Monday, January 30, 2012

Heath Cake with Toffee Sauce

I am sharing one of my favorite recipes at A Turtle's Life For Me today.

You are going to LOVE this cake!

Heath Cake with Toffee Sauce


And stay a while to check out Natalie's fun blog...

You will love all her great ideas too!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Conversation Heart Cupcake Toppers

Here is a Valentine's Day tutorial that I shared over at The 36th Avenue.
Do you follow Desirée's blog?
If not, you are missing out...it is fabulous!


Come make some Conversation Heart Cupcake Toppers with me!


You will need:
heart cookie cutter
wax paper
candy melts
red gel food coloring
a batch of cupcakes
frosting (you can buy it or use this buttercream recipe)

First, make a template by tracing your cookie cutter on a piece of paper.
Tape your template to a piece of cardboard or the back of a cookie sheet.
Tape a piece of wax paper over the template.


Next, put your candy melts in a bowl and microwave:
Cook for 30 seconds, stir, and repeat until they are completely melted.
(My green and purple candy melts were both darker than I wanted,
so I mixed them each with white candy melts to lighten the color.)
Put each color in a separate decorating bag, or in a ziploc with the corner snipped off.


Filling in the outline, pipe the candy melts on to your wax paper.
Put the hearts in the fridge for a few minutes to set up.


When the hearts have hardened, carefully peel them off the wax paper.
Tint a small amount of frosting red and put it in a decorating bag,
or you can just use a tube of red gel food coloring.
Write messages on the flat side of your hearts...
you can personalize them any way you like!


Frost your cupcakes and place a heart on top of each one.
Share the love and give them to your sweethearts!


Enjoy!

 I share my recipes & tutorials at these fun link parties.

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Sweetaprils

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mini Funnel Cake Hearts

I love funnel cake! 
Fried to crispy perfection on the outside, soft on the inside,
and sprinkled with powdered sugar...delicious!


Whenever we go to Disney World, funnel cake is the one treat that I must buy.
On my daughter's 7th birthday, we were at the Magic Kingdom to celebrate.  
I got a funnel cake from the little shop near Cinderella's Castle.
  My daughter and I stopped for a break at an outside table,
right next to the moat around the castle.

Now, you should know that my daughter is autistic and has an obsession with water.
It is like a magnetic attraction that she is unable to resist.
A year earlier, she jumped into a fountain on another Disney visit!
I thought that I had learned from the "fountain incident", and brought extra clothes this time. 

But she decided to try something new!
As I sat there enjoying my funnel cake, I saw something pink go flying over my head...

It was a shoe.
My daughter's shoe!
And it landed in the castle moat!!


I'm pretty sure that she just wanted to see if the shoe would float.
Yep, it sure did.

The shoe landed far below us, and was not retrievable.
But don't fret, because this story has a happy ending!
We were in the "Happiest Place on Earth"...how could it not?
A kind Disney employee had seen the whole "moat incident"
and presented my daughter with a free pair of Mickey Crocs.
The End.

Now, back to that funnel cake...

I recently saw a recipe for mini funnel cakes on Pinterest, and it made my heart skip a beat.
I had never thought of making them at home!
Wouldn't it be fun to make heart shaped funnel cakes for Valentine's Day?

Mini Funnel Cake Hearts
adapted from Taylor Takes A Taste


Dry Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Wet Ingredients:
  • 1 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 egg


Sift the dry ingredients into a large container that you can easily pour from (like a plastic pitcher). In a separate bowl, beat the egg with the rest of the wet ingredients. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until a thick batter forms. Pour the batter into a squeeze bottle. 

  
In a large frying pan, pour your oil about 1/2 inch deep and heat to medium high. Place a metal, heart shaped cookie cutter into the pan. Squeeze batter in random overlapping patterns, until the heart is filled. Cook 30 seconds to one minute, then remove the cookie cutter using tongs and let the funnel cake float. Flip and cook the other side for 30 seconds to one minute, until a nice light golden brown. (These cook very quickly, so be careful not to burn them!) When golden brown, remove from the pan and place onto several layers of paper towels to drain. Immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar and top with fruit, if you like. Serve warm!

 
Enjoy!
 

I share my recipes & tutorials at these fun link parties.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Guest Post at The 36th Avenue!


The 36th Avenue

Today I am doing my FIRST EVER guest post at The 36th Avenue...
I'm so excited!!!

I would love for you to come by and see my tutorial for
Valentine's Cupcake Toppers!



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Cherry Almond Valentine Cake

There was a time when I hated Valentine's Day.
Back when I was young, single and had a Jennifer Aniston hairdo.


I was living 2000 miles away from home.
I hadn't had a date for a long time and was feeling lonely.
The holiday all about celebrating love just made me depressed.
So, I told my parents that I was going to wear a black armband and boycott on February 14.

When the dreaded holiday arrived, I received a bouquet of roses.
The card said they were from a secret admirer!
But I immediately knew they were from my Dad.
He tried to deny it at first, but finally admitted he had sent them.
He wanted to make me feel loved.
And he did!

I no longer think that Valentine's Day is just for romance.
It is a day to celebrate all the different kinds of love that make life wonderful!
Love for children, parents, siblings and friends...

Here is a Cherry Almond Valentine cake to make for someone you love.


This yummy maraschino cherry cake is topped with almond buttercream.
The cherry and almond flavors go perfectly together!
There are cherry chunks in the cake to make it extra special.

Maraschino Cherry Cake
adapted from Sprinkle Bakes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup maraschino cherry juice
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 2 Tablespoons flour for sprinkling over diced cherries
  • 10 oz. bottle of maraschino cherries, cut in eighths
  • 4 egg whites, beaten to stiff peaks
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of three 6 inch cake pans (or two 8 inch) with parchment paper. Grease the sides.
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until creamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. In another bowl, combine the milk, cherry juice and almond extract. Alternate adding the dry and wet mixtures to the butter and sugar. Batter will be thick.
  3. In a small bowl, sprinkle the 2 tablespoons of flour over the diced cherries and stir until the flour has been completely absorbed. Stir cherries into the batter.
  4. Fold stiffly beaten egg whites into the batter.  Pour into prepared cake pans and bake for 30-35 minutes.   Remove from pans and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Almond Buttercream
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 t. almond extract
  • 1/2 c. milk (may use less)
Mix butter, sugar and almond extract on low speed in large mixing bowl. Gradually add milk until you reach the desired consistency. Keep covered.

I decorated the top of the cake with a petal tip (Wilton #81 ). I also used Americolor gel paste in "Red Red" and " Deep Pink" to color the buttercream.
  

Enjoy!

 I share my recipes & tutorials at these fun link parties.

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My Decoupaged Life
I Heart Nap Time
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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake

So, I'm here to help you with your New Year's resolution.
You know...the one where you eat more cake in 2012.
You did make that resolution, right?
 Because, more cake = more happiness. :0)
(I think I should put that on a T-shirt.)



This scrumptious cake was inspired by my daughter, when she sang me this little ditty:  

A peanut sat on a railroad track,
His heart was all a-flutter.
The five-fifteen came rushing by--
Toot toot!
Peanut butter!

Which, of course, made me think of peanut butter frosting...
and how long it has been since I made some...
and how I love it so much that I could eat it by the spoonful...
which inspired me to make this cake.


Moist chocolate cake,
creamy peanut butter frosting,
chunks of Reese's peanut butter cups,
all covered with chocolate/peanut butter ganache...

It's like a party in your mouth!



Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake 
by Bird On A Cake

Ingredients
    Chocolate Cake
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 2 cups sugar
    • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
    • 2 teaspoons baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 cup buttermilk (OR 1 c. milk mixed with 1 T. vinegar)
    • 1/2 cup oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Peanut Butter Frosting
    • 1 cup salted butter (softened)
    • 2 cups creamy peanut butter
    • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
    • approx. 1/3 cup milk

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache
    adapted from Smitten Kitchen
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 4 tablespoons peanut butter
    • 1 cup heavy cream
    • 4 tablespoons light corn syrup
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Instructions
    Chocolate Cake
    Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottoms of three 8 inch round cake pans with wax paper; grease the sides of the pans. Bring a small pan of water to a boil and keep it simmering while you mix the other ingredients.
    In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Beat with mixer until combined.
    Add 1 cup of the boiling water and carefully stir until it is mixed in. Beat for 1 1/2 minutes with mixer. Batter will be thin. Pour the batter into prepared pans and bake for 18-22 minutes (until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean).

    Peanut Butter Frosting
    In a medium bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add the sugar. When it starts to get thick, add the milk a little at a time until frosting is spreadable. (The amount of milk you use depends on the thickness of your peanut butter.) Beat for 3 minutes or until fluffy.

    Chocolate Peanut Butter Ganache
    Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a metal bowl. Heat cream over medium heat. Watch it closely and immediately remove from heat when it starts to boil. Pour over chocolate chips and peanut butter. Let sit for 2 minutes. Slowly stir the mixture until all the chips have completely melted and it is thoroughly combined. Stir in the vanilla and corn syrup. Let the ganache cool if you prefer a thicker consistency.



    Assembling your cake:
    You need one 12 oz. bag of Reese's miniatures. Eat 2 peanut butter cups, save 12 to garnish the top of the cake, and chop up the rest. Level your cake layers and place one on a cake stand. Spread peanut butter frosting on the first cake layer, then sprinkle half of the chopped Reese's on top. Press them down into the frosting with your spatula. Repeat with the second cake layer. Place your third cake layer on top, then cover the whole cake with peanut butter frosting. Pour ganache on the top of the cake, and smooth it with a spatula. Garnish the cake top with your remaining 12 Reese's minis.
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    This cake is very rich and so delicious...
    Enjoy!

     I share my recipes & tutorials at these fun link parties.

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