Friday, December 19, 2008

Baking frenzy

I've been on a baking frenzy for the past couple of days. I've made Marshmallows, Eggnog Poundcake, Gingerbread Cupcakes, Banana Crunch Muffins and Orange Poundcake for Trifle for Christmas. I need to make Coconut Cupcakes, Viola's Chocolate Cupcakes, another batch of eggnog pound cake to give away and some more marshmallows, as we gifted the entire batch. I'm in charge of desserts for Christmas Dinner with the only request being trifle and something chocolate. I decided to do a variety of cupcakes which I'm freezing ahead of time and will ice on Christmas Eve.

Barefoot Contessa's Marshmallow Recipe

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
Confectioners' sugar for dusting

Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
With the mixer on low speed slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.

With a sieve, generously dust an 8 x 12-inch non-metal baking dish with confectioners' sugar. Pour the marshmallow mixture into the pan, smooth the top** and dust with more confectioners' sugar. Allow to stand uncovered overnight until it dries out.

Turn the marshmallows onto a board and cut them in squares. dust them with more confectioners' sugar.

Yield: 20 to 40 marshmallows, depending on cut size
Recipe from: Barefoot Contessa Family-Style by Ina Garten (Clarkson N. Potter)
** sometimes we sprinkle with crushed candy canes and then dust with confectioners' sugar.

Eggnog Pound Cake

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup eggnog
Sift dry ingredients together in a small bowl.
In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well
after each addition, then the vanilla.
Add flour mixture to bowl, alternating with eggnog.
Bake at 325° for about 65-75 minutes (in 2 loaf pans), 70-80 minutes (in a
Bundt) or about 22 minutes for mini-loaves.

*recipe from my friend Julya. It's been a huge hit with all the ladies on our message board this year.

Viola's Grandmother's Famous Chocolate Oil Cake


2 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 T vanilla
3 cup flour
4 heaping tbsp. Hershey's cocoa powder
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 cup boiling water


Combine sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Sift dry ingredients and add to batter along with boiling water.

Pour batter into two 9-inch rounds (or into one 9 x 13 baking dish). Bake at 350° F for 30 to 35 minutes (rounds) or 35 to 45 minutes (sheet).

Ice as desired. I like to use a double dark fudge frosting like Duncan Hines, but a ganache is even more decadent!

***This is another famous recipe from a group of gals who met on Martha Stewart boards.  This is always the chocolate recipe I go back to.  I'll be making it into cupcakes this time.

Well I better get to it.  I need to run out this evening and finish up my Christmas shopping.  Still haven't got a thing for the Hero. ;)

1 comment: