Divergent Cake

Divergent Cake

Birthdays are so special. Birthdays are also a reason to bake up a cake. What celebration doesn’t call for that? It was time to finally put an end to the cake drought we’ve been suffering (last one I baked was an Little Black Dress cake for my friend’s party). With a little fondant of course. Fondant’s hard to ignore and it somehow makes it way to every celebration. It just adds the right amount of pizzazz to any cake like a glossy top coat to your nail polish. So fondant it was. Now the challenging part: what theme should the cake be centered around?

Divergent Cake

Well, after many brainstorming and Pinterest sessions to find a cake for my sister’s birthday, we suddenly agreed on a theme. We had just seen Divergent at home and Insurgent the next day at the movies, which really inspired us. In case you haven’t seen either of these, they are based on a bestselling novel by Veronica Roth (she has a role in the first movie so keep an eye out for her!). Her dystopia novel comes to life along with its society-divided factions which are defined by traits. Each child goes to a Choosing Ceremony where they pick the faction they will join for the rest of their lives. An action packed mix of rebellion, deception, and upright honesty where the main character, Tris, leaves her selfless Abnegation faction to join the adventurous, fearless Dauntless faction brings excitement tying the whole story together. The main character is Divergent, meaning that she has 3 or more of the traits these factions have which poses a threat to the government who dislike the rebellious Divergent. The best way I found to integrate the movie into the cake was to focus on the five factions and so that’s what I topped the cake with. I put fire and coals (crushed oreos) to surround the cake, because that was the symbol of the Dauntless faction that Tris chose.

Birthday Cakes Across the Years 

Batman Cake

http://simply-delicious.org/2014/05/11/batman-fondant-cake/

Chinese Takeout Cake

http://simply-delicious.org/2013/05/05/chinese-takeout-anyone/

Rainbow Cake

http://simply-delicious.org/2012/04/24/surprises-abound/

Divergent Themed Cake 

Divergent Cake

I used Sweetapolita’s Fluffy Vanilla Cake which you can find here and paired that with a light, creamy Vanilla Bean frosting. The combination was great, because the icing did not have that generic overly sweet taste and the cake itself was light and fluffy. The secret to this frosting was whipping the butter for 8 minutes until it was as smooth as a ribbon of silk before mixing it with the powdered sugar. I don’t usually eat the fondant part of the cake as it is has a sickly sweet flavor that just throws you off even before you get to the cake and icing inside. It definitely is worth the magical effect that it gives your cake though.

Divergent Cake

Each circle represents one of the five factions. Starting from the top yellow symbol, clockwise, are Dauntless, Abnegation, Amity, Candor, & Erudite.

Dauntless: brave, fearless, take risks

Abnegation: selfless, always help others hence the hands

Amity: kind, optimistic, earth-friendly

Candor: truthful, see everything as black or white

Erudite: curious about the world, intelligent

Divergent (no symbol): three or more of the above, rebellious, immune to control

Factionless (no symbol): the ones who don’t fit in

Divergent Cake

 

What movie-themed cakes have you made?

 

Boston Creme Donuts

bostoncremedonuts

Looking for a dessert that won’t turn your whole kitchen upside down? How about one that transforms a seemingly simple can of Pillsbury Grands into a delectable dessert that is indeed grand? If you have an appreciation for this golden halo of fried pastry, then you will love when you learn just how easy it is to satisfy your donut desires.

Within 30 minutes, you can have a plate in front of yourself with a chocolate ganache glazed donut filled with a french vanilla creme. And the best thing about it, you don’t have to leave your house to enjoy warm, fluffy homemade donuts! Perfect for a light morning breakfast with coffee or even as a midnight snack for those late cravings, you definitely do not want to miss out on these delights.

Boston Creme Donuts

Makes: 8 donuts

Printable Recipe Here

Ingredients

For the donuts

  • 1 package Pillsbury Grand biscuits (contains 8 biscuits)
  • Canola oil

For the filling

  • 1 box JELL-O instant french vanilla pudding (3.4 oz)
  • 1 cup whole milk  (can use fat free for a healthier alternative)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

For the ganache

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 ounces milk chocolate chips
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Directions

Filling

  1. Whisk together the pudding mix with the milk for about 2 minutes and then set aside
  2. In a separate bowl, beat on high the heavy cream with powdered sugar for about 3 minutes until soft peaks form
  3. Fold in the pudding mix and refrigerate until ready to use

Donuts

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet (should be about an inch high)
  2. Separate biscuits and fry each side for 2-3 minutes
  3. Set on a plate covered with a few paper towels to dry and cool

Ganache

  1. Add heavy cream, milk, butter, vanilla, and corn syrup in a medium pot
  2. Over medium heat, wait until the butter is melted
  3. Change to low heat and add in the semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips
  4. Whisk until smooth and remove quickly from heat to avoid overheating the chocolate
  5. Whisk the powdered sugar in until you have a smooth ganache and set aside
  6. Add a few drops of milk if the ganache seems too thick to coat the donuts when you are ready

Assembly

  1. Spoon the filling into a large pastry bag (or ziploc bag) with any tip
  2. Press the tip into the side of the donut and squeeze until the donut appears full
  3. Dip the donuts in the ganache or use a spoon to spread the ganache over it

Recipe Adapted from ShugarySweets

Tips:

-For variations you can also use a chocolate pudding, if you prefer a chocolate filling

-Add toppings such as shredded coconut, slivered almonds, sprinkles, or more

-Use fat-free milk for a healthier alternative

ingredbc

Ingredients for the French Vanilla Creme Filling

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Making the French Vanilla Pudding Mix

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Adding in the heavy cream and powdered sugar whipped mixture to the French Vanilla pudding

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How the consistency should look for your French Vanilla Creme Filling once mixed

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Golden brown fried Pillsbury Grands biscuits

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Your final dish: Boston Creme Donuts

 

What is the most interesting donut that you have ever made or tasted?

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

 

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Got a pack of raspberries laying around with no idea what to do with all of them? Don’t worry, SimplyDelicious can help you with this dilemma. It just so happened when I opened the fridge on a fine Sunday afternoon, that I was greeted with a stack of three raspberry packs. Just the previous day, I had discovered this amazing vanilla cupcake recipe. Seriously, it legit made the best vanilla cupcakes that I have ever tasted. So… I thought, why not make this delicious recipe raspberry flavored too? Now, I easily could have eaten all the raspberries too, rather than make cupcakes. I had to control myself though and think of the end product that was so close. That’s what’s so awesome about cupcakes. You make them quick, eat them quick. Done deal. Other desserts, like cheesecakes, make you wait overnight (way to0 long if you want instant pleasure).

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Printable Recipe here

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack (6 oz) raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (or yogurt)
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt)
  2. Add in the butter until the mixture resembles wet and crumbly sand
  3. Beat in the eggs until they are well incorporated and you can no longer see the yellow
  4. Put in the remaining wet ingredients (milk, sour cream, butter, vanilla extract) and mix until the texture of your mixture is smooth and fully combined
  5. Hand mix the raspberries into your batter until they are evenly distributed
  6. Fill the cupcake liners half way with the mixture
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes or golden brown

Raspberry Buttercream

Printable Recipe here 

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup raspberries
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Puree the raspberries in a food processor
  2. Pour the processed raspberries through a sieve with small holes to keep the seeds from getting in your frosting
  3. Use a spoon to help you get all the raspberry pulp out and set it aside in a small bowl (throw the seeds away)
  4. Cream the butter with a mixer for about a minute and then add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time
  5. Add in the vanilla extract, salt, and pureed raspberries
  6. If the buttercream is too runny, add in more powdered sugar until it is to your liking. If too thick, add a teaspoon of milk at a time.

Recipes adapted from: Tide & Thyme and Baking a Moment

Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes    Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

Batman Fondant Cake, Chocolate Trifles, & Tropical Punch

Batman Cake

Finally MCAT and finals free!!! This was the first thing I baked after depriving myself of baking while studying. My sister’s birthday was originally the week before my test. I know, what perfect timing… I told her, if she wanted me to make a cake that she’d have to move her party to the week after. This time, I made her cake the day before her party (best decision ever btw). Last year I decided to make her cake the day of and was still decorating it till even after guests started to arrive, which was pretty stressful. You can check out her last year’s Chinese Takeout Box Cake here.

If you look closely at the picture, you can actually see the Batman sign that I wedged in the cake, burning haha. Someone yelled out that it was on fire after I had lit all the candles. Without thinking, I blew them all out, pulled out what little was left of it, and had to relight all the candles.

Choc Cake Trifles

Other than the cake, I also decided to make these small chocolate trifles. I found these plastic disposable cups from Dollar Store. Definitely made for an easy clean up, which is always a great goal to have for any type of party!

Batman IceCubes

Of course, I had to top it all off with these Batman ice cubes for the punch. I guess I was so excited about these, that I forgot to even take a picture of the punch!!

**Check below for recipes for the Batman Fondant Cake, Chocolate Trifle Cups, & the Tropical Punch**

Batman Fondant Cake

-For a quick overview, the cake was made from four layers that I stacked.

-The two that I used for the base were vanilla. For the top two layers I used a Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe.

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Cake recipe found here

Vanilla Sour Cream Cake

Makes: two 8 or 9 inch cakes

Ingredients

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Whisk the egg whites, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl
  2. Combine together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and lightly mix
  3. While the mixer is on a low speed, add in the butter (chunk by chunk) until the mixture is crumbly
  4. Now add your milk and egg mix to the crumbly mixture and mix for a minute
  5. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is incorporated
  6. Add the sour cream next and mix on medium speed for 30 seconds
  7. Spread the mix in a cake pan (use springform pan for ease of removing the cake)
  8. Bake the cake for 23-30 minutes or until well done

Tips:

-If you want the cake to come out cleanly, line the pan with parchment paper and use a springform pan as well

-Instead of black fondant, you can color the white fondant with black gel food coloring & you can also buy edible black paper for the buildings and Batman signals

-The yellow parts on the cake are white fondant colored with yellow gel food coloring

-The toppings for the cake are wire cake toppers from Hobby Lobby & I printed out Batman signs that I cut out to paste onto them, because I had run out of the of the edible black paper

Mini Chocolate Trifles

Makes: 25 cups

Ingredients

  • Leftover cake pieces, about 1/2 cake
  • 3 boxes of instant chocolate pudding
  • 10 Oreos, crushed
  • 1 can of whip cream

Directions

  1. Make the pudding according to the instructions on the box
  2. Cut the cake into small pieces, size does not have to be exact
  3. Fill each cup with a few small pieces of cake
  4. Top with a few spoonfuls of pudding
  5. Add whip cream on the pudding with a handful of crushed Oreos
  6. Serve and enjoy

Tropical Punch

Makes: Two large punch bowls (50- 4 ounce servings)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 46 fluid ounce can pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 quart orange juice
  • 2 two-liter bottles of lemon-lime carbonated soda

Directions

  1. Bring the sugar and water to a boil for 2-3 minutes
  2. Stir in the pineapple juice, lemon juice, and orange juice
  3. Divide the mixture into three large ziploc storage bags and place in freezer
  4. When ready to use, mix the lemon-lime carbonated soda with the juice mixture

 

Batman Cake

Batman Cake

 

 

Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Cake Balls

Hershey's Chocolate Cakeballs

Hershey’s Chocolate Cakeballs

So…. This was my last night’s baking episode. I haven’t made cakeballs in a while, because I have been experimenting with a few variety of other recipes. Anways, my mom recently achieved a new designation at her work, which gave me an opportunity to make these deelish cakeballs for her to bring to her workplace. What better way to express my congratulations than with food haha? So, with my mind already made up, I baked into the wee hours of the morning. Seriously till like 3 am!

When making this, baking the cake and making the balls is probably the easiest part. The time-consuming part is the dipping and decorating, depending on how extensive you want the decor/colors to be. There is a lot of waiting in between because you want to freeze the cakeballs for an hour before you dip them so that they do not fall apart.

Check out a few links from my previous blog posts below:

*Hershey’s “Perfectly Chocolate” Chocolate Cake recipe

*Recipe for how to make the cakeballs 

*Different ideas for decorating cakeballs

 

 

 

 

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio (n): a lime-green small sized nut perfect for snacking and eating when studying or walking around the neighborhood; a nut that is always on the go; member of the cashew family

Pistachios really go great with anything! It is the atypical flavor to see, but it tastes great in Bluebell icecream and shortbread cookies. And you most likely have seen them all over Instagram in the beautiful colors that they come in. Yes, I am guilty of posting a picture of these vibrant and exquisite desserts every time I visit a bakery, but how could you not?!

Highly recommend anyone reading this to try out this recipe. You’d be surprised at how much you will fall in love the pistachio flavor. If not, then try making macarons in any flavor that you are craving.  I, myself, can’t wait to make these again! You cannot simply just eat one, so I would recommend doubling my recipe which originally makes about 20.

*recipe for the macarons can be found on a previous post of mine here where I made chocolate macarons with a variety of frostings

*changes to this recipe: 60 grams almond flour and 50 grams of ground pistachios instead of the 110 grams of almond flour, I also added a few drops of lime green gel food coloring

 

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio Macarons

Icing Sugar Cookies 101

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I just love sugar cookies. The first time I made them was when I made these Phineas & Ferb themed cookies for a friend’s birthday. They were a lot of fun to make; it’s like a coloring book but on a cookie instead. After my first try I was down for round two: a bridal shower! A quick glance at the cutest dress and cake shaped cookies on Pinterest was more than enough to convince me to order the wedding shaped cookie cutters from Amazon. Thank god for prime shipping, because they came right in time, a few days before the bridal shower. It took me about two days to make the sugar cookies and ice them. I started the cookies the day before the event with a friend, cutting and baking about 60 of them. It took us a few hours as we also made a New York style cheesecake to accompany the cookies. I iced the outline and flood-iced the base for the cookies that night, which had to dry for a couple hours. The next day, I piped on the details and decor successfully completing the bridal themed sugar cookies. Honestly, I was a bit unsure as to how they would turn out, because it was my first time trying them out. They turned out great, although the cookies probably took me longer than they should have. I learned quite a few tips along the way that will greatly assist me for next time. Read on to find out how you can make these sugar cookies too!

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Phineas & Ferb Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 sticks of butter, room temp
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. Beat the softened butter until it is creamy and add the powdered sugar until incorporated
  2. Add in the flour, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and salt and mix until no lumps are visible
  3. Chill in refrigerator for about an hour until dough is firm
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F
  5. Roll dough and cut out respective shapes
  6. Place baking tray in freezer for 5 minutes so the cookies can retain their shape while baking
  7. Bake for about 7-8 minutes

Tips & Recommendations

*You can always substitute an ingredient or baking tool if missing. In my case, we could not find the rolling pin and so to roll the cookies we ended up using a pestle mortar. The cookies could have been made a little more even as some were slightly lopsided, but it worked out in the end.

*Make sure the butter is at room temperature as to avoid a lumpy dough, you want it to be well incorporated.

Royal Icing

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs meringue powder
  • food coloring (optional)

Basic Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix for 7 minutes until smooth
  2. Divide icing into the number of colors you are using and add food coloring
  3. Add about a teaspoon of water so the icing will be a piping consistency. If still too stiff, add more water.
  4. Outline all of the cookies
  5. Add more water to the icing so you can “flood” your cookies (filling in the outlines)
  6. After you flood the cookies, let them dry for a couple hours and add details after

Detailed Directions:

1. Preparation

-Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix for about 7 minutes until smooth.

2. Coloring

-Divide icing into the amount of colors needed. I colored half of the icing that I made purple, leaving the other half plain white.

3. Piping the Outlines

-Add about a teaspoon of water to the icing until it is a consistency that can be piped. Be careful not to add too much water, so add it in very small amounts. You don’t want it too runny nor too stiff.

-Place the icing into a piping bag now. If you have a disposable bag, a trick I learned was to get some seran wrap and place about 2-3 spoons of icing onto it. Wrap the seran wrap like you are wrapping a tortilla roll, and then snip the end of it with scissors. Place your seran-wrapped icing into the piping bag now, keeping it clean and easy to wash. Click here for step by step pictures to see how this is specifically done.

-Using a #2 tip, pipe thin seamless lines lining all of your cookies.

4. Flooding The Cookies

-When you finish outlining, you need to then flood your cookies. This is done by adding more water to your icing, about 1/2 a teaspoon at a time until it is a consistency that can be spread easily onto the cookies. Use a toothpick to help spread the icing around and get it into tight spots.

-Let the cookies dry for about a couple hours before you put any of the detailing onto them.

Tips & Recommendations

*Meringue powder can be found at craft and baking stores such as Michaels or Hobby Lobby

*Be VERY careful when adding water to your icing to make it into a piping consistency. Add it 1/4-1/2 teaspoon at a time. You want it to easily come out of your tip, but not too runny or stiff.

*When flooding your cookies, make sure the icing is runnier than when you piped the outlines. I made the mistake of adding not enough water which prolonged the amount of time it took me to flood the cookies. The icing should be able to cover the whole cookie without you having to spread it.

*If you are time crunched and for whatever reason can’t wait for the base flood icing to dry, there is an alternative as always. Turn on your oven to 250 F and then turn it off. Put your wet cookies onto a baking sheet and place into the still warm oven for about 5 minutes or longer until you see them dry.

Sugar Cookies Step by Step Pictures

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Outlining the Sugar Cookies

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More Outlining of Sugar Cookies

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Flood Icing the Outlines

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And the decorating begins…

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Cake, Cake, Cake

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The Bridal Shower Dessert Table

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Finished Look

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Cheesecake to Top it All Off

Leave any suggestions or unanswered questions below!

EPIC, EASY, & EFFORTLESS DESSERTS

I don’t even know how long it’s been but here’s for a food packed post to have made that wait worthwhile. I have all these pictures accumulating and just waiting for their moment to shine in a post. Most of my baking is done for occasions like a friend’s birthday or if I am going to a dinner party. Oh and can’t forget my cravings either haha. You know, especially when you see an epic mouthwatering dessert that you just must taste. At what better than recreating it to your liking? Or even when you go to a restaurant and have one of their specialities & think of how nice it would be to be able to make it at home for a midnight snack or what not. Not only that, when you bake you know EXACTLY what it going in your food. It for sure puts all those worries about mystery ingredients to rest.

Looking for something quick to make or just ideas in general? Check out these three easy to make assorted desserts! IMG_2250 Twizzler Chocolate Sandwiches

-Bake your favorite flavor of cake & let it cool (Hershey’s cake recipe here)

-Cut it into 3 x 3 inch squares & cut those in half to make a sandwich

-Fill the inside with buttercream, recipe found here

-Using a piping bag, top the cake with icing & place your candies accordingly IMG_2806

Mini Chocolate Bundt Cakes topped with Glazed Strawberries

-Bake your favorite cake in the mini bundt cake pans (found mine at World Market)

-Make a chocolate ganache to cover it, a combo of about 9 oz of chopped chocolate with 1 cup of heavy cream

-Top it off with a strawberry dipped in a fruit glaze (bought the glaze already made in the grocery store fruits section) IMG_2044 Chocolate Drizzled Pecan Pie with Raspberries

-My ALLTIME favorite pie recipe because you simply mix all the ingredients together and throw them in a pie shell (product is too epic and leaves your taste buds feeling out of this world!)

-You can find the recipe for the pecan pie in a previous blog post of mine here

-Melt some baking chocolate and drizzle it over the pie (i put the melted chocolate in a ziploc bag with the corner cut to make it easier) & for some color add fruits on top

What’s your favorite go-to recipe?

Chinese Takeout Anyone??

photo 3  Birthday parties… The hardest thing about them is always the theme!!! For my sister though, that wasn’t the case. She’s been interested in the Chinese culture ever since my dad went there on a business trip haha. So of course, she had a Chinese themed party with everything Chinese you can think of! It was hilarious because half of the people she invited even came dressed in the Chinese cultural clothing. She asked me to make her her cake like last year (which was a rainbow layered cake from inside) so I didn’t mind at all, considering it’s been a while since I baked due to exams and studying. After some research, I decided that I was going to make her a fondant Chinese Takeout Cake! I used a Coconut Cake recipe seen below, covered it with fondant, & drew on it with edible food markers.

Coconut Cake

Ingredients:

  • 6 large egg whites
  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 sticks of butter (or 2/3 cup), RT
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Icing Recipe from here
  • Pre-made Fondant (bought from Michaels)

Directions:

Preheat: 350 F

  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients: cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt
  2. Cut the butter in 2-inch cubes and beat with the dry mixture until it becomes crumbly (1 minute aprox)
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the egg whites, coconut milk, coconut, and vanilla extract
  4. Add half of this liquid mixture to the dry ingredients and beat until well combined
  5. Add the remaining liquid mixture until the batter is consistent and uniform
  6. Pour the batter in the cake pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden
  7. Allow the cake to cool completely

What I did for assembling it was cut it into four pieces, which I then stacked on top of each other with layers of frosting in between. I completely coated the whole cake with a thin layer of frosting after to seal the crumbs (because you need a flat surface when you place the fondant over it). For the fondant, I just measured each side of the cake and cut out each piece a half inch larger so I could seal each side on top of each other. I drew the Chinese symbols & house onto the fondant cut outs before putting them on the cake.

Lastly… It was pretty spontaneous, but to top it off I decided to make her cupcakes to go along with it!

photo 4

Surprises Abound!

Wow, I just love surprises, both giving and getting them. First off, I would love to thank Nina Baydoun from Tabkhet el Yom for nominating me for the Versatile Blogger Award. This is my second award, after the last Sunshine Award I got. If you want some a variety of the best Lebanese food, then be sure to check out her blog!

Here are my nominations:

1- bakingwithbrennan

2- Teenage Girl Cooks

3- Allison Eats

4- A Melbourne Girl at Heart

Speaking of surprises, I’ve been eyeing this multi-layer rainbow cake I found on foodgawker foreverrrrrr! I finally got the excuse to bake it up today for my sister’s party. It was so funny because all the party guests did not know what to expect when I told them there was a surprise for them inside the cake. I mean, it looks like a totally normal cake from outside, with the plain white icing and what not. They probably thought that I put some strange material inside. Surprise!!!!! They had no idea that there would be a rainbow inside after the first slice was cut.

The cake itself was pretty easy to make. I followed a white cake mix recipe that I found here.

Rainbow Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 5 large egg whites
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 1/2 sticks of unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • Gel Paste (I used the Wilton Colors: Christmas Red, Orange, Lemon Yellow, Leaf Green, Sky Blue, and Purple)
Tools Needed:
  • Measuring cups: tablespoon, teaspoon, 1/2 teaspoon, 1 cup, 1/2 cup
  • 2 Mixing Bowls (for dry/wet ingredients)
  • Electric Mixer
  • Parchment Paper, Pencil, and Scissors
  • 9″ round cake pans
  • Toothpicks
  • Mini bowls (for separating the egg whites)
  • 6 medium bowls/spoons (for separating the 6 colored layers)
Preheat: 350 F
Directions:
  1. Mix together all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside.
  2. Cream all the butter with an electric mixer. If you forgot to leave it till it reached room temperature, then microwave it for about 20 seconds before creaming.
  3. Add in the sugar, egg whites, vanilla extract, and sour cream mixing well in between each and every addition.
  4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and milk to the creamed mixture. Mix until well incorporated.
  5. If you have a scale, you can weigh the amount of the total cake mixture and divide it by six to see how much to add to each of the 6 divisions. My lack of a kitchen scale lead me to improvise and use another method. Instead, I used the measuring cups to scoop the mixture into each of the 6 bowls laid out. I started with a 1/2 cup for each and then added another 1/3 cup to each dividing the rest of the mix as equally as I could.
  6. Next, use the toothpicks to add the 6 gel food colorings to each of the 6 bowls. The color you see of the raw cake mixture is how it will turn out after being baked, so add the food colorings according to your own discretions.
  7. Now, trace the cake pan with a pencil on the parchment paper and cut out the circle. Butter the parchment paper after putting it in the cake pans. I used two cake pans at a time in the oven, because I only had two.
  8. Pour the colored batter into the cake pans and bake for about 15 minutes or until well done.

For the icing I wanted to try something different so I did a Swiss Meringue Buttercream from here. I didn’t really like how it turned out though, because it was not consistent enough to ice a cake. I had to add half a can of store bought frosting to it to make it less runny. This was only for the filling though, in between the layers. For the outside frosting, I went with the recipe that I have been using from my previous cupcake post. It hasn’t failed me yet and is the perfect icing for a cake!

More cupcake pictures too! :)

Simple Pleasures of Life

Yes, I know. This is probably my millionth post about cupcakes on my blog, but they are just so much fun to make (and eat)! Trust me, it’s hard to stop once you develop an obsession with food. My previous obsessions include fondant cake and cakeballs, but after I watched a couple episodes of DC Cupcakes, it is now cupcakes. Who ever knew cupcakes could be so much fun?

Red velvet cupcakes + buttercream homemade icing = perfection <3

Got Lemons?

I am currently at the library but my laptop is strangely not picking up the wifi which is probably a sign to start on this blog post instead so I’ll just post it up later. Well, it all started when I tried a slice of this heavenly bundt cake that someone gave us in return for giving them a bag of lemons from our lemon tree. The cool part was that they used our lemons in the lemon bundt cake! The cake not surprisingly disappeared in one day. Anyways, I never thought I would get to taste it again and I wondered what the secret recipe was. One random day though, bored out of my mind, I decided to bake something. I get most of my inspirations and ideas from foodgawker which is the most addicting website ever because the format is amazing not to mention all the beautifully photographed food. For me, it’s key to see a good picture of what I am about to cook because I then know what to expect or not expect when baking. Well, I saw a recipe for a lemon bundt cake, which reminded me of that delicious slice I had a while back so I decided I was going to make just that. A benefit of this recipe is that you most likely already have if not all but most of the ingredients. We had tons and tons of lemons so I picked a couple from outside, cleaned them, and put them aside all my other ingredients. I have to admit, one of my favorite parts of this cake aside from how moist and delicious it is, is the lemon icing on top. It took me a couple times to get it right, but after making this cake four times, I think I have the hang of it.

Here is the recipe for the Lemon Bundt Cake and the Lemon Icing:

Lemon Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter at room temp
  • 3 eggs and one egg yolk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup yogurt (I used Greek yogurt but any is fine)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup lime zest (about 6 limes)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • around 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter your bundt pan with the 2 tablespoons and coat with breadcrumbs.
  3. Mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together and set on the side.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth consistency.
  5. Add the eggs, one by one.
  6. Mix in the lime juice, lime zest, vanilla, and yogurt.
  7. Add the dry mixture and mix well.
  8. Pour in the pan and bake for about 45 minutes or until well done.
Lemon Icing
Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
Directions:
  1. Mix together the lime juice and confectioner’s sugar (it shouldn’t be too runny)
  2. Put a small spoonful on the cake, if it dries and you cannot see it then you need to add more confectioner’s sugar.
  3. If it is a good consistency then pour in a circular fashion around the whole cake and it will fall naturally through the grooves.

The Chosen Ones

How Your Breaded Bundt Pan Should Look Like!

1st Attempt and FAIL (Lemon Icing Is Too Runny)

2nd Attempt = SUCCESS

Lookin Great!

A World of Cupcakes

Im not really sure why but I just never gave much thought to cupcakes. It was always about cakes, cakes, cakes, ever since I started watching Ace of Cakes and Cake Boss which highlighted the potential of a simple cake mix. Just recently though I got hooked onto DC Cupcakes. I know, they’re just cupcakes and you probably think you can’t do much with them. Wrong. The amazing displays they did on that show were as cool as Cake Boss, though I still prefer fondant over icing any day. After watching the first whole season, me and my sister got inspired and decided that we were going to make cupcakes! A search for a cupcake pan failed, so we went and bought a mini cupcake pan as well as the regular 12 piece cupcake pan. We used the recipe for the Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Cake for the cupcakes and a buttercream recipe for the frosting. Our first try at the cupcakes was with a banana nut recipe which was a cooking disaster.. I think we put too much banana in the mix because after an hour, the mini cupcakes were still not cooked! Not to worry though, we had a backup Hershey’s Chocolate Cake recipe which hasn’t failed us to date. The cupcakes tasted great not to mention the homemade icing too! Can’t wait to buy new icing tips and experiment with different designs :)

Homemade Buttercream Icing 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of shortening
  • 4 cups of confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 ounces heavy cream
Directions:
  1. Cream the shortening until fluffy and consistent.
  2. Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix well.
  3. Mix in the remaining ingredients: salt, vanilla, and heavy cream
Tips:
-You can use butter instead if you don’t have shortening or prefer a sweeter icing. Or an even different combo would be doing half butter and half shortening

 

 

The Fantastic Fondant Recipe

Ok so finally here is the one and only fondant recipe. It’s a combo from

http://bakers-cakes.blogspot.com/2009/01/rolled-fondant.html (check this site out for convenient step by step pictures)

and

http://thecookduke.com/fondant-recipe/ (has helpful tips should anything go wrong)

Rolled Fondant

Ingredients:

  • 0.25 ounce packet of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 teaspoon of almond or vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of glycerin
  • 1 tablespoon of shortening
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 1/2 cup of corn syrup
  • 8 cups of powdered confectioner’s sugar
  • Optional: gel food coloring

Directions:

  1. Combine the gelatin and cold water (wait until they have thickened together, should be similar to the consistency of jello)
  2. Depending on your preference, you can either heat the combo in a microwave for about 30 seconds or in a double boiler until the gelatin has dissolved into a clear liquid
  3. Stir the corn syrup, glycerin, and shortening into your mixture until it is smooth (if having difficulties, microwave your mixture again for 30 seconds or until clear)
  4. Add your choice of almond/vanilla extract or maybe a little of both
  5. Pour 4 cups of the powdered sugar in a large bowl and form a small niche where you will pour your liquid mixture into
  6. Add as much of the remaining sugar as the mixture will take (keep some aside for rolling the fondant so it does not stick to the surface)
  7. Knead in your choice of gel food coloring until you have the desired tint
  8. Keep in a tightly sealed container to prevent from drying out

You can find all the ingredients for this recipe in the baking section of your local grocery store. In my case, glycerin was the toughest ingredient to search for. In fact, I didn’t use it in my Hospital Themed Fondant Cake because not finding one ingredient was not going to stop me from making one of those delicious fondant cakes! I’ve always been amazed by the wondrous options that open up when using fondant as seen on Ace of Cakes which is where I got my inspiration to test my luck against fondant. Ironically, months later while casually browsing the baking section at Michaels, I came upon the forgotten glycerin! I bought it, but I have yet to use it in a fondant recipe.. I’ll be sure to post some step by step pictures when I make fondant again, hopefully soon!