Friday, January 30, 2009

CUPCAKES by "My Little Guy"

G2 was bound and determined that he was going to buy a special cake mix at the store last week. In my mind I was thinking, "WHERE IS THIS COMING FROM???". For some reason my little 5 year old wanted to make cupcakes and he had to make sure that he got the right flavor. We ended up with a confetti cake mix that he was SO very excited about making. The next day we got the mixer out and got ready to make the cupcakes!
He was very adamant that HE was the one that was making the cupcakes, NOT MOM. So, I let him! With just a little help on the eggs, he did do it all himself. We got the batter made and into the liners and then baked them all up. This is the point at which G2 lost interest in the making of cupcakes. He told me to finish making them and to make sure to make his special cupcake with lots of frosting a some sprinkles. He was happy with how I decorated it!! How fun for me to have them show some interest in something that I have such a passion for!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

January 2009 Daring Bakers: "Tuiles"

Here we are January 29th, 2009 and it is yet time again for another Daring Bakers Challenge. I have been missing in action lately on this blog, but I have 2 good reasons! I have been trying to get back into the swing of things ever since the kiddos went back to school at the beginning of the month....for some reason, I AM NOT BACK INTO THE SWING OF IT! Could it be that my husbands birthday was on the 21st, G2's (my littlest guy) b-day was the 24th and last but not least my favorite father-in-law's (yes, I do and have only ever had one!) b-day was on the 26th. So, I have been busy! I kind of forgot that this challenge was due today, so I made these just this afternoon.

This month's challenge is brought to us by Karen of Bake My Day and Zorra of 1x umruehren bitte aka Kochtopf. They have chosen Tuiles from The Chocolate Book by Angélique Schmeink and Nougatine and Chocolate Tuiles from Michel Roux.

Traditionally, tuiles are thin, crisp almond cookies that are gently molded over a rolling pin or arched form while they are still warm. Once set, their shape resembles the curved French roofing tiles for which they're named. The Dutch angle: traditionally this batter was used to bake flat round cookies on 31st December, representing the year unfold. On New Years day however, the same batter was used but this day they were presented to well-wishers shaped as cigars and filled with whipped cream, symbolizing the New Year that's about to roll on.

For this challenge we were to make the Tuiles recipe and shape them into whatever shape we so desired. You could make a stencil to use or just pipe the batter into the shape so desired. This is what I chose to do since I had very limited time frame to work with.
I started with using my Kitchen Aid to cream the butter, sugar and vanilla into a paste. Gradually I added the egg whites and then the flour. VERY SIMPLE FOLKS!! I then grabbed the saran-wrap and tossed it into the fridge while G2 and I went and got our teeth cleaned. (How is that for multi-tasking?) When we returned home I piped both circles and hearts followed by baking in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes. After the 10 minutes were up, I then transferred the cookies onto my 2 rolling pins to add the dimension that the challenge called for.
I cannot believe that I waited until the last hours of this challenge to complete it! What a quick and easy dessert to serve when you are entertaining. I took the circle cookies and formed them over the bottom of a glass and created a bowl. I then filled the little bowl with some ice cream and fresh blueberries! I now have 3 very pleased men under my roof!

Recipe:Yields: 20 small shape/6 large. Preparation time batter 10 minutes, waiting time 30 minutes, baking time: 5-10 minutes per batch

¼ cup (not melted but soft)

½ cup sifted confectioner’s sugar

1 sachet vanilla sugar (substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)

2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)

1/2 cupsifted all purpose flour

1 table spoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice

Oven: 350F Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites. Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up. (This batter will keep in the fridge for up to a week, take it out 30 minutes before you plan to use it).

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the bakingsheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes. Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.

Bake batter shapes in a preheated oven (350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown. Immediately release from baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again or place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable.If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake. Shape immediately after baking using for instance a rolling pin, a broom handle, cups, cones….