Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Texas City Guides

I just found the coolest city guide for H-town on Design Sponge, and they have guides for the rest of the cities in Texas (and the US for the matter) too! Check them out, I know I have my next 3-day weekend planned!

San Antonio


And for my peeps back home:
Washington DC


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Cupcake Stand Sale at Vessles and Wares (Jeanette Zeis Ceramics)

If you've been admiring the cupcake stands the I use to display all the goodies I make, then you're in luck! One of my favorite online ceramics stores is having a sale! From now until February 28th you can get the entire 'Tiny Cake Stand' collection from Jeanette Zeis Ceramics- known as vesselsandwares on Etsy- at a great sale price (most $18-$20 plus s&h). Here are the ones I own:

And some other great ones on her site:

And the one purchase I am saving my pennies for (probably for forever since I have very little use for them, but sooo beautiful!!!):

Also, you can win a small/tiny cake plate set from InkSpot Workshop between now and Friday February 18th, so motor over there to get your entries in! In case you don't win, however, zip on over to Jeannete Zeis Ceramics Etsy store or her facebook page to see what's cookin in the kiln!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chocolate Root Beer Football Cake for the Superbowl

I'm a little late on my blogging, so you'll have to excuse my Superbowl reporting here. Anywho, for the Superbowl I usually make a chocolate football cake in my fun football pan, but this year I wanted to make it a little different, I found another Baked recipe for a chocolate root beer bundt cake and I figured it would work perfectly as a football cake instead. Plus, the opportunity to buy some St. Arnold's root beer? Sealed the deal. This cake is denser than most so don't go cutting yourself a platter-sized slice, but def dig into as much as you can handle because it's delicious! Here are my pics of the football cake version (try to ignore the poor lighting, I finished the cake right before half-time so I was late and in a hurry to head out!):

You can find the recipe for the cake and frosting in the book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. I recommend hitting the library for this one because it's not as good as their second book (in my opinion).


Monday, February 14, 2011

Steph's 26th Birthday

Speaking of Steph's birthday cupcakes (red velvet cheesecake cupcakes), here are a few pics from her birthday celebration:

We went to La Brisa for some Mexican food and cupcakes, followed by Sherlock's for some tom-foolery! Tons of peeps came out to celebrate and we had lots of fun. Special thanks to our DD Ryan and to Steph for cleaning out her hot tub!

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes for Steph's Birthday

My friend Steph is a big fan of all things red velvet. However, since I've made red velvet cupcakes, bars, and whoopie pies for her to try in the past, I felt I needed to step things up a bit this year for the bday. I Decided to try out these red velvet cheesecake cupcakes where some cream cheese mixture is poured over the red velvet batter before baking. I think they were very delish, right up there with the chocolate cheesecake cupcakes I make. I put them in these red tulip liners that are really popular right now (and really pretty) so they're a bit bigger than your average cupcake. Check these out:

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cupcakes (from Restless Chipotle)

Cheesecake Mixture:
1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1c sugar
2 eggs
1t vanilla

1 stick butter, softened
2c sugar
2 eggs
1/4c+2T dark cocoa powder (dutch processed)
red food coloring
2t vanilla
1c whole buttermilk
2 1/4c flour
1t baking soda
3t vinegar

1 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1t vanilla
1/4c whole milk
powdered sugar

Cheesecake mixture:
Beat all ingredients together until creamy.

Preheat to 325F. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until well incorporated. Add cocoa and food coloring (I use gel food coloring so only a few drops, liquid food coloring could be a 1/4c), mix until evenly blended. Alternate adding buttermilk and flour, beginning and ending with buttermilk. Stir in baking soda and vinegar.

Fill liner 3/4 full with cupcake batter. Scoop a tablespoon of the cheesecake mixture on top of the red velvet batter. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool Completely.

Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy. Add in vanilla and milk. Add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. Frost cooled cupcakes.

This would be a great treat for Valentine's day too! Enjoy!

Lemon Cupcakes for Baby Shower

For the second half of the cupcakes for the baby shower I mentioned in my last post, I made Lemon cupcakes much like the ones I've previously posted about. I, however used a different cake and icing recipe (same curd) and I liked them way better! Here are some pics (those are Lemonheads as a garnish):

Lemon Cupcakes (from both Homemade by Holman and Baked)

1 1/4c cake flour
1/4+1/8c flour
1/2T baking powder
1/2t baking soda
1/4+1/8t salt
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4c vegetable shortening, room temp
3/4+1/8c sugar
1/2T vanilla
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 lg egg
3/4c ice cold water
1.5 egg whites, room temp
1/8t cream of tartar

4 egg yolks
zest of 1 lemon
1/4+1T lemon juice
1/2c sugar
5T butter, cold, cut into pieces

3/4c sugar
2 1/2T flour
3/4c milk
1 1/2Tc heavy cream
1.5 sticks butter, soft but cool, cut into small pieces
1/2t vanilla
1/4c lemon curd

Preheat to 325F. In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat the butter and shortening until creamy. Add the sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Beat until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, beat until just combined. Add flour mixture, alternating with ice water, beginning and ending with the flour. In a separate bowl, whisk together the egg whites and cream of tartar until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Fill cupcake liners 2/4 full and bake for about 20 minutes. Cool completely.

Combine everything but the butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium high heat, whisking continuously. cook until thickened, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and add butter, one piece at a time, stirring until incorporated. Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap against the surface of the curd and refrigerated for an hour.

In a medium saucepan, whisk the sugar and flour together. Add the milk and the cream and cook over medium heat, whisking occasionally until the mixture has thickened and boiled. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, beat on high until cool. Add the butter, mix until thoroughly incorporated. Beat until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and lemon curd and mix until combined. Refrigerated frosting to get a stiffer consistency.

Enjoy these while we are still in citrus season!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Caramel Apple Cupcakes

I recently borrowed a few cookbooks from the library and immediately knew I had to purchase one of them. Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito is the coolest baking cookbook I've come across in a long time. Their recipes are varied and interesting (hello malted waffles, cheddar pumpkin muffins, sawdust pie, and cowboy cookies!), and they provide a nice, short, interesting narrative with each recipe that makes me really want to try everything in the book. I have to admit, though, that my first choice wasn't quite as adventurous as it could have been- but turned out beyond amazing! My friend Kristine requested some cupcakes for a baby shower she was throwing at her house. This woman is so crazy busy I dunno how she had time for a party, but nonetheless was in need of cupcakes! I chose to make the Caramel Apple Cake from Baked Explorations into cupcakes for half of her cupcakes order (other half to follow soon) and here is how they turned out:

To make the cupcakes I cut the Caramel Apple Cake recipe in half, filled the liners 3/4 full, and baked for 20 minutes. Unforch you'll have to buy the book or borrow it from the library because I'm pretty sure posting it is against some sort of copyright laws.


Cupcakery Review: Somethin Sweet Update!

So, after my original review of Somethin Sweet Cupcakery, one of the owners, Leona Roberts, contacted me saying she had revamped her Chocolate Chip Cheesecake-filled Chocolate Cupcake and wanted me to try it again. If you recall from my original post, I thought there wasn't enough cheesecake in the cupcake. Well, the new recipe is a huuuuge winner! It contains considerable cheesecake in the center of the cupcake in addition to the cream cheese icing without overwhelming the chocolate cupcake! Love it! Here are come pics:
Unassuming chocolate exterior:

Crazy delicious center:

I was also asked to try their chocolate cupcake because I generally don't like chocolate cupcakes from cupcakeries (since most are uber dry and mine are so crazy moist). I must say, it's the best chocolate I've had from a cupcakery, well done! Now if they make a dark chocolate cupcake, I will not be able to resist it! If you love cupcakes, you should haul butt over to Somethin Sweet inside of Honey Bee Ham and Deli in Deer Park, TX and try these fantastic cupcakes!

**UPDATED 09-30-11**
Somethin Sweet has moved into their own shop! Check them out at
4201 Center ST, Suite A-1
Deer Park, TX 77536