Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Luck, not a lady!

I'd been hearing the buzz about Earl Grey cupcakes, and where I'm not a fan of Earl..I am a fan of Lady Grey. So I thought it would be an easy enough swap. So while lurking on Bake and Destroy (http://nataliecakes.wordpress.com/2008/06/13/earl-grey-cupcakes-and-filled-cupcakes/ -one of these days I'll figure out how to link, I swear) and found this, I thought I'd go for it.
I can't really pinpoint where I messed up...but I'll tell you what I did, and maybe you can figure it out for me. It might just be the curse of trying to jack with a recipe! 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I used self-rising) 3/4 tsp baking powder (omitted-due to sr flour) 1/2 tsp baking soda (omitted-due to sr flour) 1/4 tsp salt (omitted-due to sr flour) 2 Earl Grey tea bags or 1 Tbs loose tea (used 2 Lady Grey-decaf) 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 6 Tbs unsalted butter, room temp 3 egg whites 1 tsp rated orange zest (omitted, didn't have it) 1/4 tsp orange oil (omitted, didn't have it) 1 cup buttermilk (used fresh..as in just made it the day before..yes MADE it...I made my own butter from fresh cow's milk that a farmer friend gave us and the milk you pull off of the butter lump)
I combined the butter and sugar. Added my egg whites. Alternated my buttermilk and my flour. And baked at 350 for about 20 minutes. *sigh* Since I was baking my Sour-Cream Kuchen (blog forthcoming) at the same time, I had to bake the cups on the second rack, and about half of them burned. *tear*
Husby says: "they taste like Holiday cardboard"-
um WTF? Holiday cardboard??
he went on to explain: they taste Holiday-ish...but they have a really try texture.
Ok ok..I admit it..they were NOT my best. Especially in the wake of the carrotcakecheesecakecupcakes (see post below).
It was recommended to do a buttercream frosting...
but noooooo..did I do that? noooooo. Didn't help I was out of powdered sugar.
So I thought "I'll try a ganache, it will be easy to do a ganache, yes, a white chocolate ganache will really make up for the fact that these kinda suck"
Lesson learned-whole milk (fresh from the cow actually) is NOT the same as heavy cream when you are making ganache.
Runny mess.
I had some leftover blue coconut icing from some chocolate cuppies about a month ago (just the standard shortening and powdered sugar kind)--so I mixed it together with the non-ganache and dipped the tops of the cups in there.
If it's possible, it kinda made them worse.
I love the idea of Lady Grey cupcakes...so any help you might have would be GREATLY appreciated!

Carrot-cake-cheesecake-cupcakes!

Try saying that 5 times fast!!! One of my all time favorite 'testers' celebrated her dark hour (aka 30th birthday) on July 2nd. At the party the following weekend, I decided that the best present would be an edible one. Knowing that one of her favorites was carrot cake, and that her husband (another favorite tester) loved cheesecake..I was lucky to come upon a great recipe that is a Cheesecake Factory knockoff... They were a knock out! Husby and I both enjoyed them (I made giant muffin sized ones for the house). And Birthday taster and her husby enjoyed them too! They are a keeper recipe and one I'll make over and over! The completed cups, ready to go party! A shot of the inside: The line up-cheesecake on the left, carrot mid and cups to the right. (recipe from CDkitchen.com) Ingredients: ***Cheesecake:*** 16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature 3/4 cup sugar 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 tablespoon flour 3 eggs ***Carrot Cake:*** 3/4 cup vegetable oil 1 cup sugar 2 eggs 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup flour 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 8 1/2 ounces can crushed pineapple, packed in juice, drained well, reserve juice 1 cup grated carrots 1/2 cup coconut 1/2 cup chopped walnuts ***Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting:*** 2 ounces cream cheese, softened 1 tablespoon butter, softened 1 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 tablespoon reserved pineapple juice Directions: In large bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in flour, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Set aside. Meanwhile prepare Carrot Cake. Carrot Cake: In large bowl, combine oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract; mix well. Stir in dry ingredients; mixing well. Stir in drained pineapple, carrots, coconut and walnuts. So this recipe was originally for a normal 9" cheese cake in a springform, so I had to play with it a bit... Line your cuptins-fill them about 1/4 of the cup with the carrot cake batter, then top with a big dollop of the cheese cake mix, then top with another medium dollop of the carrot cake batter. The cups should be about 3/4 full. (don't swirl to marble) Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 35-40 minutes or until cuppies are set and cooked through. You can toothpick test them. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate. Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting: In a bowl of electric mixer, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, vanilla extract and reserved pineapple juice. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving. It's more of an icing, and less of a frosting..(just a heads up) For the garnish I took my extra carrot,nuts, and coconut and about a teaspoon of granulated sugar (that I had run through my mini-chopper) and they hung out in the dehydrator for about 2 hours until crispy.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Date nite...(sans photos)

I wanted to stop and get the camera, but we were running just on time to get to the place b/c you had to have your food ordered (and preferably eaten before the show). So I'll have to describe my food to you and you'll have to use your imagination on what it looked like ok? We live about an hour (give or take) north of KC, MO, and Monday evening the Husband and I ventured down to Jardine's (jardines4jazz.com) we went for a concert of Marilyn Maye. I had looked at the menu online to get an idea of what I wanted, but once we were there we both opted for the special. For $12 you get salad, entree, and dessert...and..it was a good deal. Jardine's is a jazz bar..and since we were far(-ish) away from home I didn't want a mixed drink that might make me too tipsy, so we both opted for wine. I had a glass of Riesling, and the husband had Merlot. I'm normally a big Riesling fan, but I think of just one winery..sadly. (if you are interested..it's crownvalleywinery.com I haven't had one of their wines yet I don't like!) We had an appetizer of 'fried green beans'. I'd seen them prepared on Down Home with the Neely's a couple weeks ago and they looked good...let me tell you..they tasted even better! Jardine's makes their own ranch dressing (fantastic, very thing-which I love) and the beans were just perfect. The salads were mixed greens with onion, cucumber, and tomato. Husband got the bleu cheese dressing (which was the homemade ranch with tiny tiny pieces of crumbled bleu cheese in it) and I had the house 'honey' vinagrette. It was amazing. I like vinagrettes, but sometimes find them too bitter, and with the honey in this one, it was just perfect. The main course was Chicken with Champange Cream sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and green beans. It was the same green beans that we'd had earlier w/out the breading. French style...very crisp, and very good. You can't really mess up garlic mashed potatoes either. The chicken was a bonless skinless breast in a light breading..and the cream sauce really was divine. You could just barely catch the hint of Champagne. But honestly I think if there were anymore it would have overwhelmed the chicken. Dessert was a HUGE piece of chocolate layer cake (with chocolate frosting, and chocolate shavings), fresh whipped cream, accompanied by raspberry sauce. In theory Husband and I could have shared one piece of cake and both been happy (yes, it was THAT big)-but we both wolfed down ours just the same! So there it was...date nite food! If you are a fan of jazz, and in the area check Jardine's out! more posts to come soon (hopefully)...as soon as I can get the pictures off of my camera! upcoming posts/recipes: Cherry rolls Cinnamon rolls Carrot-cake-cheesecake-cupcakes!