Archive | April, 2012

White Chocolate Coconut Cake with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

28 Apr

Hello, and long time no see! I am loving my break between school and work, and haven’t been blogging much lately! Paintball, skiing, drinks on the beach, froyo (you must go to Menchies if you never have!), and lots of time with friends. It feels great to be able to do whatever I want, and not worry about any commitments, even if it only lasts for a few days.

On Wednesday my friend Rachel celebrated her 20th birthday, and I made her this cake for her BBQ. I had no idea that about 5 other people were baking cakes, cookies, brownies and the such as well! W had so much food leftover that we decided to bring it to paintball the next day. I loved all the goodies, but I couldn’t help liking my cake as well. It is a denser cake, with a rich vanilla flavour that is enhanced by the white chocolate. The icing is white chocolate and cream cheese and super rich, and coated in sugared, shredded coconut. I thought it was quite cute and girly and perfect for a birthday celebration.

White Chocolate Coconut Cake with White Choco Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • half cup salted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 oz white chocolate, melted

Frosting

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 oz white chocolate, melted
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • 3-4 drops red food colouring
  • 1-2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 10 inch springfoam pan (or two cake pans).

For cake, mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in butter, then slowly beat in eggs. Slowly beat in the rest of the ingredients until a thoroughly mixed batter is formed. Pour batter into greased pan(s) and bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top of the cake in golden.

Let cake cool for 20 minutes, then cool further in the fridge for a couple hours. While cake finishes cooling, make frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, then slowly beat in the sugar. As you require more liquid, add in vanilla and white chocolate. If still to thick, add in milk, 1 tbsp at a time until desired consistently is reached. Finally, mix in red food colouring until a light shade of pink is made.

Frost cake with a spatula, covering all sides in an even coating. Top with coconut. Cool cake for at least half an hour to set, then serve.

Happy Baking!! xxxx

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I’ve Been Nominated for the Sunshine Award!

24 Apr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Award!

Sunshine Award rules:

  • Include the award’s logo in a post on your blog.
  • Answer 10 questions about yourself.
  • nominate 10 other bloggers.
  • Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
  • Share the love and link the person who nominated you.

Well, this is a surprise! I’m not even sure what a sunshine award is but I am happy to receive such a nomination from the lovely Jody of http://thriftshoppingbuzz.com/!

I guess I should follow the rules and go right ahead and tell y’all a little about myself. I didn’t quite like the original questions, so I made some of them up myself.

  1. My favourite season of the year: Summer weather suits me better, but I do love to ski
  2. Morning or night person: morning, all the way. I have so much trouble staying up and I hate wasting my day sleeping 
  3. My favourite form of exercise: running and skiing
  4. My favourite drink: Beer, or anything with gin
  5. Savoury or sweet: I like sweet first thing in the morning, then have to have savoury after, then sweet, then savoury….
  6. My passion: I don’t think I have just one, but I know that I love food, the outdoors, travel, and people
  7. Piercings or tattoos: I only have piercings, and find them addicting, and that is why I don’t think I should get a tattoo…I’d probably end up tattooing my whole body
  8. My favourite day: wake up around 7, go for a long run on the beach, eat peanut butter pancakes, lie in the sun and tan, have a ton of beer, go out for a seafood dinner (…lobster), then dance until the sun rises and fall asleep on a bed made of clouds….
  9. My favourite music: reggae and electronic
  10. My favourite flower: Orchid

Next step, my Nominations for the Sunshine Award:

1. The always cute and chocolatey Katie from http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/.

2. Emily of http://www.visionsofsugarplum.com/ was the first food blogger I ever started following!

3. The ever original and inspiring Megan of http://www.takeamegabite.com/.

4. Jessica of http://www.howsweeteats.com/ is absolutely hilarious and cooks up a storm!

5. Tessa of http://www.handletheheat.com/ is living the life I want, through culinary school.

6. Rose is the beautiful and multi-talented face behind http://www.thelondoner.me/.

7. Kath is a dietician and posts the most healthy and delicious looking meals on http://www.katheats.com/.

8. The creative and sugar-hungry Jessie of http://www.cakespy.com/.

9. The talented Becky of http://www.beckybakes.net/ has the most drool-worthy photos!

10. And last but not least, the one and only Joy of http://joythebaker.com/.

 

All these fantastic ladies fill my life with inspiration and joy. Each one is creative and talented in her own way and it is a pleasure to be able to view their sites each day.

 

Thanks! xxxx

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Peanut Butter Icing

23 Apr

The end of exams is approaching, which means people are starting to pack up their things to fly back home for the summer. Two of my roomies are going back to Calgary for the summer and I am getting all sad and concerned over here. Two new people will be living in my house while they are gone, and I don’t know how I feel about it. Strangers! In my kitchen! In my bathroom! Obviously we all want to come visit each other, but we wont really be living together again until September. But wait! Even then, Riley is going to Paris for first semester! 😦

As sad as it is to see my friends leave Vancouver, I am also excited for life in Vancouver when I’m not in school. Afternoons on the beach, picnics and summer food, going out at night and not shivering my ass off…. it will be a good time.

I made these cupcakes for an indoor picnic we had the other day (rain=indoor). Wine, cheese, baguettes, wine, chicken, cold-cuts, chocolate, pate, wine….and these. Everything was delicious- so much so that I ate everything and had to lie down and spread out like a beached whale. Cute. These cupcakes are super moist and light, while the icing is rich and slightly savoury (salty and sweet). I stole the recipe from My Little Celebration.

Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes with Cinnamon Peanut Butter Icing

Cupcake

  • 1 cup soymilk
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

Frosting

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

In a medium size bowl, add soymilk and vinegar and let sit for a few minutes. Whisk, then incorporate the oil, sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to wet mixture and beat until thoroughly combined.

Pour batter into muffin tin, filling up 9-10 cups, and bake for 17-20 minutes. Remove and cool for a few hours.

For icing, beat butter until fluffy. Add peanut butter and confectioners sugar. when it gets hard to beat, add cream, then add cinnamon. Place icing in a piping bag and decorate cupcakes as you wish.

Happy Baking! xxox

Marbelicious Cookies

21 Apr

On campus, tucked away in a corner of the SUB, there is a little cafe/bakery known to most students as the best spot to grab the cheapest coffee, and the most delicious cookies. The shop is called Blue Chip, and is run by the AMS student society. The coffee is fair trade and organic, and the treats they offer include everything from pastries, to brownies, to cookies, to vegan goodies. My favourite cookie they serve, the Marbelous, is a dark chocolate cookie topped with white chocolate chunks. I have always called it the “Marbelicious” because I read the sign wrong the first time-woops.

Because I love this cookie so much, I decided to try and replicate it in my own kitchen. I have no idea what the real recipe is, but these are very good and close in taste to the original! A super thick and chewy cookie base, covered in white chocolate chunks-it is a treat for the taste buds! I will definitely be making these more often because they are just so easy to make! No chilling of the dough required, though I would like to try it to see what difference it makes. I adapted the recipe from The Very Best Baking.

Marbelicious Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2  cup + 1 tbsp flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 oz white chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 1-2 cookie sheets.

In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until thoroughly mixed. Slowly add in flour mixture to egg mixture and mix with your own arm strength (the beaters cant take the thick dough very well).

When completely combined, scoop tablespoon sized portions (or bigger if you want larger cookies) of dough onto cookie sheets and top with white chocolate chunks. Bake for 10-15 minutes depending on how gooey you want them to be. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve warm.

Happy Baking!!!! xxxo

White and Dark Chocolate Layer Brownies

17 Apr

Helloooooo, it has been a couple days since I’ve posted anything! Exams are just getting the better of me! Today I made these fabulous bars and they totally gave me a pick-me-up. The bottom layer consists of a fudgey, intensely chocolate brownie. The second layer is a fluffy and creamy white chocolate layer, that has a bite of cream cheese and soaked in sweetened condensed milk. I finished it off with mini reese’s pieces cups, to add a little salty peanut butter taste to each bar.I’m glad I added the cream cheese because these bars would be too sweet without it.

I have never in my life had a white chocolate brownie so these bars intrigued me. I got the inspiration from seeing a lemon and blueberry brownie on foodgawker that had a white chocolate glaze. I thought that making the entire brownie out of white chocolate would be fun and unique.

Do I like white chocolate brownies better then dark chocolate? Heavens, no. I love chocolate chocolate. A true brownie will never be replaced in my heart. But these bars are a fun and delicious variation so give them a try!

White and Dark Chocolate Layer Brownies

White Layer

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 14 oz sweetened condensed milk ( 1 can)
  • 4 oz melted white chocolate
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Dark Chocolate Layer

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 packs of mini reece’s pieces

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×9 baking pan. Line with aluminum foil and grease again.

For dark chocolate base, mix flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside. Melt butter over medium-high heat until completely melted, then stir in cocoa powder. Mix in sugar, vanilla, and eggs until combined, then stir in flour mixture. Pour mixture into greased pan.

For white layer, mix together dry ingredients and set aside. In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Slowly add condensed milk and white chocolate while beating. Add dry ingredients and beat until smooth. Pour white layer on top of dark layer. Place reece’s pieces on top.

Bake for 45 minutes, or until top is golden and center is just gooey.

Happy baking! xxx

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

13 Apr

Jumbo muffins!

Have you ever gone grocery shopping, ended up buying too many groceries for you to even carry home, and then realize you forgot your debit card? And you have no other way of paying because the store won’t accept Visa (why is that!?), and you start to panic and don’t know what to do with all the food, and the cash register chick is just staring at you, waiting for you to say something?!

Definitely happened to me today. I got all-a-flustered, and decided to call a friend who lived across the street and beg him to foot the bill. My super hero rolled out of bed and into the shop (literally) and was kind enough to pay for the crazy, sweaty, greasy-haired lady’s (moi) groceries. Of course I’m paying him back, but I also feel I should drop these gorgeous muffins off later. The hero deserves it!

These muffins are like those massive ones you find in coffee shops. Too big to actually think about consuming all at once, except you totally do. The ones that are made to look healthy yet are secretly hiding about 5 million calories in fat and sugar. Well, these babies are hiding nothing! No, they are not healthy, and the actual serving size is about half of one, but they are a lot better for you than most of the muffins sold in cafes. Only a bit of healthy coconut and a lot of skim milk keep these babies moist. I adapted the recipe from Fatsecret.

Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 ripe, mashed bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a standard 12-cup cupcake pan.

Mix dry ingredients together and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together wet ingredients. Mix in dry ingredients, and stir until thoroughly incorporated. Mix in chocolate chips.

Spoon batter into cupcake pan and bake for 25 minutes, until tops or slightly golden and a toothpick comes out dry. Cool for 5 minutes, then serve.

Happy Baking!  xxx

 

Marshmallow Caramel Brownies

12 Apr

Fat stack

Today I went running. It was euphoric. Utterly incredible and fantastically fresh. It was more of a slow, strong jog, but it felt great. I haven’t been brave enough to try for a month for fear of making myself more sick (if that is even possible). Turns out I’m so much better than I thought! Yay for health!

My new-found balance in life has completely changed how I look at the world. I swear, I am half as stressed as I used to be, and I think it is because I don’t take everything as seriously. School is hard, and requires a lot of time and effort. But it is not my life and that is ok. I won’t be the kid scoring 90’s in my courses, but I will be much happier for it. I will get through exams, find a summer job, and have the best possible summer that I can! As for food, I am listening to my body more and eating only healthy, simple food. If you treat your body right, it shines through in your mood, complexion, and overall well-being. Such a good feeling.

To balance out my healthy eating and exercise, I obviously had to bake a batch of these beauties. So gooey, fudgey, chocolatey, and just straight-up delicious. I swirled caramel throughout the brownie batter, and mixed in a good 2 cups of marshmallows before I popped it in the oven. The marshmallows caramelized, and added a chewy texture. They are best served after cooling in the fridge overnight, because the flavours deepen. Recipe is my own.

Marshmallow Caramel Brownies

 

  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup caramel (make your own or store bought!)
  • 1-2 cups mini marshmallows

 

Directions:

 

Grease a 9×9 baking pan and line with aluminum foil. Grease again. Set oven to 375 degrees.

Over medium-high heat, melt butter in a small sauce pan. When completely melted, remove and add sugar. Stir like crazy to prevent burning. When sugar is fully incorporated, wait 5 minutes to let cool.  Add eggs, one at a time, whisking them in. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix up dry ingredients, then add them to wet ingredients.

Pour mixture into prepared pan, and swirl in caramel. Top with marshmallows, and stir them in a bit so that they are coate din batter and wont burn.

Bake for 35-40 minutes until top is glossy, and a toothpick comes out clean yet crumby. Cool brownies for 20 minutes, then a further 2 hours in fridge. Slice into bars and serve with milk.

Happy Baking! xxx