Category Archives: Chocolate

GOLD!!!

I’m proud to be a Canadian! 14 gold medals and an amazing experience, the Olympics over. It’s been a great experience… we went to women’s preliminary curling and the preliminary Canada vs. US men’s hockey game, plus we spent a day enjoying the atmosphere in Vancouver. It was an incredible party!

So, on Sunday, for the Gold Medal hockey game (Canada vs. US, in case you missed it!), one of my friends had some people over for a party. We had a great time, and were incredibly nervous when the US tied the game in the final seconds. But, just a few minutes later, in overtime, when Sidney Crosby scored, there was cause for GREAT jubilation!!!!!!!

I decided to try to make a Team Canada hockey jersey cake! It turned out great… it took me a lot longer to decorate than I anticipated, but the results were worth it!  I haven’t decorated a lot of cakes before, so this was a learning experience for me!

First, I baked a 9 x 13″ cake. I used my Grandma’s Pound Cake recipe.  I baked it for 30 minutes and it was perfect!  I used a chocolate cake mix and chocolate pudding mix.

Then, I let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire cooling rack.  After this, I took the cake out of the pan and let it cool on the wire rack overnight.

In the morning, I cut the cake by following the instructions on this blog I found.  It basically involves cutting the cake and reassembling it.  It’s really easy.  I think next time I make the cake, I am going to trim the top of the cake to make it level (when I assembled the cake, I put the bottom on the top, but then, the unlevel top made the bottom uneven).

After that, I put a crumb coat on the cake.  I used the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe.  A crumb coat is a thin layer of icing that you put on the cake to contain the crumbs.  Let the crumb coat dry for a while (maybe 15 minutes).  I ended up having to do another crumb coat, as the crumbs kept getting on the second coat (remember, I am an inexperienced cake decorator!).  A note:  keep the bowl of frosting covered with a damp tea towel.  Otherwise, it dries up really quickly.  I then made half a batch of frosting because I ran out.  I put the top coat of frosting on.

Now, I only have liquid food coloring at home (the cheap stuff from the grocery store).  To get the best colour for frosting, you have to use the paste colouring that you buy at a cake decorating store.  And by the time I thought about this, it was 10:00pm on Saturday night, and all cake decorating shops are closed.  I was worried that my frosting would only turn out pink, and not red.  Who wants a pink maple leaf on a Team Canada cake?  So, I went to the grocery store and found some cookie frosting that was premade in a tube.  It was the perfect colour!

Now, I am not an artist.  So, to create the perfect maple leaf, I printed a Canadian flag out on my computer.  Then, I cut out the maple leaf.  After that, I put in on the jersey and lightly traced around it with a sharp knife.  Then, I peeled off the paper, and went to work tracing around the outline with the frosting.  I then filled it in, and added the rest of the details!

On Sunday morning, cutting and decorating the cake took me about two hours in total.

And, voila!  A patriotic, Go Canada Go! cake.  By the way, it tasted great and received rave reviews.

The jersey cake idea is totally versatile, and now all I’m waiting for is the Vancouver Canucks to make it into the Stanley Cup final so  I have an excuse to make another one!

Proud to be a Canadian!
The Hungry Teacher

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Cocoa Brownies!

 

So, when I opened up my google reader this morning to indulge in my favourite food blogs, this post by Smitten Kitchen caught my eye!  It is for “The Best Cocoa Brownies”.  The beautiful pictures and the great description caught my eye.

So, I made them.  WOW!!!!!!!!! Incredible brownies!  They are fudgy, chocolatey, rich and delicious!!!! 

Smitten Kitchen says that they taste similar to “gasp!” boxed brownie mix.  When I brought my brownies to my “testers” (mom and sister), my sister said that they tasted like brownie mix, but better.  I knew Smitten had a winner of a recipe when my mom called me as soon as she got home and asked for the recipe!

The recipe calls for a double boiler.  I just use a stainless steel bowl over a pan of simmering water.  It works just fine!  Apparently, Smitten Kitchen says that you can use a microwave too.  But I like the double boiler method.  It’s fun!

So, here is the recipe.  You’ve gotta try it!!!

Best Cocoa Brownies
recipe from Smitten Kitchen — check it out.  Her pictures are amazing!
Makes 25 small brownies

3/4 cup unsalted butter (I used salted butter, because it was what I had, and I decreased the salt to a couple shakes from my table salt shaker)
1-1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa powder (I used Fry’s, it was good!)
1/4 tsp salt (decrease salt if using salted butter!)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Place a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 325°F.  Line an 8×8″ pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the sides.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa powder and salt in the top of a double boiler.  Heat over a pan of lightly simmering water.  Stir occasionally until the butter is melted.  Take off of the water, and let sit for a few minutes to cool down a bit.  Stir in the vanilla.    Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each one is added.  When the batter is shiny and well-blended, add the flour.  Stir until just combined, and then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with a spoon.  Pour into the prepared pan. 

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a little bit of moist batter on it.  My brownies took closer to 30-35 minutes to cook.  Let the brownies cool completely, then take them out of the pan, by pulling on the overhanging parchment paper, put on a cutting board and cut.  I washed my knife with hot water in between cuts to clean the knife and facilitate cutting.  Cut into 25 squares (or if you’re feeling over-indulgent, 16 squares!)

Enjoy these brownies!
The Hungry Teacher

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Filed under Chocolate, Dessert