March 26, 2012

Baking Craze

Last week I was on a baking spree. And. I. Loved. It. I got to try several new recipes (one was for strawberry sorbet, which wasn't really baking but it turned out amazing and I can't wait to add shortbread cookies!). I think I was most excited about keeping my kitchen clean every night but by Friday that momentum was lost. Oh well.

One of the recipes I finally tried was Martha Stewart's Banana Bread. This was my first attempt at banana bread. It turned out great. I feel like banana bread is a key recipe in any home baker's arsenal. It is a great option for when you leave bananas too long and you don't want to throw them out.

The recipe I used was really easy to follow and the bread smelled amazing while baking in the oven. I liked that the banana flavor wasn't overpowering but still present.  I made sure that the bananas were really well mashed; I didn't want any banana chunks in my bread. There really isn't anything wrong with that, I just don't prefer it. I took a bit to work and it was gone super fast!

Next time I want to try adding either chocolate chips or a cream cheese frosting. Ryan drizzled chocolate syrup over his slice which was really yummy. But I also like the idea of adding a creamy frosting on top. It's fun to daydream about how to change recipes to make them something special.

I had great feedback from my taste testing of the Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes that I knew exactly what I wanted to do for the baby shower. I added just little bit more cocoa powder, maybe less than a tablespoon. I also added 2/3 cups chocolate chips. I might be able to add a bit more next time but my goal was to make the cupcake nice and chocolately, not chunky. The marshmallow topping was easier the second time around. I also added pieces of cinnamon graham crackers as decoration. And by chance I found blue cupcake liners while grocery shopping and they were perfect for a baby boy shower.

Now that I have the cake part more to my liking I really want to experiment with a marshmallow frosting. There are a few recipes out there that I want to try. The trick will be getting a kitchen torch so I can toast the edges. Anyone who knows me will be quite concerned and let me just say right now: Yes, there is a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and yes I will read the directions thoroughly before attempting any baking with a kitchen torch.

It was a great week of baking and I have so much more that I am planning for the blog. Stay tuned for some great baking interviews and advice from some of the amazing women in my life.

Happy Baking!