Friday, February 10, 2012

My not so "marbly" Marble Cake...

Alright, so I decided to attempt a chocolate/vanilla marble cake last night. The reason being, it is my boyfriend's absolute favorite kind of cake and his birthday is in May. Hmm.. practice makes perfect, right? Better start now! Turns out that was a good call because my marble cake didn't turn out so "marbly". It tasted great, though. It was just more of a "vanilla on the bottom and chocolate on the top" kind of cake.. haha. Also, the original recipe was good, but I thought a little sloppy. Now this is coming from a new-to-the-scene baker, so don't take my word for it or anything, but it worked for me. (And definitely don't take any "marbleing" advice from me....) Essentially, the recipe directions called for adding all the ingredients together at once and blending. Eh, not how I've learned to do it. So I did it my way! Also, the original recipe said that you should reserve 1/3 of the batter for your vanilla and the remaining 2/3 for the chocolate. Personally, I think I would use a little closer to half and half next time. And from my inexperienced point of view, their directions for the marble effect weren't very helpful.  Here is the original recipe, though! http://allrecipes.com/recipe/marble-cake-i/

Marble Cake

Ingredients

2 c. all purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. milk
2 Tbs. unsweetened cocoa powder

Directions (Edited by me)

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 inch round pan.
2.) Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl.
3.) In another bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla.
(Note- I found a nice little tip to help soften the butter a little faster. So easy! All you do is place your stick of butter between two pieces of wax paper and roll it about 1/4 in. thick. Really helps, I think)


4.) Add flour mixture alternating with milk. Beat until smooth.

5.) Reserve roughly half of the batter, and pour the remaining batter into the greased pan.
6.) Stir cocoa into the remaining batter.

7.) Drop the remaining batter into the pan by spoonfuls over the white batter.
8.) Using a knife, swirl the cocoa batter into the white batter creating the marble effect.
9.) Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 min. (Mine was done in exactly 30 min.)
10.) Place on cooling rack and let cool before icing.

Frosting recipehttp://savorysweetlife.com/2011/04/chocolate-buttercream-frosting/


There ya go! My not so "marbly" marble cake. I will be tackling this again very soon, I'm sure. I honestly thought about not posting about this cake because it's not my best and I haven't really run into a lot of let downs yet with my baking. So I was kinda disappointed. But, I need to get over it! After all, this is a blog about my baking "adventures", not all of my 100% flawless recipes. Thanks for reading!! Everyone have a great weekend. :)




Sunday, February 5, 2012

Today.... I cooked!

Alright so I know I said this is a blog about my baking adventures... but if and when I do cook, I'm gonna want to blog about it!! My friend, Carla, convinced me to think about cooking up some home made meals on Sundays! So, I thought I'd give it a shot today, seeing as it IS Super Bowl Sunday, and all...


So here it is- some basic (easy!) home made shrimp alfredo!


Link to original recipe- http://allrecipes.com/recipe/alfredo-sauce-2/



Sorry, I know the picture quality isn't the best, but the game was on!! ;)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Butterscotch Blondies!

Butterscotch Blondies!


(sorry- lazy baking again)

Just a few pictures tonight, but I have to say, these blondies turned out amazing. Boyfriend approved!!






Monday, January 30, 2012

Finally, Chocolate Torte!

So I before finding this recipe online, I had never even heard of a 'torte' before. Can you tell I'm a newbie? Anyway, the chocolaty goodness called to me and I knew I had to at least give it a shot. Now this was a bit of a harder recipe for me, I haven't separated eggs since I was in middle school! *gulp.* Fortunately, the recipe came with a step-by-step video which I found VERY helpful. Next time I won't need it of course, but it was great to have since I have never attempted a torte before. Here is the original link with the video!  http://www.joyofbaking.com/ChocolateTorte.html


You can check out the ingredients on the original website, (sorry- feeling lazy again. I really need to stop baking so late at night!) but I will go through the directions with some pictures!


Directions

1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2.) Spray or butter a 9'x3' springform pan, and line the bottom with parchment paper

3.) Separate the eggs while still cold, cover each of the bowls with plastic wrap, and bring to room temp.
4.) Meanwhile, melt chocolate with butter in a bowl over a saucepan of simmering water

5.) Beat egg yolks and 1/2 c. sugar together at medium speed until thick and lemon-colored (3-5 min)

6.) Add vanilla and chocolate mixture
7.) In another bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy.

8.) Add the cream of tartar and continue beating until soft peaks form.9
9.) Gradually add the remaining 1/2 c. sugar to the egg whites until stiff peaks begin to form. Using small amounts at a time, fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. Do not over mix.

10.) Pour batter into pan, and bake for 50-60 min. or until toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs
11.) Place on wire rack to cool


Yum!!!!!!

Enjoy! And thanks for reading :)

My birds!

I have to say if there's one thing I'm currently enjoying in life more than baking and my job, it would have to be my birds. My boyfriend and I always said birds would make lousy pets, they're dirty and they're loud. Boy, were we wrong! My mother's friend's fiance passed away a couple of years ago and could no longer afford to keep their aviary going. So my mom offered to bring home 2 cockatiels- one was just a few weeks old. We fell in love with each other instantly! I named her George and she was my baby. Unfortunately, she came from a bad "clutch" and although she outlived her brothers and sisters by several weeks, she passed after only a short month! I was devastated. So after a few months my boyfriend, Jeremy, and I decided to get back into the bird scene. We got into it alright... we now own four beautiful birdies whom are all completely spoiled rotten. We have 2 cockatiels- Sheldon and Mona, 1 parrotlet- Penny, and 1 conure- Apollo. And a partridge in a pair tree (just kidding!) Anyway, here they are- making their debut!



I never thought in a million years I would be a 'bird person', but these little guys melted our hearts. The one on the bottom right, Sheldon, is definitely very bonded to me, and I to him! He is our only talker and will say, "Whaya doin?", "C'mere!", "Who's a pretty boy?", and "Good boy!" he also 'kisses' and attempts to sing the Imperial March from Star Wars. Very adorable. :)
Hope everyone had an awesome weekend! Tomorrow is pay day for me, so expect some recipes very soon!





Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Pillsbury The Complete Book of Baking"

So I got this book from my aunt around Thanksgiving and I forgot I had it! SO GLAD I FOUND THIS. This book is awesome. This is not just a recipe book, it has a detailed description of ingredients, emergency substitutions, a list of different kinds of equipment that will be used, tips on measuring, cooking terms and definitions, techniques and tips from everything to how to grease a pan to how to properly mail cookies. How did I forget I had this?!?! Anyways, here's a picture of the book- "Pillsbury's: The Complete Book of Baking"





Have any of you guys read this yet? Recommend any of the recipes? Hopefully I'll be testing out some of these recipes soon. Can't wait to see how they turn out!

New springform cake pan! Yay!

So today I bought a springform cake pan and I'm itching to use it! First thing I'm gonna make is a chocolate torte. I've been wanting to try out the recipe for weeks and I finally have the pan! I'm glad to have it because now I can experiment with cheesecake too! I love my bundt pan but I'm happy to have something new to play with. Do you guys have any good recipes that call for a springform pan? If so, please share! I love to try new things! :)