Tuesday, September 14, 2010

National Cream Filled Donut Day!

September 14th- National Cream Filled Donut Day

What a wonderful holiday, huh?  I mean I can't think of something better to celebrate than a cream filled donut.  My husband is a cream filled donut perfectionist.  He judges every cream filled donut he eats...it's all about the filling for him.  Won't he be surprised to find a pile of his favorite food waiting for him when he arrives home!

Cream Filled Donuts
makes 12

1 pkg. regular or quick acting yeast
1/8 c. warm water
3/4 c. lukewarm milk (scalded then cooled)
1/4 c. granulated sugar
Equivalent of 1 egg EnerG Egg replacer or 1 egg
1/6 c. shortening
2 1/2c. unbleached all purpose flour

oil for frying

Vanilla Filling
1/4 c. shortening (I used Earth Balance)
1/4 c. butter or margarine (I used Earth Balance)
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar (sifted if lumpy)
1 tbsp. milk

Additional powdered sugar for dusting

Dissolve yeast in the warm water in a mixing bowl.  Add milk, sugar, egg or egg replacement, shortening and 1 cup of flour.  Beat on low speed for 30 seconds and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Beat on medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally, for 2 minutes.

Stir in remaing flour until smooth.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.  Turn dough out onto a floured surface.  Roll out dough 1/2 inch thick and cut with a round cookie cutter or top of a drinking glass.  Cover and let rise on a floured baking sheet until doubled, about 30-40 minutes.  Heat oil in a deep fryer to 350 degrees.  Slide doughnuts into hot oil and turn once they are golden brown, about 1 minute each side.  Remove carefully from the hot oil, do not prick the surface of the doughnut and allow to cool.  Once doughnuts are completely cool, insert a small paring knife to cut a pocket in the doughnut for the filling.  Using a pastry bag generously fill the doughnuts with the vanilla cream and dust with powdered sugar.

Doughnuts immediately out of the oil

Rising doughnuts

Vanilla Cream Filling

Cream shortening and butter/margarine together until combined.  Gradually add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, then add milk and vanilla.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Will keep in the refridgerator for 2 weeks in an airtight container.

Tipsy Tuesday!!

It's Tipsy Tuesday!

What does that mean you ask... well, along with delicious photos and recipes I will be giving some type of kitchen tip on Tuesdays.  It's just a little something... :-)  Hope they help.

-Converting a cake recipe to cupcakes-

Batter for a two layer 9 inch cake can be used to make 2 to 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes.  Prepare batter as directed, then fill paper liners or greased muffin cups two-thirds full(use a ice cream scoop).  Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Viola! Cupcakes!

Monday, September 13, 2010

When life gives you brown bananas....

When life gives you brown bananas..... make Banana Bread!!!

We purchase bananas in our house and for some reason can never seem to get to the last few before they turn brown.... enter the stash of banana bread in my freezer.

Sometimes the banana bread is gobbled up almost directly out of the oven. Then there are times like today where we still have cupcakes around the house awaiting their hour long journey to my husband's office to be enjoyed by his co-workers.  On those days I simply let the loaves completely cool, place them in freezer bags, label and toss them in the freezer.  Here is my reasoning... A. I can not seem to throw brown bananas in the trash, I mean I paid for them and all  B. I could always use a quick easy snack or dessert just waiting for me to thaw it out and serve to my family or friends.  Banana bread is so versatile... from serving it with coffee to serving it with a yummy cream cheese frosting for dessert.  Just the facts ma'am.... I Love Banana Bread.

This recipe is vegan so my sweet little boy can enjoy it...but it is still very good I must say.

Vegan Banana Bread
makes 1 loaf

1 1/2c. unbleached all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 c. canola oil
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 bananas, mashed
1/3 c. non-dairy milk (I used almond milk)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a large bowl, combine the canola oil and brown sugar.

Add the bananas and milk and stir to combine.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.

Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 43 to 48 minutes, until bread is golden and a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 30 minutes.  Run a knife around the edge to loosen the bread and turn out onto a cooling rack.  Enjoy!

Need a quick dessert:  Take a loaf of banana bread fresh or thawed from your freezer and slice it in have long ways(like layers of a cake).  Then frost like a cake with cream cheese frosting! Viola!!  Dessert in a flash.

Here is my all time fave Cream Cheese Frosting recipe (everyone asks for the recipe).

Cream Cheese Frosting
courtesy of Martha Stewart

1- 8oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
1 c. powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add in the butter while mixer is running.  Continue beating until very smooth.  Add powdered sugar slowly a half cup at a time.  Beat mixture until smooth.  Add the vanilla.  Makes 2 cups.

**Need a vegan version... just sub tofutti "cream cheese" and Earth Balance margarine for the cream cheese and butter... I've done this and nobody notices the difference!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Three is NOT a crowd...

I just could not decide which flavor I wanted to bake.... so, I narrowed it down to three.  hee hee

Cinnamon Toast
Coffee & Donuts

I took the basic vanilla cupcake recipe I use... adapted from Chef Chloe's
Vegan Raspberry Tiramisu Cupcake Recipe.  On a side note, I've tried her Black Bean Sliders and they were amazing!!  Anyways, I changed little things for each cupcake... here ya go.

Basic Vanilla Cupcake
adapted from Chef Chloe
(makes 12 cupcakes)

1 3/4c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. canola oil
1 c. almond milk, unsweetened
2 tbsp. Lorann Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsion
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place cupcake liners in pan.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt & sugar.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, almond milk, emulsion & apple cider vinegar.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients slowly and mix well.  Scoop batter into liners using an ice cream scoop.  Bake 10-15 minutes. (Mine baked about 20 minutes)
Let cool in pan a few minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Vegan Fluffy Buttercream Frosting
courtesy of Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World (who I'm loving by the way)

1/2 c. nonhydrogenated shortening (I use Earth Balance)
1/2 c. nonhydrogenated margarine (again Earth Balance)
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. plain soy milk or soy creamer (I used vanilla soymilk)

Beat the shortening and margarine together until well combined and fluffy.  Add the sugar and beat for about 3 minutes.  Add the vanilla and soy milk, beat for another 5 to 7 minutes until fluffy.
Makes 4 cups

Cinnamon Toast Cupcake

 Cinnamon Toast Cupcake...

I followed the same vanilla cupcake recipe, however I substituted 2 tbsp. vanilla for the emulsion.

For the frosting: Vegan Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

I followed the above recipe for Fluffy Buttercream Frosting but added 3 1/2 tbsp. ground cinnamon. 

To assemble: after piping the frosting on the cupcake I dusted with a Cinnamon Sugar mixture.

Last but not least.... The Coffee & Donuts Cupcake.

I again used the vanilla cupcake recipe from above however I did substitute 2 tsp. vanilla for the emulsion.

I then dipped the cooled cupcakes into a "donut glaze".

Vegan Donut Glaze

1 c. powdered sugar
2 tbsp. soymilk (I used vanilla soymilk)
dash of vanilla
a little squirt of agave

Whisk all ingredients together until smooth and combined.

For the frosting I once again used the above vanilla buttercream frosting recipe...substitute 1/4 c. cold coffee for the 1/4 c. soymilk.  Next time I will try something diffferent... possibly a coffee extract or an espresso powder. This frosting did not have enough coffee flavor for my taste.

I received rave review from the family(these are non-vegans)... especially on the Vanilla/Vanilla Cupcakes (the hubs fave) and the Cinnamon Toast Cupcake.  Try them...you won't be disappointed!!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just a few cakes

These are a few of the birthday cakes I've done recently.... 

This first one was Italian Cream Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting by request.  Italian Cream Cake happens to be my fave as well and I have to say it tasted amazing!!!  This cake is not for the "one bowl" mix kinda people...this cake is a process, but totally worth every minute in the kitchen!!

This was a vanilla cake with a raspberry mousse filling and chocolate buttercream!  It was super moist.
Additional notes: Do not put chocolate covered strawberries in the fridge, they "leak" all over the cake when you take the cake out...boo.
The flowers were made out of modeling chocolate, using candy melts and corn syrup.
The only problem... I found the chocolate got sticky when working with it... perhaps I have hot hands or something... I wanted to try working with it though.  I will try again I think with pre-made modeling chocolate but so far I prefer fondant.

This is my very first fondant covered cake.  I made the fondant (recipe below) it was a chocolate marshmellow fondant.  The flames are store bought yellow fondant painted with wilton icing dyes.  The cake itself was a Shiner Bock Cake with Shiner Bock buttercream.  It is very rich but very good.  Beer cake?  Might sound gross but you actually couldn't taste much of the beer.  Next time: I'm trying a different beer... perhaps something darker?

Chocolate Marshmellow Fondant

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips (1/2 bag)
1 bag mini marshmellows
3 tbsp. karo light corn syrup
3 tbsp. water
1- 1lb. bag of powdered sugar
black food coloring
crisco shortening

Place the entire bag of mini marshmellows in a microwave safe bowl.  Add the water and microwave for 1 minute.  Stir marshmellows.  Microwave 1 more minute.  Stir marshmellows and then add the chocolate chips.  Stir until the chocolate is melted.  Add the karo and stir to combine.  At this point add the black food coloring until you reach the desired color.  (1-2 tsp.)  Once you add the food coloring and everything is mixed well, add half of the powdered sugar and stir.  It will become difficult to stir... at this point you can generously grease your hands with the crisco and begin to knead the powdered sugar into the mixture, continue to knead the fondant until all the powdered sugar is incorporated.  You might possibly need a bit more powdered sugar, I realized this the first time I was making this fondant (it was raining).  The next time I made it (no rain) the 1 lb. of sugar was plenty. 
I really enjoyed this fondant because it actually tasted good!
I stored mine for 2 days in a plastic zip bag on the counter and it was perfect.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

In the beginning...

I have now joined the world of blogging... I do not claim to be good at it or interesting.  I simply LOVE to be in the kitchen and like sharing my experiences with others.  You will find a lot of my recipes for baking that I share will be vegan.  I'm constantly looking for new vegan recipes as my son is allergic to eggs.  I will try and post a little something every couple of days but please have patience... motherhood is a full time job.  Hope you enjoy!