Saturday, October 23, 2010

What's cooking...part 2

OK...Details as promised:
Cookies are the same No Fail Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing tinted Halloween purple that I used for making the Fall Cookies.
The topper is made of molded chocolate. I got the mold recently at Candyland Crafts in Somerville and the Slime Green candy melts I used are from Michaels. These toppers are super easy to make. Just melt candy melts in a microwave, spoon into the mold cavities. Tap on the counter top to release bubbles, and place in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes. They pop out easily once chilled.

The Hershey's Perfectly Chocolate chocolate cake is my go to chocolate cake recipe now. I have used it before to make the Ganache cake. So far it has not failed me.
The buttercream is a new recipe that I was a bit skeptical about because it uses flour, and is cooked like a pudding, but it turned out very well in the end. The texture was a bit too soft for piping rosettes but I think it was coz' the kitchen was very warm with all the baking. I think about 5 to 10 mins in the fridge should have firmed it up nicely. It was a bit too salty for my taste so next time I plan to sub with unsalted butter and some salt to taste.
Here's the recipe and tutorial from another blog  Our Best Bites:

Hubby rated the cake 8/10 and my DDDDS rated it 10/10...woohooo!

What's cooking?

Pumpkin and Halloween themed cookies for the school Halloween bingo event and Chocolate cake with lots of frosting as requested by hubby. Recipes and directions coming up in the next post.

After Arsh's decorating:

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Oreo Truffles

I just realized that I can make these truffles in less than 2 hours. They only need 3-4 ingredients and they look like they took a lot of effort and they taste delicious (imo)!
I've seen the recipe with some slight variations on Bakerella's site (check out for some  insanely cute creations) and also on the Kraft website.

Oreo Truffles:
1 pkg Oreos (regular kind not double stuffed) minus 9 cookies..i.e about 36 cookies.
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese at room temp...they taste good with the light cheese too.
1 pkg Wilton white or milk chocolate candy  melts.

Grind the cookies in a food processor as fine as you can get it, even med coarse crumbs are fine. Mush in the cream cheese and mix well until it becomes a dough. Pinch off pieces of dough and roll into a ball. Put them on a wax paper lined plate and put them in the freezer for 10-15 mins. While they're in the freezer, split the candy melts in 2 microwavable glass bowls and put one of them in the microwave. Melt the candy as per the directions. I add a 1/2 tsp of Crisco to the melted chocolate to thin it out a bit.
Take the balls out the freezer and reroll the now firm dough into rounder balls (they may have flattened in the freezer).
Drop them one by one in the chocolate, dip, cover, drain, place on wax paper to harden.

This takes some practice and some playing around with tools. What works for me is 2 forks and a spoon. I drop the ball in, use the small spoon to spoon chocolate over the ball. Then use one fork to lift it, tap it firmly to drop the excess chocolate through the tines. Then use the 2nd fork to slide the ball carefully from the fork onto the wax paper.

Start melting the 2nd bowl of chocolate so it will be ready once you're thru with 1/2 the balls.
Dip all of the truffles and place on the wax paper to dry. I pop the tray into the fridge for about 5-10 mins to firm up.
While in the fridge, melt about 2 tbsp of milk chocolate chips in the microwave. Spoon it into the corner of a small ziploc bag. Snip off the corner and try drizzling the chocolate on a plate or paper. Take the truffles out of the fridge and drizzle the chocolate over the them. 
Pop them back into the fridge for atleast 10 mins to harden.
Take them out, trim or break off any excess chocolate drips (use a knife for big blobs) and put them in pretty mini cupcake liners. You should be able to make about 36-42 truffles with this recipe.
Note: You can use any chocolate in place of the candy melts. The candy melts are easier to melt and handle and do not clump like regular chocolate can. I have used regular white chocolate chips in the past. Just keep some Crisco (dalda? vanaspati? some kind of fat with no water content) handy to thin it out else it can get very messy and frustrating. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cookies for Fall

Made these last week for a friend's girl scout meeting. I used the No Fail Sugar Cookie recipe (NFSC) from Cake Central and Sweetopia's Royal Icing recipe. I preferred the NFSC recipe over Sweetopia's this time around...the recipe calls for less butter and more flour so it was easier to work with but taste wise seemed quite similar. Both cookie recipes don't spread a lot so they retain the cutter shapes well.
The icing/decorations were all trial and error to see what looked best. My favorites were the acorns made with the chocolate jimmies and painted with edible copper luster, the red oak leaves made using marbled red food color during dipping and the sycamore that just won me over by the detailed shape of the cookie. Also liked the pumpkin which I've made before but this time dressed it up with orange sprinkles. The green stems and tendrils are made from green candy melts. 

If you are interested in making iced sugar cookies, you must must read Sweetopia's detailed tutorials on making the icing, coloring, and piping. And her cookies are amazingly detailed and impossibly cute! 
Icing recipe and directions:
Cookie recipe:
- Wilton candy melts are available in various colors at Michaels ACMoore and other craft stores. I keep a few colors handy.
- The royal icing recipe calls for Meringue powder which is available in better groceries and craft stores and tends to be relatively expensive. But usually you can get atleast 3 batches of icing from one container. I buy Chefmaster brand meringue online wherever I can get a good deal but have used Wilton brand also.
- The cookie recipe makes atleast 70-80 cookies. So I used half the recipe and froze the rest of the dough.
- The icing recipe makes enough to ice 40-50 cookies comfortably.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Birthday Cake!

Made for a friend's 5 year old daughter's birthday party at the dance studio. The cake is the basic WASC recipe with a tinge of citrus flavoring. The frosting is vanilla buttercream. The cutting cake has 3 layers with chocolate pudding filling.  What is WASC? WASC is short for White Almond Sour Cream cake which is a misnomer for me since this cake isn't white and there's no almond in it. Its sort of a doctored cake mix recipe which tastes almost like a scratch cake but is a reliable/stable cake. The recipe makes about 60-72 or so mini cupcakes, 36 or so regular cupcakes or  4x6 inch rounds or 3x8 inch rounds or 2x tall 9 inch rounds or 1x12inch round.

Here's the recipe from CakeCentral:

The Buttercream is American Buttercream so there are no eggs in it. 
I use SeriousCake's Buttercream recipe which makes around 6 cups or so of icing. I always have leftovers.
Here's her recipe:
I recommend watching all her videos for icing/decorating cakes, piping flowers etc. She's very very good!!

The drop flowers on the cake are made with the 2D (closed star) tip from Wilton and the rosettes on the cupcakes with the 1M (open star) tip. They're very very easy and quick to has tons of tutorials.
Everyone including me liked the look of the cake. I didn't taste the finished cake with the filling so I really hope they liked it!!