Tag Archives: frosting

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache Glaze

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This is definitely a cheater recipe, starting with both a chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding mix. But it is easy, delicious and super-moist. Perfect. And baked in a bundt pan it makes a beautiful dessert suitable for serving company.

This is especially delicious served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top of each slice.

RECIPE:

Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

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1 box chocolate cake mix (I used a dark chocolate fudge flavor)
1 small box (3.9 oz) instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
½ cup warm water
1 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350°F . Grease and flour a bundt pan (or spray with baking non-stick cooking spray: the kind with flour in it).

In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, eggs and water. Stir in the chopped chocolate and pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely in the bundt pan for about 90 minutes.

Invert onto a serving plate and drizzle with glaze. If desired, serve each slice topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate ganache glaze:

4 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped (a little more than 1/2 cup)
½ cup heavy cream
2 Tbs corn syrup
1 Tbs granulated sugar

Place the chopped chocolate into a small bowl and set aside. In a Pyrex measuring cup or microwavable bowl, combine the heavy cream, corn syrup and sugar. Heat for 1 minute; stir. Pour the hot cream over the chopped chocolate. Let sit for one minutes, then stir until smooth with a whisk.

Use a spoon to generously drizzle the glaze over the cooled cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

(Adapted from SixSistersStuff)

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Soccer Ball Cookies

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We are in the thick of soccer season around here. What could be more fun than soccer ball cookies to celebrate a hard-fought victory!

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I used my favorite Sugar Cookie recipe for the cookies and Royal Icing to make the soccer ball faces. Start with thick royal icing in a pastry bag with a writing tip. Pipe a circle of white icing around the edge of the cookie.

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Using a thinned royal icing, flood the cookie with white icing. A plastic squeeze bottle is the easiest way to flood the cookie, then use a toothpick to spread the icing to the edges of the cookie. Let the icing dry for several hours, or until dry.

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I am very artistically challenged, and had a hard time freehanding a symmetrical pentagon. So I printed one off of the computer, then cut out the pentagon. Using a toothpick, I traced the pentagon in the center of the cookie.

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Using thick black royal icing, pipe lines to form the pentagon and then from each corner of the pentagon to the edge of the cookie.

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Draw a small triangle at the edge of each line. I am obviously no professional here (notice the lopsided geometric shapes), but nine-year-olds are pretty forgiving when they have a soccer ball cookie in hand!

041811 044-1Use thinned black royal icing to fill in the pentagon and triangles. Let dry completely.

For a more professional look (completely flat, without raised black lines), pipe the black lines on the naked cookie (and fill with black icing), then complete the edge of the circle with stiff white lines and flood each individual section with thinned white icing. I made them all completely white first because I was planning on doing some with baseball/softball lines and was hoping to save some time.

For mouth-dropping professional work-of-art cookies,
visit Bridget at Bake at 350. She is truly an artist!

RECIPE:

Royal Icing

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4 Tbs meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup water
1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (optional)
gel paste food colorings

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

To use immediately: divide icing into bowls for different colors. Tint using gel paste food colorings.

This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining, building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, first tint with food coloring and then add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called “flooding.”

YIELD: This recipe will cover 2-3 dozen 3.5” cookies in 2 colors

 

Recipe from Bake at 350

 

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A Butterfly in Buttercream

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Today is my Little J’s 7th birthday. It is amazing how quickly time flies. My once-upon-a-time-baby is all grown up and decorating her own cakes now! I am glad she is still interested in fun little girl things like butterflies. Last year we made Cupcakes topped with Chocolate Butterflies for her 6th birthday. This year it was one great big butterfly cake.4911 071-1

Little J was in charge of design and decorations. She chose the color patterns of the icing sections, the sprinkles and the M&M borders (I love Easter-colored candies!). She also put on all of the M&Ms and sprinkles and shaped the antennae. She is very meticulous! My job was heavy construction: cake cutting and icing spreading.

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She carefully separated a rainbow mix of sprinkles into separate colors.

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If you look closely, the sprinkles are shaped like tiny butterflies. Little J says they are the baby butterflies and the big cake is the Mommy Butterfly.

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Congratulations Little J on a cake well done!

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Happy 7th Birthday Little J. We love you lots!

RECIPE:

Buttercream Icing

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½ cup butter
½ cup shortening (or additional butter)
1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla
dash salt
Additional milk to thin icing

Cream butter and shortening with a mixer. Beat in powdered sugar, 2 Tbs milk, vanilla and salt. This yields 3 CUPS STIFF icing (for piping borders and decorations).

For thinner icing (spreading on cake): Gradually beat in additional milk, 1 tsp at a time, until icing is desired consistency.

FOR CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM: Add 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled and additional 1 Tbs milk.

 

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How To . . . Make Butterfly Cupcakes (and a totally delicious frosting!)

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These are the cupcakes we made for Little J’s 6th Birthday Party.  The butterflies were easy to make, and look so cute sitting on top of a brightly frosted cupcake!

I first saw these butterflies on the blog Annie’s Eats. They are also shown in the book Hello Cupcake!

I used a boxed mix (as I had 6 party-going 6 year olds helping bake and decorate) for the cupcakes, but made a homemade frosting for the girls to tint and ice their cupcakes with. The frosting was absolutely decadent! I normally dislike most frostings: buttercream, royal icing, fondant—they all get scraped off onto the side of my plate. But this frosting is amazing; it tastes like a rich buttery whipped cream. Maybe I like it because it doesn’t use powdered sugar. That and the butter!

The frosting recipe is below, at the end of the post. It is different from many frostings in that it is thickened with a cooked milk and flour concoction (that looks like glue!), and uses granulated sugar instead of powdered. This will be my go-to cake frosting from now on!

What really makes the cupcakes, of course, are the butterflies. They were surprisingly easy to make.

Making Chocolate Butterflies

040910 085-1 Assemble ingredients: Melting chocolate (both chocolate and colored), waxed paper, toothpicks, writing tip, Ziploc bags or pastry bags, butterfly stencil, “sprinkles”

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Trace wing and antennae pattern onto a piece of white paper.

040910 087-1 Place a small amount of colored and chocolate melting disks into separate Ziploc bags (or small bowls). Melt in microwave—Start with 30 seconds, squish bags, then add an additional 10 seconds if not completely melted.

I used a writing tip to pipe the chocolate, but I just cut off a small end of the bag to squeeze out the melted colored vanilla candy. I used Ziploc bags simply because I did not want to clean out pastry bags. I don’t recommend store-brand bags for this; I have had the seam rip while squeezing out the chocolate. Huge mess!

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Place a small square of waxed paper over your stencil paper.

Pipe chocolate around the edge of one wing at a time. Squeeze a small amount of colored chocolate into the center of each wing section. Use a toothpick to spread colored candy to fill the wing. Use a toothpick to gently swirl chocolate and colored candy. Sprinkle edges of wings with sprinkles, if desired.

Work with just one wing at a time. The chocolate hardens quickly!

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Place your bag of chocolate back in the microwave for a few seconds if it becomes too stiff (don’t forget to take off the metal writing tip!).

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Trace the antennae. Let wings harden completely.

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There are two ways to assemble the butterflies: create self-standing butterflies, or assemble the butterflies on the cupcakes.

I was making these for Little J’s party, where the girls were making and decorating their own cupcakes. I thought assembling them on the cupcakes would be too time consuming for the party, so I made mine self-standing. The down side of trying to make self-standing butterflies is that the cute little segmented bodies (see picture below) don’t stay quite so cute when you are trying to balance the wings in the still-wet chocolate.

For a great tutorial on how to assemble the butterflies on the cupcakes, visit Annie’s Eats.

040910 108-1 For self-standing cupcakes: using the melted chocolate, pipe a body onto a separate piece of waxed paper. Make little dollops of chocolate, being sure that they touch.

Now for the tricky part: find some odds and ends in your kitchen drawers to use to prop up your butterfly wings and antennae while the chocolate body hardens (I used plastic mason jar lids and medicine cups). Place the wings at an angle in the still soft chocolate body. Prop them up underneath. Place the antennae at the head of the butterfly and prop that as well.

I tried just holding the wings while the chocolate hardened, but the wings started to melt in my fingers before the body was hard enough to support the wings. Propping them was much easier!

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Gently peel the butterflies off of the waxed paper when you are ready to put them onto your cupcakes.

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RECIPE:

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Vanilla Cupcake (or Cake) Frosting

1 cup whole milk
5 Tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar (do not use powdered sugar)
Optional: food coloring

In a small saucepan, mix the flour and milk until combined. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens (and is just about to boil). Remove from heat and let it cool completely to room temperature.  Stir in vanilla.

In a large mixing bowl (a stand mixer works best for this) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled milk mixture and beat for 5-7 minutes, until frosting is light, fluffy and completely uniform throughout.  Beat in food coloring, if desired.

This frosting looks best when piped with a large decorating tip (1M), but can also be spread with a spatula.

Yield: frosting for one cake or about 24 cupcakes

 

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

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DAY 12: The ultimate classic cookie, adaptable to any holiday or occasion. I love this dough because it bakes up just slightly puffy in the middle and (unless you overcook them!) the cookies stay soft for days and days. The dough and cookies both freeze well, which is good because this recipe makes A LOT of cookies. These are most fun to have little helpers decorate, although I love them most plain, warm out of the oven.

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Sugar Cookies

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
About 7 – 7 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Beat sugar, butter, sour cream and vanilla. Beat in eggs. Add soda, salt and enough flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour for easier handling. Roll out dough to desired thickness (I like these fairly thick) and cut with cookie cutter.

Bake at 375°F for 10 -11 minutes; if they brown, it’s been too long.  They should look white when done.

This makes a wonderful soft sugar cookie. Frost with your favorite butter cream frosting, cream cheese frosting or a glacé icing. Check out Our Best Bites’ tutorial on Glacé Icing. Here are two basic frosting recipes, one for a buttercream and one for glacé icing:

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Buttercream Icing
1 cup butter
1 lb (4C) sifted powdered sugar
2 Tbs milk
1 tsp vanilla or other flavored extract (almond is really good!)
Dash salt

Cream butter with a mixer. Beat in remaining ingredients. This yields 3C STIFF icing. Add additional milk for a thinner icing.

For Chocolate Buttercream: Add 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted and 1 Tbs additional milk.

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Glacé Icing (from Our Best Bites)
1lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
1/4 cup+ 2 Tbs  whole milk
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs light corn syrup
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Gel food coloring

With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and almond or vanilla extract. Add food coloring for desired colors.

You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing. It’s smooth and thin. It easily runs off of a whisk in a thin drizzle.

To prepare the icing for piping, add more powdered sugar.

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TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS COOKIES RECAP:
DAY 1:
Swedish Peppar KaKar
DAY 2: Mint Oreo Cookies
DAY 3: Christmas Chocolate Chip Cookies
DAY 4: Cherry Nut Mudslides
DAY 5: Snickerdoodles
DAY 6: Raspberry Almond Linzer Cookies
DAY 7: Peanut Butter Kisses
DAY 8: Peppermint and Vanilla Butter Cookies
DAY 9: Chocolate Rolo and Andes Chocolate Mint Cookies
DAY 10: Russian Tea Cakes
DAY 11: Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints

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