Posts filed under ‘Tuesdays With Dorie’

TWD #88: Ms. Engineer’s Cocoa Volcano Cookies

I know you’re probably confused.

You’re probably thinking… CB, I read your blog word for word every day and you said this week would be Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben? Who’s Ms. Engineer?

Ok maybe you don’t read word-for-word or even everyday but you are right. This week should be Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben. Side note: Am I the only one that has no idea what a “scherben” actually is? It’s not even in the dictionary! (Yes, I looked it up. No, I’m not offended that you said NERD under your breath.) Apparently Scherben is German for shard. It’s deep fried dough that is sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar. Sounds like a funnel cake to me. I love funnel cake. Slap on gobs of strawberries and powdered sugar and OH BABY it’s better than a cupcake. Yeah I said it!

But I have a confession. I suck at frying. It makes me nervous. It’s gonna take me a little more time to get the courage to deep fry anything in my new house. I have this neurosis that I’ll burn my new house down. *knock on wood*

So my sincere apologies to Teanna of Spork of Foon, our Tuesdays with Dorie host this week, but it’s not you. You’re the coolest foodie on the block. It’s me. You still love me right? Don’t leave me hanging… I feel so guilty already.

Instead I decided to do a TWD rewind. I was bumming that I didn’t get a chance to make my foodie friend, McDuff of Lonely Side Car‘s pick last month. You can find the recipe on her blog. Even though I’ve been bad on the blog commenting and email corresponding (I “just” found out that she’s engaged! *squeal*), me and McDuff are like this. *crossing index and middle fingers* Hmmm… maybe more like index+ring finger. Tight but hard to reach sometimes. She’s my second favorite Bostonian. (Nikki of Crazy Delicious Food is my Number 1. And she’ll hurt me if I don’t say that. I’m not kidding. Save me.)

This picture is dedicated to Mike of Ugly Dude Food who explained that my mental health would improve if I just took the pictures where they lay. No props, no artificial lighting, no digital enhancement. Aaahhhh… I can feel my stress level decreasing already although it’s driving me a tad crazy that the saturation needs to be bumped down a notch. I know. I have issues.

So to make a long story short. (Too late for that, CB.) I baked up the Cafe Volcano Cookies instead. Why the homage to Ms. Engineer? Well… Caitlin of Engineer Baker (Get it??) inspired me to switch out the espresso powder for double the cocoa powder. And also special thanks to Nancy of The Dogs Eat The Crumbs, Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures and Margaret of Tea And Scones for confirming my nut(ty) substitution. True to my unprepared form. I realized I had no walnuts or almonds at the last minute. So instead opted for double the pecans instead.

What I learned this week:
This are the EASIEST cookies I’ve ever made. No joke. Five minutes + baking time.


Husband rating: A
It’s not his favorite cookie (he’s more of a PB cookie man) but he said that it would be awesome dunked in a cup of coffee.

Wife rating: A
I can’t believe that this turned out. There are only 4 ingredients: nuts, espresso powder (or cocoa), egg white and sugar. I remember thinking before I baked them there was no way this could turn out any kind of cookie. But once again The Great Dorie Greenspan proves me wrong. This cookie is oh so right. I agree with hubs. Would be yummy with a hot drink. Next time I might cut down on the baking time so it’s not as crunchy though.

Next week: Chocolate Oatmeal Almost-Candy Bars pages 114-115

Stay tuned tomorrow for the winner of Studio JK Vinyls! (and you thought I forgot didn’t you!?)

January 12, 2010 at 1:27 am 10 comments

TWD #Ilostcount: All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much. ~George Harrison

Like my subject line implies…

I can’t remember what number Tuesdays with Dorie recipe I am on now. I wanna say in the high 80s maybe? Then again my memory aint what it use to be back in my 20s now that I’m in my 30s so I could be WAY off on the count. All I know is it feels like FOREVER AND A DAY since I last participated. Anyone that tells you that you can buy a house, move into your house, unpack all the boxes, celebrate the holidays *AND* keep up with any other activities is Super Woman. I certainly couldn’t so unfortunately my little ol blog lacked any Tuesday with Dorie goodness lately.

Do I still have any readers hanging around? *echo echo*

But I knew I had to come back come hell or high water for TWD’s 2 year anniversary!

Psst… Come closer. Can I tell you a secret? I’m a little bitter that my campaign for the White Chocolate Brownies for TWD’s 2nd anniversary recipe got axed. Frick Da Man?!? The Cocoa Buttermilk Cake got picked b/c everyone likes cake. The Tarte Tatin got picked b/c every one likes frenchy frou frou stuff. What about the brownie? Show some love for the brownie! Ok I’m done with my vent.

Since my brownies didn’t get picked (AGAIN!!) I decided to go with the Cocoa Buttermilk Cake. Because like I said. Everyone likes cakes. Esp when I can make them into cupcakes so that I can give away to neighbors easily. Transportable desserts are the way to go for me. Just saying.

What I learned this week:
I am getting better at judging the ratio of ingredients when I bake now. I halved the recipe to make 12 cupcakes but when I was measuring out the amount of buttermilk I realized before it was too late that I forgot to half it. Whew! That would have been some runny cake batter. Runny cake batter just aint right.

Happy 2nd Anniversary Tuesdays With Dorie baking group!

It’s been a fun ride!! I’m looking forward to the next years and beyond… *MUAH*

Cocoa Buttermilk {Cup}Cake
You can find the recipe on Laurie’s blog or page 256-257 of Baking: From My Home To Yours by Dorie Greenspan


Wifey rating: A
I really like this “cake” recipe. It’s moist and full of chocolate flavor. Adding the melted bittersweet chocolate was optional but don’t skip it! I honestly thought it brought out a great chocolate flavor. I didn’t make the malted buttercream frosting though. I opted for a cream cheese frosting instead. My Hubby isn’t a fan of “malt” and since he’d be the one eating it I figured I better substitute his favorite.

Husband rating: A
He liked the “cake” but loves the cream cheese frosting. There’s just something about cream cheese.

Next week: Mrs. Vogel’s Scherben pages 157-159

January 5, 2010 at 5:22 pm 11 comments

TWD #86: Cupcakes are just flamboyant muffins

Have you heard the saying Muffins are just ugly cupcakes made popular by a tshirt from Hot Topic? It’s kinda of my mantra when I get into the cupcake vs muffin debate with any muffin lover. I think it’s quite obvious that I’m a cupcake lover. But the best come back yet was when my friend told me “Oh yeah! Well… Cupcakes are just flamboyant muffins.” HA! HA! And now you know where I got my subject line.

This week the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers and our host, Kayte of Grandma’s Kitchen Table, are baking up muffins. You can find the complete recipe on Kayte’s blog. I consider Kayte to be more than my baking buddy but a real-awesome-never-met-her-in-real-life-but-I-would-in-a-heartbeat friend. I even stalk follow her on twitter. And you should too. Because she rocks. Enough said.

Now I know it’s been a few weeks since I last participated in my favorite group bake-along but I’m trying to get back into the swing of things in the midst of escrow, decorating and packing for my new house. (Eek!) Honestly I don’t know how people do it. I feel like I’m drowning in escrow papers. I need Scrooge McDuck to teach me to swim. Did my cartoon reference just give away my age? Yes, I’ll confirm that I am indeed 21… ish.

What I learned this week:
I have never bought all-spice and probably never will unless someone tells me that it’s better than my cinnamon, nutmeg, clover substitute.

All Spice Crumb Muffins
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

My hands got down and dirty with the streusel topping. It’s fun to play with food.

I don’t have all-spice so I used a combination of 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 tsp cloves for the recipe. I also substituted half-and-half for the whole milk and used the optional lemon zest. Who doesn’t love lemon zest? That batter smelled so good. Just like Fall.

I may have gone overboard with the streusel topping. Ya think? You can’t blame me. Biting into the muffin with brown sugar chunks on top was SO good.


Husband rating: A
My husband is a fan of muffins. Pumpkin muffins, blueberry muffins and now All-Spice Crumb muffins. He even told me he likes muffins more than cupcakes. *gasp* Don’t worry. He’s sleeping on the couch tonight.

Wifey rating: A-
I like muffins but I’m a cupcake girl so it was missing a little something-something for me. I think it would have been PERFECT with some cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

October 14, 2009 at 12:40 pm 11 comments

TWD #85: Time to “turnover” a new leaf

Oh man! That (title) was cheesy. Even for me. And I like cheese. But cut me some slack. It’s hard work being this cheesy every week. You try it. Then you’ll appreciate me. HA HA!

This week my baking group, Tuesdays With Dorie and our hostess, Julie of Someone’s in the Kitchen, had fun with flour and butter (ALOT OF BUTTER) to bring you some apple turnovers. (You can find the complete recipe on Julie’s blog.)

I knew this was gonna be a good one esp if it’s anything like the Apple Tartlets or Apple Pie-Cake of past. Those are in my husband’s top 5 list. I think he has a thing for apples or maybe it’s the dough with ginormous amounts of butter. Either way them’s some tasty apples.

What I learned this week:
I need a pastry cutter or a bigger food processor. Oh what the heck! I NEED both. Are you reading Santa?

Flaky Apple (and Raspberry) Turnovers
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Sour cream+flour

Since I don’t have a pastry cutter and giving me 2 knives when my left hand is useless (I could foresee bandaids with that method), I got the “brilliant” idea to dump everything in my food processor. But the quotation marks should tell you that something happened right?

Long story short. I reached maximum capacity in my 12 cup food processor and upon pulsing I got a lovely taste of splattered dough all over my shirt and face. Also my blade got stuck in the dough. Good times. Thankfully it balled up nicely after I took the blade out.

The dough balls aren’t very equal. I think the dough ball on the right has dough envy.

Dorie suggested a 4-1/2″ cookie cutter but my biggest one was 3-5/8″ so I improvised with my mini tart pan instead. I love the scalloped edges. Don’t you?

The smell of cinnamon and sugar always reminds me of Thanksgiving. Don’t ask me why. Just does.

When I read Dorie’s playing around section about raspberries I knew I had to add some raspberries with the granny smith apples. The color contrast is so purdy (and tasty!) IMO.


Husband rating: A/A+
He loves these turnovers and I was kinda surprised that he liked the apple-raspberry ones more than the plain apple. He’s not a raspberry person. Go figure!

Wifey rating: A
These weren’t very sweet but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The dough was melt in your mouth buttery and I love the apples and raspberries together. Definitely will make these again with some ice cream on the side next time!

Other rating: A/A+
I made these to share with some friends on Sunday night and they all love them. My friend even called dibs on the leftovers. Another winner from Dorie!

September 15, 2009 at 5:38 pm 17 comments

T(hursdays)WD #84: It’s pronounced soo-flay

“The only thing that will make a soufflé fall is if it knows you are afraid of it.” ~James Beard

Oh man. I’m screwed. James Beard said so.

Being a foodie and watching the food network and Top Chef, I feel like I should know who James Beard is. I’m sure you’ve heard of this chef or that chef getting nominated or winning the James Beard award right? Regardless, it’s a pretty big deal (apparently) to win his self-titled award. At least that’s the impression I get. So if James Beard says that you can’t do souffle with fear you can imagine that added to my apprehension.

Don’t ask me why but I had the distinct feeling that souffles were complicated, temperamental, tedious.. well… you get the picture. Maybe that’s why I put it off until Thursday. My apologies to this week’s hostess with the mostess, Susan of Doughmesstic (you can find the complete recipe on her blog) for procrastinating this week. A souffle might not be a daunting task to a master baker like herself but me… little ol me… was scurred. I wonder if any other Tuesday with Dorie bakers shared my fear.

Anyone… Bueller? Bueller?

Chocolate Souffle
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I used 1/2 bittersweet and 1/2 semi-sweet chocolate. The melted chocolate+sugar doesn’t look to appetizing right now but just wait and see…

Don’t ask me why but I love the picture (R) where I caught it mid-mix and you can see the beautiful bubbles. Point and shoot baby!

Folding egg whites always makes me worry. I’m not a good egg white folder. I tend to doubt myself mid-folding and probably fold more than I should. <~ Yes, I am a neurotic baker.

Aren’t my mini 2oz souffle cups so cute? I am in love with them. I halved the recipe and got 8-2oz souffles. What the heck am I gonna do with 8?? I guess I have no choice but to eat them. There are starving children in China!

IT’S ALIVE! *muhahaha* But dang they deflate fast. I was all ready to pour some caramel sauce on top for an uber fabulous picture but I swear I turned my back for <1minute and it was a flat cake. When Dorie says "serve immediately" she wasn't joking!


Husband rating: A/A+
At first he saw it and said “That’s it? Where’s the frosting, the sauce, the bells and whistles?” but after one bite he was sold. Last count he ate 3 of the mini souffles. HA HA

Wifey rating: A+
Sinful. I wasn’t sure I’d be a souffle person but I’m definitely a souffle person. Only takes one bite and you’ll never go back.

September 9, 2009 at 7:46 pm 13 comments

TWD #83: Orange you glad you stopped by?

Forgive my corny attempt at a foodie joke.

You probably won’t even get it until you scroll down. Actually you’re probably totally confused since this week the Tuesday with Dorie bakers are whisking up some ESPRESSO Cheesecake Brownies chosen by Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell (you can find the complete recipe on her blog).

So you’re probably asking yourself what “orange” has to do with anything right?

Go ahead scroll down. Keep scrolling. I’ll wait…

Get my joke now? See! It’s not that corny. Ok maybe it’s still corny. Gimme a break. I haven’t had my kit kat bar today. I’m on a roll! Wheeeeee!

I promise I’m not drunk. Hey! Why are you giving me that look? I think I start telling lame jokes when I have blogger’s block. But honestly this recipe doesn’t need much hype from me. I knew even before I made it that they would be delicious. I mean. It’s brownies AND cheesecake. What’s not to love? That’s why I doubled the recipe. I have good instincts about desserts. Don’t mess with me.

What I learned this week:
I use to be a straight-by-the-recipe kind of baker but I had so much fun with this recipe coming up with a slightly different flavor for a dessert that fit my tastes. I admit it kinda sucks when you try things and they fail but when it turns out even better than you thought… it’s worth playing around!

Espresso Orange Cheesecake Brownies
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

To make brownie:

I used 1/2 semi-sweet and 1/2 bittersweet chocolate instead of all bittersweet.

To make orange cheesecake:

I may have overfilled the tsp and use more vanilla than recipe called for but you have no proof. *looking innocent*

The original recipe is suppose to be espresso cheesecake but I’m not a big coffee person (much to the dismay of my husband aka Mr. Vente Starbucks Mocha no whip) so I decided to leave out the espresso and sub zest of 1 orange, juice of one orange and 1/2 tsp orange extract to make an Orange Cheesecake instead! I love chocolate+orange flavors!

To assemble:

I love the layers!

I doubled the recipe and baked in a 13×9 glass pyrex for about 45 minutes. The center wasn’t completely done so I probably could have gone for 50 minutes but I was worried the brownie layer would overbake. I’ll take slightly underbaked cheesecake vs overbaked brownies. Ya feel me?

I skipped the sour cream topping, cut them up, saran wrapped and froze these bad boys!


Husband rating: B+ (for the cheesecake) / A- (for the brownie)
He liked the the brownie layer but it wasn’t his favorite brownie recipe b/c he tends to like his brownies more gooey vs cakey. Sadly I could tell he wasn’t a fan of the orange cheesecake since he’s a cheesecake purist. He’s LOVES the basic cheesecake recipe though.

Wifey rating: A (for the cheesecake) / B (for brownie)
I thought the orange cheesecake was SO yummy but I ditto hubs about the brownie. It had a cakey less gooey and chewy texture. I prefer gooey and chewy.

Other rating: A/A+
I made the cheesecake brownies for Hubs’ work meeting today. I’ll let you know what they say tomorrow! Hubs reports that there were RAVES all around! Many requested the recipe. Some mentioned that they thought Hubs had bought them at the store since they were pre-cut, wrapped and delicious! What a great compliment!

Next week: Chocolate Souffle page 406

September 1, 2009 at 1:13 am 18 comments

TWD #82: Pie me to the moon.

I have no idea how I came up with the title. I think I just heard my husband sing a rendition of Frank Sinatra’s Fly Me To The Moon while writing this post and since “pie” and “fly” rhyme… well… there you go. Just a little insight into my brain. Scary isn’t it? HA HA!

This week the Tuesdays with Dorie bakers are baking up some lime meringue pie courtesy of Linda of Tender Crumb. You can find the complete recipe on her blog. Not only is this one cool chick, she has a fabulous blog and she’s a UCLA fan-atic like me! (Linda, I’m doing the 8-clap for this pie! hehe)

What I learned this week:
This pie took about 8 hours (I’m not exaggerating!) to make (1 hour to make lime cream, graham crust and meringue, 4 hours to chill lime cream and 3 hours to chill assembled pie) but it was TOTALLY worth it. I never would have made this pie without my fellow TWD bakers. I’ve learned so much since joining this group. I feel like this pie was a testament to how much I’ve grown. Let me just tell ya… learning is tasty!

Creamiest Lime Cream Meringue Pie
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Look at all that beautiful green lime zest!

Cornstarch is magical (R)

Dorie mentioned that it takes about 10 minutes to get the lime cream to 180F but I did the supercharge method and it took about 4 minutes. I think the metal bowl helps to speed up the process too. The cream is so luscious. Don’t skip the straining part. It’s worth it.

Just ignore all the glorious butter you see in the blender. It doesn’t count. Promise.

Dorie gave us the option of a pie crust or a graham cracker crust. I chose the graham cracker crust for the easy factor but honestly I think the graham cracker was the PERFECT compliment to the sweet meringue and the sour lime cream.

Isn’t my egg white separator the cutest?

Lovely delicious stiff meringue.

I gotta admit that my favorite part of the whole pie was busting out my blowtorch and setting the meringue on fire. Ok that might be a tad overdramatic. HA HA!

Husband rating: A+
He wasn’t sure about lime in a pie but after one bite he was hooked!

Wifey rating: A+
Before this pie I thought I was a lemon girl but WOWOW this lime meringue pie is so FRIGGIN good. I’m a lime convert.

Other rating: A+
I made the pie for our Sunday family dinner and everyone raved. My MIL said that I have to bring this pie to Thanksgiving this year. Looks like the pumpkin cheesecake got replaced!

Next week: Espresso Cheesecake Brownies pages 104-105

August 25, 2009 at 1:28 am 24 comments

TWD #81: Cute as a button.

Thanks Jayma of Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen (You can find the complete recipe on her blog) for this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie chocolate-y double orange (I accidentally-on-purpose used 2x the zest!) brownie goodness topped with melted white chocolate in a bite size button!

August 11, 2009 at 7:54 pm 15 comments

[Reserved for TWD Brownie Buttons]

Umm… I didn’t do it (yet) but come back before 11:59pm PST mkay?

August 11, 2009 at 1:22 am 2 comments

TWD # 80: Kiss my bundt… err… muffin.

I can’t believe it’s been a month since I’ve posted a Tuesdays With Dorie recipe. July was a crazy month for me so I took a little TWD hiatus but now I’m back and with my habitual professional procrastination form by posting with 2 hours til deadline. Kids, I’m a professional. Don’t try this at home.

Truth be told I wasn’t that excited to make the Classic Banana Bundt Cake (Sorry Mary!) b/c I’m not a banana fan girl. Far from it. I gag just thinking about eating a banana. It’s a texture thing for me. It probably doesn’t help that my earliest memory of eating a banana was vomiting it back up. My mom thought a banana would be good to eat when I was sick. Just trust me when I tell you that banana flavored vomit isn’t a good thing.

I’m so losing my readers with the vomit talk right?

Anyways… moving right along.

Seeing as our host this week is the fabulous Mary of The Food Librarian, I couldn’t skip this one. (You can find the original bundt recipe on her blog. I posted my muffin version below.)

She’s what I like to call “one of the cool peeps”. Am I surprised that Mary picked a bundt cake? I can emphatically tell you “no”. In fact I would have been surprised if she hadn’t picked a bundt cake! Just peruse her blog for a little while and you’ll know why. The woman likes loves bundts. Not to be confused with butts. Then again I don’t know Mary *that* well. She could be a butt woman. Maybe if we ask nicely, she’ll confess in comments. *giggle*

What I learned this week:
Twitter rocks. But I knew that before this week. I got some great banana and sour cream substitute suggestions in like 5 secs. Aaawww the power of Twitter. Ultimately I went with pumpkin and chocolate chips after doing a pantry raid. I don’t know why it always surprises me when I find things at the back of my pantry. I should clean it out more often.

Banana Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake, The Muffin Version
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

Makes about 12-14 muffins


1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup) (I substituted with 3/4 cup canned pumpkin)
1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt (I substituted 1/2 cup buttermilk+2-1/2 tbsp butter)
3 ounces chopped chocolate, optional (I used milk chocolate chips)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line cupcake/muffin pan with liners.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.

Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a flat beater (or with a hand mixer in a large bowl), beat the butter (1 stick+2-1/2 tbsp) until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the egg, beating for about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas canned pumpkin. Then mix in half the dry ingredients (don’t worry if the batter curdles), all the sour cream buttermilk and then the rest of the flour mixture. Turn off the mixer and hand mix the chocolate chips.

Fill liners about 2/3-3/4 full. Bake the muffins for about 28 to 32 minutes (I baked mine for 30 minutes), or until a knife inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer the muffin tin to a rack and cool to room temperature.


Husband rating: A
I think he was a little disappointed that I didn’t use bananas (Poor boy is so banana deprived!) b/c he loves bananas but he still raved about the pumpkin chocolate chip muffins nonetheless.

Wifey rating: A
I confess I’m a batter licker. Let me just tell you that this batter is FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC. The muffins were yummy esp with the chocolate chips! Definitely will make them again.

Next week: Brownie Buttons pages 106-107

August 4, 2009 at 8:37 pm 23 comments

TWD #79: Practically Perfect Party Cake in every way

In my head I can hear Mary Poppins singing her “practically perfect in every way” song. That’s how I feel about this cake.

Even though I’ve made this cake before with the Daring Bakers more than a year ago (Wowsers, where does the time go?), I didn’t think twice about making it again. I love the lemon cake, berry preserve filling and swiss meringue buttercream frosting. (You are totally drooling right?) I was thinking this time around I’d change it up by making cupcakes but while searching for my cupcake pan… I found my Wilton Giant Cupcake pan and knew this would be the perfect recipe to christen my pan.

Thanks to Carol of Mix Mix Stir Stir for hosting this week. You can find the complete recipe on her blog or my cupcake blog. Also check out the TWD Baker Blogroll to see how everyone else did on their Perfect Party Cake. You are bound to be amazed!

BTW Tuesdays with Dorie has BIG news! We have a new logo:

Congratulations to Lisa of Surviving Oz for designing the winning logo! She gets to pick next week’s recipe as her prize. I think it’s quite clever with the eiffel tower as an “i” in Dorie, don’t you? But I have to admit I am kinda partial to the old logo so I’ll probably switch off between the two depending on my mood.

What I learned this week:
What’s better than a cupcake? A GIANT CUPCAKE!

Perfect Party [Cup]Cake
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

There’s nothing like rubbing sugar and lemon zest between your fingertips. I love the way it makes my hands smell. Am I weird?

To make cake: Combine with butter, flour mixture and milk+egg white mixture.

The perfect party cake batter filled the cupcake pan pretty well. It didn’t rise as much as other batters which actually worked out better IMO. Since I read various reviews that the “bottom” baked slower than the “top”, I filled the bottom part about 2/3 full and baked for 15 minutes, then filled the top about 2/3 full and bake both batters for another 30 minutes.

To make buttercream: Combine egg whites and sugar over a pan of simmering water until sugar is dissolved.

Whip with a whisk attachment until looks like a shiny marshmallow creme. Add softened butter a little at a time. Dorie says to switch to flat beater before adding butter but I just used my whisk and it worked great.

Don’t be scurred if your frosting starts to look curdled. IT’S A GOOD THING! Just keep beating and beating and beating until your frosting comes together smooth and silky. It’s like magic!

To assemble cake: Use serrated knife and cut off tops of “bottom” and “top” of cupcake so they are level. Cut the “bottom” into 4 pieces.

Using a Wilton 12A round tip, pipe a barrier and fill with strawberry preserves. Then top with a layer of buttercream. Repeat for other 3 layers.

Using an offset spatula create a crumb coat.

Let crumb coat set and then apply a second layer. Immediately after the second layer I pressed coconut all over. Then gently put the “top” on the “bottom”. I used Ateco fuschia gel coloring to tint the rest of the buttercream pink. Using an offset spatula I applied a thin coat of buttercream to the “top”.

Then I switched to a Wilton 1M piping tip and made rosettes following the natural curve of the “top”. For a little bling I added white dragees randomly all over and topped with a strawberry.


Husband rating: A+
He’s a red velvet man but I’d say that the Perfect Party Cake is a close second. He loves the meringue buttercream (but not as much as cream cheese frosting).

Wifey rating: A+
It’s not “perfect” for nothing. Love this cake. So moist and yummy esp with the preserves. I’m a big SMBC lover too!

Other rating: A+
I made this cake for a bbq. Friends raved about the cupcake cuteness factor and loved the flavors of the cake. Definitely a hit. I wish I could have gotten a picture of my godson’s face when he saw the “Giant Cupcake”. Priceless.

Next week: Tribute to Katherine Hepburn Brownies, pages 96-97

June 30, 2009 at 1:54 am 28 comments

TWD #69: Honey, I made Peach Ice Cream!

On Sunday, my little brother came over and watched the Lakers vs Magic’s last game with me and the Hubs. He specifically requested that I cook dinner instead of ordering pizza (I think he’s anticipating eating alot of pizza in his upcoming college dorm days) and I decided that honey-peach ice cream would be a yummy refreshing dessert to make with our meal. There’s nothing like yelling at the TV with ice cream dribbling down your chin. Ah good times. See LA? You don’t have to riot and set cars on fire to celebrate! Come on now. Cuckoo. Cuckoo.

Special thanks to this week’s hostess, Tommi of Brown Interior for choosing this recipe. (You can find the full recipe on her blog.) I can honestly say that it’s in my Top 5 and I am not sure I would have made it without her choosing it for all us, Tuesdays With Dorie bakers. Now I am not one to do things the easy way so I made sugar cookie ice cream sandwiches per Dorie’s playing around suggestions. You can find the sugar cookie recipe here. Can you say sugar cookie ice cream sandwich crack? I promise you’ll get addicted after one bite.

What I learned this week:
I wasn’t sure I’d be a big fan of a fruit based ice cream. I usually go for the vanilla, chocolate, caramel ice cream combos but all I can say is… don’t knock the fruit until you try it!

Honey-Peach Ice Cream [Sandwiches]
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

My bandaged finger tips weren’t happy after peeling and pitting peaches. (Say that 10x fast!) Next time I will take the advice of Nancy and do the “blanch in boiling water+shock in ice water” method instead.

I am not a chunky ice cream fan so I pureed all the peaches and honey instead of saving half peaches to add later.

I mixed in my KAM ice cream attachment for about 20 minutes. It’s still soft serve consistency after you take out of KAM but after freezing for 4+ hours, it became firmer.


Husband rating: A+
He’s a chocolate and peanut butter ice cream eater but he had multiple bowls of this ice cream and mentioned that chocolate-peanut butter has some competition now. Huzzah!

Wifey rating: A+
My husband loves ice cream. Me? I’m a cake girl. I’ll choose Funfetti over Coldstone any day. With one exception. Dorie Greenspan’s Honey Peach Ice Cream. It’s THAT good. I wanted to add some peach schnapps but Hubs vetoed that idea. He’s not a lush like me but next time I’m gonna add 1-2 tsp and not tell him. I know. I’m evil.

Other rating: A+
I think my little brother had reservations about the peach-honey combination but after one bite of the ice cream sandwich, he was smitten and raved. Seconds and thirds immediately followed. *fist pump*

Next week: Coconut-Roasted Pineapple Dacquoise pages 293-295

June 16, 2009 at 1:56 am 28 comments

TWD #68: As French as Apple Tartlet

Doesn’t quite have the same ring to it like… “As American As Apple Pie” huh?

Well I tried. These days witty subject lines aren’t coming as quickly. I think my brain has officially decided that summer is here. Are there any readers out there experiencing the dreaded “blogger’s block” like me? I swear it’s taking me hours, days, weeks to finish one blog post. I feel like I can’t find the right words to get me started or I start and then get sidetracked.

Ooohh a rainbow.

{Five hours later.}

See what I mean?

Funny thing is, maybe the problem isn’t all blogger’s block. I’ve also got a case of the “I-don’t-wanna-bake” right now too. Thankfully I follow some awesome Tuesdays With Dorie bakers via Twitter and their tweets motivate me to get my bum into the kitchen and bake! Isn’t that why I joined this group? To challenge myself and bake things that I wouldn’t have chosen myself? HELL.YEAH.IT.IS! Speaking of twitter. There’s something truly awesome about a fellow baker chastising you in <140 characters. Case in point. Bridget of The Way The Cookie Crumbles broke it down for me.

Dang! She told me huh? (Nothing but love for you Bridget!)

Thanks to our hostess this week, Jessica of My Baking Heart. (You can find the complete recipe on her blog.) I almost didn’t make this one but I am SO glad I did. Seriously. Awesome pick. Minimal prep time but maximum deliciousness. What more could you ask for? Maybe with ice cream. Mmmm…

What I learned this week:
I love brown sugar. More than white sugar… and yes. My husband knows. HA!

Parisian Apple Tartlet
Recipe from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I used Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry and mini granny apples instead of Fuji like Dorie’s recipe suggested.

I may or may not have used more than 1-2 tsp of brown sugar. But you’ll never get me to confess! I baked my tartlets for about 30 minutes.


Husband rating: A+
He loves anything reminiscent of apple pie but I think he got won over by the puff pastry and raved the whole time. Definitely on his top 5 list.

Wifey rating: A+
I served mine drizzled with caramel ice cream topping and vanilla bean ice cream. HOLY YUM BATMAN! I will definitely be keeping this recipe as a quick elegant dessert for next dinner party. Maybe I should send the idea to the Red Team from Food Network Star. Did anyone else watch that hideous angel food cake jam contraption that they served the to judges+esteemed FN guests? For shame.

Next week: Honey-Peach Ice Cream page 437

June 9, 2009 at 1:11 am 27 comments

TWD #66: Cooknie or Brownkie?

Um. I cheated.

I’ll just get that off my chest right now.

Ok here goes. *deep breath*

I only made the brownie part of the recipe and used frozen cookie dough from my freezer for the “chipster” part.

I know. I know. I’m a bad person. {hangs head in shame}

Does it help if I pinky-swear-promise that the next time I bake these (b/c there WILL be a next time) I’ll bake the cookie part too?

The thing is. I couldn’t bail on this week b/c my good friend, Beth of Supplicious is this week’s Tuesdays With Dorie hostess with the mostess. You can find the complete recipe on her blog. I’ve met her in real life and she’s just as sweet as she comes across from her blog. Me and Beth go way back. What’s it been, Beth? Like 2-3 years now? Remember when we were clueless brides. And now we’re equally clueless wives? HA! Wow. Time flies when you’re having fun…

What I learned this week:
I want need another KA mixer bowl. If I had another bowl I couldn’t use dirty dishes as an excuse to take shortcuts on multiple recipe desserts. (That’s almost believeable, eh? Do you think that would work on my husband?)

Chipster Topped Brownie [Cups]
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I used bittersweet and semisweet chocolate instead.

I halved the brownie recipe, weighed each frozen cookie dough about 0.5oz and got about 12 chipster cups. Baked for about 20 minutes.

When they first came out of the oven they looked so cute, like a cookie topped brownie, but as they cooled they kinda sunk. Boo!


Husband rating: A+
Nothing but raves for every bite! But he did suggest the next time I make them to substitute peanut butter chips for the chocolate chips in the cookie part.

Wifey rating: A+
Cookie good. Brownie great. Chipster AH-MAZING! I’m thinking butterscotch chips next time. Yum!

Next week: Cinnamon Squares pages 210-211

May 26, 2009 at 7:30 pm 19 comments

TWD #64: Not to be confused with a Pop Tart

I use to love Pop Tarts when I was a little girl.

Looking back at it now I have a feeling it wasn’t the most balanced breakfast. Pastry dough, filled with chemically enhanced fruit jam filling and frosting that didn’t quite go to the edge of the rectangle. Might come with or without sprinkles. (But really who buys it sans sprinkles?)

I remember my mom use to cut off the edges that didn’t have frosting and eat those parts for me since I wouldn’t eat any bite that didn’t have frosting on it. Maybe that’s where my frosting neurosis comes from when I eat cake and cupcakes now, eh?

Isn’t it crazy how word association can bring up random memories? I’m suppose to be talking about a different type of tart but here I am reminiscing about Pop Tarts. Alright. Let’s get back on track.

This week’s Tuesday with Dorie bakers’ assignment was a tart. Not just any tart. The Tartest Lemon Tart chosen by Babette of Babette Feasts. You can find the full recipe on her blog. I decided to half the sweet tart dough recipe and make 4 mini tarts. I am a sucker for mini desserts. Who wouldn’t be?

What I learned this week:
You *can* eat the whole lemon (minus seeds). I know that sounds like a strange proclamation but I honestly didn’t realize my bias until I made this tart.

[Creme Bruleed] Tartest Lemon Tart
Recipe adapted from Baking: From My Home To Yours, Dorie Greenspan

I read the recipe more than once to make sure I wasn’t suppose to juice or zest or peel the lemon. I was skeptical but trusted Dorie so I cut the lemon up and threw everything (minus seeds) in the food processor and crossed my fingers.

Add 1 egg+2 yolks and cornstarch

… heavy cream and melted butter. (Can you feel your arteries clogging?) Pureed until smooth.

See all the bubbles? I scared the beejesus out of my husband when I rapped the pitcher against the counter per Dorie’s instructions to get rid of the bubbles. Over and over again. Ooops. Next time I have to give warning.

I may have filled it a little too much b/c it bubbled over the side a bit. Oh well… I call it rustic. HA! I baked my mini tarts for about 25 minutes.

I decided to use the sweet tart dough minus the nuts b/c I had some dough in my freezer already. High five for lazy baking! I also skipped out on the creme fraiche b/c I didn’t want anything to interfere with lemon flavor. But of course when Dorie mentioned in her “Playing Around” section to add some sugar and brulee, I knew I’d be doing that too!


Husband rating: A-
He liked it. Not his favorite but he ate his mini tart with no complaints. Ok maybe one. It was a little “too” tart for him.

Wifey rating: A
I love lemon anything. It was tart but I still loved it esp with the burned sugar on top! YUM!

Other rating: A
I brought the mini tarts over to my Mom’s house for Mother’s Day. I think I get my lemon love from her b/c she totally loved the tart too. My little brother also shared his raves as well.

Next week: Fresh Mango Bread page 45

May 12, 2009 at 5:56 am 32 comments

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