Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake

IMG_3257Ingredients: 

CAKE:

– 1 (15.25 ounce) box chocolate Devil’s Food Cake mix

– 1 box (appx. 6 ounces) of Jello brand instant chocolate pudding mix

– 4 eggs

– 1 cup vegetable oil

– 1/2 cup room temperature water

– 1 bag (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips (I prefer to use mini morsels, though anything will work)

– 1 cup sour cream (I like to use Daisy brand)

– 9 inch Bundt pan

– baking spray

GANACHE:

– 1 cup (8 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

– 3/4 cup (6 ounces) boiling heavy whipping cream

– 3 tablespoons sweet cream butter, melted

– 1 tablespoon powdered/confectioners sugar for dusting

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven 350′. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix eggs, oil, and water. Add pudding mix, then cake mix. Mix until smooth. Little by little, spoon in sour cream while mixer is on. Add chocolate chips.

2. Grease Bundt pan with baking spray, or as I was using this time, organic Olive Oil spray from Trader Joe’s (works really well). Pour batter into greased pan. The bowl will be heavy, so I asked someone to hold the bowl while I poured the batter in. Make sure to evenly spread the batter around the pan.

3. Bake 50-55 minutes in the oven until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cake cool thoroughly before inverting onto a flat surface. I choose to level my cake the slightest bit (optional).

4. Make the ganache; Boil heavy cream and melt butter. This can be done over the stove or quickly in the microwave as I did. Add 1 cup semisweet chocolate to bowl and mix slowly until ganache forms and is smooth and creamy.

5. Transfer cake to a serving plate (I used a cake table turner). Slowly pour ganache over the top and sides of the cake. I used a squeezy-candy bottle for this step. Sift powdered sugar over the ganache as garnish. Serve while warm with vanilla ice cream (optional). Plastic ceram wrap will keep the cake good and moist for up to 8 days. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Nutella Croissants

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Ingredients:

  • Pillsbury Croissant Cresent dough, any flavor (I prefer using honey butter or butter flaky, they have many choices)
  • 1 jar of Nutella
  • 1 egg
  • wax/parchment paper
  • baking sheet

Directions:

1. Tear out 2 pieces of wax/parchment paper. Use one to line the baking sheet. Set the other on the counter somewhere near or in front of you.

2. Open the Pillsbury dough. It can be kind of tricky, here’s how to break the seal: Find the little gray square at the top of the can that says “open”. Peel back the paper until there is no more paper. Now, you can do one of two things. 1) You can use both of your hands and push in the seal until it pops, or 2), you can use a spoon and push on the edge of the seal. Either way works to open it. Once you have opened it, roll the dough out on your paper. You will see 8 triangles; separate them.

3. When you have separated all the triangles, lay them as in the shape of a right triangle facing towards you. Add about 1 teaspoon of Nutella to the base of the triangle, then slowly roll the triangle. Pinch and twist the ends of the croissant to make sure no Nutella falls out. Warning: Don’t add too much Nutella!! It’s hard to resist, but if you do, it will all come spilling out and you’ll have a mushy, no-good croissant. Transfer each croissant to the baking sheet.

4. Mix the egg in a bowl thoroughly. Using a spoon, baster, or brush, apply the egg to the top of each croissant. This is called Ann egg wash, where you cover the top of a food item in egg.

5. Bake the croissants according to the can of Pillsbury dough; in the oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, though I usually cook mine for 14. When they’re done cooking, let them cool for up to 6 minutes. Enjoy them warm!!

Turtle Themed Cake!!

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So, this cake goes without saying that, for me, yes, it was a bit challenging. Do I like the way it turned out? Totally! Was it worth my while? Yes!! Do I think you can do it? Of course! Be careful following these instructions and you should definitely have a beautiful cake. I’m trying something new out on my website, things like this, focusing more on a blog type of thing, and centering it around baking more than cooking. The reason behind this is simply because I found that I enjoy baking way more than cooking and that I’m a lot better at it. So again, I’m trying this out, let me know in the comments section how you like it. Also, don’t forget that I’m open to suggestions, requests, answering questions, etc. Don’t forget to share this with others! Let’s start caking this thing, shall we?

Here the list of ingredients you will need:

Ingredients:

– one cake, any flavor, baked in a dome shaped baking pan, along with 5 cupcakes (for the head and feet/legs)

– vanilla frosting that has been tinted green (I’m not sure the exact amount. I didn’t use as much as it looks like I did, but you will need a good amount prepared. I got all of my supplies from my local cake store, it’s called “The Cakewalk”, so check to see if there’s one nearby you, this place is great for literally any of your cake needs).

– a piping bag with a round tip inserted to the end

– OPTIONAL, but some fondant for a bow (can be colored but it doesn’t have to be, I used some pink leftovers from the last time I used it, although if your making this for a boy’s birthday party or something you probably don’t want to add a bow).

– dark green fondant, for the shell

– a knife (I used a bread knife, but you can use a steak knife if you wanted to; to round off the cupcakes)

– the smallest amount of vanilla frosting, tinted black, for the eyes

– a cake leveler is optional, but it’s extremely helpful for one of these steps

Okay, so here goes nothing for instructions!!

1. Bake your cake (should be in a dome shaped pan) and cupcakes and let them cool. Remove the liners from your cupcakes if you baked them using some liners.

2. Using a cake leveler, level off the top of the dome cake where it rose in the oven so it lays flat on your surface or cake board. My cake leveler is from Wilton; actually, pretty much all of my cake tools are from the brand Wilton, and they are amazing. If you don’t have a cake leveler, use a serated knife to level off the top. Adhere the cake to your surface with a dollop of frosting. This way, it doesn’t move around or slip when you’re decorating.

3. For now, place the five cupcakes on any plate and put them in the refrigerator to chill, then, ignore them– you don’t need them yet. Frost your dome cake with your green frosting. Smooth it out as much as possible. I normally would use my cake scraper for the sides, however, this is a dome, so it won’t do  you much good.

4. NOW you need the cupcakes. Take them out of the refrigerator, and, one by one, start rounding the edges. Do this by using the knife and slowly cutting off the edges or flat spaces. But don’t cut too much! You still need it to frost, and you don’t want it too small. Do this to all five. Don’t worry too much about this, though, or if you mess up! You can always patch up an area with some frosting, as I had to do, and it worked out fine. I suggest having a few extra cupcakes on hand just in case something really goes wrong.

5. Once you have five rounded cupcakes, frost them, too, with the green frosting. To start forming the body, attach them to the dome by gently pressing them against the dome cake. Two cupcakes should be on the right and left sides of the dome, and one should be in the front for the head. Refer to the image of the cake above to see what I mean.

6. Once this is done, set the entire thing in the refrigerator to chill and slightly harden. While that’s happening, roll out the fondant, the one that I told you needs to be tinted dark green, or at least darker than your frosting. Using a knife, or even a pizza roller, which is what I did, start cutting out shapes that will make the shell. Cut out 6 pieces shaped like a trapezoid, with the exception of one hexagonal shape for the center (a hexagon has six equal-length sides). It should be 1/4 inch thick.  This part is probably tricky for you to understand, but it’s also hard for me to explain, so just bare with me, here. Now, you need to place the hexagon shaped fondant piece in the center of the dome. Once you do that, assemble the trapezoids’ around it (there are six trapezoids’ for a six- sided hexagon, get it? Refer to the picture of the completed version to see what I mean if you need more help visually). If you’re doing this right, it should start to look more like a turtle now.

7. At this stage, what I did is tint some of my green frosting even darker and place it in the piping bag fitted with a round piping tip. I carefully piped a small, plain border around the fondant shapes that create the shell. This is totally optional, but I did it for a cleaner look. Even if you don’t do this the the outside of the shell, it’s a good idea to do this to the outside of the feet. I did, as you can see, and it does, again, provide a neater, cleaner look.

8. Time to decorate the head!! Now, you need to add eyes to the head. I just took out the smallest portion of white frosting before I tinted it green, and tinted it black instead. Pipe two eyes with a round piping tip onto the face, or alternately, use a toothpick, dip the end into the black frosting, and then make two little dots on the face to make the eyes. Again, refer to the image of the completed cake at the top of the page to see what I mean if you don’t understand.  I actually just used my dark green frosting for the eyes, which you can do, too. At this time, you can create a miniature now to add to the head of you wanted to. If you do, just place it on top of the head. It’s an awesome touch to an already amazing looking cake!

9. To the back of the cake, at where it would be the turtle’s rare-end, I piped a small little tail with the regular green frosting. Though you can’t see it in the picture, this step is pretty straight forward– it’s just adding a tail, because if you notice, most turtles have one.

10. Congratulations!!! You have finished the turtle cake!! I’m congratulating myself as well, because these instructions were actually hard to type. Putting my actions into words aren’t always easy, but hopefully I managed to make it easy for you.

So hopefully you were able to follow along and you enjoyed these step by step instructions. And don’t forget to let me know what you think about this whole “blogging thing”. I’m also actually thinking of creating a photo gallery for you guys to look at, because a lot of the time, I make themed cakes like this one and don’t post about it since this tutorial thing is all new. You’d be able to see what I make and for me, hopefully more people will just enjoy what I make and ask for more.

The measurements aren’t exact or anything, but I didn’t really use exact measurements for this. This is just to teach you how to decorate the cake, which has nothing to do about the ingredients for the actual bread part of the cake itself, so it doesn’t matter as much I guess, but let me know if it will be helpful to have the measurements and next time I will put them too.

After all of this writing, I just have one thing left to say, which is just to enjoy your cake and be proud of what you made!!

 

 

 

Red Velvet Cupcakes

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Ingredients:

-1/4-1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

– 1  1/3 cup all purpose flour

– 1  1/2 cup granulated white sugar

– 1 teaspoon baking powder

– 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

– 2 eggs

– 2-3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil

– 1/4 teaspoon salt

– 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

– 1  1/2 – 2 tablespoons red food dye

– red sprinkles or chocolate sprinkles (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350′. Line a cupcake tin with liners. Lightly douse the lines with baking spray, just to make sure they don’t stick.

2. In a mixing bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder. Mix until well combined.

3. Add wet ingredients to the dry: eggs, vanilla extract, oil, milk/buttermilk, and red food dye. Mix until everything is well combined. I always use my electronic mixer (KitchenAid), but you can do this just as well by hand.

TIP: Add more a bit more red food dye than you want, these tend to bake darker than what you might be going for.

5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full with batter. Bake in the oven at 350′ for 20-22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.

6. Frost with my vanilla cream cheese based frosting or with one of your own. Top with red colored or chocolate sprinkles (optional). Enjoy!!

Birthday Cake Batter Popcorn

imageNOTE: This recipe tastes great and is totally amazing, however, 1 bag of popcorn makes A LOT of this recipe, so unless you are with other people, don’t plan on finishing this rich treat in one sitting. Also, don’t forget to remove the popcorn kernels from the bowl before adding the condiments! With that said, enjoy!!

Ingredients:

– 1 bag of microwaveable or premade popcorn (I used kettle corn, but you can also use regular buttered or caramel)

– white chocolate melting wafers (can be bought at a local grocery store if using the Ghiradelhi brand or local craft store, regular white chocolate works well too)

– 1/2  cup of vanilla cake mix (Use the Funfetti brand to make it colorful!!)

– any color of sprinkles, I used rainbow

 

Directions:

1) Make the popcorn in a microwave (or use premade popcorn, any kind works). Add it to a large mixing bowl. Don’t forget to remove any unpopped kernels so you don’t bite into them!!

2) Melt the white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl until it’s thoroughly melted, and when it is, pour it directly on top of the popcorn. Mix until evenly coated.

3) Add the half cup of cake mix and, again, mix until evenly coated. At this time you can sprinkles.

4) Let it sit to harden slighty. Don’t let it stick to the bowl, and to avoid this, what I did is place it in another bowl, preferably plastic (you can also use a Ziploc bag) to assure minimum sticking.

5) Eat and enjoy!!

 

The Sweetest Chocolate Frosting II

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Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered/confectioners  sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions:

1) In a stand mixer, cream butter until light and fluffy.

2) When butter is creamed, add powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Mix until you get something that looks like chocolate crumbs.

3) When you reach that consistency, add the milk and vanilla. Beat until well combined. I usually make two batches of this recipe for my cake, but it’s totally up to you. This works very good for piping borders and decorations as well. Frost, and enjoy!

Frosting Hacks and Tips

Frosting is the ultimate part of a cake; it’s used for decorating, taste, and lots of other things. Well, sometimes, though it is amazing, you may have problems with it– getting the right consistency, more cake than frosting can cover, problems with changing the color, etc. But, problem solved! Here are some tips and hacks on frosting that may be helpful to you.

  1. More cake than frosting will cover:  This is a general problem some people have. I, personally, do not like canned frosting, but I don’t know about you. The flavor isn’t what I’m usually looking for and the consistency isn’t all that great. However, if you do use canned frosting and run into the problem of too much cake than your can of frosting will cover, don’t worry, just whip it. Canned frosting tends to be extremely thick, making it too heavy to hold shape for piping or decorating. But, if you whip it on medium speed in an electric mixer for a few minutes (I use my Kitchen Aid), add about a little less than 1/4 cup confectioners sugar to it, it alters the consistency, making it more spreadable and, a bonus, making it sweeter! That’s helpful if you use canned chocolate frosting– my biggest “no-no” 🙂 .
  2. Consistency: Frosting can change consistency very easily, but that can also be very easily changed. One way is to whip back to normal; Do this if you let it stand for a while, but it melted instead. Or, if it just doesn’t hold shape like you want it too, add about an extra tablespoon or two of room temperature butter, because that will easily change it’s texture and consistency. *TipIf you have a window by where you cook/bake and it is hot outside, turn down the blinds and don’t put your frosting near it, otherwise the heat might melt it or ruin other things you may have going on, as well as just make it hot inside the room/kitchen.
  3. Food dye:  Food dye is always tricky. If its the liquid type, it can change the consistency or not be the color you want it too. But don’t worry; like I said above, if the consistency changes, add about 1-2 more tablespoons room temperature butter, nothing more than that. Also, if your food dye makes your frosting darker than you want it too, just add a little more powdered sugar/milk and whip it in there; just make sure to equalize everything and to add it in equal portions. Then, your problem should be solved.

Hopefully these tips/hacks helped you and some problems you may have had with your frosting. Best of luck to you all!

Savory Sweet Doughnut Holes

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Ingredients:

Doughnut:

  • 1/3 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon extract (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • vegie or olive oil for frying

Glaze: (optional)

  • 2-5 teaspoons milk
  • 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • a bit less than 1/4 cup milk

Toppings: (optional)

  • cinnamon
  • powdered sugar
  • glaze
  • Can be served with fruit on side

Directions:

  1.  Pour about 1 inch of oil into a skillet (or you can use a frying pan). Be careful not to have the oil heated up too high or it might splatter. I have a splatter sheet that I like to use just in case. 🙂
  2. Make the dough: Combine sugar, flour, spices, baking powder, milk, extract, and egg in a bowl, or much easier, mix together in an electric mixer.
  3. Flour a surface, rolling pin, and your hands. Roll out the dough until it reaches about a 1/4 inch thickness. With a small round cookie cutter (if you don’t have one, you can use a shot glass or the edges of a tablespoon measurer) cut out the dough and roll it into a  ball in your hands. You want a somewhat small ball, because it grows bigger while it fries in the oil.
  4. Line a bowl with a few paper towels. Begin to fry your dough. I put about 4-5 balls of dough in the skillet to fry at a time. Cook them for about 2-3 minutes each, or until they turn a light golden color. Make sure to flip them so both sides can cook evenly. You can even make them look like the ones in the shop by pressing a ball of dough flat, and inserting your finger in the middle of it to create a hole!
  5. Make the glaze: The glaze is totally optional, but I prefer to coat my doughnuts in the glaze for an even sweeter taste, but the choice is up to you. In a small bowl, mix the milk, powdered sugar, and cinnamon (optional) together. Once all of your doughnuts have been fried, remove the paper towels and pour the glaze on top of them. Mix them together with a spoon to evenly coat each doughnut.
  6. You’re done! Serve warm with fruit as a side. Enjoy!

Amazing Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (or replace with flavoring of your choice) extract
  • 3 ounces cream cheese
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Add in powdered sugar slowly and carefully. I put mine in through sections. Mix together on a low level.
  3. Add in vanilla extract or flavoring and milk.
  4. Now is the time to add in food coloring if you choose.
  5. The most important part comes now: to taste it. 🙂 I’m not fond of cream cheese, so, if you’re like me, who found it a bit overpowering, add in more butter, powdered sugar, or flavoring. If you love cream cheese, this is definitely the “go to” recipe for you! Normally, you wouldn’t even know that there is cream cheese in here, but I’m picky:).
  6. Serve on a slightly warm (best if thoroughly cooled) cake to get a great piping consistency. Enjoy!!

Makes about 1 1/2 cups of frosting.

Whipped Cream

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • kitchen aid or hand mixer
  • 3-5 tablespoons powdered/confectioners sugar

Directions:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or regular one of you are using a hand mixer), pour the heavy whipping cream. Beat it on highest setting for a few minutes, or until stiff peaks form.
  2. When stiff peaks begin to form in your cream, add vanilla and powdered sugar. Be careful not to over mix your cream. Try it when done mixing to see if you want more powdered sugar or not.
  3. Once you have the desired consistency, move the whipped cream to a container to save. Serve with pumpkin pie. Enjoy!