Saturday, March 27, 2010

Choco-Chocolately Lollicakes


Today I decided Chocolate was the theme!  We still follow the same instructions as the Heart Lollicakes BUT, I froze the cake balls with the stick already in it!  I wanted to see if it made a difference...

It TOTALLY made the process a LOT easier and quicker.  NONE of my cake balls cracked!  Horray!!

I decided to give this Kroger brand chocolate bark a test run, and it passed!  It runs approximately $3.50 so you get more bang for your buck.  It is a very thick chunk- as you can see so it's a MUST to chop it up in smaller pieces for faster melting.  There are detailed melting instructions and had a great tip: You want to melt the bark using the lowest temperature for best results!  The consistency is great, the taste is yum, and the point of hardening is just as quick as the Wilton brand.  In my opinion, Kroger Bark is definitely a new staple in my baking pantry!

Dip the cake, making sure it's completely covered in chocolate.

Tap the stick at a 45 degree angle to get excess chocolate off.  REMEMBER, you have approximately 12-15 seconds before it hardens!!  

I wanted to make it choco-chocolately, so I got some chocolate toppings- and it looks fun too!!

Dip it in the sprinkles quickly, if the chocolate hardens the sprinkles won't stick!!

Ta-Daaaaa!!  Aren't these pretty!!  Super chocolately, chocolate cake, with a chocolate shell and chocolate sprinkles!!!


As a topping variety, I decided to use the BEST, most versatile cookie- Oreo's.

Scrape off the creamy goodness because we don't want gooey, sticky Oreo crumbs!

I absolutely LOVE my Cuisine Art food processor!  ...5 seconds later...

Fine Oreo cumbs-  a perfect topping!!  **If you don't have a food processor, crush the Oreo's in a bag**

Coat your chocolate covered cake ball within the 15 second hardening deadline!!!

And these super delectable choco-chocolately Oreo lollicakes are sure to disappear in a SNAP!!

I made some without the sticks- because it's a little easier to transport.  I made a small sign, taped to a toothpick- so my taste-testers would know what kind of yummy goodness is about to be eaten!  This was an after thought, so I heated the end of the toothpick and it penetrated the chocolate shell without cracking it.

And because I was strung on the chocolate theme, I decided to try an Oreo Truffle recipe everyone raved about on AllRecipes.com.  

Ingredients:
1 16 oz package Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies divided
1 8 oz package Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
Melted Chocolate Bark

Directions

  1. Crush 9 of the cookies to fine crumbs in food processor; reserve for later use. (Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin.) Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumbs; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls, about 1-inch in diameter.
  2. Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use.) Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.
  3. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.



Here's to our choco chocolately lollicake day!!









Happy Birthday Lucia!

Happy Birthday Lucia!
It was a fun cupcake tower accented with mini M&M's

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Camille & Frances


Happy Birthday Camille and Frances!


and matching cupcakes too!


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I decided to make some fun St. Patty's Day treats for my lovely co-workers.  Quick and easy and tasty too!


Wedding Lollicakes *Update*



The Lollicakes FedEx update!!  They arrived in Seattle, safe and sound!!  Thank you, FedEx, for not being too rough on my box!! 


Needless to say, I arrived safe and sound too!!  My Best Friend was nice enough to give me a buddy pass.  Although my flight to Seattle was delayed 2 1/2 hours and the stress was pretty high trying to get back home, I MADE IT!  It was wonderful to see my cousin, glowing and beautiful as ever, as well as my family!  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Wedding Lollicakes


My Baby Cousin has a wedding shower this weekend in Seattle.  Unfortunately, I can't make it, so I FedEx'ed a package of these cutsie wedding lollicakes!!  I wrapped them individually and wrapped them in bubble wrap, so my fingers are crossed and I really REALLY hope they get there safely!!

Because I was trying to work on a tight schedule, I didn't get to take photos of my steps, but I PROMISE I'll get around to it!!


I used a circle cookie cutter (about 1 inch diameter) and a smaller circle cookie cutter (about 1/2 inch diameter).  I froze them over night and actually had an easier time working with it on the stick.  I dipped them in white candy melt and let them dry.  Then I piped a line of white candy melt at the base of each and covered it with non pariels.  The non pariels actually made a WORLD of difference!!  




I'll let you know if it arrives safely on Thursday!!  

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ice Cream Lollicakes!!!

In light of the gloomy, rainy, cold, icky weather, I decided it would be a PERFECT day to make some super cute ice cream Lollicakes!!! (run-on sentence, sorry!)

I followed the same steps in my previous Valentines blog EXCEPT I shaped the cones by hand instead of using a cookie cutter.  I tried my best to make them around the same size and they're not perfect, but the melted candy coating that will cover up the imperfections!  I also made balls separately for the top of the cone ...dip them the same way as before...

And don't forget, you can use different colored candy melts to mimic the different flavors of ice cream!  and you can add sprinkles to spice it up!!

..a side note.. I learned that when you have excess cake shavings that you would like to re-use/reshape, put it in the microwave for 30 seconds so they're warm, it'll help all the little pieces stick together nicely.  I learned this because my last batch of balls started to crack when I  inserted the stick or they would fall apart in the melted candy cup.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Healthy Taco Dinner!!

Thursday night Taco night!

Out of dinner ideas, I ventured to Trader Joe's (my absolute FAV place)! 
I came home with:
Tomatoes
Head of Lettuce
Mexican Blend Cheese
Organic Taco Shells
Fat Free Refried Beans
Soy Chorizo
(I bought salsa a few days ago and had some wraps too)

I fried the Tofu Chorizo...cut the tomatoes and washed the lettuce... and that's pretty much the only preparation for this meal!!! 

And that's what our Taco station looked like!!  

The only words out of Eric's mouth were "MmMMMMmMMmMM .... MmMmMMmMMMM" and I have to admit, it was really YUMMY!!  Eric requested we make this more often- and I agree!!  ...FINALLY, a vegetarian dinner that we BOTH equally enjoyed!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Happy Birthday Rita!


Happy Birthday Rita!
Chocolate Cake with home-made chocolate frosting

Ingredients:
Rich Chocolate Frosting
  • 1 cups butter (no substitutes), softened
  • 4 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups baking cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Directions:
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter.  Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar, cocoa and vanilla.  Add enough milk until frosting reaches spreading consistency.


The great thing about making your own frosting is that you can make it as chocolately or subtle as you want!  I used an additional 1/4 cup of baking cocoa.  


I also made this frosting the night before, sealed it in an air tight container.  If you let it rest over night, the chocolate is able to settle and it isn't too overpowering.


The next day, I let the frosting soften and threw it back in the blender.  As I blended, I added more milk, 1 teaspoon at a time to ensure the consistency was spreadable.  You'll know when your frosting is ready when it it is creamy and sticky.  If your frosting is too stiff it will be hard and difficult to spread, it may tear your cake and will cause the cake to crumble.

This recipe was WAY more than enough to frost my 9" cake with 3 layers and LOTS of left over!!  

It's a GREAT day to bake away!