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

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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

I’m Back!

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

Gonzalez_cover

So, I know it has been quite a while since I last posted…and there is definitely a reason for that! At the end of January I found out that I am pregnant! Excited to start this journey in life, I didn’t expect to have a complete aversion to the sweet smell of most of the yumminess I create in my kitchen along with a new bed time that began around 7:00! It only took 16 weeks, but I’m finally feeling (mostly) myself again and am ready to bake! Expect to see more from me in the upcoming weeks!

In order to announce our pregnancy, my husband and I enlisted my awesome photographer friend, Beryl, to take a few pics of us! Take a look at some of the awesome pics she came up with!

Walking

Reese

Tree

Pregnancy Pic Revised

You may remember from my previous blog posts that I took a class with my friend, Beryl, called Momtographie. It’s ironic that I took the Momtographie class on the day that I did, because that was also the day I found out I was going to be a mom! It was awesome to know that everything I was learning in this class was going to be put to good use very soon. I am so grateful to have been able to take this class from Beryl, because I learned so much, and she really put everything in a way that was very understandable to me, someone not very familiar with my DSLR camera, but really wanting to learn. Momtographie is seriously an awesome course for anyone wanting to learn how to use their DSLR camera, not just mom’s (or mommies to be)! So, here’s my shameless plug, because Beryl is awesome and I think everyone should take her course! Beryl teaches in person classes in Northern VA, but I know that many of you blog readers don’t live in the area. Now, Beryl has created the perfect solution- Momtographie Online! This 6 week course will teach you pretty much everything you need to know about your DSLR camera, plus you have unlimited access to the videos. The 6 week course starts the first week in May- make sure to check out her website and see if this class would be the right fit for you!!

Baby love,
Heather