Thursday, March 24, 2011

Pound Cake Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing

There have been plenty of great reasons in my life to make cupcakes lately. There have been birthdays and new additions to my department at work. And since I'm trying to curb my calories a little they are also portion control. 
While baking isn't new to me, decorating cakes and cupcakes still aren't my forte. So cupcakes make an easy intro into the cake decorating world. Lately I have to be amazed at the cake decorating section at Walmart. They've started to carry different sugar flowers that you can easily place on top of cupcakes or cakes and look like you know what you're doing. I don't but this is a great way to start.



So for my good friends birthday I decided to make a batch of cupcakes for her. I used a Martha Stewart pound cake recipe and just take a large cookie scoop and placed into cupcake pan with pretty cupcake liners. For the icing I used my own concoction of a mixture of cream cheese and butter to make a nice icing that is creamy and not to sugary. Cupcakes are the best intro into cake making. 

Always start small.



 

Chocolate Icing

  • 8 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweeted cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp of milk

 Combine the cream cheese and butter in a mixer and cream together until smooth. Add the cocoa and then 1 cup of the sugar. Add a couple of tbsp of milk and then continue to add the sugar and more of the milk. Finish with the vanilla. Make sure the mixture is incorporated completely and smooth. Put in a piping bag with a large tip and pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Classic Pound cake

  • 3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 6 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and salt; set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and vanilla on medium-low speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture; beat until just combined.
  3. Spoon batter into prepared pan, and smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until cake is golden and cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 10 to 15 minutes.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday




- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 18, 2011

Homemade Grits, Cheese, and Onion Souffle's

I was recently called out by a friend who said I haven't posted that much this week.
Busted.

In fact, sometimes I think I would have a great blog if I didn't work. But then I wouldn't have enough things to write about. So for now I'm trying to find a balance between work and home. Sound familiar? I thought so.  So after a long work week, on Saturday mornings when I'm not prepared (lately I've rarely been prepared) on what I'm going to make for breakfast, I like to lie in bed a few extra minutes and peruse my Epicurious App for new breakfast ideas or recipes. I'll take one or the other.
This one was a recipe I bookmarked a long time ago and forgot about but the large bag of grits in my pantry reminded me it was time to try it out. The greatest part of this recipe? You have a full breakfast in a bowl. Just add the bacon (that your cooking in the oven because it's easier) on the side. You have the light fluffy egg and the texture of the grits and the melted cheese that make for a great all in one breakfast. 

Now about those chores....



Grits, Cheese & Onion Souffles (Bon Appetit 2008)

2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup chopped leek
1 1/2 cups whole milk, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup quick-cooking grits
4 large eggs, separated
3 green onions, chopped
1 cup (packed) grated hot pepper Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces), divided

Preheat oven to 425°F. Butter four 1 1/4-cup soufflé dishes. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and leek; sauté 3 minutes. Mix in 1 1/4 cups whole milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then grits; bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until thick, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and yolks in small bowl to blend.
Remove grits from heat. Stir in yolk mixture, then green onions and 3/4 cup cheese. Beat whites in medium bowl until stiff but not dry. Fold into grits in 3 additions. Divide mixture among prepared dishes (mixture will come all the way to top of dishes). Sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake soufflés until puffed and brown on top, about 18 minutes. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Whole Grain Buttermilk Pancakes

 
The coming of spring has made me face a harsh reality - I've enjoyed eating and hibernating a little too much. So I've decided to dedicate a little of my blogging time to the gym. 

Don't hate me.
 
 

So I've been on the hunt for some healthier recipes to get me back in fighting condition. When I first saw this recipe under the "healthy breakfast recipes" section of my Epicurious app I decided to give it a try. The best thing about these pancakes are the texture. It contains wheat flour, cornmeal , oats and buttermilk contributes to the fluffiness of the pancake. 

You know what the second best thing is? Searching for recipes in bed before you get up on Saturday.

Whole Grain-Buttermilk Pancakes
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 tablespoons (about) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • Pure maple syrup
Mix first 7 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, 2 tablespoons melted butter and molasses in large bowl to blend. Add dry ingredients; mix just until blended. Heat griddle or heavy large skillet over medium heat. Brush with butter. Working in batches, drop scant 1/4 cup batter onto griddle for each pancake. Cook until brown, about 3 minutes per side, brushing griddle with more butter as needed. Serve with syrup.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cinnamon Nutella Gelato with Biscuits & Caramel Corn

Before all the choices of easy bake cinnamon rolls lined shelves, I remember when my parents used to take pre-made buttermilk biscuit dough, dip it in melted butter and then dredge through a cinnamon and sugar mixture and bake them.  They were my favorite and we always got them on special holidays for breakfast like Thanksgiving and Christmas. 



The reason I came upon this dessert is I was craving these little cinnamon biscuits from my childhood and I was also trying to find a creative idea for a dessert on Oscar awards night. I broke out my Ciao Bella gelato cookbook and made some vanilla gelato and added 2 tsp of cinnamon. After that I made my favorite recipe for caramel corn. It's fast and easy. 

Then I went to work. 

Once the gelato was in the ice cream maker and almost finished freezing I decided to drizzle 5 tbsp of Nutella into it.  Let's just say that everyone was quiet when they ate their dessert. The flakiness of the biscuits with the cinnamon Nutella gelato and the sweet and saltiness of the popcorn just made for a fun dessert with a small nod to my childhood. 





Caramel Corn
8 cups popped popcorn
 (I combine 1/3 cup kernels plus 1 tbsp of olive oil in a saucepan - pop on med high heat until the kernels start popping quickly - gradually reduce heat slowly until kernels stop)
3/4 packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter
3 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 baking soda

Place popped popcorn in a greased large bowl. In saucepan melt butter and add corn syrup and brown sugar. Cook and stir over medium heat to boiling. About 4 minutes (thermometer will will register 255 degrees) Hard Ball stage. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in baking soda. It will bubble up and look light and fluffy. Pour over the popcorn and mix with a spatula.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicken Biscuit with Bacon, Egg & Cheese



When I serve my husband biscuits for breakfast on the side with eggs and bacon he usually takes it upon himself to split it open and put all the ingredients on the plate between the two sides of the biscuit. 

So last Saturday I decided to do it for him. 

I've definitely been exploring my Southern side lately with different recipes from Bon Appetit Ya'll a new cookbook I'm in love with. I have to admit, I feel my biscuit making skills are getting better. So I decided that I would go it alone and make a fried chicken biscuit and add bacon, egg and cheese to it. I made rather large biscuits from my biscuit recipe to allow for the chicken (I think I made 5 large biscuits instead of 12-15 smaller biscuits) I added Havarti cheese then the bacon and a runny fried egg on top. Make sure you don't use a chicken breast but thinly sliced chicken breast or chicken breast that's been pounded out a little. Just dip the chicken in Italian Bread crumbs. Beat a couple of eggs in a separate bowl. Dip the chicken in the egg and then into the breadcrumbs again. Fry on medium high so that it cooks through and get's crispy on both sides.

This time my husband had to deconstruct it a little to finish it this monster of a biscuit and I'm pretty sure no one had much of an appetite until dinner.

Worth it.



White Lily Biscuit Recipe
2 cups sifted self-rising flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup very cold unsalted butter
2/3 cups cold buttermilk

Heat oven to 500°F.
Sift flour and measure into large bowl. Cut in butter with pastry blender or 2 knives until crumbs are the size of peas. Blend in just enough milk with fork until dough leaves sides of bowl.
Knead gently 2 to 3 times on lightly floured surface. Roll dough to 1/2-inch thickness. Cut using floured 2 1/2-inch biscuit cutter. ( *I used the largest biscuit cutter in my set)
Place on baking sheet 1 inch apart for crisp sides or almost touching for soft sides.
Bake 10 minutes or until golden brown. 


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Sunny Side Burgers

There hasn't been a lot of posting going on this week but I'm never too busy to not talk about burgers.  

Recently a new burger joint opened on the south side of Chattanooga and a group of us decided to go and hang out after work one night. There were multiple different types of burger concoctions that were one better than the other.  So in an effort to make a decision I chose the Sunny Side Burger.

Decadent doesn't even begin to describe it.

There is just something about a medium rare burger with a runny egg yolk and a slice of smoked gouda melted on top.  It makes life a better place. So as I try to get over my addiction to this burger, I know in the meantime I must put this out to the void....

If you love burgers as much as I do then you better put an egg on it...
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