P’s graduation brunch cupcakes, 05.18.13
P graduated from law school this weekend! Naturally, there’s no celebration like a two-day food fest, so… I made my old standby chocolate cupcakes with coffee buttercream, and then, to make something the doctor of jurisprudence could actually enjoy, found a healthier carrot cake recipe. Well, we found like half a dozen, but this one passed muster. Check it out:
Carrot Cake (adapted from Eating Well)
1 20-oz. can crushed pineapple
2 c whole-wheat flour
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 t ground cinnamon
1 1/2 c granulated sugar
3/4 c low-fat buttermilk
1/4 c canola oil
1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
1 t vanilla extract
2 c grated carrots (4-6 medium)
1/4 c unsweetened flaked coconut
1/2 c chopped walnuts, toasted
12 oz reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 T vanilla extract
flaked coconut, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Drain pineapple in a sieve set over a bowl, pressing on the solids. Reserve the drained pineapple and 1/4 cup of the juice.
Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, buttermilk, oil, vanilla and the reserved pineapple juice in a large bowl until blended. Stir in pineapple, carrots, and 1/4 cup coconut. Mix in the dry ingredients until blended. Stir in the nuts. Scrape the batter into the tin.
Bake until the top springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Sprinkle with toasted coconut.
Makes 24 cupcakes
Cinnamon pecan coffee cake, 05.02.13
“April is the cruellest month.” — T.S. Eliot
Man, I really thought after SXSW was over I’d be baking up a storm, but instead, my jobs have been eating my life, and any time I haven’t been writing or watching screeners or asleep, I’ve been sobbing softly into my keyboard, which makes reading recipes difficult.
But it’s May now, and here’s this coffee cake I did for a meeting at KUT that got cancelled, so it’s going to be sold at the Austin Bakes for West bake sale tomorrow. I’ll be at the Stiles Switch location, but there are posts all over town with bakers more talented than me, so stop by anywhere 10am-2pm; you can’t lose.
Recipe via the Cake Mix Doctor
Chocolate root beer bundt cake, 02.21.13
The fourth in a series of chocolate things for James’ birthday. I’d been meaning to remake this cake with enough time to do it right after my hurried version last year, and I think it turned out great. I guess they’re serious when they tell you to let things cool completely.
Via Crepes of Wrath
King Cake, 02.10.13
When I sent Ozz looking for king cake ice cream in Shreveport a few weekends ago, I had no idea that he hadn’t ever had the real thing. But the truth will out, so this year we decided we’d trade Mardi Gras traditions: I’d bake king cake, and he’d make paczki. We’ll report back.
For a more thorough and baking-based look at this endeavor, check out this Chronicle food blog post.
Via All Recipes
Carrie & Rob’s wedding, 10.06.12
My co-worker Carrie asked me ages ago if I’d bake for her wedding. As a Chronicle employee, she’d had plenty of chances to try my wares, and she figured if she was going to be spending a bunch of money on baked goods for a wedding, they might as well be ones she knew she liked, by someone she knows. She and her fiancé asked for a simple vanilla, plus a chocolate/coffee variety, and I was more than happy to deliver. Two freezers and seven pounds of butter later… Here’s what 200 cupcakes looks like!
Hazelnut brown butter cake, 09.06.12
Happy birthday, Rita! I’d made this once before and loved it, but I had forgotten exactly how much until I got to fill a new house with the smell of a pound of brown butter and vanilla bean. (Watching eight new people enjoy it for the first time helps too.)
From Smitten Kitchen
Triple chocolate bacon cake, 08.06.12
“You don’t have to get me anything,” he says. “Just make me a dessert you think I’d like,” he says. This, from the guy whose three favorite sentences inside the kitchen or out are: 1) “We could make a bread pudding out of this,” 2) “Ooh, but with a nice ganache…,” and 3) “You could deep-fry that.”
I found an old piece on Girlichef that looked like it might suit alright — chocolate and bacon, after all, are a pretty winning combination these days — but as I read through the post, I realized the lady wasn’t happy with the cake, the buttercream, or the bacon; for those keeping score, that’s all three constituent parts. So I took some liberties…
I used my favorite Smitten Kitchen chocolate cake recipe (one bowl and three sticks of butter? sold) for the base, swapping her cinnamon for espresso powder. Then I piled on my go-to buttercream, adapted from Baked Bree to include my secret ingredient and a little extra stiffener, due in part to distraction and in part to ameliorate the over-softened butter. I topped it with the ganache from Baked Explorations’ chocolate coffee cake, aka my birthday cake to self last year. And then, you know, because that’s not rich enough, candied bacon. It’s as close to writing a recipe as I’ve come, and someday when it’s not two days late and two hours past my bedtime, maybe I’ll get around to adding it to this post. Stay tuned.
P.S. Two pounds of butter, one pound of bacon, 8 ounces of Valrhona.
P.P.S. Bonus points if you get the Breaking Bad reference without clicking through.
P.P.P.S. It’s gone.
Flag cake, 07.04.12
Happy Fourth of July! I pieced together this plan from a couple different places, and as you can see by the first few photos, things didn’t really go smoothly at first. Fortunately, I had enough supplies to make two, so I started over, and I think it turned out pretty well.
Coffee chocolate raspberry layer cake, 05.24.12
Happy birthday, penpal! I asked Em if I could bake for her while I was in Seattle, and she happily obliged. I’ve made this cake for a birthday before, but this time 1) I was using Seattle coffee, and 2) I had enough leftover batter to make six cupcakes, which were consumed almost immediately with ample servings of raspberry sorbet. (It’s OK; I walked it off in the hills of Sasquatch.)
From Smitten Kitchen