Monday, October 31, 2011

5 sorts of Cupcakes

I must have an obsession with baking, after this week, I am surprised that there is yet another baked good sitting in my oven scenting up my house and cookies cooling on the counters. I seriously swore off sugar...but that went for about 24 hours or less and I was back at it again. The good thing, I suppose is that with all this baking, I do not crave sugar.
Last week, a friend of mine asked me to bake cupcakes for a tea party in celebration of her 30th birthday. Naturally I was delighted to be asked and naturally I was delighted to find new, lovely recipes for this party. I searched online for cupcakes, went to Martha Stewart's website and had fun planning the whole baking fiasco. I chose to do 4 different types at first, but in the end made 5. The first cupcake was creation of my own...well partly. About a year ago, I offered to make a wedding cake for a couple I know. Their choice of taste was carrot cake. I decided that before they dive in unknowingly to hiring me, I would make some testers for them and if they liked then I would make them. I wanted the job of course, but more then anything I seriously wanted to WOW them with carrot cake. Carrot cake is pretty standard and I wasn't sure how to make it more appealing. But then I had an idea of putting in some lingon berries to contrast the sweetness of the cake and it was a winner!  Cupcake #1 Carrot with Lingon. The next one, I had a faint memory of doing before or at least having eaten it before, but I thought it would be fun for this party with it's chocolatey and mint goodness this cupcake is scrumptious!. It was also my only pure chocolate one. Cupcake #2 After Eight
The rest were all newbies and surprisingly mostly successful. I found two of them on Martha Stewart. Cupcake # 3 Spiced Citrus, this one I tweaked the recipe a little bit. The cake part was great, but I didn't quite master the frosting to my liking. My husband thought they were great, but there something I wasn't thrilled about. Cupcake # 4 Chocolate with candied Hazelnuts, this cupcake was fun to make and totally filled the house with the smell of chocolate for the entire day and night I had them out. My husband and I were so sick of that smell, it's a wonder I would even try chocolate again. Amazing how quick your senses and brain can forget things. The only problem with this cupcake was the candied hazelnuts. I was able to get 8 done before the pan of caramelized sugar completely hardened. On the website it says that if this happens, put it on the stove and heat up again...we (hubby and I) tried and severely failed. The goo totally hardened and burned. So we decided to have a go at it again, but then the next batch just crystalized from the beginning. Since the party was only an hour and a half from starting, I was not going to stress in making the other 20 or so candied and just simply placed them on the cupcakes. Boring? Yes! But they still tasted great and I proudly placed the candy topped ones in the center to draw attention to them. =) The last cupcake was the one I spontaneously chose, since I had an abundance of ingredients left over. Cupcake #5 Chocolate Chip. This cupcake was really sweet in taste and honestly I am not sure I would make them again. I think they were liked, but I wasn't  that impressed, but you have a go at them and you might enjoy! At the end of these 4-5 days of baking, I was totally exhausted. Baking is not my full time job, it's a hobby I like to explore with. I am glad these turned out to be a success and that I am still sane!

Until my next post try something creative and new!
Barefoot and Baking in the Kitchen

I chose not to take a million shots of eggs in sugar, things beaten and mixed and took only of the cupcakes either just before baking or after they were completed. Recipes are below.

Fun cupcake holders I used

 Lovely lingon berries in the carrot cake mixture

Cupcake #1 Carrot Lingon
 These would be a perfect Christmas cupcake with
their red contrast to the white. So pretty!

I think these are dainty and feminine. I love it! 

2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2tsp. baking soda
1tsp. salt
3tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 cups margarine softened
4 eggs
3 cups grated carrots
1tsp. nutmeg
1tsp. vanilla
1/2tsp. cloves
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2-3/4 cup lingon berries

Mix sugar, flour, salt, soda, nutmeg, cloves and cinnamon. Stir in butter, add eggs one at a time, then add sour cream. Add vanilla, mix well, then add carrots. You can add nuts if you want.
Bake 350F or 200C for 30 minutes

Cream Cheese Frosting
400g cream cheese
3tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup powdered sugar

 Cupcake #2 After Eight (mint chocolate)

Yummy mint chocolate pieces will eventually melt into
the cake.

 Nice and fresh out of the oven. See how the pieces
of chocolate neatly melted in. It's like a little surprise
awaits the one eating.

Makes you want to sit with a nice latte and just savor
every bite!

2 eggs
2 dl sugar
1 dl margarine
2 dl sour cream
4-5dl flour
2tsp. baking powder
2tsp. vanilla
4tblp. cocoa
1 After Eight piece per cupcake

Mix eggs and sugar, add margarine and sour cream. Mix flour, baking powder, vanilla and cocoa in separate bowl. Add the other mixture. Put in cupcake forms, place one mint piece in the middle and slightly push down. Bake at 350F or 200C 15-20 minutes

Cupcake #3 Spiced Citrus
These are the only shot I got of this one.
I was surprised I didn't have any with the
frosting, but apparently I was really
busy and distracted that day. The
frosting is white and I sprinkled some
cloves on top to make it more


  • For the cupcakes:

    • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
    • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • For the glaze:

    • 1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
    • Food coloring (optional)
    • 4 tablespoons orange juice
    • 1-2 tsp. cloves in the mix and sprinkle on top


  1. Make cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly butter 48 mini-muffin cups. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium-high until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in three additions, alternating with two additions milk and beating well after each addition.
  3. Transfer batter by heaping tablespoonfuls to cups. Bake until golden brown at edges and a toothpick inserted in center of a cake comes out clean, 15 minutes, rotating pans once. Let cakes cool in pans, 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
  4. Make glaze: In a bowl, whisk together juice and confectioners' sugar until smooth; add 1 to 2 drops food coloring if desired. Spoon over cooled cakes.

Cupcake #4 Chocolate with candied

Freshly iced and will harden just a
little overnight

 The day after they looked a bit like flowers

Oh they are so lovely! Really you should try these. 

 I just had to show another one.

 And here they are in grand display
with the candied hazelnuts on top!

  • Yield Makes 16


  • 1/2 cup whole unblanched almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 large egg whites


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. In a food processor, pulse together almonds and hazelnuts until finely ground (do not overprocess, or the nuts will turn into a paste). Into a mixing bowl, sift together both flours, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the ground nuts.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until smooth. Beat in vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk, and beating well after each.
  3. In another mixing bowl, with electric mixer on medium speed, whisk the egg whites until soft peaks form. In two additions, gently fold the egg whites into the batter.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
  5. Using an offset spatula, spread frosting over each cupcake. Cupcakes can be refrigerated up to 3 days in airtight containers; bring to room temperature and top with caramel-dipped hazelnuts just before serving.
 Dark Chocolate frosting


  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled


  1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low. Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
Candied Hazelnuts


  • 24 hazelnuts, toasted and skinned
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup water


  1. Gently insert pointed end of a long wooden skewer into the side of each hazelnut. Place a cutting board along the edge of a countertop; place newspaper on the floor, directly under cutting board.
  2. Prepare an ice-water bath. Heat sugar and the water in a heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved and syrup is clear. Stop stirring; cook until syrup comes to a boil, washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming. Continue to boil, gently swirling occasionally, until medium amber. Plunge pan into ice bath to stop the cooking; let stand until thickened, about 10 minutes. (To test: Dip a skewer in caramel and lift a few inches; if a thick drip slowly forms and holds a string, the caramel is ready.)
  3. Dip a skewered hazelnut into caramel, letting excess drip back into pan. When dripping syrup becomes a thin string, secure opposite end of skewer under cutting board. Repeat with remaining hazelnuts. (If caramel hardens before all hazelnuts have been dipped, rewarm it over low heat.) Let stand until caramel string has hardened, about 5 minutes; break each string to desired length. Carefully remove skewers. Candied hazelnuts should be used the same day; store, uncovered, at room temperature until ready to serve cupcakes.
Cupcake #5 Chocolate Chip
I don't have a picture of because I was
baking them just a little before the party
and I was way to busy to think about
anything else. But here is the recipe of
you want to try!

1 c. + 2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. butter, softened
6 tbsp. sugar
6 tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg
Preheat oven to 375°F.In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt, set aside. In large bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract; beat until creamy. Beat in egg. Blend in flour mixture. Spoon mixture into paper-lined muffin cups, using 1 rounded tablespoon batter for each.
Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from oven.
Increase oven temperature to 425°F and spoon 1 tablespoon of topping over each cupcake. Return to oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes.
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/8 tsp. salt
6 oz. pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
In small bowl, combine brown sugar, egg and salt; beat at high speed until thick (about 5 minutes). Stir in chocolate chips, nuts and vanilla extract.Makes 16 cupcakes.

 Here are all five sorts spread out nicely at my friend's

 I made little signs so people would see what types they
were. Also you can see the Spiced Citrus there on the left

You can barely see the chocolate chips up in the wooden
shaped dish.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Chocolate Factory

One of my favorite movies, for it's message, it's acting, it's French villageness, it's ability to make you taste the chocolate goodness through your screen and it's Johnny Deppness, is Chocolat. I absolutely love this movie, for all reasons already stated and many more. The first time I saw it, I think it was with my mom and afterward I was dreaming of how to start a Chocolaterie. We'll see if that becomes a reality, however, I totally love making chocolate anything. These past two weeks I made a French Silk Pie for a friend's 40th birthday and I also made one of my traditional favorite chocolate cakes, but this time I made orange butter cream frosting to enhance it even more. The French Silk pies were easy as pi, but took a bit of time, since each egg needs 5 minutes of beating and doing a double batch, it meant 20 minutes alone of just egg beating. In the end it's worth all that beating and taste divine to my taste buds. Seriously I think this is one thing I could eat by the spoonful and if I wasn't so freaking disciplined and know the end will result in utter despair, I would sit with this in a large bowl and savor every rich bite. Together with it's pastry shell, whipped cream top and sprinkled with chocolate shavings, this desert is sure to have your guests requesting you bake for every social event.
The chocolate cake, which I made yesterday, was a bit trickier this time. I don't know, but all I can say is that the "force" was definitely not with me. While not a total disaster, the first two ended in a crumbled mess, which I had to somehow try and figure out how I was going to cover the blasted thing. That's where the orange butter cream frosting came in. My original plan, which I have done with this cake before, was to drizzle the icing on top, this gives it a real classy look. However, when you have cakes that are falling apart and no possibility to remake them, you just have to improvise. In the end, the crumbles got mixed with the icing, one side was lopsided and to try to make it better I sliced orange pieces and put them around the top and sides of the cake. Honestly...this was the ugliest cake I have ever made. The taste was okay, but the site was a mess. Fortunately the second cake turned out much better, with no crumbling and the frosting was perfectly spread evenly. In the feedback from those that ate these cakes, they couldn't tell much of a difference between these two, but I know from a baker's view that I wouldn't have put that first cake on display. They were satisfied though and in the end that is what counts.

Until my next a bit creative with fixing your mistakes!

Barefoot and Baking in the Kitchen
(pics below of these chocolate ordeals)

Recipe for French Silk Pie:
Pie crusts:
1 C flour
1 tsp. salt
1/3 C butter (cut into pieces)
2 tbsp. ice water

Mix flour, salt and butter pieces, work into a dough, add water. Might be a little dry, so add more water, but not too much. Form a ball. Cut in two and using a rolling pin flatten and lay in pie dishes. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown at 400F 200C.

1/2 C butter (softened)
3/4 C sugar
3 tbsp. cocoa
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs

Cream butter and sugar, add cocoa and vanilla, beat until smooth. Beat 1 egg for 5 mins. into the mixture. Pour over baked, cooled pie crusts, and chill. Add whipped cream and chocolate shavings if you desire.

Recipe for the Dark Chocolate Cake:

2 cups boiling water
1 cup cocoa powder
2 3/4 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp.baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter (softened)
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp.vanilla

In a medium bowl pour the boiling water over the cocoa and whisk until smooth. Let cool. (could be up to 20 minutes)In another bowl sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture and cocoa mixture alternately. Put in round pan and bake for up to one hour at 175 C or 300 F
For frosting I mix powdered sugar, butter and a little milk. I drizzle it on top, so my measurements are not always the same. You don't want to make it too thick or too runny...just in the middle somewhere.

Beating the eggs for the French Silk Pie

It starts to become nice and smooth...silky! 

Nice, rich and dark pie

Whipped cream to top it off

Two pies

A little coconut sprinkles to enhance the goodness

Chocolate sprinkles and chocolate pieces to give more


Beginning process of the chocolate cake. These swirls
are lovely!

This is the prettier cake of the two. 

And here comes the ugliest cake ever. I changed it in
the end and put on whole orange slices on the sides,
because frankly this just looks really awful. I don't know
what I was brain and gorgeous creative
factors were gone for that afternoon. The shame of it
all is too much for me to bear.

Monday, September 26, 2011

11 cakes in a week...

Greetings on this gorgeous Friday! (okay when I wrote this it was Friday...I was just a bit slow in getting it finished because I had a very busy weekend. Oh's the blog anyway. And I just finished some yummy sugar cookies, that I might blog about tomorrow) The sun is actually shining here in Sweden and  I am so happy that it's finally Friday. I have had one busy baking week. I was asked to bake cakes for a conference happening this weekend, there will be roughly 160 people attending, a meeting for 15 people and two birthdays. For the conference I used simple recipes a chocolate and an English cinnamon cake that I baked (x8) for each. For the meeting of 15, I baked fun cupcakes, and for the birthdays which were combined I made a new cake! Since I am only one person and baking is not my full time work, I had some help with the large conference cakes. But it's been a full week and I can officially say that I am tired of sugar, flour and least for the weekend! I will start again on Monday with a whole new baking adventure.

Until next time enjoy your baking adventures,
Barefoot and Baking in the Kitchen

Here are some pictures of the fun I had this week...

The start of the  Raspberry cream filled cake with
Chocolate Ganache frosting. Boiling cream.

Bars of milk chocolate

All finely chopped and ready to be melted with the cream

Together it makes a lovely swirl of colors, not to mention
it's divine in taste. After I mixed it completely, I set in the
fridge to cool for several hours. Then took it out and
whipped it.

Here is the final whipped product

Then I started on the cream raspberry center filling

Added in raspberry jam to taste

And voilá look at this pretty pink filling

And these are the three sugar cakes that will make the
layered cake. Don't worry I did not burn them, they just
turned darker on one side.

Raspberry cream filling on bottom layer

Here's two layers

Here's the final three. Like a big sandwich.

Different angle and sitting nicely in the fridge

Here it is almost complete, with the chocolate ganache
frosting. If you think it sounds good, let me assure you
that straight out of the mixing bowl, with the spatula
in fact, this taste incredible. I don't usually splurge on
my baked goods because I am so sick of all the sugar,
but I do not regret indulging on this.

From above

Was very easy to smooth onto cake

The final touch is lined raspberries around the cake


Just having fun taking shots of this lovely cake

Next up are the Lemon Cupcakes. Creaming butter
and sugar here,

Next you add lemon peel, vanilla and eggs

Makes a nice smooth batter

Then the milk is added and everything is mixed and then
you put into cupcake holders

First part of the frosting and next time I do this I will skip
because in the end it caused the frosting to separate.
Whipping the cream until stiff peaks form.

Combined with the rest of the frosting ingredients

Here are the final cupcakes frosted and ready to eat!

I made a batch of 18 and made WAY too much frosting
I think if you are making more cupcakes then the normal portion,
try only one batch of the frosting. It went a LONG way.


One of the 8 large cakes I made...with
some awesome help though. * Note-when
trying to get such large cake out of pan...
cut into pieces first. Every one of mine
broke somewhere in the middle or sides.
Broken cake does not equal nasty bad
tasting cake, but it's not as pleasing to the

Recipe for the cakes:

Raspberry cream and chocolate ganache cake:
Sugar cakes:
50 g margarine 
1/2 C sour cream
2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1 1/4 C flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter and milk together, whisk eggs and sugar, add to butter and milk. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla. Bake at 350F or 175C for 35-40 minutes.

Ganache frosting

Serves: 1.5 cups

  • 12 ounces chocolate, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • optional 3 tablespoons flavored liqueor
  1. Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow ganache to cool before pouring over cakes as a glaze. The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. Typically I stick mine in the refrigerator so it is slightly cold before whipping. For piping or frosting, allow the ganache to completely cool and set up. When you are able to spoon the ganache and it can hold its texture, it is ready for piping.

Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon mousse frosting

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 12 muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
For the cupcakes: In a large bowl, whip butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in eggs, vanilla and lemon zest. Scrape sides of the bowl and whip again. Slowly stir in dry ingredients until combined and then stream in milk. Scrape sides of the bowl again and mix until batter is just combined.
Scoop batter by the spoonful into prepared muffin tins, dividing it evenly. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and put cupcakes into the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until just baked. (The last thing you want to do is over-bake these! Watch them like CRAZY!!) Remove from oven and cool completely.
For the frosting, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Remove from bowl and set aside. In the same bowl, whip butter, vanilla, lemon zest and powdered sugar for about a minute. You just want to break the butter up in the powdered sugar. With the mixer on, stream in the milk until the frosting starts coming together. Scrape the sides of the bowl and whip it on high for about 2 minutes. Fold in the cream carefully. Once it’s all incorporated, you can frost your cupcakes. I used a piping bag with Wilton tip #1M, but doing it old school with a knife is totally fine too. Serve.
If there are leftovers, store them in the fridge.


  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • 1 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-⅓ cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Milk
  • ⅓ cups Heavy Cream
  • ½ cups Butter, Softened
  • ½ teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
  • 3 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Milk