Tag Archives: frosting

Kitchen Faerie Primal Carrot Cupcakes

Standard

This post has been a long time coming! Back when I was just thinking of starting my blog and had chosen a name for myself, my dear friend Lauren came to visit me, and as a housewarming gift she brought me the cutest fairy princess baking kit with cupcake liners and little fairy cupcake inserts! She knows me all too well. It was the perfect gift to start my journey as the Kitchen Faerie! So I decided I definitely needed to make a primal cupcake for these magical cupcake liners. Even though carrots are not a staple in the primal diet, I decided to go with a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting since the carrots would add their natural sweetness to the cake making refined sugar unnecessary. And by all means, these cupcakes are not something to eat regularly, but merely a primal treat that is far better for you than traditional cupcakes for those rare indulgent moments.IMAG0182

IMAG0183

But then I got really busy and kept putting this task off. But when I brought my brand new beautiful teal stand mixer home from Christmas, I knew this would be the first thing I’d create in it. And I even got a matching mini chopper and these adorable ceramic measuring spoons. I put all three to use right away with this recipe–this faerie was very happy!IMAG0179IMAG0181-1 (1) IMAG0185-1

Primal Carrot Cupcakes (Adapted by Cupcake Project) (Difficulty-Easy; Makes 12 cupcakes)

Read more at http://www.cupcakeproject.com/2012/03/paleo-diet-carrot-cupcakes-gluten-free.html#UHsEfrkYO0QWREEL.99

  • 1 1/2 c blanched almond flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 organic free-range eggs, at room temp.
  • 1/4 c organic pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin organic coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 c organic carrots, grated
  • 1/2 c pureed dates
  • 2/3 c organic dried cranberries or raisins (raisins have less added sugar)
  • 1/3 c pure apple cider
  • 2/3 c coarsely chopped walnuts

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting (Difficulty-Easy; Frosts ~12 cupcakes)

  • 8 0z. cream cheese, at room temp.
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temp.
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c pure organic maple syrup
 Make the cupcakes:  Preheat oven to 325 F. Using a mini chopper or food processor, puree the dates into a thick paste and set aside. Pour the cranberries or raisins into a small bowl, add the apple cider, and set aside. This helps to reinstate the dried fruit and make it more plump. It also adds a little extra flavor!
IMAG0205
In a large bowl, combine almond flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together eggs, maple syrup, and oil. Fold the carrots and dates into the wet ingredients. IMAG0187

IMAG0189

Strain the cranberries or raisins from the cider, and fold into the batter along with the walnuts. Divide the batter evenly between 12 cupcake liners. Bake at 325 F for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out dry.

IMAG0196
Make the Frosting: Cream the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and maple syrup. Spoon frosting into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes or simply spread with a frosting knife and give them their faerie wings!
IMAG0214
IMAG0217 IMAG0216
Advertisements

Aunt Nancy’s Famous Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies

Standard

My Aunt Nancy has always made the most delicious gingerbread cookies.  One year we used this recipe to build homemade gingerbread houses, and since then we’ve had an annual gingerbread party where the whole family makes and decorates the cookies together. There’s always been a ridiculous amount of cookies in the house during the holidays, and now with all the gingerbread it truly feels like a cookie factory, and my family–a bunch of cookie elves!  This would be a great activity for a kids holiday party, or even for a bunch of adults who love to act like kids. 😉

IMG_20121222_113430 (1)

Gingerbread Cookies (Difficulty: Medium; Makes 6-8 dozen cookies depending on size of cookie cutters)

2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
1 cup molasses
2 Tbsp. vinegar
5 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp.  salt
 1 Tbsp. ginger
1 1/2 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cloves

rolling pin

holiday cookie cutters

Chill dough at least 3 hours or overnight.  When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees. Flour a large clean working space and use a floured rolling pin to roll out the dough into an even sheet. Be careful not to make the dough too thin or the edges of the cookies may burn. Press cookie cutters into dough and place cut-out shapes onto a large cookie sheet.   Bake 5-6 minutes.

IMAG0077 IMAG0072 IMAG0071

Buttercream frosting: (Difficulty- Easy; Makes enough to frost 6-8 dozen cookies)

1 stick unsalted butter

3-4 cups granulated sugar

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

1-2 Tbsp. milk

food dye in various colors

Using a stand or handheld mixer, cream butter and sugar on low speed until well incorporated. Add vanilla and milk and beat until frosting is smooth. Choose as many colors of food dye as you wish and divide frosting into separate bowls. This year my mom got fancy and bought a dye set at Michael’s with ten different colors. It was fun to experiment and have some new colors. I especially liked the teal, of course. Add drops of dye and mix well until you reach each desired color. Spoon frosting into piping bags with couplers and frosting tips. Let the decorating begin!!

IMAG0079

IMAG0075IMAG0074

Snowy Coconut Roulade Cake

Standard

I rarely have trouble with a recipe but the original frosting for this cake was a nightmare! Usually I can hold my own with egg whites, but they just posed as one barrier after another in this recipe. I also usually can salvage a not-so-perfect mixture, but there was no saving this curdled sloppy mess so I opted to use my own cream cheese frosting recipe and it paired wonderfully with the spongy coconut cake. If you aren’t a fan of cream cheese frosting, you can also use a sweetened whipped cream or buttercream frosting. I just strongly reccomend staying away from the original.

IMG_20121221_173833

Coconut Roulade (adapted from Food Network)

(Difficulty: Medium; Serves 8-10)

For the Cake:

  • Unsalted butter, for the pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, separated, plus 2 egg whites, all at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract
  • Pinch of cream of tartar
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
  • 1 tablespoon rum

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 11-by-17-inch baking sheet or jelly roll pan and line the bottom with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment and dust with flour, tapping out the excess.    

Whisk 1 cup each flour and granulated sugar, the baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the 4 egg yolks, vegetable oil, coconut milk and coconut extract. Add in the flour mixture in 2 batches.

Beat the 6 egg whites and cream of tartar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until foamy. Increase the speed to medium high; gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup granulated sugar and beat until stiff, shiny peaks form. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the egg yolk mixture with a rubber spatula, then gently fold in the rest. The egg whites in this cake make the batter very airy, resulting in a light spongy cake when baked.

Spread the batter evenly on the prepared baking sheet and bake until the cake is golden and springs back when pressed, 15 to 20 minutes. Loosen the edges of the cake with a knife; transfer the baking sheet to a rack and let the cake cool slightly. Dust a clean kitchen towel with confectioners’ sugar. Place the towel on top of the cake and invert the cake onto the t0wel. It will make rolling the cake much smoother. Brush the cake with the the Tbsp. of rum. The original recipe called for white rum but I only had spiced in the house and it works just the same.

IMG_3943

 

For the Frosting:

 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1-2 Tbsp. rum

2 cups sweetened shredded coconut

Whip cream cheese and butter using a stand or handheld mixer until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Slowly add sugar, while mixing on low. Add vanilla and rum and continue to whip on medium-high speed until fluffy.

Spread the frosting evenly on the sponge cake, sprinkle on 1 cup of coconut, and using the kitchen towel gently roll the cake around itself into a log. Sprinkle with remaining shredded coconut. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

IMG_3947

IMG_3950

IMG_3949

 

A Home-Grown Wedding Cake

Standard

I had been waiting for two of my closest friends to set a wedding date for almost two years when they sprung it on their closest family and friends just a week before they tied the knot! Not only was I thrilled to finally share their beautiful day with them, but they EVEN asked me to make the cake!!! I was so excited to make my first wedding cake and I couldn’t think of any two people I’d rather share it with.

The wedding would be the following Saturday on Laguna Beach, so I had exactly one week to plan, buy supplies, bake, assemble, and transport a wedding cake- I would imagine this would stress most people out, but I was in my glory. As soon as I got home I had wedding cake magazines and books spread across my bed to begin my research. For 5 days all my poor roommates heard about was cake and frosting flavors, dimensions, and decorations. If you’re also a first-timer in the wedding cake department, I strongly reccomend The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum as an amazing reference.

The bride and groom’s only guidelines were a round cake with simple, cream decorations. So I had a lot of decisions to make! Of course I had many ideas for flavor and decorations, but I also needed to think about structural stability as I would be driving the cake down in the LA traffic and heat to Laguna. I finally decided on a vanilla bean cake with fresh raspberry filling and a cream cheese frosting. I’m wishing I had another slice just thinking about it!

The guest list was around 40 people so I decided to make three 10 x 2″ layers for the first tier, and two 6 x 2″ layers for the top tier. According to the serving charts, this should feed nearly 100 people, but I’d rather have more than not enough, and I also wanted to make a slightly bigger cake for appearance-sake. So on to the baking…

Vanilla Bean layer cake: from Sweetapolita  (I made a double recipe for  3 10″ rounds and 2 6″ rounds)

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp.

2 2/3 cups granulated sugar

9 egg whites, at room temp.

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

2 cups buttermilk

1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped out

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

I made two separate batches since my stand mixer would barely hold the batter for once recipe, let alone two. This is A LOT of cake!  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and butter and flour your cake pans. I used 3 10″ and 2 6″ pans. I also used Baker’s Joy, which is an aerosol containing flour and butter. You can definitely do it the old-fashioned way, but this is quick and the cake comes away from the pan as it bakes, making it a cinch to invert your cakes to cool.

First cream the butter and sugar together on medium to high speed using a stand mixer or hand blender. On medium, slowly add the egg whites until fully incorporated. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. Split the vanilla bean and scrape all the seeds into the buttermilk, then add the vanilla extract and whisk together. Alternate adding dry and wet ingredients until the batter is fully incorporated. Divide the batter evenly between your pans. If you have a scale it is best to weigh them to make sure you have even cake layers. Bake for about 30 minutes, rotating half-way through. Let pans cool for at least 10 minutes and then invert cakes onto a wiring cooling rack.

Cream Cheese Frosting: Adapted from Joy of Baking

(this should be enough frosting to cover both tiers and for decorating)

4 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp.

32 oz. cream cheese, at room temp.

5 cups confectioners sugar

zest of 1-2 lemons

4 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream the butter and sugar with a stand mixer or hand blender until smooth. Slowly add the confectioner’s sugar 1 cup at a time. Add the zest and vanilla and beat on high until the frosting is light and fluffy.

To assemble

12-14″ cake board

10″ corrugated cardboard cake round

6″ corrugated cardboard cake round

5 wooden dowels

ruler

cream cheese frosting

24 oz. fresh raspberries

Assemble each tier by placing the first cake layer on the corresponding cardboard round. Frost the top of the cake layer and cover with fresh raspberries. I also added a layer of frosting on top of the raspberries to seal them in so that their liquid wouldn’t run and stain the cake. Carefully place the second layer on the cake and frost the sides and top using a rotating cake stand. Create a thin ‘crumb layer’ of frosting first and place the cake in the regrigerator or freezer until the frosting is set. I actually froze my cakes over night as I wanted the frosting to set as well as possible for the transport. I also wanted the cake to stay fresh for the reception. Once your crumb coat is set, add another layer of frosting. The ‘crumb coat’ will make it easier to create a nice smooth finish on the exterior of your cake.

Once you have both tiers assembled, pipe a generous amount of icing onto your cake board and place the first tier on top. You can also use rings of tape on the cake board to hold the first tier in place. To stabilize the cake, insert four wooden dowels into the surface of the first cake. To do this, measure with a ruler where the first tier will be centered and use the round cake pan to make yourself an outline. The wooden dowels should be evenly at four corners inside the outline. Pipe a generous amount of frosting to hold the top tier in place. Finally, use a pencil sharpener to create a sharp point on the last dowel, which will be placed through the top of the cake all the way to the bottom cardboard round. Finally, decorate your cake as you wish! I used the same cream cheese frosting to pipe a pearl border onto each tier, and made a polka dot design. I topped the cake with silk hyrdangeas to match the bride’s boquet. And after all that, I really got to experience the stress of being a caterer as I sat in rush hour traffic in 95 degree heat for three hours to get down to Laguna- I was certain that I was going to open the trunk and the frosting would be oozing off the cake, but luckily the decorations were still in tact and I brought a spare piping bag for any last minute touchups.

 

 Nothing better than seeing two of your favorite people smash your cake all over each other’s faces. 🙂 The bride thought the frosting was the perfect color cream and I got many raving reviews from guests about the taste so I think it was a success! The fluffy vanilla bean cake, lemon zest in the frosting, and fresh raspberries all come together to create a delicious, light end-of-summer wedding cake with a hint of citrus.