Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Caramel Crème Custard Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes

I saw this recipe yet again on Pinterest. I really wanted them today. I haven’t had a doughnut in forever!

I halved the recipe and got 22 donut holes, when making each one about a ½ tablespoon in size. I forgot to half the custard so now I have left overs!

My custard was not as smooth looking as the original picture. Maybe because I used 1% milk? I wonder if I had used whole milk if that would have helped. 

I mesh-strained my custard hoping to make it look more smooth, it did alittle but not much. It still tasted smooth though. I would recommend straining it as soon as you see the egg/milk mixture needs it, which is before adding the majority of the milk. Maybe that would do the trick.

The custard has a light caramel flavor, so I also added a tablespoon of maple syrup just for fun.  If you had some melted caramel or caramel from the jar, that would enhance the flavor too! 

If you are short on time, vanilla or caramel pudding would substitute for the homemade custard.

This was a wonderful donut recipe. They were crispy on the outside and soft in the inside. I love cinnamon 
and sugar together.

These were also very yummy without the custard, just cinnamon and sugar. 

Warm and sweet! I wish I took step-by-step photos for this recipe, would have been cute. 

Caramel Crème Custard Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes
Adapted from Lick That Spoon
Yield: 40 donut holes (1/2 tablespoon in size)

Caramel Crème Custard Filling:
2 cups milk
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon caramel or vanilla extract

To make the custard, bring milk to a boil in a small sauce pan. 

At the same time, in a separate medium saucepan, combine yolks, cornstarch and sugar together and whisk over a low heat until the milk boils. Add a splash of boiled milk to the yolk mixture and begin to whisk vigorously. Gradually add the rest of the milk, continuing to whisk constantly, until thick and smooth. Remove from heat and immediately scrape the custard into a bowl. Place the bowl of custard inside a bowl of cold water to quickly cool. 

Stir in the butter in 3-4 installments. Add caramel or vanilla extract. Cool.

Cut each cinnamon ball in half with a knife, but don't slice all the way through. You will notice one side of each ball has an air pocket. This is the side to cut. Fill a piping bag with the custard and pipe into each hole. Serve. 

Cinnamon Sugar Donut Holes:
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup milk
6 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup plain flour
2 eggs
3 cups vegetable oil

Make castor sugar by putting ½ cup granulated sugar in the blender for 10 seconds. You don’t have to, but castor sugar coats the donuts more evenly and smoothly.

Put sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and combine. Put milk and butter in a medium pan and cook, stirring over a low heat until the butter has melted (do not boil). 

Add flour and stir until mixture forms a ball. 

Transfer to a bowl. 

Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition until completely combined. 

Put mixture into a large piping bag fitted with a star or round nozzle, or into a ziplock bag and cut off one corner to make an opening. 

Heat the oil over a high heat. Pipe ½ tablespoon of dough onto a plate, and then roll the dough in your hand to make a smooth ball. Drop in oil and cook for 2-5 minutes or until the balls float to the top and are golden. Immediately transfer with a slotted spoon to the sugar and roll until well covered.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Peach Cupcakes with Peach Buttercream

I'm 24 today! Goodness. But I didn't make these for my birthday, just for family day with little Ibraheem yesterday. 

I forgot to add a few drops of yellow food coloring to the cake batter, which makes it look more peachy. But at least the frosting got it!

I had been wanting to make these forever because they are so popular on pinterest. But after realizing they don't use any eggs and reading split reviews, I decided to go with a recipe with an egg. No time to experiment today.

The buttercream came out very well! At first I was scared that I curdled it because I added the peach puree almost all at once (what was I thinking) but I kept whipping it and it came back together. Kitchen-Aid mixer saves the day! 

The buttercream had a stronger peach flavor than the cake. It was a great buttercream but I would prefer a stronger peach cake and a more suttle peach buttercream. But today it worked out well.

I didn't find peach extract at the grocery store so I doubled the peach puree in the cake. The flavor was still very light. Fruity, but not peachy. I made the puree by peeling 3 peaches, removing the seed, and processing in the blender. I am now realizing that the recipe could have meant peach preserves or jam rather than puree. That would give a stronger flavor. Oh well.

The cake wasn't as dense as a muffin, thank goodness. You can see the crumbs there but it's still alittle dense, so not quite perfection. I think its because of the extra peach puree. By the way, its a huge pet peeve of mine when bloggers don't share a picture of the cake crumb. You can judge alot by it! 

So I would only try the cake recipe again if I found the peach extract. It made exactly 12 cupcakes.


Adapted from Annette Starbuck, Cupcake Wars
Yield: 12 cupcakes 


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peach extract (instead I substituted 3 teaspoons of peach jam)
3/4 cup buttermilk (instead I used 1/2 cup buttermilk)
1/4 cup peach puree (instead I used 1/2 cup peach puree)
Few drops of yellow and red food coloring


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place 12 liners in a cupcake pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until it looks creamy. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract and peach extract until the mixture is smooth. Add half of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until almost combined. Add the buttermilk and peach puree and stir again until almost combined. Add the rest of the flour and stir until all the ingredients are mixed in. Add a few drops of yellow and red food coloring to resemble a peach color.

Fill the cupcake liners with batter and bake for 18 to 20 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pans.


Adapted from Cathlin Cooks
Yield: frosts 16 cupcakes


1 1/4 cups butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
1/2 cup peach puree
1 teaspoon vanilla, or more to taste
Few drops of yellow and red food coloring


Whip the butter until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Gradually add peach puree and vanilla while mixer is running, and beat until smooth. You may want to add some yellow and red food coloring to achieve a peachy color.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Peach and Blueberry Crisp

When you're in a hurry, make a fruit cobbler! Or crumble. Or crisp. I've been meaning to look up the difference. I'm sure everyone has their own opinion, but I believe a crumble is baked separate and then added to the top of the fruit at the end. A crisp is baked on top of the fruit from the beginning. And a cobbler  is baked on top of the fruit from the beginning as well but it is more doughy rather than a crumbly/streusel top. 

I was searching my cabinets for oats, I would have loved to add them. But I'd make this crisp again and again. So good when its warm with vanilla ice cream. The original recipe was a crumble but I didn't have the extra time for that so I adapted it. 

Peach and blueberry cRISP

Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker


For the Filling:
2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted and cut into wedges ½-inch to ¾-inch-thick
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water
1 cup blueberries
For the Crisp:
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup light brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut into pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Make the Filling: Combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon and salt in a medium sauce pan and bring to medium heat. When it begins to release juices and come to a light simmer, add the cornstarch/water mixture. Cook for 3 minutes until thick. Remove from heat and gently fold in the blueberries. Transfer the fruit mixture to a 3 quart baking dish or an 8x8 dish.
3. Make the Crisp: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugars, cinnamon and salt. Add the butter and vanilla extract and continue to whisk (or use your fingers!) to work the butter into the flour and sugar mixture. Blend it together until it resembles course crumbs. Add to the top of the fruit. Bake until the crumbles are lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving with vanilla ice cream!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Dark Chocolate Mousse Parfaits

The inspiration for these came from this pin, which does include a recipe but I decided to use Annie's Eats Dark Chocolate Cake and the Neely's Chocolate Mousse. I topped it with Pioneer Woman's Chocolate Curls

I've made the mousse before, but this time I used a bag of dark chocolate Lindt truffles. I wanted to use high quality chocolate so it would be velvety and heavenly. 

Unfortunately, I over-whipped the cream so it was slightly curdled. Darn it. Whipping cream is like baking cheesecakes and cookies. There is such a fine line between done and over done.

Oh well, texture was ugly but still tasted okay I guess. Kind of disappointing. Nora, don't ever over whip the cream again!

I would use two bags of Lindt (5.1 oz each) because I think the centers are really light and dark chocolate has less fat. 

Also, strain the egg yolk mixture after it is done cooking, rather than after adding the chocolate.

The cake was very dark and pretty. I put it in a 13x9 inch pan and baked at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. It made alot of cake, we have left overs. 

I added only one cup coffee and 3/4 cup buttermilk to the cake batter. I didn't want to water it down too much, and it came out great. 

Actually, I'd say this is a great double for my favorite cake at HEB - the Ivory and Ebony cake. It's a dark chocolate cake and they fill it with white chocolate ganache. This cake would pair wonderfully with a white chocolate mousse.

I only needed to make 6 parfaits but after making the first glass, I realized there was not going to be enough mousse. Thankfully we had some chocolate pudding cups, so I had to add it for more substance. I ate the one without the pudding, but everyone else loved theirs! 

I had the most fun making the chocolate curls. Haha, which is just the garnish but actually they get soft in the parfait and add extra flavor! 

Pioneer Woman has step by step photos on how to make the curls and helpful tips. I wanted to use dark chocolate but opted for semi-sweet because I wasn't sure if dark chocolate would curl. 

My only advice with the chocolate curls: spread the chocolate very very thin! Ree said that too, but I didn't know how thin is thin. I would say paper thin, you should almost see the pan. It curled so much easier than the thicker areas.  

These are my first pictures with my Canon! I know I'm not using it right. I'm sure there is a way to get rid of the glare on the glass. And I suck at taking photos!

Dark Chocolate Cake
Adapted from: Annie's Eats

2¼ cups all-purpose flour
2¼ cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2¼ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. salt
6 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. buttermilk
1 cup plus 2 tbsp. brewed coffee*
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350˚ F.  Grease and flour the edges of three 8-inch baking pans, shaking out the excess. Line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Mix on low speed to blend.  Add the vegetable oil, buttermilk, coffee, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl and mix on low speed until well blended and completely incorporated.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cakes cool in the pans about 15 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and allow to cool completely.  Remove the parchment paper.

Dark Chocolate Mousse
Adapted from: The Neely's

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped fine
4 large egg yolks
6 tablespoons sugar
1 3/4 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt

Melt the chocolate by adding to a bowl placed over simmering water and stirring until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.

Whisk together the egg yolks, 4 tablespoons sugar, 3/4 cup heavy cream and a pinch of salt in a medium 2-quart curved bottom saucepan. Place over medium heat and stir constantly until the mixture is thick, about 3 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate and vanilla. Strain the mixture into a large bowl using a fine mesh sieve and place in the refrigerator until chilled, at least 30 minutes.

Beat the remaining 1 cup heavy cream and remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the chilled chocolate. Divide the mousse evenly among 4 individual serving dishes and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. Serve with shaved chocolate.

Chocolate Curls
Adapted from: The Pioneer Woman

3 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate
1 tablespoon crisco shortening

Place chocolate and shortening into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for 30-45 seconds until shortening is melted and hot. Stir until combined.

Pour onto a cookie sheet or a completely flat surface and spread out very thin, almost paper thin to where you can see the pan through the chocolate. This will make for much better curls. If its too thick, it won't curl.

Place in freezer for three minutes.

Using a metal spatula, turned upside down, begin to scrape the chocolate to form a curl. If the chocolate breaks, it is too cold. Wait a minute or two and then try again. When the chocolate is just the right temperature, it’ll curl instead of break.

Important: as soon as possible, transfer the curls to a cold pan or plate, then stick them in the freezer to harden. Store in the freezer in a Ziploc bag until you need them. Use them to adorn pies, cakes, or platters of fruit.

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