Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Chocolate Pound Cake with the Good Cook Mini Loaf Pan

Chocolate Pound Cake Mini Loaves
I recently received some good news in that I had been approved to take part in the Good Cook Blogger Program. The Good Cook web site features some cool baking and cooking products. I'm looking forward to working with this program in the upcoming year. 
As part of the Good Cook Blogger Program, I received this mini loaf pan that makes four mini loaves along with this package of parchment paper sheets. I was so excited to be working with this pan. The parchment paper sheets added a sense of whimsy to my packaging.

Chocolate Pound Cake
1 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. shortening
3 c. sugar
5 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. cocoa
1 c. milk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and shortening; add sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Combine the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients.
To bake in a traditional greased and floured tube pan, bake for one hour and 20 minutes. To bake in the mini loaf pan, lower the heat to 350 degrees and grease the cavities with cooking spray. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick placed in the center comes out clean.

The mini loaf pan creates mini loaves that are perfect for gift giving. I combined the printed parchment paper with some baker's twine to create the perfect treat to share with friends and family.
Disclaimer: I received these products through the Good Cook Blogger Program.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Join the Ultimate Thanksgiving Twitter Party, Monday Nov. 25, 2013

Come Join Good Cook, TheFrugalMom and other Good Cook Kitchen Experts!

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Twitter Party, Monday, November 25, 2013 at 6:00 pm to 7:00pm EST On Twitter with hashtag #Thanksgivingtips

Join in as we talk about everything Thanksgiving from turkey prep to decorating the table. Plus get a chance to win a special gift and one of three $200 Thanksgiving Baskets that will arrive in time for your dinner.

Be among the first 500 to RSVP by November 23, 2013 and receive a free set of Turkey Lifters
Click here RSVP.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One Sweet Cupcake: Blog Tour

 One Sweet Cupcake
by Janell Brown
Cedar Fort
If you're a fan of cupcakes and of watching Food Network's Cupcake Wars, you may recognize Janell Brown. Janell's story is a foodie's dream come true. She began taking cake decorating classes as a way to express herself artistically. She then turned her stay-at-home mom craft into a successful business which was expanded when she won Cupcake Wars in 2012. 
Janell Brown
Owner of One Sweet Slice Bakery, Winner of Food Network's Cupcake Wars,
Author of One Sweet Cupcake
Photo courtesy of Cedar Fort

With the publication of One Sweet Cupcake, published by Cedar Fort, Janell is sharing her recipes with the world. The cookbook is full of classic recipes combined with a few surprises. All of the cupcake recipes are a little different from standard cake recipes as they call for sour cream, unsweetened applesauce, and vegetable oil with the non-chocolate also requiring buttermilk and only 1/4 cup of butter.  I liked Janell's "use what you have" attitude when it comes to ingredients. She acknowledges that not everyone has unique ingredients readily available to them.

The recipes are divided into several chapters. Here are a few examples of the recipes that are included:
  • Classics ~ Vanilla Bean and Unbeatable Chocolate
  • Sweet & Light (Fruity) ~ Raspberry Swirl, Lavendar Honey, Pink Grapefruit, Blackberry, Strawberries & Cream, and Ginger Pear
  • The Dark Side (Chocolate) ~ Grasshopper, Peanut Butter Swirl, Samoa, Butter Toffee Crunch, and S'mores
  • Warm & Comforting ~ Snickerdoodle, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip, Eggnog, Apple Crisp, and Maple Brown Sugar
  • A Little Nutty ~ Pistachio Cream, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Caramel Pecans, Rocky Road, Almond Joy, and Nutella
  • There are also chapters on icings, toppings and fillings, and easy decorating ideas.

Pistachio Cream Cupcake

I tested the classic Vanilla Bean cupcake with with Vanilla Buttercream as well as the Pistachio Cream Cupcake with Pistachio Buttercream. I am a purist when it comes to cupcakes so my favorite  flavor is vanilla. This cupcake was moist and had a good texture. The cake was good by itself and my children ate several of them before they were frosted.

When I took the samples to work, my co-workers enjoyed the Pistachio Cream Cupcakes. They loved the combination of the salty nuts with sweet buttercream frosting. We considered these cupcakes for adults because the chopped pistachios added sophistication to the cupcake. Both the Vanilla Bean and Pistachio Cream cupcakes were a hit with everyone who sampled them. 

One Sweet Cupcake would make the perfect holiday gift for those bakers on your shopping list. With all of the recipes made from scratch, this cookbook will appeal to serious bakers. The recipes and instructions are straight-forward and easy to follow. The beginning baker will also benefit from this cookbook. I am happy to add it to my cookbook collection.

Disclaimer: The publisher provided me with a copy of the cookbook for review; however, the opinion expressed here is my own.