31 March 2011 § Leave a comment
About a month ago…or on the 8th of March, so almost a month ago, i celebrated Mardi Gras. No one knew what it was, where I live. The celebration is generally a New Orleans’s tradition, so few others anticipate this day. I’ve never been to New Orleans, nor do I know anyone from there – I have no connection whatsoever to New Orleans and its lifestyle, but I love Mardi Gras. It’s my kind of holiday – another name for it is Fat Tuesday, where you literally eat regardless of all restrictions you had structured for a healthy diet.
I know the New Orleans people eat King Cake during this festival time – which is what I baked in the above picture. It is essentially a cinnamon roll, braided and decorated with yellow, green, and purple sprinkles over the icing. There are specific recipes for it, but I just decided to use a cinnamon roll recipe and braid it instead of proceeding to cut it into rolls. I just wanted to try a cinnamon roll recipe I had found but also make a King Cake. In each King Cake there is a tiny plastic baby for some reason – tradition is, whoever gets the baby in their slice of cake has to supply the next King Cake. As far as I understand, the King Cake is eaten at little parties every Friday during festival time. What the exact duration of the entire holiday is? I’ve no clue.
There seem to be a lot of drinking and and just simply gorging of food – carnivals through the streets, screaming people, excited children, happy drunks, women showing more skin than most non-New Orleanians are accustomed to in a city, and just the usual holiday festivities. I would love to travel to new Orleans sometime just to experience Mardi Gras.
Oh, and I love the masks that people wear! Like during Christmas, people wear Santa hats, during Mardi Gras they wear beautiful masks that revolve around the theme colors of gold, purple, and green and most have feathers attached to their mask as well. Beads. I promise – it’s bead necklace galore in New Orleans on this particular day – its crazy! Big beaded necklaces and ordinary ones – necklaces with little masks on them too.
I have never properly celebrated this day – just about twice I believe buts its become my third, maybe fourth, favorite holiday. The first being Christmas – second, Halloween – and third and fourth is between the Forth of July and Mardi Gras.
I am simply fascinated with this holiday.
10 December 2010 § Leave a comment
I stumbled across a website featuring cake pops …cute I thought, but I didn’t make any of them. Every so often I would visit the site again until one day, looking through the recipe index, I found cupcake bites. ADORABLE.
They are, simply, petite chocolate covered bite-sized cake. You can eat the entire thing without needing to peel off a cupcake wrapper, and they’re just so dainty looking.
Not only was it eye-pleasing but a fairly simple recipe as well. So, I figured I should give it a go. Even after that decision, it was a while before I was actually able to make any since I couldn’t find the right candy mold. I read that the Wilton peanut butter candy molds were too shallow and didn’t work out well. I finally made me purchase at Make ‘n Mold, after much time and tedious searching. I bought two, as with one, it would only take too long to finish making all the cupcake bites! Besides, they’re decently priced: http://www.makenmold.com/ItemDetail.aspx?cmd=local&item=5223
I’ve already made these twice, but I’ve only taken photos of the first trial. The only difference between the two is the colors and that I used a cake box mix the first time around (to get the gist of what it should look like and turn out to be like) and the second time, I used a red velvet from scratch recipe – and cream cheese frosting from scratch as well. For a cake recipe from scratch, just half it if it produces two 9-inched cake layers – you only need on for these, and trust me, it makes a lot. I always have cake left over even after I use up all my chocolate for the cupcake bites.
“So, if you’re a first-time cake baller/cupcake popper, you may want to start with a cake mix and ready-made frosting. (These proportions work right for me everytime.) Then, you can try with your favorite cake and frosting recipe once you see how the proportions and texture should come out. Here’s what you do:”
Easy Cupcake Bites
1 box cake mix (cook as directed on box for 13 X 9 cake)
1 can cream cheese frosting (16 oz.)
1 package chocolate bark (or candy melts for cupcake bottom)
Colored Candy Melts(for cupcake top)
Candy Cup Mold
Sprinkles and m&ms or anything else for decoration
- After cake is cooked and cooled completely, crumble into large bowl. (The texture should be fine/fluffy)
- Using the back of a large spoon, mix thoroughly with 1 can cream cheese frosting. (It may be easier to use fingers to mix together, but be warned it will get messy.)
- Roll mixture into quarter size balls (make sure they are smaller in diameter than that of your candy mold) and lay on wax paper covered cookie sheet.
- Chill in the freezer for a few minutes, until they are slightly firm, not frozen.
- Melt chocolate bark and candy melts in microwave per directions on package.
- Using a spoon or squeeze bottle, fill each mold cavity with a small amount of chocolate. Sorry, I didn’t think to measure how much. But as soon as you fill the cavity, go ahead and place one of your rolled balls into it. Carefully push it down until the force causes the chocolate to push up and fill in around the sides of the ball. You may have to experiment with a couple to get the right amount. Stop pushing once the chocolate reaches the top edge.
- Place the mold tray filled with cupcakes in the freezer for just a few minutes to let the chocolate set. Remove and then gently pull up on the cake ball top to release from candy mold.
- Now, holding the bottom of the cupcake, dip the top in another color of melted chocolate.