Magnolia Cupcakes: Vanilla on Vanilla

When my friends Jodi and Ellie surprised me with a mother-load of magnolia cupcakes on my birthday, I couldn’t have been happier.

Then, Ellie gave me the Magnolia cookbook as a gift 🙂

So what did I do?

I made cupcakes.

After eating all the leftovers from my birthday, I made a new batch for my sister’s boyfriend’s sister’s wedding shower (a little confusing but you got it right?).

I decided to multiply the recipe ingredients by 1.5 to make 36 cupcakes.

It must have been my lucky day. Because I think my mini muffin trays are smaller than normal, I was able to make 48 mini cupcakes plus 5 regular cupcakes – woah.

The 5 big ones went to my boyfriend – it was his lucky day too. And all the rest, aside from a few that were eaten along the way, were sent to the shower.

Once again, these took me too long to make. I need to get more piping bags!

They were worth the wait though, and they were a huge hit – obviously.

One last picture.

By the way, these are vanilla cupcakes with vanilla buttercream.

You can find the recipe here.

Enjoy!

Yours edibly,

Elana

Almond Macarons with Vanilla Buttercream

I wish I had known before making these macarons that they would take me four hours to complete. 4 HOURS!

My day was totally shot – but, I think they turned out pretty well. So I am happy 🙂

I started off these macarons by whisking egg whites with granulated sugar until the mixture formed stiff peaks.

Not quite there yet…

That’s better.

Next, I folded the almond flour and icing sugar in with the mixture.

And then I had the batter – so easy!

You’re probably wondering why it took me so long to make these now that you realize there are only four ingredients in the batter.

Well it is mainly because of this next step…

The piping!

And the baking part. Due to some oven technicalities, I could only bake one tray at a time and I had three trays.

So after I finished all these macarons, I started making the vanilla butter cream – also pretty easy, just got sort of complicated when I decided to use four different coloured buttercreams with one piping bag.

Blue was my second favourite colour. Yellow was my third.

Green was my least fave because the buttercream curdled and I didn’t save it in time.

If you look closely you can tell the green buttercream curdled…

Hopefully everyone at my Passover seder will be too drunk to notice.

Pink was my fave colour. It also curdled but I saved it! Poor green, I just didn’t make it in time.

By the way, I made these lovely burgers for my Passover seder.

I will be serving them as an entrée.

My fave!

Things that went wrong:

  • Green and pink buttercream curdled – I saved the pink buttercream by heating it over a double boiler and whisking rapidly until it smoothed out – it turned out better than before!
  • I dropped my metal piping tip into the garburator – it’s okay, I fished it out.
  • I got buttercream on my camera – don’t know how.

Here is the recipe I used.

Try these out for Passover and let me know how they turn out.

Yours edibly,

Banana

Toronto Bakes for Japan: Nutella Brownie Bites

Toronto Bakes for Japan started today! If you haven’t already bought some goodies, you have plenty of time and plenty of locations to do so tomorrow. You can also make a donation online 🙂

I decided to make brownie bites (again) for the event. It wasn’t too difficult to make a large quantity and I know they will surely please tomorrow’s crowd at Cafe Amaranto.

Here are some lovely pictures of the brownie-making process, starting with the brownie bits.

Nutella!

Rolled into balls – this took forever… I made 96!

I refrigerated these for a little while. Then, I melted some chocolate (obviously) and coated the balls.

Covered them up..

and done. yum.

Make sure to let these cool for a while before packaging them.

I had to package these for the bake sale, otherwise who would want to buy them!

They’re a little snug in the package, but it’ll have to do.

Ready for tomorrow’s sale :

Would you like to buy one?

If yes, I’ll see you tomorrow!

If no, you can still make a donation online.

Yours edibly,

Elana

Mini Chocolate Ganache Cupcakes

When it comes to trying out new recipes, there’s always a few people I know I can trust – one of those lucky few people is Ina Garten, otherwise known as Barefoot Contessa.

I swear that every single one of her recipes I have tried has been a huge hit and this is my latest.

I guess she has the best food critic to try and test all her recipes — Jeffrey!

Anyways, this recipe is so simple and so delicious.

If you’re looking for an easy dessert that is not too sweet, but is rich and fabulous – you’ve got it right here.

First, fluff the butter and sugar together – then beat in the eggs, one at a time.

Then, add in the chocolate syrup and vanilla.

Fold in the flour and pour into greased muffin tray.

I opted to use a mini-muffin tray and no paper liners – so I just greased the tray with lots of butter.

While the cupcakes are baking, you can make the ganache – melt semi-sweet chocolate chips, whipping cream, and instant coffee granules in a double boiler and that’s it.

Once the cupcakes are cool, dip them in the ganache, one by one.

The center of these cupcakes are dangerously moist…

…eater beware, you won’t be eating just one.

You can find the recipe here.

Thanks Jeffrey!

Yours edibly,

Elana

St. Patrick’s Day: Brownie Bites

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

I was tempted to title this post Attempt #2 – Cake Balls – but then I realized that what I’ve created is really nothing like Bakerella’s Cake Balls. I used the same basic steps but totally different ingredients.

Thus, I get to call these beautiful things – Brownie Bites – my own lovely creation.

They were so easy to make! I started by breaking up the extra brownie bits from the Three Leaf Clover Nutella Brownies into even smaller bits.

Then I added some more Nutella, which I heated in the microwave first for about ten seconds.

Mix in just enough Nutella so that the brownie stuff is at a good rolling consistency.

Then, begin rolling!

Refrigerate these for a little while.

Once brownie bites are nice and cool, begin melting some chocolate – I used milk chocolate chips.

Seems all I do these days is melt chocolate.

Then drop in a brownie bite.

Roll it around for a little while…

And decorate!

I used Cake Mate green sprinkles.

All done and ready to eat.

If you’re nice to me, maybe I’ll give you a bite?

But don’t get your hopes up.

Yours edibly,

Elana

St. Patrick’s Day: Three Leaf Clover Nutella Brownies

Oh brownies, brownies, how I love you so.

I made these brownies special for St. Patrick’s Day – can you tell?

The recipe was pretty simple.

I started by melting some semi-sweet chocolate chips and butter in a double boiler.

Once the chocolate and butter melted, I added sugar and cocoa powder.

Next, I whisked in three eggs and some vanilla.

Finally, I folded in flour and salt and poured the batter into a pan greased with lots of butter. I used a larger pan so I would have more surface area for the cookie cutter. I baked the brownies for about 20 minutes.

After baking, I let the brownies cool for a short while.

Then, while the brownies were still warm. I heated up about a cup of Nutella in the microwave for 20 seconds and poured it over the brownies 🙂

Spread around that Nutella nice and evenly.

And let the brownies cool down in the fridge or freezer for just a short while before cutting into them!

I found this three leaf clover cutter at Bulk Barn. It was a bit larger then I wanted but still worked well.

Having a little bit of trouble but no worries!

So many extra bits, what to do, what to do.

I’m thinking maybe Cake Balls, Attempt #2 with brownie balls!

I dipped the clovers in green sprinkles and voila!

These will be a huge hit tomorrow….

I just know it!

This is a great St. Patrick’s Day activity. Try them out and let me know how they taste 🙂

Here is the recipe, adapted from joyofbaking.com:

Three Leaf Clover Nutella Brownies

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces (140 grams) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) (113 grams) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons (15 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • Three Leaf Clover Cookie Cutter!
Method
Preheat oven to 350 Fand place the rack in the center of the oven. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan.

Melt chocolate and butter in a large stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder and sugar . Next, whisk in the vanilla and eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Finally, fold in the flour and salt.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a little batter and a few moist clumps clinging to it. Do not over bake. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

Heat Nutella in microwave about 20 seconds and pour over brownies while brownies are still slightly warm. Spread evenly with spatula and cool in fridge or freezer before cutting.

After cutting, dip in green sprinkles 🙂

Serve at room temperature or chilled. These freeze very well.

Makes about 9 brownies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter (mine was quite large). I am testing out a recipe for the extra brownie bits so please don’t discard!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Yours edibly,

Elana

Disaster Strikes: Cake Balls, Attempt #1

Last night I attempted to make Bakerella’s famous cake balls (not to be confused with pops). I had all the necessary ingredients — a lovely piece of red velvet cake, yummy cream cheese frosting, and Baker’s white chocolate.

Bakerella makes the process seem so simple, yet the final product looks like a masterpiece. I began by crumbling the red velvet cake, as instructed.

Then I added the cream cheese icing into the bowl with the cake crumbs and mixed it all together until it was at a good rolling consistency.

I rolled the batter into beautiful cake balls — no problems here!

I melted the white chocolate in the microwave then began rolling one ball at a time in the white chocolate.

AND THIS WAS THE RESULT!

Cake bits came off into the white chocolate and the white chocolate didn’t form a smooth covering over the balls.

Oh geez. I got off to such a good start!

I’ll save you goodies for Attempt #2.

At least they still tasted good…

Yup, definitely still edible.

Bakerella, where did I go wrong?

Yours edibly,

Elana