Monday, November 28, 2011

Pumpkin Required

In my opinion, Thanksgiving requires that all baked goods have pumpkin in them. Why, you make ask. I don't know, that's just the way it is. So, I made spiced chocolate pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for some people at my husbands job. Soooo good, really!
I had left over cupcakes, perfect for our Thanksgiving desserts. Only, I did not feel like making cream cheese frosting, too effort. Instead, I made caramel frosting. So simple! Melt butter and brown sugar, bring to a boil, add milk, then confectioners sugar, whip it. While the frosting is still warm, dip the cupcakes into it. Let me tell you, these were out of this world mmmmm, delicious! I topped them off with little fondant pumpkins because, I just had to!

Can She Make a Cherry Pie, Billy Boy, Billy Boy....?

Over the summer, when the cherries were ripe, I decided I should make a cherry pie for Thanksgiving. I purchased a cherry pitter, pitted the cherries, which were purchased at the farm market, and froze them. I was so excited about this pie! I got the recipe from "Confessions of A Master Closet Baker" by Gesine Bullock Prado. One of my all time favorite books! 
It was not a perfect pie :-(.  First, the juices oozed out of the crust. I anticipated this and put a baking sheet on the rack below. Thank God I did because it was like a lava flow! It had been in the oven for nearly an hour when I took it out. The crust did not look quite done in certain places. Weird, right? So I turned up the heat and that did the trick of browning it. Out of the oven again and onto a cooling rack. Something just was not right. When I tilted the pie a little, there was a wave of motion. What the hell? I realized it was juice from the cherries and proceed to dump some out but was afraid of breaking up the crust so I didn't drain it all. That's when it went back into the oven for another 30 minutes! When the pie came out of the oven, it actually looked pretty good! It also tasted outrageous! I am looking forward to next summers cherries and will not wait for thanksgiving to make a pie.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chocolate Ruffles

       It was time for our annual gathering of family before my mother-in-law returns to Florida for the year. This event always falls out at the same time as my brother-in-law's birthday. He is a huge chocolate lover so every year he requests a very "chocolatey" cake and I am always happy to indulge him. This year my m.i.l. asked me to include all the birthdays of everyone present by writing " Happy Birthday Everyone". I still hate writing on cakes so I used leftover fondant letters from previous cakes. Somewhat of a cop out, I know.
       The decorating of this cake was inspired by a cake I saw on another cake blog. I thought it was so beautiful. The baker had piped vertical rows of butter cream ribbon, graduating the coral color from light to dark. It was stunning. Since I was making chocolate, I decided that graduating from dark to light would be so lovely. I "mis"remembered what the inspiration cake looked like, that is why my ruffles are horizontal. I actually ran out of butter cream!
         To assure that my brother-in-law's chocolate desire was fulfilled, I made a dark chocolate cake with a brownie and chocolate glaze filling. It was out of this world!