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Canada Day Cupcakes


We have been having some really odd weather lately. It’s almost July, but you wouldn’t know it…it was 15C (59F) this morning! Its kind of weird because for a few days we will have overly hot and humid weather(35C, 95F), that makes you want to do nothing but just lie around and …well….do nothing. And then for a few days we will have freezing cold weather were you need a jacket!

Global warming ya’ll. No joke.

So speaking of July, July 1st is Canada Day for us here canucks. For those of you who are not Canadian, and don’t know what Canada day is, its sort of the equivalent of Independence day in the US. We celebrate the anniversary of the July 1, 1867 enactment of the Constitution Act, 1867, which united two British colonies and a province of the British Empire into a single country called Canada. (see mom? I listen in school :P)


That makes Canada a bit of a ‘baby’ country since its only turning 143!



Anywho, on to these lovely cupcakes. I used the same recipe that I did for the FIFA world cup cupcakes, and followed the exact same directions. The only difference is I sliced up some strawberries and put them in the middle. Make sure to cover the top of the strawberry with the batter, and not over do it with the strawberries, since this is a cupcake surprise.

 
TIP: For a more American Version, trying popping in a few blueberries with the cupcakes and when you bite in, there will be blue, red, and white colors! (blue and red for the berries, white for the cake)



For decoration I alternated between pouring red sugar over some in the shape of the flag, and using red maple leaf sprinkles, and topping some with just one single sprinkle.

I had a bit too much fun decorating these!



Happy Birthday Canada! :D 


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FIFA inspired Cupcakes!


My family is obsessed with soccer. 


I think its part of my Iranian Heritage. In Iran, soccer is like a religion to some  people. Soccer players are heroes, and a soccer game is a family event that everyone attends from grandpa to grandchild, all gathered around the tv.  I personally am not what you call obsessed, and I barley know the correct ‘soccer terms’ ( or football as they call it). In my family, my dad and my brother are crazyyyy about it, followed by my sister, and me and my mom last, who enjoy the brief update on who is playing who, but that’s about that.



I personally dont have the patience for watching an entire game. I mean, sit there and watch a 2 hour game where there is only one goal? If any? No thanks. I prefer the sweet 5 min recap with all the goals. :D
However, as this is FIFA season, and my brother and dad have been oh so spoiled with having access to a 50” TV, they are more than celebrating and enjoying the event. But how can I fully enjoy it? Well I’ll just bring my foodie passion in ;)
So…I made these cute little soccer ball topped cupcakes! They turned out very cute! (Though I’m sure soccer fans would cringe at such a description)



I used Magnolia’s cupcake and frosting recipe and as always, they were yummy! I’m posting just the recipe tonight, and will hopefully post the tutorial on how to make the soccer balls tomorrow!
So tell me foodies, who are YOU rooting for to win? Brazil? Argentina?  Uganda? Let me know!

Magnolia's Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes (depending on the size of your cupcake papers and muffin tin


  • CUPCAKES:
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour ( I substituted here)
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ICING:
  • Vanilla Buttercream (recipe follows) or Chocolate Buttercream
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake papers.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake liners, filling them about three-quarters full. Bake for 20–25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  5. Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing. At the bakery we ice the cupcakes with either Vanilla Buttercream or Chocolate Buttercream.
Note: If you would like to make a layer cake instead of cupcakes, divide the batter between two 9-inch round cake pans and bake the layers for 30-40 minutes.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting:
Makes enough for one 2-layer 9-inch cake or 2 dozen cupcakes*
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly. (Use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled.) Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 




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Fruit Packed Cake Pastry






I have some big stuff planned for this blog that has me very excited! I wont give too much away but lets just say you can expect a few more videos coming your way. ;)




Now, on to this recipe. I made this a few weeks ago because I knew my family, more specifically my parents, would love it. You see my parents are a little overly obsessed with eating ‘healthy foods’, something that, as a dessert baker, I get into arguments on with them. They claim that its my fault that they have gained weight, gotten diabetes, and in general just consume waayyy too much sugar.




Well I say “don’t eat it.” Simple as that. Of course they always point out that me baking 2-5 times a week doesn’t really help, I always offer them the fact that wherever they go there will be treats, and if they want to stick to a healthy lifestyle, they will have to make an effort to do so, not me.  You would think that would be the end of the story. End of discussion.




But nooo…not in my house. So I continue to bake, and they continue to eat, and we therefore decided to come to a healthy middle point. I would continue to bake but try to bake a little less, and cook a little more, and when I do bake, its ‘healthier’ foods. So when I saw this recipe I just KNEW my parents would love it. It’s a simple cake jam packed with fruit on top!




Boy was I right, this has become a favorite in our house, and I’ve made it several times. I ended up adding a lot more fruit than called for in the recipe, because that’s how the parents like it (though they STILL said they wanted more fruit for next time!), and I also substituted yogurt for sour cream, and it still tasted wonderful.



Overall, this is a keeper in our house, but next time I might try another cake recipe, and just top it with fruit. Now don’t get me wrong, this tastes wonderful just as is, but I personally felt like the cake batter needed an extra little something something, though my family thought it was fine as is!




Fruit Pastry Cake
Ingredients:
100g butter, soften at room temperature
200g caster sugar (I cut down to180g)
50g sour cream (I replaced with same amount of low fat yogurt)
3 eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon or orange zest
210g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
500g fruits* tossed with 2 tablespoon sugar*
(You can use strawberries, blueberries, peaches, bananas, oranges, pears, apples, pineapple, or any other fruits that are not too juicy. I omitted the sugar and used as much fruits, either fresh or canned, as needed to fill the top of the cake)

Method:
  1. Wash, cut (chunks or slices, as desired) and drain fruits, toss with sugar (if desired) and set aside. (if using canned fruits, wash the fruits to remove the syrup, omit the sugar).
  2. Grease (with butter) and flour the side of a 9" round pan or a 8" square pan and line the base with parchment paper.  *** I used a 10 inch one with the removable sides
  3. With an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and sour cream (or yogurt) till light and fluffy.
  4. Dribble in the eggs gradually and beat till incorporated in the batter. (The mixture may appear slightly curdled.)
  5. Add vanilla extract and zest. Mix to combine.
  6. Sieve over flour and baking powder and mix till smooth. (To avoid getting flour all over my work surface, I mixed the flour into the batter using a spatula, just a few strokes will do, then I used the electric mixer to mix the batter till smooth.)
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top with a spatula.
  8. Arrange fruits on top, don’t press the fruits down into the batter. Decorate the fruits as desired.
  9. Bake in pre-heat oven at 180degC for 60-70 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the cake. Cover the top with foil in the last 15 mins of baking to prevent the top from getting over browned.
  10. Leave the cake to cool in the pan for about 5~10 mins. Unmold and transfer to wire rack to let cool completely. Dust the cake with some icing sugar if desired.
 

I started off with a pretty design, but then I saw I had a bunch of fruit left over so I just sprinkled them in around it ;)







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Song of the week: Glee Season 2!!

Watching: Criminal Minds season 6 (man! its mind blowing)

Inspirational Quote:

"Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself"

Random Foodie Fact:

"The world's first chocolate candy was produced in 1828 by Dutch chocolate-maker Conrad J. Van Houten."

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