What’s been going on in Katie’s Kitchen? Lots of healthy eating. And of course a little baking. This weekend was two Hawaiian carrot cakes for my buddy Michelle’s birthday. The restaurant we went to wouldn’t allow BYO cakes so I made a small take-home cake for Michelle and one for our friend Jess. The cake tins I used are 15cm and I got two three-layer cakes from the original recipe. Sometimes a cake is just more special than cupcakes. Happy birthday Michelle!
Last weekend was banana bread. The freezer is stocked with slices for breakfasts or snacks.
Next weekend will feature cupcakes, as will the weekend after. I hope to fit in some crochet time and get my current ripple blanket finished soon. My new (vintage) fabrics are waiting to be cut and sewn. Such fun!
The week of hubby’s birthday continued today with another cake and another celebration. I used Sweetapolita’s cake recipe and also her cream cheese frosting recipe. The only change I made to the cake was I used gluten-free flour. Honestly, no one would have had any idea it was gluten-free if I’d not mentioned it. Carrot cake seems to handle gluten-free flour well in taste and texture – I’ve made gluten-free carrot cupcakes once before with a different recipe. I baked the cake in two round pans, then sliced each cake in half horizontally. I assembled the cake with three layers and we taste-tested the remaining layer, just to be sure it was edible of course. The Hawaiian in the title refers to the pineapple in the cake. Having just come back from a week in Hawaii (when can we go again?) it seems as though if you stick pineapple on anything, bam, it’s Hawaiian! With this cold Sydney weather I’ll take a slice of Hawaii any chance I get.
And yes, I’m in to layer cakes at the moment. I’m learning more about baking and decorating with each cake I make and really liking the look of layers of frosting sandwiched between soft, sweet cake.
Happy birthday hubby! Also to cousin Ros who shares your birthday, and to cousin Joel who turned 10 on the 4th of July.
I used my regular recipe but reduced the oil content. The last few times I’ve made red velvet cupcakes the oil has seemed to settle in the bottom of the cupcakes and left an unpleasant aftertaste. Official Cupcake Tester aka hubby said the aftertaste problem was gone but they were not quite velvety enough so next time I’ll use 1 and 1/4 cups of oil. The recipe makes 24 cupcakes and they cooked in about 24 minutes. The cream cheese frosting recipe can be found here. Four cupcakes were given to my friend Sybella who started a brand new job today (we will miss you!), eleven went to hubby’s friends for their regular Monday night football get-together, a couple were sacrificed for taste testing and the rest went to my Dad and Nanna. I didn’t have one. I really do like the making more than the eating for some treats. Unless it’s chocolatey of course.
These are my two basic frosting/icing recipes. I don’t usually measure the ingredients but here is a basic method:
Cream Cheese Frosting
About 400g cream cheese, softened
4 cups sifted icing sugar mixture
1 cup (about 230g) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or with a hand-held electric mixer in a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and butter on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to high, and mix until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Reduce the speed of the mixer to low. Add the vanilla, raise the speed to high and mix briefly until fluffy (scrape down the bowl occasionally). Store in the refrigerator until somewhat stiff, before using. May be stored in the refrigerator for 3 days.
250g butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Icing sugar mixture
Beat butter with electric mixer until soft and whipped.
Add sifted icing sugar mixture 1 cup at a time and mix until well combined. Keep adding icing sugar until you get the consistency and taste you like. If it gets a little dry add some milk.
Edit: These got the thumbs up all around. People were still talking about them a day after I shared them at work. This recipe is highly recommended!
According to Wikipedia
“A whoopie pie is a baked good made of two round, mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, sometimes pumpkin cake, with a sweet, creamy frosting sandwiched between them. While considered a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition, they are increasingly sold throughout the United States. According to food historians, Amish women would bake these and put them in farmers’ lunchboxes. When farmers would find these treats in their lunch, they would shout Whoopie!”
I used this recipe from Baked NYC. Martha Stewart featured it on her show and website last year. I halved the recipe (and used the other half of the can of pumpkin for choc-chip pumpkin loaf) and still ended up with about 18 whoopie pies of various sizes. I don’t have an ice-cream scoop so my pies aren’t perfectly shaped like the ones pictured in the book. Adding ice-cream scoop to my Christmas wish list. The baked parts of the pie are quite soft and sticky, more like cake than a cookie or biscuit.
Hubby will taste test these for me and then I will report back. Go to Martha Stewart’s website for the recipe and video demonstration.
These are modified red velvet cupcakes in fireworks colours! Well, they are the closest I could get to fireworks-inspired cupcakes in a limited amount of time. Mini M&Ms sit on top of cream cheese frosting.
I immediately made a new friend when I arrived at the NYE party carrying these – she was maybe six years old and followed me everywhere until I opened the box.
Red velvet cupcakes using this recipe from The Food Network. The recipe filled 12 Texas-size muffin tins and took about 28 minutes to cook. Texas size is very big, I’m starting to think they are too big! The base is 2 and a 1/2 inches wide, the top is 3 and a 1/2 inches across.