Friday, January 18, 2013

Princess Cake


Since the crown mold was otherwise occupied it became necessary to make a vintage throwback Barbie doll cake.  (Okay, not really, but it seemed like a fun challenge.)

At first I was tempted to buy one of the cake molds specifically made for this purpose.  But after a bit of research it seemed like a waste of money, personally.  Two spring form pans, one glass bowl, and some patience also work.  If you are missing any of these items, you can purchase a pre-made mold here.

Recipe:

2 Chocolate Cake Box Mixes
2 Cups Unsalted Butter (Softened)
6 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 Tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Baileys
Red Food Coloring
12 Oz. Coconut Flakes
Green Food Coloring
Various Cake Decorations

First, make peace with yourself for using boxed cake mixes.  The final product will require a lot of work on the backend.  Be nice to yourself.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare your hardware.  Grease and flour two 8" spring form pans and a glass Pyrex bowl.  Verify that the glass bowl, when inverted, will sit nicely on top of the spring form cakes.

Prepare chocolate cake mix per directions.  Pour half of the batter between the 8" spring form pans.  Pour remaining batter into glass bowl.  Place all three cakes into the oven.  The spring form cakes will be done in 30 to 35 minutes.  Leave the glass bowl cake in the oven and begin checking every five minutes with a toothpick for doneness.  Mine took an additional 20 minutes.

Allow the cakes to cool completely.  

While waiting for the cakes to cool make your frosting.  In a stand mixer whip the 2 cups of butter until light and fluffy.  Slowly begin adding the powdered sugar.  Once combined add the Bailey's by the tablespoon until a spreadable consistency is achieved.  Add red food coloring until desired pinkness is achieved.

Now that the cakes are cooled, they need to be removed from their molds.  The glass bowl cake can be easily removed by firmly inverting the bowl onto the counter and giving it a couple good thumps. 

Use a shot glass to make an impression in the center of all three cakes.  Reserve the crumbles for bodice building.


Place one of the spring form cakes in the center of your serving platter.  Frost the top generously and add the second spring form cake.  Frost the top of this cake and then add the bowl cake inverted.  Place Barbie in her new home, using the cake crumbs and frosting to fill any gaps and give way to a smooth bodice.

I promise this gets less Cakes Gone Wild soon.

Apply a 'crumb layer' of frosting to the entire cake.  This is a thin layer of frosting that is allowed to harden so your final, outer layer of frosting will be crumb free.


Use your various cake decoration to build the embellishments on the dress.  A steady hand, tweezers, and sense of humor will be required.


   

Dye the cocounut green.  Place coconut into a plastic container that you don't care about or have outright disdain for.  Add a couple of drops green food coloring.  Shake vehemently and spread around the cake to hide any sins of messy frosting that may have occurred.


It was determined by majority concensus that the Princesses in our neighborhood drink beer.  I think the mini Bud Light is my favorite embellishment of this cake.


Please be warned that your Princess may become a bit saucy as the evening wears on...


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Drunken Princess Tiara Gummy

Soon after Kitchen Husband posted pictures of his (almost) 5 Pound Gummy Bear on Facebook another friend posted this ahhhhmazingly simply technique from Mrs. Alexandria on how to make Drunken Gummies.

Everyone gets where this is going, right?  Same technique as the 5 Pound Gummy Bear but with a week long spa-like experience afterwards.  (Lucky bastid.)

To keep with the princess theme a tiara mold was needed.  On the off-chance this is not something already in your arsenal, here is a link to order your very own.

Recipe:

7 Cups Chilled Apple Juice
63 Oz. Raspberry Jell-o
1 1/4 Cups + 1 Tbs. Unflavored Gelatin (42 Individual Packets) 
750 ml Vodka
750 ml Cherry Vodka
750 ml Peach Schnapps

Sift together the Jell-o and unflavored gelatin in a large saucepan.  Add the chilled apple juice and give it a quick stir to combine.  Walk away for 15 minutes.

Now that the gelatin has had a chance to go all sciency and bloom for you crank the heat to medium and stir until completely dissolved.  This process takes about 20 minutes total because of the sheer volume. 

Give the cake mold and a rimmed baking sheet a quick spritz of nonstick cooking spray.  Fill the cake mold first and transfer remaining liquid to the baking sheet.

Allow kitchen magic to happen overnight.  

The next morning you will want to tackle the crown first.  Use your index finger to wiggle around the perimeter of the mold.  Once loosened gently pry your hand into one side and using moderate force encourage the gummy out the rest of the way.


Nifty trick, right?  But it is missing the necessary bling required for a princess.  Using an assortment of cookie cutters cut shapes out of the sheet of gummy.




Next you will need to send your crown to its spa date.  First, acupuncture its backside with a chopstick.  This will help it relax and better absorb its boozy gift.


Second, send it for a week long soak of Vodka and Peach Schapps in a large tupperware container with a tight fitting lid.  Be sure to include your decorative cutouts to ensure loneliness does not occur.


One week later pull the gummy out of its bath.  Reserve the remaining alcohol for making 'Princess Juice' later.  Decorate accordingly with the cutouts.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Princess Popcorn

"A princess used to stand for beauty, magic spells, and fairy castles.  That was pretty damn important."  -- Tom Robbins, Still Life with Woodpecker

One of The Neighbors recently had a birthday.  After brainstorming a multitude of potential themes she settled on a tri-themed 90's Princess Beer Party.  The evening commenced with an alarming amount of Brittany Spears, glitter, and glorious beer.  

What to serve to soak up all that glorious beer?  Amy at She Wears Many Hats offered the perfect inspiration with her Valentine Popcorn.  This was the perfect crunchy, salty, sweet combination perfect for any princess -- drunk or sober.



Recipe:

12 Cups Air Popped Popcorn
2 Cups White Chocolate Chips
Kosher Salt
Red Food Coloring

Cover counter top with either foil or parchment paper.  Following manufacturer instructions make 12 cups of popcorn and spread it about.  Now, you might be thinking this is the perfect opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream of popping the popcorn sans bowl...I promise this only ends in a giant mess.

So much naked popcorn...



Place an inch of water in a small saucepan and turn heat onto medium.  Place a glass bowl on top of the sauce pan.  Ensure that the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl.  Add the white chocolate chips and a few drops of red food coloring.  Stir until smooth adding more red food coloring if necessary.

Drizzle the pink chocolate over the popcorn.  Immediately sprinkle with a healthy amount of Kosher salt and nonpareils.  Use a spatula lightly spritzed with nonstick cooking spray to evenly coat popcorn.  Serve in a fancy-like trifle dish fit for a princess.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Homemade Peep: Ginormousized

I really do love my Kitchen Husband but my original foodie crush was on Alton Brown.  So imagine my glee when I received Alton Brown's Good Eats 3 as a gift the same weekend Kitchen Husband was visiting!

We thumbed through the pages together and landed on Alton Brown's recipe for homemade marshmallows.  It seemed like the perfect opportunity to pay homage to the genius time Kitchen Husband discovered the key to making Deep Fried S'mores and find a way to take yet another simple idea delightfully too far.

I already owned a bunny cake mold that is a full foot from ears to chin.  (Like the bear cake mold used in my attempt to make a 5 Lb. Gummy Bear...the reasons this was already in my kitchen arsenal is not up for discussion.)  On the off-chance you do not already own a ridiculous number of novelty cake molds for when these occasions occur, here is the link for one of your own.


Recipe:

3 Packets Unflavored Gelatin
1 Cup Ice Water, Divided
1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1/4 Tsp. Kosher Salt
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
Yellow Food Coloring

Prepare your colored sugar by placing a 1/2 cup of granulated sugar and a few drops of yellow food coloring into a plastic container you either don't care about or straight up have disdain for.  Cap it and give it a few good shakes.

  
Give the cake mold a spritz of nonstick cooking spray.  Reserve a few tablespoons of the colored sugar for the Peep's backside.  Use remaining sugar to prepare the cake pan by knocking it around a bit until the pan is thoroughly coated.  


In the largest bowl you own for your stand mixer place a 1/2 cup of the ice water and sprinkle the 3 packets of gelatin on top.  Give it the privacy it needs to properly bloom while you prepare the hot liquids for its upcoming shock treatment.

Fill a small saucepan with the remaining 1/2 cup water, 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, and salt.  Give it a quick stir to combine, cover with a lid, and turn heat to medium high and allow to cook for four minutes.

After four minutes have passed uncover the liquid and clip on a candy thermometer.  Continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F.  Once proper temperature is achieved carefully remove the sticky, scalding hot liquid from the heat.  Seriously, be careful.

Turn your stand mixer onto a low speed and slowly pour the hot liquid down the side of the bowl into the bloomed gelatin mixture.  Slowly increase the speed to high and prepare to witness food magic over the next 12 to 15 minutes.  During the 14th minute remember to add your vanilla extract.

  
Spritz a spatula with nonstick spray and use to spread your marshmallow fluff into the prepared mold.  Sprinkle the backside of your creation with the remaining colored sugar.


Allow the Peep to setup overnight.  The next morning flip your Peep with a satisfying amount of force onto a baking sheet.  It is up to you to decide if it is better fresh or a few days stale.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

5 Lb. Gummy Bear


When the above video first made its rounds on social media the Kitchen Husband was intrigued.  The man loves him some pineapple gummy candy.  It is both endearing and weird.

I wanted to appropriately thank him for the support during the recent move and decided the most logical way to do this is to make him his very own 5 pound pineapple gummy bear.

Based on a few experiences of leaving gummy candy in cars during the summer months I originally planned on buying 1,400 pineapple gummy bears and melting them together in a low degree oven.  But that felt a bit Hitlerish.

Instead I found a recipe posted on Skip To My Lou for making regular sized gummy candies.  The original recipe can be found here.

For reasons that are not up for discussion I already owned a bear cake mold.  In need of your own?  (Who isn't?)  Find one on Amazon here.


Recipe:

7 Cups Pineapple Juice Chilled
63 Oz. Orange Gelatin (Jell-O)
1 1/4 Cups + 1 Tbs. Unflavored Gelatin (42 Individual Packets)

The most tedious part of this project is opening up the packets of unflavored gelatin.  Or you could plan in advance and buy gelatin in bulk.  Unfortunately I came up with this idea after 10:00 PM and my local 24 hour grocer doesn't carry in bulk...


Next sift together the orange flavored gelatin and unflavored gelatin in a large sauce pan.  Add the chilled pineapple juice and give it a quick stir to combine.  Walk away for 15 minutes.


Now that the gelatin has had a chance to go all sciency and bloom for you crank the heat to medium and stir until completely dissolved.  This process took about 20 minutes total because of the sheer volume.


Give the cake mold a quick spritz of cooking spray and fill the mold with the liquid. 


Quickly realize you have more liquid than mold and make the last minute decision to also do a bunny gummy.  (Or use a rimmed baking sheet to do cut out gummy candies with the excess.)

I know this is an unfortunate shape but I promise it becomes a bunny.

Allow kitchen magic to happen overnight.  Seriously.  When you wake up you will have a giant gummy candy in a mold.  Use your index finger to wiggle around the perimeter of the mold.  Once loosened gently pry your hand into one side and using moderate force encourage the gummy out the rest of the way.



This step actually took me most of the morning due to a lot of anxiety that I was going to tear or otherwise harm the giant gummy.  Get over these fears.  It is a lot of gummy and does alright with a bit of force.


Here is where I fear I've been a bit misleading.  It is true that I set out to make a 5 pound gummy bear.  The Scientist, with all of his sciency ways, decided to empirically test at a local grocery store on my behalf.  Alas, this version comes in at 4.25 pounds...if those extra .75 pounds matter to you please be sure to go to Vat 19 and order the original (and true) 5 pounder.

 


Monday, January 7, 2013

Dramatic Return

Okay, maybe not dramatic.  I have severe disdain for drama.

In June of 2011 I went from being a cohabiting apartment dweller to a single homeowner.  Embarrassingly, I didn't see it coming.  And I greatly underestimated how much work went into home ownership.

Oh, and I started to take myself VERY SERIOUSLY.  In retrospect, it was a very dry, stupid, boring period to know me.  It was probably a public service that I quit posting.

The turning point came when The Neighbors wanted to do a progressive dinner and I volunteered for the main course.  At one point I considered doing a roasted chicken.  (You were warned.  Serious people make roasted chicken.  Seriously boring, dry people at least.)

I consulted with Kitchen Husband and he seemed concerned.  Instead he suggested the following:


The Chicken Vindaloo is amazeballs.  Get over yourself and eat it with the damn potatoes.  And the irrelevance of the video snapped me back into a sense of normalcy.  You know.  The one where Gummy Bears weigh five pounds and Peeps are meant to be at least a foot big.  Bring it.  I'm baaaaack.         

Friday, May 27, 2011

Presto Pasta Night #215

Remember those cheesy public service announcements of the 1980's?  (i.e.:  'The More You Know!')  Ruth Daniels of Once Upon a Feast decided to turn those upside down by doing a weekly roundup of Public Pasta Announcements via Presto Pasta Nights.  Much more cheese appropriate in my mind! 

This week I had the honor of hosting the weekly roundup.  I can't remember the last time I had an entire week where I so looked forward to the new message icon on my phone.  You would have been excited too if you had bloggers from all over the world messaging you their delicious dishes for the week.  Check out what I received!


I look forward to giving up my apartment dwelling ways and also having a garden full of foodie inspiration like Kirsten at From Kirsten's Kitchen to Yours.  The mere thought of fresh, peppery arugula combining with the nutty, salty profile of pecorino romano cheese has my taste buds all riled up.  Added bonus?  She gives some great tips for growing your own arugula if you are a newbie gardener.  




The purists may not approve but I adore the trend of non-traditional pesto.  Anamiko of Taste Junction created a pesto of meaty walnuts and bright parsley to douse this weeks submission with.  This dish makes me so excited that I packed the food processor as an 'essential' kitchen item to be unpacked the first night.






While packing for the move I found my grandmother's lasagna pan.  Unusable now for its intended purpose because the lining flakes into the food, I am trying to figure out how to use it as a decorative centerpiece.  Heather from Girli Chef brought back fond childhood memories by using cottage cheese in her lasagna dish.  Totally Grandma approved!





Was the book better than the movie?  Who cares!  Let's focus on the food.  I am smitten with Tina's blog Life in the Slow Lane at Squirrel Head Manor where she reviews books AND then makes a dish based on the book.

The Hemingway classic Farewell to Arms inspired a dish of double carbs, bacon, and onions.  Right?  I would read the entire cannon if they were all this delicious.






I know it isn't quite the same as the heat in Malaysia but the temperature in Michigan finally motivated me to turn on the air conditioning this week.  And begin looking for cold pasta dishes.  Jen, from Taste of Home, supplied a scrumptious cold dish perfect for beating the heat.



Yes, flavor combination is important -- sweet peas, salty bacon, and creamy cheese is perfection.  But don't get so distracted that you miss the lovely flower shape of the raviolis that Tandy created on Lavender and Lime.


© pea and bacon ravioli with a blue cheese sauce

For me the mouth feel is the emotive part of a finished dish.  (As in, it tasted good but was it sincere?)  Imagining the crispy carby goodness created by Krista of The Beet Reporter is almost too much for me to handle right now.



I really do hope that Michelle at Ms Enplace gives us an update on her dear friends from Joplin.  With all of the craziness (and supposed stress) of packing for the move it was a (nice) slap in the face to remember I am blessed to have a home to move into soon.  Good to be reminded that a boiling over pot in nothing in the grand scheme.  (Not that any of us have ever had a pot boil over...)



At first glance the thumbnail in my email made me think that Mangocheeks of Allotment 2 Kitchen was being an overachiever and submitting four different dishes.  Then I read the full post and realized that each quadrant was showcasing the progression of the dish.  In what might be one of the most awkward sentences I have ever typed, my tongue tingles when I read the ingredient list.  

 

One of my favorite childhood memories is of eating canned sardines on crackers with my grandfather.  I adore that Linguina of Pastificio Dei Campi:  The Blog resolved what to make for Father's Day this year already!



I am planning on spending Memorial Day Weekend with my best friend in the woods.  After setting up camp we are going mushroom hunting.  Gilli, author of So So Simple Food, must think we are going to come back with quite a haul and has inspired me with a mushroom dish.  Wish us luck! 




Rounding out this week's roundup we have a submission by Daphne from More Than Words where she is trying to increase her vegetable intake.  With a dish this delicious that won't be hard!

Tomato Basil Soup with Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli:

A special thank you to all of the bloggers who made my first time hosting experience absolutely wonderful!  If you are interested in participating in a roundup please be sure to check our Presto Pasta Night for details.

Next week's roundup will be hosted by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.  Please consider joining in these very important, and oh so cheesy, Public Pasta Announcements.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hiatus & Presto Pasta Hosting

Recently I had a few short-notice major life changes occur.  The entire ruckus caused me to become a first-time home buyer.  Yeah!

Filling out tedious amounts of paperwork, packing your life into tiny boxes, and bribing friends to carry your stuff doesn't leave for much fun kitchen time.  Boo.

Thanks to Google Reader my favorites bar is loaded with inspiration that will keep me busy for months to come after I get settled.  Want a back load of inspiration for yourself?  Go follow Presto Pasta Nights!

(Seriously.  Go check out the site.  I promise to still be here.)


Such a fun idea brought to you by Ruth at Once Upon a Feast.  Since the bloggers are not pressured into themes or secret ingredients you find this eclectic mix of fabulous pasta dishes.

What would you share?  The options are almost limitless.  Wikipedia lists over 150 pasta shapes.  Now consider the different ingredients and preparation techniques.  Someone much better at math could tell you the astounding number of possibilities that exist.

I am excited to announce that I am hosting this week's Roundup.  Joining the fun is way easy:

Your dish must have some type of noodle.  Hot, cold, salad, soup, main, dessert...doesn't matter what you creatively do with your noodles, just make sure they are in the dish.

You will need to mention that you are submitting the dish as your entry for this week's roundup for Presto Pasta Night.  Be sure to link to the website!

Since I am hosting this week you will need to mention and link to Slap Happy Kitchen.   

Now that your post is finished you will need to email me a link to your post and a picture of your dish to trish (at) slaphappykitchen (dot) com.  Please also CC Ruth in case I am hit by a bus or have technological difficulties.  Her email address is ruth (at) 4everykitchen (dot) com.

Please have your entries emailed no later than Thursday evening so we can all be drooling on our keyboards by Friday evening. 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Applesauce

I have a tumultuous relationship with apples.  When I was seven years old I bit into a fresh, juicy beauty and lost a loose tooth.  Okay, I didn’t ‘lose’ it – the bloody bit was lodged into the apple as my mouth filled with the saline taste of blood.  My grandfather had to ‘start’ my apples for me after that experience, but I still associate apples with pain, unless they are baked into a pie or mushed into applesauce.
I had three apples leftover from the Fondue Partee, which isn’t enough for a pie but the perfect number for a small amount of homemade applesauce.

Recipe:
3 Apples, Peeled and Cored
½ Cup Apple Juice
1/8 Cup Sugar
½ Tsp. Penzy's Cake Spice
Caramel Sauce for Drizzling
After peeling and coring your apples quarter and slice the remnants.  Place the apples, apple juice, sugar, and cake spice into a small sauce pan.  Cook over medium-low heat for fifteen minutes until soft and plump. 

Hit with an immersion blender until desired consistency is achieved.  Drizzle with caramel sauce and enjoy piping hot.