Wednesday, October 14, 2009

More baking!

My mom's birthday was this past Sunday, but my brother had promised our dad that he'd make a cake for the tailgate on Saturday for the NCSU v. Duke game. He works in the wild and crazy restaurant business and ended up with an extra shift, so called me after I left work on Friday to see if I could help. I wasn't going to the game, but happily agreed to come up with something. After the success of the brownies the weekend before, I was up for another challenge. I had no cake mixes, so knew I'd have to find something to make from scratch.

My goal was also not to have to go to the store for any ingredients, because at that point what's to keep me from Betty Crocker? Nothing against her, this was just a challenge. ;) So my first stop was to my dearest friend Brettany's blog, to see what she might have I could use. Which led me to a cupcake blog she's borrowed recipes from several times and, after toying with the idea of pound cake, I found this recipe for Devil's Food and Chocolate Buttercream. Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!

I made a bundt cake and, actually, six cupcakes so we could taste test it before sending it out for consumption. I modified the recipe for the buttercream, after it turned out super thick... there was a mention of that in the comments of the recipe although my brother later informed me that buttercream is supposed to be really thick. Basically, I halved all the ingredients except the butter and maybe the milk... maybe not as much but it generously frosted the six cupcakes, the whole bundt cake and there was a bunch left over. I've included my variation below, but I say follow the recipe and judge for yourself. I think the end product was delicious and still pretty rich. DH and I had to split a cupcake, as a matter of fact, because it was so rich! I'm pretty pleased, because although I don't mind mix cakes, I like knowing I can make things from scratch and building a repertoire of different goodies is fun! Sorry, no photos... I'll try to do better, there.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 stick butter
1/4 cup cocoa
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
~1/4 cup milk

1. Beat butter on high for about 30 seconds until soft.
2. Add cocoa and 1/2 cup of sugar and beat until incorporated
3. Add half of the milk and the remainder of sugar and beat until incorporated.
4. Continue to add milk until you get to the consistency you want.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baking Brownies!

My good friend, Brettany, has inspired me to be more adventurous in baking... so I've been searching and trying more scratch recipes. I don't have anything against mixes, but it is interesting to see how slight variations in ingredients or amounts can really change the final product.

A while back I found and tried the Supernatural Brownies recipe and, although I liked them, DH deemed them too cake-y. He strongly encouraged me to keep looking for a fudgier brownie recipe.

This past weekend we had friends coming down from Virginia to go to the Virginia Tech game at Duke, so I decided to find an alternative or at least figure out a way to make the Supernatural recipe fudgier. I began by searching for the original recipe and found the Tender Crumb Blog, comparing the former recipe to another... The Baked Brownie recipe! My results pretty much match her findings, and I also agree with liking both. I will say that sitting out in the sun all day makes for hungry folks, the six of us pretty much inhaled the 24 Baked Brownies on Saturday!