Recipes

Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake

Image

Chocolate Lovers – this one’s for you.

This cake is hands down, the best homemade chocolate cake recipe ever.
You’ve gotta trust us on this one – we’ve tested many different kinds of chocolate cake recipes over the years, and this one blows away all the others.

This cake is soft, light, fluffy, and perfectly chocolatey. {All the things a good chocolate cake should be.}

The cake’s super fluffy & moist texture is due in part to a few things.. the use of buttermilk, and coffee! That’s right – 1 cup of hot coffee is used in this cake to help accentuate the chocolate flavour. Don’t worry, it will NOT make the cake taste like coffee.
Buttermilk is also used to help keep the cake super moist. (Buttermilk really is a great baking ingredient for cakes & cupcakes.)

For the frosting, we decided to ditch the usual chocolate buttercream that is often used for this kind of cake and went with a Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting instead. Neither of us are big fans of buttercreams, as they are usually extremely sweet and overpowering. We always tend to frost cakes using a whipping cream frosting because it is a lot lighter, less sweet, and just seems to taste better & fresher.

Natasha made this cake a few weeks ago for a birthday, and everybody raved about the cake so we decided to make a Valentine’s version! This chocolate cake is perfect for any occasion – decorate it however you wish! ๐Ÿ™‚

Image

Image

Image
Nummm! You can see just how moist & fresh the cake is.

This cake is amazing because it actually stays fresh like this for days after baking!
{Keep cake covered at room temperature for up to 4 days to ensure freshness, or covered and refrigerated for up to 6 days.}

Image

IMG_2562

Image

Image

Decadent Double Layer Chocolate Cake Recipe + Directions

Note: it is very important that eggs are at room temperature for this recipe! using eggs at room temperature will allow the cake to rise properly. using cold eggs could ruin your cake.

Ingredients:

For the Cake:
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 and 3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder {not dutch processed}
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting Ingredients:

250g whipping cream
Nestle Nesquik Chocolate Syrup (to taste)

Directions:

Butter & flour two 9-inch round cake pans & set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, & salt; set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, oil, room temperature eggs, & vanilla.
With the mixer on low-speed, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined. Add in the coffee. {Batter will be very wet – it is supposed to be. don’t worry!}

Pour the batter evenly into the 2 prepared baking pans and bake for approx. 24-28 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the beater/whip attachment, whip the whipping cream on medium-high speed for 2-5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add in chocolate syrup to taste, and mix.

IMG_255923

Happy Valentine’s Baking!
Natasha & Laura xo

Standard
Recipes

Sugar Cookies

Image

Can you believe Christmas is over & we’re well into the New Year?! And guess what’s right around the corner? Yup, it’s all about hearts, love, chocolates & candy – oh my! Okay, we may be jumping the gun just a tad but we can’t help it. We love occasions and any reason to celebrate something. We wasted no time, got all of our Christmas decor packed away and brought out our Valentine’s decor, then spent the entire day making these Valentine’s Day cookies. I’m not even kidding… a whole day. We have made Valentine cookies every year, but this year we decided to get more creative with the decorating. We searched the internet, browsed some of our favourite cookbooks and got to it.

Image

Can I just say that we were greatly naive in thinking that it was going to be a breeze, a cake walk, an easy task. Decorating cookies takes a lot of time, technique and patience. Don’t let those baking shows on tv fool you! They make everything appear so simple.

Image

When we finally figured out how to make the Royal Icing into various batches of colours and consistencies, (firmer batch for detailing and a more fluid batch for filling) we were on our way.
Oh, and may I just share a tip – make sure you twist tie the tops of the icing piping bags like the recipe says to, otherwise you will have big blobs of icing suddenly spilling out of the top and all over the front of your clothes and on top of the masterpiece decorated cookie you have been working on so diligently. Yeah, that happened. More than once! ha!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Sugar Cookies Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: approx. 60-80 cookies}
2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups Sugar
2 large Eggs
1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
5 cups Flour
Coloured Sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Approx 5 minutes. Add eggs, vanilla and salt, mix until combined. With mixer on low speed add flour and mix until combined.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (or up to 1 week).

Preheat oven to 350.
Turn dough onto a clean lightly floured surface. Divide into 4 sections.
Roll out dough into 1/4-inch thickness and cut into desired cookie cutter shapes.
Place onto prepared cookie sheets 2 inches apart and bake until golden brown, approx 12-15 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
Cool cookies completely before icing.

Royal Icing Recipe:

Ingredients:
4c. Icing Sugar
3tbsp. Meringue Powder
1/2 – 3/4c. Warm Water

Directions:

In an electric mixer beat icing sugar and meringue powder until combined. Add the water and beat on medium speed until very glossy and stiff. (approx 5-7 minutes)
If necessary to achieve the correct consistency, add more icing sugar or water.
Remember: To flood the entire cookie surface with icing, the proper consistency is a little more fluid.
To do detailing the icing consistency should be much more firm.

Image

It took us 5 hours to decorate approx 60 cookies! It was a lot of trial and error, mistakes and mishaps and a very messy kitchen- should’ve taken a picture of that! Mostly it was so much fun. We had a blast. At times we were almost falling over with laughter at each other!

Image

Happy Valentine’s and Happy Baking!
Laura & Natasha xo

Standard
Uncategorized

Gingerbread House

Image

Yesterday was our annual Christmas Fun Day at Auntie’s! Every year I have my niece over for the day and we construct a gingerbread house.
I decided to change it up a bit and surprise her with a Barbie gingerbread house. Like how cute is that! She loved it!

Image

Image

Image
Lil’ sweetie eating some sweet treats.

IMG_213922

IMG_21352
I’m trying to construct the gingerbread house. It’s more difficult than it looks! ha

Image
Natasha starting to ice the roof with bright pink icing.

Image

Image

Image
Artists hard at work.

Image
Almost complete… we’re lovin’ it!

Image

Image
This is what Christmas is all about.

Image
Ta da! The masterpiece all complete.
What a great day spent making memories with my special girls.Happy Holidays!

Laura xo

Standard
Recipes

Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Image

Image

I have been on a total smoothie kick lately and have been trying out different kinds of smoothie recipes… Some turned out decent, others not so good. Than I came across this little gem – a delicious Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie and it’s so tasty, I had to share this one with you guys – believe me, it’s a keeper!

Fresh, fruity, healthy, pretty, & easy to make!ย (What more could you want?)

I found the recipe on myrecipes which you can find here, but I have adapted it slightly.

To make this lovely drink, you will need:
(Yield: 2 smoothies)
1 mango (peeled, and coarsely chopped)
1 1/4 cups total of plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
pinch of freshly grated lime zest
1 banana (peeled & chopped)
10 medium sized strawberries (washed, and chopped)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of freshly grated lemon zest

Directions:

1. To make the Mango Layer: In a blender, combine the mango, 3/4 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, pinch of lime zest & 2 ice cubes. Blend until combined. Divide the mango smoothie into 2 glasses, and set aside. Rinse the blender.

2. To make the Strawberry Banana Layer: Combine the banana, strawberries, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, pinch of lemon zest, and 2 ice cubes and blend until smooth.

Using a large spoon, GENTLY scoop the strawberry banana layer onto the inside edges of the glass on top of the mango layer. Do not pour the strawberry layer right on top of the mango layer straight from the blender, or else you won’t get the nice crisp horizontal line. (The first time I made a layered smoothie, it didn’t clarify how to pour the layer on top and I ended up with a swirly smoothie, instead of layered ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Take your time, and using a spoon drop small amounts at a time.

Happy Smoothie-Drinking!ย 
Natasha xo

Image

Image

Standard
Recipes

Pretty-in-PINK Lemonade Cupcakes

Image

Even though the first day of Fall is not until September 22nd, for some reason August 31st always feels like the end of Summer to me.
Right when September 1st rolls around, I feel like Summer has officially ended & Fall has begun.

As you may know from my last few baking posts, I am more than ready for Fall.
So I thought I’d make one last ‘Summer’ recipe before the blog is all things pumpkin!

I made PINK Lemonade Cupcakes, and they are every bit as tasty as they are gorgeous. I love how bright and colourful they are, (It’s a nice change from cranberries & nutmeg) and they are super moist & light. Unlike most cupcakes, the cake is fluffy, fresh, & lemony – not heavy at all, (No eggs are used).
These cupcakes are definitely a summer-mustย at a backyard BBQ!ย 

Image

Image

Image

PRETTY-IN-PINK LEMONADE CUPCAKES

Ingredients:

For the Cake –ย 
2 1/2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
pinch – 1/2 teaspoon of salt
zest from 1 lemon
1 3/4 cup water
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons white vinegar
juice from 1 lemon

For the Frosting –ย 
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2-3 cups icing sugar
juice from 1 lemon
a few drops of red food colouring (to your preference to create the perfect PINK colour!)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a medium bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients – Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda, Salt, & the Lemon Zest. Set Aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix the wet ingredients – Water, Oil, Vanilla Extract, Vinegar & Lemon Juice. Combine the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients & stir slowly until ingredients are evenly combined & no lumps appear in the batter. Do not overmix.

3. Pour the batter (The batter will be extremely wet!) into lined baking pans, about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

Frosting:

1. Using your electric stand mixer, beat the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add in the icing sugar slowly, (scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed) to your preference of sweetness. Add the lemon juice & a few drops of red food colouring – mix until you get the perfect fluffy frosting!

Happy Baking!

Natasha xo

Standard
Recipes

Georgetown Cupcake (The Cupcake Diaries) – Lemon Blossom Cupcakes

Image
Image
Since I was so impressed with the last recipe (Coconut Cupcakes) thatย I made from The Cupcake Diaries recipe book, I decided to try out another one!

I made Katherine & Sophie’s Lemon Blossom Cupcakes, and they are to die for.ย Seriously.

I had high hopes for these cupcakes after the last batch of Coconut Cupcakes turned out de-lish, and I’ve gotta say, these Lemon Blossom’s give the Coconut Cupcakes a run for their money! (My mom actually preferred these lemon ones over the coconut).
Image
Image
Image
It tastes like a lemon loaf cake with an extra zing in the icing. If you like lemon, you will adore these.
The cupcakes were extremely moist.. literally melt in your mouth kind of cupcake. These were definitely one of the moistest, tastiest cupcakes I’ve ever had. Soo nummy. The perfect amount of lemon – not too bitter, not too sweet.
The trick is to add lemon zest in the icing as well to give it that extra somethin’ somethin’.

I’ve only made two of the recipes from the book so far but honestly, I’m super impressed with the quality of the recipes. Thanks Katherine & Sophieย ๐Ÿ™‚
Both of the cupcakes I’ve tried, I will be making again for sure.ย I thought the recipes would be decent, but they are literally perfect, scrumptious recipes.

I think I’m going to try out every recipe in the book, (the recipes are THAT good people ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) maybe pull a ‘Julie & Julia’ kinda thing haha. I’m dying to try their Cherry Blossom Cupcakes.. I think that may be my next venture.

Note: Again, this recipe said it would make 12 cupcakes, I ended up with 20 using standard size baking cups.

If you bake a lot of cupcakes, you need this book. Mouthwatering recipes, cute stories, & beautiful photographs.. It should be a staple in every baker’s kitchen!

Image
Until our next baking adventure..
Natasha xo

Standard