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October 30, 2009

Chocolate w/Francois ::: Chocolate Creme Brulee

I've taken on so many projects these last two weeks. I dont know why I do this to myself but I do. What in the world am I talking about? This week, I've been planning my daughter's Birthday Halloween Party (be sure to come back in the next few days for that post).

And now, I'm barely making it on-time for my new bake-along!

Ready for CHOCOLATE overload? Welcome to another monthly baking adventure --- this one, dedicated totally to CHOCOLATE! My new baking group will be baking thru Chocolate Epiphany: Exceptional Cookies, Cakes, and Confections for Everyone by Francois Payard.

Information about this new group, as well as a list of bakers can be found here. Anyone else dare to do death by chocolate?

Our first recipe, Chocolate Creme Brulee, was chosen by our leader, Julie of A Little Bit of Everything. Click here to see the recipe. I've never made creme brulee before so this was totally new to me. Actually, this was a very easy recipe to follow. I cut the recipe in half and the result was 4 ramekins of lusciousness.

This was really, R-E-A-L-L-Y chocolatey.... maybe even a little TOO rich for me. It took me 2 days to eat one. Hubs thought it was nice and rich... and then he thinks he rather eat it WARM!?

Be sure to come back next month (on the 30th to be exact) for MY pick: Flourless Chocolate Cookies!
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October 29, 2009

Chocolate with Francois

Another baking group, another cookbook.

Completed & upcoming recipes:
1. Chocolate Creme Brulee
2. Charlie's Afternoon Cake
3. Flourless Chocolate Cookies
4. Pine Nut Turron Cake
5. Chocolate Pets De Nonne
6. Paris-Brest
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October 25, 2009

::SMS:: Devils Food Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Holly of Phe/mom/enon chose this Sunday's recipe. I love Holly's blog -- she takes the most amazing photos. If you've never checked out her site, please do!

Hubs COULD NOT wait for me to make this one! He loves chocolate AND peanut butter. He eats Reese's PB Cups all the time! Before making this, i asked him twice -- if he would eat this because a lot of the treats I make he doesnt really eat. He's really picky when it comes to desserts (although, he loved the Sticky Buns). He said, "make a cake, not cupcakes, please!" He thinks cupcakes are too "dainty" and "cutesy," so I went for the full cake (plus some cupcakes for me, of course!). Using the full recipe and 7" pans I got a 3 layer cake plus 6 cupcakes.

This was my first time making peanut butter frosting but not my first time making buttercream frosting, whether it's chocolate or vanilla. I read thru Melissa's Peanut Butter Frosting recipe 4 times. I sat there in awe and said to myself, "1 1/2 pounds of butter???" That's SIX STICKS of butter plus only 2 cups of powdered sugar and only HALF a cup of peanut butter?! I'm sorry -- but for me... that's insane. Everytime i've ever made frosting, there's always at least 4 cups of powdered sugar -- now maybe i'm overdoing it on the sugar but (no offense, Melissa) but 6 sticks of butter was too much for me.

So I changed it slightly to:
2 sticks of butter
3-4 cups of powdered sugar (depending on how sweet you do or dont want it)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 cup of peanut butter

I liked the taste of this frosting a lot. It wasnt overly buttery and the peanut butter flavor was just right. The devil's food cake was good. I used really strong Kona coffee and I loved the flavor. Hubs liked this one a lot.
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October 20, 2009

HELP the Cookie Carnival Leader!

Help support a fellow blogger! Kate from the clean plate club, aka the Cookie Carnival host, is trying to land a blog job and she needs help from the blog world! Click here to read her story and then click on the icon below to vote for her every day til Oct. 31!

Vote for Me
Good Mood Gig from SAM-e

and a note from kate's daughter:

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October 18, 2009

::SMS:: Spiced Pumpkin Cookie Cakes

Sorry for the short and picture-less post.

Debbie of Every Day Blessings of The Five Dee’s chose this Sunday's recipe. Please head over to her blog for the recipe. I actually made these last weekend in between baking birthday cupcakes and the MSC Pumpkin cupcakes. I never had a chance to take a photo of the cookies. I used the leftover canned pumpkin and cream cheese frosting from the MSC cupcakes. These were fun & easy to make but I thought these were just ok... i liked the cupcakes better (see the post below).
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October 15, 2009

{MSC} Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes


It's time for the cupcake of the month! Kim from What the Whisk chose Pumpkin Patch Cupcakes for October's MS Cupcake. I never made anything with pumpkin before; never really cared for it. No pumpkin pie -- it was always sweet potato pie for my family. No pumpkin cheesecake -- it was always a plain one for us. Yes, i've been a sheltered child.

So I made 1/4 of the recipe and came out with 8. Super easy to put together -- no mixer necessary. I loved the spices in this one. It sorta tasted like a sweet potato pie but it wasnt... there was ginger in this and i usually dont put ginger in my pie. I liked this, especially topped with cream cheese frosting, which i made orange, of course!

If you like pumpkin and you'd like to try these, get the book or you can check it out here.

Coming next month, my choice: Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes!
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October 13, 2009

Tyler is 2!!! Happy Birthday!

Flavors for the day:

Vanilla cupcakes with cocoa frosting

Red velvet with cream cheese frosting

And for the Birthday Boy: A cupcake larger than your standard cupcake.. again, vanilla w/cocoa frosting

The Birthday Boy
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October 11, 2009

::SMS:: Sticky Buns

A few weeks ago I watched Alton Brown make Overnight Cinnamon Rolls on Good Eats. A few days later I took the liberty of emailing the October SMS Bakers for their recipes (I'm helping out Lorelei while she gets settled into her new home) — and there it was — Jen's pick!

Jen of Not Microwave Safe chose Sticky Buns aka Cinnamon Rolls! After reading the recipe three times -- these are also OVERNIGHT Sticky Buns!

The first and last time I tried a yeast recipe, I totally flopped.... and wouldn't you know it, it was an SMS recipe (the bee stings). This time around, I didnt cut the recipe in half. I also left the dough out for the first rise OVERNIGHT (the recipe says the dough will rise after about 2 hours..... uh.... my a$$!). Anyway, Friday night I made the dough and left it out. When I woke up on Saturday morning, I ran to check on the dough. It rose!!! I was thrilled. I punched it down and then rolled it out. I HATE rolling dough. It never works for me. And this time was no exception. This dough was extremely sticky... no matter how much more flour i used to "dust." Eventually I got it to work, but it wasn't a nice rectangle like it was suppose to be. I'm not sure what shape it was... more like an oval. (Sorry, I was too frustrated at this time, so there are no photos of the dough rising or after it was rolled.)

Enough blabbering, already! Right? Here are the photos:

Baking in the oven

Out of the oven, sticky sauce STILL boiling!

Cooling & soaking up the sticky, buttery sauce. As you can see my rolling and cutting yielded some funky-shaped rolls.

I didnt think there was enough sugar so i added more!

After all that... i totally forgot about the almonds! I love nuts, too, but these were fine just the way they were. If you have a sweet tooth and want a total sugar high, MAKE THESE! These are over the top! The sticky sauce was unbelievable... i think i'm going to make the sauce and use it as an ice cream topping or something. These were amazing! Even though this was time consuming, I'd make these again — hubs cannot wait -- he totally loved these. Thanks, Jen... this was a great choice! Be sure to head over to her blog for the complete recipe.
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October 04, 2009

::SMS:: Apple Orchard Pecan Crumble

I love APPLE SEASON and I love to go apple picking! I use to go as a teen with friends and family and everytime we came back with bags and bags. There was always pie being made afterwards. I cant wait to go apple picking later this month with BabyM — I just hope she likes it as much as I do — it'll be the first time we go together as a family. My husband's never been apple picking, either.

Cristine of Cristine Cooks chose this Sunday's SMS recipe, and I couldnt wait to make it, Apple Orchard Pecan Crumble. If you'd like the recipe, head over to Cristine's blog.

I made half the recipe using granny smiths and they fit into 6 ramekins, which baked for about an hour --- my house smelled wonderful of apples & cinnamon.

My favorite way to eat apple pie? Ala mode, of course. And what's a great way to eat apple crumble? Ala mode, of course! This was a great and easy recipe. I loved it. I cant wait to make this again with apples picked by BabyM.

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