Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cake Batter Ice Cream

We all scream for Ice Cream.

I am an ice cream lover and I married an ice cream lover. We rarely have it in the house because we end up eating the entire container much faster than two people should. It is really quite embarrassing. The last time I bought ice cream I had to get one of those single serving Edy's cups so when we ate the entire thing in one night we would not feel sick and guilty. One flavor of Ice Cream that I really love that Zack thinks is just okay is Cake Batter Ice cream. I have seen it on a few blogs and have been waiting for an opportunity to make it. I used the recipe from Annie's Eats (who adapted the recipe from The Kitchy Kitchen) , but based on the comments made a few changes. People commented that her recipe did not taste very much like cake batter, therefore I increased the amount of cake mix in the recipe. I think it could have used even more cake mix, so I have updated the recipe below. This ice cream was super creamy and delicious. I topped mine with rainbow sprinkles, because who doesn't love sprinkles? Next time I am going to mix in chunks of actual cake. How tasty does that sound?
Cake Batter Ice Cream
recipe adapted from Annie's Eats (who adapted the recipe from The Kitchy Kitchen)

2 cups heavy cream, divided
1 cup yellow cake mix
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
3 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1½ cups whole milk

In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the heavy cream with the yellow cake mix, sugar, and salt. Heat over medium heat until warmed through. Meanwhile, place the egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until smooth. Combine the remaining cream, vanilla, and whole milk in a large mixing bowl with a fine mesh sieve set over the top.

When the mixture in the saucepan is warm, slowly pour a small amount into the bowl with the egg yolks to temper them, whisking constantly. Continue pouring the cream mixture in a steady stream, whisking continuously until completely combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan over medium heat. Continue heating, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan, until the mixture thickens slightly and reads 170-175˚F on an instant-read thermometer.

Immediately pour the custard mixture through the mesh sieve into the bowl with the remaining cream and milk and mix to blend. Cover and chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. Once the mixture is chilled through, freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Store in an airtight container in the freezer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Strawberry filled Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

Voted one of Baked Perfection's Best Cupcakes (by my friend Ellen)

If you work with either Zack or me you are likely going to get Baked Perfection cupcakes for your birthday. Of course you are more likely to get some if you work with me, but a several of Zack's co-workers have been lucky enough to get cupcakes too. I made these cupcakes for Zack's friend and co-worker Brian for his birthday. They were a couple weeks late because his birthday fell in the middle of busy season (fellow auditors know what I am talking about). Anyhow, Brian told Zack his favorite flavors which were strawberry, blueberry, and brownies. I wanted to make cupcakes and was not in a chocolate mood, so brownies were out. I decided to go with strawberry because what is more manly than pink cupcakes? Just kidding, I decided to go with strawberry because that is what I was in the mood for. I will be the first to tell you that these cupcakes were delicious. My friend Ellen who has tried a ton of my cupcakes said these were her favorite and her opinion matters.

I made a filling for these cupcakes with frozen strawberries packed in syrup, but have since made a blackberry and raspberry filling using frozen whole berries that I let thaw sprinkled in a couple tablespoons of sugar and used the juice it extracted while thawing. If you don't want to make a filling you can use a high quality strawberry jam and it will be just as good and nobody will need to know it was not homemade. To fill the cupcakes I used the large end up a piping tip to cut out a round section in the cupcake. I then fill the cupcake and put the cut out portion of the cupcake back over the filling. Feel free to use a knife to cut out a section to fill.

Strawberry Filled Vanilla Cupcakes
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda,baking powder and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups with 1/4 cup of batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely and fill with strawberry filling. Top with Strawberry buttercream. Recipe makes approximately 30 cupcakes.

Strawberry Filling
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 32oz container frozen strawberries packed in syrup, thawed
Juice of one lemon
3 tablespoons cornstarch
pinch of salt

Drain strawberries, reserving the liquid. Add enough water to liquid to equal 1 cup. In a large saucepan, combine the strawberry liquid, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt. Heat and stir until the mixture boils and thickens. Cool completely. Stir strawberries into the cooled mixture. Refrigerate until ready to use. (This can be made several days in advance and any leftovers works well on toast, on pancakes, or mixed in plain Greek Yogurt.)

Strawberry Buttercream
recipe from Baked Perfection

2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup strawberry filling (strawberry jam or preserves can be substituted)
pinch of salt
6 cups powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Beat butter and vanilla until creamy. Mix in strawberry filling and salt. Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Lavender Macarons with Orange Honey Buttercream

These taste like spring!

I really could not post a better recipe to celebrate the first day of spring tomorrow. These macarons honestly taste like springtime. They are light, floral, sweet, and fruity. Since my first venture at making macarons I have fallen in love with making them. I am constantly thinking of possible flavor combinations...I mean constantly. Zack even came up with a flavor idea tonight at diner, but I am going to save it for later when I actually make them. I am not quite sure how I came up with this flavor combination, but the lavender paired with the orange honey buttercream really worked perfectly.

I used the same exact method to make these as I did last time and it worked perfectly. When we made macarons at Ellen's house we put her oven up to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. My oven runs hot so I actually baked these at 285 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have been wanting to make them and haven't because you were afraid they would not turn out you should definitely give them a try.

Lavender Macarons with Orange Honey Buttercream Filling
macaron recipe adapted from Tartelette, buttercream recipe from Baked Perfection

For the shells:

90 grams egg whites (use egg whites that have been left in the fridge 3-5 days)
25 grams granulated sugar
200 grams powdered sugar
110 grams almond meal/flour
purple powder food coloring
dried lavender petals

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, white the egg whites to a foam. Gradually add the granulated sugar and food coloring until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not over bear your meringue or it will be too dry. Place the powdered sugar, almond meal in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first and then slow down. The batter should fall back on itself and flatten (about 50 strokes). Fill a pastry bag with a plain tip (I used an Ateco #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1 in in diameter, as they will spread) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with lavender petals. Let the macarons sit out for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour to harden their shells a bit. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (285 if your oven runs hot like mine) and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

Orange Honey Buttercream

1/2 stick butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons good quality honey
zest of one orange
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 - 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice
orange food coloring if desired

Cream the butter, honey, orange zest, and salt. Slowly add the powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time alternating with the orange juice until you reach desired consistency. (Feel free to add orange food coloring like I did)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes

Kiss me, I made Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes.

I made these cupcakes for NYE with my friend Ellen, and I have been saving them until now. Clearly they are the perfect cupcake for St. Patrick's day. This cupcake is an Irish Car Bomb in cupcake form. A Guinness chocolate cake, filled with a Jameson Chocolate Ganache and then topped with a Bailey's Irish Cream Buttercream. I'm not sure it gets much better than that. I have seen these cupcakes on many websites, but I used the recipe found on Smitten Kitchen. She really is amazing and you can trust anything you make on her website will be delicious. I really love turning alcoholic beverages into cupcake. I made White Russian Cupcakes for NYE as well and am already plotting which drinks I am going to make next. I have been waiting for an occasion to make Champagne Cupcakes. This summer I definitely plan to make some Pina Coloda, Margarita, and Fuzzy Navel Cupcakes. Anyway, back to these cupcakes. You should make them for St. Patricks Day and if not St. Patricks Day how about a random Saturday..or they would be really nice after a long Monday at work.

Irish Car Bomb Cupcakes
recipe slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Makes 20 to 24 cupcakes

For the Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes

1 cup stout (such as Guinness)
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-process)
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Ganache Filling

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 tablespoons Irish whiskey

Baileys Frosting

4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperatue
4 - 6 tablespoons Baileys Irish Cream
pinch of salt

Make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 24 cupcake cups with liners. Bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Cool slightly.

Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, and 3/4 teaspoon salt in large bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat eggs, sugar, and sour cream in another large bowl to blend. Add stout-chocolate mixture to egg mixture and beat just to combine. Add flour mixture and beat briefly on slow speed. Using rubber spatula, fold batter until completely combined. Divide batter among cupcake liners, filling them 2/3 to 3/4 of the way. Bake cake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool cupcakes on a rack completely.

Make the filling:

Chop the chocolate and transfer it to a heatproof bowl. Heat the cream until simmering and pour it over the chocolate. Let it sit for one minute and then stir until smooth. Add the butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Cool until thickened, but soft enough to pipe.

Fill the cupcakes:

Using your 1-inch round cookie cutter or an apple corer, cut the centers out of the cooled cupcakes. You want to go most of the way down the cupcake but not cut through the bottom — aim for 2/3 of the way. Put the ganache into a piping bag with a wide tip and fill the holes in each cupcake to the top.

Make the frosting:

Whip the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, for several minutes. Add salt. Slowly add the powdered sugar beating until combined. Slowly add the Bailey's until you reach your desired consistency.

Decorate as desired.