baker tagged posts

Baker’s Recipe: Lime Cheesecake Cupcakes

In a rage, the minotaur tossed aside the worn table. Thaxus was less than thrilled about his spilled milk, but he should have know by now to never go out in public with Adem at this point. Nostrils flaring the minotaur stomped his hooves before looking Adem squarely in the eye and spat, “Those are not the limes of Keys.”

I never turn down an opportunity to show off some baking, so when my friends had a summer barbecue I knew I had to make a new recipe. Originally these were intended to be keylime cupcakes, but keylimes are far too small and far too much work when it comes to juicing and zesting, so instead I went with regular limes. If you want to make use of the soon-to-be de-zested limes, I have to suggest making a pitcher of Margaritas using my simple (and bonus) recipe:

Easy Margaritas

Ingredients
3 limes
2 lemons
1 orange

8 ounces of tequila
4 ounces of simple syrup
2 ounces of triple sec

Juice the fruits, it should yield around 12 ounces of liquid. Combine with 8 ounces of tequila, four ounces of simple syrup and two ounces of triple sec. Either blend in a blender or shake together and serve on the rocks. Garnish your glass with a salt rim if you like, but please use something better than Morton’s.

To make your own simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water and bring to a boil. Once the mixture has reduced by a third to half, remove from heat and allow it to cool. Don’t ever bother buying the stuff.

Now on to the cupcakes!

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Baker’s Harry Potter Recipe: Treacle Tart

He felt it was a better use of his time to eat his way steadily through his steak and kidney pie, then a large plateful of his favorite treacle tart. – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

This has got to be on the mind of most people who read Harry Potter and don’t live in the UK – What is treacle tart and why does Harry love it so much? Treacle isn’t quite molasses but is a syrup made during the process of refining sugar that just doesn’t seem that popular in the United States. It’s basically corn syrup and Treacle Tart is basically pecan pie without pecans. It makes sense why Harry would love it seeing as he was rarely given anything sweet by his aunt and uncle besides that single lemon popsicle.

Treacle (or golden syrup) can be difficult to find in the states. But Amazon seems to sell nearly everything, though it’s probably at a premium. So check locally. If for some reason you absolutely cannot find treacle, you could try mixing molasses and corn syrup, which will be close but not quite right.

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Baker’s Recipe: Harry Potter Pumpkin Pasties

A pasty (or pastie) is a name given to a folded pastry crust that is filled with all manner of ingredient and baked. The most famous being the Cornish pasty – a meat and vegetable filled pasty product hailing from the southern portion of England – which may have its origins dating all the way back to the early 1500s. Though traditionally a savory delight, sweeter versions are not uncommon these days especially in the southern United States where the pasty has a very rich following, taking on appearances like the turnover.

With origins in the Middle Ages, they may have been some of the first “foods on the go”, becoming a handy alternative for travelers or those who could not readily afford utensils. Certainly a better alternative than Go-Gurt and cereal bars.

In the world of Harry Potter the pumpkin pasty is another concoction (along with the Cauldron Cake) sold aboard the Hogwarts Express. Though never explicitly stated as being a sweet, when sold amongst candies and other dessert like pastry, we can only assume that it was not quite the same traditional savory pasty. Though given the versatility of the dish adapting it for either sweet or savory applications requires very little effort.

The pumpkin pasties took center stage at our Potter Party, being the most substantial component that also wasn’t entirely made of sugar. Plus, the pumpkin is both a fruit and a vegetable so there’s at least a bit of nutrition there.

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Baker’s Recipe: Tomato & Basil Pizza

Adem couldn’t make up his mind about what to indulge in first while looking over the abundance from the harvest. The fresh cheese? The fresh fruits? Or that piping hot bread? Shrugging, he just combined them all.

Bakers aren’t all about sweets like cakes and brownies, we also excel at making courses. Sure, the cook may argue this falls under his expertise, but if it gets baked in an oven then the baker gets to claim it.

With summer doing all it can to melt me into a puddle of goop, I will say it’s allowed for some exceptional produce. And is there anything as good as fresh basil, tomatoes and mozzarella?

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Baker’s Review: Dunkin Donuts Captain America and Stars & Stripes Donuts

In addition to the Captain America the First Avenger Tri-Cup Coolatta, I also picked up both of the Marvel Comics themed hero’s donuts – the Captain America and the Stars & Stripes. With names that creative, I can’t help but think that Dunkin Donuts already had Fourth of July donuts in the works and just rebranded them.

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I can bake that too! Tom Colicchio’s Lemon Cake Recipe

At the end of last week, we posted about how Tom Colicchio is making food inspired by the upcoming TV series Game of Thrones. Along with the release, a recipe was given: Lemon Cake! So I figured, if Tom can do it – I can do it too! And I did.

Lemon Cakes by Tom Colicchio
Serves 6

Ingredients
1/2 cup sugar plus additional for dusting ramekins
2 eggs, separated
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
Pinch kosher salt
2/3 cup buttermilk
2  1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Finely chopped zest of 1 1/2 lemons

Directions
Heat the oven to 300.  Butter and lightly sugar 6 4-ounce ramekins.  Beat the egg whites until they hold soft peaks then set them aside.  Sift the sugar with the flour and salt. In a mixer, using the whisk attachment, combine the buttermilk, lemon juice, egg yolks and lemon zest.

Gradually add the flour mixture then fold in the egg whites.  Divide the batter between the prepared ramekins.  Place the ramekins in a water bath (set the ramekins in a larger pan; fill the pan with enough hot water to come half way up the ramekins) cover with aluminum foil.

Bake until the cakes rise and are almost firm, about 25 minutes then uncover and continue baking until the tops are lightly golden and the cakes spring back when touched, about 15 minutes more.  Unmold and serve.

From Craft of Cooking, Clarkson Potter, 2003

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Baker’s Recipe: Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cinnamon Frosting


The lumbering frost giant raised the charred remains of its tree trunk club, swinging violently at the source of the last fireball. Ducking, Thaxus kept trying to think of how in the nine spheres did a frost giant manage to find its way into the Amwa swamps. Some things are just always out of season.

For all intents and purposes, this should be a fall dessert, so posting it on the first day of Spring shows that more than the clock on my stove is slightly off. After a friend requested apple crisp cupcakes, I spent a lot of time thinking of how I was going to get it to work. But upon discovering that the apples and crumb topping would sink into the cupcakes while baking, I knew I had a winner.

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Baker’s Recipe: Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

“I’m going to kill Adem,” Thaxus spat over the singed corpse of the final owlbear. All he wanted was a couple of the best eggs so he could finally make his favorite childhood treat. Why wouldn’t you ask the druid about the best and freshest eggs? Then again, Adem was a terrible druid. Next time he needed cooking advice, Thaxus was just going to ask Nievah.

Thaxus swore under his breath – his pendant of teleportation was cracked. It was going to be a long walk back to the shores of Nolorth. Maybe the otter-penguins actually lay eggs.

Many seem to think that Red Velvet cake is just yellow cake dyed red or is somehow a chocolate cake, but those are sweeping generalizations and wrong. What makes Red Velvet so unique in texture is the use of baking powder and vinegar as a leveling agent in the cake. The chocolate is used to simply counter-act the flavor of the vinegar, while allowing it to still be present for the chemical reaction. And lately the trend has been to make the cake as bright red as possible. The first recipe I ever used called for an OUNCE of red dye – that’s six times as much as I use in my recipe.

One thing about this recipe as a whole is that it calls for one ingredient that most people don’t have on hand: buttermilk. In many localities, buttermilk is only sold in quarts, which means you end up with a bunch of extra buttermilk. If you’re looking for a good way to use it, try it in waffles or pancakes as a substitute for regular milk!

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Baker’s Recipe: Monkey Bread

The best part of the cinnamon bun is the middle part when all the icing, cinnamon and sugar combine with the dough into a delicious gooey mess. Monkey Bread (often known as Monkey Bubble Bread) takes balls of dough and covers them in sugar then bakes it all together into easily one of the most delightful breakfast concoctions I’ve tasted in a long time.

This recipe is based off the one found in Baked Explorations, which is a fascinating read and has stunning photography – unlike mine which is terrifying on a good day. But once you make this, you won’t want to stop to take a photo either!

The trick to Monkey Bread is a simple one: it takes a lot of work and a lot of time. From start to finish, this can easily take four hours with over an hour of it being active participation.

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Baker’s Recipe: Butterbeer Cupcakes

After reading about the Butterbeer Cupcakes crafted by the grand mage, Amy, I knew I would have to make my own batch (especially given my affinity for all things Harry Potter). So as soon as a situation occurred that called for me to whip up a dessert, I knew it was finally time to bake a batch of these diabetic coma inducing delectables. But I made a few minor changes to Amy’s recipe to bring it more in line with my butterbeer recipe.

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