Archive | May, 2014

Fool’s Toffee

31 May

fools toffeeThis is one of the first dessert recipes I made after leaving home. My friend introduced it to me in college as there were only two kitchens for students to use on campus, so they were crowded and had very little equipment. It has to be one of the easiest recipes out there and is by far my most requested recipe. I absolutely love it! Much to my chagrin, it has become quite popular in the last year or two and no longer is my special secret recipe.

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Sugar Cookies with Marshmallow Fondant

25 May

sugar PT HtoCa sugar PT laid out

I taught chemistry this spring and so for the final exam, one of the treats I made my students was periodic table cookies using a sugar cookie base, marshmallow fondant on top, with buttercream to write the symbols and the edging. I was more interested in making them look nice and work on the techniques, but they did end up turning out pretty tasty, as my students gobbled them up. I’ve attached some individual cookie pictures at the end if you want to see them, along with many pictures along the way.

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Ombre Petal cake- another yellow cake

20 May

ombre petal side ombre petal top

For our wedding, we didn’t keep the top layer of the cake. Instead, we made each layer a different flavor. I had considered buying a cake for our anniversary, but I had found this ombre petal cake a few weeks ago and I really wanted the excuse to make it. I made it purple, using one of our wedding colors.

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Oreo balls (truffles)

18 May

oreo balls

It was the last lab time for the semester and I used it as review. I also made my students Oreo balls or, as I told them, if we’re fancy, Oreo truffles. These aren’t hard to make, with the occasional exception of dipping them if temperatures aren’t quite right, but they are pretty darned tasty. If you don’t like chocolate, these are too much. If you love chocolate, these are perfect for you.

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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

13 May

ombre petal sideombre crumb side
oreo cupcake side

 

 

I’ve made Italian buttercream in the past, but I’ve never tried to make Swiss buttercream and from everything I hear, it is very good and pretty common for slightly fancier cakes. I read a bunch of possible recipes and kind of merged a bunch into what I thought looked the best. It was a really good buttercream and I can see why people use it a lot. It is great if you want wonderful frosting without a lot of sweet.

The first time I made this, the cupcake had an oreo center, so I used some of the Oreo crumbles in the finished buttercream. I need to update that recipe with this new frosting and the new cake mix I used for it. The second time, I tinted some of it purple to make an ombre petal cake (which I’ll be posting about later this week/early next week).  Continue reading

Yellow Cake #2

11 May

mels cake finish top mel's cake finished sideI recently posted the 1234 cake, which worked pretty well as a yellow cake for my baking class. I’ve found a couple other recipes I want to try, so this one is my second try, using the yellow cake Mel’s kitchen cafe recently posted. It was pretty good, though I’m not completely sold on it being the only yellow cake recipe I would use. I still want to try a couple other ones, which seem to mainly vary in number of eggs, yolks, whites, and ratios of flour/butter/sugar. None of them seem particularly outlandish, so I just need to find the one I like best for myself.

I’ll give credit where it’s due though. This cake was a hit and very moist. I wish it had just been a tad taller (I made 2 9 inch cakes) since I couldn’t really cut it in half (tort it) to make a 4 layer cake. At least, I’m not confident enough in my torting skills yet to not completely destroy the cake. I also just bought some new cake pans that hadn’t come in yet with straighter sides, so I may have to retry this in the new pans.

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Chocolate covered Peanut Butter Bars

5 May

hollywood sq w chocolateThis week was another test week for my students, so I decided on two new desserts to make them when for when they handed in the tests. One of them was suggested the day before by a student who claimed these were the best thing ever in school cafeteria lunches and called them “Hollywood squares.” I was a little nervous because sometimes cafeteria food is… not the best. However, I had previously made these lunch lady peanut butter bars (another peanut buttery treat!), so I was willing to give them a try. Plus, it’s chocolate and peanut butter, how can that go wrong? Needless to say, I’m happy I followed her idea because they were fantastic. Continue reading