. I used the generic cheap stuff forever, but recently discovered that Philly has such a better consistency.
  • 1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 banana, mashed
  • Pinch kosher salt

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper.
  2. In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Place the eggs and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. With the mixer on low, add the pumpkin, then slowly add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Finish mixing the batter by hand with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched.Guest Post from Cake Gumshoe Julia - roulade cake on towel
  3. While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton dish towel (I used a cheese cloth) on a flat surface and sift the entire 1/4 cup of confectioners' sugar evenly over it. (This will prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.) As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, loosen it around the edges and invert it squarely onto the prepared towel. Peel away the parchment paper. With a light touch, roll the warm cake and the towel together (don't press!) starting at the short end of the cake. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Note: I just dumped the cake onto the powdered sugar towel, and I watched a huge cloud of powdered sugar spread everywhere. So the term 'with a light tough' is key to making a little less mess.
  4. Meanwhile, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and cream together for about a minute, until light and fluffy. Stir in the pumpkin, banana, and salt.Guest Post from Cake Gumshoe Julia - roulade cake with frosting
  5. To assemble, carefully unroll the cake onto a board with the towel underneath. 
  6. Spread the cake evenly with the filling. 
  7. Reroll the cake in a spiral using the towel as a guide. Remove the towel and trim the ends to make a neat edge. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Serve sliced.


Guest Post from Cake Gumshoe Julia - roulade cake fork cutting

 

Wednesday
Nov182009

Gobble Gobble: A Turkey Cupcake Tutorial From Meringue Bake Shop

Turkey Cupcake Tutorial c/o Meringue Bake Shop
Thanksgiving. The holiday of food, er giving thanks for life’s bounty. A few days to indulge in excess of food, family, travel and shopping--that is to say, a great holiday. No worrying about giving and getting presents: just a day to enjoy stuffing ourselves, making more room and saying thanks for that delicious turkey.
Back when I first started exploring baking creatively, I came across this idea for making Thanksgiving turkey cupcakes. At first I was a little skeptical because it looked like a lot of work and up to the point my decorating skills consisted of a butter knife and a slab of frosting from a can. But I couldn’t resist, and I found that these were really easy to make and so irresistibly cute. This is also a great thing to give kids something to do later in the day. They can assemble their turkeys and throw a turkey parade to rejoice for those birds that survived another year. Or the kids can make them ahead of time and you can use them as your table centerpiece. Just arrange on a platter and stick some flowers in between the cupcakes.

Turkey Cupcakes
-makes 24 -

Note: For these cupcakes, the base and frosting can be pretty much whatever you want. I used a yellow cake recipe and tinted it with some orange food coloring. And I used a chocolate buttercream because, it’s brown like turkeys, and I really like yellow cake with chocolate frosting. Peanut butter frosting would be good too. Yum!

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Nutter Butters
  • 1 package of fruit roll ups, fruit leather or airheads. (starburst could even work here but would require more effort)
  • Jumbo heart sprinkles (can be found at your local craft store or online)
  • Bag of mini chocolate chips or mini M&Ms (you could use leftover Halloween candy, but who are we kidding? There is no such thing by now, right? Especially if you made this pie)
  • Maple leaf cookie cutter (I used this set)
  • Candy corn
  • Cornstarch (for dusting)
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cocoa
  • Meringue Powder
  • 24 cupcakes, baked but unfrosted
  • Frosting (homemade or from a can – if you use a can, buy two)
  • Piping bag or gallon plastic zipper bag
  • Tip (I used a 1G Wilton tip) 
Guest blog post from Meringue Bake Shop
  • Optional: 100 Calorie packs (you may be wondering what the 100 calorie packs are for, you’ll see later on in the post!) 

Got your ingredients? Good. Let's get started:

Guest blog post from Meringue Bake Shop
1. Make the feathers. Grab a cutting board and lightly dust with cornstarch. Unroll the fruit roll ups, separate the colors and lay them on the board. Dust a little more cornstarch on top. I also dust some on a concentrated area that I can use to dip in my cookie cutter. Note: I tried Fruit by the Foot and only realized after I’d opened it that they print images on the fruit strips so I couldn’t use that. Also if you are going to use Airheads or starbursts, you might need to microwave them, out of their packages, for a couple seconds to get them more pliable. Then you’ll need a rolling pin or glass with some cornstarch on it to thin them out. Your hands can work too.
2. Next, make some royal icing. I halve this recipe but I add a little bit more water, like an extra teaspoon.
3. Put the icing in a piping bag or zipper bag and cut a tiny bit off the tip so you have about a 1/8 of an inch size hole. I also slightly snip the seams on my pastry bags so that I get a circle when I squeeze instead of a line.

Guest Post from Meringue Bake Shop

4. Grab a nutter butter. Pipe on two dots for the eyes and a dot with the line heading down the length of the cookie.
Guest post from Meringue Bake ShopGuest post from Meringue Bake Shop
5. Stick the jumbo red heart with the pointy part up on the line of royal icing. Then place one mini chocolate chip on each dot you placed for the eyes.

6. Snap off the end of a piece of candy corn, leaving the white tip and little bit of the orange. Eat the remaining piece. (Shhh, I won’t tell). You might need to add some royal icing to the candy corn piece and then glue the bits together...but now you're finished!
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7. Now make 23 more. (Patiently waiting)

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8. Ok! On to frosting. Fit a piping bag or zipper bag with a tip. Or you can cut the tip of the bag in a + shape to get a similar shape in your frosting. Fill bag with frosting of your choice.
Swirl on the icing and then add a little edge of frosting. This is where the feathers will rest.

9. Pick up a turkey and stick him towards the front of the cupcake, into the cupcake. You can press a little hard here. Make sure he is in the cupcake and not just in the frosting.
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10. Then start placing your feathers--I did 3 but you can do more if you like. Overlapping would look cool.

Guest Post from Meringue Bake Shop
And a turkey is born! Isn’t he cute! You almost don’t wanna eat him… almost.

Extra Credit: So you may still be wondering about those 100 calorie snack bags in my early photo. I made baby turkeys! This is a great option if you want to utilize mini cupcakes as well.
Guest Post from Meringue Bake ShopGuest Post from Meringue Bake Shop
1. Using the same method for the large nutterbutters, place two dots of royal icing on the cookie and add mini chocolate chips. Add another dot and either add another jumbo heart or for this one I used some leftover heart-shaped cinnamon red hots also purchased at my local craft store.
Guest Post from Meringue Bake Shop
2. Frost a swirl of buttercream on top of the mini cupcake. Insert one of the baby turkeys, then add your feathers. I used a tear drop cutter for the baby turkey feathers. So cute!!
Now, your turkeys are ready to party!
Come back!

...wait, come back, Turkey!

About the Cake Gumshoe: Kristin Ausk owns Meringue Bake Shop, a custom cupcakery located in Orange County, California. She uses high quality ingredients, pop culture, and nostalgia to come up with unique and flavorful cupcakes. All of her cupcakes are made-to-order, so every cupcake you order was made just for you. Kristin’s love of baking began when she was 7 yrs old and entered a baking contest held by her local paper and won! (an honorable mention). But that only encouraged her more. And two years ago, at the request of her coworkers, friends, and family, she decided to turn her love into a side business. You’ll find her trying out new recipes in her kitchen with her husband, Lyle, and her two dogs, Klondike & Miles. Keep updated daily with her Twitter updates!

Wednesday
Nov112009

Sugar and Spice: Apple Cranberry Galettes Recipe from Patisserie Natalie


CakeSpy Note: This is another guest post from high school-aged baking phenom Natalie, who has contributed to CakeSpy in the past! You can keep up with her via her website, Pâtisserie Natalie. Here's her latest recipe:

Brrrrr! It has been ridiculously cold in Seattle lately. For anyone who lives here, they know we had the most intense rain storm recently. Personally, I love it! But for the people who are less inclined to run around in the rain, they might enjoy some delicious dessert to eat while reading a book by the fire. I know, it's a cliche, but that's a pretty good one, in my opinion. This is a great dessert because it's super easy to make, but it tastes fancy. I've never actually worked with cranberries before, and they were great (they're really cute, too). I thought that apples and cranberries would be a good combination of fall flavors that are very different from each other. I also made a honey cinnamon ice cream to go with this, but I didn't get the chance to take any pictures because the galettes got eaten. If you want the recipe you can go to my blog and email me for it.

Apple Cranberry Galettes
-makes about 4 8-inch Galettes -

Dough ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) chilled unsalted butter + 2 tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) ice water
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon heavy cream
  • sanding sugar

Filling Ingredients
  • 4 large granny smith apples
  • 2/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger

Procedure
  1. Mix flour, sugar, and salt in food processor.
  2. Add 12 tablespoons of butter; pulse until coarse meal forms. Add 2 tablespoons ice water; pulse until moist clumps form, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if dry. Gather dough into ball; flatten into disk and wrap in plastic. Chill 2 hours.
  3. While you're chilling the dough, you might want to prepare the filling (procedure below).
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out dough on a floured work surface 1/2" thick. Cut into 8" diameter circles and place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  5. Place about 1/3 of a cup of the filling in the center of the circle and fold up edges of the dough in one direction. Place a 1/2 tablespoon of butter on the filling.
  6. Beat the egg in a small bowl and add cream. Using a pastry brush, paint the sides of the galette with an eggwash and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Place on the parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes depending on your oven.

Filling Procedure:
  1. Peel and cut apples into very thin slices, about 1/4" thick, then set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, turn on medium heat and melt butter. While the butter is melting, combine lemon juice, sugar, and spices in a small bowl. Pour into the saucepan.
  3. Cook the cranberries in the pan first, without the apples. Wait until they start to make "popping" sounds, then remove from the pan, leaving the juice in the pan.
  4. Cook apples just until they are easily sliced with a little pressure from a wooden spoon. Remove from heat and toss the cranberries in. Stir the fruits in with the sauce until everything is nice and covered.

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