Dairy Milk Cupcakes

In pursuit of the perfect English chocolate cupcake, I present to you my third attempt. Although not perfect, I now know the next few tweaks that will get me closer to my goal. The frosting on this version is still the whipped ganache I used for version #2. We really like it. It’s not too sweet and it’s simple: melted chocolate and heavy cream. Unfortunately, I over-whipped this batch.  The base cupcake is Dorie Greenspan’s Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes with Dairy Milk substitutions. My first attempt at English chocolate cupcakes also used Dorie’s recipe and that has been our favorite over this course.

In the time since baking these, I baked a 4th version using a “perfected” chocolate cupcake recipe I pulled out of Food & Wine magazine  a few years ago and relegated to my magazine stack until now. I am sparing you all not sharing that version because although tasty, it wasn’t close to perfect. Until next time…

Photos by Paulrus

Wispa Brownies

Paul introduced me to Wispa chocolate bars. He goes crazy for them. His whole family goes crazy for them. When relatives visit from England they bring bags of Wispas and other English chocolate treats. I think it’s a requirement for allowing them to visit. When Cadbury, the maker of Wispas, discontinued the brand in 2003 there was a massive uproar in the UK which spawned a successful internet campaign to bring the bar back.

It used to be tricky to find Wispas in the States, hence the hoarding by Paul and his family. Now you can find Wispas at any World Market or gourmet grocery. Because of this, Paul subtly (not) suggests  baking with his favorite candy bar. I successfully baked Wispa Chip Cookies–Alton Brown’s The Chewy subbing chopped up Wispas for the chocolate chips. Unfortunately this was done before I returned to blogging and I can’t share the results with you. I can, however, share these glorious Wispa Brownies.

I made the Classic Brownie recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours subbing the chopped up Wispas for walnuts. I think the next time I make these brownies I will leave the bars whole or use 4 bars instead of THE LAST TWO BARS in the house. The chopped up Wispas got a little lost in the brownie goodness.

Anne Strawberry hosted the recipe when the Tuesdays with Dorie Bakers blogged about Classic Brownies in September of 2011. You can find the recipe HERE.

Photo by Paulrus

Hello? Is there anybody in there?

Where have I been? Since you’ve seen me last I’ve done a lot of running, some baking, and a little bit of travel. Last April 1st, like an anti-April Fool’s joke, the man of my dreams walked (or, actually,  it was more of a saunter) into my life. We sat around talking a bit and then he had to leave to go back to work. I asked my friend (his sister-in-law)  if he is single and she literally jumped up and down in excitement. In trying to sell him to me she mentioned, “You like to bake and he likes to eat baked goods!!” True. And that was that.  Long story short, Paul and I are now proud parents of Nani #17, a puppy we adopted from a labrador rescue, and we’re planning a casual backyard wedding in May.

I’ve missed blogging and I’ve missed being part of the baking community. I saw the celebrations when the awesome and dedicated Tuesdays with Dorie bakers posted the final recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…from My Home to Yours. I felt a twinge of sadness over dropping out of the challenge to bake every recipe in the book.

I will complete the challenge of using every recipe from the book. For my first recipe back to blogging, I chose Blueberry Brown Sugar Plain Cake. I had all the ingredients on hand. It’s a fairly simple recipe with an extra step of whipping egg whites and then folding them into the batter.

Cindy of Everyday Insanity hosted the recipe the week it debuted (June 7, 2011). You can find the recipe on her blog here: Blueberry Brown Sugar Plain Cake

Make it yourself. It’s super easy and quick. The combination of the brown sugar, blueberries, and the tiny bit of cinnamon indicates there’s nothing plain tasting about this cake.

photo by paulrus

{twd} chocolate oatmeal drops

*sigh* I thought it would be easier to get back into the swing of things. It’s definitely not easy, maybe it’s a bit hard. I have a lot going on. Work has become incredibly busy. Taking care of the house, training for a marathon, and life in general is a bit chaotic.

Cookies always help. Especially cookies still warm from the oven. Chocolate Oatmeal Drops was this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe. A double chocolate cookie with oatmeal (hey! They’re healthy) that takes away worries. Just what the doctor ordered.

Thanks to Caroline and Claire of Bake With Us for hosting this week. For the recipe visit their blog or buy the book.

Until next time…

{twd} swirl cakes are my nemeses

Yes. There isn’t a swirl cake I can’t make ugly. Not on purpose. It just happens. I can make gorgeous croissants. I have no problem baking rolls that look like, well, rolls. I can’t make pretty swirls. I admit defeat.

Paula agrees.

Even though my Nutty Chocolatey Swirly Sour Cream Bundt Cake won’t win beauty contests, it was still mighty tasty. Those scraps did not go to waste. 😉

Thanks to Jennifer of Cooking for Comfort for hosting this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie. For the recipe, visit her blog.