Saturday, March 26, 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Swiss-Meringue Buttercream

Strawberries were on sale the other day when I went to the grocery store so I thought it would be the perfect time to try this recipe from pinkparsley.

Got all my stuff together for the cake part
Chocolate Cupcakes
(I'm not a coffee drinker but happened to have a packet of instant)
Got it all mixed together then added the coffee and got a bit worried... it was SO THIN.
But then as the recipe calls for I mixed it with a spatula a bit and went with it, they ended up baking perfectly.

Then came the frosting...

Strawberry Swiss-Meringue Buttercream

I've never done one of those stove top sugar egg white frostings before so I was a tad worried I'd mess it all up... I mixed and mixed and mixed while it was over the heat, and it just want getting completely 'smooth' between my fingers. So I decided it looked good and went on! (ok, so maybe I'm impatient)

It ended up coming together nicely!

Chocolate Cupcakes w/ Strawberry Swiss-Meringue Buttercream

I've already delivered to 3 of my neighbors and had 3 mini ones myself! I just dropped them off so I'm not sure what they think of them yet. I REALLY like them, def. making again.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Biscuits and Papa Haydn

I made biscuits for the first time in my life the other day (minus helping mom when I was a wee one). I find this very strange since I love baking... and I love biscuits!

I found a super easy recipe during my online food hunting at 'and now for something completely delicious'. It took about 5 minutes to prepare (partly thanks to the butter moosher my mom gave me - its actually almost the same one as in the pic of that blog) then like 10 minutes to bake.

I made mine a bit smaller and ended up with 12, I also did the milk + lemon thing since I almost never have buttermilk on hand.

mmmmm - topped with home made strawberry jam from a friend.

And now for the Papa Haydn portion!

This was mom and my 2nd stop for our Treat Tasting. I already knew one treat I liked at Papa Haydn's, but I hadnt actually tried anything else.

They also serve food so when we got there we were very nicely greeted to be seated but let them know we were only on a mission for the treats!

The guy behind the nom case was very pleasant and patient. We looked at everything. One thing I LOVE is that the treats in the display case are the ones they serve, so most of the time they are already cut into so you get to see all the inner goodness.

I asked if I could take a picture and he said 'of course!' It was pretty sunny so theres some glare. The treat we decided on isnt in the picture because just as we made up our minds another person ordered it so he had already removed it.


All the goodies have little name-tags with the price on them.

We decided on:
Autumn Meringue
Swiss meringues layered with rich chocolate mousse and pot de creme, wrapped in ribbons of chocolate.

(image from their website)

The grading was hard... because I already have love for another one of their treats which I'll mention later...

So I gave it a B
It tasted great! The mousse was a wonderful smooth texture and the meringue (I only like the crunchy kind) was ACE. I dont know if I wasnt feeling like chocolate or if my other love was intruding in my taste buds. So I just couldnt give it an A. (plus I gotta give room for future sweets!)
My favorite part was the meringue... so I saved most of it for the end!

Papa Haydn's gets an A+
The setup is perfect (I basically already mentioned all the good stuff)

I do realize that I'll probably have to recap when I have quite a few and may have to re-grade! Thinking back I dont know if I would still give Piece of Cake a C-!
Maybe I'll re-review in clumps of 5 and assess in my afterthought and other experiences.
I also see I didnt give pricing, so I'm adding that now
Piece of cake: $5.75
Papa Haydn: $8.00
Mom and I are splitting all the treats we get (if possible) so we are actually only spending 1/2 of whats listed.

My Papa Haydn love....
Boccone Dolce
Swiss meringues drizzled with semi-sweet chocolate, layered with fresh fruit and chantilly cream.

(image from their website)

When we walked in I didnt see it... then as I said "its not here!" it was put back into the case *phew!*
Mom and I had already decided a slice was going home with each of us... how could we go and NOT get one?!
Its not always the same as they use fresh fruit so it goes by what is available. This time (I havent actually eaten it yet I just nibbled a few bits and took pictures) it looks like theres banana and strawberry.
This one gets an A+ every time and is also $8 per slice. This is one I wont share!
may not be the prettiest treat... but that doesnt stop me!
*sigh* ily

We havent decided where we'll go next, or when! But I'm excited! (ok some of that excitement may be from knowing I have amazingness in my fridge waiting to be consumed)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chocolate Peanutbutter Cup Cupcakes


I used the same chocolate cupcake recipe that I posted about before and made a peanutbutter frosting with peanut butter, powder sugar, vanilla, and milk. I would tell you how much of everything if I knew!

I put a miniature Reese's cup in the bigger cupcakes and one of the new mini ones in the tiny cupcakes. Which was the only part of this recipe that didnt go quite right... of course the Reese's fell to the bottom and stuck to the paper! oops! the good thing? They still tasted AMAZING!

This is basically what you need:

and this is what happens:

My mom just couldnt wait for Easter so invited me over last weekend to celebrate super early (we have the combined excuse that the things she got me I could USE for Easter so it only made sense to do it early!)

The loot?

look at that amazingness!
She got me cupcake boxes for gifting to people, a piping bag, a bunny spatula, a bunch of cupcake cups!, a smoosher thing for making biscuits, craft paper, some stickers that are just tooooo cute, a cupcake plunger (for filling cupcakes), and my favorite? the 56 piece tip set! but she made it more awesome by splitting it up and instead of candy she put each tip in an egg.
Thats right, I still hunt for Easter stuff! oh so fun!

AND she finished my blanket!
Seriously? its amazing. Thats her bed by the way. Its a queen size. I have a full.... basically I have it folded in half so the lines are horizontal on my bed and its STILL big enough for me! LOVE.

I cant post my current crafty stuff cause its for a swap. So thatll come later.