Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Samoa Budnt Cake

This cake is incredible!  It's moist and delicious, with so many exciting flavors going on that every bite tastes like an explosion of flavors!  It is also, hands down, the biggest pain in the neck to make! (haha) I made this particular cake for my friend Vicki's Birthday.  I told her if she found a cake she wanted, since she's not really a big cake eater, that I would make it for her.  She sent me the link to this cake, and being my typical self, I looked at the ingredients and said no problem and went with it.  Little did I know, that not only does it have a MILLION steps, but it also takes hours to make.  So needless to say, if you do make this cake, make sure you plan accordingly! 

Vicki also took my camera and took most of the pictures, so I have the last half of the cake steps with photos, and I apologize for the lighting... we managed to finish up this cake at midnight after we partied all evening to celebrate her Birthday.

I didn't copy and paste the recipe this time because it has so many steps.  So click here to view the recipe!

Note: she gives great instructions on how to make this cake, but I will say this...  For the frosting you cook a can of sweetened condense milk to make into carmel.  On her blog, she says you have to boil the can in a pot of simmering water for 4 hours, making sure that the can is always covered with water.  This was the part that drove me crazy, so I looked it up on the internet.  Most people tell you to do it for 90 min.  I ended up boiling it for 3 hours, and it started to burn a little on the bottom, so I didn't use the bottom part of the can.  So it's not so bad when its only for 90 minutes, you can do it as you make your two batters.

So first thing that you do for this cake, is you make two batters... a CHOCOLATE batter, and a BROWN SUGAR batter... they are both amazing.  Then you layer it into a budnt cake pan, bake it and it comes out like this... delicious right???  It gets better...
Next, you toast your coconut so it gets slightly brown and becomes toasted goodness... yummy!
After your coconut has cooled, and your can of sweetened condense milk has COMPLETELY cooled, you can start to make the frosting... if you have read the recipe already, then you know this frosting is going to be amazing.  If you havn't then you are in for a treat!  Try some butter, sweetened condense milk, sugar, TOASTED COCONUT and a few more ingredients... mouth watering yet? It should be!
So now that your cake is frosted, you think your done right??? Wrong... now you cover the ENTIRE cake with toasted coconut, its gotta be like the samoa cookie right? I just lightly pressed the coconut into the frosting, and made sure to push it under the bottom of the cake to give in a nice clean line.
I bet by now your ready to dig in right... NOPE... still going.  Now you have to make a chocolate ganache by melting a bag of chocolate chips, we did dark because its our favorite and drizzled it over the top...
As you can see by the late hour... you would think FINALLY time to sing Happy Birthday and dig in right??? NO, you have to wait an hour after you frost the entire thing to eat it for the chocolate to set up.  So we went to Red Box, got a movie, and watched a great movie and had cake mid-way through it.  
In the end, it turned out amazing, and had I planned my day better... I wouldn't have finished the cake so late at night.  But I do highly suggest making it some day.  It's worth it!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

Have you seen the new trend on Pinterest lately where they stick a candy bar inside a baked good?  Well I decided to try it out on some cupcakes I was making for a dear friend of mine.  I must admit, they tasted pretty delicious!

So here is the recipe for my Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes...

Chocolate Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon Dutch-process cocoa powder½ cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water2¼ cups all-purpose flour¾ tsp. baking soda¾ tsp. baking powder½ tsp. salt2 sticks plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature1 2/3 cups sugar3 large eggs, at room temperature1 tbsp. vanilla extract¾ cup sour cream

Directions:Line cupcake pans with paper liners and place peanut butter cup at the bottom of each one.  In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and hot water and whisk until smooth.  In another medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to blend.
Combine the butter and sugar in a medium saucepan set over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth and the butter is completely melted.  Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-low speed until the mixture is cool, about 4-5 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Blend in the vanilla and then the cocoa mixture until smooth.  With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions alternating with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Add the batter on top of the peanut butter cup and bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 minutes. 

Peanut Butter Frosting
1 C. Creamy Peanut Butter (I used organic no sugar added)3 C. Powder Sugar2 cubes of unsalted butter (@ room temperature)1 tsp. Vanilla1/2 C. Heavy Cream
In a  mixing bowl add softened butter and peanut butter together and mix until smooth.  Add the vanilla and mix in well.  Next, add in one cup of powder sugar and mix into the frosting until it is well mixed.  Add half of the heavy cream with the rest of the powder sugar and mix together.  Finish with the rest of the heavy cream mixing on high until its nice and fluffy. If the frosting is to thin add some more powder sugar, if its too thick to spread on the cupcake then add a little milk.  
To finish the cupcake, I frosted them with a knife instead of piping them, so that I could have a flat surface to work with.  Then finished it off with a small of piece of a peanut butter cup on it.  

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Grand America Birthday Tea

This year was a golden birthday for me... I turned 30!  It feels crazy, honestly I thought I'd be depressed because I was getting old, but in reality I had one of the best birthday I have ever had! I'm excited for what my 30s are to bring... hopefully a husband and kids. Im starting to feel a little silly throwing parties for my friends and I still! 
To start of my 30th Birthday, besides a fabulous family vacation the week before to Orlando Florida, I started the morning off with my little sister, her daughter, (we start them off young), and my Mother for high tea at the Grand America.  If you live in Utah and haven't had the chance to do that yet, I highly suggest it.  I defiantly plan on going back in the fall for there witches high tea!
High Tea at the Grand, starts off with pouring hot water into a wine glass with a tea flower, I think its Jasmine, and then as you enjoy your tea.  You can watch the flower bloom, and of course after you can drink it. I love the flavor of it! You then pick your tea, they have many amazing flavorful teas that are all loose leaf teas, and pick which High Tea Package you want.  We went with the more simpler one. Once you pick your tea, you are welcome to start with fresh strawberries and marscarpone cream.
First Course starts with your scones, jam, and clotted cream, and a different variety of tea sandwiches.
 The last course is the dessert course, with a wide variety of cakes, cookies, tarts, and sugared jellies.
This was our view of the court yard, my dream for my 30th Birthday was to spend it in my favorite place in the world which is London, England but this was close enough!  I could even pretend thats Big Ben right???