Monthly Archives: July 2010

Lately I’ve had a real sweet tooth… I have always been a lover of sweets, but I find myself boycotting my usual baking blog exploration, because I just end up with mad cravings and a pile of drool. I did get around to preparing some chocolate cupcakes though, and I could hardly wait for them to cool down so I could ice them and get down to business. 

They were damn good. The recipe I’ve been using for the actual cake is no fail. They always come out extremely moist and delicious. Although I opted for a traditional cocoa frosting, the possibilities are endless. Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart (for obvious reasons… my favourite ex-con)

 DEVIL’S FOOD CUPCAKES

Makes 36

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sour cream, room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Tonight a friend’s band is playing downtown, and tomorrow I get to see Megadeth, Slayer and Testament! Holy awesome batman! And speaking of metal and cupcakes, while in college a friend sent me a link to a blog that combines the two. Check out this amazing blog http://metalcakes.blogspot.com/. My two favourite things in the entire world. I can die happy now.

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So I really haven’t done much baking in the past week because a) I’ve been busy! and b) baking is expensive and sometimes I over-do it. But that’s not to say life hasn’t been ultra interesting, cause well… the past couple days have been radical. Firstly, I had a shitty Monday, which was eventually pretty cool. I helped (and by helped, I really mean tagged along) a friend with a film project. She was shooting a time lapse downtown T-O, so we came along and wasted an hour in a cute little park. 

But the next part of this story is the best… I had the amazing/wonderful/awesome/unforgettable opportunity to see Die Antwoord live! Okay, so you’ve either never heard of ’em, or maybe you’re all like ‘SO WUT’ but I have an extreme fondness for this unique duo (or foursome I guess if you include DJ Hi-Tek and Jack Parrow) But that’s not important, I had anticipated this evening for quite some time and along side my boyfriend, I had an extremely enjoyable evening. The band entertained to the utmost and it was completely surreal. They played all the songs I knew and loved the most, I still feel the energy from the show.

I get to spend another weekend up north and after that, I’ve got to have some time alone in the kitchen!! I have whoopie pie recipes to test and cupcake concoctions to create.

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So I did it. I made my first-ever batch of cake pops. I’m gonna be honest with you – I really underestimated this project. I was pretty short on time but made ’em anyways… so here’s how things went down.

I opted for a chocolate cake/chocolate icing variation. I baked the cake, mushed it up with my hands (wee! fun) added a container of pre-made chocolate icing and mixed it up real good. I rolled the mush into cute little balls (which made for quite a sticky mess) and this is when I encountered my first mistake. Humidity is my enemy. So the clock is ticking and my cake is in ball form, but I gotta let these suckers ‘set’. Popped them in the freezer for a few minutes – pulled ’em back out and shoved lolli sticks in ’em. (Note to self, get a bigger freezer) Tossed them back in the freezer and proceeded to melt some coloured chocolate. Hot pink and bright blue. Thinned the mixture out with some canola oil, which I felt was a very necessary step. And then I encountered setback #2. These cake balls need to set. But stupid me and my lack of time management, forced the sudden realization that this will have to do – all or nothin’ baby. I dipped the balls, lost some along the way, but for the most part… it worked. I placed them ‘stick-up’ on parchment and coated them in colourful sprinkles. Once the mission was complete, I put them in a cake box back in the fridge to stay cool – twas a hot day after all. 

I tried, and it wasn’t my proudest attempt, but at least now I know what to avoid! Round 2 should be much more successful, at least I can hope. Bakerella’s got some mad skillz.  http://www.bakerella.com/dont-lick-bite…/

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Where to begin… well I guess it’s been awhile, and that’s been a result of me being busy and procrastination. I keep drafting blogs, but I would rather set aside the right time to do so – quality, not quantity. Anyways, the past few weeks have been rather joyous, and I shall explain why.

Firstly, although it’s summer and it’s wicked hot and I have no A/C, I have been baking lots. For those extra humid nights, where turning on the oven seems completely out of the question, I’ve been opting for no-bake desserts! Which leads me to a chocolate mousse ‘dessert’ – this consisted of a quick graham crust, assembled with some melted butter and coconut –  a thin layer of peanut butter followed by a quick chocolate mousse filling (yes from the box) and then a drizzle of melted peanut butter chips for some flair… voila! Twas chilly and delicious!

So in between my insanely chaotic work schedule, I got the chance to escape cottage country. This adventure was nothing short of amazing (and much needed) We ate steak, ribs, hamburgers, fresh caught fish (courtesy of moi, consumed 30 minutes post-catch) At some point someone mentioned a brownie craving, so naturally I snuck into my Nan’s kitchen and made a quick batch. The final night was concluded with a beach fire, full cooler and toasty marshmallows… and I can hardly forget being pushed in the sand repetitively by my brother.

AND then, one of my ever-so-gracious-and-wonderful friend JaQ decided to surprise me with concert tickets. We saw Metric at the Molson Amphitheater with Passion Pit – it was awesome! Even cooler, we had box seats and a pretty steady flow of beer. I did not keep my dancing to a minimum – we’re talking full-out broadway performance. I suppose sometimes I forget I’m in public. The next day a friend came down for a visit and we had the wonderful pleasure of seeing master-genius Noel Fielding @ the Comedy Bar. Hilarity ensued. The weekend wrapped up with a batch of chocolate chips cookies for the folks at Speakeasy Tattoo shop, where I got tattooed by the extremely talented Josh Egnew.

So what else… I indulged in the greatest feast of humankind. It was my boyfriend and I’s 5 year of togetherness (really, I hate the word anniversary – we’re not married!) so we dined like kings and chose a menu of our favs: crab legs, corn on the cob, asparagus, filet mignon and fresh-cut fries. And we definitely had all the fixin’s, like awesome basil mayo for dipping the fries in. Wanna give it a try? Take a 1/4 cup of mayo, add a couple tablespoons of finely chopped basil, and a 1/4 tsp of fresh minced garlic… let it sit in the fridge for an hour or so and enjoy! It’s Friday eve, and not even that late, but I have a hot date with Mr. Sandman… stay cool! (both literally and metaphorically)

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Life has been pretty interesting lately, but mostly busy. I guess I’ve been somewhat absent, but time spent in the kitchen has not suffered, as a result. I suppose my job has been the biggest priority, but plenty of fun and exciting things have happened! We celebrated my boyfriend’s 22nd birthday, which was a HUGE success (we surprised him with a trip to Cuba, accompanied by 13 of his closest friends – scheduled for October!) we took a road trip to Wasaga, had some guests, I did some cupcake orders, it’s been quite a whirlwind! 


Tomorrow we’re (me, JaQ and Josh) heading up to Parry Sound for the weekend! I can’t wait for a weekend of ultimate relaxation and good weather (but mostly good food) I suppose the best way to share my recent dessert journey is via photo.


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