Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vanilla Butterfinger Cupcakes

These are by far one of my favorite cupcakes I've made (which is saying a lot because I don't really like cupcakes or cake) but these are delish. Hope you all enjoy them too...

First start by making a vanilla cupcake.....

1 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean
1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup oil
1 tablespoon pure (not imitation) vanilla extract
2/3 cup whole milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. In a small bowl, combine sugar and seeds from the vanilla bean, stir and set aside.
3. Mix together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. Add the vanilla bean sugar and mix until well combined.
5. Add butter and mix on medium-low speed until mix is combined and crumbly.
6. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, sour cream, oil, and vanilla extract until smooth.
7. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined.
8. Slowly add milk and mix on low speed until just combined. The batter will be liquid.
9. Fill liner about half way, then bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. (about 14 minutes)

While cupcakes are cooling make the frosting.

3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
1/3 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup sour cream
¾ cup Butterfinger center powder (remove chocolate from candy bar, and crush centers)

1. Cream the butter and peanut butter together until completely combined.
2. Add vanilla, sour cream and butterfinger powder.
3. Then slowly add the powered sugar until you get the right consistency.

Frost and garnish with Butterfinger crumbles

And these are fantastic as a mini.
Perfect bite sized yumminess!!! Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

Hmmm... Might be my favorite so far  :)  It's a toss up between these and the
 Butterfinger Cupcakes (which I will post recipe for soon).

Ingredients for the Chocolate Hazelnut Cake:
Devils food cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
24 tsps Nutella (1 per cupcake)

Ingredients for the Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream:
1/4 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup Nutella
2 cups powdered sugar (approx.)
3 to 4 tbls heavy whipping cream (approx.)

24-72 toasted hazelnuts
7 tbls Nutella (for drizzle)

First batch I made just had one hazelnut, but they are much better with three on each cupcake
second batch (much yummier) :)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line 24 muffin tins.
2. Beat water, oil, milk, vanilla and eggs together with a electric mixer.
3. Sift in cake mix and then add sour cream.
4. Fill cupcake liner 3/4 full and then drop the tsp of Nutella into the center of each cupcake.
5. Bake for approx. 15 minutes or until sides spring back (centers will stay gooey because of Nutella).
6. Remove cupcakes from oven and cool.
7. Toast hazelnuts in oven for about 6 minutes (until the skin rubs of easily) remove from oven and cool.
8. Buttercream: Beat butter and Nutella for 5 minutes, add vanilla then alternate back and forth adding a little bit of powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream until it's the right consistency.
9. Pipe buttercream on cupcakes, add hazelnut and then drizzle with warmed Nutella.

Enjoy :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lemon Curd Sour Cream Layer Cake

Hi everyone.  Here is the recipe for the yummy lemon cake I made this last weekend.  We celebrated my mother-in-laws birthday by spending the day in Ashland, Or at the Eighth Annual Chocolate Festival.  It was fun but a serious chocolate overload, that's why I knew the Lemon Curd Sour Cream Layer Cake would go over great for dessert.  I also made a four course meal using the many forms of chocolate (watch for recipes to be posted soon).  Each dish had chocolate represented in one of its forms, all had a fun chocolate hint, but still remaining to be a savoury meal.  OK... Back to the Lemon Curd Sour Cream Layer Cake.

 First make all of your layers of cake ahead of time, wrap in saran wrap and keep in the fridge.  Then once you are ready to fill and stack pull then out and go to town.  I made two layers of lemon cake and two layers of classic white cake, alternating then as I stacked.

Lemon Cake
3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup butter (softened)
2 1/2 cups sugar
5 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup buttermilk

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees, butter and flour (2 parchment paper lined) 8 inch cake pans.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda together.  Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a mixer set on medium speed.  Add the eggs (one at a time).  Beat in the vanilla.  Reduce mixer speed to low and add flour mixture by thirds, alternating with lemon juice and buttermilk.
  4. Pour into the two pans and bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
Classic White Cake
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
4 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup water
2 tsps vanilla
3/4 tsp almond extract
6 egg whites
  1. Beat butter and shortening at medium speed until cream; gradually add sugar, beating well.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternating with milk and water, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. 
  3. Stir in extracts.
  4. Beat egg whites at high speed with mixer until stiff peaks form; fold about one third of egg whites into batter.  Gradually fold in remaining egg whites.
  5. Pour into two greased and floured 8" baking pans.  Bake about 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

Now for the sour cream filling. YUMMY!!

Sour Cream Cake Filling
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 cup whipping cream
  1. Beat sour cream and whipping cream together in an electric mixer.
  2. Add sugar and beat till med stiff peaks form.
  3. Keep in refrigerator until ready to fill cake.

Lemon curd...Oh YUMMY...YUMMY!! I love lemon curd!

Lemon Curd Cake Filling
4 oz. (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3 Tbs. lightly packed finely grated lemon zest
Pinch salt
6 large egg yolks

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar, lemon juice, zest, and salt. Whisk in the yolks until smooth.
  2. Return the pan to medium-low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens, 5 to 6 minutes. To check if the curd is thick enough, dip a wooden spoon into it and draw a your finger across the back of the spoon; your finger should leave a path. Don't let the mixture boil.
  3. Immediately force the curd through a fine sieve into a bowl, using a rubber spatula. Let cool at room temperature, whisking occasionally.
  4. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to use.

    Fill and stack cakes using Lemon Curd and Sour Cream Filling in every layer.
    Frost Cake with Lemon Butter Cream Frosting.  Yumm, this stuff is good!
    Lemon Butter Cream Frosting
    1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
    1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (softened)
    4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
    2 tbls milk
    1/8 cup dry instant lemon pudding mix
  1. In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla.
  2. Gradually add sugar and pudding mix, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry.
  3. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.

    Thursday, March 1, 2012

    Creme Puffs

    Yumm, there is something so magical about a creme puff. 

    And I have recently found out how easy they are to make.

    Lets start first with the choux pastery aka... puff recipe :)

    Choux Pastry Recipe

    • 1 cup water
    • 6 tablespoons butter
    • pinch of salt
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 1 cup all purpose flour
    • 4 medium eggs
    Preheat oven to 425°F (210°C). In a saucepan mix the butter, salt and sugar with the water, and heat just until the water boils and the butter melts. Remove from heat and immediately add all of the flour. Beat with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball and detaches from the sides of the pan.
    Add the eggs one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next one.
    To make cream puffs, work with two tablespoons, one to scoop and one to scrape. Place mounds of dough on a nonstick cookie tray, spacing them somewhat apart. You can also use a pastry tube to form the mounds.
    Bake at 425°F (210°C) for 20 minutes for smaller puffs. For larger puffs, bake for 20 minutes at 425°F (210°C), then reduce oven temperature to 375°F (190°C) and bake another 10 to 15 minutes. Puffs should be baked until they are an even medium brown color all over.
    Remove from oven and immediately make a small cut in the side of each with a sharp knife. This allows the steam to escape as the puffs cool and keeps them from getting soggy. You can then return the puffs to the turned off oven with the door ajar for 10 minutes.

    Now for the filling.  I did a bavarian creme, but the posibilties are endless.
    Plus I made mine a little more savory of a puff, I made them with no sugar.

    Bavarian Creme Recipe


    • 2 tablespoons unflavored gelatin
    • 1/2 cup cold water
    • 4 egg yolks
    • 1/2 cup white sugar
    • 1 pinch salt
    • 2 cups milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 cups heavy cream


    1. In a small bowl, stir together the gelatin and cold water. Set aside to soften. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and salt until smooth.
    2. In a medium saucepan, bring the milk to a boil. Pour the hot milk in a steady stream into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. Return the mixture to the saucepan and cook and stir over medium heat until the mixture coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pour the custard through a strainer.
    3. Stir in the softened gelatin and vanilla and stir to melt the gelatin. Allow to cool.
    4. When the mixture has cooled almost to room temperature, whip the heavy cream to medium stiffness and fold it into the custard.

    Yummy, this recipe sounds good!!

    Hazelnut Creme Filling
    Recipe Courtesy of Ellen Easton of Tea Travels.

    1 tablespoon all-purpose
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 tablespoon instant coffee
    1/8 cup finely-chopped hazelnuts
    1 tablespoon cornstarch
    1 cup milk
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1 teaspoon hot water
    2 tablespoons
    heavy cream, whipped

    In a large bowl, beat egg with flour, sugar, instant coffee, hazelnuts, and cornstarch until well blended.
    In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add milk and bring almost to a boil. Remove from heat and slowly whisk the hot milk into the egg mixture. Return all the ingredients to the saucepan, cook for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until thickened and comes to a boil. Remove from the heat.
    Add vanilla extract and hot water to the thickened mixture, stirring to combine. Set aside to cool until firm.
    Fold in the whipped cream. Refrigerate until thick.

    When ready to serve, horizontally slice the top of the cream puff to create two pieces (a top and a bottom). Fill each cream puff bottom with a spoonful of Hazelnut Creme Filling. Close with the top section.

    Additions to this recipe may include flavored extracts or liquors, cocoa, food colorings, and flavored waters.

    A more trditional creme puff filling recipe.

    Creme Puff Filling

  4. 1/2 cup sugar

  5. 5 tablespoons flour

  6. dash salt

  7. 2 cups milk

  8. 2 egg yolks, slightly beaten

  9. 1 teaspoon vanilla

  10. In top of a double boiler combine the sugar, flour, and salt together. Add milk and mix well. Add egg yolks and blend. Place mixture over hot water over medium-low heat and cook until smooth and thick, stirring constantly. This should take about 10 minutes. Cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a "skin" from forming over the top of filling. Add vanilla.

    Another traditional style.

     Pastry Cream Filling2 cups milk
    1/2 cup sugar, divided
    6 large egg yolks
    Pinch salt
    1/3 cup flour
    2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

    In a saucepan, bring the milk to a boil with 1/4 cup of sugar.
    Whisk the egg yolks in a bowl with the salt and remaining sugar.
    Sift the flour over the egg mixture and whisk it in until smooth.
    When the milk boils, slowly whisk one-third of it into the egg mixture.
    Then slowly add the egg mixture to the milk in the saucepan.
    You must follow these steps to gradually raise the temperature of the eggs.
    If you add them all at once to the hot milk they will curdle.
    Return the saucepan to a medium heat and again bring to a boil, whisking continually.
    The mixture should begin to thicken.  Allow it to boil for another minute.
    Remove from heat.
    Whisk in the vanilla and cinnamon.
    Transfer the pastry cream to a bowl.
    Press plastic wrap against the surface.
    Refrigerate until very cold, about 2 hours.

    Oh yumm, this one sound delectible too :)


  11. 1 egg, beaten

  12. 1/3 cup sugar

  13. 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  14. 2 tablespoons butter, cubed

  15. 1 cup heavy whipping cream

  16. 2 teaspoons sugar

  17. confectioners' sugar

    1. In a small heavy saucepan, combine the egg, sugar, lemon juice and butter. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to coat a metal spoon.
    2. Remove from the heat. Cool quickly by placing pan in a bowl of ice water; stir for 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; press plastic wrap onto surface of filling. Chill for 1 hour or until partially set.
    3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream and sugar until stiff peaks form; fold into lemon mixture.


    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Bunny Carrot Cake

    This cake was my first attempt at doing anything with modeling chocolate.  The bunny, carrots and roses are made from the modeling chocolate (recipe below).  The rest is 4 layer carrot cake with a delishes cream cheese filling and icing (recipe below) YUMMY!! 

    Awesome Cream Cheese Frosting and Filling


    • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup butter, softened
    • 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
    • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract


    1. In a medium bowl, cream together the cream cheese and butter until creamy. Mix in the vanilla, then gradually stir in the confectioners' sugar. Store in the refrigerator after use.

    Cover the sides of the cake with chopped pecans :) Yumm, I love pecans!

    Recipe for modeling chocolate:
    (I used white chocolate so I could dye it different colors for what I wanted to make.  But any chocolate can be used)

    White Chocolate Modeling Paste:
    7 ounces (200 grams) white chocolate, chopped
    1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
    Note: To prevent the corn syrup from sticking to the measuring cup or spoons, spray with Pam or grease with vegetable oil before measuring.

    Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or metal bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Stir the chocolate until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and stir until smooth and cooled a bit.

    Stir in the corn syrup. The chocolate will stiffen almost immediately. Stir until completely combined. Transfer the chocolate to a sturdy plastic freezer bag and refrigerate until firm (about two hours).

    When the dough is firm, remove from the refrigerator, and knead it until it is soft enough to work with. If it is too hard, cut off small pieces, and knead until pliable. Grease the counter where you are working with oil or spray with Pam so the chocolate won't stick.

    The dirt is made from crushed oreo cookies.

    The grass is made from the cream cheese frosting.
    Dye it with a little green food coloring
     and the use a grass tip and pipe onto cake.  

    Happy Baking :)

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    For the Love of Apples

    Henrik Loves Apples

    Me not so much.  I don't even really like apple pie, I know.. I know, that sounds anti-American.  I just have never really come across one that knocks my socks off.  So I am going to try some new recipes (listed below) and hopefully one of these will help me learn to love apples.  Please share any apple recipes that you love and I'll try those too.  Happy Cooking :)

    Supposed to be the best ever apple pie recipe, hmm we'll see :)

    Apple fritters.. That sounds yummy :)

    Apple butter.. Ok I do love apple butter, Heaven On Earth got me hooked on it many years ago.  I wish I could get ahold of their recipe :)

    Apple and chicken salad

    Apple crisp.. This sounds yummy :)

    Apple and cheese grilled cheese.. Sounds weird, but I bet Henrik would love it :)

    Apple pancakes German style

    Apple spice muffins

    Apple cabbage slaw

    Or I could just serve them raw and I'm sure Henrik would be just as delighted :)


    Tuesday, January 31, 2012

    Tangerine Tango

    # 1. It makes me think of think of vintage books. Which I some what obsess over, yes I said books!!  Funny to most who know me well, due to that fact that I don't really read any of the books I collect.  I have a dear love for them all but I never make the time to read...(hmm, that may be something I need to change)   For now,  I just love to be surrounded by all our books in our little library room. Which someday I hope to expand into a much bigger room with a window bench.. You know a nice cozy spot to "read" and relax... Lol, (reality) and place that will look pretty and probably only be used be my sweet Sammy girl to patrol the neighborhood.

    # 2. It is a fantastic fashion accent color...  Even for girls with green skin, aka me.  Ok, probably  not the best color on me, but I love it anyways.  I have this great satin jacket that went out of style 4 years ago, I love it though.  I'm always looking for a reason to wear it.  It seems that only one time a year is ever appropriate though :(  I have never really been one to care what others think about my fashion style, but I was teased by my dad and hubby the first time I wore it years ago.  They said I made a beautiful pumpkin princess, so well it stuck and I dig it out every Halloween, just to wear it in public.  Even if I look like a pumpkin princess :) Someday I'll post a pic of it or here, to share with the rest of the world.

    # 3. I love Tangerine Tango.... Because, Hello... Tango!  Who doesn't love the romantic steps of a good Tango?  There is something so interesting about the Tango.  Someday Mr. Carter and I will take lessons and be pros at the gorgeous dance.  Until then I will just admire from a distance those who have it down.

    Interesting Info:

    Tango History
    Written by Lori Heikkila
    Tango (the dance with the stop "Baille Con Carte") is one of the most fascinating of all dances. Originating in Spain or Morocco, the Tango was introduced to the New World by the Spanish settlers, eventually coming back to Spain with Black and Creole influences.
    In the early 19th Century, the Tango was a solo dance performed by the woman. The Andalusian Tango was later done by one or two couples walking together using castanets. The dance was soon considered immoral with its flirting music!
    Ballroom Tango originated in the lower class of Buenos Aires, especially in the "Bario de las Ranas". Clothing was dictated by full skirts for the woman and gauchos with high boots and spurs for the man.
    The story of Tango as told is that it started with the gauchos of Argentina. They wore chaps that had hardened from the foam and sweat of the horses body. Hence to gauchos walked with knees flexed. They would go to the crowded night clubs and ask the local girls to dance. Since the gaucho hadn't showered, the lady would dance in the crook of the man's right arm, holding her head back. Her right hand was held low on his left hip, close to his pocket, looking for a payment for dancing with him. The man danced in a curving fashion because the floor was small with round tables, so he danced around and between them.
    The dance spread throughout Europe in the 1900's. Originally popularized in New York in the winter of 1910 - 1911, Rudolph Valentino then made the Tango a hit in 1921.
    As time elapsed and the music became more subdued, the dance was finally considered respectable even in Argentina.
    Styles vary in Tango: Argentine, French, Gaucho and International. Still, Tango has become one of our American 'Standards' regardless of its origin. The Americanized version is a combination of the best parts of each. The principals involved are the same for any good dancing. First, the dance must fit the music. Second, it must contain the basic characteristic that sets it apart from other dances. Third, it must be comfortable and pleasing to do.
    Phrasing is an important part of Tango. Most Tango music phrased to 16 or 32 beats of music. Tango music is like a story. It contains paragraphs (Major phrases); sentences (Minor phrases); and the period at the end of the sentence is the Tango close.
    For exhibition dancing, a Tango dancer must develop a strong connection with the music, the dance and the audience. The audience can only feel this connection if the performer feels and projects this feeling. So it is when dancing for your own pleasure -- and your partner's!
    "The Tango is the easiest dance. If you make a mistake and get tangled up, you just Tango on."

    # 4. I LOVE tangerines, yes I said I LOVE tangerines, I know, I know it's a fruit.  But let me share with you ONE of the many strange facts about me.  I'm allergic to oranges.. and well that a terrible thing in the small world of Skye...  There really isn't any other flavor I can honestly say I love more when it comes to the fruit families.  But, due to the fact I don't love my throat swelling and tongue getting hugely puffy, I stay away from eating those little buggers and go for tangerines. Which strangely do not affect me like oranges, even though they are of the same family.  BTW:

    # 5. Actually this is #1. I saved the best for last.   I an happy Tangerine Tango is 2012 color of the year.  It needed to get its mark in time, sweet baby boy has the most awesome red hair that can be most accurately described as Tangerine!!  I know....I know,  mommies are incredibly partial to how cute and handsome there baby boys are BUT.... not all mommies can be right.  Just ME!!  My little man is the cutest most handsome tangerine haired kiddo in the WORLD  :)