Tags: brownie, brownie cheesecake, cheesecake, chocolate, shavuot
Hello again to all my friends, I’m glad you came to play. Our fun and learning never ends, here’s what we did today! (Bonus points to anyone who remembers that show from childhood.)
Well we are back with another cheesecake recipe. Here is something for you chocolate lovers – brownie and cheesecake – together! Doesn’t get much better than that. In this version, we have a brownie layer and a cheesecake layer which are then swirled together – somewhat – and then chocolate chips are sprinkled on top. My version did not get so swirled as the brownie layer was much denser than the cheesecake layer (possibly because I used white cheese instead of cream cheese – but those are my limitations here). So it ended up more as a fudgy-brownie layer (the best kind) and a cheesecake layer.
I have to say that it was really easy to make. Only required one bowl (which I washed in the middle) and in the oven it went. I actually doubled the cheesecake part of it because I was making the cake in a 9×13 pan instead of an 8×8 as the recipe calls for. The recipe below is the original.
I was actually up to one am last night as one of my customers decided to have a conference call event at midnight Israel time, just to be sadistic, and I had to stay up for it. So if I was going to need to stay up anyway, might as well accomplish something. So I made this cheesecake to take to our friends at whom we will be staying for Shavuot, and a blueberry cheesecake for Rocker Dude, because it is his favorite.
Shavuot is kind of a crazy holiday because it is only one day long (or two outside of Israel) and there is so much preparation for it because everything has to be dairy. Most people I know cook primarily meat for holidays, so everyone tries to get in all the fancy dairy food that they have always wanted to make and it sometimes makes for some really heavy meals. I planned on practicing restraint this year, but now we are going away for the holiday, so I don’t have to do anything but provide dessert.
Shavuot is when we celebrate receiving the Bible. As a result, one of the customs on Shavuot is to learn Torah all night. Usually it’s the men who do it, but some women like to join in as well. Once you have kids it is harder because those kids will be up at 6:30 in the morning, so you better be functional at that time of day. Going to bed at 4 am – not so conducive. So Rocker Dude plans on being up all night, and he needs good food to keep him going – so, cheesecake!!!
Squeaker is squeaking, so I have to run. Here is the recipe.
Recipe (from Smitten Kitchen):
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened (or equivalent amount of white cheese – gevina levana)
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.
Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.
(You can use a butter knife because the tip of it is round enough that you can use it to fold bits of the brownie batter over the cheesecake batter for a more visibly marbled effect.)
Sprinkle chocolate chips over cheesecake/brownie batter swirl.
Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Hello everyone. Here we are two days before Shavuot – the holiday during which we eat tons and tons of dairy to make up for all the other holidays in which we eat meat. Rocker Dude, being of a lactose intolerant nature, does not enjoy this holiday as much as other people, and this year, due to Squeaker’s sensitivities, I will be joining him in the non-dairy consuming club. But don’t worry, to make up for this, when I do stop nursing her, we will have a make-up Shavuot filled with all sorts of dairy delicacies.
In any case, at this time of year, the interwebs are filled with tons of cheesecake recipes of all varieties. As we were having a cheesecake celebration at work, I wanted to make something different, something new. I spent a morning exploring options for possible flavorings, and settled on two options – something caramely or a brownie cheesecake. I knew that I would only have a few hours to make the cake on Saturday night as I did not want to stay up past midnight, so I decided to go with the caramel cheesecake for work.
I bounced around possible versions in my head for a few days and finally on Saturday I finalized how I would go about making it. I had bought dulce de leche to mix into the cheese, but then I read on the container that it is not suitable for cooking in high temperatures, so I freaked. What was I supposed to do now??? Do I just make a standard cheesecake and put the dulce de leche on top? Do I scrap the idea completely? Major dilemma.
I wanted to get the caramel flavor into the cake itself, so in the end, as I was measuring the sugar to mix into the batter, I decided to caramelize it first. I threw the whole cup and a half straight into a pot and set it on the fire. I knew that it would be hard when it cooled, but that I could probably use the cheese to smooth the caramel out. When the caramel was ready, I put in half of the cheese because I didn’t want the consistency to change too much. After much stirring, the caramel smoothed out and became usable in the cheesecake. I mixed it with the rest of the ingredients and into the oven it went.
My one issue with this whole affair was that I would not be able to taste the cheesecake when it was done – how would I know if it even tasted good?? Well, we put our faith in God.
When the cheesecake cooled, I spread the dulce de leche on top so that this cake would have a double whammy of caramel flavor.
I brought the cake to work the next day and let me just say, God delivered. It was a hit all around, the consistency was perfect, and the caramel flavor was there. I even snuck a bite (hope it doesn’t come back to bite me later when Squeaker wakes up crying at night because her tummy hurts), and it was delicious.
If you need a cheesecake pick-me-up – here you go. Also, just because I am curious, do you say car-a-mel or car-mel?
50 g tea biscuits, crushed into fine crumbs
50 g butter or margarine, melted
1 tbsp. brown sugar
Cake:750 g white cheese (gevina levana) 5%, or equivalent amount of cream cheese
3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
400 g dulce de leche
Preheat oven to 150 degrees C/320 degrees F. Combine all the ingredients for the crust and press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan, or a 9×13 rectangular pan (the crust will just be a tad thinner). Bake the crust for ten minutes until it is lightly browned.
Place the sugar in a pot over medium-low heat. Without stirring, let the sugar heat up until it dissolves. You can use a wet pastry brush to wash down the sides of the pot from any sugar crystals that might creep up. When the sugar starts browning, take it off the fire to ensure that it doesn’t get too dark. It should stay a light amber color. The sugar will still cook after it is removed from the fire. Once you have reached the desired caramel color, add half of the cheese to the pot. The caramel will seize up and bubble, but keep stirring the mixture over the medium-low heat, and it will soften and mix into the cheese. Set aside to cool (or refrigerate for 10 minutes or so.
In a bowl, mix up the rest of the ingredients, being careful to not incorporate too much air. Add the caramel mixture and mix well. Bang the bowl firmly on the table or counter to pop any air bubbles that might have gotten in. Gently pour the batter over the crust and place the pan in the oven. Because I usually cook my cheesecakes in my toaster oven I don’t have space for a water bath, so I just undercook the cake slightly – it should still be jiggly in the middle, and usually that is enough to prevent cracking. Also, covering the cake with a topping helps.
When the cake is completely cool, spread the dulce de leche over the top of the cake. Slice and serve!
You can also melt some chocolate with some heavy cream and drizzle it on top of the cake and that would be delicious too. I just didn’t have time for it.
Tags: meringue, pavlova, strawberry
Okay, I know in Israel we are a little ahead in our growing season than the US, so this recipe might not be as useful for my Israeli compatriots as the strawberry season is almost over, but it is just starting in the US. On Yom Haatzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) we finally went strawberry picking. Well I went strawberry picking with the Little Rocker and Squeaker and with my friend E and her daughter S. I heard of this strawberry field that was only about 20 minutes away and they didn’t charge for picking, just for the actual strawberries themselves.
I was a little worried about going anywhere on Yom Haatzmaut because the whole country is out and in all the parks and recreation areas. I was warned by native Israelis to not try to go any more than 10 minutes from my house because otherwise the amount of traffic would just make the whole trip not worth it. I was also warned that if I wanted to barbecue in a park (the official Independence Day pastime), then I should stake out a spot and picnic table the night before and have someone stay in the park the whole night. Soooo, that was out.
We had already planned to get together with E and A on Yom Haatzmaut and I was just looking for something to do during the day before the barbecue. So I decided on strawberry picking before the season ended.
On the morning of the big day, all we saw were grey clouds and I was a little apprehensive. It was also really windy. I had heard that the rain was supposed to be spotty so we set out anyway in the hopes that it would be nice and sunny when we got there. As we drove to the field (and with a few wrong turns ) the sun came out and the weather turned lovely. Bright and sunny, but a cool breeze too. We got to the field and picked the freshest strawberries I have had in this country. The Little Rocker did all the bending down for me which was awesome as I had Squeaker in a backpack on me. And we ended up with some really bright and sweet strawberries.
We got home and continued with our plans and had an amazing barbecue with great fresh fruit for dessert. But afterwards we still had all those strawberries. I made a strawberry pie with some of them, and it was great. But then I made these strawberry pavlovas and they were the bomb-dizzle.
I had a ton of egg whites saved up in the freezer from some time when I made lemon curd or something. I didn’t want to make more meringues, because they always took so long and then I always ate them because Rocker Dude doesn’t like them. So here is something to do with all those extra egg whites.
I ended up making individual pavlovas as opposed to one big one, because if I have a choice, I prefer to make individual desserts as opposed to family style, and this is one chance to do that without shaping individual pie crusts.
I wanted to really have the strawberry flavor pop, so I also made a strawberry sauce to be drizzled over the cream. The Little Rocker was really excited to try these and though she usually does not like the desserts I make (no taste that one, I don’t know what to do with her) she loved this one.
We had a bunch of people for dinner and these came out wonderfully, though in the future I might make the pavlovas themselves a little smaller as some felt that there was too much sweet on the plate.
This is a wonderful dessert for warm spring or summer days as it is sweet and refreshing.
Recipe (serves 12):
Pavlovas (from the Pastry Studio):
6 egg whites at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F and line two baking sheets with baking paper.
In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium-low speed. When they are foamy, add the cream of tartar. Increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating until egg whites are opaque. Slowly dd the sugar a few tablespoons at a time until continue whipping until the egg whites are stiff and shiny.
Drop the meringue by spoonfuls onto the baking sheets, using about 1/3 cup per pavlova. Smooth the tops with the back of a spoon, leaving an indentation for the filling. Bake for about 1 1/2 -2 hours or until the meringues are dry and can be released easily from the baking paper. Remember to rotate the baking sheets halfway and if you have them on two racks then to switch the pans as well. When they are done, turn off the oven and let the meringues dry out for another 30 minutes in the oven. After 30 minutes, place the meringues on a wire rack to cool.
Vanilla Bean Cream:
250 ml whipping cream
2 tbsp. confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
In a clean mixing bowl, begin whipping the cream. As the cream thickens, add the sugar and the vanilla. Continue beating until stiff. Chill in the refrigerator until needed.
15 strawberries, washed and hulled
2 tbsp.-1/4 cup sugar, depending on how sweet the strawberries are
In a food processor or blender, combine the strawberries with the sugar until you have a uniform sauce.
Washed, hulled and sliced strawberries for garnish.
On each plate, place a meringue. Add a generous spoonful of cream on top, followed by some sliced strawberries. Then drizzle some strawberry sauce over the whole thing. Serve immediately.
Tags: self raising flour
A few weeks before Passover, I was home with Squeaker, trying to make the most of the last of my maternity leave. Apparently, 3 months is shorter when you are living it than when you think about it beforehand. One of my projects during my maternity leave was to clean the apartment for Passover – i.e. removing any and all crumbs and food droppings from anywhere in the house and cleaning all the appliances and other surfaces more extensively than is done all year. Usually, Rocker Dude does most of the cleaning as he has vacation for a week and a half before Passover starts (don’t hate, teachers work super hard!), so this year I decided to give him the year off. Part of this process is finishing up all the not-kosher-for-Passover food that is in the house.
So one day, while searching through the freezer and cabinets, I found 1 cup of frozen pumpkin puree and a few dates left over from Purim, and a ton of self-raising flour that needed to be finished up. I used the wonderful tool that is Google and I searched those ingredients and got to this recipe. At the time I even had a couple of bananas so I could have made the muffins as they were supposed to be made, but those bananas soon disappeared. I was super excited to make this recipe for breakfasts because due to Squeaker’s sensitivities, I can’t have dairy or coffee (!) as long as I nurse her, which has made breakfast a particular challenge for me.
In an amazing bit of foresight (totally by chance) I had asked my parents to bring a whole Cosco-sized box full of Quaker Instant Oatmeal. You know, the oatmeal that you just have to pour hot water on it and it comes in maple and brown sugar, apple and cinnamon, cinnamon and spice and original flavors? That stuff seriously made breakfasting much easier, especially as Squeaker usually fell asleep in the sling while I took the Little Rocker to nursery and I didn’t want to move her. So pour packet into a bowl, pour boiling water on top, cover and wait five minutes. Done. Healthy (mostly) breakfast. And, as it was the winter, warm and yummy. The best was one stormy morning when Squeaker was about a month old. It was the first day of a week long rainstorm. (Something that rarely happens in Israel, and contributed to a major rise in the level of water reserves in the country, ending a seven-year-long drought.) I had taken the Little Rocker to nursery and we got soaked on our way back home. Squeaker didn’t even notice and slept through it all. I walked home, made me some oatmeal, and oh did I enjoy it! So worth it.
Either way, back to muffins for breakfast. When I was ready to make these muffins, there were no more bananas, so we had to modify the recipe a bit. I also substituted ingredients that I had for the rice bran oil and oat milk. The batter is really quick to mix up (Imma this is for you) – just pour everything into a bowl and mix well. It also does not have a lot of sugar in it – a lot of the sweetness comes from the bananas (if you are using them) and the dates.
Unfortunately, these muffins are not so low calorie if you eat more than two in a day . Ooops. Well, in my defense, we had to finish all the flour before Passover started…
Recipe (based on the recipe on food.baby.life):
2 cups self-raising flour, regular or whole wheat
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk or soymilk
1/4 cup oil
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (optional)1/2 cup dried date
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with paper liners and set aside.
Whisk together the flour, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl. Add the milk, oil and egg. Mix well until just combined. Fold through the pumpkin and dates being careful not to overmix.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tray and bake for 18-20 minutes or until cooked. Let the muffins rest for 5 minutes before cooling them on a wire rack.
Tags: banana, chocolate tempering, dark chocolate, temper chocolate, truffle
Something new for me – tempering chocolate! Tempering chocolate has been always a bit intimidating, especially as I don’t have tons of counter space to start folding chocolate over and over on a marble slab. The reason that one would temper chocolate is that it allows the finished chocolate to set at room temperature and does not need to be refrigerated in order to stay firm. It also gives the chocolate a nice snap when you bite into it.
This week I was asked to make something chocolatey for dessert at a friend’s house. I saw a recipe for banana truffles online and I decided to try it. It was meant to be a ganache mixed with mashed bananas which are then dipped in tempered chocolate to form a hard shell. In order to change it up, I caramelized the banana before I mashed it in with the chocolate ganache. I have to say that the banana flavor was not at all discernible. I was hoping that it would taste all bananas-foster-y but that didn’t happen. Oh well.
I decided to use a truffle mold that I had bought years ago. It has been sitting in a drawer since the day I bought it, except when the Little Rocker took it out to play with.
Then I searched the annals of Google for the best way to temper chocolate. I wanted to use the seed method which basically means that you melt half of the chocolate and then slowly add some of the non-melted chocolate in and mix really well. The non-melted chocolate helps the melted chocolate form a crystalline structure and reach proper temper.
Making the truffles was a pretty hands-on, and I learned a few things about the process. Here is what I should have done, instead of what I did. I should have used a paintbrush to brush the chocolate onto the sides and bottom of the truffle molds in order to leave a perfect thin layer of chocolate all around the edges. Then, when that chocolate hardened, put in the ganache filling and then pour more tempered chocolate over the ganache to fill in the mold. But I figured that people would not want chocolates flavored by the Little Rocker’s paints, so I had to improvise. Instead, I just dripped in chocolate from a spoon and used the ganache to kind of push the chocolate all around the edges. A lot of the truffles ended up with gaps along the sides and were not so beautiful looking.
I used really good 60 percent cacao dark chocolate to make the truffles because they always say to use quality chocolate when you want the flavor to stand out. So since I had been asked to make food for chocolate lovers, I wanted a strong tasting dark chocolate flavor. The one complaint that Rocker Dude had was that the chocolate flavor was too strong and rich, the irony.
Speaking of Rocker Dude, he just celebrated the fifth anniversary of his radio show last week. Yay Rocker Dude! Check out the show at http://www.rock4rookies.com.
The one thing about this recipe is that it is super time consuming. It was a good thing that I didn’t have too much else to make for Shabbat because I spent a lot of time on these chocolates. Rocker Dude was lucky that we had no guests for Friday night because I got to make him steak for dinner! It was the first time that I have ever made steak and it turned out really good. I personally don’t like steak that much (I usually order chicken at restaurants), but Rocker Dude loves steak. So I consulted the all-knowing Google once more to figure out how one actually cooks a steak. I went simple and just pan seared the steaks until they were almost medium, as I would have to keep them warm for a couple of hours before we would be able to eat them. It worked out really well, and the steaks were moist and juicy and went great with the mashed potatoes.
But back to the chocolate. Here is the recipe, based on the one from Love & Olive Oil.
6 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 ripe bananas, sliced
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
8 oz. dark chocolate, finely chopped
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
Warm the cream until it is steaming, and then pour it over the chocolate and stir until the chocolate melts completely and the ganache is smooth. Melt the margarine in a frying pan and add the brown sugar. When the margarine is completely melted, lay the banana slices in the frying pan in a single layer. After two minutes, flip the banana slices over and caramelize the other side. When they are done, mash the bananas and place them, the ganache and the vanilla into a food processor and pulse until completely blended. Put the ganache in a container and refrigerate for at least four hours or overnight.
You need to do the chocolate coating in two stages. To temper the chocolate, melt two ounces of the dark chocolate and half of the margarine. Then slowly add two ounces of the non-melted chocolate while mixing vigorously. Keep mixing until the chocolate cools slightly. Then take a paintbrush (one that has not been used for paint), and paint the cups of the truffle mold so that all the sides and bottom are completely covered with chocolate. When that has hardened, take some firm ganache and put it into the molds. Temper the rest of the chocolate the same way and fill the molds completely. Quickly take an offset spatula and scrape the tops of the molds so that they are smooth. After a few minutes, the chocolate will have hardened and you can remove them. If the chocolate has been properly tempered, then you won’t need to refrigerate the truffles. If they start getting soft, then the chocolate was not properly tempered and needs to be kept cold in order to stay firm. Enjoy!
Tags: cinnamon, pull-apart
I saw a recipe for Pull Apart Bread a while ago, but I was about nine months pregnant and working like mad so there was no way that it was going to happen. So now that I am no longer pregnant and I stay up soooo much later (insert look of disbelief here) and have my hands free so often (insert second look of disbelief), I decided to make it finally. We were planning a barbeque and I figured that it’s over-the-top sweetness would be good after all the saltiness of the meat.
The Pioneer Woman recently posted her version of pull apart bread using her cinnamon bun recipe. Since I have adopted that recipe anyway and everyone likes it (a-hem younger brother who shall not be named), I figured I would try it. Also it doesn’t require a mixer to make, so any reason to have fewer dishes to wash.
Basically you follow the cinnamon bun recipe until the rolling out stage. When it is rolled out, you just have to add more cinnamon/sugar over the melted margarine. Then, instead of rolling it up, you slice the dough, width-wise into 5 inch strips. Stack the slices, one on top of the other, sugar side up, until you have used all the slices. Be careful because you will have melted margarine dripping everywhere.
Then slice your stack into six sections. Carefully put each section sideways into a greased loaf-pan. Let it rise and bake!
The glaze is the same as the cinnamon bun glaze, though I put a bit too much on my loaf so it was scarily sweet. Moderation Elle! Portion control! And all of that.
Turned out delicious though, and the layers really did pull apart (due to all the fat in between them of course) and everyone enjoyed it, even Rocker Dude who was feeling a bit under the weather, and always prefers salty things when he is sick. Don’t worry, I made it up to him and made him a fresh pot of chicken soup the next day.
Try this out! Everyone has to indulge some time!
Recipe (From The Pioneer Woman): (I only used half the recipe and it made one loaf with a bit left over.)
Note: the butter can be replaced with margarine and the milk with soymilk.
2 cups Whole Milk
1/2 cup Canola Oil
1/2 cup Sugar
2-1/4 teaspoons Active Dry Yeast
4 cups All-purpose Flour
1/2 cup (additional) All-purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
2 teaspoons Salt
1 stick Butter, Melted
1-1/2 cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
3 cups Powdered Sugar
2 Tablespoons Butter, Melted
1 Tablespoon Maple Extract
1/3 cup Whole Milk
Dash Of Salt
To make the dough, combine milk, canola oil, and 1/2 cup sugar in a large saucepan. Heat it until very hot but not boiling. Turn off heat and allow to cool to warm (not at all hot.)
Sprinkle in the yeast and add 4 cups of flour. Stir to combine, then put lid on the pot and allow to rise for 1 hour. After 1 hour, stir in additional 1/2 cup flour, along with the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. If dough is overly sticky, stir in another 1/2 cup flour.
Place dough in the fridge for at least 1 hour to make it easier to work with.
Roll out dough onto a floured surface. Drizzle on melted butter and smear so that it covers all the dough. Mix together the sugar with the cinnamon and sprinkle it all over the surface of the dough. (Dough should look very covered.)
Cut the dough into 6 to 8 strips, then stack all the strips into one stack. Cut the stack of strips into 6 slices. Place the stacks sideways into a buttered bread pan. Do not cram the slices into the pan. (You may have a few leftover.)
Cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes, checking at 20 minutes to make sure it’s not getting too brown on top. It’s important to bake the bread long enough to ensure that the middle won’t be too doughy, because if it is it won’t pull apart easily. If the top looks like it’s getting too brown, cover it lightly with aluminum foil for the rest of the baking time.
Remove the pan from the oven when it’s done. Run a knife along the edges and take the bread out of the pan. Mix together the icing ingredients and drizzle over the top, allowing it to sink into the crevices. Serve warm or room temperature.
Tags: cocoa, dates, truffles, tu b'shvat
Okay, it’s almost Tu B’Shvat, and you are still wondering what to do with all that dried fruit that you have stocked in your house. I mean, it’s all on sale and it’s such a great price, but what to do? You can’t just eat it as is, get’s kind of monotonous and sweet after a few bites. So what to do?
Make date truffles! Takes all of 8 minutes from start to finish and requires no cooking/heating, etc. All you need are some dates and some cocoa powder – now- get to work.
Take 15 madjhoul dates and remove the pits (if they are not soft, then soak them in hot water for a few minutes). Put them in a food processor with two tablespoons cocoa powder. Process until you have a smooth paste. Form small balls with the paste and roll them in some cocoa powder. You can also roll them in powdered sugar, or crushed almonds, or sprinkles for a more colorful truffle. You can even dip them in melted chocolate.
Then end result is a delicious treat that is not too sweet (the slight bitterness of the unsweetened cocoa balances out the sweetness of the dates) and is great for a cultured Tu B’Shvat meal.
So take 10 minutes out before Shabbat starts and make these for yourselves!
Tags: angel food, cupcakes
In September, the Little Rocker turned 4! She had been looking forward to it for months and had been describing to me the exact cake that she wanted. She wanted colorful icing with balloons. Being as I forgot to take a picture of the actual cake that I made for the party, I will be talking about the cupcakes that I made for the Shabbat that was the actual date of her birthday.
We were going to J and M’s place for dinner on Friday night, so I volunteered to bring dessert. I decided to do cupcakes as Rocker Dude has been asking me to make iced vanilla cupcakes for ages. I had made yellow cake cupcakes a while ago but I was not impressed with the consistency of the cake, so I was wary of making them again. I did not want them to come out dry. So this time I decided to try Angel Food Cupcakes. They would be light as a feather (hopefully) and be super tasty.
The Little Rocker wanted colorful icing, so after getting advice from M (a different one) who is a master at icing cakes, I made three different colors of icing to make swirl icing.
The recipe makes a ton of cupcakes, so I cut the recipe down to a third so that I ended up with only a dozen cupcakes, still more than enough.
Recipe (from How Sweet It Is):
12 large egg whites (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tarter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar (sift before measuring)
1 1/8 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)
1/4 teaspoon salt
Let egg whites sit at room temperature for about one hour before beginning. While eggs are resting, measure out powdered sugar and flour, then sift powdered sugar, flour and salt together. Set aside. Line a cupcake tin (or two) with cupcake liners.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until frothy. Once frothy, add in cream of tarter, then beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. This took me about 5-6 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar with the mixer still on medium speed, continuing to beat until egg whites thicken a bit more with opaque, soft, droopy peaks. Once there, beat in vanilla extract.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and sprinkle 1/4 of the dry ingredients over the egg whites. Fold gently with a spatula until combined completely. Continue with the rest of the dry ingredients – I did this in three increments.
Once batter is smooth, use a 1/4 cup measure to pour heaping scoops of batter into each liner. Bake for 18-19 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Let cool completely, then frost as desired.
250 grams margarine (about two sticks)
400 grams powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
A little bit of water
Beat the margarine until fluffy. Add the sugar. Beat until smooth. Add the vanilla. Add water by the teaspoonful until the icing is smooth. Add a few drops of the coloring of your choice. Mix well.