Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Favourites

Another week has passed, it's been a busy busy one.  Not only do I work full time I also volunteer for Pride Toronto as the DisAbility Coordinator.  We get a lot of training which takes up one night a week plus the duties we do.  By no means am I complaining, I'm just pointing out my excuse for not posting more this week.

Here is my top five for the week.

  • Cake hearts inside a cupcake, from Bake It In A Cake awesome, awesome idea! 
  • An amazing new design blog by Izabela called Design Your Footprint 
  • An great video for my new favourite song Hello by Martin Solveig and Dragonette
  • A Cold Sneeze, got this super cute shirt yesterday from Woot, it's now on their reckoning wall.  Still super cheap at $15.
  • I have to give another shout out to Herbal Infusions Tea Co.  Finally got to the store, what an awesome selection and amazing service.  Check it out if you are in Toronto.
Have a great weekend!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sour Cream Cake Glazed Donuts

Donuts, donuts, yummy yummy donuts!  I love donuts, I know they aren't great for my waste line but they are a yummy treat.  For Christmas I was given a mini donut maker and the book Doughnuts by Lara Ferroni so I thought it would be a great time to finally use it.  

Well, the donut maker isn't really that good but the recipes from the book are great.  I first tried the regular baked donuts recipe which would have been good but due to the maker they were not.  So I decided to kick it old school (or true school) and take out the wok to deep fry a batch of Old-Fashioned Sour Cream donuts. They tasted awesome, my only issue was coming into obstacles along the way. 

Just one but probably the most important, my candy thermometer was broken.  When I was rolling out the dough I look over to the wok and there is water bubbling away in it, then oil started coming in the tube.  The result was my oil was way too hot and almost burnt the donuts.  They do look burnt but the dough is dark already so it's not as bad as it looks.  They were really yummy but not as good at Tim Horton's sour cream glazed.

The recipe is super easy to make, I would make these lovelies again maybe next time with some apple filling or something. 

1 1/4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 tbsp. butter or shortening

Sift together dry ingredients.  In another bowl whisk together sugar, sour cream, egg and butter.  Slowly add the dry until the dough forms.  Put in the fridge for 15 minutes.  Roll out the dough and cut with cookie cutters.  Heat your oil to 360 degrees and fry for 1-3 minutes depending on the size of your donuts.  Take donuts out and drain on a piece of paper towel.  Once they are completely cooled dip into glaze (3/4 cup powdered sugar plus 2 tbsp. milk).

Rolled out dough


Dough circles

Cut out dough

Just out of the fryer

Glazed Donuts


Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Favourites

Cupcakes from Cupcake Camp Toronto '10

I'm going to try something new.  I got this great idea from a fellow blogger and friend Cailin over at A White Picket Fence, I've seen quite a few blogs do this and I thought why not.  I spend a lot of time on the internet checking out other people's blogs and sites, so I think it's the perfect why to build some content.

What you do is pick a bunch of your favourite things you've seen over the week.  I'm pretty sure you'll see a lot of the same sites popping up week after week but I'll try to keep it diversified.

So here goes my first Friday Favourites (or Favorites, for you Americans).

  • I love whoopie pies and I love Cakespy.  She has a new recipe for peanut butter Elvis Whoopie Pies, they look delicious.
  • I originally found out about Bitter Sweetz on All Things Cupcake.  Bitter Sweetz is a etsy shop run by Karly, she makes these super cool cupcake dudes out of polymer clay.  I think I might have to get one as my wedding cake topper.
  • Loving these Neff winter hats (toques or beanies), they look just like ice cream cones, they also sell cupcake ones.
  • This slow cooker apple butter from A White Picket Fence looks delicious, as soon as I get a slow cooker I'll definitely make some.
  • I came across this new business in Toronto called Herbal Tea Infusions, which has awesome loose leaf teas.  They had a media event last night and m:k:photographics was there to take pictures, great photos from the event were taken and some posted here.
Hope everyone has an excellent Friday and weekend!


    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Walnut and Caramel Cupcakes

    I had a couple of things I need to bake on Sunday for a going away party at work on Monday.  After making the whoopie pies I was quite tired and didn't want to make too much mess.  I found a box of Butter Pecan cake mix and decided to doctor it up a bit.  The result was these awesome cupcake-muffins (I say muffins because there was no frosting on them) that were super moist and had sticky carmel parts in them which made them really difficult to stop eating.   Unfortunately there are no photos as they all were out of focus, next time I need to use a tripod.  But trust me they are worth making.

    To make the cupcakes I took a box of Butter Pecan mix, added the ingredients on the back of the box plus a 1/2 cup of dulche de leche (you could also use caramel ice cream topping or something along those lines).  Once all incorporated fill your cupcake liners with the batter.

    For the topping

    1 cup chopped walnuts
    2 tbsp. sugar
    1/3 cup brown sugar
    1/4 cup dulche de leche
    2 tbsp. butter, cubed

    Mix all of the ingredients together with hands to make sure all of the butter is incorporated.  Spoon about 1/2 tsp. on top of each cupcake.  Bake as instructed on the back of the box.  Let cool.  

    The topping will sink to the bottom due to the extra liquid you added, I thought of using less water in the batter but the extra liquid made them so moist.  You can frost with cream cheese icing or top with some dulche de leche.  I found they were perfect with nothing on top but the choice is up to you.


    Sunday, January 16, 2011

    The best drink I've ever had.

    My favourite alcoholic drink is a Caesar, for the people who don't know what that is, it's like a Bloody Mary but instead of tomato juice you use Clamato juice.  While I was in Florida, my boyfriend and I rented some beach cruiser bikes and took trip down to John's Pass.  We decided to take a break from our bike ride to have lunch.  At the restaurant we stopped at had an amazing looking drink called the Shrimpy Mary, which is a Bloody Mary with a shrimp kabob.  The kabob has green pepper, a pickle, hot pepper, cherry tomato, olive and a shirmp and tons of yummy extras added to the juice.  It was so good I had to have a second drink.  Check out this pic!

    Shrimpy Mary
    On the way home we rode along the beach.  My boyfriend took this amazing picture of the Long Pier at Reddington Shores.  Check out his other work at m:k:photographics.

    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    Prosecco Cupcakes

    Happy New Year's, well I guess it isn't really that new saying it's mid-Janurary so maybe Old Year's instead.  One thing I did learn from New Year's is that I love Prosecco and Campari (with a little orange juice), it might just be my new favourite drink.

    My Mom and I decided for our New Year's party we'd do an Italian theme saying a bit of my background is Italian.  While I was trying to figure out what we were going to have for dessert I came across a traditional drink that is served at New Year's for good luck in the coming year, called the Venetian Spritz. All it is, is 2 oz. of Prosecco, 1 oz. of Campari, a lemon twist and a green olive.  I thought to myself what don't I make this drink into a cupcake.

    The cupcake base uses the Prosecco and the frosting uses the Campari and Prosecco, the cupcake was gorgeous and light, the bitterness of the Campari offset the sweetness of the Prosecco made a great combination.  This cupcake could be made with any type of sparkling beverage, including Champagne.  Here is the recipe.


    1/2 cup butter, softened
    3/4 cup sugar
    2 eggs
    1 tsp. vanilla
    1-3/4 cup flour
    1/2 tsp. baking soda
    1/4 tsp. baking powder
    1/4 tsp. salt
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup Prosecco

    Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl, whisk together and set aside.  Cream butter for about 1 minute and add sugar, mix for about another minute. Add one egg at a time and mix until fully incorporated.  Add vanilla and sour cream.  Add the dry ingredients and alternate with the Prosecco.  Mix until the batter looks smooth.  Using an ice cream scoop (or spoon if you do not have one) scoop the batter into a lined cupcake tin.  Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.


    3/4 cup butter
    2 Tbsp. Prosecco + 1 Tbsp. Campari
    2-2-1/2 cup icing sugar

    Cream butter for about two minutes, until fluffy.  Add the liquor.  Add the icing sugar in one cup increments until the consistency is how you like it.  Mix until light and fluffy.

    Time to decorate!  My colour theme was gold so I used some gold piping icing, putting stripes of it along my piping bag then putting my frosting in the bag.  The light pink frosting came out with nice little gold stripes.  The decorating opportunities are endless.  

    Hope you enjoy!

    Friday, January 14, 2011

    Wizarding World of Harry Potter

    I know this has NOTHING to do with baking but I went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in Florida this past Christmas and thought I'd share some photos.  I had the flu the day I was there and unfortunately only stayed for one and a half hours, only rode one ride and almost froze to death but it was worth it.  I would have loved to buy a wand but the line at Olivander's was the longest line in the whole park.  Hope you enjoy!

    The entrance to Hogsmeade

    The Hogwarts Express


    The Sorting Hat

    Three Broom Sticks

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    S'more Whoopie Pies

    Wow I must really love s'mores this post and my last are about them but this time it's whoppie pies.

    I made these pies for a friend Enuka Okuma while she was finishing the sound her new short called Cookie.  Both the movie and the whoppie pies turned out great.  My only issue was with the marshmallow filling called for shortening which I found the taste DISGUSTING and made a pact with myself never to use shortening again, only butter :).

    I got the recipe from the great book Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell.  I love all the little notes at the front of the book.  It took me quite awhile to get this book, I kept seeing it at the bookstore and finally decided to get it, I'm glad I did.

    The whoopie pie is a graham flour base with chocolate ganache and marshmallow filling. I'd write the recipe out but it's quite long, just go buy the book instead.

    Graham batter

    Perfect little whoopie pie tops and bottoms

    Marshmallow filling

    Chocolate ganache filling

    Yummy S'more Whoopie Pie ;)