Winter Forest Cake

Winter Forest Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

A four layered cake that is a wonderful addition to the Christmas and holiday season gatherings.

Yield/Serving: 4 – 6” cakes
Prep Time: 45 min.
Cook Time: 35-45 min. per cake
Difficulty level is: Medium

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• ¾ cups unsalted butter, softened
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Egg whites from 5 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
• 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• ¾ cups 2% milk
Gingerbread Cake
• 1 1/8 cups all purpose flour
• 1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
• 1 1/8 tsp ground ginger
• ¾ tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp five spice
• ½ tsp ground clove
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ¾ tsp cinnamon
• 1 large egg beaten
• 1/3 cup canola oil
• 2 tbsp fancy molasses
• 1/3 cups hot water
Funfetti Cake
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg white
• 2/3 cups all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp 2% milk
• 1 ½ tbsp blue sprinkles
• 1 ½ tbsp. white sprinkles
Simple Syrup
• 4 tbsp water
• 4 tbsp granulated sugar
Frosting
• 1 ½ cups butter, at room temperature
• 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
• 3 tbsp milk, more if needed
• Blue food colouring
Decorations
• Pocky, chocolate covered flavour (red box)
• Teal melting chocolates
• Blue melting chocolates
• White melting chocolates
• Snowflake sprinkles
• Blue sprinkles
• Blue, silver & white non-pareils
• Blue sanding sugar

Assembly
Vanilla Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg whites and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
8. Pour into two pans, smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
9. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Gingerbread Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat flour, brown sugar, ginger, baking soda, five spice, clove, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.
5. Whisk in eggs, oil and molasses.
6. Slowly add in water until just combined.
7. Pour into one pan and smooth smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
8. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
10. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Funfetti Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of one pan.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg white and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture until just combined and then add milk and mix.
8. Fold in sprinkles by hand.
9. Pour batter into one pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely on a wire rack.
Buttercream Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk and finally food colouring and combine until well incorporated.
Tree Decorations
1. Place wax paper on a cookie tray and set aside.
2. In the meantime melt various coloured molding chocolates in microwave safe bowls melting each colour separately in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
3. Once chocolate has slightly cooled pour in a piping bag.
4. Place Pocky sticks onto wax paper and pipe trees out and place decorations on top and then place in the fridge to set up.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Apply simple syrup to each layer of the cake and let absorb.
3. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
4. Place first vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
5. Then place funfetti layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
6. Place gingerbread layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
7. Top with final layer of vanilla cake and spread buttercream frosting over top and sides.
8. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
9. When crumb coat is firm using an offset spatula frost the cake.
10. Apply sanding sugar to the cake.
11. Remove trees from the fridge and place in the top of the cake from the middle going back.
12. Add the snowflake decorations.
13. Place bake in fridge to firm up.
14. Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
15. Serve and enjoy.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This was my first cake at 4 layers and I was so happy with how it turned out. I will say one more layer would require wooden dowels placed inside the cake no matter the size of the cake. I spent a lot of time insuring my crumb coat firmed up and applying the final coat properly. If found applying the sanding sugar a little tricky; but for my first attempt I get the hang of it eventually. Cutting into the cake and seeing perfect layers with frosting in between was a wonderful treat. The cake was moist with three different flavoured cakes there is something here for anyone.

Winter Forest Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

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Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Last year there was a Halloween potluck at work and I was told I was bringing something. I did not intend to participate in the potluck; but when my Tombstone Chocolate Brownies turned out so well I felt encouraged to make my most complex cake yet.

Yield/Serving: 24
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cook Time: 30-45 min.
Difficulty level: Medium; but time consuming

Ingredients
Vanilla Bean Cake

• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• ½ tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 1 vanilla bean, insides scrapped out
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 whole eggs
• 2 egg yolks
Cocoa Chocolate Cake
• 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
• ¾ cup Dutch pressed cocoa powder
• ½ tbsp baking powder
• ½ tsp sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 1 vanilla bean, insides scrapped out
• ¼ cup 2% milk
• ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
• 1 whole eggs
• 2 egg yolks
Buttercream
• 2 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
• 2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
• 6 tbsp heavy cream
• Orange food colouring gel
Marshmallow Fondant
• 1 bag or marshmallows
• 4 tbsp water
• 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
• Food colouring, preferably gel or powdered, not water based colouring
• Flavourless oil, like canola – to use while kneading

Assembly
Vanilla Bean Cake

1. Oven to 350°F.
2. Spray bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
4. Add in egg and egg yolks, vanilla paste, vanilla beans and canola oil and continue to beat until incorporated.
5. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
6. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
7. Pour into bundt pans, smooth top and slam pan on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
8. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack.
10. Let cool completely.
Cocoa Chocolate Cake
1. Spray bundt pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
2. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
3. Add in egg and egg yolks, vanilla paste, vanilla beans and canola oil and continue to beat until incorporated.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.
5. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
6. Pour into bundt pans, smooth top and slam pan on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
7. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack.
9. Let cool completely.
Buttercream
1. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
2. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
3. Taste the buttercream and if it still tastes too much like butter add the third cut of confectioners’ sugar.
Marshmallow Fondant
1. Using a microwave melt the marshmallows and water in 30 second intervals at a time.
2. Set aside once melted.
3. Using an electric mixer add ¾ of confectioners’ sugar to the mixer followed by the marshmallows.
4. Mix together on low speed using the paddle attachment.
5. The mixture will start to come together.
6. Pour our fondant onto a clean surface and work in the remaining ¼ cup confectioners’ sugar for about 5 minutes, until the fondant is soft and shiny. (If the fondant get dry add a little water until it feels soft and malleable again)
7. Add food colouring and continue to knead for another 5 minutes. (If the fondant get dry add a little water until it feels soft and malleable again)
8. Dust surface with confectioners’ sugar and roll out fondant. Move fondant around as you roll so it won’t stick to one spot. At this point you can cut out the shapes you require with decorating tools, cookie cutters or roll out into a long sheet to cover cake.

Tips
• If fondant keeps sticking to your hands add a little oil to your hands.
• If making fondant ahead: roll into a ball, cover with a little oil, and double wrap in cling wrap. Fondant will last for a couple of weeks in this state.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
After this attempt, I am more confident in my cake decorating skills. I still need to take a proper decorating class as my fondant was a semi fail; but I’m quite proud of myself. Not to mention my co-workers were wowed, and complimented me on my skills. The cake itself was light and fluffy and the buttercream frosting turned out so well I was actually surprised. I attempted to apply a fondant; now my issue wasn’t the actual fondant but my application and it kept getting to warm for me to apply it. So I had to give up and revert back to my tried and true buttercream.

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween Jack-O-Lantern Pail Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

It’s my birthday and to celebrate I made my own cake. Now to most making your own birthday sounds like a horrible idea; but I love a challenge and wanted to see if I could make myself proud on my special day. Also if it doesn’t turn out I still have the dessert from the restaurant birthday celebrations.

Yield/Serving: 3 – 6” pans, serves 8-10
Prep Time: 60 min.
Cook Time: 30–45 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming

Funfetti cake layer from Dessert for Two

Ingredients
Vanilla Cake

• ¾ cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• Egg whites from 5 large eggs
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/8 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp baking salt
• ¾ cups 2% milk
Funfetti Cake
• 4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1/3 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg whites
• 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking powder
• ¼ tsp sea salt
• 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp 2% milk
• 1 ½ tbsp sprinkles
• 1 ½ tbsp. mini nonpareils
Buttercream Frosting
• 2 cups butter, at room temperature
• 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
• 4 tbsp milk, more if needed
Decorations
• Coloured molding chocolate, pink, teal & white.
• Any other decorations you like sanding sugar, jimis, sprinkles, sugar gems, nonpareils – any size.
• Ivory, pink & purple food colouring.

Assembly
Vanilla Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of two pans.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg whites and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture alternating between milk and flour mixture three times.
8. Pour into two pans, smooth tops and slam pans on the counter top to release air bubble and ensure an even bake.
9. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely.
Funfetti Cake
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Trace out the pan using parchment paper and place in the bottom of one pan.
3. Spray pan with non-stick spray and set aside.
4. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment beat butter and sugar until fluffy.
5. Add in egg white and vanilla and continue to beat until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
7. Pour into butter mixture until just combined and then add milk and mix.
8. Stir in sprinkles by hand.
9. Pour batter into pan and bake for 30 to 45 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes and turn out onto cooling rack and remove parchment paper.
11. Let cool completely.
Buttercream Frosting
1. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter until fluffy.
2. Add confectioner’s sugar and milk and combine until well incorporated.
Abstract Decorations
1. Place parchment paper on a cookie tray and set aside.
2. In the meantime melt coloured molding chocolate in microwave safe bowls melting each colour separately in 30 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
3. Smear each colour of chocolate using the back of a spoon and then place in the fridge to set up.
Layered Cake Assembly
1. Use a serrated knife, trim tops and even out if necessary to level out the cakes.
2. Smear a little frosting on the silver disc so cake doesn’t move.
3. Place first vanilla layer on the bottom layer and spread some buttercream frosting over top.
4. Then place funfetti layer over and spread buttercream frosting over top.
5. Top with finals layer of vanilla cake and spread buttercream frosting over top and sides.
6. Place in fridge to let the crumb coat firm up some.
7. When crumb coat is firm using three prep bowl add a little buttercream frosting and ivory, pink and purple food colouring or gel to each prep bowl and mix.
8. Using an offset spatula apply dabs of each colour along with the plain buttercream frosting.
9. Using a long offset spatula start icing the sides and top until smooth.
10. Smear a little butter cream to the back of each molding chocolate decoration before application to the cake. Add as many as you like.
11. Add other decorations.
12. Place bake in fridge to firm up.
13. Remove from fridge 30 minutes to an hour before serving.
14. Serve and enjoy.

Tips
• Buy a container of egg whites, unless you are going to have a use for all these egg yolks.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I have learned I need to just buy egg whites in a container. I can only do so much with my leftover egg yolks. I can’t be making curds and double yolk eggs all the time. With this recipe the second time baking it I had and issue regarding the doneness of the centre. The cake tester comes out clean and yet when I trim the cake, it is not entirely cooked through; which is aggravating. That being said I am much happier with this recipe then one I tried from someone else. I have never seen cakes sink in the middle in all my time baking and that recipe did it and it made me waste a half dozen eggs; arghhh. I will have to be very careful with who I try baking recipes from now on. Maybe it’s an altitude thing; but I highly doubt that sadly. The Funfetti cake turned out great and I am a fan of the dessert for two’s blog as I have access to recipes for two people. So this gave me the layer I needed to jazz up a plain old vanilla cake. I am still having issues frosting cakes as I can’t get the frosting to move around the cake as freely as I’d like; even though the frosting is soft. It is definitely a hand and pressure applied issue; but this is leaps and bound better than any of my fully decorated cakes except for my naked cakes and birch bark and yule log. I think I have graduated from naked cakes to full on cake decorating now and this is a wonderful way to keep my 2018 cake decorating goals moving in the right direction. I didn’t intend on adding multiple colours to the frosting or my geode inspired decorations; but I just went with it and it looks great to me.

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Happy Birthday Abstract Layered Cake – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log)

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

Wow your Christmas dinner guests with this showstopper of a dessert.

Yield/Serving: 12-14
Prep Time: 30 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Medium, time consuming when decorating if this is your first time decorating

Ingredients
Sponge

• 4 large free–range eggs
• ½ cup confectioners’ sugar , plus extra for dusting
• ½ cup self-raising flour
• 2 tablespoons quality unsweetened cocoa powder
• 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
• 2 tablespoons sugar
Filling
• 8oz tin of sweetened chestnut purée
• 1 pinch ground cinnamon
• ¾ cup + 5 tsp heavy cream
• 1 tbsp liquid honey
• 1 Crunchie bar, or 1 ½ oz honey comb
Buttercream
• 5 oz quality dark chocolate (70%)
• 11 tbsp unsalted butter , (at room temperature)
• 1 heaping cup icing sugar

Assembly
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2. For the sponge, line a 12” x 10” baking sheet with parchment paper.
3. Separate the eggs.
4. Using an electric mixer, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks with a pinch of sea salt.
5. Gradually whisk in the icing sugar, then, one-by-one, whisk in the egg yolks until really pale and light.
6. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, add the vanilla bean paste, then fold everything together with a large metal spoon so you keep in as much air as possible.
7. Spoon the mixture into the lined baking sheet, gently and evenly spread it out, then bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until just cooked through and springy to the touch.
8. Place a large sheet of parchment paper (18” x 12”) on a flat surface and evenly sprinkle over the sugar from a height.
9. While it’s still hot and flexible, turn the sponge out on to the paper.
10. Peel off and discard the baked piece of parchment paper
11. With one of the longest sides in front of you, fold up the excess paper, then roll up the sponge with the paper inside (as it cools, this will set the shape but prevent the sponge from cracking).
12. Leave to cool.
13. For the filling, mix the chestnut purée and cinnamon together.
14. In a separate bowl, whisk the cream to soft peaks, then fold in the honey.
15. To assemble, unroll the sponge so it’s flat, removing the paper.
16. Spread all over with the chestnut purée, followed by the cream, then smash and sprinkle over the Crunchie bar or honeycomb.
17. Re-roll and pop into the fridge.
18. Meanwhile, make your buttercream.
19. Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, then remove and leave to cool.
20. Beat the butter in an electric mixer until pale, then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and cooled melted chocolate.
21. Take the log out of the fridge, chop off a quarter at an angle – that’s the branch – and position it on your serving board like in the picture, using a splodge of buttercream to keep it in place.
22. Evenly cover the whole log with buttercream, then use a fork to decorate it.
23. Dust with extra confectioners’ sugar and a pinch of sea salt, shaved chocolate, sprinkles, plastic Bambi figures, whatever you like – go to town!

Tips
• Just have fun and don’t worry about the time.
• Make honey comb from scratch or use a crunchie bar. Jamie has a honeycomb recipe also which I haven’t included in this post.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
I used Jamie’s recipe for the Yule log portion; but then I felt like I wanted to add a Christmas winter scene and went my own way on the topping (White chocolate hand-decorated bark) and adding the snow laden houses and tree cakes. I have been running ideas and concepts for this yule log through my head for a couple weeks now and I wanted to at least have a non-chocolate top, so I could have some if I wanted. I have officially made the best thing visually baking wise and I’m smiling ear to ear as I type this. I could almost cry at how happy I am with how this turned out; however weird that sounds. I feel like all of a sudden I have hit a next gear in my baking. I got to practice some techniques and enjoy my most favourite holiday. This is going to my God-Kids and their family for Christmas Eve tomorrow when I see them at church. I hope this makes up for the Elf on the Shelf sugar cookies they didn’t get; but saw on my blog and further questioned me as to “where are ours” and “can you make us some too”. I was pleasantly surprised with the flavor of the Buche de Noel. I had the most terrible time finding chestnuts, and I had to go the route of water chestnuts and puree them myself. I’m not entirely sure if that’s the exact same taste; but I enjoyed it and I absolutely hate water chestnuts or so I thought. It will be very interesting to see if the God-kids like that or next time I need to put jam in instead. The water chestnuts added a crunch as the honeycomb melted into the whipping cream. I found the instructions a little hard to grasp when it came to the assembly of the log; but I had an idea and it worked out well as I made that failure cake roll a few months back. The amount of batter in the recipe I think wouldn’t have filled the pan size listed, as it didn’t for me. Other than that this is a wonderful end to a Christmas dinner with the family or with friends and it can be put in the fridge, so you don’t have to be baking this on Christmas day. I showed a few friends and they were thoroughly impressed as was I.

***Update. this was a smash with the God-Kids and the parents. I didn’t have to worry about the chestnuts and the flavour at all. The kids loved the crunch and ate away. They even ate the decorative fondant holly’s and poinsettias. A total winner all around and I was told if this is my Christmas present every year I will be more than happy. Will do. I think “Auntie” will be providing Christmas dinner dessert going forward.

Merry Chistmas

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Dinner: Showstopper Dessert – Buche de Noel (Yule log) – Candy Coated Culinista

Tombstone Chocolate Brownies

Tombstone Chocolate Brownies – Candy Coated Culinista

Halloween is almost here and as Halloween is my second favourite holiday I just love making dessert for this day. This year I am being good and am staying away from the temptation of Halloween candy as best I can. I have only 1 pack of Rockets in the house and I have given away half of them. I am focusing more this year on making unique and decorative treats for my friends and God-Kids.

Yield/Serving: 8 – 10 tombstones
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 10 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• ¾ cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
• ½ cup sea salt
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs
• ½ cup all-purpose flour
• 1 tsp black gel food colouring
• White icing, to decorate

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
2. Spray pan with non-stick spray.
3. Melt butter over medium heat in a small saucepan and let cool slightly.
4. Whisk sugar, cocoa, salt in a medium bowl and combine.
5. Pour the butter in slowly and whisk, then add the vanilla extract.
6. Add eggs one at a time and then add flour until incorporated.
7. Finally add black food colouring gel and don’t overmix.
8. Pour batter in pan cavities and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Leave in pans for five minutes and then turn out.
10. Repeat again if you have batter still left over.
11. Decorate with white icing and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
These brownies are dense and moist and the perfect size with a scoop of ice cream or glass of milk. I had fun decorating these tombstones and I will be making these again before Halloween.

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

On a high from making my first naked layered cake I had to make a white cake option so I could actually enjoy a nice slice of cake.

Yield/Serving: Makes one 7 inch two-layer cake
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 hour
Difficulty level is: Medium

Slightly Altered From Eat Delicious by Dennis the Prescott

Ingredients
Cake

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 cups granulated sugar
• 2 tsp baking powder
• 1½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp kosher salt
• 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
• 2 large free-range eggs
• 2 cups whole milk
• ½ cup olive oil
• 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
• 2 tbsp milk
• ½ cup boiling water
Buttercream
• ½ cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature
• 1 cups confectioners’ sugar
• ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
• 3 tbsp heavy cream
Chocolate Ganache
• 4 ounces dark chocolate (70%), chopped into very small chunks
• 1/3 cup heavy cream
• Pinch of salt
Fruit topping
• Handful of red cherries
• Handful of fresh blackberries
• Handful of blueberries

Assembly
Cake

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Grease two 9” cake pans with butter.
3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, combine flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
4. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, milk, olive oil, vanilla and milk.
5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the batter is smooth. Scape down the sides if needed.
6. Slowly add the boiling water and then increase the mixer speed to high and beat for one minute.
7. Pour batter into two pans and bake for 50 – 60 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
8. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes in the pans and then invert out the cakes and let cool on a wire rack for 60 minutes or more.
Buttercream
9. Using the stand mixer with the fitted paddle attachment beat butter until creamy for about 1 minute.
10. Continue and add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed and add in vanilla and cream.
Ganache
11. Place chocolate pieces in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
12. Using a small saucepan bring cream to a simmer over medium heat.
13. Pour cream over chocolate and after about 5 minutes add a pinch of salt and stir melted chocolate until smooth.
Fruit
14. Prepare the fruit and combine in a bowl.
Cake
15. Place cake on a cake stand or serving tray and spread buttercream in an even layer.
16. Top the buttercream with some fruit.
17. Place the second cake on top of the buttercream and spread the chocolate ganache all over the top. Ensure to let a bit of ganache run over the edge.
18. Arrange the remaining fruit on top of the cake.
19. Serve.

Tips
• If you don’t have a mixer with a bigger bowl than traditional size this mixture will spill out. Mix a medium speed at all times.
• The covering the cake in aluminum foil didn’t work for me at all. It just left the centre half extremely raw. It only began to properly bake once I removed the foil.
• I omitted the Bailey’s as this was a birthday cake for a child and used orange juice instead.
• I erred on the side of caution and let the cake cool over night or for at least an hour.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
The goal of this cake was to be a white cake with white chocolate ganache; but it turned out to be more of a yellow cake as it baked for an hour. I also learned there is no such thing as a white chocolate ganache (who knew) the composition of white chocolate is not conducive to a ganache and the consistency stays runny and never hardens. Lesson learned and I will have to figure out how to make a white coloured cake another time. This cake was so delicious and came from another recipe I made and will post another time. Once again this cake came out moist and I reduced the amount of confectioners’ sugar in the icing to my personal taste. This was given to accompany a birthday present and this time I enjoyed a slice myself. This recipe is now my layer cake base recipe and I can’t wait to build upon this recipe. It looked so wonderful on my cake plate which I never use because nothing is ever pretty enough to go on it in my eyes.

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

Naked White Birthday Cake with Buttercream Icing and Summer Berries – Candy Coated Culinista

Easter Egg Brownie Bars

Easter Egg Brownie Bars – Candy Coated Culinista

Yield/Serving: 12
Prep Time: 15 min.
Cook Time: 25 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients

• 2 1/3 cup of all-purpose flour
• 1 ½ tsp baking powder
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 ½ stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
• 1 ¾ cup golden brown sugar, packed
• 2 eggs
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• ¾ cup whoppers, coarsely chopped
• ½ cup whoppers, to place on top

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Spray 9” x 9” pan with non-stick cooking spray.
3. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder and salt and mix together.
4. Cream butter and sugar using an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined.
5. Add eggs and vanilla and incorporate.
6. On low speed at the flour mixture until combined.
7. Fold in whoppers and then pour batter into baking pan.
8. Bake for 25-30 min. or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
9. Let cool, cut and serve.

Tips
• If you prefer your cookies more chewy then under bake them by 2-5 minutes.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
As usual too sweet for me; but enjoyed by others. I like that bars give off that Easter feel. This was a mix of a brownie and a cookie and great for children and adults alike.

Easter Bunny Skillet Blondie

Easter Bunny Skillet Blondie - Candy Coated Culinista

Easter Bunny Skillet Blondie – Candy Coated Culinista

So many Easter chocolates on hand and I have no intention of partaking…what am I to do of course make treats for my friends.

Yield/Serving: approx. 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 6tbsp butter, melted
• 1 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
• 1 egg
• 1 tbsp, vanilla extract
• 1 cup all purpose flour
• ½ tsp baking powder
• 1/8 tsp baking soda
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 Easter solid white chocolate bunny
• Handful of Easter coloured Smarties
• 3 tbsp butter, for seasoning skillet

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and place skillet inside oven.
2. In a small saucepan, melt butter.
3. Using an electric mixer cream butter, sugar egg and vanilla extract together.
4. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
5. Using an oven mitt remove the skillet from the oven and add 3 tbsp of butter and coat the bottom and sides of the skillet.
6. Pour blondie mixture into greased pan.
7. Place Easter chocolate bunny in the centre of the skillet and using a spatula ensure batter is to the edges of the chocolate bunny.
8. Place Easter smarties on top of the batter; press in ever so slightly.
9. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted comes out clean.
10. Turn blondie out from skillet, cut into slices and serve.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Nothing beat a simple recipe that could be made with a short window of time. This took no time at all and the tiny piece of the blondie I had tasted great.

Christmas Candy Cane White Chocolate Skillet Cookie

Christmas Candy Cane White Chocolate Skillet Cookie - Candy Coated Culinista

Christmas Candy Cane White Chocolate Skillet Cookie – Candy Coated Culinista

I have wanted to make a skillet cookie for a long time now; I mean I even bought a smaller 10” cast iron skillet just for this recipe… 8 months later and I’m finally here and just in time for this perfect Christmas recipe.

Yield/Serving: 6 – 8
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cook Time: 18 – 20 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
• 1 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
• ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
• ¼ cup sugar
• ¼ cup golden brown sugar
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 egg, room temperature
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ¼ tsp baking soda
• ¼ tsp salt
• 1 cup peppermint white chocolate chips

Assembly
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Butter skillet with 1 tbsp unsalted butter.
3. Using an electric mixer cream butter and sugars together for 1 to 2 minutes at a medium speed.
4. Add vanilla extract and egg until incorporated.
5. In a large bowl sift flour, baking soda and salt together.
6. Decrease speed to slow and add the flour mixture, and don’t overmix.
7. Using a spatula fold in the peppermint white chocolate chips.
8. Pour cookie dough into the prepared cast-iron skillet.
9. Smooth the top with a spatula and bake for 18 – 20 minutes.

Tips
• Add 2 – 3 minutes if you want a crispier cookie.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
Once again I found this to be extremely sweet, but my taste tester thought the sugar level was fine. Another taste tester thought it was sweet also; so this recipe has mixed reviews on the sugar level. I have halved the sugar to my liking as the chocolate chips are sweet also. I found the skillet cookie very hard to remove from the skillet, even though it was well greased. The next time I think I will try adding a layer of parchment paper and test the result.

Dia de Muertos: Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate - Candy Coated Culinista

Spiked Mexican Hot Chocolate – Candy Coated Culinista

Dia de Muertos or Day of the Dead is a Mexican holiday celebrated to remember your friends and family who have passed on. Now I don’t need a special day to remember my mom or any of my loved ones who have gone on to a better place; but I do like the idea of this day as people celebrate the lives that the dead lived and it’s not about grieving. I have been looking for Mexican chocolate for over a year now, but I wasn’t going to make a trip or purposefully look for a Mexican grocery store in Toronto. I was shopping in the Detox Market and found Mexican Chocolate here of all places and that means I can make my spiked Mexican hot chocolate.

Yield/Serving: 2
Prep Time: 5 min.
Cook Time: 10 min.
Difficulty level is: Easy

Ingredients
Hot Chocolate
• 3 cups 2% milk
• 2/3 oz tequila
• Chipotle chocolate bar, chopped into pieces
• 2 tbsp Dutch-processed Cocoa powder
Whipped Topping
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• Cinnamon, garnish
• Nutmeg, garnish
• Cayenne pepper, garnish
• Shaved chocolate, garnish
• 2 cinnamon stick, garnish

Assembly
Hot Chocolate
1. In a small saucepan heat up the milk over medium heat.
2. Whisk in the tequila and chocolate pieces and combine until melted and frothy.
Whipped Topping
3. Using an electric mixer, or by hand whip heavy cream.
4. Top with whipped cream and grate cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, chipotle chocolate and put a cinnamon stick in.

Please Enjoy

My thoughts
This had some heat thanks to the chipotle and cayenne on my lips which I enjoyed. On a cold night curled up watching a movie this is a great a different spin on a traditional hot chocolate.

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