10.16.2012

Black Velvet Donuts

I've been excited about Halloween for awhile. There are so many things I want to bake. There are so many candies and decorations I want to use. Also, two of my friends are having a combined birthday/Halloween party this year and I can't wait! I haven't done anything for Halloween the past couple of years, which made me sad because I thought maybe I had gotten too old for it. But that's completely ridiculous. You are never too old for Halloween. 




Some time last year I bought a mini doughnut maker for around $20 at Target. I don't use it very often and I don't know why. It's pretty easy and the doughnuts are so little and cute!

I was trying to think of something I could make for Halloween that isn't made very often. After Halloween last year, my mom randomly bought me a ton of Halloween sprinkles and things on sale. So I knew I wanted to incorporate sprinkles into it somehow. Also, I feel like sprinkles make everything cuter. I may have gone a little overboard on that part, though. Black and orange needed to be included too, so I decided on black velvet donuts with a cream cheese glaze.


As easy as it is to use the mini doughnut maker, I don't think I've mastered it yet. These black velvet doughnuts turned out pretty well though. Mainly, I love how bright and colorful they are. I even put some tiny spider sprinkles on some of them, and I don't deal with spiders. Even fake sugary ones.

For this recipe, I used a basis doughnut recipe that came in a booklet with my mini doughnut maker and added some things to make it red velvet, or "black velvet".

(BAKED) BLACK VELVET DOUGHNUTS

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 large egg
1 cup buttermilk
4 tablespoons oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vinegar
2-3 tsp black food coloring

If you're using a mini doughnut maker:
  • Prepare the mini doughnut maker according to the included instructions.
  • Combine all ingredients except for oil in a medium sized bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on medium speed until incorporated. 
  • Add oil and beat for one minute. Add more food coloring if the color isn't as dark as you'd like it.
  • I plugged in my doughnut maker at this point and let it preheat while I transferred the doughnut batter to a decorating bag. When the doughnut maker has preheated, cut the tip off the bag.
  • Pipe the doughnut batter into the doughnut molds and close it. Let the doughnuts bake for a 2-3 minutes, or however long it says on the instructions.
  • When the doughnuts are done, transfer them to a cooling rack.

If you're using a doughnut baking pan:
  • Spray pan with non-stick spray and preheat oven to 350 degress.
  • Prepare doughnut batter as stated above.
  • Use a spoon, or you can still use a decorating bag, to fill the pan. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes and check doughnuts. If they aren't slightly golden-brown, bake for a couple more minutes.

CREAM CHEESE GLAZE

2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons cream cheese, room temperature
1-2 tsp orange food coloring

  • Combine all ingredients in a small or medium bowl, or the bowl of a stand mixer. 
  • Mix on medium speed until completely combined.
  • Add more food coloring if it isn't as orange as you'd like it.
  • Make sure the doughnuts are completely cool before you dip them in the glaze. 
  • Hold doughnuts upside down and dip one side into the glaze. If it isn't thick enough, you could add more cream cheese or powdered sugar to the glaze, or wait a minute and dip the doughnut in the glaze again. I did two layers of glaze on mine.
  • I recommend dipping a doughnut in the glaze, letting it sit for a moment, and adding sprinkles after that. I wouldn't dip all the doughnuts in the glaze and then add sprinkles to all of them because the glaze would probably be dry on most of them.
  • Also, I didn't use all of my doughnut batter. This recipe makes a ton of mini doughnuts. I just stopped after I had enough, and even then I didn't dip them all in glaze. I still have some plain doughnuts in my refrigerator. 


I like using my mini doughnut maker because the doughnuts are baked instead of fried. They're cake doughnuts, which I like to think are healthier than fried doughnuts. I mean, they probably are a little bit. But I think I prefer the texture of  fried doughnuts, though. And by that I mean, when I think of doughnuts, I immediately think of Krispy Kreme doughnuts. So I might have to try frying some doughnuts soon, just so I can really compare the two. 

I got some of my friends to eat about half of these last night, but I still have some left. Any takers?


10.09.2012

Chocolate and Strawberry Cake

So where did October come from? I mean, I feel like this semester just started and suddenly Fall Break is over and I'm having to sign up for advising for my final semester. I'm going to need everything to slow down because so many good things are happening and I don't want them to be over yet.

But enough of that.

Like I said, this past weekend was part of Fall Break and it also happened to be my mom's birthday! And I wanted to make a really special cake for her because my mom's pretty awesome.



Let me tell you about my mom.

She works a lot, is stressed out a lot, and worries a lot. But she's also one of the most selfless people I know. She buys a bottle of wine for me every time I visit home so we can drink wine together and catch up. She deals with frustrating people daily and always does the right thing. Everyday, she leaves early for work, comes home late from work, and doesn't really have much time for herself. Sometimes I think she believes that parents aren't cool. When her and my dad come to visit for football games, she always tells me that they'll drop off the tons of food they bring and get out of our way. And every time I tell her that they won't be in the way and that all my friends love them! She rarely does things for herself and is always thinking of others. And I think she worries about me a lot, so I wanted to make a cake to let her know that I appreciate everything she does for me and everything she does in general.


As far as recipes go, there aren't any knew ones here, and I apologize for that. I've got about a million things planned for Halloween, so there will be some new recipes on here soon! I promise!

I tried to make a strawberry-chocolate cake for the cake layers, and by that I mean I wanted to put strawberries in the chocolate cake. But I pureed them and when the cakes came out of the oven, they were basically nonexistent. The flavor wasn't there or anything. It was just chocolate. I think if I had chopped the strawberries into chunks or slices, it would have worked out much better.

CHOCOLATE AND STRAWBERRY CAKE

For the chocolate cake, I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe, Black Magic Cake. I know I've been using this a lot lately, so I'll switch it up next time!

For the frosting, I attempted to make strawberry meringue buttercream, but it failed miserably. I was pressed for time at that point, so I used store bought strawberry frosting instead. I considered using this homemade strawberry frosting recipe, but it isn't really good for piping. It doesn't hold a shape very well.

And I used regular buttercream for the outside of the cake too.
1 cup (2 sticks) of butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
3 cups of powdered sugar

Cut the butter into chunks. I usually cut along the tablespoon lines on the wrapper. Beat butter on medium speed until light and creamy. Add vanilla and milk, mix well. Add one cup of powdered sugar at a time, scraping the bowl and mixing well after each addition. 

To achieve the ruffled look of this cake, I followed a great tutorial by Baker's Royale. It's super easy and uses a 104 Wilton tip. It's basically done by starting at the bottom of the cake, moving your hand upward with a continuous stream of frosting, and slightly moving your hand back and forth. But Baker's Royale has a really good tutorial with pictures, so check it out!


I'm so pleased with how this cake turned out, even though it's a little different than I originally planned. And I really hope my mom had a great birthday. We visited with both sides of our family, went out for dinner, and watched some movies. It was definitely good to go home and spend time with all of them!