Thursday, December 23, 2010

Red Velvet Christmas Cake

December means baking & Christmas parties galore! I needed both a cake for a party and a birthday cake for my sis.

I thought a big batch of red velvet cake would do the trick! Frosted and filled with some white chocolate cream cheese icing & butter cream.

Adding a classic border. I loved the vintage look of the colors I used!

The Christmas mini cake...

A larger version for the birthday girl!

The fun red velvet surprise when you slice up the cake...


Cheers to the holidays and surviving the many parties!



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Goodness

I was racking my brain this year! What to make! I made soo many pumpkin desserts and goodies last year and although they were all delicious, I love to try new things. My bright idea was a pumpkin cheesecake with a gingerbread crust. I thought I would google it for inspiration and soon found out that everyone and their mother and mother's mother had already made one. Oh well! It is new to me and for a brief moment, I thought I was about to invent something that nobody else had heard of!

Here we go!

2 cups crushed gingersnaps (Trader Joe's has the best ones with big chunks of real ginger..can't beat it!)
1/4 c. finely chopped pecans
1/4 c. melted butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I used a full teaspoon)
1/4 c. brown sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 9 x 13 inch pan with parchment paper and lots of pam...or use a cupcake pan with cupcake liners with pam.

Blend cookies, sugar, cinnamon in the food processor until finely ground. Add pecans and butter.
Bake 10 mins. until firm.

1/2 c. pumpkin
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon ( I used a full tsp.)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (I used a full tsp.)
1/4 tsp. cloves (I didn't have any, so I used a 1/4 tsp. of pumpkin pie spice which has all that spicy goodness in it)
3 8ox. packages of cream cheese
1 c. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs

Stir together the pumpkin, spices, and flour. Set aside.

Beat the cream cheese until it is nice and smooth. Have a glass of spicy Pinot Noir. It pairs well with the spices of this dessert.
Add sugar & vanilla until combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, until just combined after each addition.

Then stir 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture into the pumpkin goodness.

Pour the cream cheese batter onto crust and then add stripes of the pumpkin mixture.

Use the back end of a fork to make some napoleon inspired stripes!

After baking 20-30 minutes...

The cupcake version!

Cheers to some pumpkin inspired baking remix and feeling grateful for all of our blessings!



Sunday, October 24, 2010

German Chocolate Cupcakes! MMkaay!

Elinor Klivans is my new love! I am usually not too excited about cupcake cookbooks. There are oodles of them out there and not too many of them beat my online recipe researching. But, this lady knows her sweets! I tried out her German Chocolate Cupcake recipe and it is amazing!

You will have to check out her cupcakes! book for the recipe.
This lady has some sweet tricks up her sleeve!
Adding chocolate chips on top of the out of the oven cupcakes...melting for a nice little chocolate surprise..

Mixing up the custard with coconut and pecans.

After the topping sets up over night, completing the little beauties!

soooooo good! I can't put these things down.


In honor of my boss, who inspired me to make these for his b-day...MMMMKaaaay!

Cheers to trying out new recipes and being flabbergasted by the results! Sending my love to Elinor!

Cheater Cheater Pumpkin Eater

It's been awhile! Tipsy has been a very busy girl these past few months! What's a busy girl to do? I had three parties to bake for last week, so I grabbed some boxed mix for the cupcakes and some pastry pride for the topping....shhhh! Don't worry! I doctored up both mixes with extra vanilla and chopped white chocolate chips for the white cake and chopped semi-sweet chips for the chocolate gotta be sneaky to make the box mix delish!

I also called for some decorating help! Luckily I had a couple of volunteers in no time!

I baked up the chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, whipped up the pastry pride (adding chocolate to half of it), picked up some vino and called the girls over!

We whipped up some colors per our Cupcake Consultant, Alicia. I did the base frosting and passed em' on over to the lovely ladies to make them.

We had plenty of supervision!

And Pico helped too!

The girls getting their decorating going!

The first masterpiece...

The crazy cupcakes. Each one got a little more funky as we sipped our Sauvignon Blanc..Alicia even invented the Pumpkin Waterfall look and Natalie created the Starry Night cupcake. It was amazing!

Cheers to cheating with some box mix/nobody guessing and cupcake decorating ladies night!
Happy Halloween!

Fun times!



Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cupcake Challenge!

When my super sweet and creative friend has a birthday boy in her life, I have to make something special! My friend Luna's son turned 2 and got baptized all in one day! It was a crazy fun day for everyone! You can check out her amazing florists skills here.

I enlisted the help of my friend, Alicia. She was a rookie, but caught right on and saved me from some serious cupcake drama! We decorated about 120 cupcakes in 2.5 hours! It was Cupcake War boot-camp!

We got crazy with some chocolate whipped buttercream, regular buttercream, and some white chocolate cream cheese decadence...and of course, some Sauvignon Blanc! It was a hot summer desert day!

This kid knows how to party! I think he had a cupcake in his hand every time I saw him!

The final look, inspired by Luna's design. We even used some shredded coconut to mimic the sweet white feathered angel wings that she incorporated into the centerpieces!

Check out the adorable decorations on the cake table!
(Nope, I didn't make the cake! Just the cupcake accessories!)

Happy birthday and blessed baptism to Sky! Kisses!

Cheers to some Cupcake War style decorating, sharing some sugar skills with a rookie who caught right on, and real good times with real good friends!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Une Autre Aventure Fran├žaise!

My sister has FINALLY returned from her year abroad in France!

She had a rich experience, but does describes it as bittersweet. If living in France is half as complicated as any French baking recipe, I can relate! Why is it that every time I make a French inspired dessert it stresses me out like no other and requires extra special beverages??

My dad asked me to make some Nougat to add to the vanilla ice cream he was making. I didn't hesitate.....until he sent me the recipe! I started having Macaroon flashbacks! Anything that requires a candy thermometer really freaks me out...and I promised to make something else too! This was one long week in my hot hot desert kitchen!

I was such a good girl getting my mice en place together before starting the process!

Oh French recipes, you scare the hell outta me!

I boiled right along with this mixture! I stood right over it until it reached 315 degrees! ahhhh!

The stickiest s*** I've ever worked with! Now you know how I really feel!

I sprayed and sprayed and sprayed Pam and Pam and Pam to make sure it didn't stick to the pan. This was a mess....but, it already tasted amazing!

then I popped it into the fridge for 4 days to set up.

The next night I started up some French Tarts! What was I thinking?

My most genius moment was placing a strip of parchment paper between the
Pate Sucre and the tart pans. I could lift them right out when they were done!

Don't worry, I totally cheated! My
Pastry Cream for the Tart Frangipan didn't set up. So, I just whipped up an egg with almond powder, sugar and loads of vanilla.

Didn't matter though! These turned out perfectly browned and delicious!

I whipped up some sweet American Pastry Pride to fill these bebes! I couldn't stand the thought of starting from scratch one more time! It's not even dairy! Shhh! Don't tell any Irwins!

I did follow the website's Ganache Recipe and I whipped some of it in with the Pastry Pride for a chocolate filling and kept half of it plain for non-chocolate lovers.

The completed and complicated tarts!

Why it was so worth it!

Ok, so photo props to my sis! She set the nougat/vanilla ice cream combo up in my mom's tea cup from France. I am so in love with this! YUMMMy and SWWWEEEEt!

Cheers to the last time I bake two French recipes in one week!

...and even more cheers to cheating on French recipes with American shortcuts! :) I feel so scandalous!



Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hello, Sunshine!

If apricots and oranges were my Spring celebration this year, what better fruit to ring in the Summer sunshine than some yummy lemons!

My parents have a beautiful lemon tree in their backyard and I took advantage of the gorgeous lemons they gave me.

I found this recipe and had to try it out on a hot June, Saturday afternoon. I couldn't get the house below 85 degrees!!! Summer is definitely here.

2 sticks of butter at room temp
2.5 cups sugar (divided into 2 and .5)
4 eggs at room temp
Zest of 6-8 lemons
3 cups flour
.5 tsp. baking powder
.5 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup lemon juice (divided into 1/4 & 1/2)
3/4 cup Buttermilk
1 tsp. salt

First, I poured myself a glass of nice and chilly Sauvignon Blanc. Then I got out all of the cold ingredients to get them to room temp. That didn't take to long....Next, I added some ice to my Sauvignon Blanc which had also quickly reached room temp.

While everything came to room temp, I started zesting the lemons. This is about all the workout that a girl wants on a lazy Summer Saturday afternoon.

I mixed up 2 cups of the sugar with the 2 sticks of butter and lemon zest. Smells amazing!

Next, I sifted the dry ingredients (using only 2 cups of the sugar) and placed the buttermilk, vanilla and 1/4 cup of the lemon juice in a bowl.

Add the wet and dry ingredients alternately to the butter/sugar mixture. The batter already tastes amazing! Look at all that zest!

While the cakes baked at 350 for about 30 minutes I mixed up the glaze. Ina glazed the cakes and that was that. I had to take it a step further...maybe it was the heat getting to me.

The glaze is the 1/2 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar. Just heat it up on the stove until all the sugar crystals disappear!

Once the cakes were outta the oven, I used a toothpick to make little flavor spacers for the yummy lemon/sugar glaze.

I wanted to try something new. Does lemon, white chocolate and cream cheese go together? YESS! I mixed up some
white chocolate cream cheese frosting, just like the red velvet recipe, but added 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. It is actually quite refreshing, but added some decadence to this lemon delight!
This is what happens when Tipsy is trying to make sky blue after a few hours of baking in a hot kitchen drinking wine on the rocks!
I was a bit disappointed with me heavy hand in the food coloring department, but I still like the way it turned out.
I added lemon wedges and a yellow twist for fun.

Then some leaves and dots.

Had to try it out! YUMMMM!

Cheers to Summer sunshine, cold white wine, and eating cake all the time!