Monday, February 22, 2010

Mixin' some love

I have been blessed with my very own Kitchen Aid Artisan Mixer! To celebrate this occasion I took about 50 photos. Beginning at the opening of the box and ending with a christening complete with a batch of chocolate chip cookies.

I have always been jealous of the fancy bakers (or even some non-bakers) who have one of these beautiful mixers. They really do make things so much easier, especially when multi-tasking comes into play. I was given a gorgeous Empire Red one which I LOVE! It is the Tilt-Head design with 10 speeds. It came with the flat beater for general mixing, a dough hook to knead dough, and a wire whip for whipped cream, meringues, and icings. There is also an awesome pouring shield which helps keep the flower in the bowl and not on me.

Surely most people have seen one of these are probably wouldn't get as excited about having one as I clearly am, but this is a big deal to me. Thank you :-)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Raspberry Cream Cupcakes

I was inspired to create these cupcakes after seeing a similar design on Susannah Blakes "Cupcake Heaven" cookbook cover. She calls her version Victoria Cupcakes and I am sure the are as delicious as they are beautiful.

My friend Jill had an amazing idea to throw a Valentines Dessert Party, which gave me the perfect opportunity to try my spin on these amazing cupcakes!

To begin let me just say I am a strong believer in Duncan Hines Classic Yellow cake mix. I have tried the other mixes by the various competitors, I still find Duncan Hines to be the most moist and flavorful. By using their classic yellow cake mix for the base of these cupcakes you save time giving your more time to decorate them in a way that will stand out from any other cupcake in the room...and they will taste amazing!


  • 1 pkg Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 1/3 cups of water
  • 1/3 cup of Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Large Eggs
To Decorate:
  • 1 Cup of Port (Tawny brand works well)
  • 1 Cup of Heavy Cream
  • 1 Tablespoon of Sugar
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Almond Extract
  • 1 Jar of Raspberry Jam
  • 1 1/2 Packs of Raspberries
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

  • Preheat the oven according to your cake package.
  • Mix and bake the classic yellow cake cupcakes as directed on the back of the box. Make sure you fill the cupcake liners up high so you have enough of a top to cut off later.
  • Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Using a serrated knife, carefully slice the top off each cupcake, down to the level of the paper liner.
  • Sprinkle 1/4-1/2 tsp of port (depending on how much port flavor you like) into the center of each cut cupcake.
  • Spread each cupcake with about 1 teaspoon of Jam, enough to have a nice layer of jam.
  • Whip the cream, sugar, and almond extract until stiff peaks form. Put your beaters in the freezer earlier in the day for best results.
  • Spoon the whip cream mixture on top of the jelly-covered cupcakes.
  • Top each cupcake with two fresh raspberries.
  • Replace the top of each cupcake and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Makes 18 cupcakes. Use whatever fun cupcake liners you like. I made mine fore a Valentines day party so I used Hearts but you can use any color depending on your mood.

If you aren't into Raspberries these could be done with really any other fruit. Blueberries or Peaches sound great also.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Heavenly Cake Pans

My mother recently sent me two of these 8" William Sonoma cake pans and I am in love! I have always been partial to the 8" cake pans over the larger 9" because it makes for a cuter taller cake rather than a thin short cake. It is an easy trick to add drama to your home-baked cakes without adding any more difficulty.
These pans are great for even baking and are completely nonstick. They are made with a Goldtouch™ coating which is exclusive to William Sonoma, it really does make for a heavenly clean up and a heavenly piece of cake.

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