Friday, October 21, 2011

hawaiian wedding cupcakes

We recently made cupcakes for one of my work friend's daughter's wedding reception. We attempted to make hibiscus flowers on top of bright tropical colored frosting. (They got married in Hawaii!)

We also made an almond cake for the bride and groom to cut into. The cake flavor got rave reviews.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

grandma stone's concord grape cake

I don't have process photos for this recipe, but after spying concord grapes at the farmer's market, Mark was reminded that he wanted to make his Grandma Stone's concord grape cake. It's basically an upside down cake with a concord grape topping, but don't let that simple description fool you. It was delicious. I'm glad my grandpa and parents picked and preserved a bunch of concord grapes for us so that we can make this at some point this winter. There's no grape like a concord grape. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

alyn's birthday turtle cheesecake

My title makes it sound like Alyn had a birthday turtle who liked cheesecake. But you know what I mean. This recipe had a swirled/marbled batter and a crust made out of chocolate graham crackers.

My springform pan isn't missing its bottom: it's glass. My grandma gave me this springform pan years ago when I was just starting to get into baking. It's Pampered Chef and is awesome. The bottom is glass, and it also comes with a bundt pan insert so you don't have to have two pans.

Sweetened condensed milk gave the batter a little bit of a caramel hint.

Time for the secret ingredient. You add it when you add the sugar. Can you guess what it is?

Corn starch! The tiny bit of corn starch helps to keep the cheesecake from cracking. Then it's on to the last bit of liquid, some vanilla extract.

After melting some chocolate bits (Sunspire chocolate!), you add in a little bit of batter and swirl to make the chocolate layer.

Each layer goes back and forth in the pan until it gets full.

And it goes into the oven, on top of a tray to catch any residual butter drippings from the crust. I also include a cake pan full of water to assist with the effort to keep it from cracking.

After letting it bake without opening the oven door to check on it and then allowing some heat to escape the oven after it's done so that it doesn't shock in temperature (and crack), it can come out to rest.

Topping time. Chocolate syrup, caramel syrup, and chocolate chips and pecans. That's the turtle part, I guess.

And once you get to the Spaghetti Warehouse for dinner and everyone finishes their meal, you can take it out to display on a red and white checked tablecloth. :)

I will spare Alyn and not post the photo of him in his balloon hat. But it was classic. That much I will tell you.

Decadent and rich, the key ingredients for deliciousness.