Tag Archives: sugar

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

I was ignorant.

Remember when I told you I didn’t find any difference between cakes or cupcakes?  Well, I jumped to conclusions too fast.  I didn’t sample enough cupcakes to know the value of this tiny treat.  The answer came from my buddy Bianca.

“…I think the cupcake gets a couple extra points for … having a better frosting-cake ratio.”

Talk about spot on.

And if you were to ask me 10 years ago, I would have not cared about frosting.  Shocking.  I hadn’t  sampled enough buttercreams to know the value of frosting.

I fixed that.

The best vanilla buttercream I have ever eaten.  Not overly sweet and balances well with the cake.  The vanilla and butter flavors work together perfectly to give you a delicious buttercream that also lends itself to easy frosting and piping.  I already have plans on using this for pending birthday cakes and of course, more cupcakes of every flavor.

Oh, and I’m keen on sprinkles too!

Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter, softened
  • 4 cups of confectioners (powdered) sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 6 tbsp heavy cream

Directions:

  1. Cream butter until pale and fluffy.
  2. Add powdered sugar to the creamed butter until incorporated.
  3. After the sugar and butter have nicely come together, add the salt, vanilla and cream.
  4. Beat at high-speed until the mixture becomes light and resembles frosting.

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Filed under baking, Cake, Cupcake, Uncategorized, Vegetarian

One Olie’s Mistake is Another Day’s Cake

I once made The Perfect Party Cake.

What didn’t go into that story was that while making the butter cream, I made a boo boo.  Instead of following the recipe, I accidentally and prematurely combined 1 cup sugar, 3 sticks of butter, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice.  After mixing these ingredients, I read the recipe again and realized my blunder.

Despite my error, I was not willing to part with the butter/sugar/lemon mixture.  I was determined to find something that I could make with those ingredients.  And, due to the recent move, work and other cooking endeavors that came in between, my determination for my butter/sugar/lemon mixture was pushed to the back burner.

Until last week.  Last week I discovered that not only could I use my forgotten mixture, but could also use up some cornmeal that I have had on hand.  The bright lemon flavor combined with the nutty texture of cornmeal really makes this cake the wonder that it is.

The batter will be somewhat thick.

Oh and did I mention that it comes with a glaze that melts into the cake?

This would pair well with coffee (as Binks has told me) and (from my experience) blueberries!

My Saturday morning was that much sweeter and brighter with this delicious lemon cake.

Lemon Cornmeal Cake

Adapted from here

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (usually juice from 2 large lemons)
  • zest from 1 lemon
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2  1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Butter and flour two 8 inch cake pans.  (You can also use a bundt or tube pan).I was giving one half away so the two cake pans were perfect.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, lemon juice on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  5. Add the eggs and beat in one at a time until each egg is fully incorporated into the wet mixture.
  6. Change the speed of the mixer to low.
  7. Add in the flour/cornmeal mix to the wet ingredients slowly.  Do not over mix.
  8. Divide the batter into the cake pans.
  9. Bake for 60 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test (toothpick comes out clean).
  10. Allow cakes to rest for about 5 minutes before inverting onto a cooling rack – be careful because the cake will be moist and tender.

Lemon Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Mix sugar and lemon juice together.
  2. Pour over cakes after cake has been resting for 5 minutes on a cooling rack.  (Please be careful as the cake will be quite moist)
  3. Cool completely before serving.

 


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Filed under baking, Cake, Desserts, Vegetarian

Dulce.

Remember when I told you that it was my mom’s and MIL’s goal to just hook me up to a machine that feeds me nothing but milk?  Turns out despite how much I try (I don’t really even care to try), I cannot finish a gallon of raw cow’s milk alone (Binks hates milk).  And, I don’t care to.  Not because it’s not delicious.  Not because I have something against raw milk.

But rather, to me – milk is a food, not a beverage.  (It is mom(s)!)  I can only eat so much of it and so often.  I can’t drink with reckless abandon like I do most beverages (namely, water, vodka and wine – not necessarily in that order).

With that said, I can’t bring myself to throw it away.

So what to do with a gallon of milk that requires little attention on my part?  Dulce de leche.

Most dulce de leche recipes you may find simply require you to boil a can of sweetened condensed milk until it caramelizes.  But, I had to take it back to the start.

As it turns out – all you need is milk, sugar, vanilla beans, baking soda and water (<– not quite sure why you need the last two).  Using this recipe, I transformed half of my gallon of milk into a beautiful dessert/sauce/jam product that I will surely make again when I have milk to spare.

This transformed a quart of milk to a mere cup and a half of dulce de leche.

Check out the vanilla bean speck bounty.

The uses for dulce de leche are endless: topping on ice cream, oatmeal; jam on bread, shortbread, cookies; filling in cakes; dips for fruit; etc.

If you find yourself wanting a decadent caramel treat, I encourage you to try this recipe and tell me your uses for this most decadent of treats.

16 Comments

Filed under Desserts, Favorites, Vegetarian

Therapy.

I stress about my little sister – 25 years of age little.

I could write a thesis about all the stressors and graph it for you, but let’s go with the latest stressor.

My sister is dating a guy that I don’t like.  And neither does she, but she feels bad leaving him.

After getting off the phone with her about this, I accumulated quite a bit of stress from things I did not say (i.e., “I’m sick of talking to you about the same problem,” “You are an idiot,” “Dump him,” “He is a loser,” “I know what’s best for you,” “I’m smarter than you so do what I say!”).

One thing I’ve learned through time and experience is that telling someone that they are doing the wrong thing over and over doesn’t mean a darn thing unless the other person realizes it for themselves.  And also because I said all these things at least 5 times to her in the past month. Whoops! 🙂

You would think she would learn from her past – like the time she was allegedly IN LOVE with a guy she met during summer vacation – a 5 day vacation.  Hasn’t she heard of the term “summer fling,” or in this case “summer mini-hit-it-and-split-it-fling”?

I needed relief.  It was cookie time.

It started with one.

That led to many.

That led to this.

I think I’ll send this to her with a note: “Plenty of fish in the sea, and you had to find this flop…”

🙂

I won’t!

What kind of note would you send?  To who? Why? How do your relieve stress in a non-exercise way?

24 Comments

Filed under baking, Cookies, Life