Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Peach Pie


Alright people, if you have ever read my blog (which not many of you have) you should know that I hate pie. Like, really hate. Now, this is strong language coming from someone who basically substitutes dessert for every meal. Breakfast: brownies. Lunch: ice cream. Dinner: brownies AND ice cream. Total win. And that is on the days that I run out of cake. But, give me a piece of pie and I will gladly skip out on dessert altogether. Now, there are several small exceptions to this rule, for example, I will indulge in a small piece of pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving and, on occasion, I enjoy my Aunt Judy's chocolate pie. Otherwise, I'm pretty much against the idea of pie, I'm not sure why. (One recent theory that I came up with while explaining my dislike to Aaron is that I hate the gooey fruit stuff in pie--why does the fruit have to have that weird texture?)


Friday, July 8, 2011

Special Cupcakes


A few Mondays ago we attended a wedding (actually we participated in the wedding). More exciting than that, at least if you ask me, was the dessert that followed the wedding: CAKE and CUPCAKES and CANNOLI and FRENCH MACARONS. In other words, DELICIOUS!


Let me tell you, I had been looking forward to these particular desserts for weeks--no, months--no actually a year and a half. And, they did not disappoint. I really only ate the cake, but I ate enough of the cake to make up for not eating everything else (so much, that it would be too incredibly embarrassing for me to admit how much on this blog---oh,okay, almost the entire top layer...eeek, don't judge me). The cake is a princess cake and if you've never had such a cake then you should probably find the closest bakery that makes such a thing and order one ASAP. Otherwise, you should probably come to Charlottesville--it may be the only worthwhile reason to come here. Basically, its a white cake with Bavarian cream filling topped with a layer of marzipan. I guess it sounds just 'okay' but it is amazing.

The cupcakes, are lemon/lemon and peanut-butter cup aaaannnd I made them! Since I like to bake I thought it was only fitting that I contribute some cupcakes to this dessert display. In addition, it gave me something relaxing to do. These you can't buy, you just have to wait for me to make them for you :)


All in all, I think it was a successful day (and I'm only showing you dessert!).

Note: These photos are by the talented Jeff Greenough

Monday, July 4, 2011

Elizabeth's Birthday (Round Three)!!!




My friend Elizabeth had a birthday this week, and if possible, I try to make my friends cake or some other dessert for their birthday. You can see Elizabeth's past birthday celebrations here and here when she picked chocolate cake and strawberry shortcake, respectively.

It just so happens that Elizabeth is also departing for a five-month long journey around Europe to do research for her dissertation so this was an extra-special birthday. She was planning to just buy an ice cream cake from Baskin Robbins!!! The horror! So I told her, I would make an ice cream cake--I have been meaning to make a chocolate version since my last strawberry and cream version two years ago--and this seemed like a great opportunity. She picked chocolate cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream, which as you can imagine is a great combination. I topped the whole thing off with a sweetened whipped cream-yum!

It turns out, the cake is actually too tall to fit in my cake carrier, so it got a little smooshed when I put it in. It still tasted great, but the icing was a little damaged...



Saturday, July 2, 2011

S'mores!!!


I feel like there are foods that I associate with every season. For summer, it is definitely hot dogs (i know, gross, but baseball games), corn on the cob, diet dr. pepper, nectarines and s'mores. I don't actually like the components of s'mores alone, except for chocolate, but when put together they are really good. Every summer, I used to go to camp and we would eat s'mores. Unfortunately, I don't have a fire-pit or a fireplace or even a grill that could in any way simulate the charred marshmallows of s'mores.

So, I made these cupcakes. I was recently given a kitchen torch (thanks Libby!) and have been looking for different ways to use it. This recipe is actually fairly easy, although it requires several steps and it fairly messy. It isn't quite as good as real s'mores, but it is about as close as I'm going to get for a long time so it is pretty good! As a warning, these cupcakes are ridiculously messy. It is pretty much impossible to eat them without ending up with a ring of marshmallow all over your face.

S'more Cupcakes
Recipe: Annie Eats

Crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/4 c. sugar
5 1/3 T melted butter
4.5 oz. dark chocolate chopped

Cake:
2 c. + 2 T. sugar
1 3/4 C flour
3/4 C + 1 T cocoa powder
1 1/2 t baking powder
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 c. veg oil
2. t. vanilla
1c boiling water

Frostin:
8 egg whites
2 c sugar
1/2 t. cream of tartar
2 t. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. mix together the graham crackers, butter and sugar and place some of the mixture in the bottom of each cupcake tin. press down until firm. sprinkle a bit of the chopped chocolate in each cupcake cup. Bake for five minutes.

For the cake: mix together the dry ingredients. Mix together the wet ingredients except the boiling water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat for about 2 minutes. add the boiling water and stir just until mixed. pour the batter into each cupcake tin and bake for 18-20 minutes.

Frosting: mix the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in the top of a double boiler. continue whisking until the entire mixture registers 160 degrees F. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk, gradually moving from low to medium-high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks. Ice the cupcakes.