Wednesday, February 11, 2015

{ Easiest Valentine's Heart Cake Ever }


Since I was a little girl, I've loved to bake and cook. I've always loved to celebrate the holidays in grand style. I know who to thank for this too. My friend Betty.

Betty Crocker.

I had these cookbooks growing up, and I'm sure my mom still has them. They were old when I was a kid,  so, I think they are from the 60's or so. I think my mom found them for me at a yard sale. I loved pouring over them, especially the Party book.


Oh, the parties I would plan in my head! Who knew I'd actually grow up and throw such parties?!

I *think* it was in one of these books I came across this heart cake. I know I've been making it since I was about 10, in any case. I loved this because I could make a Valentine's Day present for my mom and dad and I didn't need any special pans. You've probably seen this a million times before, but there may just be someone out there who hasn't. Plus, it makes me happy, so there ;)

All you need:

A round cake and a square cake.


 Here's the whole process:


Cut.


Place.

Ice.

The end!

Couple tips. Definitely level your cake first. Add a bit of frosting between the round halves and the square. Use a fluffy type icing, not a ganache. You may need to 'build' up between the halves and the square.

I like to swirl the icing because it's beautiful, rustic, and forgiving.

To add a little extra pow to it, cut out a heart from a piece of cardstock, lay on top


Sprinkle powdered sugar over


andddddd..............



Pretty! Be sure to do this step just before serving. The powdered sugar tends to disappear!

There you have it. Easy, beautiful, tasty.

And who could say no to a chocolate heart?

No one, that's who!

May your day be lovely,

Tina <3



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

{ Harry Potter Sorting Cupcakes }


Did you know that Feb. 5, 2015 is Worldwide Harry Potter Book Night?

Well, it is. You know what that means? It's time to pick up a book and dive back in. Go on, you know you want to. When is the last time you re-read your Potters? For me, it was 2 years ago. So, it is HIGH TIME I read them again.


One of the first and most exciting things that we experience at Hogwarts is the House Sorting. In my parties, I've done it two different ways. You can read about those here and here. For this idea though, I went a little sweeter. The idea came from my Zombie Party cupcakes.


It's just a cupcake of any flavor filled with a tinted cream filling. Tint your cream filling in the house colors: red for Gryffindor, blue for Ravenclaw, yellow for Hufflepuff, and green for Slytherin.

Squeeze a bit into your cupcakes, then top with a delicious buttercream. No one will be able to tell from the outside which is which. When you bite into them though...



It's a simple, but fun, and delicious way to get sorted into your House. Fun for a night of reading, watching, or a great way to sort into houses at a Harry Potter party!

If you are a seasoned Harry Potter fan, isn't it time you read them again? If you've never read them before: A. WHY NOT? and B. See what all the hype is about, pick up a book today!

It's been almost 18 years since the first Potter hit the shelves. Yet the  magic is still fresh no matter how many times we've read or seen them.

As Jo said herself:

“Whether you come back by page or by the big screen, Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home.”


Thanks, Jo. <3

Tina


See these cupcakes featured at the world's largest Harry Potter site: Mugglenet.


Harry Potter Sorting Cupcakes
By Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers

Needed:

24 cupcakes (any flavor/recipe)
1 recipe buttercream (below)
1 recipe cream filling (below)
red, blue, green, and yellow food coloring
4 piping bags and large tip

While your cupcakes are baking, make the following:

Cream Filling:
1/2 Cup Whole (Vitamin D) Milk (not 2%, 1%, or fat free)
3 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 Cup Butter (not margarine) barely room temp
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar (NOT powdered sugar)

In a small saucepan, whisk flour into the milk until smooth. Heat, stirring constantly, until very thick, thicker than pudding. Remove and allow to cool fully. You can sit the pan in an icebath if you don’t want to wait.

In your mixer, beat butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add vanilla.

Once cool,  add the flour/milk/vanilla mix to the butter and sugar and beat until fluffy.

When finished, it will look like whipped cream, but be much thicker.

*Note- you can also shortcut this by just squeezing a bit of tinted Buttercream into the middle instead of the actual cream filling. 
Portion out into 4 bowls and tint one blue, one red, one green, and one yellow for the House colors.

Set aside.

After your cupcakes are cool, add your first color to a piping bag fitted with tip. Stick your tip down into your cupcake and squeeze. You will see the cupcake puff up a bit, that is how you know you have enough. If you add too much, your cupcake will crack open.

Repeat with the other colors. Scrap off any excess cream so the color will not show outside of the icing.

Whip up a batch of 

Vanilla Buttercream
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 lb. confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes. Beat in the sugar and salt. Add 2 tablespoons heavy cream and whisk on high for 4 minutes, until fluffy. If frosting is too thick, add more cream, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until desired consistency.

Stir in the vanilla.


Swirl on top of cupcakes taking care to cover any hints of the color below.

Add sprinkles if desired.


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