Pirate Ship Cake

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So I made a thing.

I rarely do anything by degrees, especially baking. My nephew just turned three, and part of my gift to him (Aside from the Batman action figure and the giant box of Playdough) was a pirate ship cake.

I nearly quit twice.

The cakes were from scratch https://rattledup.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/katies-chocolate-cake/

and while it only took two 9X13 cakes to make, I ended up having to make three.

Mostly because the second one turned out HORRIBLY. Awful. IT was an abomination, not worthy of the term “baked good”. Somehow the cake turned into jello in the oven.

We’ve got three theories as to why that happened.

  1. all the milk accidentally got added at once, because I noted how that messed with the texture of the batter.
  2. I may not have scraped the bowl adequately enough.
  3. There was a casserole in the oven at the same time and it probably didn’t bake evenly.

It was gross. I made everyone try it, and everyone who put it in their mouths spit it back out and shivered because of how wrong it was.

Then I almost quit again when the third cake broke while I was trying to get it out of the pan. I almost cried.

I marched into the livingroom, picked up the phone and when Noah asked what was wrong I said, “It broke. I quit. I’m telling Anna it’s a 2D cake.”

He stood up, took the phone from me, and together we got the cake out of the pan. It was broken, but he stood by and started being my cheerleader while I cut and arranged the pieces together.

I cut them both about 6″ wide lengthwise. (So then I had 2 6X13s) and stacked them on top of each other, then I cut the remaining chunks into 6X3s and stacked two in the back, one in front of that, and one in the very front.)

I used a store bought frosting for the glue, and once it was all put together, I slid it in the fridge for an hour so it’d hold together while I carved. Which was pretty much cutting the front into a point.

I found the Jolly Roger from an image on Wikicommons that worked, and just taped it to a chopstick.

Then I frosted, and we took the cake over to the party. My sister ad got a bunch of candies and I just went nuts. I put a little frosting on the base so the sprinkles would stick, lined the base with the gummy sharks, and had a lot of fun with it.

When my nephew blew out his candles and realized he couldn’t have the WHOLE THING he was very upset. At least until he got to eat all the gummy sharks with his cake.

For all the headache, I’m really glad I did this one. It was my first ever 3D cake, and it’s really pushed the limits for what I think I can do now. I can’t wait for my niece’s and my son’s birthdays to see what I come up with for them!

It happens to the best of us, My Cupcake Fail

So this happened

 

So this happened to me today.
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it took me a few minutes before I could figure out what was up, I peeked in on them and my jaw dropped. What had happened? I’d done everything right! My science should not have been compromised.

I was irritated.

Once I calmed myself down a little and studied them, what I know of baking, and my recipe I figured out the trouble.

I’d used nearly two TABLESPOONS of baking soda, rather than a scant two teaspoons. that’s what I get for measuring right?

 

52 Fabulous Cupcakes, Recipe One

This recipe is one I have already posted on this site.

I’M A CHEATER

No.

Not really.

I’m reposting it because I have a few little additives I think are going to make it really special for everyone. Make sure you look at the bottom where I tell you the adjustments.

this recipe makes 18 cupcakes.

3/4 cup butter, softened

generous 1/2 cup light brown sugar

2 extra large eggs

2 tbsp chocolate hazelnut spread (Nutella…and the 2 tbsp could be heaping)

1 1/3 cups self rising flour

generous 1/2 cup roughly ground, blanched hazelnuts

For the topping its just more Nutella and some whole hazelnuts (blanched)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, put 18 paper liners into shallow muffin pans.

Put the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, then stir in the chocolate hazelnut spread. Sift in the flour and using a metal spoon, fold into batter with the ground hazelnuts.

–I’m constantly afraid of over beating, don’t be, the more you beat it the lighter and fluffier they will come out and the better they’ll be–

spoon the batter into the paper liners. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes (I left mine in for 19 and they were cooked perfectly so don’t be afraid to open it up and check)  When you pull them out let them cool quite a bit before you top them with morrreee Nutella and the whole hazelnuts.

The recipe calls for 2 extra large eggs…but the cupcakes were kind of dry the first time I made them, so I’d recommend using 3 large eggs instead of the extra large, also, go ahead and use a whole cup of butter.

Now, he’s the special part.

Take a big box of Ferrero Rocher candy. Now, when you put the cupcakes in the liners, set the candy on top of each cupcake. Push it in a little just to be sure, and hopefully when the cupcake finishes baking there will be a Fererro Rocher candy stuck inside.

Welp! There you have it. The first in my series of 52 Fabulous Cupcakes for All. Stay tuned for another exciting episode. This next one may involve fancy decorations!

365 Things to do with Potatoes, Episode One

When you get a potato, what is the first and simplest thing to do with it?

Bake it.

Duh?

Seriously, nothing is easier to do with a potato than *bake it*.

Pull a good sized potato out, wash it off a little, just knock the dirt off and pick off any eyes if they’re there. It’s not gone bad if it’s got the eyes growing on it. If you’ve got a little one though with a lot of eyes go ahead and stick it in a pot! It might grow. I have no idea, I have never done it before. (Considering I have twenty pounds of potatoes I might give it a shot.)

Once it’s been in a 350-450 Degree (F) oven for 40 or so minutes (stick a fork through it, if it feels crunchy at all in the center, it’s not done and let it go some more.) It’s done! Pull it out, cut it in half, add some butter and some salt, some sour cream maybe, or cheese.

So this here is a new thing I’m doing (along with a couple other new series) in which I just spew out 365 things to do with potatoes. There’s no deadline. It would honestly suck to figure out new things to do with potatoes every day. Being able to take a few days to do other things is going to clear my head quite a bit and give me time to do some research.

So, go out and buy yourself 20 pounds of potatoes, trust me, summer heat doesn’t beat a potato.

Lemon Butterfly Cupcakes

I’ll admit it, I’ve got a weakness for lemon. I absolutely loved these cupcakes, they didn’t even last long enough for me to take pictures! asian-food-recipes-cupcakes-lemon-butterfly-cupcakes.JPG this is the picture they use in the book or its remarkably similar!

Makes an even dozen

Scant 1 cup self-rising flour

1/2 teaspon baking powser

1/2 cup butter, softened

Generous 1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons milk

 

For the Buttercream

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 & 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon lemon juice

 

Preheat the oven to 375

sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.

add the butter, sugar, superfine sugar, eggs, lemon rind and milk.

Using electric mixer, beat until smooth.

Soon the batter into paper liners, bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

 

To make the butter cream

put the butter in a bowl and beat until fluffy

Sift the confectioners sugar and add the lemon juice.

Beat together until creamy. ***If you are having trouble getting it to combine and turn creamy its helpful to turn the thing off for a second and let the butter settle. I did it out of pure frustration and it worked really well***

 

To make them look like butterflies you cut a circle out of the top with a serrated knife and frost them, then you cut the circles into halves, and the halves into whatever sorta butterfly shape you want. Then you stick them in the frosting and dust it with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

When I made these, my dad said they tasted like really thick Archway cookies, which are his favorite, so I’m taking the compliment!

This recipe makes an even dozen 🙂

3/4 cup self rising flour

7tbsp butter, softened.

1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 extra large eggs, lightly beaten

generous 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips.

Preheat oven to 375 and put 12 paper liners into a shallow muffin pan.

Sift the flour into a large bowl, add the butter, superfine sugar, and eggs.

Using an electric mixer, beat together until smooth.

Fold in the chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the liners, bake for about 20-25 minutes (or until risen and firm to the touch)

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

I’m viciously behind on this! I made these cupcakes at the beginning of the month and I still haven’t blogged them yet! SHAME ON ME!

 

This recipe makes 12 cupcakes

3/4 cup butter, softened (or margarine)

Generous 1/2 cup superfine sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 & 3/4 cups grated carrot

scant 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

2 tbsp orange juice

grated rhino of 1/2 orange

1 & 1/3 cups self-rising flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

12 walnut halves, to decorate

Frosting is-

1/2 cup cream cheese

1 tbsp orange juice

1 & 3/4 cups confectioners sugar

 

To make:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and put 12 paper liners in a shallow muffin pan

Place the butter and superfine sugar in a large bowl and beat together until light and fluffy.

Gradually beat in the eggs.

Fold in the carrot, chopped walnuts (I didn’t make it with walnuts and it turned out just fine!) orange juice, and orange rind.

Sift in the flour and cinnamon and using a metal spoon, fold in gently.

 

Spoon the batter into the paper liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until risen, golden, and firm to the touch.

Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.

 

To make the frosting.

Put cream these and orange juice in a bowl.

sift in the confectioners sugar and beat until fluffy.  (If you’re using an electric mixer, just keep beating it as you go, it helps it all come together evenly.)

Spread the frosting over the cupcakes and top each with a walnut half.