February 19, 2010

BAKING UPDATES!

I've done a lot of baking in the past month but haven't had a chance to post about it yet. There's been much Olympic-watching going on and a lot of sickness, plus I decided to take Wednesday off blogging (not one food photo!). Here's a recap of recent baking:

BAKERELLA CAKE POPS:
I made these for a work bake sale last Thursday with the proceeds benefiting the Hospital for Sick Kids. I followed Bakerella's recipe but halved everything as I was feeling under the weather and wasn't really in the mood to be baking. I honestly wouldn't have followed through with this recipe had I not already signed myself up for the bake sale early last week. Because I just really wanted to go to bed rather than create these things, I only made a dozen. Here's the process and the reveal at the end. There's so many final end product photos because it took so long because I was sick.

So first thing's first...you have to bake an entire sheet cake and crumble it. Again, I halved the recipe and since I wanted to keep the rest of the cake as cupcakes, I used a cupcake box mix and made 24 cupcakes. Thank goodness Sean's food processor started working again that night because there's no way I would have gotten this fine crumb without the use of a food processor:

After that I added in the cream cheese and then mixed it all together until it stuck together and was sweet enough. I ended up using about half a can of cream cheese frosting:

After that was complete I rolled the mixture into 15gram balls. Yes, I actually weighed each ball. I think I ended up with around 30-something...I think 34 or 36 to be exact. Then I started dunking and decorating.

Here are my final dozen:I completely forgot to pick up a big block of styrofoam so I made do with some styrofoam I found in the basement, cut it to size and then wrapped it up in some festive tissue paper. It did the trick. It was now nearing 1am so I just wanted these cake pops to be over with. Here's a few more pics:
I like the way the sprinkles come together in a circle in the white one above. It was completely unintentional as I was dipping the pops in a bowl of heart-shaped quins. It kind of reminds me of a Valentine's Day baseball.

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MERINGUE COOKIES:
I went a little bit nuts making meringue cookies last week. I made two batches on the 12th and then another batch the next day. The first batch I made I split into two and flavoured as follows:

Above are chocolate with chocolate chips and I also made a batch of chocolate with dried cherries:

My second batch made the next day were vanilla meringue cookies with dried cherries. As I was packing the cookies into an air-tight container, I had to flip a few upside-down in order to make them all fit. That's when I stumbled upon this one and decided to keep it for Sean:

Cute huh? I think he liked it. He's Sean so he probably thought it was corny and cheesy and silly but I liked it. I mean, how the heck do hearts just appear on the bottom of meringue cookies? It did all the work for me.

My second batch of meringue cookies were vanilla with dried cherries but I forgot to take photos of them. They were incredibly sweet though. I followed the recipe to a T but found them to be ridiculously sweet (hence the use of fruit sherbet served to Sean and his parents but the sherbet was ridiculously sweet anyway). By the way, you can find the recipe here but if you do plan on using the recipe, I'd cut the sugar down by at least 1/4. I also piped my cookies with a pastry bag instead of spooning them onto a cookie sheet. It saved time and effort. Oh and cream of tartar is key to keeping your meringue stable...very key!

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STRAWBERRY COCONUT CUPCAKES WITH VANILLA BEAN AND MALIBU COCO FROSTING:
I wanted to make cupcakes for dessert for dinner at Sean's. I wanted these to have a Valentine's Day theme and was going to make red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting but wanted to include coconut since I love coconut. I couldn't find a coconut cupcake recipe that I was happy with so I decided to stick with a favourite but had to include some kind of fruit puree. I decided to go with strawberry for a strawberry coconut cupcake--yum! After piping with vanilla bean and Malibu Coco-flavoured frosting and decorating half with toasted coconut and the other half with heart-shaped quins, this is what I've got:

Here's a couple close-ups of each. First up the toasted coconut (my fave):


And the heart-shaped quins:


And that's all the baking I've been up to lately. I have wanted to bake some more but there aren't enough taste-testers in my household--boo!

2 comments:

moretolifethanlettuce said...

WHOA the hearts on the bottoms of those meringues = briliant! i love that you baked for a fundraiser for the hospital. i work at a children's hospital (as a volunteer) so i know for a fact that the $ you guys raised will make a huge diff in patients' lives! you're quite talented, all your stuff looks so delish!

Dominique said...

Thanks for the compliment! And I'm glad to hear that the money we raised will actually do some good. I don't know the exact amount of money that we raised but I overheard the organizers say that it's the most they've ever raised--yay!