Monday, July 18, 2011

Basics by Bake: Oven Accuracy

This marks our first post of a new segment called Basics by Bake. Every so often, we will discuss one or two topics which we consider the basics of baking. Things like oven accuracy, how to measure, baking equipment, different ingredients, and so on. Let's get started with oven accuracy.

According to Cindy Mushet, author of the Art & Soul of Baking, many home ovens are off by 25-50* even when brand new. A difference of this amount can easily affect your baking outcomes so it is important to test your oven's temperature periodically. 

To Test Oven Temp:
Purchase an alcohol based oven thermometer. Adjust your oven rack to the center and place the thermometer in the center of the rack. Set the over temp for 350* and allow time for it to fully heat up. Many ovens will beep when it has reached the set temperature, but don’t believe it. Allow for at least 20-30 min before you open the door quickly and read the temperature on the thermometer. If the temperature is hotter or cooler than the temp you set the oven to, make a note of it and you will be able to adjust for this later in yoru baking. For instance if you know that the oven is 25* cooler than what you set it for, you will know to set the oven to 375* when a recipe calls for 350*.

In order to keep your temperature accurate, be sure to check the gasket around the door to make sure that it's attached and properly fitted.  A loose gasket will allow heat to escape. Also be sure that no vents are obstructed.

Good luck and have fun!
Marcie and Katelyn

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

May is the month of Bake!

This past month and a half we have pretty busy. We catered our first wedding, finalized our business license, and started networking. And it looks like this month will be even busier! We've got our blog to keep going, a ton of new recipes to post, farmer's markets to go to, and a grand opening party to plan. :)

So stay tuned because great things are coming!

Catch you on the sweet side,
Marcie and Katelyn

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chocolate Butterscotch Cupcakes

Hope everyone had a wonderful Saint Patrick's day on Thursday! For our pot of gold after our meal, we made these wonderful cupcakes! Enjoy!

Chocolate Butterscotch Cupcakes
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp almond extract
1 cup boiling water
1 Butterscotch pudding cup

Mix together all the dry ingredients.
Add in the eggs, milk, oil, and almond extract: beat until smooth
Add the water and pudding and mix until blended
The batter will be watery so you will have to ladle the batter into your liners.

Bake at 350* for 20-25 min. Cool in the pan 5 min, then remove and cool completely.
Frost cooled cupcakes and top with butterscotch chips. Yum!

For the frosting, use our Marshmallow Frosting recipe and simply add Cocoa powder:

Marshmallow Frosting
4 sticks unsalted butter (room temperature)
2 cups powdered sugar
20 oz marshmallow cream
2 tsp cocoa powder

Beat butter until creamy
Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beat until fluffy
Stir in marshmallow and cocoa powder.

Catch you on the sweet side!
Marcie and Katelyn

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Green Dragon Cupcakes

Its only a week away from St Patrick's Day and in honor of the holiday we decided to create what we like to call our Green Dragon cupcake. Yes, we got our cupcake name from the best beer song in Lord of the Rings, but what can we say..."You can drink your fancy ales you can drink them by the flagon but the only brew for the brave and true.... comes from the green dragon!" :)

Green Dragon Cupcakes
1 cup Guinness extra stout beer
1 cup 4 tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 cups dark brown sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda

1. Heat guiness and butter in a sauce pan until the butter melts
2. Add in cocoa and sugar
3. Combine the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a bowl and whisk.
4. Combine the flour and baking soda
5. Alternately combine the liquid mixture and the flour mixture into the original mix.
6. Poor into cupcake liners and bake for 18 min at 350*

Top cooled cupcakes with our Guinness Cream Cheese Frosting.
1 8oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1 tbsp Guinness
2/3 cups powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients together, stir in green food coloring until you reach your desired shade, and enjoy!

Catch you on the sweet side!
Marcie and Katelyn

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Business of Baking, Part Two: Reaching a Balance

Its so easy...
                   ...easy to have an idea. The difficulty is turning that idea into a success.

Once quoted by Oprah, "Quality is never an accident- rather it is the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution". It is with these four attributes that a company can go from good to great. In fact, these are what we want for the building blocks of BAKE, with the addition of yet one more all-important attribute: balance.

We began BAKE with unbelievably high intentions and when we first sat down and outlined what we wanted to accomplish in this past month we had pages full of checklists. 28 days later, we realize that while high intentions are necessary for a successful start-up, so too is realistic execution and maintaining balance within your life. We started this company whole holding down full time jobs as well as family obligations, and what we have learned thus far is that we cannot achieve the quality that BAKE deserves if we are constantly running at full speed in all directions. Passion is a necessity for any business but there is wisdom in knowing when to take a break. Without rest, you become vulnerable to emotional melt downs, stress attacks, and insomnia; all of which we have encountered in the past month.

Our goal for the month of March, and what we encourage all of you to strive for as well, is to reach a sustainable balance of high intentions and self care. We sat down Wednesday and scheduled out all of March. Which recipes we wanted to do, which days we wanted to post, and which tasks we needed to accomplish. This way we can work when we need to and enjoy our rest when we don't.

We have now learned that BAKE will not be the best if we personally are not at our bests. As Oprah has said, "Quality breeds quality" and it is impossible to create a quality company without first creating a quality life. Yes there will still be some stressful, sleepless nights (that is what owning a business means) but we will be sure to balance those nights with days full of laughter, fun, and love.

Catch you on the sweet side,
Marcie and Katelyn

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

You can never go wrong with a classic, and everyone should have a vanilla cupcake recipe to fall back on. Our ballerina cupcake post was so popular, we thought we'd share our Classic Vanilla Cupcake recipe with you.

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

1/2 cup butter                               2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups sugar                           1/2 tsp salt
3 stiff-beaten egg whites                2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla                                   1 cup milk

1. Cream shortening and sugar
2. Add in vanilla extract; beat until fluffy
3. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk; mix thoroughly after each addition
4. Fold in egg whites
5. Bake for 20-25 min at 350*

Marcie & Katelyn

Friday, February 25, 2011

Gluten-Free Fridays: Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone loves a chocolate chip cookie once in a while so here's a new spin on an old classic.

Old Fashioned Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup sugar                                                  1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup brown sugar                                       1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter                                                  2 cups blended oats*
1 egg                                                              1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 tsp vanilla                                                  1 cup bitter sweet chocolate chips

*Blending the oats is most easily done in a food processor, but if you don't have one a blender works nicely too.

Mix together ingredients, drop onto a cookie sheet, and bake at 350* for 10 min.

Catch you on the sweet side,

Marcie and Katelyn