Thursday, March 26, 2009

Cupcake Truffle Pops?

After perusing some other blogs, namely Bakerella, I saw these adorable little cake ball on a stick thingies that I thought I must try. Now, these are not HALF as nice as Bakerella's cupcake balls. But, I still think they are an awesome idea for gifts or party favors or whatever. =)

I am dork...hear me snork.
Envision me sitting in the cold, damp grass to take pictures of my cupcake thingies on a stick in a flower pot.

On other blogs I saw them tucked into glassine bags and tied with pretty curling ribbon. Certainly more hygenic than my flower pot with spaghnum moss lol

Oh as for the recipe, I just took a baked cake, crumbled into a mixing bowl (any flavor, this one happened to be vanilla) and mixed with almost a whole can of prepared frosting (cream cheese in this case) to make a dough. Then I chilled it really well, made 1" balls, formed them into cupcake shapes (see Bakerella's blog, she's much better than me, they put her on Martha Stewart's show for Pete's sake! lol) dipped the bottoms in melted chocolate, and the tops in white chocolate.
She's got some totally adorable ideas for other cake balls, she's here on Blogspot, check her out!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chewy Date Walnut Bars

nom nom nom!
My husband says dates look like bugs, but don't listen to him.
Not only are they good for you, but they make ordinary desserts into luscious tidbits of deliciousness.
Well, did that convince you?

Try these, you won't be sorry!

Preheat oven to 350* and spray Pam into a 9 x 13 pan.

Mix in large bowl:

1 yellow cake mix
2/3 c. brown sugar

mix till all lumps are gone then add:

1 lg. egg
3/4 c. butter, melted
1 c. dates, chopped
1 c. walnuts, chopped

The dough will be thick, spread it into the pan as level as you can and bake off for 35-45 minutes.
I actually halved the recipe and an 8 x 8 pan bakes for exactly 35 mins.

They are amazing when warm, but stay nice and chewy even after they've cooled.
Keep them in an airtight container and they will stay nice and fresh for you for several days.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

More Fun with Marshmallow Fondant

Don't mind me, Im just infatuated with marshmallow fondant at the moment. My friends say that I don't hobby, I obsess.
This is probably true. A slightly better effort today? More lessons learned again.
I think I rolled the fondant too thin when covering the cake. It should've been more like at least 1/8 inch thick so that it wasn't too wrinkled around the bottom.
The yellow looking hearts are actually a lime green, the color is slightly off for some reason.
I can clearly see all the possiblilies with fondant now. OOOOOH! I must go buy some petit four cutters!
The fondant will harden as it dries, so I think shapes could be cut out and formed into 3D bows, flowers, etc. heehee.

This cake is a red velvet cake baked into two 8 inch layers then sliced each in half to make 4 layers total. It was iced with cream cheese frosting, inside and out, then chilled so that a crust formed over before I smoothed the fondant over the cake.

I'd like to try a cake with a fondant cherry blossom trunk 'growing' up the side branching off into blossomed twigs. time, perhaps.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Playing with Marshmallow Fondant

So, traditional fondant doesn't taste very good. I mean, really, it's pretty bad. But, marshmallow fondant on the other hand, isn't bad! And it looks pretty good too.
I found a recipe on the Wilton forums posted by a lovely lady who took the time to not only post the recipe but answer everyone's questions as well.
Now, please note, I have never used fondant in my life, so be kind...and squint a lot while you look at the photo. That might make it look better.
I realize that some of my circles are thicker than others and my hands are colorful from the food coloring I kneaded in. Soooo much was learned here today. Hopefully, my next try will look a heck of a lot better!

Another thing, I usually make my cakes twice this tall. But, I was afraid I wouldn't have enough fondant, so I just used one layer.
For the next cake, I'll probably take some time and think about it before I start cutting out circles and randomly placing them. haha. Yeah, I know, it looks pretty bad.
You can so tell I love you all by me blogging about and posting photos of my misfit adventures and my hands are still blue.

Here's the recipe if anyone is interested. I've added a few tips I found informative. This is a small batch, enough to cover one 8" two layer cake.

Marshmallow fondant

1 cup mini marshmallows
1 tbsp water
1 1/2- 1 3/4 cup powder sugar
vegetable shortening (a few tablespoons)

Place marshmallows in a standard 1 cup measuring cup and push down and pack them in. Place in a microwave safe bowl and add the water. Put in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Just long enough for them to soften and puff up. Take out and stir with a spoon until it is combined well. At this point it looks kind of soupy.

Then add the sugar and mix and fold until all is incorporated and forms a ball. With my hands greased very well with veg. shortening, I take it out of the bowl when it gets to the point where most of the sugar is incorporated and I knead it in my hands. This takes roughly about 5-7 minutes. Take a fondant roller or a regular rolling pin and roll out just as you would Wilton's fondant. You can get this fondant almost paper thin and it also repairs well. It's cheap, easy to work with, and tastes great too.

Your fondant should end up like a smooth pliable ball, if its too dry and cracked looking, knead in a little more shortening.
If its too sticky looking, knead in a little more powdered sugar.

Some suggest coating it a bit with shortening and letting it rest in a ziplock bag for a while before using it. I did, but it only sat maybe an hour before I rolled it out on a vinyl sheet w/ powdered sugar to roll it on.

I'm certainly not an expert here on using fondant, so I suggest doing some research on it. If anyone has a question, I'll try my best to answer it! =)


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