Archive Page 2

08
Jun
09

Lots and lots of brownies

Whew!  It’s been a long time since I updated this blog.  I was in Peru hiking the Incan trail to Machu Picchu, and there were no ovens there 🙂  We did have some excellent food there, all in the $3-$10 price range… not as cheap and delicious and Taiwan’s street food, but not bad at all.  One of my friends even had Peru’s specialty, grilled guinea pig, but I had to pass…  I did eat llama though!

Anyway, no rest for the weary, as I wanted to prepare a dessert for a potluck the week I returned.  I initially settled on some s’mores brownies that I saw on Joy the Baker, but they ended up a bit gooier and messier than I expected.  I did appreciate only needing to use and clean one bowl, but the amount of cocoa powder was ridonkulous (1 full cup?  I hardly use half that much in entire cakes).  I personally find brownies that are made with melted high quality chocolate tastier than just using straight up cocoa powder, but perhaps it also depends on the quality of your cocoa powder.  Still, if I had to make either of these batches again, I’d choose Dorie’s chipster brownies in a flash 🙂  I’ve included the chipster brownie recipe again for ease of reading.

Smores brownies

S'mores brownies

chipster brownies

chipster brownies

Continue reading ‘Lots and lots of brownies’

16
May
09

Desserts with nutrition – carrot cake

I’m often told that I don’t eat enough vegetables… not that I dislike them, but I just don’t cook them much.  Why cook veggies when I can makes cakes and pies?!  Those seem like perfectly reasonable ideas for breakfast to me (heck, I ate cheesecake almost every morning last week).  But I guess it was all a matter of time before I started preparing my own vegetables.  When I was invited to a potluck last week, someone thought it’d be a good idea if I brought some veggies for once… not wanting to disappoint, I did exactly that!  This big carrot cake packs a lot of nutrients in its carrots, raisins, and pecans 🙂

3 layered carrot cake with raisins, nuts, and cream cheese frosting

3 layered carrot cake with raisins, nuts, and cream cheese frosting

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11
May
09

My first groomscake!

Midget is married!!!  Congratulations Richard and Kristine!

The bride and groom with our groomsmens gift

The bride and groom with our groomsmen's gift

Well, that nickname doesn’t work anymore since he’s over 6′ tall.  But that’s what we used to call him when he was only 8 years old…. I guess he had the last laugh!  For this incredibly wonderful occasion, I had the honor of making a special groomscake.  I’ve never made anything at this level so I was pretty nervous, but thankfully he knew exactly what he wanted: cheesecake!

The completed 3 tiered cheesecake

The completed 3 tiered cheesecake

Continue reading ‘My first groomscake!’

23
Apr
09

Cream Cheese Tiramisu

Well, time to take a different approach to my desserts and return to my roots.  Tiramisu was probably the second or third dessert I made when I moved to my new apartment last year (around Valentine’s day).  It isn’t exactly “baking”, but it still requires much of the similar preparation.  However, without the baking time included, it’s much faster to prepare than several other desserts, so it’s something to consider if you are short on time.  Just remember that it tastes best after it chills in the refrigerator overnight.

Tiramisu is a funny beast: it’s a traditional Italian dessert, yet there are so many permutations allowed for it.  Normally, it is made with lady fingers soaked in espresso, layered with a cream made of mascarpone cheese and egg yolks.  It did not originally have any liquor, but most modern recipes have some type of coffee or chocolate liquor added into the cream.  The first tiramisu I ever made consisted of the normal mascarpone cheese + egg yolk mixture, with lady fingers that I purchased from the local Kroger’s.  At this point, I didn’t have any kitchen utensils (no stand mixer, food processor, electric beater, etc), so as you can imagine, whipping heavy cream to stiff peaks was a complete hassle.  In fact, I probably stood there beating by hand for a good 15 minutes before Daniel and Sherry showed up at my door, kindly offering to whip it in my stead.  It still took another good 15 minutes before we achieved peaks… this was the exact moment I decided to buy an electric beater 🙂

Cream cheese tiramisu

Cream cheese tiramisu

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13
Apr
09

Blueberry Crumble Cake

Well last week I ended up baking two things I’ve already showcased on this blog (another white chocolate pound cake and the cinnamon swirl bundt cake), and then got busy preparing for my baptism on Easter Sunday.  This week I’ll probably be too preoccupied to make anything new, so I figured I probably wouldn’t have anything to post about for a while… until I remembered that I didn’t post about a blueberry crumble cake I made for church a couple weeks ago.

Blueberry Crumble Cake

Blueberry Crumble Cake

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04
Apr
09

Lemon Bars and Pound Cakes

Sorry for the slow updates!  Last week, I spent several days getting ready for the bake sale at Vox Populi.  Vox Culture is an NPO that my church has formed that allows local artists and musicians to gather together and perform/promote their talents.  Since all funds we make go to charity, I volunteered to help out and provide food.  With the help of my fellow churchgoers, we prepared enough food to raise nearly $300 just from the food alone!

Here’s what we made:
50 blondies
40 chocolate chip cookies
100 red velvet cupcake truffles
16 brownie cookies
30 mini cheesecake tarts

Pictures of the event can be found on the Vox Culture website.

white chocolate pound cake with strawberry coulis

white chocolate pound cake with strawberry coulis

meyer lemon bars

meyer lemon bars

Continue reading ‘Lemon Bars and Pound Cakes’

23
Mar
09

Macaron Round 2, Chocolate Bread pudding, and more

While I usually like to plan what I want to bake days in advance, sometimes little things just pop up in the middle of the day that remind me of a certain dessert.  Last week at the grocery, I noticed some croissants on sale as “manager’s special” because they were a bit old and thought, “Perfect!  Stale croissants for bread pudding!”  Normally I’d prefer to make my own brioche or challah than either let them go stale over a couple days, but croissants are nearly as rich as brioche so I figured I could make do with these cheaper alternatives.  Plus, since bread pudding uses more egg yolks than whites, I could use the spare egg whites for more macarons!

Chocolate bread pudding

Chocolate bread pudding

Pistachio macaron with ginger chocolate ganache

Pistachio macaron with ginger chocolate ganache

Continue reading ‘Macaron Round 2, Chocolate Bread pudding, and more’