Wednesday, March 4, 2015

EASY ANGEL FOOD CUPCAKES

Slight variations of this easy angel food cupcake recipe are all over the Internet, but look no further, todays post is DELICIOUS!!!

Even my picky-picky husband ate several of these this afternoon and he is NOT known to be big on snacking (so that is quite the thumbs up at our house).

The cupcake is super moist, ultra light and fluffy and definitely going (immediately) into my "make again soon" recipe box.


3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons caster sugar(divided)(see note below)
1/2 cup CAKE FLOUR  (no substitutions)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 egg whites (at room temperature) (see note below)
2 1/2 tablespoons warm water (not hot)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1   tablespoon lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350° and put paper cupcake liners in your cupcake pan (makes 18).

Sift together 1/2 cup castor sugar (reserve the rest) + 1/2 cup cake flour + salt and set this mixture aside. (*Make sure you use only 1/2 cup of the castor sugar in this step)

With electric mixer and a large bowl (I use my stand mixer), beat the egg whites, warm water, vanilla, lemon juice and 1/4 cup of the reserved caster sugar. Beat until its very foamy, then while the mixer is still going, sprinkle in the reserved final two tablespoons of caster sugar and beat on high till stiff peaks form. If you are using a hand mixer, this can take as long as 5 minutes, but I had stiff peaks in only 2-3 minutes with my stand mixer.

After egg white mixture reaches stiff peaks, turn mixer off and use a spatula to GENTLY FOLD IN the cake flour mixture (about 1/3 of it at a time).

Divide the batter (it will look like meringue) evenly between 18 cupcake papers. Stack the batter high above the top of the cupcake papers.

Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or till top is light golden. Remove from oven and cool in the pan. When they are completely cool to the touch  when you hold your hand against the underside of the cupcake pan.....then you can frost or top with whipped cream and berries.


NOTE:  If you do not have caster sugar(which is fine sugar but NOT powdered sugar) you can make it by putting it in the food processor for about 15 seconds. Just make sure you measure it AFTER it comes out of the food processor.
 
NOTE: To get "room temperature eggs", I put mine in a bowl and then cover them with (almost) hot tap water and let them sit for 15 minutes.
 
NOTE: Make sure you stack the batter in a well rounded mound above the top of the cupcake paper. When you first take them out of the oven, they will look tall, but they collapse as they cool so that the final cupcake is even with the top of the cupcake paper.
 
 
ENJOY !!!

Friday, February 27, 2015

SARAH LEE POUND CAKE CLONE

I don't know how many times I've tried one of those clone recipes and later thought..."close, but no cigar".  But this time, I've hit the mother lode.

Not only is this cake made from standard pantry staples, but it is rich, buttery and it has a very fine and velvety crumb, just like a Sarah Lee pound cake. I can think of a million great uses for this quick and easy cake, but I doubt it will last that long around here. I'm definitely going to be putting one of these beauties in the freezer for unexpected guests.

 
 
 
8 ounces butter at room temperature (no substitutions)
2 cups powdered sugar
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons sour cream
1 2/3 cups CAKE FLOUR  (important, no substitutes)
2 teaspoons lemon extract
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe calls for an 8 1/2" loaf pan. If you are using Pyrex, preheat your oven to 325°. If you are using a metal pan, preheat the oven to 350°. Spray the pan with cooking spray, then line it with parchment paper (or foil) and spray again.

Cream the butter and powdered sugar with an electric mixer on high speed for a full FIVE MINUTES.

Add one of the eggs and a couple spoons of the flour and beat another TWO MINUTES.

Add the 2nd egg and half of the remaining flour  and beat another TWO MINUTES.

Add the sour cream and the rest of the flour and the extracts, and beat another TWO MINUTES.

Spread the batter into the greased parchment paper lined loaf pan and bake  65 minutes or until a toothpick tests clean.

Cool in the pan (on a rack) for 20 minutes before you take it out of the pan.  Wrap the HOT pound cake snugly in plastic wrap and cool completely.
 

NOTES: It is important to use cake flour. With all of the mixing in this recipe, all purpose flour or bread flour wouldn't give you a very good cake.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

OLD FASHIONED CARAMEL FROSTING

This is one of those great old classic recipes that gets passed down from generation to generation because it is just SO delicious. It doesn't even need cake, I would be happy with a bowl of this frosting and a big spoon!! This frosting would be GREAT on ANY cake!!


A true caramel flavor, not that imitation caramel kind.

1/2 cup butter (no substitutions)
1 cup dark brown sugar (packed tight)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups powdered sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons milk

Melt the butter over medium low heat in a saucepan that has a heavy bottom (this helps the frosting not to scorch).

Add the dark brown sugar and stir well. Bring it up to full boil (stirring all the time)

Add the heavy cream (it will bubble up a little, so make sure your saucepan is big enough). Return to a boil (stirring) and boil for 30 seconds (keep stirring), then remove from the heat.

Pour this hot mixture into a stand mixer and add the sugar, vanilla, salt and 2 tablespoons milk (add sugar one cup at a time). Beat until well combined.

If the frosting seems a little thick, add the other 2 tablespoons of milk and beat well. (I always end up putting in all 4 tablespoons of milk for some reason).


This frosting is too creamy to use in a decorator bag, but it is perfect for sheet cakes, cupcakes, etc.

Keep in mind that this is a cooked frosting and it will "set up" after its completely cooled and be ALMOST fudgy in texture.

ENJOY !!!