Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Guiness Pint-cake with Irish Whipped Cream

Top of the Morning to you! I hope you had a nice St. Patrick's Day. To celebrate my friends and I had a wonderful Irish meal with some great Irish Cheddars, Soda Bread, Corned Beef and Cabbage and to top it all off... a Guinness Cupcake with Irish Whipped Cream. This was an awesome cake definitely the hit of the party.

For the cupcakes you need to set out:
1 pint (2 cups) of stout (such as Guinness or an Oatmeal Stout)
2 cups (4 sticks) best quality butter
4 cups sugar-bowl sugar1
1/2 cups cocoa powder (Valhrona is the best)
4 large eggs
4 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
1 Tablespoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/3 cups sour cream

To make the icing you need
1 cups whipping cream
1 shot (1 ounce) of Irish cream liquor
2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar (XXX sugar)

Crank up old Bessy (my oven) up to 350 degrees F.

So I think the key to good cakes, is to keep your butter and eggs at room temperature, keep your cream cold, cream your sugar and butter first, and always sift your dry ingredients.

So here we go. In my love (my Kitchenade free standing mixer) I creamed the sugar and the butter. I added the cocoa and the eggs until the consistency was creamy. Sift all the dry ingredients together. Add the dry ingredients and then finally add the sour cream and the stout. Be careful that the stout doesn't bubble up over. Mix until well combined... go ahead you can taste it as long as you are using fresh eggs. :) I won't tell.

This made 24 cupcakes, baked in a lined muffin tin for 22 minutes. Every oven is different so wait until a toothpick came out clean.

But, while you are waiting: stash the cream in the deep freeze for a few minutes. Whip it up to soft peaks and fold in the Irish cream and sugar. I highly reccomend singing the Devo Whip It Song. It helps.

When they were completely cooled. I iced with the cream. You definetly want to wait until its cold otherwise your beautiful whipped cream will become a delicious puddle.

Please enjoy these cakes, I know we did.

Much love and happy baking.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Midnight Heart-Ache Chocolate Cake

So like all women, I get my heart broken for various reasons. Missing people, missing phone calls, acting foolish, it doesn't really matter. Unlike all women, eating ice cream doesn't do it for me. Don't get me wrong I love to make ice cream, but I prefer to bake away my tears and then give away my treats. There is something very comforting about giving away love to heal your own heart.

So here we go ... just me and lovely Valhrona.

1 cup sugar-bowl sugar
1 cup dark baby brown sugar
1 cup butter (leave this out on the counter for an hour or so to really soften up)
3 eggs (i love fresh eggs bright orange middles, who knows how old the grocery store ones are anyway)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (i like my vanilla like i like my drinks, the Bourbon kind)
0.33 cup pureed peeled tomatoes (just trust me on this one)
1.5 cups of sexy dark rich cocoa powder
2.5 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon sea salt
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
0.5 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups buttermilk (the rising action is a what i call a double soda bread combo, we have the yeast like rising power of the buttermilk and the baking soda, as well as mommy's little helper, baking powder.)

Crank up your oven to 350 degrees.

In your little lovely kitchenade mixer, add both sugars and butter until light and creamy. Add in the eggs, vanilla, and tomatoes. With your handy dandy parchment sift together the cocoa, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Now, we are going to call this next move the buttermilk cha cha, while the mixer is on low, alternate between adding half butter milk and half of the cocoa mixture.

In your baking vessel of choice, rub down the insides with butter. Instead of using flour to dust the bottom, use cocoa powder. I used a 9 inch spring form so it took about 30 minutes, but please double check yours. Every oven is different. You know use the toothpick trick, if it comes out clean in the center, its done. Completely cool and decorate as desired.

Happy baking, hope this makes your heart happy.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Zuch it to me baby... Zuchinni Bread Mini Loaves

Alright so while most members of the human race have a beer light going off right about now... i.e. Friday afternoon. I have an oven light blinking. So... our plan of attack is to take something very healthy, like ZUCCHINI, and turn it into something delicious and fattening, like ZUCCHINI BREAD. And for my next trick, I will make it disappear.


3.25 cups of all purpose flour
1.5 teaspoons of salt (or double that for sea salt)
1teaspoon of freshly ground nutmeg (the stuff already ground tastes like saw dust, because it probably is)
2 teaspoons baking soda (you know arm and hammer, the litter box kind)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 cups sugar
1 cup veggie oil
4 eggs
0.33 cup of filtered water
2 cups grated zucchini
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Fold in last
1 cup pecans


Crank the oven to 350 degrees F.

On a large piece of parchment paper: sift all the dry ingredients except for sugar. I add all the wet ingredients to my love (a Kitchenade Ultra Model with the beater attachment). When all the wet ingredients are thoroughly combined, add the sifted dry mix. I find the easiest and cleanest way to do this is by using the parchment paper to make a funnel and pour them into the bowl. Remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold in the pecans. You paid for the chunks, might as well keep them as tasty bites.

Bake in 4 mini loaf pans for about 45 minutes.

I've taken some liberty with a delicious recipe originally from Ms. Paula Deen. To view her original check out http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_30330,00.html. If you want to learn more about zucchini or if you are bored and just want to see a zucchini shaped like a duck check out wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zucchini.

Much love and happy baking. :)

Fidello? What does that mean anyway...

Well growing up in my house with an Egyptian Father and a Cuban Mother, you learn very quickly that food is the ubiquitous language of love. We would have arroz con frijoles negros one night, and macrona bel crema the next. Fidello, is word in Arabic that I am sure I am butchering phonetically. It means, "Welcome, please sit down, dinner is served." But it is more of a term of endearment for your guests. Just the thought of it makes me smile and tear up. I'm sure my dad is up in heaven welcoming people to his table all the time. My mom is still here cooking up a storm, and I will be sure to share both families recipes with you.