Decadent Homemade Brownies

If you have purchased my new cookbook, ‘surprise-inside cakes‘, you may have noticed something.  There really aren’t that many recipes.

Which is weird for a cookbook.  The few recipes it does have are recipes that I truly adore, and today, I am sharing one!

In the book there is a cake called the Neapolitan Hi-Hat cake.

Neapolitan Hi-Hat Cake!

 

You are all pretty familiar with my Neapolitan obsession, so it was a natural progression for me to have it in the book.

And while I love the beauty of neapolitan, the dark brown chocolate, the like pink, the crisp white… what I want to talk about today is the flavors, or the recipe.

When you have mile-high sweet and sugary whipped cream and strawberry cake amazingness, you really need a dark and high quality chocolate to pair it with.  That is how my Decadent Brownie recipe was born.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

 

This is the deconstructed hi-hat, with no hat. ;)

I made up the recipe from my book, topped with a bit of whipped cream, and added a couple strawberries for texture and flavor.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

 

While I love a good fudgey brownie, this cakey brownie with a crispy crust and bits of semi-sweet chocolate is my newest obsession.

Ob. Sesh. On.

Decadent Homemade Brownies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulate sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate (about 2 ounces) finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and prepare an 8-inch round cake pan.
  2. In stand mixer, combine sugars, butter and vanilla and mix on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time until well blended.
  3. Sift flours, cocoa and salt in medium bowl. Gradually add the flour mixture to butter mixture with mixer on low speed and blend until ingredients are fully combined. (no more than 1 minute)
  4. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in finely chopped chocolate by hand using a spatula.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  6. Let brownies cool to room temperature in pan.
  7. Cover in whipped cream and strawberries.
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Decadent Homemade Brownies

 

Sorry for my bad spelling above.  I promise I won’t start saying what-evs and obvi and talking about cake swag.  But if I do, just chalk it up to YOLO.

;)

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie

You may have noticed.

I know I have.

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

My blog has turned into a den of gluttony.  A shameful place to gorge on insane amounts of calories.  A sinful stuff fest.  Can it be stuffed into something?  Then I will do it.

I feel as if I need to share a behind the scenes with you.

I have been baking like CRAZY.  Cake after cake after cake.  Most of these cakes are for jobs or editorial images only so I haven’t been able to share on my blog.

And after a long week of intricate designs and complicated recipes and cake…

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

I just want to indulge.  I want mindless.  I want stuff stuffed into intimate cheesecake crevices.  I want to ignore calories and complicated instructions.

Cheesecake.  Oreo.  Cookie dough.  Can of cherry stuff.

Yum.

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreos and Chocolate Chip Cookie

Ingredients

  • 1 6-ounce package of Oreo premade pie crust
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 13-14 Oreos (I used the vanilla and chocolate variety)
  • 1 36-ounce container Nestle cookie dough
  • 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 21-ounce can cherry topping

Instructions

  1. Melt butter and in a medium bowl, combine with Oreo crumbs. Press into a well prepared 7-inch springform pan and create a bottom crust.
  2. Press Oreos into crust, vanilla side down.
  3. Scoop out mini balls of cookie dough and press onto each individual cookie.
  4. Prepare Cheesecake:
  5. Place cream cheese in stand mixer and mix for 30 seconds to a minute on medium-high speed. You want to cream cheese to be creamy in texture.
  6. Add in sugar and then eggs, one at a time. Scrape bowl with spatula and mix for about 30 more seconds on medium, until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
  7. Pour cheesecake mixture into pan with Oreos and bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 degrees. (I baked for 40 minutes at 325 degrees in my convection oven.)
  8. Chill for two hours before serving.
  9. When ready to serve, pour cherries over cheesecake.
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Cherry Cheesecake with Oreo and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

As you can see, I opted for easy.  Store bought pre-made ingredients.  I also chose to only put the cookie dough over each cookie, instead of making it a whole layer.  Since we are big cheesecake fans here, it just made more sense.

And don’t look to close at the picture above or you will see it PRE Oreo crust layer.  I went back and removed all the cookies and added that.  Seeing as the cheesecake would seep all the way to the bottom, I needed a delicious place for it to land!

Cherry Cheesecake with Oreo and Chocolate Chip Cookie!

 

This dessert was completely inspired by these Chocolate Chip Oreo Filled Cheesecakes by Lauren’s Latest.

 

 

blueberry banana banana bread cake with brown butter glaze

If you read here you may know this already, but I am a huge fan of banana bread and blueberries.  Like, HUGE.  It would probably be my request for last meal should I ever end up on death row.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

And if that should ever happen, please, someone teach my children that its ok to use shortening in buttercream and still call it buttercream.

And also, if that should ever happen, please take a picture of me because I am sure I will be skinny.  I heard that people who don’t eat a cake everyday weigh less than people who do.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

But anyway.

Since I am still legally allowed to eat a cake a day I will start with this bad boy.

But before I show you the recipe, I need to talk about the star of this show.

Brown Butter Glaze!

Brown. Butter. Glaze.

I um… well… it has left me speechless on more than one occasion but that doesn’t translate well for a blog post for I will try to describe it.

Its yummy.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze

 

I had a hard time not pouring it ever EVERYTHING.  Mostly because I ran out so quickly, but thankfully it is easy to make so yippee!

brown butter glaze

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Its best to use an aluminum pan or pan that does not have a black bottom. You will want the butter to smell nutty and be a dark brown color.
  2. In a medium bowl, add sugar, vanilla and 2 tablespoons milk. Stir. Cover the bowl with cheesecloth that has been doubled over.
  3. Carefully pour butter over the sugar mixture. The cheesecloth should catch the very dark and burnt bits.
  4. Stir until smooth. If glaze is too thick, add more milk. Use immediately.
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This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart.

In the small, teeny-tiny, microscopic chance that you want to make this without the glaze, I will not be mad.  ONLY because the cake in itself is quite delicious.

blueberry banana banana bread cake

Ingredients

  • 3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Instructions

  1. Put bananas in a large bowl and shmush with a fork. Melt butter, then pour over bananas and incorporate with fork.
  2. Add in sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla. Mix well.
  3. Pour flour, cinnamon, baking soda and pinch of salt over banana mixture. Add blueberries over flour and stir all ingredients until just combined.
  4. Pour mixture into a prepared 8-inch round pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes. (At the 30 minute mark, I have covered the cake with foil to prevent the edges from burning.)
  5. Can be served immediately.
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Recipe adapted from the always amazing Simply Recipes.

Blueberry Banana Banana Cake with Brown Butter Glaze!

 

If you want, you may simply omit the blueberries.

Just don’t tell me.

homemade yellow cake mix

Did you know I bake lots of cakes?  Like, lots and lots of lots of cakes?  I had a homemade white cake recipe that I love, but have been on the search for a good yellow cake recipe.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

There are a couple reasons that I finally ended up in this recipe.

#1 Its a one-bowl recipe.

#2 It uses whole eggs, not 8 egg yolks.

Oh, and one more.

Its yummy.

Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

homemade yellow cake mix

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Instructions

  1. Measure flour into quart size mason jar.
  2. Add sugar on top, then baking powder, then salt. Place lid on jar. (My ingredients JUST fit)
  3. When ready to prepare cake batter:
  4. Place softened butter into stand mixer and mix on medium for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Place dry ingredients into stand mixer and combine with butter for 30 seconds.
  6. Add milk, oil, vanilla and eggs and mix on medium-high for one minute.
  7. Pour batter into prepare pans. Bake at 350. For 9-inch pans its 20-25 minutes. For cupcakes start checking around 15 minutes. Cool before frosting.
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Homemade Yellow Cake Mix

 

Making a homemade cake mix is so cheap and easy and the best of all worlds when it happens to be super delicious.

I couldn’t help but pair it with a rich chocolate buttercream, as that is my favorite combination.  (What is your favorite frosting with yellow cake?)

If you want to give this for a gift (I would LOVE this as a gift!) simply print out the ‘wet’ ingredients and the directions and attach to the jar.  Be sure to add some instructions though.  Something like, “After cake is cooled call me and I will be right over.”

Or something like that. :)

 

gender reveal surprise-inside cake

So I have a little announcement for you that I have known about for a few months now.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

When I first found out I was freaked out.  I mean… this was big news for our family and I didn’t know if I should smile or run into my closet and eat cake.  (In all fairness I eat cake in my closet a couple times a day anyway so that is not a good indicator of stress for me.)

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

OK, ok, I will stop teasing.  I am NOT pregnant!  We are done having kids and are totally smitten with the five we are lucky enough to be blessed with.

However, I AM introducing a new partnership in my life.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

Its with Craftsy!  If you are into crafts or quilting or cake decorating on any level you are probably very familiar with Craftsy.  If you are not please drop everything and go watch some free classes on how to do awesome stuff with cakes.

It’s life changing stuff.

I teamed up with Craftsy to offer some classes on how to make surprise-inside cakes!  My class is called “Decorating From the Inside Out” and it launches March 11th.  The classes are in high-definition and are interactive.  I will be there answering questions and helping you out along the way!  Another fun feature?  Once you purchase my class it will NEVER expire.  You can watch it as many times as you want!

The classes I am teaching are for cakes that have never been taught on my blog! But a couple are in my book, so when you get it and see a cake you want to make just think, “Hey, there is a video of Amanda making this cake on Craftsy and I can go watch it right now!”

How cool is that?

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

And now for this sweet cake.

One of the methods I teach in the course is a twice-baked cake, a method that I first started playing around with in 2011.   You can use shapes or letters and make WORDS!  This particular cake is not in the course (It’s just a special treat for my blog readers!) , but the methods I teach will provide you the knowledge to make any design you can think of.

So can you tell what the fictitious expectant mom is having?  A Baby Boy!  How adorable is that little guy in there?

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!

 

And it could not be easier to do.

Not only will I teach you how to make a fun surprise-inside cakes, but I will teach you creative and easy buttercream techniques.  Like this very fun and personalized “dot” technique.  I am such a sucker for polka dots and absolutely love incorporating them into everything I do.  When you buy my course you will get to SEE how I make these dots and just how easy it is!

And there is so much more.  Part of me is completely mortified that the sweet folks at Craftsy let me blabber on camera and do weird dances (Yes, I seriously shook my booty, please don’t tell anyone) and the other part of me is so darn excited to share new tips with you that I CAN’T WAIT FOR YOU TO SIGN UP!

Since the class isn’t available for a couple more weeks, I thought it would be fun to give you a chance to win!

To be entered to win simply click on this link:

CRAFTSY COURSE GIVEAWAY

If you already have a Craftsy account then you can use your existing login information to be entered. (If you have trouble seeing the giveaway page, using Google Chrome should help.)

One entry per person, the giveaway is open to everywhere.

This giveaway is open until March 3, 2014.

Official Rules here.

Gender Reveal Surprise-Inside Cake!!

I hope you like my newest original surprise-inside cake and I hope you will love my new course on Craftsy!

Here is a link to the Chocolate Frosting recipe!

rustic blueberry tart with white chocolate

Blueberries are IT for me.  Sitting down and eating a pint is no big deal.  Sharing is a no-no.  And finding new ways to incorporate them into baking is a must.

rustic blueberry tart

 

So this is a very simple and dumbed down version of a classic tart.  I removed it from the constraints of a traditional tart pan.  I added more sugar than necessary to the blueberry sauce and I melted white chocolate on top.

And it was wonderful.

rustic blueberry tart

 

rustic blueberry tart

Ingredients

    Tart
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick plus 1 tablespoon (9 tablespoons; 4 1/2 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • Egg Mixture
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Blueberry Sauce
  • 2 cups blueberries (frozen works fine)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup powder sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 ounces white chocolate, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Pulse the flour, sugar and salt together in the bowl of a food processor.
  2. Drop in the pieces of butter into the processor and pulse until the butter is coarsely cut in. (small pieces)
  3. Gentle mix the yolk then slowly add into the food processor on low.
  4. Once the egg has been added, pulse for 10 second increments until the dough starts to pull together and clumps.
  5. Remove dough from processor and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Using your hands, gently start to press the down down and out. (Not tearing) You are trying to spread the dough over the pan and a rustic oval. Once the dough is mostly flat, take a fork and pierce the dough about every inch or so. (Covering entire tart)
  6. Place dough in 350 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  7. For Blueberry Sauce
  8. Place all ingredients in a sauce pan and stir over medium-low heat. Allow the corn starch to work and thicken the sauce. Once the sauce starts to thicken, remove from heat. (About 10 minutes)
  9. After the tart has baked for 10 minutes at 350 degrees, you will then remove it and generously brush entire tart with egg mixture (one egg and cinnamon in a small bowl beaten until combined).
  10. Pour blueberry sauce over tart and allow it to get right to the edges. Place tart back into oven for 8 minutes. (This is where the indention and groves your fingers made in the dough help, as they are natural divets for the sauce to sink into)
  11. Remove tart and sprinkle white chocolate over the top, then place back in over for about five minutes, or until the chocolate is melted.
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Tart recipe heavily inspired by “the great unshrinkable tart” by smitten kitchen.  Blueberry sauce recipe adapted from this Blueberry Tart from Chow Hound.

rustic blueberry tart

 

I have made this three times in the last two weeks and enjoyed it more every time.  I also played around with the blueberry sauce, adding more of this and less of that.  Less lemon, more sugar.  No sugar, add lemon zest.  You seriously cant go wrong with the sauce, just as long as you have those luscious blueberries in there you will be set.  And feel free to add dark chocolate as well… I am a huge fan of dark chocolate and blueberries!

 

snickers bar cheesecake pie {recipe girl cookbook giveaway}

Have you seen the Recipe Girl blog?   Of course you have, I think most everyone has!  On her blog Lori shares over 2,500 great recipes,  and one of them happens to be this little diddy.

Snickers Bar Cheesecake Pie

A Snickers Bar Cheesecake Pie.  Talk about the most perfect idea EVER.

I found it a little bit by accident.  See, I was having some friends over for dinner and realized at the very last second that I needed a fabulous dessert.  I remembered that I had just gotten Lori’s book so I thumbed through to the dessert section.  There (among some other pretty fabulous options) was this sweet concoction.

Snickers Bar Cheesecake Pie

 

As you can imagine, I was instantly drawn to the decadent flavors.  Snickers is my second favorite candy bar of all time, so you can imagine how excited I got when I saw it was paired with Oreo crust and cheesecake.

Snickers Bar Cheesecake Pie

 

Then topped with whipped cream, caramel sauce, hot fudge and MORE snickers?  I was in HEAVEN.

Truth be told, I made two of these in 48 hours.  And I don’t regret it for one single second.

Snickers Bar Cheesecake Pie

 

The whole fabulous experience begins when you get to cut up 16 snack size snickers bars.  It just so happens that there were 19 bars in the bag, which was the perfect amount for the filling of the cheesecake and then to garnish the top.

This was NOT the perfect amount if you have zero self control and just HAD to snack on one or seven of those sweet little bites as you were slaving away over the cutting board.

Just buy two bags.

Snickers Bar Cheesecake Pie

snickers bar cheesecake pie

Ingredients

  • 2 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 16 "fun size" snickers candy bars, chopped (2 cups total)
  • 2 6-ounce Oreo Pie Crust
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Instructions

  1. Place cream cheese into bowl of stand mixer. Mix on medium-low speed for 30 seconds. Add in sugar and eggs and beat until smooth.
  2. Remove bowl from stand and stir in chopped candy bars.
  3. In a small bowl combine the Oreo pie crusts and the butter gently with a fork.
  4. Prepare a 6-inch spring-form pan and then press the Oreo mixture into the pan and up the sides.
  5. Pour the filling into the pan and bake until set, 35-40 minutes at 325 degrees.
  6. Set the pie on a wire rack and let it cool completely.
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I cheated and bought Oreo’s ready made pie crusts.  I simply cannot be trusted with a bag of Oreo’s in my house and this is by far the easiest option.

You can top your cheesecake with anything you would like.  Lori recommends caramel syrup, chocolate syrup, peanuts and more snickers.  I simply added whipped cream and omitted the peanuts on mine.

Snickers Bar Cheesecake Pie

 

Oh my gosh this is amazing.  Lori mentions in the book that her son, Recipe Boy, has won many a pie contest with this recipe, and I can see why!

And guess what?  I want you to make this.  And read this book.  And have your very own copy!

I would love to give one of you the chance to win one!

For an chance to win a Recipe Girl Cookbook just tell me, “What is your favorite candy bar?”

For FOUR additional entries: (please leave a separate comment for each one)

Share on Facebook!

Just click HERE to share

Tweet:

I want to win a @RecipeGirl cookbook from @iambakertweets ! http://iambaker.net/snickers-bar-cheesecake-pie-recipe-girl-cookbook-giveaway/

You can PIN any image from this post!

Share this post on Google+

This contest is open from Feb. 16th through Feb. 21st.  Official Rules are here.  Residents of the US and Canada are eligible to win.

Of course, if you can’t wait, you can always buy one right now!  The Recipe Girl Cookbook

Snickers Bar Cheesecake Pie

 

Good Luck!

brownie carmelita’s in a skillet

You may have noticed my latest obsession… baking in a skillet.  Its just so darn handy and fabulous, I feel silly that I waited so long to join in the trend!

Brownie Carmelitas

 

I have also been obsessing over anything with chocolate or caramel.  As witnessed by my last skillet, the Brownie Oreo Skillet and my Birthday Cake which put an entire Brownie Skillet in the food processor and used it as the bottom layer of the cake.

If you happen to be a mental health expert, lets just agree to pretend that never happened.

Brownie Carmelita's

Back to these sweet little diddies.

I adapted a Carmelita’s recipe from  Lulu the Baker and tried to make it into a Brownie Carmelita.

Then I forgot to add in the chocolate layer with the caramel layer so I added a couple chips to the top.  THAT IS NOT ENOUGH CHOCOLATE.  DON’T BE LIKE ME.  ADD THE CHOCOLATE IN THE MIDDLE.

I will stop yelling now.

Brownie Carmelita's

 

skillet brownie carmelita’s

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, melted, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed and divided
  • 2 cups flour, divided
  • 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups rolled oats, divided
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups caramel sauce
  • 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl add 3/4 cup melted butter, 3/4 cup packed brown sugar, cocoa, 1 cup flour and 1 cup rolled oats.
  2. Mix until just combined and then press into the bottom of a prepared 12inch cast iron skillet.
  3. Place skillet into 375 degree oven for 10 minutes. (Convection oven 350)
  4. While that is baking (and using the same bowl) put remaining melted butter, remaining brown sugar, remaining flour, remaining oats and remaining baking soda in bowl and stir until combined.
  5. When time is up, remove skillet from oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the hot cookie.
  6. Pour caramel sauce over chocolate chips. (Can reduce amount to 3/4 cup if you prefer; I like a lot of caramel)
  7. Press cookie mixture over the top of the caramel sauce. Be careful as the skillet is still very hot.
  8. If any of the caramel is showing it may burn and turn dark brown, so I try to cover up as much as possible. Usually this means grabbing small hand full's of the cookie mixture and pressing it a bit, then laying it on top of the caramel carefully. Repeat until completely covered.
  9. Bake for 12-16 minutes more. The edges should be darker, but not burnt. Allow the carmelita to cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
  10. Can be stored at room temperature in an air tight container.
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Brownie Carmelita's

 

As I mentioned above, make sure you dont forget the chocolate chips in the middle layer like I did.  Also, try not to sneak a bite directly out of the oven as you may be burned on the hot caramel. (Thank you Lulu for that tip!)

The bottom layer isn’t exactly a brownie, but its closer to a brownie than a cookie, so hence the name.

My entire family really enjoyed these and I plan on making them again and again and again.  And again.

And again.

 

Red Velvet Mousse with Raspberry Vanilla Cupcakes

This is a paid post sponsored by McCormick.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

These recipes were a first for me.  I had never made Red Velvet Mousse before and I had also never made an infused simple syrup.

Red Velvet Mousse Cupcake Infused with Raspberry Simple Syrup

 

What ended up happening is that now I am addicted to both.  You’ll see why in a moment.

Let me just start with whats here in front of me.

Red Velvet Mousse Cupcake Infused with Raspberry Simple Syrup

 

I baked up a batch of vanilla cupcakes.  You can use this perfect white cake recipe or a box mix or your favorite recipe.

Then I made up a batch of simple syrup and added McCormick® Raspberry Extract. (recipe below)  I used a pastry brush and brushed about 1 tsp of the syrup (approximately) over each cupcake.  My cupcakes were still a little warm and I think that helped the raspberry syrup to soak into the buttery cake.

Then that fabulous Red Velvet Mousse happened.

Red Velvet Mousse on Raspberry Infused Cupcakes

It had never occurred to me to put mousse on a cupcake and I dont know why!  I really hope you can make the mousse for yourself, but in the off chance that you can’t do it this VERY SECOND I will just tell you.

The mousse is everything you would image a chocolate mousse to be… light and rich and decadent.  But then paired with the raspberry soaked cupcake, its quite magical.  You would look at a cupcake like this and think, “That’s too rich.”  or “There is no way that could taste light and airy.”

And you would be wrong.  Wrong I tell you!

The light rich mousse piped over the light vanilla cupcake that packs a flavor punch in itself with the raspberry simple syrup… it was amazing.  Your tongue rolls over the soft smooth mousse then reaches the gentle crumb of the vanilla cake and just when it starts to rest on the velvety bed of  decadent sugary texture the raspberry flavor hits you and wakes everything up again.

I am not going to go back and re-red that last paragraph.  I wrote with my eyes closed as I was recalling the whole experience.  Even if it doesnt work for a grammar teacher, it WILL work in your belly.

Raspberry Simple Syrup

Ingredients

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp McCormick® Raspberry Extract

Instructions

  1. Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat, and cook, stirring, until sugar has dissolved.
  2. Allow the sugar water to cool completely.
  3. Stir in raspberry extract.
  4. Store in an air-tight container. Syrup will be good for about 10-14 days.
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And here is the recipe for the Red Velvet Mousse!  I have slightly adapted McCormick’s original recipe.

Red Velvet Mousse

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces semi­sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Red Food Color
  • 1 tablespoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

  1. Microwave chocolate in medium microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 minute? stir.
  2. Microwave additional 30 seconds at a time, stirring until chocolate is smooth and melted.
  3. Add 1/4 cup cream and stir until smooth. Stir in food color and vanilla.
  4. Let stand 10 minutes to cool slightly.
  5. Beat 2 cups cream and granulated sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form.
  6. Gently stir in 1/2 of the chocolate mixture with spatula until well blended. Gently stir in remaining chocolate mixture.
  7. Spoon into pastry bag fitted with 1M tip or refrigerate until ready to serve.
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Red Velvet Mousse on a Raspberry Infused Cupcake

 This sweet unassuming dessert packs a flavor punch but does not leave you feeling full*.  Perfect for a Valentine’s Day date or for a treat for the office.

*I think.  I sorta ate like 27 so I am definitely feeling full.

Red Velvet Rose Sandwich Cookies

A while back I posted some Neapolitan Spritz Cookies.  I love the cookie so much that I just knew I had to make it for another special occasion!

Red Velvet Rose Cookie

This recipe is one that I am really, really happy with as well.  Its almost like a red velvet brownie, only in cookie form.

Pair it with a marshmallow buttercream and it’s basically ‘heaven’ in cookie form.

Red Velvet Rose Cookie

Here are a few tips and tricks:

Use a small piping bag.  I actually used the 8-inch bag fitted with the 1M tip and the smaller about of dough made piping easier.

Let your dough be at room temperature.  Do not chill!  The heat from your hands is good.

Pipe your roses onto parchment paper.  I have tried chilling the dough (placing the piped rosette’s into the freezer) before baking and that didnt seem to make any difference in wether the rose kept its shape or not.  The roses that you see above are very relaxed, or a bit more spread out from the baking process.

After you have piped the rose (and using a clean hand) just slightly press the “end” of the rose in.  (The tail part that may not look so pretty.)  Just press it in slightly so that the rosette looks uniform.

Red Velvet Rose Cookie

Red Velvet Rose Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 1 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp red gel food coloring
  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a stand mixer, cream together shortening and sugar.
  3. Once fully combined, add in eggs, one at a time on medium low speed.
  4. Turn mixer to low and add in vanilla, buttermilk and food coloring. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa and salt.
  5. With mixer on low, add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
  6. You may need to add more buttermilk if your dough is still a bit dry. (You may add up to 1/4 cup more if needed. Do not add more than 1/4 cup.)
  7. Using very small amounts, place dough into a piping bag fitted with a 1M (or 2D) tip. Pipe out individual rosettes onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
  8. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Dough will still appear to be a bit "wet" looking when the cookies are done, and this is ok. Allow cookie to cool to room temperature.
  9. To make cookie sandwich's, place about 1 tbsp on marshmallow buttercream on bottom of cookie, them place another cookie on top and press gently.
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Red Velvet Rose Cookie

Not only is the cookie pretty, but its pretty darn delicious.

You can use most any frosting for the filling… chocolate buttercream would be especially delightful.  Or maybe even just a basic buttercream.  Or how about cream cheese?  You really cant go wrong!