Lemon Buttermilk Sheet Cake

4 Jun

Hi blogging world!

This past weekend I decided to whip up this awesome sheet cake from America’s Test Kitchen’s Best Summer Desserts book and it was fabulous! It had lovely texture; a crumbly, moist, lemony cake with a lemon glaze and a crunchy sprinkle of lemon sugar, which complemented it beautifully. I’ve always been a fan of America’s Test Kitchen, it combines two of my passions into one awesome little cookbook – journalism and baking. The informative write ups on the recipes beforehand are always helpful to me, especially the little features about the equipment on the sides (Sidenote: When you think stand mixer, you think KitchenAid is the one to beat. Not the case, the Test Kitchen’s tests prove that the Cuisinart model is the better option. Guess which one my gourmet Dad and I picked out?). Anyways, if your looking for a nice summery, colourful desserts book this season, give this one a try and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with all the great stuff! Anyways – on with the pictures!!

I was feeling a bit artistic this time around with the photos, but that’s okay, right? Unfortunately, my camera broke! Which means, that now I’m on the search for an expensive DSLR. That should be fun.

Le Dolci Cupcakes and Cakes

11 Apr

Good morning, bloggers!

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted – the last yummy post was way back in February with some delish Valentines cookie art! I’ve been so busy – a new semester started at school, our family went on vacation over March Break and general business that comes with having a social life, a school life and a work life! But have no fear – I’ve made up for it today with a nice bright, cheery post with lots of photos. Does this make it up to you? I hope so.

This past weekend was Easter! So exciting, I know. But this isn’t a belated Easter post. It’s a birthday post! On April 9th, my sister and I share a birhday! No, I don’t have a twin. She’s 2 years older than me. But some way or another, totally naturally, we were both born on the same day. So, for my birthday I decided to go to a really neat, trendy cupcake studio downtown Toronto with my sister and a few friends! Right off of King West, Le Dolci is “Toronto’s fun, foodie studio!” I had a total blast, and I reccommend you check it out if your in the Toronto area! (Psst… Le Dolci is having a one year anniversary sale! Check it out asap to get discounts on classes!)

So, on with the photos, shall we? I think so.

(From top left clockwise; my friend Natasha, my sister’s friend Jenna, my sister Kate, me!)

Here we are at work on some beautiful cupcakes! Tons of new materials for me to work with (which Kate went out and bought for my birthday after – thank you!!) which was really fun! Usually I work with gumpaste for my cupcake toppers, but today fondant was the preference.

(This is a cute one from Natasha)

(A cute one from Jenna)

(A pretty heart from Kate)

And finally, a collection from yours truly.

Hopefully this is enough to entertain you all until I post photos from my birthday cake – Lemon Lime Cheesecake!

 

Valentines Cookie Art

10 Feb

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Whether they’re gifts for someone special or something to gorge on in self-pity, these cookies are intricate little pieces of art!

This is my first time really making something as artsy and detailed in cookie form. When I think cookies, I think scooping out some chocolate chip on parchment paper and sticking it in the oven. Not these guys. Not only are they twice as good, they take twice as long to make too!!

The base of these cookies is a delicious chocolate cut-out cookie recipe from this amazing cookie blog I discovered recently called Bake at 350. If you haven’t already heard of it, it’s amazing and I highly recommend you check it out! Here is the recipe I used. I used some cute Valentines themed cookie cutters, an X shape and a sweet heart. For the purpose of these cookies, it was really important that once they were cut out, they kept they’re form. The secret is from the genius behind Bake at 350, stick the cut out cookies in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking. I tried it out and it worked really well at baking nicely shaped cookies. The only mishap I had was the pan in the freezer falling out on the floor as soon as I opened the door, unfortunately some cookies bent into frozen balls of mush and were not salvageable (until I rolled them out again, that is!). Once I baked and cooled all my cookies it was time to move onto the fun part – Royal Icing.

Royal Icing is the icing used to decorate cookies with, as it leaves a nice hard, shiny, matte finish when dried. It’s really  simple to whip up quickly – there are thousands of homemade recipes online with only a couple of ingredients. For this recipe, you will need to make two different kinds of royal icing. One of them needs to be of stiff, pipe-able consistency. The other one, is the same recipe, just with added water to ensure it’s consistency is thinner than the previous batch, to make the consistency a sort of thick syrup, which makes it easier to flood the cookie with. It’s also advised to add a gel paste food colouring to this one, to create contrast.

First of all, outfit your piping bag with a tiny little #2 piping tip. Then, fill the piping bag with your thicker royal icing. On each cookie, pipe the outline of the shape and let dry for around half an hour (sometimes this takes a long time to do, so usually you can just jump right into flooding the cookies on the first ones you piped after you’ve finished piping everything!). For this next part, you can either use a squeeze bottle, piping bag or spoon. I used a spoon, because one of my other piping bags ripped :’( Take a small amount of your syrupy royal icing and spread it around with the spoon within the outline of the cookie. Let it sit for an hour before you go back to the piping bag to add details and words.

It may sound straightforward, but I warn you that it is very time consuming! I spent multiple hours on these cookies… and then came back the next day and made more because I had enough royal icing :) The ones I showed you here are X’s and hearts, but the second time I made these (not featured) I made them all hearts because it was easier to make than the X’s and put conversation heart sayings on all of them. They were pretty cute!

Have a Happy Valentines Day!

Best-Ever Chocolate Chip Cookies

30 Jan

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It’s about that time of year. Exam month. Everyone is cramming in as many hours as they can a day for studying. Usually, I like to snack when I’m studying. A cup of caffeinated tea and a little bowl of popcorn can usually do the trick. But, like anything you eat for extended periods of time – it can get boring (Except for tea – I will never get tired of tea ever). My solution, was to whip up some cookies. Chewy, crisp, Chocolate Chip Cookies.

If you’ve been following the blog for a while,  you might ask yourself, why? I already have a chocolate chip cookie recipe on the blog – why I am writing to you about it again? Because, friends – I’ve discovered something even better. I’ll let you in on a little secret – I haven’t been satisfied with my chocolate chip cookie recipe. Whenever it’s mid-week and I’m craving something quick,  I try and avoid those cookies at all costs. I was kidding myself when I thought that they were buttery, chewy with a crisp exterior. Please don’t ever make those cookies – these ones here are the real deal.

For Christmas, I had gotten a lovely little recipe magazine called Chocolate Desserts: The Absolute Best Chocolate Recipes Ever from America’s Test Kitchen Cook’s Country. Sounds promising right? So as I was flipping through, I find a little something called Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – and the rest is history.

I strongly recommend you go out and find this book. Buy it at the supermarket, borrow it from a friend. Do anything you can to get your hands on this recipe. It’s to be displayed until February 27th 2012, so hurry up! The recipe is genius – it created the best chocolate chip cookies I have ever had.

Sorry for the recent lack of posts!

19 Jan

Sorry for the recent lack of new posts!  I’ve been very busy this month – my exams are in the coming weeks and all of the final projects have boiled down to right about now. I’ve not found the time while being buried underneath my books to write another post – or bake anything! I promise you, that I will try and get another one up in the next two weeks.

Thanks for sticking with me in 2011, and here’s to sticking with me in 2012!

littlemissbakeaholic

SOPA and PIPA protest

18 Jan

Along with many other bloggers, I am protesting the SOPA and PIPA bill of internet censorship to be passed in the United States. My blog will be blacked out today from 8am to 8pm as a part of the strike.

Peanut Butter, Chocolate and Decadence

27 Dec

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What screams happiness other than two of the best decadent treats mashed together? You know what I’m talking about. Peanut butter and chocolate, baby. Oh yes.

I was really looking to create something… mouthwatering. So basically, I crammed the most chocolate and peanut butter as I possibly could into a single cupcake. Chocolate Ganache Core + Chocolate Cupcake + Peanut Butter Frosting + Chocolate Ganache Drizzle = Happiness x Indulgence.

So, you ask, “How on earth can I make this!?”. The answer my friends, is delightfully simple. I’ll share my incredibly-yum and pipe-able peanut butter frosting and the absolutely delicious and easy Chocolate Ganache.

 

Chocolate Ganache

 

Ingredients:

- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

- 1 cup heavy whipping cream

(Yup – that really is it)

Instructions:

1. Place a glass bowl or Pyrex wet measure in a sauce pan. Fill sauce pan about 1-2 inches of water and put on a low-medium heat.

2. Pour two ingredients into glass bowl and stir continuously until mixture is fully melted, shiny and no bumps. Turn off stove top and remove glass bowl.

 

Peanut Butter Frosting

 

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup butter

- 1 cup smooth peanut butter

- 2 1/2 cups icing sugar

- 1 tbsp heavy whipping cream

Instructions:

1. With a stand mixer, cream butter and peanut butter together.

2. Gradually add in icing sugar and beat on high. Make sure to scrape sides often.

3. Add heavy whipping cream and mix in.

 

 

ULTIMATE PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE GANACHE CUPCAKES :)

Ingredients:

- 24 cooled chocolate cupcakes (sorry folks, my recipe is from a book so I can’t post it here. However, I strongly recommend picking up of Buddy Valastro’s first book, Cake Boss)

-  1 recipe Chocolate Ganache

- 1 recipe Peanut Butter Frosting

Special Tools:

- Cupcake Corer (I recommend the one by Cuisipro)

- Small squeeze bottle

- Piping bag with star tip

Instructions:

1. Using the corer, twist gently into cupcakes and twist to pull up. Remove core and repeat on all cupcakes.

2. Warm chocolate ganache in microwave and pour into squeeze bottle. Squeeze ganache into centers of cupcakes.

3. Pipe peanut butter frosting on all cupcakes using star tip.

4. Create a star pattern with left over ganache on cupcakes using squeeze bottle (see the photos for example)

5. ENJOY :D

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