Monday, October 27, 2008

Tuesdays With Dorie: Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes + Happy Birthday, Dear Gabby

This week's TWD is Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes, chosen by Clara of IHeartFoodForThought. I hope I am within the bounds of TWD rules by letting you know that I made this recipe in September, for my daughter's first birthday. Overall, these cupcakes were a success, mostly thanks to the awesome ganache frosting. The cake part was not the best ever, but not too bad, either. It would work just fine in a pinch, I guess you could say. Since I have a phobia about the potential for dry cakes, I always add a smidge more liquid (especially if it's buttermilk) and a bit less flour than called for. I guess you can say that I don't buy that whole baking as a precise science school of thought. It seems like this additional buttermilk and a touch less flour make for a more moist interior. As you can see, these cupcakes turned out to be a hit, as evidenced by Gabby's face-plant into her cupcake.

I intended to post about these chocolate chocolate cupcakes on Gabby's birthday, which is in September, but I'm so behind the eight-ball, what with this move and all. But we're getting settled in and with a little luck, I won't be 6 weeks behind in my posting in the future! Happy first birthday, my darling Gabriella. You've taught David and I so much in the short time you've been with us. We joyously look forward to seeing the person you grow into.

For the full recipe, please visit Clara's site or find it in "Baking: From My Home To Yours", by Dorie Greenspan. Please visit the TWD blogroll to check out all the beautiful cupcakes.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Tuesdays with Dorie: Pumpkin Muffins

This week's TWD was chosen by Kelly, of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp; the recipe can be found either on her blog, or in Baking: From My Home To Yours, by Dorie Greenspan. These pumpkin muffins sound promising, but I do not really care much for pumpkin. Every Thanksgiving, I bypass the often soggy pumpkin pies in favor of the other pies, those lovingly dotted with pecans, chocolate, or apples. So, why did I make this recipe, then, you might be wondering? Truth be told, I stumbled over a can of pumpkin in the kitchen, which is still a disaster, now going on two weeks status post move to New Jersey. Our place is a wreck, littered with half opened moving boxes and takeout food containers. But I unpacked a long forgotten can of pumpkin and instantly realized this week's TWD was kismet. Unfortunately, these muffins confirmed all my suspicions about pumpkin. But perhaps it's not the recipe, which seemed to garner many upturned thumbs on the TWD message board. I doctored it, trying to make it more healthy. See, I'm on a health kick, because I started eating oatmeal every morning for breakfast. So, I swapped a half cup of the all purpose flour the recipe calls for with a half cup of whole wheat flour. I also added flax seeds to the mix and used a bit less sugar than called for, and all brown sugar, at that, too. Lastly, since I haven't unpacked any sunflower seeds, yet, I decided to crush up some pistachios instead for the topping, thinking it might be a nice touch of green to the tops. Given all my changes, I thought the muffins turned out mediocre. They are what they are is how my husband would put it. The pumpkin flavor is subtle, they aren't overly sweet, so it's a good choice for breakfast, and boy do those flax seeds pack an Omega 3 punch! My husband, on the other hand, loathed the muffins. In fact, here is our conversation:

Me: "Try one."
David: (with mouth full) "These are dense and flavorless."
Me: "HEY! I worked hard on those! Just because I didn't follow the recipe and they're not loaded with white sugar, you don't like them!"
David: "No, I don't like them because it looks like you crushed an avocado on top."
Me: "hmph! I'm happy that the Red Sox lost!"

Please visit the TWD blogroll to see the other members' creations. Next week: Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes. Thanks!

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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

TWD - Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake

It has been a long, long time since I lasted chatted with you all in the cyber world. Like Shirlie -- life has been unbelievably busy. Funny how we both ended up moving in the same month and both ended up in kitchens that are not our own. Shirlie is in the process of moving to her new place at the moment, and I am still here with my in-laws for a few more months while my new house is being built. Good news on that front -- they start framing the house tomorrow!

Shirlie has been picking up the slack for me lately, so I promised her I would be in charge of the Tuesday's with Dorie post this week. (Thanks to my friend Becca who let me take over her kitchen to make the cake!)

This week's TWD challenge, hosted by Tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy, was a Caramel Peanut Topped Brownie Cake. Brownies and peanuts! I had high hope for this dessert. Unfortunately, I was not impressed. I am sure part of it was my fault. Not sure exactly what I did wrong, but I did not think this cake was worth the calories. My cake baked up like a bowl -- the edges rose, but the middle didn't. And, it was dry. The caramel helped, and perhaps a scoop of ice cream would of helped more, but overall the cake tasted more like cake than brownie -- which is not what I was expecting.

So, no ringing endorsement for this cake here, but it looks like other TWD members had better luck, so please go check them out .

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