Saturday, September 6, 2008

Wilton's Classic Buttercream Icing

Wilton's Classic Buttercream Icing- Stiff Consistency (doubled)
Yield: 6 cups

2 c solid white vegetable shortening
2 sticks unsalted butter, soften (not part of the original recipe)
2 tsp flavoring (vanilla, almond or butter, add more if you want)
2 T water (only add to produce a thinner consistency)
2 lb. confectioners sugar (about 8 c.)
2 T meringue powder
2 pinches salt (optional, salt adds flavor to the buttercream and reduces the sweetness)

Cream shortening, butter and flavoring. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together. Blend an additional minute or two until creamy.

Medium Consistency: add 1 T of water and mix thoroughly

Thin Consistency: add 2 T of water and mix thoroughly

Friday, September 5, 2008

Wilton Cake: Course 1, Cake 3

So this week for the final class of course one I decided to try out Katie's (of Good Thing's Catered) strawberry cake. I only ate a small amount but I think it turned out pretty good. I would recommend eating this cake soon after making it, I tried a piece a few days after (ok maybe 5 days later) and it didn't taste as good. I forgot to take a picture of the inside of the cake.

Strawberry Layer Cake:

2 1/4 c. cake flour
3/4 c. strawberry puree,room temperature (homemade or you can find store bought in form of a good quality strawberry daiquiri mix as well)
1/4 c. milk , at room temperature
6 large egg whites, room temperature
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 3/4 c. sugar 4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
12 Tbsp unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened (not melted)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8 or 9 in pans line outside with heavy duty foil and spray inside with baking spray with flour(I skipped the foil and the flour).
In small bowl, combine puree, milk, egg, vanilla and mix with fork until well blended.
In bowl of stand mixer, add sifted flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix to combine.
Continue beating at slow speed and add butter.
Mix until combined and resembling moist crumbs.
Add liquids and beat at medium speed for about 1 minute or until full and evenly combined.
Stop mixer to scrape down the sides of the bowl and hand beat for 30 more seconds.
Divide the batter evenly among the pans and smooth tops.
Bake for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (time will vary).
Let cakes rest in pan for about 10 minutes and turn out onto wire racks.
Let cakes cool completely (about 2 hours).

Wilton Cake: Course 1, Cake 2

This cake is amazing, if you are a pumpkin fan like I am you have to try it. It taste like pumpkin pie that's actually a cake. I sent this cake to work with Dan and his co-workers loved it too. I am planning on making it again for his office for Thanksgiving. This cake is also my cake for the second Wilton cake for course two. Overall I am fairly happy with the way it turned out. Sadly I did not get a picture of the inside of the cake, maybe I'll remember next time.

Pumpkin Spice Cake:

Joy of Baking


1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups (270 grams) light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh or canned pure pumpkin (about 1/2 of a 15 ounce can)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups (200 grams) sifted cake flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon (5 grams) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk, room temperature
For Frosting:
8 ounces (228 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (56 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven.
Butter and flour (or spray with Baker's Joyor Pam) two - 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2-3 minutes).
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla and beat until incorporated.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices. (I sifted them)
Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the pumpkin batter, in three additions, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Divide the batter in half and then pour the batter into the prepared pans.
Bake for approximately 25 - 30 minutes (mine baked in 18 minutes), or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then invert and remove the cakes from their pans.
Cool completely before frosting.

Wilton Cake: Course 1, Cake 1

I finally found a Wilton class that was convient to where I live and to my schedule. I have been wanting to take these classes for awhile to brush up and to learn new skills. I think mycake turned out pretty well, except the colors were a little bolder than I would have liked. The bonus is that the cake taste great too.

Blueberry Cake with blueberry glaze and buttercream icing:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 large egg whites (3/4 cup)
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1.5c blueberries

1T sugar
2/3c Ocean Spray Blueberry Cranberry Juice
1/8c Bircardi Gold Rum
2T sugar

Heat over medium heat, whisking gently until reduced some.

Brush the glaze onto the cooled cake and allow to soak into before icing.


Set rack at the middle level in the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.
Butter the bottom of two 9-inch round or one 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan.

Line bottom with parchment or waxed paper or spray pans with Pam like I did.
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Combine egg whites, milk and vanilla extract.
Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture then add half the milk mixture.
Continue to alternate beginning and ending with flour mixture.
Scape the bowl and beater often.
Add blueberries and sugar to food processor and blend for about one minute. Gently fold blueberries into finished cake batter.
Pour the batter into prepared pan(s) and smooth top with metal spatula. Bake cake(s) about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center emerges clean.
Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a rack, remove paper and let cool completely.

Pumpkin Pancakes

I am looking forward to fall and what a great first fall recipe these pancakes are. I have already made these twice because they are a true crowd pleaser. *These pancakes take longer to cook than most pancakes because they are thick* They also reheat well and are pretty good cold. Try topping them with real maple syrup and cool whip.
Pumpkin Pancakes:

2 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk (1 1/4 c milk ¼ c half and half)
12 oz pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white vinegar

1. In a separate bowl, mix together the milk, pumpkin, egg, oil and vinegar. Combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, allspice, cinnamon, ginger and salt, stir into the pumpkin mixture just enough to combine.
2. Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Apple Pie

Last weekend we went to visit some of Dan's family and since I know that apple pie is his and his baby sister's favorite and that she doesn't know how to make one; this was the perfect time to show her how to make it. Hopefully now that she knows how easy it is she will feel comfortable enough to make it on her own. She said that she liked using the pastry blender. Because I was teaching her how to make the pie I actually measured out the ingredients that I used which I never do for apple pie.

Apple Pie:Double Batch Pie Crust (Recipe found under July)

3 T brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp apple pie spice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch of ginger
1/8 tsp all spice
6 T sugar
1 T water
5-6 apples thinly sliced & peeled (we used 3 Gala & 2 Granny Smith)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Wash, peel and slice apple thin.
Add all remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly.
Prepare pie dough according to directions.
Roll out dough and place into pie plate.
Fill crust with apples (I left out the "juice from the apples")
Top with a lattice top.

Lattice top directions:
Roll out pie dough.
Cut dough into 1/2 strips that are about 9 inches long.
Weave dough alternating pieces to create a basket weave.
Dab small pieces of butter all over the pie (the size of peas)
Sprinkle crust with sugar before baking.
Bake for 35 minutes or until crust in golden brown.

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Peanut Butter M&M's

These cookies are one of my favorite which says a lot considering that I'm normally not a huge fan of chocolate chip cookies. I have actually made these cookies several times but have not taken a picture of them so that I could include them in my blog. These cookies are great with different mix-ins (different types of chocolate, butterscotch and different nuts.) Anyway, I have been wanting to make these again and had the perfect opportunity last week because I need to do a documentation panel of the learning of a child. I decided to make these with my two year old neighbor and we had a blast. He even told me that he's better at stirring than I am.

Also known as: Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter M&M's

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy.
Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
Stir in the chocolate chips and peanut butter M&M's by hand using a spoon.
Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets.
Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 13 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted.

Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.