fudgy frosting

fudgy frosting

[gf]
This will make enough frosting to cover any 8-inch (20 cm) round or square cake. As a bonus, you might have enough left over to make a little Frosting Fudge.
Supplies
measuring cups, bowls, wooden spoon, measuring spoons
Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup (80 mL) sour cream
¼ tsp (1 mL) vanilla extract
small pinch of salt
  1. Put the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave at 50% power for 1½ minutes. Stir with a wooden spoon, then heat again at 50% power until melted (about 1 to 2 minutes, checking and stirring at 30-second intervals).
  2. Get help removing the hot bowl from the microwave. Stir until the chocolate is smooth. Mix in the sour cream, vanilla, and salt until smooth.
Makes enough Fudgy Frosting for one 8-inch (20 cm) round or square cake, plus a small batch of Frosting Fudge.
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vanilla cream frosting

vanilla cream frosting

[gf]
A smooth vanilla frosting you can use plain or tint with food coloring.
Supplies
sifter, measuring cups, bowls, wooden spoon, whisk, ordinary teaspoon, measuring spoons, baking spatula
Ingredients
3 ½ cups (875 mL) icing sugar (spoon in, level)
1/3 cup (80 mL) sour cream (5% milk fat or more)
¼ cup (60 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
½ tsp (2 mL) lemon juice
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
small pinch of salt
  1. Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. Set aside.
  2. In another large bowl, use a wooden spoon to roughly mash together the sour cream and butter. Switch to a whisk and stir in a couple heaping ordinary teaspoonfuls of the sifted icing sugar. Keep stirring hard. Be patient. At first the butter will stay in lumps but it will eventually blend into the icing sugar.
  3. Stir in the lemon juice, vanilla, salt, and the rest of the icing sugar a few spoonfuls at a time. Mix until smooth. If the frosting is too thick, mix in another spoonful of sour cream. If it’s too thin, stir in a couple more spoonfuls of sifted icing sugar.
Makes enough frosting for one 8-inch (20 cm) round or square cake.
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Vanilla Velvet Cake

Vanilla Velvet Cake

[gf]
This simple but perfect treat tastes almost like pound cake. (See Kitchen for Kids for an all-purpose-flour version—Classic Little Vanilla Cake.)
Supplies
8-inch (20 cm) round cake pan, parchment paper, pastry brush or plastic wrap, bowls, sifter, measuring cups, measuring spoons, baking spatula, wooden spoon, dinner knife, ordinary teaspoon, toothpick; if frosting: plate, parchment paper, baking spatula or palette knife
Ingredients
soft butter for cake pan
1 cup (250 mL) white rice flour (glutinous; see Rice Flour”) (spoon in, level)
¼ cup (60 mL) potato starch (spoon in, level)
¼ cup (60 mL) tapioca starch (spoon in, level)
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1 tsp (5 mL) xanthan gum
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
½ cup (125 mL) ricotta cheese
¼ cup (60 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
1 cup (250 mL) white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla extract
¼ cup (60 mL) milk
Vanilla Cream Frosting (or other frosting), if you like
sprinkles, if you wish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. To prepare the cake pan, trace the bottom of the pan onto parchment paper. Cut out the paper circle a little smaller than the tracing. Check to see that the cutout lies flat in the bottom of the pan and does not come up the sides. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to butter the bottom and sides of the pan. Press the circle of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan. The butter will hold the paper in place. Set aside.
  3. In a big bowl, sift the rice flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt. Mix with a baking spatula and set aside.
  4. In another big bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the ricotta cheese and butter. Then cream in the sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla.
  5. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the ricotta mixture until blended, then mix in the milk. Use a dinner knife to scrape sticky ingredients off the wooden spoon. You will have a stiff batter.
  6. Use a baking spatula to scrape the batter into the cake pan, spreading evenly. The stiff batter might be bumpy on top. To smooth it out, dip an ordinary teaspoon in cold water and use the back of it to gently smooth out the bumps.
  7. Bake for 38 to 40 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan before getting help taking the cake out of the pan. Use a baking spatula or palette knife to spread the cooled cake with frosting and add sprinkles, if you like (see “Tips on Frosting Cakes”).
Serves up to 10.
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Sugared Doughnut Puffs

Sugared Doughnut Puffs

Mini muffins that taste like doughnuts! Shake them in a bag of cinnamon sugar for a genuine doughnut shop finish.
Supplies
pastry brush, plastic wrap, mini-muffin pan (up to 20 cups), liquid measuring cup, bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, fork or small whisk, baking spatula, dinner knife, ordinary teaspoon, paper lunch bag or plastic bag
Ingredients
soft butter for muffin cups
½ cup (125 mL) milk
1 Tbsp (15 mL) white sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) quick-rise yeast
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) salt
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
1 egg
½ tsp (2 mL) vanilla extract
⅛ tsp (0.5 mL) lemon extract, if you have it
1 Tbsp (15 mL) all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter
2 Tbsp (30 mL) white sugar
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cinnamon, if you like
  1. Use a pastry brush or a scrunched-up piece of plastic wrap to generously butter 20 mini-muffin cups. Set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe liquid measuring cup, heat the milk in the microwave at 50% power for 1 minute (or longer) until very warm but not hot (see “Yeast”). Sprinkle in the 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar and the yeast. Do not stir. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand for 10 minutes for the yeast to turn foamy.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the 1 cup (250 mL) flour and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter in the microwave on 50% power until melted (about 30 seconds). Set aside.
  5. Go back to the cup of foamy yeast. Use a fork or small whisk to beat in the egg. Next use a baking spatula to scrape the melted butter into the egg mixture. Add the vanilla and lemon extract, if using. Mix well with the fork or whisk.
  6. Using the baking spatula, scrape the wet mixture into the flour mixture. Stir into a stretchy dough batter. Scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula with a dinner knife so everything is well blended. When there is no dry flour left, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise for 30 minutes in a warm spot.
  7. After the dough batter has risen, sprinkle the 1 Tbsp (15 mL) flour onto it and stir it in until no more dry flour can be seen.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  9. Use an ordinary teaspoon to scoop spoonfuls of dough batter about the size of walnuts, and push them off the spoon with your finger into the 20 mini-muffin cups. Fill each cup about two-thirds full.
  10. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 15 to 17 minutes, until lightly golden. Get help removing them from the oven.
  11. While the puffs are cooling, in a small microwave-safe bowl heat 1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter in the microwave at 50% power until melted (about 30 seconds).
  12. With the puffs still in the pan, brush the tops with the melted butter. Take the puffs out of the pan.
  13. Put the 2 Tbsp (30 mL) sugar and the cinnamon, if using, in a paper lunch bag or plastic bag. Drop in ten puffs. Close the bag tightly at the top and shake to coat the puffs in cinnamon sugar. Remove from the bag and shake the other ten puffs. Eat while warm.
Makes about 20 Sugared Doughnut Puffs.
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Fresh Lemon Cupcakes

Fresh Lemon Cupcakes


These yummy treats are lightly lemony and double-brushed with a tart sugar glaze. Make these as mini or regular-sized cupcakes.
Supplies
paper cupcake liners (mini or regular size), cupcake pan(s) (20 mini or 8 regular cups), bowls, sifter, measuring cups, measuring spoons, wooden spoon, knife (for helper), reamer, baking spatula, dinner knife, ordinary teaspoon, cooling rack
Ingredients
1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour (spoon in, level)
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
¼ tsp (1 mL) baking soda
pinch of salt
⅓ cup (80 mL) ricotta cheese
⅓ cup (80 mL) soft unsalted butter (see “Butter”)
¾ cup (185 mL) white sugar
1 egg
3 Tbsp (45 mL) cream or milk
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract
3 Tbsp (45 mL) fresh lemon juice (from 1 lemon)
Fresh Lemon Double-Glaze
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Place paper liners in either 20 mini or 8 regular cupcake cups. Set aside.
  3. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a bowl. Mix well and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, use the back of a wooden spoon to cream together the ricotta and butter until blended, then cream in the sugar, egg, cream or milk, and vanilla. Set aside.
  5. Get help cutting a lemon in half and juicing the fruit on a reamer. Use an ordinary teaspoon to scoop the seeds out of the juice. Measure out 3 Tbsp (45 mL) lemon juice and stir it into the butter mixture.
  6. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Use a baking spatula to mix just until you don’t see dry flour anymore. Scrape sticky ingredients off the spatula with a dinner knife.
  7. Use an ordinary teaspoon to scoop up spoonfuls of batter. Use your finger to push the batter into the cupcake liners. Try not to spill batter outside the liners. You should be able to fill either 20 mini or 8 regular cupcake cups about three-quarters full.
  8. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 18 minutes for mini cupcakes and 25 minutes for regular-sized cupcakes, or until the cupcakes are puffed and spring back when gently pressed in the middle. Cool the cupcakes in the pan until just warm, then tip them onto a cooling rack.
  9. Cool completely before brushing with Fresh Lemon Double-Glaze.
Makes 20 mini or 8 regular-sized Fresh Lemon Cupcakes.
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