I Am Baker

Chocolate Curls Christmas Cake

I know I said I would stop with the red and green but apparently I was totally lying.  Sorry.

I made a white cake, tinted some frosting red and green, then melted some chocolate.  Have you ever made chocolate curls?  I had tried once before.  It was a major fail.  I am pretty sure there were even some comments mocking my skills, and if they werent totally right I might have been upset.

Ok, so looks like I still have not mastered this technique.  I could not get one single perfect swirly curl.

I blame the red candy melts I used.  And the warm December weather. And that one boy in 2nd grade who called me 4-eyes. *cough*

Clearly I have issues.

In addition to sharing this sweet little Christmas cake with you, I also wanted to give you a chance to share something with someone you love.  Say that sentence three times fast.  Or dont.  Just remember I am not an English major.  I am not even an English minor.  Words. Good.

 

Would you like to win a brand new Motorola DROID RAZR smartphone?  These things are awesome.

  • 8-megapixel camera and an HD display that makes movies, photos, magazines and websites appear with vibrant clarity
  • are near-field communications(NFC)-enabled
  • battery that allows for up to 32 hours of normal use and double the internal storage to 32 GB
  • run over 4G LTE, combined with Chrome for Android, meaning customers can enjoy blazing fast speeds that make downloading documents or surfing the Web a breeze
  • Global Ready

Not only would I love to give an iambaker reader this beautiful phone, but I would love to give you a $50 Verizon Giftcard to be used towards your bill or any phone accessory!  All in all, this gift is worth over $250!

A Beautiful New Smartphone.

A $50 Verizon Giftcard.

A sweet little cake.

Its the recipe for a perfect Christmas folks. ;)

Official Rules

To enter simply follow the instruction through the Rafflecopter widget below!  I gave you LOTS of chances to win! (It can take a moment to load, so please be patient!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

I Am Baker

Special Cake for a “Picky Palate”

Have you ever met Jenny?  She is the genius force behind the amazing blog, Picky Palate.

And… she is having a baby!  A few friends got together to throw a virtual baby shower, and I was fortunate enough to be able to bring a cake!

Well, did you know that sweet Jenny INVENTED the Oreo stuffed chocolate chip cookie?  You’ve seen it everywhere right… that glorious creation of a chocolate chip cookie with an entire Oreo hidden in the center?  Jenny was the Original!  Isnt that cool?

So I decided to make a cake that was as unique and as fun as she is.  Which is no easy challenge!

The outside I based on her adorable blog design.

The border is made to mimic Jenny’s pretty scalloped blog header.

The rattle is a “baby-fied”  interpretation of her knife, fork, and spoon logo.

And the inside…

A chocolate chip cookie Oreo stuffed Cake!  You totally saw that comin right?  I posted a quick “recipe” for this cake below, but be sure to check out Jenny’s Original Recipe to make mouth watering Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

Ingredients

  • 36 oz of cookie dough (I use the Nestle tub)
  • 14-15 Double Stuff Oroes
  • 2 cups Buttercream

Instructions

  1. In a well prepared 8in cake pan, place half of your cookie dough. Press down so that iy is a flat layer. Starting in the center, place Oreo's flat on top of cookie dough. Press down remaining cookie dough over Oreo layer.
  2. In an oven heated to 350, bake for 25-35 minutes. At 25 min. I placed an aluminum foil ring around the edge of the pan so the cookie edges would not burn, and then watched closely.
  3. Remove from oven when center is no longer shiny.
  4. Let cool and cover in buttercream.
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 So many folks love Jenny and made special treats for her!  I cant wait to stop by and see all of the beautiful creations!
Angie: Bakerella Baby Faces
Bev: Bev Cooks Horseradish Deviled Eggs
Bridget: Bake at 350 Cute as a Button Cupcakes
Cheryl: TidyMom Salted Caramel Cupcakes
Gaby: Whats Gaby Cooking Blueberry Buttermilk Cake
Heather: Heather’s Dish Perfect Pancake Bites
Julie: The Little Kitchen Mixed Berry Mint Slushies
Kathy: Panini Happy Baby Oreo Ice Cream Pies
Kristan: Confessions of a Cookbook Queen Homemade Animal Crackers
Lauren: Lauren’s Latest Mini Chocolate Lava Cakes
Maria: Two Peas and Their Pod Cookies ‘n Cream Sheet Cake
Marion: Sweetopia Baby Shower Cookie Favors
Marla: Family Fresh Cooking Blueberry Mint Agua Fresca
Michelle: Brown Eyed BakeShrimp Nacho Bites
Robyn: Add a Pinch Blue Velvet Cake
Shaina: Food For My Family Ginger Plum Preserves
Shelly: Cookies and Cups Oreo Pop Baby Rattles
I Am Baker

Chocolate Cupcakes {contest closed}

This was the most fun post to do. I get to make something delicious and talk about one of my favorite people!

I dont know if you heard, but today Amy Atlas’s book Sweet Designs,  is available to purchase!!  Its fabulous.

She has so many tips and tricks, I think she can turn anyone into a professional stylist!  Its easy to read, the pictures are stunning, and the ideas are SO creative!

I wanted to make her Chipper Chocolate Cupcakes. (They are in her ‘Perfectly Preppy’ chapter… my favorite!!)

And I am so glad I did!  Amy offers up a unique version of chocolate cake that is delectable.  (You have got to get the book just for that recipe… I have made LOTS of chocolate cake in my day, but never one like this!)

The cupcakes in her book are covered with and surrounded by the funnest pretty pink sprinkles.

I totally did not have pretty pink sprinkles on hand.

So I just made some!

Paired with Amy’s delicious buttercream and it was a win-win.

Actually, its win-win-win.  Know why?  Because YOU have a chance to win too!  One lucky reader is going to win a copy of Amy’s book!

Its easy!  Just tell me, What is your favorite cake flavor?

If its chocolate you gotta get her book and try these cupcakes!

For an additional entry you can tweet:

I want to win a copy of @amyatlas ‘s amazing new book  #SweetDesigns  from @iambakertweets! http://bit.ly/JBRxee 

You can also earn an addition entry by sharing this post on facebook! (You can just click the share button under my facebook post)

Please leave a separate comment for each.

I have even better news.  A few other amazingly talented bloggers got together to help spread the word about Sweet Designs!

You have GOT to go and see what they made!!!

Tidymom  Honey Panna Cotta

Sweetapolita  Pink Eclairs

My Baking Addiction  Banana Whoopie Pies

Two Peas and Their Pod  Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Bake at 350  Hazelnut Truffles

Sweetopia  Chocolate Beehive Cupcakes

Bakingdom  Mini Strawberry Trifles

The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle Amy Atlas Cookbook Giveaway

Not only did they make something sweet from the book, they are also giving away one copy!  So you have NINE chances to win!!

This giveaway is open from April 24th through midnight on April 30th.  You must be 18 years old to enter and live in the United States.

Please see official rules HERE.

*****

The winning comment was #368

Amy who likes “lemon cake with lemon icing”

I am sending you an email Amy!  Congrats! 

 

I Am Baker

Saint Patrick’s Day Cupcakes {Beer Mugs}

I made these cupcakes last year, but never shared the tutorial for them on my blog.  Since they are so easy and SO fun, I couldnt resist sharing them this year!

 
Pin It

Not only are these beer mug St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes fun and easy to do, but they’re actually made with beer, thanks to this fantastic Chocolate Stout Cake recipe from Sweetapolita!

Simply bake the cake according to direction, except put the batter into a cupcake pan. I did not use cupcake liners, but if you choose to, remember to remove them prior to assembling your beer mug.

Start off by getting a fist-full portion of green fondant.

Roll out your fondant on a clean working surface. If you need to, sprinkle cornstarch to keep the fondant from sticking.

Roll fondant to about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thickness, then cut into strips. The strip size will vary, depending on the height and width of your cupcake.

Now you want to add the mugs “panels” .  Just cut out mini portions of fondant and, using a tiny amount of water as “glue,’ adhere the strips to what will become the side of the mug.

 

Take your fondant strip and wrap it around your cupcake. Overlap the fondant by about 1/2 inch, and adhere edges with frosting or water.

Next you can add the handle! Just take your green fondant and roll out a “snake,” or long rounded strip. Form it into the handle shape and set out to dry. Since I was in a hurry to make these, I put the handles into my oven at 170 degrees for 15-20 minutes. This dried them out enough for them to retain their shape.

Using a small amount of frosting, I attached the handle to the side of the fondant mug.

To create the beer foam, just put your frosting into a sealable plastic bag and cut off one corner to make a hole. You want a fairly large opening — about 1/4 to 1/2 inch across.

Apply pressure to the bag and pipe out billows of frosting.   For an extra touch, let some drip down over the side. This technique is extremely forgiving, so have fun with it!

Be sure to let me know if you make them.  I would love to see!

I Am Baker

Red Velvet Hi-Hat Cupcakes

I was feeding my sweet baby last Monday and happened upon Martha Bakes on the Hallmark Channel.

As *I* also enjoy baking on occasion, I was pretty excited to watch.  And Martha did not disappoint!  She showcased some delectable treats, including her Hi-Hat Cupcakes.

 
Pin It

I decided to give them a shot using the very popular flavor of Red Velvet.  And there is a reason Red Velvet is so popular… these are amazing!!

I used a version of this Red Velvet recipe for the cake.  I then used, and this is possibly my favorite change, Log House Cherry Flavored Baking Morsels for the chocolate candy coating.

For a long time now Cherry Dip has been my favorite cone at Dairy Queen, and now I know how to make it at home! *happy dance*

The only thing I did use from Martha’s original post was the Seven Minute Frosting recipe, with a slight alteration.

Seven Minute Frosting

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Put a sauce pan on stove with a couple inches of water and bring to a slow boil.
  2. In a large heat safe bowl (I used a glass bowl) mix together room temperature egg whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar. Whisk ingredients together by hand until nice and frothy.
  3. Set bowl over pan with barely boiling water and whisk until sugar is dissolved, about five minutes.
  4. Transfer liquid to your big electric mixer and beat on HIGH for about ten minutes. Add vanilla and whisk on HIGH for another five minutes.
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I found the light and airy frosting to be the perfect compliment to the deep, rich flavor of red velvet.

And, seeing as I am a HUGE fan of Cherry Dip, I could not get enough of this flavor combination.  If you are not a big fan, you can certainly use a semi-sweet chocolate and also have fantastic results.

Whatever you do decide on doing, dont forget the most important ingredient.

Love.

I kid.

Kinda.

I Am Baker

Dark Chocolate Cookies with Champagne Buttercream

I meant to post this last week, but never was able.

Please accept my sincere apologies.  I wish I could send you each some of these cookies to make amends.

They are absolutely amazing.  Completely decadent.  Totally befitting an enchanting evening such a New Years Eve.

I used Sprinkle Bakes Chocolate Sugar Cookies.  She describes them as being ideal for decorating, and I couldn’t agree more!

The champagne buttercream is just a basic recipe I have been using, with the substitution of champagne for the heavy cream.

Champagne Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 1 2 lb bag powder sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons champagne
  • 1-3 tablespoon milk

Instructions

  1. Put butter and shortening in mixer and combine until smooth. Add sugar in one cup at a time until fully incorporated. When almost done mixing, add in champagne. You can use more or less to taste. I wrote milk into my recipe because I found the frosting to be very stiff and hard to use, therefore needed a bit more moisture. You may not need any milk.
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Tips for success:

Use a good quality cocoa.  These cookies are rich and you can really taste the deep cocoa flavor.  The better the cocoa, the better the cookie.  Seriously, Heather knows her stuff.

Use a champagne you enjoy.   You only need three tablespoons for the recipe… wouldn’t it be a shame to let an opened bottle of champagne to go to waste?

If you want to make the cute little poinsettia design I did, simply grab a Wilton #366 tip and have at it.  I threw on some gold sprinkles for good measure.

Have fun!  Lick the bowl and eat some cookie dough.  Then run 27 miles so you can fit into your pretty New Years Eve outfit.

P.S.  I am totally going to post the Snow Globe tutorial soon!  Its on my list!

I Am Baker

How to Melt Chocolate {Baking with Aunt Inga}

Aunt Inga was so excited to hear that someone needed her help!

 

She and Ole put together another video for your viewing pleasure, however the quality is pretty poor.

Sorry about how blurry it is!

 

 

Just in case clearer instruction is needed, here are some tips when melting chocolate in the microwave.

  • You can use any type of chocolate you prefer, but keep a closer eye on white chocolate.
  • You do not need to put it in a plastic bag, you can also melt it in a microwave safe dish.
  • If melting in a plastic bag, begin with 30 second intervals.  After 30 seconds has passed, remove the bag and gently massage the chocolate, trying to locate and disperse hot spots.
  • If melting in a microwave safe dish, remove bowl at 30 second intervals.  Stir thoroughly.  If chocolate needs to melt more, remove spoon and heat in 15 second intervals until you reach a ‘mostly’ melted state.  Remove bowl and stir until all lumps dissolve and chocolate is smooth.
  • The benefit to melting chocolate directly in bag is that you can immediately begin piping it out.

If you have any more questions you’d like Aunt Inga to answer, just leave it in the comments.  I will make sure Sven gets them! ;)

You can find more Aunt Inga here, talking about Homemade Cake Flour.

 *Be sure to stop by and enter to win $900 in Le Creuset products!

I Am Baker

Pumpkin Surprise Cake

I recently posed a question on facebook.

“I just made a really fun cake!! One of the main ingredients is marshmallow… any guesses on what it is??? (There may be a prize involved…)”

Rice krispy cake

Three of you guessed correctly.

Carla Smith

Marcella Simon Vander Eems

Lenita Wall

And one of you will win a copy of Sweet Confections!

What did they guess??  What kind of cake did I make that has marshmallow as a main ingredient?

A Rice Crispy Cake!

Rice crispy cake

With a surprise inside of course!

A pumpkin inside rice crispy cake with chocolate buttercream frosting!

So easy.

So fun.

And everyone’s face lit up with delight when they saw it.

Such a great way to make your loved ones smile!

Oh… and the winner of the book is Carla Smith!  Shoot me an email Carla and we’ll get that fabulous book in the mail to you. (Let me know if you try the pumpkin caramels!)

Thanks for playing everyone!

I Am Baker

Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

pumpkin caramels

I made those.

Having never have made caramels before, the process seemed daunting.

But I got this new book, Sweet Confections by Nina Wanat and knew I wanted to try.  Her directions are easy to follow and the photography was done by the amazing Todd and Diane of White on Rice.

The pictures are enough to make you drop everything and run to the store for supplies.

Pumpkin chocolate cupcake with pumpkin caramel

But since I didn’t want to put Nina’s beautifully perfect recipe here (that’s what the book is for), but still wanted you to be able to sample some if this wonderful pumpkin and chocolate deliciousness, I made cupcakes.

Pumpkin Chocolate cupcakes.

With cinnamon buttercream.

And a caramel on top.

These tasted amazing.  Ah-mazing.

I remembered I had some of these fun *free-standing muffin molds and I literally danced over to my supply closet to retrieve them.  (I also used *these fun little cupcake liners.)

Um, I like baking.  And cupcake liners.  And dancing in my kitchen.  And eating pumpkin caramels.

IMG_9933-1.pumpkincaramelchocolatecupcake

Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3/4 cups softened butter
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cups cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350
  2. In a small bowl combine buttermilk and pumpkin. Just mix together until incorporated.
  3. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a mixer, beat the butter, sugars, and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
  5. Alternating, add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the sugar mixture. Beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
  6. Mix for 1 minute on low until fully combined. Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup, place batter in prepared cupcake pan.
  7. Bake for 16-20 minutes. Cupcakes are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
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This recipe for Cinnamon Buttercream is divine, I simply excluded the brown sugar. (Because I wanted it to be whiter, not for taste purposes.  I am a vain baker like that.)

I used a *2D tip to pipe out big clouds of cinnamon frosting.  Then I simply went back and added a caramel square to each cupcake.

Pumpkincupcakes

Now for the fun part… I would like to give YOU a copy of Sweet Confections!

Simply leave a comment.

Good luck!

CONTEST CLOSED!  The winning comment was #115, Roberta.  I will be sending you an email Roberta!

Thanks all who participated!

Open to USA and Canada residents only.  Sorry all you fabulous international bakers!  No comments accepted from Facebook.  

*Amazon Affiliate link.

 

I Am Baker

Pumpkin Caramels and Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes (CLOSED}

Pumpkin Caramels.

Pumpkincaramels

I made those.  

Having never have made caramels before, the process seemed daunting.

But I got this new book, Sweet Confections by Nina Wanat and knew I wanted to try.  Her directions are easy to follow and the photography was done by the amazing Todd and Diane of White on Rice

The pictures are enough to make you drop everything and run to the store for supplies.

Pumpkincaramelchocolatecupcake

But since I didn’t want to put Nina’s beautifully perfect recipe here (that’s what the book is for), but still wanted you to be able to sample some if this wonderful pumpkin and chocolate deliciousness, I made cupcakes.

Pumpkin Chocolate cupcakes.

With cinnamon buttercream.

And a caramel on top.

These tasted amazing.  Ah-mazing.  

  IMG_9881-1.pumpkinchocolatecaramelcupcake

I remembered I had some of these fun *free-standing muffin molds and I literally danced over to my supply closet to retrieve them.  (I also used *these fun little cupcake liners.)

Um, I like baking.  And cupcake liners.  And dancing in my kitchen.  And eating pumpkin caramels.

IMG_9933-1.pumpkincaramelchocolatecupcake

 Chocolate Pumpkin Cupcakes (adapted from Country Living)

1 1/2 cups Flour

2/3 cups Cocoa

2 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 cup Vanilla Yogurt

1 cup Canned Pumpkin

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

3/4 cups Butter, softened

1/2 cup Brown Sugar

1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar

4 large Eggs

Directions

Preheat oven to 325.

Prepare cupcake pan with your fun and festive liners. 

In mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Add in eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.  In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together, set aside.  Stir yogurt, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together in a small bowl.  Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately beat in the flour and yogurt mixtures in thirds, starting and ending with flour.

Bake for 18-25 minutes, depending on your oven.  Remove once toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, or center springs back when touched.

This recipe for Cinnamon Buttercream is divine, I simply excluded the brown sugar. (Because I wanted it to be whiter, not for taste purposes.  I am a vain baker like that.)

I used a *2D tip to pipe out big clouds of cinnamon frosting.  Then I simply went back and added a caramel square to each cupcake.

Pumpkincupcakes

Now for the fun part… I would like to give YOU a copy of Sweet Confections!  

Simply leave a comment.  

Good luck!

CONTEST CLOSED!  The winning comment was #115, Roberta.  I will be sending you an email Roberta!

Thanks all who participated!

Open to USA and Canada residents only.  Sorry all you fabulous international bakers!  No comments accepted from Facebook.  

*Amazon Affiliate link.