mel’s kitchen

favorite recipies of a food addict

carrot cupcakes February 18, 2007

Filed under: desserts — girlymama @ 9:53 pm

we’re in cupcake mode this week – its my daughter’s birthday on thursday so we are making cupcakes for school, her party, the whole town….
these are a family favorite.

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing

1 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup shredded coconut, plus more for garnish
1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine sugar, vegetable oil, orange juice, vanilla extract, and eggs.
2. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, allspice, and salt. Add flour; mix. Stir in carrots, walnuts, and coconut with a spoon or spatula.
3. Oil a standard muffin tin or line with paper cups; distribute batter evenly.
4. Bake until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean, 25 minutes. Let cool before frosting. Garnish with toasted shredded coconut.

Cream Cheese Icing
8 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 tablespoon vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.


No-Bake Cheesecake Petit Fours February 1, 2007

Filed under: desserts,entertaining — girlymama @ 5:54 pm

I found this on this great food blog I’ve recently found.  I’m making them for the baby shower on Saturday, along with these. I must warn you — these are amazing. You will not be able to stop eating them!  And they are so easy.
I’m not thrilled with the chocolate coating. I’m experimenting with other coatings, trying to get a smooth, hard finish. Tough work, but someone has to do it 😉

No-Bake Cheesecake Petit Fours
1 package (7 oz.) chocolate wafer cookies
2/3 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 8-oz. packages cream cheese
2 tablespoons vanilla
½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
10 ounces good quality dark chocolate, chopped finely

1. Line a 9×9″ baking pan with foil. Place cookies in a food processor; process until finely ground. Combine cookies and 3 tablespoons sugar in a bowl. Add the melted butter, and mix well until crumb mixture holds together.

2. Transfer cookie mixture to the prepared pan, and pat out evenly to make the crust, only filling the bottom of the pan – notlining the sides. Place in freezer while proceeding.

3. Combine cream cheese, vanilla, and remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a mixer, and beat until combined. Lightly whip cream to soft peaks, and fold into cream-cheese filling.

4. Remove crust from freezer, and pour filling evenly into pan. Cover with plastic wrap, place in freezer for 30 minutes, or over night.

5. Remove pan from freezer, allow cheesecake to soften slightly. Remove from pan (should be easy with the foil liner) and slice into 1-1.5″ squares. Return to freezer for 30 minutes or overnight.

6. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler until smooth. Turn off heat. Remove cheesecake squares from freezer and dip each one in the chocolate – covering them completely. Allow to cool on a cookie rack and decorate with icing, melted white chocolate, or pre-made/bought decorations. Store in freezer, allowing at least 10 minutes at room temperature prior to serving.

recipe origin: Domestic Goddess


white cupcakes with strawberry buttercream January 24, 2007

Filed under: desserts — girlymama @ 3:56 pm

i saw martha make these today. i cannot wait to give them a try!!! these will be prefect for the baby shower i am helping to host next week!
now i just realized, while copying this down, that it contains 6, count ’em 6, sticks of butter. i think i will try and slim it down a bit….

White Cupcakes with Strawberry Buttercream

2090_recipe_cupcake.jpg3 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup milk
8 large egg whites
Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
24 small strawberries, washed, hulls intact, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Line two standard 12-cup muffin pans with paper liners; set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and 2 cups sugar until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour; beat until just combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
4. In the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg whites on low speed until foamy. With mixer running, gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar; beat on high speed until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 4 minutes. Do not overbeat. Gently fold a third of the egg-white mixture into the butter-flour mixture until combined. Gently fold in remaining egg-white mixture.
5. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each with a heaping 1/4 cup batter. Bake, rotating pans halfway through, until the cupcakes are golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack. Invert cupcakes onto rack; then reinvert and let cool completely, top sides up. Frost cupcakes with Strawberry Meringue Buttercream, swirling to cover. Cupcakes may be stored in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Garnish with strawberries just before serving.
recipe origin: Martha Stewart Baking Handbook, featured on her show

Strawberry Meringue Buttercream
4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temp, cut into tablespoons
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups strawberry jam, pureed in a food processor

1. In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160°).
2. Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.
3. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in strawberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.


peach raspberry bake January 5, 2007

Filed under: desserts — girlymama @ 10:18 pm

a taste of summer in the winter! use whatever fruit you have. peaches and raspberries were just what i had in the freezer.

Peach Raspberry Bake
Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for baking dish
1 pkg frozen, sliced peaches
1 c frozen raspberries
slightly less than 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 pie crust (Pilsbury) or Pâte Brisée

Preheat oven to 400°. Butter or spray a 2-quart baking dish; set aside. In a large bowl, toss the fruit with the flour and sugar. Place in prepared baking dish.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out prepared crust or pâte brisée into a 12-inch round. Cut into four 3-inch strips; then cut strips crosswise into 3- or 4-inch pieces. Place over fruit mixture in a patchlike pattern.
Lightly brush the dough with water, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake until crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling, 50 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool before serving.

make this in any size dish – individual sized is fun. Top with vanilla ice cream (yum) or freshly whipped cream (YUM!)

recipe origin: adapted from a recipe in Martha Stewart Living


devil’s food cake with chocolate ganache July 16, 2006

Filed under: desserts — girlymama @ 1:32 pm

i had the rare opportunity to tune in to martha’s tv show today for a whole ten minutes while the kiddie’s video was rewinding. oh my goodness. this cake looks so amazing. chocolate covered chocolate surrounded by chocolate. i must have it. who is having a birthday…..


Devil’s Food Cake with Chocolate Ganache

makes one nine-inch layer cake

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pans
3/4 cup Dutch-process chocolate powder, sifted, plus more for pans
3/4 cup hot water
3/4 cup sour cream
3 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Chocolate ganache

1.   Preheat oven to 350°. Butter two 9-by-2-inch round cake pans; line bottoms with parchment paper. Butter parchment; dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. In a medium bowl, whisk cocoa with hot water until smooth. Whisk in sour cream; let cool. Into a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

2.   In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each; scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture in two parts, alternating with cocoa mixture and beginning and ending with flour; beat until combined.

3.   Divide batter between prepared pans; smooth with an offset spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Transfer pans to a wire rack to cool 15 minutes. Invert cakes onto rack; peel off parchment. Turn cakes over; let cool completely, topside up. Transfer half of Chocolate Ganache (3 1/2 cups) to clean bowl of an electric mixer; set aside remaining. Let cool completely, stirring frequently, about 40 minutes. Attach bowl to mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until ganache holds soft peaks, 5 to 7 minutes.

4.   Using a serrated knife, trim tops of cake layers to make level. Transfer one of the layers to a cake turntable or platter, and spread top with 1 1/2 cups whipped ganache. Top with remaining layer, cut side down, and spread remaining whipped ganache in a thin layer over entire cake, covering completely. Refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes.

5.   Transfer cake to a wire rack set over a rimmed baking sheet. Pour reserved ganache over top, letting it run down the sides. If necessary, use a large offset spatula to spread from the center toward the edges, so that the cake is evenly and completely covered. Refrigerate until ganache has just begun to set, about 30 minutes. Transfer cake to a serving plate. Serve immediately, or refrigerate, covered with a cake dome, for up to 2 days.

wow. that’s all i can say. see original recipe here.