Two best friends, baking and blogging across the miles

Thursday, March 31, 2011

B is for Boston...Cream Pie!

For the past few weeks my mind has been plagued with making graduate school decisions. Where I want to go, where I don't, and sending out many letters with these decisions. It hasn't been very easy, as all these decisions entail leaving my loved ones and everything that is familiar to me. At the same time, I feel a sense of excitement when I think about all the goods things that await me, no matter where I'll be. And in the past few days, the school that I applied to in Boston has definitely been the frontrunner. It's a great school in a great place, and when my dad and I went to visit I loved everything about it: the history, Irish pubs on every corner, and the beautiful harbor. So, in honor of my (maybe) new home in the fall, I made Boston Cream Pie!
I found this recipe on a Paula Deen forum, adapted from a Paula Deen recipe for BCP cupcakes
-1 box of yellow cake mix, 1 1/2 cups of heavy whipping cream, 1 small box of instant vanilla pudding mix, 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup milk, 1/4 cup sour cream
Chocatate Ganache:
-6 1 oz. squares of bittersweet chocate, 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, 2 cups confectioners sugar
1. Mix and bake 2 round cakes according to directions on the box. Cool completely.2. In a large bowl mix together pudding, whipping cream, sugar, milk and sour cream. Beat at medium speed until you get stiff peaks. Consitency shoud be that of thick pudding.

3. Cut top off one of cakes to get flat surface. Cover top of cut cake with filling and put second cake on top.

4. Make the chocolate ganache: use double boiler and melt chocate and cream together. Stir regularly so chocolate won't burn. Once smooth whisk in sugar and continue until smooth. Put ganache in fridge until it is spreadable consistency (about 30 mins)
5. Spread ganache on cake and store in fridge.

This was surprisingly easy to make! My only issue was that the second cake, the one on the top, craked in the middle when I placed it on there, but that's something I think I could have fixed with a different kind of cake mix (maybe less moist) or more careful handling. The amount of chocolate ganache the recipe made was also a bit more than I expected, but when we ate the dessert it wasn't overpowered by chocolate. In all, a very successful venture. Now if only understanding Boston accents was as easy...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Offically On Board with the Mango Tango

I took ballroom dancing lessons in high school and learned how to tango. But up until today I'd never tried a mango. I'd had a strawberry mango smoothie but I'd never just eaten a mango. And boy was it delish.

Okay, so what if they're sitting on the washer. There was no other free space!!

So after my first taste of mango, I went on to make mango cupcakes using....*GASP* a boxed mix as my basis. I initally did not want to use the box mix. I wanted to make a yellow cake batter and add in the mango.  But the recipe promised, that with a few modifications I wouldn't be able to taste the "storebought fake sweet taste". So I thought I'd try it. Now, if I'd been smart I would have made 1 batch of cupcakes with the box and one compeltely from scratch and then asked people which they prefered. But I'd didn't plan ahead so I'll have to try that experiment later. Perhaps, with chocolate mini cupcakes.

So, for the cupcakes you mix together one yellow cake box mix with 4 eggs, 1/3 cup canola oil and 3/4 cup of buttermilk and 1 cup of mashed mango, instead of the ingredients/amounts that the box called for. Bake at 350  for 15 minutes and let cool while you make the frosting.

The frosting called for 4 oz cream cheese, 1/4 cup of butter 4-6 cups of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of half and half. I left out the half and half and ran out of powdered sugar after adding in 2 cups, so I stuck a cup or so of granualted sugar in the blender and it let it run until the sugar was powdered...TADA (okay, I tried smashing it to bits before dragging out the blender but it was slow going). I also added in about 4-5 tablespoons of manjo juice. I don't have an accurate measurement because I just squeezed the mango into the frosting bowl until it looked like there was enough.

And I ended up with maybe a cup of leftover frosting that I'm looking for a recipe to use them on. I'm thinking it'd be good on bity chocolate cupcakes, but since I don't have anything but chocolate chips I think I might try making an amish cake and topping it withe frosting instead of the brown sugar and nuts it called for...or maybe cinnamon rolls? What do you think?

I'm glad I added in the juice because it really added a nice mango punch to the cupcakes, which on their on had a very subtle sweet fruity flavor. The juice made a wonderful difference, and gave the frosting a pale yellow color.

Mike and I both have cupcakes to take to work tomorrow!

I liked the cupcakes and will probabbly make them again, but maybe add in some more mango and possibly some rum/ rum extract. And oh, this made 24 cupcakes!

If you want to see the original recipe you can find it here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mango Tango!

I don't know how to tango...but nothing else rhymes with mango! I've had a pretty rough week, with a very full schedule and a pesky little cold that snuck up on me. But a bright spot in all of it...get this: buying a mango! I absolutely adore mangos; the color, the sweetness and how much easier it makes healthy eating. I'm not sure how Rach feels about them, but I found this fabulous little recipe for Mango Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (of course there's cream cheese in it)...and I think I might just make this her next challenge! I got the recipe from Of course, in case mangos can't be found/aren't desired, I'm willing to accept any cupcake recipe involving a fruit ;)

Best of luck, Rach!