Monday, January 19, 2009

Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake

Blue Seude Shoes
Well, its one for the money,
Two for the show,
Three to get ready,
Now go, cat, go.

But dont you step on my blue suede shoes~
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes!

Well, you can knock me down,
Step in my face,
Slander my name
All over the place.

Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of my shoes
Dont you step on my blue suede shoes.
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes~

You can burn my house,
Steal my car,
Drink my liquor
From an old fruitjar.

Do anything that you want to do, but uh-uh,
Honey, lay off of my shoes
Dont you step on my blue suede shoes.
You can do anything but lay off of my blue suede shoes~

Who doesn't love Elvis Presley? And who doesn't love pound cake? Elvis Presley loved pound cake and I understand why. I first tried pound cake as an afternoon snack after school at my aunt's house a couple years ago. It was the Sara Lee brand and oh my goodness it was like the best thing I had ever tasted. So moist and sweet.. so flavorful and cold.. and so so so creamy! I later asked my mom to buy me some and was dissapointed to find that one loaf was almost $5. After that, I forgot about pound cake for a while then when I got my "Baking from my Home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan I quickly tried to make the "Perfection Pound Cake". I, without the help of an electric mixer of any sort, beat the 4 eggs into the batter. While baking, it smelled like eggs and after it was done, it tasted like eggs... I was very much dissapointed and wondered what I had done wrong. Last week I was again craving pound cake and I decided to try once more. I was stuck between this pound cake recipe from recipezaar and this recipe. I eventually chose this recipe only because it had more reviews and better ratings. Might I say this is the best pound cake in the world! The Sara Lee kind is good too but this one has a fresher taste. Mine burned a little bit on the bottom because I put the timer for the longer baking time and forgot and thought that it was the minimum, not the maximum. Next time, I will definately reduce the time by about 10 minutes. Also, the top on mine began to burn alittle when there was 30 minutes of baking time left, so I put some aluminum foil on top. This cake is everything that Sara Lee's has. Plus, it tastes fresher. I find that pound cake tastes better when cold.

Elvis Presley's Favorite Pound Cake;makes 2 loaves or 1 tube cake

2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened, plus additional for buttering pan
3 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring) plus additional for dusting
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups sugar
7 large eggs, at room temperature 30 minutes
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup heavy cream

Put oven rack in middle position, but do not preheat oven.
Generously butter pan and dust with flour, knocking out excess flour.
Sift together sifted flour (3 cups) and salt into a bowl. Repeat sifting into another bowl (flour will have been sifted 3 times total).
Beat together butter (2 sticks) and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment or 6 to 8 minutes with a handheld mixer. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add half of flour, then all of cream, then remaining flour, mixing well after each addition. Scrape down side of bowl, then beat at medium-high speed 5 minutes. Batter will become creamier and satiny.
Spoon batter into pan and rap pan against work surface once or twice to eliminate air bubbles. Place pan in (cold) oven and turn oven temperature to 350°F. Bake until golden and a wooden pick or skewer inserted in middle of cake comes out with a few crumbs adhering, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool cake in pan on a rack 30 minutes. Run a thin knife around inner and outer edges of cake, then invert rack over pan and invert cake onto rack to cool completely.

In conclusion, YOU MUST MAKE THIS CAKE! it is foolproof and delicious.
try it!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

chocolate mousse cupcakes

hey hey hey. happy new years! I'm kind of late huh? No Susan, you're very late! :'( well not to worry! I made chocolate mousse cupcakes! I've made it in the cake form before but when I looked up chocolate mousse cake on google, I found all these images of beautiful little cakes. I decided to step up to the challenge and guess what? It was so fun! But kind of hard work. I took the recipe from the preview cake I'd made, made cupcakes in the throw away souffle cups from Smart & Finals so they'd be even from top to bottom, I sliced off the tops and sliced em in the middle. Then I piped chocolate mousse in the middle topped it with the tops I had previously cut off and topped em with chocolate ganache. Then I put a strawberry slice on each of em. So really, I combined the classic chocolate mousse (chocolate mousse w/ chocolate sauce that hardens which I took for ganache) with chocolate mousse cake (chocolate cake and chocolate mousse) and got this (chocolate fudge cake with chocolate mousse with chocolate ganache)! haha. ok. So, lets go on. The first time I made a chocolate mousse cake was when my dad's friend ordered one from me saying that his son liked spiderman. I had heard rumors that chocolate mousse cake was hard to make and so I chose the easiest looking recipe I could find. I came up with this and it tasted good. But I had mistakenly bought double of what was needed because I thought I needed that much and so I got another chance to make it. Let me say, the cake form is easier but this way is so much cuter and much much more rewarding.

Spiderman chocolate mousse cake. stop wondering why I cut off the edges!
instead, focus on the cute spiderman I piped out of ziploc bagss. :o what i learned.. i need to buy some piping bags and new tipss.

Chocolate mousse cupcakes

Chocolate Mousse Cake; makes a 2 9-inch layer cake or 24 cupcakes.

1 (18.25 ounce) package chocolate cake mix i used chocolate fudge but you could easily substitute Martha's one bowl chocolate cupcakes if you wanted. It would taste the same.
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 (1 ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate, melted
1/2 cup cold water
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare and bake cake mix according to package directions for two 9-inch layers. Cool and remove from pans.
In a large bowl, mix together sweetened condensed milk and melted chocolate. Gradually stir in the water, then instant pudding until smooth. Chill for at least 30 minutes. <--I did this first. then made the cake.
Remove the chocolate mixture from the refrigerator, and stir to loosen. Fold in whipped cream and return to the refrigerator for at least another hour.
Place one layer of cake onto a serving plate. Top with 1 1/2 cups of the mousse, then cover with the remaining cake layer. Frost with the remaining mousse, and refrigerate until serving. Garnish with fresh fruit or chocolate shavings.

if you wanna make cupcakes, prepare the cupcakes then leave alone til cool. Then, slice off the tops and middle and pipe chocolate mousse in the middle. You can do more than I did since I piped twice and still made leftover. Put the top of the cake back on and pour a teaspoon of ganache on the top. Spread and top with fruit or whatever you want. Cool in fridge til serving time. These taste better when cool.

I made a ganache out of 4 unsweetened baker squares and about 4 ounces of extra dark chocolate. I boiled a 1/2 cup of half and half and poured it on the chopped chocolate. I let it stand for 2 minutes and stirred til smooth. It was wayy too bitter so I added confectioners' sugar and more half and half to reach the consistency I wanted.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Chocolate and Cookies!

So, I was relaxing on a friday, enjoying the fact that I had earned a 3 week vacation. Then, my friend called me and asked if he could come over and bake something. I was kind of bored and so I said yes. But as I was looking for something to make, I couldn't find anything. Anyways, we looked in my Sweet Treats For Kids book from William Sonoma, and we chose truffles! And I was amazed to find that I had exactly 8 ounces of semisweet chocolate which was what I needed! Yipee. But the funny part was, we hadn't read ahead and after we made the batter and everything, we realized that we had to wait 4 hours! Shock Shock Shock. So we just dipped our dumplings in the soupy chocolate and then they left.

cooling in the fridge for 4 hourss. haha
Truffles; makes 25 balls
1/4 cup unsalted butter
8 ounces semisweet chocolate
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 powdered sugar or unsweetened cocoa powder
Cut the butter and chocolate into small chunks. Warm the cream on medium heat until tiny bubbles appear in the cream around the edges of the pan. Add the butter and chocolate and stir with a rubber spatula until everything is melted and the mixture is very smooth. Let the mixture cool to room temperature (about 15 minutes) then chill the mixture in the refrigerator for 4 hours. Scoop the truffles using a melon baller and then roll in powdered sugar or cocoa.

So I had it all to myself! But if I did make the truffles, then I would eat it all by myself, and that would do horrors (not wonders) to my skin. And so, I decided to let it cool. Then, I would dip butter cookies in it. And it would look pretty! And it did. Soo cute. Kinda reminded me of Milanos.

That week was also the Sunday where I bake something at Perrin's for the mentally ill. But this week was extra special because they came here to the restaurant instead of us going there (to the church). It was extra special because of Christmas! So of course I made chocolate chip cookies SUSAN STYLE! (its my own recipe!), star shaped butter cookies dipped in melted truffle liquid, vanilla cupcakes (let me explain), and Oreo clones! The reason why the chocolate chip cookies were susan style was because it was my recipe! I looked at the Nestle Toll House Cookie recipe and I made alot of changes. So it's mine! hehe. But the bad news was, it tasted like the cookies my school sells for 75 cents. It tasted all chewy and had the consistency of bread. So that was a dissapointment. But whatever! My excuse is that it tasted weird because it was a healthy cookie (it had 3/4 cup applesauce and 1/4 cup butter instead of 1 cup butter). The star shaped butter cookies, well, they were so popular that I didn't get to taste it. But everyone else said it was good. The oreo cookie clones were not what I expected. The filling was TOO sweet. And so I had to squeeze the two black cookies together to get rid of the excess filling. And I preferred the chocolate cookies to be chewy. Because it was either chewy, or crispy. And Oreoes are thick and crispy/crunchy but these were thin and crispy. And the only things I like thin and crispy is my pizza. Ok, so let me tell you about the vanilla cupcakes. I had it all figured out. I was gonna make Billy Reece's Vanilla Vanilla cupcakes, but the big controversy is whether it is 1 tablespoon or 2 tablespoons. I chose 2 even though everyone else did 1 because? Billy himself said 2. And Martha said "Oohh, that's alot of baking powder." So MHM. But, I overbeat the batter because there were small chunks of butter because I didn't soften it. -_- And I had especially bought cake flour and the #16 ice cream scoop. But it seems too much. I don't know whyy. Am I supposed to level it?

*sigh of defeat*

So the main reasons it overflowed was because the ice cream scoop was too big, too much baking powder, and because I overbeat it.

hehe, poking them out was the only fun part.


Anywhoo, I needed vanilla cupcakes, and what I got was vanilla monsters! So, I was forced to use 2 French Vanilla box mixes. I then dyed it red but it turned out pink. And I added ALOT! The picture makes it look red but it wasn't. I now understand why chefs and bakers favor the food coloring gel. But I did make Billy's Vanilla Buttercream Frosting! It was sweet. Just like any other frosting. But it looked kinda weird since I added green food coloring. I now understand why chefs and bakers favor the food coloring gel.

Billy Reece's Vanilla Cupcakes

1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes SEE IT DIDN'T SAY SOFTEN! (one disadvantage of getting recipes from the internet is that some same recipes have different ingredients).
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325°. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat process with remaining batter. Once cupcakes have cooled, use a small offset spatula to frost tops of each cupcake. Decorate with sprinkles, if desired. Serve at room temperature. Billy's Vanilla Buttercream INGREDIENTS 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature 6-8 cups confectioners' sugar i used 5 cups 1/2 cup milk 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract DIRECTIONS In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 4 cups sugar, milk, and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary, gradually addmore sugar to reach desired consistency.

Susan's Chocolate Chip Cookies; makes 36

1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup applesauce
2/3 cup white sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. In a large bowl, cream together the melted butter, applesauce, brown sugar and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla .Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Finally, fold in the chocolate chips. Drop by rounded spoonfuls onto the prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, until light brown. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

Butter Cookies; makes 48 cookies i got 24 stars

8 ounces unsalted butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 egg i used 1 large egg yolk
2 cups all-purpose flour

Beat the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Mix in the egg yolk until well incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl at least once. Add the flour and mix just until incorporated. Scrape onto a lightly floured board and knead a few times, just until the dough smooths out. Turn onto a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a log, wrap up and refrigerate for several hours or freeze. Before baking, preheat the oven to 325°F. Line your baking sheets with parchment. Slice the dough into slices about 1/8" thick and place them on the sheets about an inch apart (they won't be spreading very much, but they need air room around each cookie). Bake until JUST beginning to turn golden around the edges, about 16-18 minutes. Note: you can do many things with these cookies. You could roll the dough out and cut shapes.You could slice them even thinner and sandwich them with chocolate or jam or lemon curd or vanilla buttercream!You could make them and then dip them half into chocolate. <-- thats what I did.

The pictures of the Oreos, its only half of the cookie dough. There wasn't enough time to make more.

Oreo Cookie; Makes 50 sandwich cookies

Cookie Recipe from How to eat a Cupcake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups Hershey's Special Dark
1 teaspoon baking soda10
1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup light corn syrup

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda. In a small heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate over low heat, stirring the entire time. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. (You may also melt the chocolate using a microwave-safe bowl, setting the microwave at half power for 1 minute; re­move the chocolate, stir, and return to the microwave for another burst, if needed. When the chocolate is half melted, stirring will complete the process.) In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, melt the butter with the sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add the melted chocolate, egg, and corn syrup; mix thoroughly. Pour the chocolate mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well to blend all of the ingredients. Drop by SMALL teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet lined with parchment. After you've made uniform balls, press the cookies down flat (this time I was able to use the heel of my hand to push them down, but if the dough is too sticky, I've used the underside of a glass coated continually in powdered sugar) so they will be more like a thin oreo cookie.It's best to make these small so the chocolate cookie doesn't overwhelm the filling. Bake at 350 for 11 minutes. CHECK as you go! (This temp/time combo makes a really crisp thin cookie, much like the actual oreo, but play around if you want it softer, or chewier, I know I do.) Ok, so. First, I rolled it out then cut it out with a jam top. Then I pressed down with my palm because the powder sugared cup didn't work. But that took way too long. And so in the end, I rolled the dough into a log and cut.

Beautiful, but it took me more than an hour. So. Not. Worth. It.

Filling from Baking for John

Oreo Filling

1 cup plus
2 T unsalted butter, room temp
2 cup powdered sugar, sifted (really, you should do it)
1 T vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Melt chips 1 min on high in microwave, mix until totally melted and smooth. Let sit. Beat butter until smooth. Add sifted powdered sugar. Once the butter and sugar and light and fluffy, add vanilla and melted chocolate. Mix well. Using a plastic bag with a half inch opening, pipe a generous teaspoonful of filling on one side, then top with a similar sized cookie and push together to even out the filling. This is a big amount of frosting, because they really taste great with a lot of filling. You can halve it if you'd like less. The cookies aren't very sweet, so putting them with a lot of filling makes for a great sweetness. <--- I did that and it was too sweet.

NOW, on to the fun part! Woohoo!

I was the first to comment Adam's "Um, I think I Overslept" post.
When I went back to see if he had a new post, I reread the old one and saw that I'd been tagged. Foolish me. And then he said take any award off his trophy wall and so I (Yum ninja) chose the Yum-yum blog award. My first award! I am overjoyed. Thanks for making me smile Adam :))))

Tag- Meme :)

1. Where is your cell phone? idk,, thats one word right?? :)
2. Where is your significant other? single
3. Your hair color? dyed
4. Your mother? strict
5. Your father? caring
6. Your favorite thing? ring
7. Your dream last night? nightmare.
8. Your dream/goal? NDA
9. The room you’re in? computerroom !
Theres no #10...haha okay. let me make one..
10. Your current emotion? content
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? college
13. Where were you last night? home
14. What you’re not? stupid
15. One of your wish-list items? guitar
16. Where you grew up? la
17. The last thing you did? think
18. What are you wearing? pajamas
19. Your TV? off
20. Your pet? potato
21. Your computer? black
22. Your mood? content
23. Missing someone? mhm :[
24. Your car? nonexistent
25. Something you’re not wearing? gloves
26. Favorite store? williamsonoma
27. Your summer? fun
28. Love someone? mhm
29. Your favorite color? green
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? thanksgiving

Well thats it, hope you had fun reading! :)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Lemon Cake with Lemon Filling and Lemon Butter Frosting

Mmmmm, this cake is so so so good. It is very lemony. The story goes, I made lemon cupcakes from how to eat a cupcake, but the frosting was.. watery or something. Oh ya, too sweet! So I just did the cone method (as Cassie said, I think..) and but black raspberry preserves in the middle. It was good and my little cousin ate 5! He's so cool! Anyways, I felt disatifyed so I decided to go back to a lemon cake I had found and made but never eaten before. It only got 4 stars, but with the reviewers' advice I made a little changes and may I say, this is an unbelievably moist and delicious cake! So let me continue with my story.. My mom brought the cupcakes I made, to her work and my other aunt who is the sister of the aunt with the little cousin who is her son, well my other aunt ate it and said it was delicious! I thought she was talking about the lemon cake that I had made before (because my mom's friend odered it from me). So when she asked me to make it again, I thought she was talking about not the cupcakes, which I didn't like, but the cake. So I made it again and ya. It was yummy.
Lemon Cake; makes 12 servings
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk i used 3/4 cup milk and 1/4 lemon juice

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup white sugar
4 egg yolks, beaten

4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans. Mix together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk, mixing just until incorporated.
3. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
4. To make filling: In medium saucepan, mix together 1 tablespoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth. Mix in 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup sugar, and bring mixture to boil over medium heat. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. In small bowl, with a wire whisk, beat egg yolks until smooth. Whisk in a small amount of the hot lemon mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the sauce pan, beating the hot lemon mixture rapidly. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes, or until thick (not to boil).
5. Pour mixture into medium bowl. Press plastic wrap onto surface to keep skin from forming as it cools. Cool to room temperature. Refrigerate 3 hours.
6. To make frosting: In large bowl, beat confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 2 tablespoons lemon juice and 1 teaspoon lemon zest until smooth. Beat in milk, and increase speed and continue to beat until light and fluffy.
7. To assemble: With long serrated knife, split each cake layer in half horizontally, making 4 layers. Place 1 layer, cut side up, on a serving plate. Spread with half of the lemon filling. Top with another layer, and spread with 1/2 cup frosting. Add third layer, and spread with remaining half of the lemon filling. Press on final cake layer, and frost top and sides of cake with remaining frosting. Refrigerate cake until serving time.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Duk Bo Ki, Ddeokbokki, Dduck Boki. ARG! Heres how you pronounce it: duck bow [as in arrow] key. I'm not really good at those korean to english translation spelling things. Korean cooking is simple and even less exact than American cooking. I was hungry so I asked my grandma to make me some of her duk bo ki. Then I figured that I should take pictures and measure how much of what went into the dish. When I asked her how much water did you put, how much is that, how much is this, she nearly went crazy. Most Korean people usually just cook with their eyes using how much looks enough.
There are many different ways to make duk bo ki. First of all, duk bo ki is plain rice cakes with either hot pepper paste (Gochujang), hot pepper flakes (Gochugaru), or both. You can usually count on it to be a red color from the pepper but today's was orange. My family's duk bo ki uses hot pepper flakes. My family's duk bo ki is also kind of on the watery side. It's not sweet at all and it's very spicy. Although all duk bo ki recipes are different, they are all spicy. Some, the ones that are not very much on the watery side are sweet. Some don't have water at all. Some are made by stir frying a little bit of oil while the kind I eat is made by simmering water.

Thawed rice cakes in simmering water

Everything added

Stired, and simmering for 3 minutes


Duk Bo Ki; serves 3

2 cups of water
2 cups of rice cakes (top and bottom are 2 different types of rice cakes, either are fine), thawed
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 heaping teaspoons of hot pepper flakes
1 sheet of dempura (fish cake), thawed
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
In a sauce pan, simmer 2 cups of water on high. Add the thawed rice cake pieces into the water. Add the salt and hot pepper flakes. Cut the fish cake sheet into 8 pieces and add. Add the green onions and crushed garlic and stir. Stir for about 3-5 minutes or until the rice cake is squishy and done.

Footnote: You can also add carrots, onions, cabbages or whatever else you'd like. For a more festive look sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I've been tagged! & French Bread

Kelly of The Pink Apron tagged me to share 7 random facts about myself. Being tagged just totally made my day. The rules are that you have to provide the link of the person who tagged you, and you have to tag 7 others to do the same. Anyways, on with the facts!
  • I am 13 years old, and I am in 8th grade *shock*
  • After I wash my face, I put lotion on. Then I always wash my hands.
  • I have a phobia of vomiting and also of flies.
  • Persimmon is my favorite fruit.
  • I currently don't play any instrument but I'm planning on learning guitar.
  • I don't know what I want to be when "I grow up".
  • I have had over 30 goldfish/salt water fish.

I tag...

Now, on with the bread! I made this bread because I always bring lunch and I needed some bread fo my sandwich. I had always bought french bread from Albertsons but I decided that if Albertsons could make it, why couldn't I? I tried this bread 2 times and the first time, I divided the dough in half but the second time, I made 4 baguettes. This not only helped the bread get baked more evenly, but it also made a better size for sandwiches. I kneaded this bread using my kitchenaid dough hook. Because I used my KA, it was very very easy. And very fun (because it was easy). It was also very delicious.

I measured them out to each be about 13.5 ounces

about 8x10 inches.
before rise
After! And I also did the slashes!

French Bread; makes 4 skinny loaves or 2 huge loaves

2 1/2 cups
warm water
2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
6 cups
2 tablespoons
dry yeast
cornmeal (for dusting baking sheet)
egg, beaten lightly i ended up not even using 1/4 of it, and had to throw it away.

Pour warm water into a large, warm mixing bowl. Stir in sugar, salt, oil, 3 cups of flour, and yeast. Beat vigorously for 2-3 minutes. Stir in remaining flour until all dry ingredients are incorporated, leaving spoon right in batter. Allow dough to rest 10 minutes; then stir down.
Allow dough to rest another 10 minutes and stir down again. Repeat this process until dough has been stirred down 5 times. urn dough onto floured surface. Knead only enough to coat the dough with flour so it can be handled. Divide dough into 4 parts. Roll each half into a rectangle approximately 8x10 inches, and roll up like a jelly roll starting from the long side.
Pinch ends to seal. Arrange on a large baking sheet that has been dusted with cornmeal, leaving enough room for both loaves. Cover lightly and let rise at room temperature for 30 minutes.
With a very sharp knife, cut 3 diagonal slashes on top of each loaf. Brush each loaf with beaten egg. Bake immediately at 400°F for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks.

My thoughts:
This bread was so yummy. Compared to the other breads that I have made, this did not really taste of flour, which was good. I liked it fresh out of the oven, but eating it the next day was also equally as yummy. I reccommend this bread for beginners in bread making. I also liked this bread because you don't need a bread machine. But I would do something to make the crust harder. I splashed some water during the end but I think I did it wrong. Next time, I'll pay more attention to the directions of how to splash water in the oven. But beware, splashing water is kind of scary. The sizzling sound made my heart jump.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Amy Sedaris' vanilla cupcakes

I have an issue with vanilla cupcakes. I once made Magnolia vanilla cupcakes but they were so grainy and oily and they tasted like sugar cookies! Nothing like the Betty Crocker French Vanilla Cupcakes I'm used to. At first, I thought I was doing something wrong. Because on for one of the vanilla cupcake reviews (I think it was Billy's) a person complained that it tasted like a sugar cookie, but on How to eat a cupcake, she told the person for Billy Reece's vanilla cupcakes that it was supposed to taste like a sugar cookie. So I figured what the heck, I'm the weird one.
I know that the storebought mixes are full of shortening and but I have an issue with shortening. I once made cream puffs and it had shortening in it. The result was a good cream puff but the smell of all that oil in the kitchen was so unbearable that it gave me an upset stomach and a headache for the night. Plus, shortening is not that good for your body. I mention this because I found another recipe at Recipezaar and those cupcakes had shortening in it. I really wanted to try it because everybody raved about good they were but I resisted.
Anyways, I wanted a good and simple cupcake recipe and I really wanted to try Billy's, but I didn't have cake flour, and on Recipezaar Amy Sedaris' vanilla cupcakes got higher ratings than Billy's vanilla cupcakes. Plus, I wasn't sure if it was 1 tablespoon or 2 tablespoons of baking powder so I just went along with Amy Sedaris' cupcakes. They tasted like sugar cookies but as I was eating them without frosting, I told myself that they were supposed to taste like this and just swallowed half of it. The next morning, they smelled so good! Very sugary smell. Anyways, I also made Sprinkles vanilla frosting and it had a funny texture. I was creaming the butter and sugar together and then adding the powdered sugar, but it got very stiff so I wasn't sure if I was supposed to beat for an extra 5 minutes, so I just beat for 2 minutes and the result was a very powdered sugary taste. Can powdered sugar go old? I'm sure mine was only a few months old.. Maybe I didn't blend it enough. But in the end, the cupcake and frosting complimented each other nicely and it was good.

3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups milk

1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Add in the eggs, two teaspoons vanilla, salt and baking powder. Add flour and milk in batches, starting and ending with flour. Stir until batter is smooth and satiny.
3. Fill paper-lined muffin tins with batter. Bake at 375° for 18- 20 minutes.
4. For frosting, whip together the box of confectioners' sugar, half-and-half, and one teaspoon vanilla until smooth and fluffy.
5. Allow cupcakes to cool about 45 minutes and frost.

2 cups butter, softened
7 cups confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. In a bowl combine butter, sugar and salt. Beat till blended.
2. Add the milk and vanilla and beat for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.