Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy B-Day (02/22)

Happy Birthday

For my husband's birthday this year he requested homemade Italian Creme Cake, but in a cup cake form, since he is not a big sweet eater and once he gets his fill (which is a couple of them) he is done.  So I went on a mission to find a recipe for this cake (I found a lot of recipes that called for a whole lot of ingredients).  I have eaten it before, but never made it.  I came across this recipe during my search from Christine at Have Stand, Will Mix.  She already made the cake into a cupcake recipe and the ingredients were easy ones so I gave her a shout out that I would give it a try.  There are always a few things that I have to think about when baking in my house (1) my daughter does not like nuts or coconut, but she likes white icing (so far any color icing),  (2) my husband loves nuts and coconut and somewhat white icing, and (3) I like nuts and coconut, but not a big fan of icing that is not chocolate.  So I had to figure out a way that all 3 of us would be able to enjoy his birthday cake.  So here is what I did:
  • Made the batter, but only used 1 cup of sugar (as I try all my recipes with less sugar than called for and each time it is made I take away a tablespoon or so, my goal is to get it slightly sweet and the less sugar I can use the better), added extra vanilla (1/2 teaspoon) and left out the coconut until the end.  My husband suggested that in addition the vanilla that next time try a little bit of coconut flavoring.
  • After batter was done, I poured some into a small cake pan about a 3-5 inch pan (these are the single serving size cake pans) for my daughter's cake.
  • Once her cake was separated into another pan, I added lots of coconut (more than the recipe called for as the bag I found at the store was a 7oz bag) to the batter (next time I will add even more) for our cupcakes (or use the suggestion of my husband's above).
  • I prepared the cupcake pans (there was enough batter to make 19 medium size cupcakes)
The next day I had my husband taste one of the plain cupcakes, he was like "can't wait to get home to eat those".  I was super excited that it came out well.  We headed out on his birthday movie day (2 of them "Unknown" and "The Eagle") and we enjoyed a nice lunch at Taco Real.  Sunday will finish out his movie weekend where we will go to Alamo Draft House and watch "True Grit" (this did not happen as we we so tired from the day before that we all chilled at home).  When we got home:
  • I made the icing and had both of them taste it to make sure they liked it (since I used a different icing from the recipe, see what I used below), my daughter said it taste like marshmallows and my husband said it was creamy and he liked it.
  • I toasted lots of coconut in the oven to be sprinkled on top of the cupcakes and I chopped up the walnut halves, I purchased the halves so that I could make sure there were no hard centers in the walnuts (next time I may try this recipe with pecans to see what flavor it gives, although my husband said don't change it because he REALLY likes it).
  • I frosted her cake (with a lot of frosting), then added more untoasted coconut to the frosting mix and frosted all but 4 of the cupcakes and put the toasted coconut and walnuts on top of his (since I really did not want the icing on mine).
For the frosting I used Betty Crocker Home Style Fluffy White Frosting Mix, this was to cut down on some of the dairy, egg and sugar content of the recipe as a whole.
From Saturday through Monday my husband ate all but 7 of the cupcakes, which I gave to my father-in-law (when I was packing them up to take to him my husband said to grab one more and put it in the fridge just in case he wanted something sweet later).


The only problems (well I call them problems as I was totally unsure of myself through the whole process) was that I could not really get the eggs to form stiff peaks, I think I should have used a wire whisk attachment on my mixer instead of the regular paddles for mixing.  I noticed when I went to fold in the eggs into the batter they never really mixed in completely and there was a lot of liquid at the bottom of the somewhat stiff egg whites, I still put everything into the batter.  Also, the cake had oil on the cupcake papers and into the pan, so maybe I should cut back on the oil next time or was it because the egg whites did not all form together, really not sure, have to play with this to see where the problem is for me.

I hope you all give this recipe a try as I think you will really enjoy it and will add it to your arsenal of GO TO RECIPES.

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