Saturday, January 15, 2011

Coco Cupcakes

So the ULTIMATE coconut cake was very well received, as we all know.  Also apparently a lot more people than I knew love coconut and coconut cake.  This and the recent college national football championship game prompted THE ULTIMATE COCONUT CUPCAKE!!!!

I used the same recipes from the other post about the ULTIMATE coconut layer cake.  The batter recipe made about 40 cupcakes.  That's sort of a lot!  I made some before I put the coconut extract in so they were pretty much just vanilla and those were pretty good too.  I also got these cute new papers from my mom for Christmas and I LOVE them.
I also used about a 1/3 recipe of the filling for these.  I used a large round tip to inject the filling in the middle of each cupcake.  I tried using my little tip that is made to inject cupcakes and the coconut couldn't come out so that was sort of a bust but the round tip worked great.  I then frosted these with the cream cheese frosting in the recipe.  It is SO good and make just enough to do all the cupcakes.  The vanilla cupcakes I frosted in a chocolate buttercream.
These turned out great and were a lot less work than the layer cake, but with ALL of the flavor.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Philippines Cake

So my brother is currently training to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Philippines.  One of the missionary in his group is turning 20 so my bro asked me to make a cake for him.  I decided to make a cake that was the size of these new sheet pans I got.  I think they are something like 11x17 inches.  I cooked two boxes worth of mix, one box in each pan.  This is awesome because it makes the layers about one inch thick.  This way you do not have to cut any layers and you can use a moister cake, like a cake mix.  It might be a little lazy, but it's pretty sweet!

I put some chocolate mousse in the middle of the layers.  It is 2 cups of whipping cream, 1/2 cup of sugar, and 3 T of baking coco powder.  You just whip it up until it's thick and holds a peak.  This stuff tastes REALLY good and is light enough to put in a rich, buttercream cake.  It is also easy to make and fairly cheap compared to some other fillings I have tried.  Gotta love that.

I dirty iced the cake and stuck it in the freezer until it was harder.  I then iced the cake, paying special attention to the sides.  I then used some really wide round tips to put the red and blue frosting on the cake.  I spread it around with a metal spatula and added the writing and the yellow stars and sun.  This is the Philippines flag and I think it turned out pretty good.  I was a little disappointed in the red icing.  I put in as much dye as I could handle before the icing started to sort of break down and it still just didn't turn super red. Well, maybe I'll try some other brands of dye.

We just got a Hobby Lobby here in town and it is AMAZING!!!!  They have lots of cake boxes and cake boards which is just dandy for me.  It makes me feel pretty ligit to deliver a cake in a nice looking box.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ultimate Coconut Cake

So my dad was begging for coconut cake this entire break so I went looking for a good recipe.  Where better to start than Martha Stewart???  I found the ULTIMATE COCONUT CAKE on her site and it defiantly is the ultimate in cakes.  The recipe includes 2 1/2 pounds of butter and about 7 cups of cream, but hey... go big or go home right???

The first thing to do is make this cream filling.  To be honest, the corn starch thing didn't really work out for us so we used some other thickener stuff, but you are welcome to try.  This makes A LOT so if you don't want extras, I would make maybe 3/4 of this recipe.

  • 5 cups heavy cream
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 9 cups shredded sweetened coconut

  • Place cream, sugar, and butter in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved

  • Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon water. Add to cream mixture, bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened, about 1 minute.

  • Place coconut in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until coconut is finely chopped. Remove cream mixture from heat and stir in coconut until well combined. Transfer to a large baking dish; let cool.

  • Cover filling with plastic wrap and chill overnight. Just before using, place mixture in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until smooth and creamy, 4 to 5 minutes

  • So this needs to be done the night before, ideally.  Then make the cake.  This cake is SO SO SO good.  I am going to try it without the coconut extract and see if it is still as good.

    Makes two 10-inch round cakes
    • Nonstick cooking spray with flour
    • 1 pound unsalted butter, preferably European-style
    • 3 cups sugar
    • 6 large eggs
    • 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    • 1 1/2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two 10-inch round cake pans with cooking spray; set aside.

  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, 5 to 6 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until creamy, occasionally scraping down sides of the bowl using a spatula.

  • In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl, mix together cream, vanilla, and coconut extract. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture, alternating with cream mixture, beginning and ending with flour; beat until just combined.

  • Pour batter into prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack before removing cakes from pans.

  • This cake batter tastes like ice-cream.  It was SO GOOD!!!!!

    You are then ready to assemble the cake.  You need to make some "simple syrup" which is equal amounts of sugar and water.  Just heat it up until the sugar dissolves.  I put it in a spray bottle and you use this to moisten the layers before you put filling on them.  This is a pretty popular thing to do and it does not make it soggy, just moist and awesome.  Cut each cake into 3 layers each.  That's two cuts, three layers.

    Here is the action shot...

    You put about 2 cups of filling in between each layer and just spread it pretty close to the edge, when you put on the next layer and push it down, you will get the filling all the way to the edge. 

    It looked like a beautiful stack of pancakes!

    Then make the frosting.  We did not put the vanilla bean in here because I am just too poor, but it was still amazing.  I also put about 5 or 6 tablespoons of milk in this recipe to make the frosting more spreadable.  When you frost this you only have to make sure the top looks really good.  Toast some coconut in the oven and press it into the sides of the cake. I burned the coconut the first time around so watch that carefully.  I put the oven at 350 and left it in for about 7 minutes.

    Makes enough for 1 cake
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 8 ounces cream cheese
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 5 cups confectioners' sugar
    • 1 vanilla bean, scraped

  • Place butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; beat until creamy.

  • With mixer on low speed, slowly add vanilla extract, seeds from vanilla bean, and confectioners' sugar. Continue beating until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes.

  • I decorated the top with some funky star tip border and my take on fireworks.

    This cake was a little hard to cut at room temp so I would keep it refrigerated until right before you cut it.  This was the richest and probably the best tasting cake I have ever eaten.  Everyone loved it!!!

    On the Martha site there are some videos of how to make this cake so watch those if you need some more help.  It may seem like a lot of work, but it is TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!


    After some mapquesting, it was discovered that I only live about 2 hours from Hoboken, New Jersey.

    After convincing my dad, the four of us headed up to visit the home of the Cake Boss.  I have been watching his show now for a few months and trying to catch up on all I missed in the last two seasons.  (Thanks to Netflix I am totally caught up!)  He is a funny Italian guy who yells way too much while making some of the best cakes I have ever seen.

    So we got to the city and were expecting a little wait since he is getting so popular, but we were NOT expecting this...

    Yeah... that's a 2 1/2 hour wait!!!  BUT, it was totally worth it for this...

    We tried some cupcakes, crumb cake, cannolis, and biscotti.  The best thing though, BY FAR, was the lobster tails.  This is a pic of it above.  It is triangle shaped, really crunchy dough filled with this amazing vanilla cream.  It was just grand.  So the wait was long, but it was worth it.  I'd go again, but next time I think I'll get there at 7 when they open.

    Mini Cakes and Craft Day

    These past few weeks I got to go home to Maryland and chill with my family over Christmas break.  I got a lot of really fun cake decorating things and for once I had time to try them all out.  One of the things I got was a kit to make gum paste and fondant flowers.  I have to admit, I was really excited to try it out and the fondant flowers did not turn out quite like I thought they would, but some did turn out cute.

    One day we decided to have a craft day.  It was SUPER girly and I wanted to make some little mini cakes.  I used the little flowers I made to decorate them.  

    I started with some boxed cake baked in sheet pans.  (I did one mix of vanilla and one of chocolate.)  This way the cake turns out about an inch thick.  I used some little circular cookie cutters to cut out layers.  I put one layer of chocolate and one of vanilla and in between I put chocolate mousse.  Then I covered them will some buttercream frosting and then will marshmallow fondant.  I did some piping around the bottoms and attached the little flowers on the tops.  They turned out pretty good and tasted REALLY good.  I would have to say that it was probably more work than I will ever do again, but it was worth it for this one thing.