Oreo Brownie Trifle

You’re going to want a tall glass of milk with this huge serving of yumminess!!! I had been craving brownies for the longest time and I usually don’t make brownies from scratch. I don’t know if it’s because I’m lazy (ironic? hehe) or if it’s because I can’t find the right brownie recipe. I get really picky when it comes to brownies because I love them so much. When I eat brownies, they have to be chocolatey, chewy, moist, but not cakey. They have to be perfectly brownie-ish! I know you know what I mean! Every time I’ve tried a recipe from scratch, it always comes out either too hard, or too cakey. Maybe I just haven’t given brownies enough time. I just like having a box mix right there, throw in an egg, some oil and water, and wa-la!

So anyways, I made these brownies from a Ghiradelli box (costco) and they came out super chewy and perfect (yum!) but then when I tried to cut them into squares, they fell apart :( SOOOO I figured, why not use the trifle bowl? I made some chocolate pudding, found some oreos, got some whipped cream whipping, layered them all in and out came the most decadent, sweet, chocolatey, yummy, homey, sweet dessert ever!!

There’s NO WAY you can resist this…

4th of July Sweets!


Happy Independence Day! I had some left over chocolate cake and tons of strawberries, so I decided to make some cake pops! My fave! I had a small (1in.) cookie cutter and molded the chocolate cake (with cream cheese frosting) into stars, dipped them in candy melts. I ran out of royal blue >_< so I used some blue candy color to tint the white, and for some reason..it turned turquoise? ha! Oh well, still festive! Dipped the Strawberries in the same chocolate bark and Wa-la! You can go to Bakerella’s website for cake pop instructions. Happy 4th!

Super Mario Brothers Chocolate Cake

This is a 2 tiered, chocolate buttercream cake, with Marshmallow Fondant and gumpaste characters. I used the Italian Meringue buttercream recipe, along with Valhrona cocoa and baking bar. I was a little disappointed with the turn out of the cake because it’s been so humid that the buttercream melted slowly but surely. I still refuse to use pounds of confectioner’s sugar for icings so I have to work on that buttercream. I think this is going to be one of my last fondant cakes for a while. I really want to focus on the recipes and start small–cupcakes and cake balls. I’ll post the MM fondant and cake recipes soon. Happy baking!

Red bean filled chinese donuts

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I love this red bean donut! I grew up eating them and wondering how the dough can be so chewy and how the red bean is in that perfect ball of chewiness even though it’s fried!

Well I came across this dough at the Asian store that looked like it could be the same used for the buchi..so I mixed the dough,stuffed some red bean inside, deep fried them and wa la!

The recipe will follow.  I was just so excited to share my new find!

Italian Meringue Buttercream & some impromptu red velvets.

This is the buttercream that took me a couple tries to perfect. I couldn’t keep making frostings and icings with so many cups of confectioners sugar because they were way too sweet! These confectioners sugar based icings take away from the flavor and textures of the cakes I bake. Some buttercreams call for 6-8 cups of conf. sugar with a pound or so of butter!! I honestly can’t imagine giving that to people. I’d feel like I’m handing them diabetes!

So I searched long and hard for a buttercream that didn’t use confectioners sugar and this is just one variation (the most difficult, but most gratifying one). The sugar syrup is flexible, you can use less sugar syrup but you’ll have a more buttery icing. Unfortunately, if you don’t use enough butter, it won’t hold together. I’m working on a splenda icing (we’ll see how that goes lol).

The instructions are super specific because it’s got temperamental ingredients but it’s really pretty easy.

 

Italian meringue buttercream (IMBC).

Makes 8 cups.

1/2 cup of cold water

2 cups of granulated sugar

1 cup of eggwhites (10)
1 1/2 pound of (softened at room temp) unsalted butter (6 sticks)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Kitchen stand mixer

(candy thermometer)

 

**First, pour the eggwhites into the kitchen mixer with whisk attachment.

Step 1:
Place sugar & water in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil on medium high temperature.

If you have a candy thermometer, set it in the pan as well.

Step 2:
When the sugar syrup has been boiling for about 5 mins. (240 degrees), start the kitchen mixer on full speed and whisk the eggwhites for the last 2 mins. When the timer is up the sugar syrup is done (245 deg). With the mixer still going on high speed, slowly pour the hot syrup between the side of the mixing bowl and the whisk to prevent the syrup from hardening. Don’t scrape out the syrup. Only use what can be poured out. Be very careful with this hot syrup. (I sometimes have a bowl with ice and water ready for the bottom of the sugar syrup pan right after I turn off the heat so the syrup stops cooking and the pan cools down a little. This gives me better control when I’m pouring.)

Step 3:
When all sugar syrup has been added it should look thick and fluffy. Stop the mixer and change for the paddle attachment. Set the timer on 10 mins and beat on high speed. This is how long it usually takes in my mixer for the mixing bowl to be cool to the touch. You can put ice packs at the bottom and sides of the bowl to speed up cooling.

After 10 mins. You should now have a thick meringue

Step 4:
Time to add the butter. Start the mixer on high speed and cut pieces of the butter into the meringue. When all butter is added it will not take long for mixture to turn into a thick, smooth, buttercream. When that happens slow down the mixer and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract (or whatever flavor you want). Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and start again. I do this two times and then the buttercream should be ready.

Note: If buttercream won’t combine, just continue to whip whip whip. At some point, it will look curdled (like cottage cheese) but It will eventually get smooth. If you are still having problems, put the whole bowl with paddle attachment into the fridge and let it “cool” down a bit and then whip it again. Or use the ice bath again and use a hand mixer. This is why it’s important that the sugar syrup was the right temperature and consistency, and also that the meringue was cooled before putting in the butter.

Coffee: 2 tbsp of instant coffee mixed with 2 tbsp of warm (not boiling) water pr 3 cups of IMBC


Watch how this guy does it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxWmiHRTMz8

 

 

Made some red velvet cupcakes with my cousins for christmas and we crushed some candy canes and threw them on top. They were so yummy!

 

& of course, the favorite, oreo balls. I didn’t have candy melts so we used nestle milk chocolate chips.

christmas tree pops & cookies!

I love christmas!! I love the holidays! I love christmas trees and holiday desserts! I saw bakerella’s christmas reindeer, hats, & tree blog entry and decided to make some trees too!

I used some extra red velvet cake and mixed in some cream cheese frosting, then molded them into little cone shapes. Dip them in chocolate melts (heated at 30 sec intervals), and used a toothpick to make them look a little more “tree-like.”  The little ornaments are candy coated chocolates.

Holiday sugar cookies!!  They turned out pretty cute! I really don’t like making cookies, specially out of scratch, but I wanted to try and decorate some since I had the cutters. I used a basic sugar cookie roll out recipe that required for the batter to sit in the fridge so they’re easier to handle. I left them in there overnight and they were definitely easier to cut out (with the help of a lot of flour). When they were cooling, I made some royal icing and used sprinkles to decorate them.