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.