Monday, April 27, 2009

Chocolate Wrapped C*O*W

I dropped in on my friend/decorating teacher’s class last week, Dawn, from Desserts by Dawn. They were doing a really cool cake. A chocolate wrapped cake! It looked simple enough. So I tried it, but of course hers was much better than what I ended up with. My stenciling was all smeared and terrible looking – don’t know if I’ll be trying this again!

At least the cake tasted good. I made a strawberry cake, and filled it with home made strawberry filling. It was frosted with the Hershey’s Famous Chocolate Frosting recipe that is my favorite. It was wrapped in dark chocolate stenciled with white chocolate, and then topped with chocolate covered strawberries. Sounds much more impressive than it looked. I think I will do something simple next weekend. The following weekend will be a lemon cake for Rhonda’s birthday, so I’ll rest up for that one.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Chocolate Caramel C*O*W

This week's COW is a Hershey's Chocolate Caramel cupcake. A little bit of the center of this lucious chocolate cake is scooped out and then filled with homemade caramel, and chocolate bits, which get all all melty and gooey. Then I frosted them with a generous swirl of homemade Hershey's chocolate frosting, and sprinkled with sugar. YUM!

Very time consuming, about 3 hours! The caramel was fussy. It was a recipe from the old Not Bashful About Butter blog, and I am sure there was an error on the instructions. The blog no longer exixts - so I did my best! It tasted good, more like an Almond Roca toffee taste than caramel, but I liked that part. It was just a strange consistency.

I made a double batch of "Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Frosting" so I could frost liberally, and still could have used more.

So, they are packed up for sharing tomorrow with 2 offices . . . we'll see how these rate!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Black Bean Brownies . . . .

. . . really!
If you've been following along, you might remember that I said for this week I had something "interesting". I had to try them . . . almost all of the reviews I read raved about them. Brownies made with a can of black beans! Yep - that's it!

One box of brownie mix and one can of black beans. I used a Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge brownie mix. Drain one can of black beans (appx. 15 oz, can), and refill can not quite all the way with water. Blend in a food processor until smooth and add to a bowl contianing the brownie mix. Don't follow the directions - meaning don't add water, oil or the egg. I did, though, add walnuts . Stir until everything is incorporated. Bake in an 8x8 inch pan for 50 minutes at 325 degrees, and voila!

Very tall brownies, moist and sort of fudge-y, and no taste of beans!

Then I tried one from a Splenda cook book and wasn't quite as thrilled. They were very short, maybe half an inch tall. I didn't care for the taste of the Splenda, but if the choice was to do without of eat one, I for sure eat one. Let's see what Jane thinks . . . .
** Taster's Follow Up **
The sugar-free Splenda brownies got 2 thumbs up! After thinking about this, though, I wonder if the cocoa I used has sugar in it? Does all Dutched cocoa? Hmmmmm . . . this in my mind would make them not sugar free. More research needed.
The other batch was very well received, too, and no one has complained about any bean flavor. "Moist", "chewy", and "fudgey" were the comments I heard. No "other" sounds noted, either .
I had debated about telling people there were beans in the recipe, but I decided to mention it (note: it did not seem to stop anyone from tryng them!) - and it was a good thing. One taster said it causes gout to flare-up. I am really glad I came clean with the ingredients.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Italian Cream C*O*W

This cupcake-of-the-week is called Italian Cream, from the book Cupcakes: From the Cake Mix Doctor. So, still a Boxacana cupcake. It is a vanilla cake lovingly blended with coconut and chopped pecans, frosted with coconut cream cheese frosting and topped with sprinkled coconut and a pecan half. These were tasty! “These are your best yet!” was one of my taster’s comments.

I have in interesting idea for this next week - stay tuned . . . .