Baking               Cake Decorating               Tutorials              

Monday, October 20, 2014

Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins






Muffins are a breakfast that I have always loved. They are portable and they fit in my tiny hand so well. Based on taste preference there are many varieties to choose from so there is one out there for everyone. Otis Spunkmeyer muffins were frequently eaten by me walking to class during my college days.

These Chocolate Chip Strawberry muffins are a great way to start the day on the go and go great with a glass of milk. They are like a chocolate covered strawberry in a muffin. The insides are moist, while the outside has a little crunch to it like a muffin should be. The mix of strawberries and chocolate in this muffin make it a sweet treat that isn't overpowering.





I got the strawberries used in this recipe from the berry farm here in Washington state. We are blessed to have a lot of organic and locally grown food here, where most things are fresh from the ground. These were the last of the berries from the season. 





Chocolate Chip Strawberry Muffins

Yield- 12 muffins


Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter (melted)
2  eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh strawberries (diced into bite sized pieces)
1/2 cup Nestle milk chocolate morsels



Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 count muffin pan with cupcake liners or spray the cups with a non-stick bakers spray.


1. In a microwave safe bowl melt the stick of butter and let cool to room temperature.
2. Using a stand mixer on low speed combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt
3. In a medium sized bowl whisk together the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla extract.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients on low speed. (do not overmix)
5. Sprinkle a little flour onto the diced strawberries (so they won't sink) and fold into the mixture.
6. Fold the milk chocolate morsels into the mixture
7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups
8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire wracks.






Notes:

Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days and refrigerated for 5 days.

To freeze place in zip loc freezer bags

Recipe adapted from Joy of Baking. I love watching her YouTube videos.


I hope that you all have a great week. What is your favorite muffin flavor?


Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Sunday, October 19, 2014

List Love Sunday



I hope that you all are having  a great weekend. The rain has started heavily here in Washington state and the sun is getting sparse. I am enjoying these last few weeks of nice weather before the winter hits. Here are some of my favorite links and things of the week.

  • The pecan waffles in the picture above are from The Original Pancake House.  They are my favorite. The homemade butter and syrup to go along with it are the cherry on top.
  • GlamTwinz Vlogs are entertaining to watch. I look forward to viewing them each week. 
  • I'm rewatching all of the  Criminal Minds seasons now via Netflix. I'm a fan for life.

Have a great Sunday. What were your favorite links or things of the week?

Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Friday, October 17, 2014

How To Make a Mini Cake Stand



Mini cake stands are a cute and dainty way of displaying your favorite mini desserts. Mini cake stands are hard to find, but white ones are even harder to find. I spent a week looking in stores for one. After not much success I decided to make my own. For just $5.00 (I already had a glue gun) I made the mini cake stand above and now you will be able to with this tutorial.





Mini Cake Stand Supplies:

7.5 inch plate (Dollar General)
Small ramekin (Target)
Glue gun




Directions:

1. Place the plate face down
2. Place the ramekin on top the plate right side up
3. Make a dot on the plate with a marker where the edge of the ramekin is
4. With glue gun place a couple of glue dots on the center of the back of the plate
5. With your glue gun place glue around the edges of the ramekin
6. Place ramekin right side up on the upside down plate and press for a few seconds to secure (Once dry you may have to go back and fill in the gaps with glue)
7. Let dry for an hour
8. Enjoy your mini cake stand for years to come







Here is another variation of a mini cake stand that I made. The plate has beading as the border and the ramekin has horizontal lines. What is your favorite way to display mini desserts? Have a great weekend.


Notes:
Have fun with your mini cake stand. It can be used as a display or to plate your favorite dessert.

If you make a mini cake stand using this tutorial #savorthebakingtutorials on Instagram.

The recipe for the cupcake in the photo (vanilla cupcakes with chocolate cream cheese frosting) is here.


Savor The Baking,
Chineka



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

My Cake Decorating Workspace



My cake decorating workspace is a corner of our apartment that I turned into a place of inspiration. It all began with buying the ottoman and putting it near the window. I wanted a makeshift window seat and this works well. I can sit here for hours comfortably, while working on a current cake decorating project.

I made the cork board design above by cutting cork board squares into shapes and painting them. The cork board has things that inspire me on it such as cards given to me, quotes, and some pictures of  me with people that inspire me. My husband and I are in the middle picture.





When working, I try to keep my workspace neat. Here are just a few things that I always have out while working on a project. My self-healing cutting mat helps me out a lot. I use the built in ruler often to cut straight or angled lines with an xacto knife. The color wheel helps me find complimentary colors and color combinations.




A notebook is always kept near me just in case an idea pops into my head. I love the dress and the quote "Be Fabulous" on the cover of this notebook. Along with my xacto knife is my favorite  tool, the ball tool, which  I use all the time. It is handy in creating things like ruffles or thinning out gumpaste flower petals.




The current cake topper that I am working on is a bridal dress. Here is a close up of the bottom of the dress. The ruffles, which are made of gumpaste, are very thin and delicate. I have the cake topper placed on a piece of floral foam so I can easily move it around until completed.

I hope that you have enjoyed this post. Where is your workspace or a place that you are inspired by?

Notes:

This post is in collaboration with WeWork, a company that provides work spaces and other amenities for small businesses. Click on the link to see if they have a location near you. There is even one near me in Seattle and the space looks so cozy and inviting.

Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vanilla Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting






They are simple in flavor, but pack a big bang. I don't know anyone who doesn't love a classic vanilla cupcake. It can  simply be transformed by changing the flavor of the frosting or adding a filling. These vanilla cupcakes are simple to make, but taste like you spent hours baking them. The batter is thick and the flavor is undeniable.  




The chocolate cream cheese frosting is rich, but not overpowering. I'm not a big fan of chocolate frostings, but I love this one. I think the velvety texture of the cream cheese has something to do with it. It also adds to how smooth the frosting consistency is.

These cupcakes would be great for any occasion, such as a birthday party or any event that you have to take a dessert to. 


Vanilla Cupcakes:

Yield - 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
1 egg (room temperature)
2 egg yolks (room temperature)
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup 2% milk


Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

Yield - Frosts 12 cupcakes

1 8-ounce package cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder


Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 12-count muffin pan with cupcake liners. 

For the cupcakes:
1. Allow butter, egg, and egg yolks to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.  If using vanilla bean, use a small sharp knife to scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean; set seeds aside. In a small bowl stir together flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Using a stand mixer and paddle attachment beat butter on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar, beating on medium to high speed for 1 minute. Scrape sides of bowl. Add egg, egg yolks, vanilla bean seeds (or the 1 teaspoon vanilla extract), and the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract; beat until combined. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to butter mixture, beating on low speed after each addition just until combined (batter will be thick).

3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out batter in cups

4. Bake about 20 minutes for 21/2-inch cupcakes (about 15 minutes for 1 3/4-inch cupcakes) or until a wooden toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in muffin cups on wire racks for 5 minutes. Remove cupcakes from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire racks. 


For the frosting:
1. In stand mixer using paddle attachment beat butter and cream cheese on low to medium speed until smooth. Add cocoa powder and vanilla; beat until blended. Gradually beat in 2 cups of granulated sugar and the milk.    




Notes:

Please do not microwave your butter to speed up the process of it coming to room temperature. Let it happen naturally. If you are impatient try doing a task until the butter softens. It only takes 30 minutes

Can be stored in an airtight container for 3 days and refrigerated for 5 days. 

Recipes adapted from bhg.com

I hope that you enjoy these cupcakes. Let me know if you make them. 

Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Sunday, October 12, 2014

List Love Sunday



There were a lot of interesting things to explore on the internet this week. My week was varied with busy days and relaxing. With Columbus Day among us it will most likely be  a four day weekend for many. Take time to have fun and enjoy the little things in life.



  • This story of bravery is so inspiring. It says so much about life and death. 

  • What this cake artist does with cake is mind boggling. Creating realistic looking cakes is in the blood of Debbie Does Cakes. 

  • I have been watching Julie G's Vlogtober videos on YouTube everyday. She is so positive and is a great role model for women. 

  • Sally's Baking Blog is a blog of all things sugary and sweet. The blog also has a great section on food photography and baking tips. It's a great resource to have for food bloggers. 

  • Sunflowers are my favorite flower. Now I can make Gumpaste Sunflowers thanks to this YouTube tutorial. 

  • I hope to find some riding boots like this for Fall at a much cheaper price. They are the perfect combination of style and comfort. A shopping trip is in order. 


I hope you all enjoyed this weeks List Love Sunday and were inspired by some great reads.

Savor The Baking,
Chineka

Friday, October 10, 2014

Cake Design Inspiration: Dental Chair Graduation Cake

Image from Pink Cake Box

I was on YouTube earlier this week and came across this cake from Pink Cake Box. I was amazed at what I saw. The detail in this cake is pretty awesome. The chair is stitched and the sugar tools are sharp and shiny. This cake was made for a dental school graduate. 

The light even shines bright just like in the dental office and the face cloth looks like the real thing. For all of you who don't like going to the dentist this is a way to go without having to face any of the pain...lol.

For more detailed photos of this cake visit Pink Cake Boxes blog post by clicking on the link above. 

Here is the video of the cake:




I hope that you were inspired in some way by this blog post. I know that I was. Have a great weekend.

Savor The Baking,
Chineka