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Chocolate Ganache

September 2, 2010
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The last thing I decided to do today was to use up a batch of cupcakes I had frozen a few months ago and instead of frosting them.  I decided to ganache them!  This is a VERY EASY recipe and its amazing!

Chocolate Ganache

What you will need:

1 part Heavy Cream

2 parts Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

So for example- I used 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup chocolate chips and I easily dipped 12 cupcakes.

Directions:

1. Heat a saucepan on medium heat with water until boiling.

2. Place a bowl on top that does not touch the hot water below.

3. Dump the chocolate and cream into the bowl and stir slowly until the chocolate melts and comes to a nice shiny consistency.

4. Dip cupcakes into ganache and twist your wrist while lifting the cupcakes out to make sure you keep the chocolate on the cupcake and not all over the kitchen!

5. Let set about 5 minutes and serve!

Banana Crumb Muffins

September 2, 2010

So I had the day off today and I decided to go on a mini baking spree. Not crazy just mini….like me! I had 3 brownish naners left and something just had to be done.  I am tired of the same old Banana Bread, don’t get me wrong I LOVE it but I just needed something different.  Thus, the Banana Crumb Muffin!  I have never made anything “crumb” before…so what the heck… I decided to give it a whirl! and again- Delish!  they are soft and moist but have that great nice crumb topping…equal balance perfecto muffin of goodness! You will not regret making these if you enjoy Bananas!

Banana Crumb Muffins

Adapted from AllRecipes

You will need:

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour – (I used half Whole Wheat and half All-Purpose)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar – (I used Splenda)
1 egg, lightly beaten – (Eggbeaters)
1/3 cup butter, melted

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup packed brown sugar – (I used Brown Sugar Splenda)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.

2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

3. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.

4. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over.

5. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

This recipe is very versatile and you can add anything else you want like walnuts, pecans, blueberries, etc.  You can add more cinnamon if you’re obsessed with it like me or you can add more bananas if you want a more flavorful muffin.. Either way- YUMMY!

Salsa del Norte

September 2, 2010
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I know I know… what the heck?  Not baking…but really good salsa nonetheless! I made this and it tastes delish all warmed up with some fresh tortilla chips!  My other half annihilated it– but that is not surprising as salsa is his other love in life.. i think besides nachos… Anyways… the reason I made this was because of the MASS abundance of tomatoes we had this year! I mean the garden is and still is still exploding with tomatoes… so this was my way to use up some of that lot….try it… sooo good!

Salsa del Norte

Adapted from Use Real Butter

What you need:

1 1/2 lbs. whole Roma or Italian plum tomatoes- unpeeled

1/2 medium onion, chunked

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro – (I omitted this because I don’t care for it).

2-3 fresh jalapeño peppers – (I used a can of diced chiles).

2 garlic cloves

1 1/2 tsps salt

2-3 tbsps vinegar or cider

pinch of sugar (optional)

Directions:

1. Heat broiler. Place tomatoes on a small baking sheet lined with foil.

2. Broil 15-18 minutes, turning a couple of times until soft and skins split. There should be some dark spots.

3. Let the tomatoes cool a bit.

4. Put the whole tomatoes in a blender with the rest of the ingredients and purée.

5. Serve warm or refrigerate for later use.

A change for the better!

September 2, 2010
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Hello all!

Thanks for taking the time to stop by and take a gander at my blog.  I know it’s not fancy and super cool yet.  But hopefully one day, I’ll get there!

I just signed myself up to get my certificate in Baking and Pastry.  I stated my classes 2 weeks ago and I have to say – they are SO tiring but SO very worth it! I am taking Patisserie 1 at the moment as well as an Intro to Hospitality something or another course.  I love the Baking class!  We have had 2 lab days so far and I’ve already learned Quickbreads:  Biscuits, Scones, Pop-overs, Soda Bread, Muffins, Crumbcakes, Coffeecakes…um, I think that is it…but still!  Lots!  Love it!  I am so happy when I’m baking… so stay tuned if I ever get to bring something home to show you!

Muah!

Sugar Cookie Bars with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

September 2, 2010

So I know its been at least a month since I last posted- I am so sorry.  I have been busy beyond explanation, thus I am full of excuses.  Last month I decided to surprise my other half so that when he came home from work, he would have a taste treat to nibble his work day stress away on.  I know he is a fanatic for sugar cookies!  Yes- and snickerdoodles and lots of other sweets or course.  But I wanted to keep in line with the previous Bar cookie I had made but make its polar opposite…. the Sugar Cookie Bar!  Oh and was a giant hit in the house and with friends alike!  So go ahead and make them- YUMMY!!! I could not figure out a way to make these healthy except that you can substitute Splenda for sugar. One is ok….really…trust me… you’ll thank me later !!

Sugar Cookie Bars:

From Natalie’s Killer Cuisine

What you will need:

13×18 sheet pan

1 cup butter-  room temperature

2 cups sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

5 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375.

2. Grease baking sheet.

3. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg. Add vanilla & mix well.

4. In a separate bowl combine flour, salt & soda & stir with a whisk to combine. Add to wet mixture and mix just until combined. Spread on a greased baking sheet.

5. Bake for 20 – 25 min, until light golden brown or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting and frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream
(or use your favorite buttercream recipe)

What you will need:

1 cup butter- room temp

3 TBS cream cheese- softened

1 tsp vanilla

Pinch of salt

4 cups powdered sugar

3 TBS milk

food coloring (if desired)

sprinkles

Directions:

1. Combine the butter and cream cheese and cream until smooth. Add vanilla and salt and cream until incorporated.

2. Add the powdered sugar in 1 cup increments then add milk until smooth and spreadable.

3. Divide into separate bowls and color if desired.

Enjoy!  This is also great to bring to parties if you don’t want to bake a cake!

Decorated Frosted Cake

July 30, 2010
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So I had my final class of the first series on Tuesday.  I made a Chocolate cake for the kiddies and I thought yellow would be a lovely frosting color to contrast to the deep chocolate cake.  I was so nervous that I was going to totally ruin the decor for this cake… I mean I had no vision for it at all but in the end I thought I would dedicate my first real decorated cake to my other half..  :)  And I think it turned out really pretty!  I can’t believe I can make real cake roses now… so cool!  and write all neat!  My handwriting is horrible in real life but this looks authentic!  I hope you like as well… lemme know your thoughts, comments, suggestions, anything! Any suggestions for my next big dessert or cake?  I need some motivation please!!!!!!!!!!!

No sugar – low fat Banana Loaf Cake

July 25, 2010

SO I recently fell in LOVE with a blogger man.  I did.

He had awesometastic recipes and I love his bloggie man style.  He lives in PARIS… I am So jealous.

Anyways, I made a healthier version of his already healthy version of a Banana Loaf cake with no real sugar for my madre.

Banana Loaf Cake- slightly adapted from Dave Lebovitz

What you will need:

One 9-inch cake

2 1/2 cups flour (spoon flour into dry-measure cup and level off)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon – I love cinnamon so I used almost 1 tsp
3 large egg whites
1/2 cup Splenda
1/2 cup Splenda Brown Sugar
3 tablespoons margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla extract – I also love vanilla- so I used almost 1 1/2 tsps
2 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 4 or 5 large very ripe banana-mash, then measure)

One 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan, sprayed with vegetable cooking spray coated with fine, dry breadcrumbs or a dusting of flour

Directions:

1. Set a rack in the middle level of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

2. Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.

3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg whites to break them up, then whisk in the sugar and the brown sugar. Whisk in the butter and vanilla, followed by the mashed bananas.

4. Sift the flour mixture over the banana mixture and thoroughly fold it in. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

5. Bake the cake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.

6. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes, then unmold it and cool completely on a rack

Storage: Keep the cake wrapped in plastic at room temperature after it has cooled. For longer storage, double wrap and freeze for up to a month.

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