TWD: milk chocolate mini bundt cakes

For this week's TWD recipe, Kristin of I'm Right About Everything chose Milk Chocolate Mini Bundt Cakes.

I'm all for mini desserts - I got a mini cupcake pan for Christmas and have used it 5 or 6 times already. But I don't have a mini bundt cake pan (although they do look super cute). I have to draw the line somewhere and Mr. LITK simply wouldn't tolerate many more baking supplies!

I made half of the recipe and baked it in two ramekins. At one point I thought they were going to overflow, but they fell in on themselves a little bit and turned out just fine. The cake was light and moist... although I have to say, I prefer a regular chocolate cake to milk chocolate. The only problem I had was with the glaze. I should have just used the melted chocolate chips, but the recipe calls for the addition of light corn syrup. When I added the corn syrup I wound up with more of a fudge texture. I tried microwaving it a little longer but no luck. So I just plopped a scoop of chocolate on top of each cake. Next time I'd stick with the melted chocolate. And sorry for the terrible picture quality... Mr. LITK and I have recently discovered "24" and started watching it with Season 1 (thank you Netflix!) so I was a little distracted...


TWD: cocoa-nana bread

Banana bread is a staple in the LITK home. Well actually, banana bread muffins. I make them regularly as an easy grab-and-go breakfast. And I always ALWAYS add chocolate chips! So I was surprised when I read the P&Q this week and learned that lots of TWD bakers were trying to figure out what to sub in for the bananas! Really?! Chocolate and banana is a winning combo in my book. Remember those chocolate covered frozen bananas? Yum.

The other great thing about this recipe? I had all the ingredients already. Frozen bananas in the freezer? Check. Cocoa powder? Check. Semi-sweet chocolate? Checkity-check. One thing I did sub was applesauce for the stick of butter. But I almost always use applesauce in place of butter or oil (sometimes even for eggs) in things like banana bread. Keeps it moist and helps reduce the fat and calories.

The bread was rich and chocolately. I used two large bananas, which gave it just enough banana flavor. I think I could have baked it just a little less because the sides and bottom were a little overdone... but the inside was moist and delicious! Overall this was a great alternative to standard banana bread! Be sure to check out Obsessed with Baking for the quick and easy recipe!

TWD (belated): chocolate oatmeal almost-candy bars

So I'm a week late in posting these... I even had them made ahead of time! But work was crazy last week and before I knew it Tuesday had come and gone without a post. Le sigh. These had the potential to be delicious... a combination of oatmeal cookie crust, creamy chocolate center, and more oatmeal cookie on top. While they turned out ok, I definitely was unprepared...

I halved the recipe and made it in an 8" pan. Mistake #1 was that I forgot to add the egg to the cookie layer. So instead of a nice oatmeal cookie (I left out the peanuts) I got more of an oatmeal crumble. I tasted ok, but was on the dry side. Mistake #2 was that I didn't have an sweetened condensed milk. Which I didn't realize until I was in the middle of baking on Sunday night. So I thought I'd try using regular milk and sugar. I figured half the amount of milk would be ok. But then I forgot I was already halving the recipe... so my milk, sugar, and chocolate chips turned into hot chocolate. And I was out of chocolate chips. Then, in the back of the cabinet, I discovered some mini chocolate chips. Not quite enough, but it would have to do. I added just a splash of milk, some sugar, and peanut butter to make it a little thicker and creamier. I then stirred in the raisins and chopped almonds. It was yummy, but they definitely could have used more filling.

All in all not bad, but definitely not as good as they could have been! Check out Confectiona's Realm for the recipe and the TWD blogroll for some more more successful outcomes!


MSC: Coconut Cupcakes

After missing the December MSC pick (Gingerbread cupcakes - yum!) I am back in action with January's cupcake - coconut. The cupcake itself has finely ground shredded coconut and coconut milk, while the frosting calls for coconut extract. I didn't have coconut milk or extract and we're on a little bit of a budget in the LITK household... so I used regular milk and added extra shredded coconut to the batter. I made a simple vanilla buttercream for the frosting and topped them with more shredded coconut. I only made 1/4 of the recipe and I got 12 mini cupcakes out of it. The cupcakes were really moist with a nice coconut flavor. Mr. LITK gave them a rave review -- he said these are the best cupcakes I've ever made! You just can't go wrong with Martha.

Thanks to Jen from
Cinema Cupcakes for a great pick! You can find the recipe on pages 28-29 of Martha Stewart's Cucpakes. Up next month - s'mores cupcakes!


TWD: Mrs. Vogel's Scherben

This week's TWD had me a little nervous. Mrs. Vogel's Scherben is kind of like little pieces of funnel cake. Except not quite as sweet and not as light and flaky. But fried none the less.

My concern stems from an incident last year... a kitchen blunder of sorts. Let's just say I was trying to fry something (I can't even remember what now!) and nearly set the kitchen on fire. There were flames. And they were several feet tall (ok, maybe more like a foot, but pretty scary). I nearly burned the heck out of the kitchen as well as my arm. It was no good, no good at all. I haven't tried to fry anything since!

Had I read the P&Q this week, I probably would have tried the baking method suggested by several other bakers. But I didn't, so frying it was! The dough is simple and came together quickly. It does have to chill twice, so I made it last night and let it sit in the fridge until this evening. The only problem I ran into was that I put my dough on wax paper... and it stuck! I had to scrape my pieces off, so they didn't exactly turn out as beautifully as Dorie's! But they still tasted pretty good. Nice and crispy, especially when they cool. The dough was pretty bland, so it needed lots of cinnamon and sugar.

Thanks to Teanna of
Spork of Foon? for this week's pick! The recipe is posted on her blog - which is super cute.


TWD: Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake

Happy 2010!

Two years ago this week, Laurie of Slush posted about a fabulous cookbook she received for Christmas. She decided to bake her way through the book, one recipe at a time, and she asked if anyone wanted to join her. What started out as a few bloggers chatting about recipes and comparing tips and tricks has evolved into a huge online baking group. Although I've only been baking along for a few months now, it's been a lot of fun and has inspired me to try things in the kitchen that I might not have otherwise! It's also inspired me to want to learn to take better photos... something I'll talk about in an upcoming post!

So happy birthday
Tuesdays with Dorie! And thanks to Laurie for a fabulous idea and the dedication and enthusiasm to share it with the rest of us! I think it just goes to show that you never know how far something you start can reach... an inspiring thought for the year ahead.

For this week's recipe, Laurie picked two (based on votes from the group) and allowed us to choose which one we wanted to try. Although Tarte Tatin sounds oh-so-french and fabulous (especially since I just watched Julie and Julia last weekend!) I had to go with the Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake. It's just so appropriate for a celebration and for ringing in the new year.

I made only a quarter of the recipe... which made 12 mini cupcakes. I got a mini cupcake pan for Christmas (thanks, Mom!) and was looking for any excuse to try it out. And frankly I just love mini desserts. Why is it that eating two or three mini desserts feels so much better for you than one full size dessert?! The cake turned out light and fluffy, but a little crumbly. The recipe calls for a chocolate malt frosting, which sounds delish, but I didn't have any malted milk powder. So I whipped up a quick peanut butter buttercream instead. Chocolate and pb is a favorite combination in the LITK household! The cupcakes turned out great... although I just might have eaten most of them myself.

TIP: I didn't have any buttermilk, so I tried a tip I've read on several blogs. I poured a little white vinegar in my measuring cup, then filled it to the needed level with milk. I let that sit for about 10 minutes while I did the rest of the mixing. Buttermilk is just curdled milk, and the acidity is the vinegar apparently creates the same reaction! (I've also read you can use lemon juice... to make one cup of "buttermilk" use 1 T.vinegar or lemon juice and fill to the one cup line with milk!) It worked like a charm... and much easier than keeping buttermilk on hand.