Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Bow in the Clouds Six Stack Cake

Coming out of the oven, the combined smell of each layers fruity flavors from will make you wonder if you've just created a dessert version of Fruit Loops. Fear not. Though the wild colors will appeal to even the tinsiest tasters, adults will adore the subtle fresh flavors of orange zest, lemon, lime and picked berries. As the host, you'll get far.too.many kicks from arriving at the table with a crisp, white-frosted cake then cutting into it to reveal a full spectrum of surprise!
2 boxes white cake mix
6 eggs
1 c. water
2/3 c. oil
1/2 c. raspberries
Zest of 1 orange + 2 T. juice
Zest of 1 lemon + 2 T. juice
Zest of 1 lime + 2 T. juice
1/2 c. blueberries
1/2 c. blackberries
Wilton Icing colors in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple
In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water, and oil together. Scoop 1 cup of batter into six small bowls. In the first bowl, mix raspberries and 1/4 tsp. red coloring. In the second bowl, mix orange zest and juice, and 1/2 tsp. orange coloring. In the third bowl, mix lemon zest and juice and 1/4 tsp. yellow coloring. In the fourth bowl, mix lime zest and juice and 1/4 tsp. green coloring. In the fifth bowl, mix blueberries and 1/4 tsp. blue coloring. In the sixth bowl, mix blackberries and 1/4 tsp. purple coloring.
Prepare six 8 inch cake pans by greasing and flouring each generously. Using a spatula, spoon and spread each color of batter into its own cake pan. Bake in an oven, preheated to 350 degrees for 17-20 minutes, or until tops spring back when touched lightly. Allow to cool completely. Frost with White Chocolate Frosting.
Billowed White Chocolate Frosting
You're going to want to lick the bowl, the spoon, the cake. Do try to restrain yourself.
1 c. butter, softened
1 bag white chocolate chips
3 lbs. powdered sugar
1/2 to 1 full cup milk
In a large bowl, microwave white chips until melted. Immediately beat in butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Makes enough frosting to ice between each layer of cake, and around the outside of the cake.

Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cream Puffs

2 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 (17.5 oz.) package Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
4 eggs
For the FILLING:
1 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
1/3 c. sugar
For the TOPPING:
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 T. butter
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
In a large saucepan, heat butter and water over medium-high heat until boiling. Add BETTY CROCKER Peanut Butter Cookie Mix and stir vigorously over heat until the mixture becomes a thick ball of dough and begins to clean side of the pan.
Remove from heat. Add one egg, stir until dough becomes smooth and egg is fully mixed in. Continue to add eggs one by one until all four eggs have been added.
Drop dough by 2-3 tablespoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet, or cookie sheet prepared with a silpat mat. Cook in preheated oven for 5 minutes, then turn oven temperature down to 325 degrees and cook an additional 12 minutes.
Remove from oven, allow to stand until cream puffs are cool enough to slice in half. One cream puffs have been halved, turn the inside, doughy portion of each side face up, then return to the oven for an additional 5 minutes. Turn oven off, prop open slightly and allow puffs to cool and dry out for 15 minutes, more.
To make the filling: combine whipping cream and sugar in a medium bowl. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fill the center of cooled puffs.
To make the topping: In a small, microwave-safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and butter. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Return to microwave for 30 seconds, stir. Continue until chips are fully melted and mixture is smooth. Drizzle over the tops of cooled, filled cream puffs. Allow topping to harden slightly before serving.

The Grandest, Largest, Best, Most Amazing Olde-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies in the World

1/3 c. canola oil
1 1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. Blackstrap molasses
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. vinegar
3/4 t. sea salt
1/3 c. raisins
1/3 c. shredded coconut
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ginger
1/2 t. allspice
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 c. flour
3/4 c. old-fashioned oats
In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar, and egg until well mixed. Add molasses and beat well. Mix in remaining ingredients. Drop by giant spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet. Bake in a preheated oven, at 350 degrees for 13-15 minutes, or until edges of cookie are lightly browned.

Signature-Stamped Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 c. canola oil
1 1/2 c. brown sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vinegar
1 3/4 c. flour
1 c. mini chips
In a large bowl mix together oil, sugar, and egg whites. Add remaining ingredients. Roll dough into 1-inch balls, then place on cookie sheet. Bake 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are just barely browned on the edges.

Wild Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 36 beautifully round, moist cupcakes.
16 oz. strawberries, destemmed
4 eggs
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 t. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 c. flour
Place first four ingredients in a blender. Blend until fully pureed. Pour into a large bowl and mix with remaining ingredients. Spoon into cupcake wrappers. Bake at 325 degrees for 18-20 minutes, or until tops spring back when lightly touched. Allow to cool. Frost with recipe below.
Sweet & Pure Strawberry Buttercream
3/4 c. fresh strawberries, destemmed
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
2 lb. powdered sugar
Over a large bowl, crush the strawberries in your hands. Allow juice & pulp to fall into bowl. Sniff fingers. Lick fingers. Wash hands. Add remaining ingredients & beat well with an electric mixer. Frost cooled cupcakes. Allow to set at room temperature.

Mountainous Angelfood Cupcakes

6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
a pinch of salt
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
zest of one lemon
1 c. flour
Allow egg whites to warm to room temperature. (This helps them beat up ultra-fluffy). Using an electric mixer, whip eggs until soft peaks form. Add cream of tartar, baking powder, and salt then slowly add sugar while beating. The batter should now be a soft, fluffy meringue that with firmish peaks. Add remaining ingredients, slowly incorporating flour while continuing to beat. To keep from over-beating the batter, use your electric mixer just until the flour has disappeared into a pillowy batter, then spoon into prepared cupcake pans, filling 3/4 full. Bake in an oven preheated to 325 degrees for 16-18 minutes, or just until the center of the cupcakes bounce back when gently touched. Remove from oven. Allow to cool.
Burnt-Butter Icing
4 T. butter
1 1/2 c. mini marshmallows
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. powdered sugar
1-3 tsp. milk
In a medium saucepan, bring butter to a boil over extremely high heat. Do not stir. Allow butter to boil just until it takes on a medium brown hue (you want to burn it, not scorch it!). Once browned, immediately add marshmallows to the pan. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, powdered sugar and 1 tsp. of the milk. Now start to whip it with your electric mixer. Just whip and whip (and stop to taste and adore.) Then whip and whip some more. Add milk as needed. The consistency should be thick, but spoonably soft. The flavor of fresh caramel on a vanilla fudge cloud. Place a heaping spoonful atop cooled cupcakes. Top immediately with fresh sugared berries.
Crystal Sugared Berries
Recipe & Directions can be found here.
P.S. For cJane's cupcakes, I sugared blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and whole strawberries (cutting them causes them to weep, so be sure you leave them fresh & whole). In doing so, I discovered the indominatable joy that comes when the greens of the strawberry are sugar-crystallized. They become beautifully crisp, with each pointed end standing at attention in it's own divine direction. I highly recommend sugaring those stems & greens.
Peppermint leaves also stand up well to a light sugaring. Be sure to coat them very lightly with egg white & the lightest sprinkling of sugar to keep them from bending under the weight of it all.
If you plan to purchase fresh edible flowers to decorate your cupcakes, be sure to purchase them from a package specifically labeling them as food products. I can't bear to think of the stress our nation would endure should the Flower Flu hit our streets. Because most edible flowers are extremely delicate, do not sugar coat their petals lest you like your flowers droopy as an old lady's sportsbra.
Finally, the great cJane cupcake is...well...glorious. However, when recreating these cupcakes in your own kitchen, I would consider a simplified version of her majesty's treats. A head full of berries is quite a heavy load for a young cupcake to tote around, so plan on sticking with a capful of lightweight berries, leaves and petals if you like your cupcake's show-off worthy. Happy Baking!

Lemon Crumpet Cake

2 T. sour cream
2 T. butter or margarine
2 T. mayonnaise
1 t. vinegar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1/2 tsp. lemon flavoring or zest of 1 lemon
1 T. oil
1/2 c. milk
Mix all ingredients together. Pour into a greased-and-floured 9-inch-round cake pan. Sprinkle with sparkling sugar, if desired. Bake 350 degrees for 18-22 minutes (or until top bounces back when touched). Allow to cool before cutting.
Serve with pure vanilla ice cream and Bonnet Berry Sauce.
Bonnet Berry Sauce
2 c. frozen mixed berried
1/2 c. apricot-mango jam, or orange marmalade
2 T. brown sugar
Heat all in a saucepan until boiling. Set aside until ready to serve