Posted by: bakingwithizzie | December 21, 2010

Buttermilk Cheesecake

I love Cheesecake.  I love to make it more than I like to eat it.  I love taking my time in preparing the perfect cheesecake.  There’s something about creating a cheesecake with the perfect blend of flavors and creaminess and then seeing the smile on your families face:)  Cheesecake varies from the most basic cheesecake to more complex ones.   This buttermilk cheesecake is fairly simple to make.  I am including a whole load of tips at the end of this post that will ensure you have a perfect cheesecake.  All you need is patience and a little extra time.

For the crust,  pulse vanilla vanilla wafers in a food processor until the mixture becomes crumbs.  If you don’t have a food processor you could put the wafers a plastic bag and use a rolling pin or something else to crush the wafers.  Once wafers are crumbs, add melted butter and vanilla and pulse again.  I don’t have a large food processor so I process the wafers in batches.  One I have them crushed, I put everything in a large bowl and mix together.

I have no idea why she looks so sad.  She looks like someone just took her best friend.  Anyway, press your crumb mixture into the bottom of a 10 in. spring from pan.  It’s easiest if you use the bottom of a glass cup or a ramekin.

There’s my happy girl.  She’s got her recipe and is ready to go.

Cream butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

Add the sugar and beat until nice and smooth.  (*You should also add your lemon zest here, but we forgot.)

Add buttermilk and beat, occasionally scraping down the sides, until well mixed.

Add vanilla extract and the lemon zest you forgot to put in and beat until mixed.

Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on the lowest setting until just combined.  This is where you absolutely do not want to beat the mixture.  Be gentle with your batter and it will be kind to you.

To prepare your water bath, wrap your pan with heavy duty foil.  Tear off a big piece of foil and lay the pan on it.  Wrap the foil up around the sides and that’s it.  You don’t have to make the foil as nice as in the picture.  I’m kind of a perfectionist like that.  It’s okay if the foil hangs up above the pan.  Place your cheesecake pan in a larger pan, like a lasagna or roasting pan and pour the batter into your pan.

Izzie is so proud of her cheesecake.

Put the whole thing in the oven and pour boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about halfway up the cheesecake pan.

No matter what a recipe says, I always bake my cheesecakes at 325.  It’s kind of the universal cheesecake temperature.  If a recipe tells you to start at a high temperature and then lower it, you could do that.  BUT, never bake your cheesecake lower than 325.  We don’t want any funky stuff to start growing in it.  This cheesecake takes about 60-75 minutes.  After an hour I shook the pan gently.  If it jiggled slightly in the center than it was time to take it out.  This cheesecake baked for 75 minutes.

You can turn the oven off, keep the oven door ajar and leave the cheesecake in for 30-60 minutes.  Or you can take it out right away and let it cool on the counter before refrigerating it.  Whatever you do, don’t keep out of the refrigerator longer than two hours.  Again, we don’t want any funky stuff growing in it.  You can see how the cheesecake has pulled away from the sides as it cools.  That will make it easier for me to remove the spring form pan.  if that doesn’t happen, I  take a knife dipped in hot water and run it around the sides of the cheesecake before removing the spring form pan.

You can make a variety of toppings for this particular cheesecake.  We made a homemade caramel sauce and it was delicious.

Here’s the recipe

BUTTERMILK CHEESECAKE

Crust:

  1. 1 box vanilla wafers
  2. 1/2 cup butter (1 stick) melted
  3. 1-½ teaspoon vanilla

Filling:

  1. 1/2 cup butter (at room temperature)
  2. 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  3. 24 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
  4. grated zest of 2 lemons
  5. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  6. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  7. 4 eggs

Heat oven to 325 degrees F.

Place vanilla wafers into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture becomes crumbs.  Add melted butter and vanilla and pulse again until combined. Pour into a 10-inch spring form pan and press crumbs into the bottom of the pan.  I use the bottom of a glass cup or small ramekin.  This part is optional but I like to stick the pan in the freezer while I make the filling.  It hardens the crust a bit.

Cream butter and cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  I kind of go crazy on this part and beat the heck out of it until its super smooth.  You don’t want to have any cream cheese bits what so ever and this is the only chance you have to get it nice and creamy.  If there are any cream cheese bits once you start adding the liquids, it’s almost impossible to make the batter smooth.  This is the first time I’ve added butter to my cheesecake.  Usually the cream cheese stands alone.

Add the sugar and lemon zest and beat until smooth.

Add buttermilk and vanilla extract and beat, occasionally scraping down the sides, until well mixed.

Add eggs one a time and beat on the lowest setting until just combined. Do not over-beat.  I cannot stress this enough.  This is the part where you absolutely don’t want to beat the heck out of it.  Over-beating will cause too much air to incorporate in the batter and that will result in cracks in your cheesecake.

Wrap the sides of your pan in aluminum foil.  You’re doing this to help avoid water from getting into your crust and cheesecake.  We’ll talk about setting the cheesecake in a water bath in a minute.  The easiest way to foil up your pan is to lay a sheet of foil on the counter and set your pan on top of it.  Wrap the foil up around the sides.  Lay another sheet of foil down and set your pan on top of it, but turn the pan so that the longer pieces of foil will come up around the two sides that didn’t get as much foil the first time.  Wrap the foil up around the sides.  Does that make sense?  I’m sure I could have figured out a shorter way to say that.

Pour the batter into the reserved crust.  Set your cheesecake in a larger pan like a lasagna pan or a roasting pan.

Set the large pan with your cheesecake in the oven and very carefully pour hot water in the larger pan until it comes halfway up your cheesecake.

Bake your cheesecake at 325 degrees for 60-75 minutes.  My cheesecakes usually take at least an hour to bake but sometimes it can take 10-15 minutes longer than that.  If I’m using a 10 in. spring form I’m usually guaranteed longer than 60 minutes.  I mean, that’s a lot of cheesecake.

Your cheesecake is done when it jiggles slightly in the center of your cheesecake.  It will continue baking even after you take it out.  Once your cheesecake has cooled, stick in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours, but chilling it overnight is better.

Baking a cheesecake can be a bit tricky but as long as you pay attention and follow a few simple rules you will have a beautiful cheesecake:

  1. Your cream cheese, and in this recipe butter, needs to be at room temperature.  This will prevent lumps when you beat the cream cheese.
  2. Do not over-beat your cheesecake batter.  Once you’re ready to add the eggs, use the lowest setting and mix only until each egg is combined.
  3. Using quality, which usually means expensive, ingredients, is not crucial but it could mean the difference between a good cheesecake and an amazing cheesecake.
  4. One thing you can’t skimp on is the fat content.  Do not use reduced fat or nonfat cream cheese or ricotta cheese.  I’m not trying to make you fat, but the low fat and nonfat versions contain fillers that might prevent your cheesecake from setting properly.  Also, never substitute whipped cream cheese for the solid block.
  5. Make sure you use Pure Vanilla Extract.  Do not use Imitation Vanilla Extract and if you can, splurge on the vanilla.  I even love using pure vanilla paste or vanilla beans.  Measure for measure, it is the same. One teaspoon of vanilla bean paste equals one vanilla bean or one teaspoon of pure vanilla extract.
  6. Every oven if different and every cheesecake is different.  But there is one universal rule that I follow when baking cheesecakes.  No matter what the recipe says I always bake my cheesecakes at 325 degrees.  Anything higher and it cooks the cheesecake too quickly.  Anything lower and you risk the growth of bacteria.  I’ve seen recipes where you start out at a high temp. to get the cheesecake going and then you lower the temp. to slow the baking down, but if you keep the temperature at 325 degrees, you will allow the cheesecake to bake at a nice even pace.  You will reduce the risk of cracks and the possibility of harmful bacterial growth.  You don’t have to worry about fussing with the temperature after 15 minutes or halfway through.  You can set the timer and walk away.
  7. That is the next important rule.  Just walk away…for at least 30 minutes.  When you open the oven door you’re allowing a rush of air to enter the oven.  After 30-45 minutes your cheesecake will be set enough that opening the oven to check on it will not harm your cheesecake.
  8. Using a water bath helps keep your cheesecake from forming cracks and ensures that it will bake evenly and slowly.  If you don’t use the water bath I’m guessing your cheesecake will not take as long to bake.  But do the water bath.  For real, it will be worth it.
  9. Wrapping your pan in foil helps keep the water out of cheesecake and crust when you use the water bath.  It is not always fool proof but it helps.  Just take a big piece of foil and lay the whole pan on it.  Wrap the foil up around the sides and you’re good to go.
  10. If you’re not worried about setting your cheesecake out for presentation, use a solid one-piece cake pan.  That is a fool proof way to ensure your crust won’t get soggy from the water bath.
  11. Cheesecakes always taste better after chilling for a day or two.  The flavors marry together and intensify so try to make your cheesecake 1 or 2 days in advance.
  12. Some recipes recommend turning off the oven when the cheesecake is done baking and leaving it there to cool down for an hour or two.  I’ve even seen some people recommend three hours.  The reason this is a bad idea is that is promotes the growth of bacteria.  Your cheesecake shouldn’t be left unrefrigerated for more than two hours maximum in a room temperature room or 1 hour in a 90 degrees F room.

Here are some cheesecakes that my taste testing family have approved and may just ruin your taste buds for those no bake cheesecakes in a box, or even worse, cheesecake filling in a tub…Blech, don’t do it.  Even if you’re not adventurous, you can whip up a basic cheesecake in no time.

Here is a pretty basic cheesecake recipe that you can dress up with a variety of fruit toppings.  The blueberry fruit topping is delicious but my favorite is raspberry.

The ultimate cheesecake

 

Autumn Cheesecake

This next one is so worth the extra effort.  I make it every year for Thanksgiving.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

 

I don’t have a picture for these next cheesecakes but let me tell you, they’re all delicious in their own unique way.

New York Style Chocolate Cheesecake

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

This next one is requested most by my family.  I’ve had some family members who are not a huge fan of cheesecake and they love this one.  Make it now.

Fudge Truffle Cheesecake

These bars have a layer of cheesecake in them.  They’re divine and so rich.  Generally, one one piece is plenty but my brothers can take out a whole pan.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Bars with Streusel topping

 

 

 

Posted by: bakingwithizzie | December 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Bacon Blondies, Holla!

  1. I haven’t posted a recipe on here in quite awhile.
  2. Izzie and I have been doing lots of baking, but I haven’t had the time keep this blog up to date.
  3. I love bacon.
  4. I love peanut butter.
  5. Peanut butter and bacon together equals a party in your mouth.
  6. This recipe is from the summer, as you can tell from Izzie’s attire.
  7. I almost froze when I walked out the door this morning and it’s not even winter yet.
  8. I’m not prepared for the cold.
  9. If you want to add an extra layer of fat to keep you warm this winter, peanut butter bacon blondies are the way to go.
  10. I see snowflakes

*I’m not great at taking photos when we’re baking but this set was particularly bad.  I still have to post them with the recipe though so you can how Izzie runs the show.

Let’s get this party started…

 

What you’ll need for the blondies:

butter, brown sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt

And the star of the show..Bacon, fried and crumbled

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and melted butter until smooth.

She’s very serious about mixing.  Unless we’re making something like muffins or bread, she doesn’t like lumps in her batter.

Add vanilla

And eggs

Mix until batter is smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients together, and whisk into the batter.

This is where the mixing gets tough, but she was so proud of the job she was doing.

Check out her muscles.

Finally, add the bacon.

Plop the batter into the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Spread the batter evenly.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.

Just out of the oven…At this point I seriously considered sticking my whole face in the pan.  Cool the blondies before frosting.

While your blondies are cooling, go ahead and prepare the frosting.

Here’s what you’ll need for the frosting:

butter, creamy peanut butter, powdered sugar, pure vanilla extract, milk (not pictured), fried and crumbled bacon

In a medium bowl, cream butter and peanut butter.

Add vanilla (Sometimes I use the cap to measure the vanilla, don’t judge.)

Add sugar gradually. (The recipe says to add sugar first then vanilla, but we didn’t notice any difference.)

Get ready to use those muscles Izzie.

I guess I forgot to take a picture of Izzie adding the milk.  Umm, awkward…So anyway, add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time until desired consistency is reached.  If you like it thinner add more.  If you like  it thicker, add less milk.  Personally, I like it thick.

Yummy…All I need is a spoon, this bowl of frosting and reruns of Alias.

The  blondies were pretty heavy so I just plopped all the frosting in the middle…

Then let Izzie spread it out.  Looks pretty good, huh?  But wait, we forgot to add that extra something to take it over the top.

Hello beautiful, crispy bacon.

The results are in and while Izzie wasn’t a  huge fan of her creation, it was a huge hit with the boys in the family.  I loved them as well.  They’re rich and the perfect combination of sweet and just a little bit of salty.

Here’s the recipe, Enjoy

Peanut Butter Bacon Blondies

howsweeteats.com

blondies from Simply Recipes

1 cup of butter, melted

2 cups of  brown sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla (I suggest pure vanilla extract)

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

Pinch of salt

2 cups of all-purpose flour

6 sliced of bacon, fried and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and melted butter until smooth. Add in eggs and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients together, and whisk into the batter. Fold in bacon.

Spread evenly in an 9 x 13 pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until done. Let blondies cool.

Peanut Butter Frosting

1 stick butter, softened

3/4 cup creamy peanut butter

2-3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2-3 tablespoons milk

6 slices bacon, fried and crumbled

Cream butter and peanut butter. Add sugar gradually. Add vanilla. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. More liquid may be needed depending on how thick or creamy you want the frosting.

Frost cooled blondies, then top with crumbled bacon.

 

Posted by: bakingwithizzie | August 16, 2010

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Momma:  Do you like banana bread?

Izzie:  Yes, I like banana bread!

Momma:  Do you like chocolate? (I realize this is a silly question but, for the premise of the recipe, I asked her anyway.)

Izzie:  I love chocolate!

Momma:  What if we make banana bread with chocolate in it?

Izzie:  Hmm, chocolate?  With bananas?  Yes, that sounds awesome!

Momma:  And after we mix it all together, you can throw in some chunks of chocolate.

Izzie:  More Chocolate?!  In my banana bread?!  Yes, lets make it now Momma!

I love it when our mornings start off on an enthusiastic high note.

There’s this blog called joythebaker.  You can’t help but smile when you read her blog.  I wonder if it has something to do with her name.  My sister Melody’s middle name is Joy and she is one of the happiest people I know.  For real, spitonthestreet, check it out for Mel’s adventures in South Korea.  Okay, so two blogs you should check out.  Anyway, back to Joy the baker.  Fun, flirty and fabulous; her recipes not her, although from reading her blog I would say she mirrors her recipes.  I have made several of her delights, including her blueberry black and white cookies.

This is the first recipe from her site I’ve posted.  This bread is for serious chocolate lovers only.  It’s very moist, very chocolaty and has a distinct banana flavor that takes it over the top.

Enjoy!

Here’s what you’ll need…

Dry Ingredients:  flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, light brown sugar, granulated sugar

Wet Ingredients:  eggs, buttermilk, unsalted butter, mashed bananas

The Holy Ingredient:  bittersweet chocolate.  I used Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet because I love, love it.

The cuteness ingredient:  Izzie

Okay, everything is ready.  First, center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Using the paddle attachment on your stand mixer beat the butter at medium speed for about a minute  until soft.  You can also use a hand held mixer in a large bowl.  I’ve actually used both.  It depends what kind of mood I’m mood; if I want to go the easy route or the old fashioned route, though I suppose the old fashioned route wouldn’t include hand mixers either.

Add the sugars and beat for another two minutes.

I told Izzie she needed to slowly add one egg at a time.

Great Job!  Beat for a minute after each egg is added.

I know the batter looks curdled and…a little gross.  I promise it will turn out.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the mashed bananas.

Add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing only until they disappear into the batter.  We did it in two additions because Izzie did all the pouring and some of the bowls were heavy for her.  She is getting better at only pouring a certain amount.

Still on low speed, add the buttermilk, mixing until it is incorporated.

Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan and place it on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets one on top of the other.  This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from over baking.  I didn’t have a 9×5 inch loaf pan so I used two 8×5 pans.  And trust me when I say, you don’t want to try and use one 8×5 pan.  Been there.  Done that.  Not pretty.  I also used one glass and one calphalon pan so the loaf in the calphalon pan finished about 5 minutes earlier than the loaf in the glass pan.  I know, I complicate things.  I don’t mean to, but they’re the only pans I have:)

If we use a print out this is usually what they end up looking like.  We’re messy but that’s okay, especially when there’s chocolate involved.

Bake the loaves for 30 minutes.   Cover the bread loosely with a foil tent to keep the top from getting too dark, and continue to bake for another 40-45 minutes (total baking time is between 70 and 75 minutes), or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the bread and unmolding it.   Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

Here’s the recipe

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Joy The Baker

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 stick (8 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 ripe bananas, mashed

3/4 cup buttermilk

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9×5 inch loaf pan and place it on an insulated baking sheet or on two regular baking sheets one on top of the other.  This extra insulation will keep the bottom of the bread from overbaking.

Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt ad baking soda.

Working with a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for about a minute  until soft.  Add the sugars and beat for 2 minutes more.  Add the egs one at a time, beating for a minute after each addition. At this point, the batter may look a little curdled- it’s ok.  Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the mashed bananas.  Add the dry ingredients in three additions, mixing only until they disappear into the batter.  Still on low sweep, add the buttermilk, mixing until it is incorporated.  Stir in the chopped chocolate.  Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 30 minutes.  Cover the bread loosely with a foil tent to keep the top from getting too dark, and continue to bake for another 40-45 minutes (total baking time is between 70 and 75 minutes), or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool for at least 20 minutes before running a knife around the edges of the bread and unmolding it.  Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

Posted by: bakingwithizzie | June 23, 2010

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream

Izzie and I found a fun recipe to make for Daddy’s Day.  I explained to her what Father’s Day was and she wasn’t quite getting it because she doesn’t call Kris, Father.  She calls him Daddy.  So…We changed it to Daddy’s Day:)  We made JavaCupcake Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes.  Daddy loves lemon and we usually make the same lemon cake every year but this year I wanted to do something different.  The presentation was definitely not as pretty as JavaCupake’s but they were so delicious.  The balance between strawberry and lemon was perfect.  The strawberry hits your taste buds first and it’s sweet; then the lemon hits your taste buds and it’s like a party in your mouth, yum, yum…The buttercream had lemon in it as well.  Did I mention how much I love lemon?  I could have eaten the lemon buttercream with a spoon.  Izzie did (just one small spoonful) and she liked it.  It took two days to prepare the cupcakes.  When you have a 3 year old in the kitchen helping with every step it takes a bit longer but so worth it.  I love how much she loves baking.  And Daddy does too.  These cupcakes were a winner for him.

One thing I have realized is how difficult it can be to take a picture while helping Izzie pour and mix, etc.  I have also realized how much I really, really need a new camera.  My camera is literally falling apart but it still works.  I know, I know I apologize all the time for blurry, dark pictures.  I also have a lighting issue in my kitchen.  My kitchen and dining room requires a lot of sun, otherwise, it’s dark as night.  Anyway, until I grow more hands or work on my balancing act with taking pictures while I help Izzie, I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Izzie is ready to make cupcakes.

Seriously, could she be any more adorable?

First you need 4 cups strawberries, roughly chopped, 1 cup sugar, 2 Tbs. butter

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter.   Add the strawberries and coat with melted butter.   Stir in sugar and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until strawberries begin to reduce and a thick strawberry sauce is made.   Divide in half and then set aside to cool.

LET’S MAKE CUPCAKES

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp.), 2 cups sugar, zest of 1 lemon, 3 cups all-purpose flour, 3 tsp. baking powder, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, 4 eggs (room temp.), 2 tsp. vanilla, 3/4 cup milk, juice of 1/2 a lemon, half of the strawberry sauce

Pour the lemon zest into the bowl of sugar.

We want to work the lemon zest into the sugar which will release the oils from the zest.

You can use the back of a spatula or your fingers to work the zest into the sugar.

Don’t worry, her hands are clean:)

Keep working at it.

This process should take about five minutes, and the sugar will become very fragrant.

I was trying to edit this picture so you could see it better but oh well…It smelled amazing.

Cream the butter for 2-3 minutes using an electric mixer and the paddle attachment.

Add the sugar to the butter mixture and continue creaming until fluffy.

Sift together flour

baking powder

and salt

Sift at least twice to ensure all ingredients are combined.

Add eggs one at a time to butter and sugar, mixing thoroughly after each egg.

Izzie loves watching the eggs disappear into the batter.

use a measuring cup for your milk.

Add vanilla

And lemon juice

SLOWLY alternate adding the flour and milk mixture to the butter/sugar.  Begin and end with the flour and make sure to mix very well after each addition.

flour

milk mixture

flour

Don’t worry if the milk mixture looks curdled.  It’s from adding lemon to the milk.  But everything will turn out delicious, promise.

Last bit of flour

Scrape the sides of the bowl and fold in ½ the strawberries.  Do not over mix.  (Instead of folding in with a spatula, we used the paddle attachment on low speed, oops. they turned out fine though.)

And the batter is ready

I know pink isn’t exactly a Daddy’s  Day color but Izzie wanted pink and she said Daddy would love the pink.  On a side note,  my daughter is extremely flexible.

Line cupcake pans with 30 liners.

Fill liners 1/2 full with batter.  I find the easiest way to fill cupcake pans is with a measuring cup like this.  It’s less messy, and it’s especially helpful for cakes as well when you need to measure out the batter.

Bake for 13 minutes and rotate pan 180 degrees in oven. Bake another 3-6 minutes.  I use Teflon pans and my cupcakes don’t usually take as long  so just keep an eye on them.  You may have to adjust cooking time slightly.

Cool in pans for 10 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to completely cool.

I made some mini ones too.  Don’t they look cute.

LET’S MAKE THE BUTTERCREAM

Here’s what you’ll need:

2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp.), 2 lbs. (32 oz. bag) powdered sugar, 1/4-1/2 cup, zest of 1 lemon, juice from 1/2 a lemon, 1 tbsp. light corn syrup

In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter.

One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar.

Between each cup, add a splash of milk.

Mix until smooth and scrape down the sides after each addition.

Before the last cup of sugar, add the zest and juice of the lemon.  Mix until smooth.  Add the corn syrup.

Add any remaining milk until you get the texture and consistency you want.  Mix on high for 4-5 minutes.

Remove ½ the buttercream and set aside.  Add 5-7 drops of yellow food coloring to the remaining frosting and mix until it’s the color you want.  I didn’t have yellow food coloring but I had some Wilton’s pink concentrated paste .  Of course, Izzie thought pink was perfect.

We are ready to dress our cupcakes.

TO ASSEMBLE:

Strain the second half of the strawberries, reserving the juice for later.  Spoon a small dollop of strawberry on top of each cupcake.  Put half yellow (pink)/half white frosting into a pastry bag with a star tip and frost the cupcakes.  (I used a large zip lock bag instead of the pastry bag.)  Drizzle cupcakes with reserved strawberry juice.   Top with a fresh, clean strawberry.  (We left the strawberries off.)

I almost didn’t post the end result.  I helped Izzie ice the first cupcake but then she did the rest all by herself.  It took forever and she was so careful and concentrated because she wanted them to be perfect…and they were.  I’m kicking myself because I forgot to take a picture before we headed off to our Daddy’s Day dinner at Gigi’s house.  We had an issue with melting in the car:(

They still tasted delicious.  Izzie was so proud of her cupcakes.  She served everyone herself.

Noah loved his cupcake.

Check out the concentration on his face.  This cupcake eating is serious business.  He actually ate two.

Here’s the recipe without all the pictures, enjoy!

STRAWBERRY LEMONADE CUPCAKES recipe from javacupcake (If you want to see a beautiful presentation of these cupcakes click on the link)

Cupcakes:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sugar

Zest of one lemon

3 cups all-purpose flour

3 tsp baking powder

1 ½ tsp salt

4 large eggs, room temperature

2 tsp. vanilla

¾ cup milk

The juice of ½ a lemon

Strawberry Sauce:

4 cups strawberries, roughly chopped

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line cupcake pans with 30 liners.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter.  Add the strawberries and coat with melted butter.  Stir in sugar and cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until strawberries begin to reduce and a thick strawberry sauce is made.  Divide in half and then set aside to cool.

Prepare the sugar by working the lemon zest into sugar by pressing the back of a spatula down into sugar, thus releasing the oils from the zest into the sugar.  (We used our fingers.)  This process should take about five minutes, and the sugar will become very fragrant.

Cream the butter for 2-3 minutes using electric mixer and the paddle attachment.   Add the sugar to the butter mixture and continue creaming until fluffy.

While butter/sugar are creaming, in another bowl sift together flour, salt and baking powder and set aside. Sift at least twice to ensure all ingredients are combined.

Add eggs one at a time to butter and sugar, mixing thoroughly after each egg.

In a measuring cup that pours, mix together the milk, lemon juice and vanilla.

SLOWLY alternate adding the flour and milk mixture to the butter/sugar.  Begin and end with the flour and make sure to mix very well after each addition.

Scrape sides of the bowl and fold in ½ the strawberries.  Do not over mix.

Buttercream:

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 lbs (approx 8 cups) powdered sugar

1/4 -1/2  cup milk

Zest of ½ a lemon

Juice of ½ a lemon

1 tbsp light corn syrup

Directions:

In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, cream the butter.

One cup at a time, add the powdered sugar.  Between each cup, add a splash of milk.   Mix until smooth & scrape down the sides after each addition

Before the last cup of sugar, add the zest and juice of the lemon.  Mix until smooth.

Add the corn syrup.

Add any remaining milk until you get the texture and consistency you want.

Mix on high for 4-5 minutes.

Remove ½ the butter cream and set aside.  Add 5-7 drops of yellow food coloring to the remaining frosting and mix until it’s the color you want.

To Assemble:

Strain the second half of the strawberries, reserving the juice for later.

Spoon a small dollop of strawberry on top of each cupcake.

Put half yellow (pink)/half white frosting into a pastry bag with a star tip and frost the cupcakes.  (I used a large Ziploc bag in instead of the pastry bag.)

Drizzle cupcakes with reserved strawberry juice.

Top with a fresh, clean strawberry.

Posted by: bakingwithizzie | June 19, 2010

Izzie’s Banana Bread

I love banana bread.  Izzie loves banana bread too.  It’s one of the few things she’ll eat.  So I’ve been playing around with ingredients trying to fit everything healthy I can into her banana bread.

Ingredients you’ll need.  The only thing missing here is the vanilla yogurt.  Izzie was holding it hostage.

Closer picture of the honey I used.  I love this honey.  It’s delicious.  It’s raw.  It’s unfiltered.  It’s made in Michigan.  When I visit my parents in West Michigan I always make a stop at this great place called Anne’s Health Food Store.  I love everything they carry.  Anne’s organic spices/herbs are amazing and I always leave with some of her dried fruit (She uses cane sugar, Yum!)  She also has a spot in the back where she makes awesome smoothies.

Izzie used her new whisk from GiGi.

Whisking, whisking, whisking…This is after about 10 minutes of whisking.

I love Avocado.  It’s so versatile.

If everyone ate an Avocado the world would be a better place.

Bananas

Yogurt

Vanilla

(Usually I throw the bananas, yogurt and vanilla all in together, but Izzie was in charge and she wanted to add each one by itself:)

These strawberries look beautiful.  Did I mention I also love strawberries?  So does Izzie.  It’s one of two fruits I can get her to eat without disguising it.

Dry Ingredients

“That looks good.”

Time to bake

It smells amazing.

I let it cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before flipping it out.

The addition of strawberries made this bread oh-so-delicious!

 

Here’s the recipe…Enjoy!

Izzie’s Banana Bread

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour or a blend of both (I’m all about giving ya choices:)

1/4 cup ground flax seed

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup of organic honey

*2 eggs

1/2 cup mashed avocado

3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed

2 tablespoons vanilla yogurt or sour cream

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Set oven to 325 degrees F.  Line the bottom of two loaf pans with parchment paper or spray with non stick cooking spray

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, ground flax seed, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Set aside.

Beat honey and eggs with a hand mixer for five minutes.  If using a whisk, beat for about 10 minutes.  Since we’re using honey instead of sugar it’s not going to get too fluffy but it will turn light in color and texture. *if omitting eggs, beat honey and avocado until smooth.

Stir in mashed avocados.  Add mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla.  Fold in dry ingredients.  Pour into loaf pans and bake for about 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  *Honey will cause the top to brown more quickly so after 30 minutes cover the bread loosely with a foil tent.

Leave the loaves in the pans for about 15 minutes before flipping them out.  Let the loaves completely cool on a rack.

A few notes:

  • Reducing the oven temp to 325 degrees prevents the top from browning too fast.
  • I use a blended all-purpose/whole wheat flour mix
  • I like using organic honey.  Feel free to try different flavors and strengths.
  • Other things you can add to compliment the banana flavor are mashed strawberries, raspberries (my favorite), or grated zucchini.   Be sure to reduce the amount of bananas if adding one of these.  I have used 3 bananas and 3/4-1 cup mashed strawberries or raspberries, but you can make your own adjustments.
  • *Eggs act as a binder and gives the bread more fluff:)  However, in this recipe there are other ingredients, such as the ground flax seed, that act as a binder so by omitting the eggs you end up with a delicious bread that is slightly more dense and doesn’t rise quite as much.

 

Posted by: bakingwithizzie | April 23, 2010

COMING SOON!

COMING SOON!

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