Cookie Dough Icing

Cake, Sweets

20160909_173451

This was just a chocolate cake for a friend’s birthday – with cookie dough frosting, rather than the usual, with semi-sweet chips all over. The big thing I learned from this, was to weigh my flour, rather than simply measure it. Before that, the icing had come out far too thick (which was used for the filling, in the end). In the future, I’ll stick to mini-chips as well. Though it was well-loved, my wife pointed out that the larger chips would be more likely to simply fall off the cake when cut, and not everyone would be OK with gulping handfuls of chocolate chips after a slice of cake.

Hummingbird Cake

Cake, Sweets

20160815_161253_001

This is a hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting I ended up making after trying a hummingbird cupcake at the Fairy Cakes Cupcakery here in town. It was topped with toasted coconut in the end, though I’d originally intended to garnish with macadamia nuts. Unfortunately, the package of Diamond brand nuts I bought were quite foul – they tasted spoiled, and had  a nasty, chemical/attic-dust taste to them, and smelled bad to boot. Thankfully I found that out before tossing them on the cake, and substituted coconut my wife had toasted.

Twix Cheesecake Bars

Sweets

I’ve loved Twix bars for my entire life, and was wondering what I wanted to do for my next baking experiment, when I remembered a set of mini-loaf pans my parents had given me a while back. I used this cheesecake recipe, and shortbread cookies for the crust.

20150512_171922   20150512_172507

The crust turned out well, though I’d forgotten that the caramel I was using is very buttery. In the future, I’d definitely use a different caramel, most likely either a caramel sauce, or pre-wrapped caramels from a grocery store’s bulk food section.

20150512_181034    20150512_181042

I’d left the caramel at room temperature for several hours to make sure it was nice and gooey. With a toothpick, I stirred a tablespoon or so into the batter, resulting in the above mini-cheesecakes.

20150513_181036   20150513_181027

I’ll be honest – the pans, though a nice idea, didn’t work out how I’d hoped. It took some gentle prying to get them loose from the sides, and though they mostly kept their “bar” shape, the above photos are after cutting off the rough edges. The dark chocolate I’d melted and spread over them also didn’t turn out as smooth as I’d have liked.

This was certainly a learning experience. All in all, the taste was fine, if a little buttery. There was just the right amount of cheesecake, caramel, and chocolate that I could taste everything individually, without one thing overpowering the others. However, next time I’ll use a square pan, most likely lined with parchment paper, to help with getting it out of the pan. If I can’t start this in the morning, I’ll remember to make it a two-day project; I was excited to see how it’d turn out, so I did this in the space of an afternoon and evening, and had I let it cool overnight, it probably wouldn’t have broken so much when I was getting them out of the pans.

Chocolate Cherry Truffles

Sweets

This was the recipe I used for a Mother’s Day gift this year (2015). As it was the last time I made truffles, the biggest issue was more waiting for the chocolate to firm up to where I could roll it into balls. However, rather than the sprinkles I’d used last time, I melted dark, and milk chocolate to coat them. I drizzled it over the truffles with a spoon, though realized that I’d underestimated how much I would need; they didn’t get coated quite as uniformly as I’d been hoping for, but at least it’s a simple fix for the future.

20150509_192139  20150509_192748    20150509_193353  \

20150509_220619  20150509_220629 20150509_221500 20150509_221515

20150509_222007   20150509_221948

Homemade Caramel

Sweets

This is a caramel recipe I’ve been using for a while. In the end, it came out much softer than I’d hoped for (I’d been hoping for something I would be able to cut into pieces), but still wonderful. It made a nice addition to a brownie I made for company, drizzled over the top right as it came out of the oven.