Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Midweek Sightings: Halloween Edition

Saw these at my local Whole Foods. And bought them. Obviously. Most clever pumpkin decoration I ever saw. And the ghosties--I think their eyes are made out of chocolate covered sunflower seeds! They're so cute I almost don't care what they taste like. Almost. Lucky me--they are delicious. The chocolate cake is a little bitter, like a sour cream cake, which I love. And a good ratio of frosting to cake. And also, SPOOKY CATS! IN FRONT OF FULL MOONS! So cute!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting

Happy Birthday to my Prima! (2 days ago)

She's not a particularly spooky kid, but the past few years she's embraced the fact that her birthday is in the same month as Halloween and she's asked for Halloween-themed cakes. This year was a little different--she was more interested in the flavor of the cake than the decorations. 12-year old brain waves, I'm saying. She likes the combination of pumpkin and chocolate, so I took components of two other recipes and mashed them together. The Pumpkin Cupcakes were really pretty delicious (that was me surprised, because this isn't one of my usual recipe sources--the only alteration I made to the recipe was in baking time, baked each batch of cupcakes for 20 minutes). Light tasting, not muffin-y at all. Which actually turned out to be a little bit of a problem because the Fudge Frosting (a recipe I've used before) was pretty rich and the cupcakes couldn't really compete. The pumpkin got...well...overpowered by the chocolate. Not always (or necessarily) a bad thing. But, I would have liked for them to have been evenly matched. If I were to make something like this again, I would make a milk chocolate frosting. I think that would match the pumpkin flavor without being too much.

TGIP Rating--Pumpkin Cupcakes--KEEPER. A super easy, but not heavy, fall treat. Probably also yummy with the cream cheese frosting in the recipe. Will have to try.

Next up: EVEN MORE pumpkin. One of the few recipes I never tried in the first BAKED book is the Pumpkin Whoopie Cookies. I'm on it.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pumpkin Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candied Hazelnuts

This. Is the easiest "fancy" cake you'll ever make. Here's persuasion: I made it while drinking (which is also why there's only one photo...I...forgot to take pix). A lot. With friends who are awesomely distracting. So, if I can do that, you can make it while sober and undistracted. You can find the recipe here.

This. Is also about the best way to usher in Fall. Spicy, pumpkin-y, nutty. So so delicious. Before it's refrigerated (which it will have to be if you don't eat it all in one sitting), the cake is fluffy and light and has a perfect texture (it gets a little more dense BUT STILL DELICIOUS after refrigeration). The frosting is lovely. A little tangy, a little sweet. To tell you the truth I have no idea how much powdered sugar I added, I just kept adding until the consistency looked "right". So. But the best part. The candied hazelnuts. I didn't do them exactly right. Didn't let the sugar boil long enough to dissolve, so it was still a little grainy. And yet still amazing. Spicy and crunchy. And stayed crunchy after refrigeration. Amazingly good. Truly.

TGIP Rating--PCCw/CCF&CH (it's a long name for a recipe, right?!)--KEEPER. I will make this again. And probably often. Maybe even for our Thanksgiving dessert extravaganza. Notes for ME: a half recipe of frosting was perfect for 3-layers; next time do the candied hazelnuts RIGHT. A note for YOU: DO toast your spices. Even if only to make your house smell delicious for two days.

Next up: More pumpkin. Prima has requested Pumpkin Cupcakes with Fudge Frosting for her birthday (12!). So, I'm on the hunt for a good pumpkin cake (not pumpkin carrot) recipe. If you have one, fling it my way. And I want it to be cake-y, not muffin-y.