Monday, January 23, 2012

Baking and Blogging

I love new baking ideas. I look at blogs, recipe websites, watch cooking channels and get recipes and input from friends. Lately I have found the Cupcake Project blog and have been scouring her recipes...and let me tell you, she has an amazing collection! I have been reading through them and have picked a good assortment to try out myself. My husband and 'Elusive' Doll (Skye) have had an obsession with Absinthe since we went to London. The Cupcake Project has an Absinthe Cupcake that I'm going to give a whirl...they will be my taste testers.

SQUIRREL....but that is not what todays blog is about. One of my wonderful coworkers (Elizabeth) had a birthday in December. December was a horrible month. Usually I can bring myself out of a slump by baking - but this slump had physical limitations to it too. I was unable to move my left arm without great pain so I was unable to pretty much do anything, even my own hair for a week or so. Anyway, as many know baking is my language of love and I was unable to shower my cowoker with any I made up for it last week. On the heels of another amazing coworker's (Kika) birthday (I did Banana Split Cupcakes with Whipped Cream Frosting and a cherry on top) I did Elizabeth's favorite, Red Velvet with Cream Cheese Frosting. Yes, it's probably considered a 'basic' flavor, but if you can do it right there's nothing like it!

Just in case you can't tell, Elizabeth LOVES Scrabble! So I decided to decorate with her favorite game. Skye was going to make 'tiles' out of fondant but we ran out of time. These are actual tiles from our game. Next time we'll plan our time better.

I love to find the 'perfect' recipe and when I do it goes into the (repetoire) cookbook. We are working on several cookbooks. One for Keilah - also one of my fabulous coworkers - a wedding present made with not only my repetoire recipes but with her family recipes as well. And cookbooks made with recipe collections from myself and our families for my children.

This particular cupcake, Skye decided to really decorate! She made our favorite flower out of fondant and topped one of the Red Velvet cupcakes. It was beautiful. She ate it later.

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting

(This recipe has been altered a bit from the original cake recipe)

1 3/4 c cake flour
3/4 stick of unsalted butter, softened
1 1/8 c sugar (I use cane sugar)
2 large eggs at room temperature
3 Tbsp red food coloring
1 1/2 Tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
3/4 tsp real vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 c buttermilk
3/4 tsp vinegar (I use apple cider vinegar)
3/4 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your cupcake pans with liners.

Cake: In a large bowl cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes on medium. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter & mix well. In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermlk. Add half the buttermilk to the batter, then half the flour, alternating until all has been incorporated. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are well mixed but do not overbeat.
In a small bowl, stir together the vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Scrape downthe sides of the bowl and make sure all ingredients are well mixed and batter is smooth. Using an ice cream scoop fill each cupcake liner about half full. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes. Let completely cool on wire racks before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
16 oz powdered sugar
1 tsp real vanilla
1 Tbsp heavy cream

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl and mix with electric mixer until ingredients are combined and smooth. (add extra powered sugar to desired consistency if necessary)

Happy Baking!!

Momma Doll

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