Dessert Buffet Fun!

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Table with Words

This past weekend, my friend Beryl had a live Q & A with some of the local Momtographers and she asked if I would make some desserts for a dessert buffet. I happily agreed and then it was time to decide on a menu.

First, Beryl requested the Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes we had made for the photo shoot last month in a miniature form. Easy enough, but what kind of frosting? Beryl saw my post about the Marshmallow Buttercream and decided that might be a delicious addition to the cupcakes…I agreed! We also decided upon a bit of a strawberry theme, so I made some of the cupcakes with regular Marshmallow Buttercream and some with a Strawberry Marshmallow Buttercream.

To make it strawberry, I took about 5 strawberries, cut them up into tiny pieces, then mashed them a bit in a Ziploc bag. I added this to half of the regular recipe of Marshmallow Buttercream (I had already used the other half to frost half of the mini cupcakes). I did run into a couple of issues with this- the strawberries made the frosting a little bit more runny, which I think could be alleviated by draining out a bit of the strawberry juices before adding them to the buttercream. Some of the cut up strawberries would also get stuck in the piping tip, which would cause a ton to come out at one time. If I had cut up the pieces even smaller, this wouldn’t have been a problem. The Strawberry Marshmallow Buttercream turned out to be SO delicious…those little cupcakes became quite addicting!!

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes

The next item on the menu? Mini Strawberry Shortcakes! I found some push-up pop like containers at Joann’s that I thought would be perfect for these little cakes! To make the mini Strawberry Shortcakes, you will need:

Angel Food Cake (You can make your own or buy one at the store)
Strawberries, some cut into small pieces, some cut into sixths (I think I used about 2 containers)
Strawberry Syrup
Cool Whip

Directions:
1. Take the Angel Food Cake and cut it into thin pieces. I cut horizontally along the bottom of the cake to get bigger pieces.
2. Use one of the push-up pop containers to cut out 2 round pieces of cake for each container (there were 12 in the box so I cut out 24 pieces).
3. Mix the small pieces of strawberries with strawberry syrup (I think I put in about a half of the bottle of syrup, but it depends on how sweet you’d like the mixture).
4. Put one piece of cake in the bottom of the push-up pop container, then a layer of the strawberry mixture, and finally a layer of Cool Whip. Repeat with another layer of each ingredient.
5. Put one of the strawberry pieces that are cut into sixths on top of the mini Strawberry Shortcakes.
6. Enjoy!

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

For the final item on the menu, I made a fruit platter with Marshmallow Cream Cheese Fruit Dip. This simple dip is by far my favorite dip for fruit! To make the dip you will need:

8oz Whipped Cream Cheese
7oz Marshmallow Cream

Stir the two together and serve with your favorite fruit! It’s that easy!

Fluffy Fruit Dip

Everything on the dessert buffet was a hit! I think Beryl’s daughter, Brielle, probably liked the cupcakes the most!

Brielle

Beryl made a couple other items to serve, including a DELICIOUS homemade Strawberry Lemonade that included a fresh strawberry puree, fresh squeezed lemons, simple syrup, and a little sparkling water. Homemade Strawberry Lemonade is definitely the way to go!!

Baking love,
Heather

Advertisements

Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Up Close Detail with words

Over the weekend, I met up with my friend Beryl (after her superhero adventures) to bake some gluten-free vanilla cupcakes. I’m taking her Momtographie Online class (which is awesome!) and she wanted to get some video footage baking with a friend for one of the lessons. I was happy to be the friend to help her out with this!

We decided on a Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake from Cupcakes Take the Cake with a Vanilla Buttercream Frosting from Savory Sweet Life.

To make the cupcakes, I followed the recipe from Cupcakes Take the Cake, but made a couple of changes. Here is exactly what I did!

Ingredients:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups gluten-free flour blend
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp guar gum
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 F. Position rack in center of oven. Place cupcake baking liners in a 12-cupcake baking pan (this recipe really makes the perfect amount for 12 regular sized cupcakes). In a medium sized bowl, stir flour blend, salt, baking powder, and guar gum until mixed. Beat sugar and eggs in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed for one minute. Make sure your mixer is on stir and add the bowl of dry ingredients slowly until mixed. Continue on stir and add oil, vanilla soy milk (I really think this made a huge difference in the vanilla flavor) and vanilla until ingredients are mixed well; beat at medium speed for one minute (the batter will be pretty runny). Pour batter into prepared pan. Place in center of oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until center springs back when touched and cupcakes are very lightly browned. Cool on rack for five minutes. Remove cupcakes from pan onto rack and cool completely before icing.

DSC_0198

To make the frosting, I did the following:

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or ½ pound), softened (your finger should be able to push into the stick, but the butter should NOT be melted!!)
3 cups confectioners (powdered) sugar, SIFTED
¼ teaspoon table salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons heavy cream

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed. With your mixer on stir, add 3 cups of powdered sugar slowly until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Add vanilla extract, salt, and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream while still on stir (so they do not splash) and then beat everything for 3 minutes at medium speed. If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add more sugar (I would add 1/2 cup at a time until it is the consistency you’d like). If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add additional milk 1/2 tablespoon at a time, to your liking.

At first, I was worried that I wasn’t going to have enough frosting for the cupcakes because it didn’t look like much, but it turned out to be way too much for the 12 cupcakes!

Once everything was ready, Beryl and I decorated the cupcakes using some store bought flowers, roses I had made, and sprinkles. What was really great about the whole experience was that since we were making the video for Beryl’s photography class, I got some one-on-one time with Beryl to ask questions about my camera and take some great pictures of our freshly made cupcakes! Here are some of the pictures that I took while learning!
Rose Up

Rose Over

Up Close Detail

Rose Details

And all of the cupcakes together…minus the few we ate before we took the pictures!
All Cupcakes

These cupcakes turned out to be so delicious, none of us (my husband wanted to taste-test too) could tell that they were gluten-free! Like I said before, I think the vanilla soy milk made all the difference! The big test for these cupcakes was how they tasted the next day…and Beryl let me know that they were still moist and delicious two days after we made them!

It was such a fun day of baking, decorating, and photographing with a great friend!
Baking love,
Heather

Flourless Chocolate Cake

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Finished Cake

Since I made the cake pops for Beryl’s Momtographie class, I had to get them to her and she invited us over for dinner. I, of course, offered to make dessert! I found a recipe on About.com for an Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake with Silky Glaze and decided this may be the perfect dessert.

To make the cake…
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Chop up 6 ounces of chocolate (I used Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate).
Chopped Chocolate

3. Melt the chopped chocolate and 1 stick of unsalted butter (I recommend chopping up the butter into smaller pieces as well) over medium low heat, stirring frequently.
Chocolate and Butter

4. Stir in 3/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and reduce heat to low. Stir constantly for about 1 minute until the sugar starts to dissolve.

5. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 3 eggs one at a time.
All Mixed

6. Sift 1/2 cup cocoa into the mix. Whisk until the batter is smooth.

7. Pour the batter into a 7-inch tart pan or into a 6-7 inch pan with parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray in the bottom.
Before Oven

8. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, but check at about 22 minutes. You will know the cake is done when the center is just firm to the touch. Do not over bake or the cake will become dry!
Out of Oven

9. Cool the pan on a wire rack for about 15 minutes. While the cake is cooling, make the glaze.

10. Melt 2 ounces of chopped semisweet chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in the same pan used for the cake. Once melted, remove the pan from the heat and add 1 1/2 teaspoons of milk and 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey. Stir until smooth and glossy and let sit for 3 minutes.

11. When the cake is cooled, flip it onto a plate or cake board (mine broke a bit when I flipped it so be careful). Pour the glaze right in the middle, then use a spatula to move the glaze so it is evenly spread over the cake and running slightly over the edges.
Finished Cake

12. Enjoy!

Everyone seemed to like the cake and my husband, who does not like chocolate that much, had TWO slices! The cake was super moist and seemed almost like a brownie. If you are looking for a delicious flourless cake, this one is a great choice!!

Baking love,
Heather

Gluten-Free Cake Pops

WE’VE MOVED! Go to www.pinkpolkadotbaker.com to see what we have been working on!

Finished Cake Pops

Tomorrow I am taking a photography class from my friend, Beryl. Like I mentioned in a previous post, she asked me to make a little something for the participants coming to the class. We settled on the camera cake pops and I decided to make them gluten-free so she could also enjoy in the deliciousness. To make the cake, I used the same recipe as I used for the Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes. The recipe for the cake can be found at food.com.

To begin, I gathered all my ingredients. I started by mixing my dry ingredients in the stand mixer.

Dry Ingredients

After the ingredients were mixed well, I added all the wet ingredients one by one, using a spatula to push down any batter stuck to the sides of the bowl.

Wet Ingredients

Then, I poured all the ingredients in my pan that I had prepared by spraying with cooking spray and powdering with gluten-free flour. The cake was in the oven for about 33 minutes, until it came out looking like this:
Finished Cake

I let the cake cool, then followed my normal cake pop procedures! First, I broke up the cake.
Broken Up Cake

Then, I used a gluten-free frosting to mix with the pieces- I only put in about half of the container, since this cake was a bit smaller than what I usually make, and ended up adding about a third of what was left to the mix to make it the right consistency.
Frosting Container

Cake with Frosting

Frosting Jar

I mixed everything up…
Dough Mix

Then molded the batter into cameras!
Cameras on Pan

I put the cameras in the freezer to set and set up my decorating area while I was waiting.
Table Prep

After about 15 minutes, I pulled the cameras out of the freezer and got to work- first with the sticks, then completing the rest of the camera!

Cake Pops with Sticks

Camera Cake Pops

I did find that the consistency of the cake was a bit different than the cake mixes that I normally use and had a tendency to fall apart when I was trying to tap off the excess chocolate. I had a few casualties so, to remedy the situation, I put the cake pops back in the freezer and they were much easier to handle. In the end, I have plenty of super cute camera cake pops for the participants!

Finished Pops

Baking love,
Heather