Sunday, January 31, 2010

The "High Hat"

Yesterday I had a little fun in the kitchen!

You may not know it, but I have this little dream of having my own bakery in partnership with my adorable niece, Jen! We'd have a big focus on cupcakes because our bakery would be called the . . . (maybe I shouldn't post the name in case someone likes it and steals it from me before I make this dream a reality!!!)

Whew . . . that was a close call!


I've been trying a few things here and there. My facebook friends know that I made "Chantilly Frosting" recently with great success! It was divine! But the cupcake I made wasn't all that great.

There's another cupcake I've had my eye on, and wanted to try. It's called the "High Hat"! It gets that name because the frosting on it is about 2 inches high! Now before you think, "That's way too much frosting even for the serious frosting lovers!" It's not 2 inches of buttercream. It's way lighter than that . . .

And oh so lovely!!!

So . . . like any great baker or chef would do . . . I got "mise en place" (pronouced 'meez ah plahs')! It's french, and it means to get everything in place. The ingredients as you can see are butter, flour, sugar, unsweetened baking chocolate, eggs, sour cream, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

First I had to melt the chocolate over a simmering pot of water.

Then creamed the butter and sugar . . .

added the melted chocolate . . .

combined the dry ingredients, then added it to the mix.

After beating it until it became a little lighter in color,

I added the eggs one at a time,

the sour cream,

and vanilla!

The batter alone tasted so light and creamy!

I know these were going to be some delicious treats!

I lined my cupcakes pans with the paper liners and used my trusty ice cream scoop to put just the right amount in each little cup. I love that ice cream scoop!

And they baked!

While they were baking I started working on the frosting.

I don't know how many of you have made the frostings that are mostly whipped up egg whites.

I personally didn't realize this was a frosting option!

But I love it! It's so light and lovely!

But I digress . . . let me back up a bit.

So the recipe for the frosting called for egg whites, sugar, water and cream of tartar.

This has to be whipped while in a bowl over simmering water as well.

Now . . .

Here's where I veered away from the instructions.

Call me crazy, but in the back of my mind I'm thinking, "this is never going to whip up over HEAT! At least I didn't think so . . .

So I decided to pull it off the heat and transfer it to my trusty KitchenAid!

I love my KitchenAid!

I let the machine do the whipping, that's my trick!

It whipped up so fluffy and smooth and heavenly!!!

I was oh so pleased with myself!

It took every ounce of patience I had to wait for the cupcakes to cool off before piping on the frosting. Seriously . . . every ounce! I couldn't wait to pipe on the 2 inches of heavenly clouds!

But I did wait . . .

And voila!

Aren't they divine!!!





Now comes the fun part!

I have to melt more chocolate (semi-sweet this time) for. . .


While I was melting chocolate, the cupcakes waited patiently in the fridge.

Once I got the chocolate melted, I had to put it into a smaller bowl so that the chocolate would be 'deep enough' to dip the cupcakes into.

The first one . . .


My chocolate was too thick and my frosting too soft and fragile.

Now I've seen the video of the infamous Ms. Stewart doing this making it look like it's a cinch! So I know it's possible!

I obviously have to thin my chocolate somehow . . .

(google: how to thin dipping chocolate!)

It looks like you add oil!
So I add and stir . . .

add some more,

and more,

and even more . . .

until I feel like it just might work!

So victim #2!

Better . . . but still a flop!

At least I could dip it without crushing the frosting.

But as I pulled them out, they were too 'heavy' and couldn't hold up and inevitably slid off into my dipping chocolate.

So then I'd have to scoop out the frosting and try again.

Third try . . . same thing!



There had to be a way to get this blasted chocolate on these cupcakes!

Sooooo . . .

In my cleverness, I decided to put the melted chocolate into my frosting bag and just drizzle it over the cupcakes!


Take that!

They really are as tasty as they look!

Here's one of the casualties. :(

Although mine look delectible and mouth watering . . .

They were supposed to look like. . .


Sunday, January 3, 2010

The New "Digs"

OK . . . OK . . . OK! Stop pestering me already! Here's a peek at the new place. . . (gosh!) Won't you please come in? . . . .

Don't trip over the hose . . . Scott's been watering his tropical plants again! (sorry about the blurriness in the above photo, the camera focused on the newel post!)
The Master Suite (above) Hallway (below)

This view is from the front of the house. That's the West Maui Mountains . . . where the Iao Valley is located.

From the back yard (or from the guest bedroom windows) you have a great view of Kahului Harbor where the cruise ships dock.
For the actual floor plan and to get a feel for the layout of the house, go to It's floor plan #5. It's the reverse of that plan, without the optional "Granny Suite" upstairs, and the doorway off the kitchen to the bathroom and Bedroom #4 has been walled off.
Once I do the dishes and straighten the kitchen, I'll post photos of it!