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As you all know, I make a lot of cake. Normally, baking is a nice stress reducing activity, but occasionally it is more of a last minute necessity. When that’s the case, it’s always nice to have a few time saving tricks up your sleeve. This frosting is one of them. I wish I could take credit for coming up with this amazing recipe, but I found it online somewhere, but here is the thing. I can’t remember when or where. I wrote it down on a sticky note and now… you know. Trust me, I would give credit where credit is do if I could. That aside, this is absolutely something you should tuck away for that last minute baking emergency.
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave, checking every 30 seconds, until smooth. Allow to cool slightly.
- Combine chocolate, sour cream and vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
- Frost away!
- If your kitchen is warm, your frosting could start melting. Store your completed cake in the fridge or in a cooler spot away from the stove. Allow to return to room temp before serving.
Eas,y right? And it’s also delicious. I know I am selling this as a time saving option, but it really is good enough that it could be your go frosting if you wanted. The only issue I have with it is the temperature sensitivity. I live in Florida; it stays pretty warm around here most of the time.
My birthday is still a week away, but I got a bit of a surprise start this weekend. I received a huge package in the mail from my mother on Saturday. I opened the box and on top of the stack of gifts was a card. The card contained $20 and instructions for me to open one gift a day for a week, and to use the money to get myself a cake, cupcakes, or the stuff to make a cake or cupcakes. Attached to the card were tiny little Totoro cake toppers, and as soon as I saw the one holding a strawberry, I knew I was making a batch of strawberry cupcakes the very next day. Whoo hoo for birthday week!!!
The Strawberry Puree
- Quart of Strawberries
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- Watch and cut strawberries.
- Combine strawberries and sugar in a sauce pan. Over medium heat bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove from heat and puree mixture with an immersion blender (or in a traditional blender until smooth).
- Allow mixture to cool for 15-20 minutes. * I ended up with roughly 2 cups of liquid.
- Pillsbury Classic White Cake Mix
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup of vegetable oil
- 1 cup of cooled strawberry puree
- Combine ingredients, beat until uniform, and bake per instructions on the back of the box.
This recipe is an adaptation of the vanilla frosting recipe featured here.
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup strawberry puree
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 sticks unsalted butter (cut into small cubes, softened but cool)
- Whisk together sugar, flour, cream and puree in a medium sauce pan. Bring to boil over medium heat whisking occasionally, until the mixture reaches the consistency of a light pudding (approximately 10 minutes).
- Transfer mixture to a stand mixer. Beat mixture on high for 7-9 minutes until it has cooled. Reduce the speed to low and start adding the butter pieces a couple of pieces at a time ever 20-30 seconds, while the mixer is continually running. When the butter is fully incorporated, turn the speed up to med-high and mix until it becomes light and fluffy (1-2 minutes). Pipe onto cooled cupcakes and enjoy.
Not a bad way to kick things off, huh?
I do quite a bit of baking, as those of you who have followed this blog for any amount of time well know. To be completely honest, things don’t always go the way they should. Sometimes the recipe is to blame, and sometimes it’s completely on me. This time however, I have no idea where the fault lies. It all starts with this recipe for Spiced Carrot Cake by Twigg Studios. I’ve used some of their recipes before, and they can produce some serious toe curling treats, so I was really unprepared for how badly things went. Before we get into that though, here is the recipe I used.
Recipe for Cake:
2 carrots grated (approx 1 cup)
3 cups self raising flour
1/3 cup milk
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1 and 3/4 cup butter
1 cup soft brown sugar
3/4 cup caster sugar
2 tbsp honey
3/4 cup walnuts
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup candied ginger
1 tbsp mixed spice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
2 tsp vanilla extract
- preheat the oven to 350f 180c or 160c for fan ovens and grease and line two 12cm tins.
- add the butter into a mixer with the sugar beat until soft, then add the eggs one at a time making sure to stop between each one and wipe down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- sift in the flour and fold in, add salt, vanilla and spices and fold in.
- add the crushed pineapple, carrots, chopped walnuts, pumpkin seeds, coconut and honey and fold in
- add the milk to loosen the batter then spoon into the two tins and bake for about 45 minutes.
- let cool
- slice some pineapple into thin strips then sprinkle with some brown sugar and grill until soft and starting to colour
Recipe for Frosting
500ml double cream
1 and 1/4 cup mascapone
4 tbsp brown sugar
1/4 cup powdered sugar
- whip all the ingredients together until stiff
- level out cakes then spoon on some cream then add the grilled pineapple, and the second layer of cake and then add some more cream and use a pallet knife to smooth it around cake.
- decorate with coconut, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Now I’ll admit: I deviated from the base recipe in a couple of ways. One, I made cupcakes; two, I used pecans instead of walnuts, and three, I skipped the grilled pineapple because these were going to work with Andy, and I didn’t think they’d travel well. None of these things made any difference in the cake. The cake was flawless; without a doubt, it’s one of the best carrot cakes I have ever tried. Like, slap your momma good. The problem came when I tried (and I do mean tried) to make the frosting.
With no other directions besides “whip all the ingredients together until stiff”, I did exactly that. I dumped in the cheese and sugar and set my mixer on high. HUGE mistake: a couple of rotations in the double cream and the mascarpone released about 2 cups of liquid, and it started to splash out of the mixer. I quickly turned the dial down and put the splash guard on, but after five minutes, it was still chunks of cream and cheese swirling around in this soupy white liquid. I turned the mixer off and drained out as much of the liquid as I could and then turned it back on. It finally started to come together, but the frosting was really wet and oozed out of the piping bag. I could have added more sugar, but it already tasted crazy sweet, so I just gave up. I tossed the whole thing and made a quick cream cheese frosting for the cupcakes, but I felt so defeated. I may try this recipe again, but I think I might put the cream and the mascarpone in cheese cloth the night before to drain out all that extra liquid. It’s probably not a bad thing that I occasionally get a smack down from the baking gods to keep me humble and remind me that I still have so very much to learn. Probably.